My conversion from a Gough Whitlam supporting, dope-smoking, loony leftist was achieved on a farm at Quinninup in West Australia. It was a beautiful property and I think of that time with great fondness.
The area was a mixture of farmland and logging. Those who owned farms didn’t allow logging. That all happened on government-owned land. The land was leased by governments to companies that, according to the incentive of their contacts, came in a ripped out as many trees as possible for the term of their lease. There was no profit in replanting, so they didn’t.
Now, logging is not inherently bad, far from it, but living in the country, rather than just reading about, it made it crystal clear that those who owned land (farmers) looked after it far better than those who didn’t own land, but controlled it (governments).
This turned on its head my prior belief that only the government could act in the best interests of all. Right in front of my own eyes was the evidence that private property was tended in its best long-term interests, while government-owned land, which has no real owner, was laid waste without any interest whatsoever for its future.
Thus, I became a free market man.
As with all who turn from the dark side – a rabidly free market man.