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Cheers - AE

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Australian Libertarians.

There's often some thought provoking stuff to be found on Thoughts On Freedom, the blog of the Australian Libertarian Society, and now and again I like to point anyone sick of my rantings in their direction. There's plenty there worth reading but two have caught my eye over the last couple of days. First there's Not Evil, Just Wrong, which is about the climate change scare and a film showing a point of view that doesn't sit to well with the rent seeking orthodoxy. As a result, and despite some positive publicity in the media, the filmmakers seem to have had trouble getting Hollywood interested and have chosen an unconventional approach.
Because obviously Hollywood didn’t want to distribute this film, filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney have a unique and I think rather fun distribution plan. In a world first, people can order “premiere packs” which will come with a DVD, a movie poster so they can have a home cinema and a piece of red carpet so they can have their own special premiere (although they can’t press play until the right time!)

The world-wide premiere is to be held on October 18 at 8pm, and the producers are calling for screenings in Australia at either 8pm on the 18th Australian time, or alternatively simultaneously with the US premiere, which works out as being at 10am Monday the 19th AEST. To those who screen it on the Monday AEST, the opportunity exists participate afterwords in an online discussion webcast with a panel of experts straight from Washington DC afterwords, where viewers would be able to email/facebook/twitter questions to the panel for instant updates.
As the ToF folks point out, this comes at an appropriate time for Australia since there is to be a vote on what the denizens of Canberra would probably like to think is a world saving Emissions Trading Scheme, but which will almost certainly make precisely square root of fuck all measurable difference to the climate while simultaneously having a not insignificant effect on the economy. I'm not sure enough minds will be changed as a result of the film, especially among those that matter (as opposed to the poor bastards who'll be affected), and even if I can't get any of the vast number of 'believers' I know to come round mine for a screening I'll drop US$20 on a copy for me (order from - the link given at ToF 404s). They're mostly going to be preaching to the choir as far as I'm concerned but I'm interested in seeing the whole thing. Meanwhile here's a taster.

The second thing that caught my attention was a short post on the idea of Charter Cities.
Article XI, section 3(a) of the California Constitution authorizes the adoption of a city charter and provides such a charter has the force and effect of state law. Article XI, section 5(a), the “home rule” provision, affirmatively grants to charter cities supremacy over “municipal affairs.”
The above quote taken from this website. What this means in theory, if not always in practice, is that the people of a city in the US state of California can create for themselves a charter and using this they can in effect over ride state laws and operate as a near autonomous region bound by the same state consitution but not by most actual state laws. In essence a city can become a secondary state within a state. According to Wikipedia “112 of California’s 478 cities are charter cities”.


Of course Australia also has the equivalent of a charter city. It’s called Canberra. The equivalent of a micro state within the state of NSW. Perhaps a few other cities should also attain independance from state laws. Or perhaps we should set aside space, as we did for the national capital, where new cities can emerge. Even better if they represented zones that avoided federal laws.
A fascinating idea to try where there's the room. How do we go about it, how do we guarantee that at least one is at least broadly minarchist/libertarian, and where do I sign up? And would the authoritarian bastards running most of what for want of a more accurate term is laughably called the free world actually let it happen? That last bit is where I have most of my doubts. Still, go read the rest - not much I haven't quoted to be honest, but there's a video on the topic which will keep you busy for twenty minutes.
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