According to Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson, however, the above doesn't even count as a vision. People who are suspicious of government, he wrote this past weekend, have "an aversion to any kind of 'vision' for society, because vision usually means mobilizing the resources of the state for some collective purpose." Of course, if you define away a certain kind of vision, then it's no longer a vision. But defining words to mean what you want them to mean is hardly fair, no matter what Humpty Dumpty says.
Simpson is right on the money, though, when he points out that "Thatcher's children" as he calls them—the current conservative leaders of Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand—often promise more than they deliver when it comes to shrinking the governments they claim to view with suspicion. They talk the talk, but they generally don't walk the walk. And until the libertarian vision of respect and spontaneous order is more widely appreciated, we can expect them to continue paying mere lip service to the ideas of freedom.