On The Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation


Part One: Introduction

In my last post, I indicated that I would be making a single post on the Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation.  This plan has been abandoned on the basis that such a post would have been something of a behemoth.  For this reason, I am breaking the article up into individual posts.  This, then, as the subheading suggests, is my introduction.

In Star Trek, The Next Generation, one of the most dangerous villains which repeatedly threaten the United Federation of Planets is the Borg. When the Borg arrive at a planet they intend to conquer, they transmit the following statement: “We are the Borg. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile”. Individuality in that culture is then destroyed and subsumed into the “hive mind” or “collective” of the Borg.

The Report Of The Independent Inquiry Into The Media And Regulation (Hereinafter referred to as the IIMR) ultimately represents the same struggle between the collective and the individual. Just as in the Borgs plan, the IIMR repeatedly faces a struggle between the rights of the individual and the power of the collective. Equally as in the Borgs plan, the IIMR strikes down the individual and subjugates the will of the individual to the will of the collective. The Hon R Finkelstein QC seems never to have met an individual right which is not trumped by the will of the collective.

The Hon R Finkelstein QC is so steeped in the culture and “morality” of government that force, upon which all government action is based, has equal moral standing with liberty. All collisions between the rights of the individual and the power of the collective are ultimately decided on the basis of the balance between the advantages and disadvantages of the relative considerations to the collective.  But the rights of the individual and the power of the collective do not stand on equal moral ground. The power of the collective rests upon the initiation or threat of the use of force. The rights of the individual by contrast cannot rest upon that basis. To describe as a “right” anything that rests on the initiation or threat of the use of force is absurd.

Rights, in contrast to power, rest upon the inherent humanity of the individual and the ability of the individual to exercise that right without compelling, by initiation or threat of the use of force any other individual to enable that exercise. But in the IIMR, this unequal standing is never acknowledged. Not once. Always the collision between individual rights and the power of the collective is decided on the basis of what benefits there are to the collective. Small wonder then, that the Hon R Finkelstein QC invariably comes down on the side of the collective.

Next up, I’m going to start addressing specific concerns within the report.  My first such post will look at whether it is necessary, as indicated by the report, to include online publications in the proposed regulatory environment.

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