Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2003-09-25 Reporter: Richard Tren

Fatal Conceit



Business Day

Date 2003-09-25


Richard Tren

Web Link


Prof Ben Turok, MP, writes (Letters, September 23) that it is the place of Parliament to produce laws that serve the public interest and further that Parliament is the guardian of the nation's moral fibre.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Frederick Hayek described "identifying the good of the nation" as "fatal conceit".

If Parliament is indeed concerned with the public interest, it should be fighting to secure the maximum possible individual freedom for all South Africans. Instead Turok aims to undermine our freedom by dictating what is good or bad for us. Turok is merely dressing up his disregard for individual freedom and hunger for power over our lives as some sort of moral crusade.

Turok might be reminded of the adage that politicians are like a bunch of bananas, some are green, some are yellow but none are straight. Given the recent arms procurement scandal, few MPs have any place discussing morals.

With acknowledgements to Richard Tren and the Business Day.