Disagreeing with Martin’s final column

Sad to see the final column from Martin Van Beynen. I enjoy both his excellent reporting and his columns. He jokingly labels himself the “thinking man’s redneck”.

He states:

My instincts are what most would call conservative. I am opposed to radical change and wholesale condemnation of the past or status quo. And yet another side of me likes the idea of big simple solutions and rapid change.

I have often wondered what makes people right wing or left wing – conservative or progressive. With the left and progressives in power and in the ascendancy in New Zealand, the right seems less and less confident, and outdated.

As I might have said before, I think right wing people have a more negative view of their fellow humans and therefore feel trying to interfere with human nature or the natural order is doomed to failure. Leftists seem to have a more positive view of the species, believing that given the right environment and rules, people’s intrinsic goodness will come to the fore.

I disagree. I believe the opposite. I find many (not all) on the left have a terrible pessimism of their fellow humans. They think if left alone, we will make terrible choices. This is why the Greens have around 100 things they want to ban us from being able to do. This is why so many on the left seem to hate the words choice, competition and markets – they don’t trust us to make choices they approve of. And again many on the left think many of their fellow humans are racist, sexist and bigoted etc.

I find right wingers (not all, but overall) are endlessly optimistic about people both individually and collectively making the right decisions. They don’t think we are going to destroy the world. They do believe people can achieve far beyond what their group characteristics might suggest.

So I have enjoyed Martin’s columns but I will respectfully disagree with this part of his final one.

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