I REFER to the letter “It’s time to ban alcohol nationwide” (The National, Oct 27) by Jonah Lupi of Mt Hagen.
I agree with the writer that economic benefit derived from production, sale and consumption of alcohol in PNG does not exceed the associated cost of the same.
Even though alcohol is an inelastic good (which means changes in price do not affect demand in a significant way), which is a good source of tax revenue, social evils caused by sale and consumption of alcohol in PNG outweighs and undo any economic gains.
In a nutshell, the cost of production, sale and consumption of alcohol exceeds the economic benefit.
Banning alcohol and nightclubs, which is a breeding ground for prostitution, family breakdown and spread of HIV/AIDS and other social evils, are noble ideas but they are not possible under our current political system.
Our present political system supports individual rights and freedom.
In a liberal democratic society like PNG, banning alcohol and nightclubs may be good for some people but it may be bad for others.
The Christians and good people may want to ban alcohol and nightclubs but they must not infringe upon the rights of others.
In a liberal democratic country like PNG, individuals rights and freedom are more important than the rights of the above group.
If tougher laws like banning alcohol and nightclubs are to be enacted, then we need a tougher political system.
Strong laws are possible under a strong political system like socialism, guarded democracy or communism.
It is possible to enact tougher laws in such societies as they have a centralised system of government where the laws are for the common good of the society than to serve the interests, rights and freedom of a few individuals.
The governments in socialist, communist and guarded democratic states are guided by the philosophy and ideology of collective interest or good is paramount than the good of one person.
I think democratic system of government should be adopted in developed countries and developing countries should have socialist, communist or guarded democratic system of government.
If PNG does not change its present political system, it will find itself sinking.
We need a change of our political and economic system to come out of this sinking ship.
PNG will remain resource rich and yet its people will remain poor.
This paradox will remain because in our current system, a few individual will get filthy rich at the expense of the majority.
Under socialism or communism, the majority benefits at the expense of the few.
In a developing county like PNG, one does not expects its citizens to change their attitudes by passive means such as education.
It would be hard to find its people to be law abiding citizens.
We need a strong political system, strong centralised government and tougher laws to make our citizens change their attitudes and make them law abiding citizens.
In the traditional communal societies of PNG, group welfare is more important than the interest and welfare of individuals.
This is related to socialist or communist political system.
At present, under our democratic system, with decentralised system of government, we have too many leaders and not enough Indians or followers.
PNG is over-governed and it is now on the verge of disintegrating into many states.
With autonomy, independence and the Boka Kondra bill which is serving interest of few provinces, PNG, to me, appears to be falling apart.
I appeal to our political parties in Government and Opposition to seriously think of changing our political system to one that benefits the majority.
We need to let go democracy and adopt socialism or communism.
Under socialism or communism, a government may be able to make strong laws like banning alcohol or nightclubs for the good of everyone.
Mamando Aiyun Pain