Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32. No. 25. October 9, 1969
What kind of Party do you want?
What kind of Party do you want?
1. The only purpose of government is to provide a joyous and harmonious pooling of intelligence to encourage life (health), individual liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all citizens.
2. The current political parties are no fun at all. They are grim and divisive organisations apparently committed to an unhealthy ecology, an uptight economy, centralised control, and violent tension among all the citizens.
3. At the present time The Only Alternatives to violent authoritarianism is to start a New Party, a fresh celebratory reunion based on a positive psychology of affectionate reward; to develop a rational good-humoured social system which rewards healthy, honest, harmoniously individualistic behaviour and which imposes gentle, appropriate, effective, constructive penalties upon behaviours which are unhealthy, dishonest, disharmonious.
4. We Are A Majority. This is to say, there is only a tiny minority who really like the present miserable politcal system. We, who long to support a pro-life, individual freedom, pursuit-of-happiness party, actually represent over eighty per cent of the population. Add up our numbers. The patient Blacks. The proud Mexican Americans. The noble Indians. The nature lovers and conservationists. The good-natured eccentrics— health fooders. astrology bulls. The libtertarian liberals. The old-fashioned free-enterprise "let-us-alone" conservatives. The true conservatives. The non-doctrinaire intellectuals. The over-burdened tax payers, the heads, all two million of them. The old time "I-am-my-own-boss" frontier [unclear: individualists]. And above all. the sixty per cent below the age of 30!
5. The Present Stage Government Penalises The Virtuous And Rewards The Immoral. Under the present system of laws and taxes. criminal are rewarded. Convicted felons become dependents of the State. They are comfortably housed, doctored, well-fed. and allowed to loaf for years in the company of more skilful and glamorous outlaws who are delighted to teach them what they know. They sober, industrious, honest person is penalised by taxes which support these maximum security colleges of crime we call prisons.
6. There are three very different types of asocial behaviours which are now defined as criminal:
|1.||crime of violence|
|3.||immoral or unhealthy behaviour|
Very different needs motivate these three types of "crime". It is absolutely necessary that we have three different forms of corrective punishment fit these "crimes".
7. Violence. No social order can tolerate violence. The major function of the State is to protect the safety of its citizens. Persons convicted of violent crimes must be isolated in therapeutic reformatories (of varying degrees of security) and kept there until cured. Actually, modern pharmacology knows enough right now to dramatically reduce the rate of violence on the basis of voluntary treatment. We can end violence. Why don't we?
All of the ideas present in this essay are based on long-accepted psychological theories of human behaviour (Jung. Fuller. Freud. Marcuse, Pavlov. Skinner. McLuhan, Lao Tse, Confucius, Gary Snyder) and on recent confirming psychological research. The psycho-pharmacological rehabilitation Of chemically violent criminals was first demonstrated in a series of classic experiments performed at Concord Massachusetts State Prison in 1961-64 by the Harvard Psychedelic Research Project. As part of our California campaign we would he happy to repeal this experiment and convert the incorrigibly violent California prison convicts into wise, smiling saints. (We can use them in the campaign.) Violent behaviour is caused by bio-chemical changes in the body that make the person feel bad. The way to neutralise violent emotions is to help the person feel good in the context of a socially constructive, humane atmosphere. In the last nine years we have demonstrated over and over how to do this.
8. Financial Dishonesty should be penalised in the appropriate manner. Financially. The way to reform an irrationally greedy thief, is not to give an all-expensepaid refresher course in prison or to cage him like a violent person. The convicted larcenist should be allowed to work off his "score". Financial culprits should be forced to pay back double the amount they steal. The victim can thus be given his money back. He's happy. The alert arresting officer gets a twenty-five per cent bounty. He's happy. The remaining twenty-five per cent goes to a state-fund to repay those larceny victims in cases where the crook fails to re-pay.
When "something-for-nothing" dishonesty no longer pays the crime rate will drop. The prisons will be emptied of all but a few compulsively hung-up neurotics who will be offered psycho-pharmacological relief.
These are admittedly Ad Hoc, emergency measures. In the harmonious, hedonic society of the future (which we are now seeding) any "crime" or "sinfulness" will automatically punish itself. It is the intrinsic nature of any "crime" that it inevitably carries it own penalty. The whiskey drinker has hang-overs. The prostitute is cut off from sexual release. The gambler and theif ends up broke. The smog-producer has to live in smog. The hunter kills the creatures he was meant to learn from.
9. Immoral Behaviours have always been a major source of political friction. A survey of history will show that there is no human behaviour (from cheek-to-cheek dancing to child murder) which has not been considered a capital crime in one culture and a holy sacramental act in another culture. However, moral codes, despite their irrational variance, are absolutely necessary for social survival. Morals and taboos are, indeed, the very essence and "soul" of a society. The most important fact to have about any society is the nature of its morals, and the rationality of the punishments for sinners. The slate not only has the right, it has the obligation, to administer the currently accepted moral-code. But which activities should be considered immoral today in California? And what should be the constructive penalties for the various immoral behaviours?
These questions precisely define the present-day American political dilemma. Our elections have recently been and will continue to be centered on law 'n' order, dissent, immorality. Poor Gov. Regan has said that student wickedness on stale campuses has been the biggest headache of his administration.
At the present time, the United Stales of America, and in particular, the state of California is going through a period of moral change. Acts which twenty years ago were considered virtuous—like propelling an atmosphere-polluting motor boat around a clean-water lake killing ducks with high powered riflles—are not seen as unhealthily sinful by a large percentage of the population. While other acts which were determined to be illegally taboo twenty years ago—such as smoking marijuana—are now acceptable to a large percentage of the citizenry.
The key issue in an open society is the democratic, consensual determination of what is good and what is evil, what is legally moral and what is illegally immoral.
If history teaches us anything, we must learn that no centralised government or moral elite has ever been able to prohibit or forcibly repress personally-motivated private behaviour.
While the specific moral tensions produced by our rapidly evolving technological society will always be with us, the general solutions to this vexing question of moral difference are simple:
1. Provide a way of democratically determining, by campaign and vote, the currently acceptable moral codes.
2. Discourage immoral behaviour in a way that is socially constructive, and psychologically rational.
10. Let us accept the current definition of immoral: any behaviour which is physically unhealthy to self or other or which is socially obnoxious to a majority of the citizenry. The list of immoral activities, thus defined, let the normal processes of lobbying, public-opinion persuasion, campaigning and voting modify the the list of immoral activities and their punishment.
11. Let the social penalty for immoral behaviour be financial. Instead of burdening the virtuaus tax-payer with the enormous cost of detecting, arresting, trying, incarcerating, paroling, persons convicted of unhealthy obnoxious acts, let us set up a system of licensing frivolous or associal behaviour so that the sensualist, the self-destructive, the unhealthy person is obligated to pay for his pleasure and thus contribute to the social welfare.
Specifically, we suggest that the following unhealthy or asocial actions be permitted only upon payment of a $1000 annual license fee:
Nicotine-cigarette smoking (cigars and pipes are tax-free)
Killing wild animals for sport
Purchase of a new smog-producing automobile
Purchase of a smog-producing motor boat
Homosexual courting (in restricted public areas)
Public Nudity (in restricted areas)
Heroin Possession (in restricted areas)
LSD tripping (in restricted areas)
Possession of hard liquor (beer and wine are tax-free)
Living in ghetto or central urban neighbourhoods
Public Mental Illness
It is assumed that almost every citizen of California has at least one unhealthy or socially eccentric vice that he is willing to pay for —thus eliminating irrational guilt and fear and thus enormously benefiting the state treasury. Those who have several vices pay more.
Since none of the above actions can be forcibly restrained even by our billion-dollar system of law enforcement, the solution is to "Make Crime and Immorality Pay". Pay in dollars.
A few minutes reflection will suggest the astounding sums available to the state treasury from such "Frivolity Fees". For example, there are two million marijuana smokers in California whose sensual, and hedonic behaviour now results in profits to illegal distributors and enormous drains on the states treasury. If only half of the current marjuana smokers decided to purchase a license around one billion dollars has been raised!
Frivolity Fees will probably turn out to be the only needed source of state funds. It is thus possible to completely eliminate state taxes for the virtuous and, indeed, to provide rebates and bonuses to the sober and to the underpriviliged. For example, the $100 fee for living in unhealthy urban centers can produce funds to help impoverished ghetto dwellers to move out of the polluted, up tight atmosphere of the inner city, uptight atmosphere of the inner city. The public mental illness fee will pay for the mental hospitals.
12. The Frivolty Tax Card. Any citizen of California who wishes to indulge in any of the democratically defined immoral acts will be given a card, upon which will be punched the the particular vices he has paid for. Any person apprehended in an immoral act for which he has no license will pay double, i.e. a $2000 fine. Fifteen hundred dollars of this fine goes to the State Treasury and five hundred dollars to the alert arresting officer as an immorality bounty.
If this seems harsh, the convicted sinner can choose the old system of imprisonment for those crimes which are now illegal. It is one of the beauties of our programme that it is voluntary and requires no revision of the present legal structure. The thief or the unlicensed marijuana smoker can opt to be punished under the old system or select to "pay off" his crime under the new system.
13. The Police inevitably become the scape-goat figures in any irrational social-moral system. The first priority of any sensible society is to prevent the emergence of a large under-paid, over-worked, unpopular police bureaucracy. A system of bounty payments for the detection and arrest of unlicensed financial and moral culprits will make the police genial umpires in a good-humoured game of social order. In addition, the police will become the highest paid citizens of the state. Far from being despised and underpaid, the police become lavishly rewarded social servants. We can make the flat guarantee that under our administration, the average, alert state policeman will make more than the current governor's salary. The demand for police jobs will be so great that after a policeman has made enough bounty money to guarantee him life-long income equal to the governors salary, he will be retired. Eagerly awaited openings in the police ranks will be filled by remen.
14. Unrest On The State College Campuses is a completely unnecessary concern of the state administration. The state should have no control over and responsibility for education. Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell would agree. It is obvious that the current bloody suppression of student dissent is a sham—a fake, artificial issue contrived by a few student activists and a few ambitious politicians. Reagan invented the Berkley riots. The SDS is a creation of the C.I.A.
The state should get out of the education business. The idea that there should be a State Superintendent of Education (Max Rafferty!) and a State Board of Regents (retired oil tycoons!) determining educational policy is intolerable! Let the schools, colleges, universities be turned back to private associations of students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. Let each parent and each student decide which type of education is desired. Let's go all out to encourage diversity and educational experiments. Abolish compulsory education! If college students (who certainly have an endless list of righteous complaints) do not like the teachers whom they hire, let them strike or negotiate in the familiar free-enterprise labour-management way. Under the New Administration, the state guard would no more attack students than it would take sides in a trade-union dispute or a contest between the Dodgers and the Giants.
15. The Racial Issue is another, eve more irrational sham. The facts of the [unclear: matter] are that the American Black community the most patient, good-humoured, co-operative wise social group in world history. Far front being a problem, the Black should be seen [unclear: a] a tremendous social asset, if for nothing [unclear: else] than his instinctive rejection of the compel live, aggressive white-collar technological [unclear: ethi] The so-called racial problem is a simple matter of recognising and rewarding the America Black for what he is. A source of culture. wisdom. The Black has been cheated economically and then made dependent on politician whims. Let us reward him righteously and [unclear: p] pay him his due. But the real solutions to [unclear: the] Black problem are:
1. To cool out the harassed [unclear: conservative] White who has been misguided by his [unclear: own] self-serving political leaders.
2. To recognise that it is exactly the Black the Mexican-American and the Indian who [unclear: can] teach the over-worked, unrewarded White [unclear: how] to expand his life, liberty and happiness.
Specifically, the administration and management of the many new leisure-time [unclear: industries] which will develop in a "turned-on" California will naturally tend to become the [unclear: provin] of the under-opportunity groups. Instead [unclear: trying] to force Blacks to become like [unclear: middle] class Whites, to the unease of both Whites at Blacks, let all groups come together to [unclear: but] a relaxed commonwealth.
16. Who Will Pay? Instead of the [unclear: hard] working conservative, it will be the [unclear: frivolo] and the dishonest who will pay all of [unclear: tl] cost of the state government. But how [unclear: we] the convicted larcenist or the unlicensed [unclear: ir] moralist get the money to pay his fines? [unclear: The] state correction department will [unclear: concentra] solely on getting good jobs for those who [unclear: over] the state "greed" or "sin" fines. Instead a socialistic system of incarceration and we fare payments, the state will do everything possible to give "debtors" the change to wo in an interesting and challenging job to "pa off". Eventually most all state employees [unclear: will] be those who are "working off" their "[unclear: fri] olily" debts.