Sean Gabb Gets It Right, And Oh So Wrong. | I am Keith Neilson


Comment from Blogmaster:- I should have said that this is the post which Keith Neilson comments on below. The original post was a stormer, which has mightily upset certain Tories in the UK.

Sean Gabb Gets It Right, And Oh So Wrong. | I am Keith Neilson

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5 responses to “Sean Gabb Gets It Right, And Oh So Wrong. | I am Keith Neilson

  1. And here’s me been trying to impose a commenting moratorium on myself. Oh well, here I go again.

    Sean’s prescription for what to do when power is gained, while perhaps or perhaps not perfect in the detail, is a good one, and is the kind of thought experiment which may bring one temporary cheer. However it does not (nor, one must absolutely acknowledge attempt to) answer the question of how such a position may be gained. As such it is much like discussing which stars to visit in a starship, while ignoring the hard problem, which is how to build a warp drive.

    The problem is that by not discussing in the same breath the gaining of that position, we overlook the fundamentally recursive nature of the discussion. If a government of libertarians, or of “the right” (I dispute that label, but let us let it pass for now) or of “real conservatives” (I dispute that even more as I said before) has gained office in our thought experiment, then the war is already won. That which should be done by such government then becomes a trifle, as it will have the authority to do whatever it wishes.

    Unless it has gained power by subterfuge, rather than gained office by honest campaigning, this imaginary government has already told the populace that it will slash government to ribbons, immediately leave the EU, abolish the BBC, hound the enemy out of local government, strangle all the quangos and so on. It can only thus gain office if it has the support of the majority of those citizens who care. To achieve that, it must have gained a cultural hegemony and, more significantly a moral hegemony.

    It will have become moral to support small government and immoral to support big government. It will have become moral to support tax cuts, to despise the enemy class, and so on.

    To achieve the initial conditions for such a libertian cultural revolution, the public morality must have already become libertarian, rather than the current secular evangelical statism.

    This is the Hard Problem, and it would seem at this juncture to be entirely intractable, since altering the moral hegemony requires cultural hegemony, while the cultural hegemony is driven by the moral hegemony.

    What is oft mistakenly believed is that the statists/Left/whatever invaded the institutions- government, education etc, from outside. This is not true. There were always socialists inside the elite; indeed it is an elite project and always was. We, on the other hand, have no insiders; and the defenders against whom we wish to move are entirely alert to the possibility of any counterhegemonic entryism and are thus able to nullify it before it gains purchase. The Hard Problem is thus profoundly hard.

  2. Pingback: Sean Gabb: Speech to Conservative Future « The Libertarian Alliance: BLOG

  3. Steven Northwood

    Hi Ian,

    What’s the code for striking lines of text in Italics, such as you have done? You’ve taken a few tenths of a second out of us with that one!

    Cheers,

    Steve.

  4. Hi Steve,

    To italicise text just use <i>italic text here</i>

    Not sure what you mean by your second sentence :(

  5. Steven Northwood

    Thanks Ian.

    Oh, yeah sorry about that, I meant it in a Formula One sense, about being quick etc. Which, on reflection, is not at all obvious. :-)