Applying logical consistency to collectivism. An example.

14 08 2009

ANGLICAN theologian Peter Adam thinks that unless Australia’s indigenous people give us belated permission, everybody whose forebears came after 1788 should decamp and return the land to its first inhabitants.

In a public lecture on Monday, he said that if the non-indigenous stayed they should have to provide whatever recompense the indigenous thought appropriate for the genocide and theft they have suffered.

Now as the article points out, Peter most likely doesn’t mean that 21 million Australians should leave Australia.  But that’s not the point. 

Peter clearly believes that one collective (immigrants to Australia and their children post 1788) should be held responsible for alleged “crimes” against another collective (Aboriginals).

I think this is a logically consistent position for a person who believes collectives, such as races, have a higher power status, or a higher authority than the rights of individual people.  

I have two problems. 

1) Collectives are simply groups of individuals.

2)  Why should one person be made to pay for an alleged crime that another person did?  This would be an injustice of the highest order.   A legal system that practised this idea would be undermiming the very process of justice. 

In my case.  I feel absolutely zero guilt about the plight of any Aboriginal.  My immigrant parents and myself bear absolutely no responsibility for say Joe Blogs X who shot an Aboriginal on his property in 1824 or something.  We also have no resonsibility for the stolen generation.   

I think it is wrong and unjust that I am forced to pay money to Aboriginal people simply because they are Aboriginal.  That’s racism. 

And note how bad the practical outcomes of this collectivist theory are.

This week the papers have been lamenting about the housing shortage for some Aboriginals.  Well guess what, the more the government gives the Aboriginals  – the more they will suffer in the long term. 

Productivity, prosperity and independence are human attributes that have certain causes.  It is impossible to attempt to bypass the process of cause and effect and simply give someone the end result.  ie: The effect without the cause, will not create the cause. 

If Australians gave Aboriginals say 10X as much of their money as they currently do, the long term results would still not be good.  

I am reminded of the Chinese proverb: “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever”.

Note that my used of this statement in no way endorses forced wealth redistribution in the form of education as opposed to houses.



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