Sean Gabb: In Defence of the British Empire


Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 196
3rd August 2010
 

In Defence of the British Empire
By Sean Gabb

On Friday the 29th July 2010, I saw a BBC report of David Cameron’s tour of India. Several Indians, it seems, had demanded the return of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond. This has been property of the British Crown for the past century and a half, and now forms part of the Crown Jewels. To say that the inconvenience and humiliation of breaking up the Crown Jewels had not crossed the minds of those making the demand is to credit them with too little intelligence. The Diamond itself, we can have no doubt, was worth far less to these people than the joy of having humiliated their former masters. This was confirmed within the report by some relative of the famous Gandhi, who urged return of the Diamond as an act of “atonement” for our imperial past.

Mr Cameron, I am glad to say, refused the demand. His refusal, however, was less firm than it should have been. He merely observed that return of the Diamond would set an unwelcome precedent. And so, having nothing more enjoyable to do with the five minutes of my time it took, I made my own response on the Libertarian Alliance Blog. It went thus:

Gross Indian Ingratitude
by Sean Gabb

“So the Indian ruling class is asking for the Koh-i-Noor Diamond to be shipped off to them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10802469

“Some flatulent grandson of Gandhi is demanding the diamond as some kind of “atonement“.

“Atonement for what? I ask.

“I think the world would be a much better place if the wretched Gandhi had drunk a bad pint of his own urine c1910. But since he didn’t, the Indians might at least have the grace to thank us for having saved them from the barbarism in which we found them. But for us, they’d still be burning widows, and the country districts would still be swarming with Thugees. Thanks to us, they now have a space programme.

“Yes, rather than asking for one diamond back, they should be grubbing about to see if they can find another one to send over. And, while doing that, they could put all those statues back up of Queen Victoria, and set up a few new ones of T.B. Macaulay.”

Sadly, this posting has unaccountably vanished from the LA Blog, taking with it all the comments. But it provoked a firestorm of debate that has continued to burn on one of the supplemental postings that did survive. I drove several Indians into a frenzy, and got a stern ticking off from various self-appointed “libertarian purists”. In a private message to some of my friends, one of the Indians accused me of cowardice and dishonesty. Another of them, one Sudha Amit, has decided for the moment to call me an “imperialist racist pig” in the comment section of every other posting I make to the LA Blog. Since I presently have limited access to the Internet, I shall not see until tomorrow what the effect has been of calling her a “silly little woman”. If she has responded with better sense than I expect, I will confine myself to sneering at her bad English until she goes away.

I suppose I could have made my comment a little less bluntly. But I stand wholly by its substance.  I feel no shame whatever about my country’s imperial past. I am even rather proud of it. Indeed, I really do think that the inhabitants of those places lucky enough to have been conquered by England should display a little more gratitude than is currently the fashion. If they cannot do this, they should at least stop whining about it.

But, dear me – here I go again! Never mind my poor Indian readers, I can almost hear the muscles tighten in the faces of my “libertarian purist” critics. And so, rather than go into the details of why I feel so pleased to have been born an Englishman, I will explain how, as a libertarian, I can possibly think well of an institution so essentially statist as the British Empire.

There are two points of view from which the Empire should be regarded – that of the English and that of everyone else. I will begin with the English. For us – I am not, by the way, discussing the colonies of white settlement – the Empire was a mistake that ultimately destroyed us. This is particularly the case with India. There were Englishmen who gained from the conquest of India. But these were a small minority. They were shareholders in the East India Company, and politicians who took bribes from the Company, and various members of the ruling elite who found wider opportunities for employment as soldiers and administrators than would otherwise have existed in a liberal state. For the rest of us, India was a waste of our national effort. It was not a place to settle. It was less important as a trading and investment partner than the United States. Together with Burma and the East Indies, that control of India enabled us to conquer, the Raj brought us into disputes with Russia and Japan that led directly or indirectly to both great wars of the twentieth century.

I might add to this the corrupting effect that governing India had on the British ruling class. This was not so extreme as the effect that empire had on the Roman aristocracy. Even so, I think much of the paternalism one sees in British government after about 1870 was inspired by the example of despotic control over several hundred million Indians. Or I might add further unanticipated effects on England of our association with India and the other non-white colonies – Iam pridem Syrus in Tiberim defluxit Orontes, etc. But this takes us away from the present argument.

Therefore, as a libertarian who looks at it from the English point of view, I can see nothing good in our conquest of India. It raised our taxes above what they would otherwise have been. It raised up wealthy special interest groups that were not particularly liberal. It involved us in otherwise unnecessary – even unimaginable – overseas entanglements. Had I been alive and writing in the nineteenth century, I would have been on the extreme radical wing of the Liberal Party, arguing for an immediate departure from India.

But this is the case only when I look at things from the English point of view. When I look at them from the Indian point of view, they appear wholly different. By liberal English standards, India was barbarous or, at best, semi-barbarous. It was a jolly enough place to live for those with money and power – and I can understand why many of its early English rulers went native. But for everyone else – that is, about ninety nine point nine something of the people of India – it was a hellish place. It was a place of rigid caste boundaries, of destructively rapacious landlords and tax collectors, of extreme and arbitrary injustice, of suttee and thuggee, of forced castration and forced prostitution, of outright slavery.

Until the death of Aurangzebe in 1707, India was at least reasonably united and reasonably at peace. After 1707, however, it fell into a growing chaos – a chaos that impacted most on those at the bottom – that was only terminated by the rise of the East India Company.

India never knew the really lunatic parasitism shown in Mel Gibson’s film Apocalypto. But it was, before the English conquest, similar in many respects to our own ancient world. These similarities, though, extended only to the evils of antiquity. India had no equivalent of those arts and sciences that redeem the ancients and that have made the study of their civilisation so enduringly profitable. When, in the 1830s, he looked at what sort of popular education the East India Company should encourage, Macaulay saw no alternative to an entirely English curriculum. He was advised that the vernacular languages were, as they then stood, deficient as vehicles of instruction. He was willing to accept that the classical languages of Arabic and Sanscrit might be respectable in themselves, but had nothing but contempt for the “wisdom” their literatures offered to the Indian mind. This “wisdom” was made up of

“medical doctrines which would disgrace an English farrier, astronomy which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school, history abounding with kings thirty feet high and reigns thirty thousand years long, and geography made of seas of treacle and seas of butter. ”

It would be far better, he said, to let the Indians learn English and become as English in their thinking and outlook as their circumstances allowed. And, so far as circumstances allowed, it was English and English ways that, during the century that followed, were given to the Indians. They were given English science and administration. They were given a rational and human penal code based on English principles. They got due process of law and trial by jury and freedom of religion and the press. Slavery and sacrificial murder were put down.

That all this was given at gunpoint is no valid objection. Let us, for the sake of argument, accept that all states are evil. It does not follow that all states are equally evil. It may not be to the benefit of one nation to conquer another. But it will be to the benefit of one nation to be conquered by another when the state directing that conquest is more liberal. The English State was more liberal than any Indian alternative, and so the result of conquest was beneficial to all those classes of Indians outside the ruling elites. The main use of English power in India was to stop the Indians from being quite so beastly to each other as they would have been left to their own ways. The whining of some modern Indians about “colonialism” and “oppression” tries but cannot obscure this fact.

Nor is it valid to cry up the examples of real brutality by the English in India – for example, the blowing apart of Sepoys after suppression of the Mutiny. Though it is never right, it is the nature of the strong to tyrannise over the weak. There is nothing unusual about English brutality. It is regrettable, but common to all powerful nations. What is notable about English rule of India is its settled benevolence. And I suspect this is what so outrages the modern Hindu nationalist. If we had behaved in India as the Belgians had in the Congo, he might actually think better of us today. Atrocities are more easily forgiven than benevolence from a position of overwhelming physical and moral superiority.

There is one point in my original blog posting that I might withdraw. This is my suggestion that the Indians should put back up all their statues of Queen Victoria. On the one hand, she was their lawfully-proclaimed and accepted Empress. On the other, she was a foreigner. And, while they might have learned a few more English ways than they did, the Indians have had all the English lessons they really needed to become a fairly respectable people. They are no more obliged to set up statues of Queen Victoria than they are not to change the names of cities like Calcutta and Bombay and Madras to whatever they please in their own languages – so long, that is, as they do not come scowling to me or mine to change our own usages.

As for Macaulay, he needs no statues in England or in India. His writings are the only memorial he requires.

Let me pass now to some of the specific objections to my case that I feel are in need of separate answers. The first is the emphasis that one of my Indian critics placed on the Bengal famine of 1943 – as if this was somehow an indictment on English rule. It might be an indictment if there had never before been Indian famines. But to claim this would be manifest nonsense. Famine has haunted India since time out of mind. The reason we know so little of it before English rule is that the native chroniclers of India were always more interested in reporting court intrigues than the condition of the people. But take this by Fernand Braudel:

“The cataclysms were often irremediable, such as the terrible and almost general famine in India in 1630-1. A Dutch merchant left an appalling description of it: ‘People wandered hither and thither,’ he wrote, ‘helpless, having abandoned their towns or villages. Their condition could be recognised immediately: sunken eyes, wan faces, lips flecked with foam, lower jaw projecting, bones protruding through skin, stomach hanging like an empty sack, some of them howling with hunger, begging alms.’ The customary drama ensued: wives and children abandoned, children sold by parents, who either abandoned them or sold themselves in order to survive, collective suicides…. Then came the stage when the starving split open the stomachs of the dead or dying to ‘eat their entrails’. ‘Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people died,’ the merchant continued, ‘to the point where the country was entirely covered with corpses which stayed unburied, and such a stink arose that the air was filled with it and pestilential.’” [Capitalism and Material Life, 1400-1800, Harper & Row, New York, 1975, p.41]

The problem with India under English rule was that every improvement in circumstances was attended by an increase in numbers among the lowest classes. Because these Indians would consider no limits to their own fecundity, they faced the same Malthusian checks in 1943 as in 1630. Those Indians who blame England for this are as pitiable as the Irish who blame England for the blight that killed so many of their potatoes in 1845.

Second, there is the claim by Kevin Carson – made on the Libertarian Alliance discussion forum – that European colonial rule damaged native civil society, and made it inevitable that these countries, once independent, should fall under kleptocratic rule. He says:

“I’m afraid I agree with Burke rather than the “liberal” imperialists. One might have said similar things of England ca. 1214 or so. But the constitutional framework of liberal democratic Britain was gradually built, over centuries, from that crooked timber. I think Third World countries are overrun with kleptocracies is, in part, because their civil societies were so nearly liquidated by “progressive” foreign powers, leaving a vacuum when those powers withdrew. Gandhi’s movement was as much a reformist movement against the most barbarous aspects of authoritarian Hinduism, including the caste system and the burning of widows, as it was against British rule. The contest for power in post-independence Indian national politics, conducted by people like Nehru, detracted from what was most valuable in Gandhi’s thought: the promotion of a decentralized, federal, village-based anarchism.”

Now, I do have the greatest respect for Mr Carson. Nevertheless, I am not at all persuaded by this claim. Outside Europe, and those parts of the world settled from Europe, there has never been anything worth calling civil society. This is true of those places that were only lightly colonised – Ethiopia, for example – or that early threw out their colonial masters – that is, Haiti. India may not be so stark an instance as China – where no room for stable association has ever existed between the family and the State. But I do not see, when I survey what little we know of Indian history before the English conquest, any of those associations that, in Europe, repeatedly checked, and even partly humanised, the rule of the parasitic classes. The only difference between pre-colonial and post-colonial governments, in India and in the much less fortunate Africa, is that the latter have modern technology to assist their oppressions – but also the often fading impression of English ways to limit their oppressions.

To say that, but for western conquest, most of Asia and Africa today would have strong and vibrant civil societies, in which individuals were protected by mutual guarantees from misgovernment and the misfortunes of life, is a romantic fiction. More realistically, the only time in their histories that most parts of Asia and Africa were not governed tyrannically was when they were governed despotically from Europe.

I come now to the repeated accusation of all my Indian critics that I am not a “real” libertarian. Since libertarianism – unlike Roman Catholicism or Islam or Orthodox Marxist-Leninism – has no core texts and fixed catechisms, I could ignore these accusations. However, those making them have annoyed me by their bitterness and often by their private correspondence with third parties, and therefore deserve some attention. So let us look at the specific claims.

They all claim that nations do not really exist, and that to speak of them is to engage in “group-think”. There are only individuals, they say, and no true libertarian ever talks of other than individual interests. According to one Abhilash Nambiar, “What does such terms mean anyway? “Interests of England”, “interests of those subjected to British rule” etc., Nations do not have interests, people do. What is called national interests are merely meaning that people attach to interests as expressed by certain persons who where at certain position during certain times.” He adds: “Sean you need to shake off your collectivist mentality and apply methodological individualism when performing your analysis”. He further adds: “You cannot have your two feet in two boats. Sooner or later you will have to choose. Libertarianism and nationalism is as compatible as oil and water.” Again, he says: “The environment [in America] is more receptive to libertarianism. Here I see conservatives wearing different clothes. I do not expect things to change in England any time soon tough. The English won’t imitate the Americans even if their life depended on it.”

According to one Jayant Bhandari, “Dr Gabb has now himself taken the path of bigotry and irrationality.”

Of course, only individuals exist in the tangible sense. And there is no doubt that much social science is improved so far as it studies individuals as opposed to reifications. However, the idea that nations do not in any sense exist strikes me as ludicrous. It might as easily be said that my family does not exist – but that we should instead speak only of individuals with names like Sean, Andrea and Philippa. And I do not think that von Mises, or any of the other most eminent economists of the Austrian School, has ever denied the existence – and even the importance – of national groupings as reasonably conceived. Nations are communities based on perceived commonality of blood, or on language or religion, or on some other unifying cause or combination of causes. Certainly, so far as individuals believe in them, and so far as individuals are willing to act on their belief, nations must be taken into account.

My Indian critics are united in denouncing me for my supposed lapses from methodological individualism. But I really wonder how committed they themselves are to methodological individualism. Some years ago, I wrote an essay on the Elgin Marbles, in which I sprayed vicious abuse all over the Greeks. Every few months, I take it into my head to say very hateful things about the Americans. Yet my Indian critics only thought to turn up and start preaching at me when I was less than flattering about the Indians.

Notice, moreover, how Mr Nambiar, as quoted above, passes pretty fast from telling me to shake off my “collective mentality” to showing one of his own: “The English won’t imitate the Americans,“ he says, ascribing one characteristic to about fifty million people, “even if their life depended on it.”

I would never dream of denouncing my Indian critics for arguing in bad faith. That would – on the basis, at least, of what information I have on them – be a most wicked accusation to make. Even so, is it not possible that, even as they try to lecture me on my own alleged shortcomings, they are unconsciously motivated by a Hindu nationalism as ardent as my English nationalism? As said, I make no allegations of bad faith. I only ask what I feel to be a reasonable question.

In closing, I will pass to the accusation of inconsistency that Sudha Amit made against me when she noticed that I was opposed to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. She says:

“Lol, Why are you so inconsistent?

“Don’t you believe that the Tony/Brown Junta is doing great things to Afghanistan the same way EIC did to India for which you want every Indian to e grateful to you?

“You need to be consistent, otherwise change the blog’s name to Musings of an imperialist racist pig with some fits of Libertarianism”

I have little respect for Miss Amit’s reasoning faculties. But I will answer her question.

I was against invading Iraq and Afghanistan because these wars involved killing large numbers of civilians without what I saw as good reason. Though I do not regard wars and their incidental atrocities as absolutely illegitimate, I do require the projectors of a war to show reasonable grounds that it is defensive and that some regard will be paid to the lives and properties of civilians. Alternatively, as argued above, I am willing to accept the outcome of a war when it can be shown that there has been some compensating advantage to the people of the losing side. I would never insist that the English conquest of India was achieved without bloodshed. But the restoration of India to internal peace following the conquest led to an overall economy of bloodshed. And English rule was to the advantage of the great majority of Indians.

There has been no economy of bloodshed in either Iraq or Afghanistan, nor is there likely to be. And no one with a straight face can possibly claim that the conquests were in any sense to the long term advantage of the conquered. These were looting expeditions, bought by a coalition of corporate and other interest groups, in which the interests of both conquerors and conquered were of zero importance.

Now, if this is not all that I can say on the relationship between England and India, it is certainly all that I will say. I have no doubt that my various critics will let up one great wail of horror at what I have just said. But that is their concern – and they must let up their wail without any hope of further comment from me.

NB—Sean Gabb’s book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, can be downloaded for free from http://tinyurl.com/ya4pzuh

About these ads

158 responses to “Sean Gabb: In Defence of the British Empire

  1. Yes, I enjoyed your article above, but that is not the article I thought you were going to write. It is just a defence of your recent blog. What about the much more important issue of UK’s relations with India in an era of declining British and Western power? I thought that was going to be the subject of your article.

  2. But that does not interest me. My own view of present Anglo-Indian relations is that there should be none at the government level – that is, no more foreign aid, no more guit trips, and so forth. How individual English and Indian people choose to behave to each other is of no account.

  3. when you say there should be no relations at the government level – that sounds interesting. I have long thought there are far too many foreign trips. It’s as if leaders feel they are more imposing when they are strutting round the globe.

    Surely, we should just trade with the Indians -and nothing else? Does it actually require state visits? Taiwan has hardly any embassies abroad, owing to its not being recognised as a state, although it does have trade offices abroad – and manages to have trade and investment flows with the outside world. Is that what you mean?

  4. When I come to power as the front man for a military coup, one of my first acts will be to shut down the Foreign Office and break off diplomatic relations with the rest of the world. Can I count on your support when I eventually call an election?

  5. Well, yes, you could count on my support in an election, but I think after your Indian comments above, you are going for the benevolent despotism role – no elections required :-)

  6. I do agree, there is something like nations. They do exist in the minds of the people. One may argue about the idea whether this is a good or bad thing, but I think it is in any case a fact that they exist. Acknowledging this itself does not make anyone a collectivist, just like acknowledging the existence of states does not automatically make anyone a statist.

    But what does make you a collectivist and a statist is that you but these intellectual constructions in the centre of your morality. According to you, it is alright when the British commit atrocities as long as they commit it in the name of spreading English glory to the world. And of course, that strong people commit violence against weak has always been the case and therefore it is alright. With this kind of mindset, how can you possibly argue against the idea that it is alright when a majority exploits a minority. As long as most people benefit from it that should not be a problem.

    Besides I still consider it to be a very arrogant and wrong argument if you argue from an ethnocentric viewpoint. The idea that the English way of doing things is somehow superior to others is very subjective. And especially because nations exist, one should have a little bit more respect for different cultures. They need to come up with their own solutions for their problems. That is why I pretty much agree with what Kevin Carson said about this.

  7. “The idea that the English way of doing things is somehow superior to others is very subjective.”

    And true, of course.

  8. Abhilash Nambiar

    So I am important enough to make it into your mega rant, nice.

    Happy to note that you found only one supposed inconsistency with my argument. Everything else you have noted without comment. I was not trying to ascribe one character to 50 million people. It was just a linguistic short cut.

    To quote Mises from Human Action, “If a Canadian who never tried skating says, “We are the world’s foremost ice hockey players,” or if an Italian boor proudly contends, “We are the world’s most eminent painters,” nobody is fooled, except maybe Sean Gabb. Ok, I added the last bit.

    But how about you? Macaulay’s judgement on India is accepted uncritically. And one Dutch merchant’s anecdote from 1630 describes all of India.

    “I was against invading Iraq and Afghanistan because these wars involved killing large numbers of civilians without what I saw as good reason.”

    Well the same arguments hold here too does it not? You have a two internally oppressive societies. There is the lack of Malthusian checks. Political checks and balances where totally absent. There is a liberal empire which will leave things relatively better off at least in our point of view.

    There is nothing unusual about American brutality as we already know from the English brutality right? It is regrettable, but common to all powerful nations. What is notable about American rule of Afghanistan and Iraq is its settled benevolence. Right?

    I am using your words here Sean. It is that easier to expose your hypocrisy that way.

    You say “Nations are communities based on perceived commonality of blood, or on language or religion, or on some other unifying cause or combination of causes”. I say “nations are instruments of oppression that tap into perceived or actual commonality.” Since we are on the subject of imperialism, I think my case is plainly evident.

    It is not possible to say that families do not exist. Family members are after all related by blood. There are other relations not based on blood. But even they have their basis on real feelings that real people feel for each other rather than perceived beings.

    Nations rest on a myth. The myth of the English Nation being the Queen’s divine right to rule. I do agree with you that so far as individuals believe in them, nations must be taken into account. But only in the sense that so far as children believe in Santa Claus, it should be taken into account. It is not real just because people believe in it.

    Your readers can compare your essay on Elgin Marbles to your rant on Kohinoor and decide for themselves if you deserved the backlash that you have received for your Kohinoor rant.

    I will be fair to you Sean. I will put it succinctly. I think the cause for individual liberty has been better served by the British colonialism in Europe and American occupation in the Middle East.
    Nevertheless your pride over what you yourself describe as regrettable acts of tyranny is a bit troubling. That you expect gratitude for it is, well now that I think about it a bit funny.

  9. Abhilash – “Linguistic short cut” eh? How about this, then, from one of your later comments:

    “Do you know who gate-crashed into India? The British. And where else did they gate-crash? Pretty much the known world is in not? The British are the villains in the game called colonialism and the Indians they civilized will inform it to them, in English. So would the Americans who kicked them out with real guns.”

    You may have trouble seeing it, but all I see peeping through the libertarian sloganising is a Hindu nationalist who hates England. You are, of course, welcome to your opinion. But do at least have the intellectual honesty to acknowledge its true underlying assumptions.

  10. Time to sign off for today. I must go and give a talk about libertarianism and culture.

  11. Abilash – nations are related by blood – they can be described as extended families. It is a fact of science that English people are more closely related to each other than to Indians – see the charts on the subject in Luigi Cavallo-Svorzi’s book on human genes.

    Culture is not all in the mind either. Dealing with English people, Chinese, Indians, Nigerians etc – you would notice differences in behaviour. These come from the national culture. So nations are not just in the mind – they are groups of people who have the same cultural instincts.

    Dealing with Germans, the difference can be striking – even the left-wing Germans can be very “strict” and unbending, and easy to anger if things are not handled in an organised way. Companies handling tour groups of Chinese need to provide special training for the staff to deal with people who spit on the floor and act in a loud and boorish way everywhere. I lived in China for years, and I learned to avoid restaurants at meal times because of the way adult Chinese screamed and shouted like little children – I prefer my peace and quiet.

  12. Abhilash Nambiar

    Hindu Nationalist who hates England? Yes I do have trouble seeing it. Especially since I know and despise the games that the Hindu nationalists play.

    Do you honestly believe that when I say the British gate crashed into India I am referring to 50 million people? Or that by Americans I am talking about all Americans, even the ones to be born? And does reality somehow has a Hindu Nationalistic bias. If that was the case, it would have been so easy for me.

    Did the Hindu Nationalist come up with the phrase ‘The sun never sets in the British Empire?’ I had never known that. Thanks for letting me know Sean.

    You have not been fair to me the way I have been fair to you Sean. You are trying to stick the saffron label on me to dimiss what I have said without addressing it fully. So far at least I have resisted calling you BNP.

    What you need is a good does of common sense. And no Hindu Nationalist can provide that to you.

    dj, I do not take you seriously enough to try answer your question. Suffice to say that not all Indians or all Chinese for that matter belong to the same gene pool. But it does not surprise me that you want to redraw national boundaries on ethnic lines.

  13. I will leave others to argue the convoluted points, and restrict myself to but two simple observations.

    Firstly, Sean, your entire piece — and, apparently, outlook — can be summed up in the phrase ‘for the greater good’. I am genuinely at a loss to understand how you square such a (necessarily) collectivist approach with the basic libertarian tenet of individualism. Or do you not see the individual as central to libertarian theory?

    Secondly, I must pick you up on this quote: “Nations are communities based on perceived commonality of blood, or on language or religion, or on some other unifying cause or combination of causes. ” Whilst you have allowed yourself some wriggle room, the tenor of your definition implies a voluntary and communally shared aspect to the creation of nations states. This is palpably false: nation states arose/arise through the military activities of a minority to secure territory, who then declare that any existing (and future) inhabitants of that land are citizens/subjects of that state. There is no voluntarism — excepting that of future immigrants — about the creation of nation states.

  14. Thank you, Dr Gabb, for another excellent piece. I enjoyed it immensely.

  15. WAKE UP: Muslims use a ‘trick’ to get reach a demographic advantage: The suppression of the rights of the women!…

    ANNEX TEXT:
    Call spread in the INTERNET:
    - Unmarried fathers in traditionally monogamous societies!!!
    {Sexual education without Taboos or Neo-Taboos: Artificial wombs – a scientific priority research}

    There are still dumb people, who believe in fairy-tales,… but we must look reality into the eyes:
    – In traditionally polygamous societies, only the strongest males have children.
    – However, to be able to survive, many companies had the need to mobilize/motivate the weaker males in the way, that they were interested in the fight for the protection of their identity!… In fact, the analysis of the sex taboo, (in traditionally monogamous societies), we see that the real purpose of the sex taboo was the social integration of sexually weaker males.
    {See THE ORIGIN OF SEX TABOO blog}

    CONCLUSION:
    In traditionally polygamous societies is it natural, that only the strongest men have children, NEVERTHELESS the traditionally monogamenen societies must accept their history! That is, these societies can´t treat the sexually weaker males like the trash cans of society! This means, that men (with good health) rejected by females should have the legitimate right to an ARTIFICIAL womb…

    COMMENT: Sexual incompetence doesn’t mean to be useless… in fact, the weaker males already showed their value: the technologically advanced societies… are traditionally monogamous societies!

    COMMENT 2: Nowadays, on one hand many women are looking for men with a bigger sexual competence, specially men from traditionally polygamous societies: in these societies, only the stronger men have children, they choose them and refine the quality of the men.
    On the other hand, nowadays many men from traditionally monogamous societies look for females from other societies, that are economically weakened [soft]…

  16. On balance, inspite of some terrible blunders, such as keeping the salt tax (Philip Francis was right about that) and not promoting Indian officers (as Queen Victoria kept asking “where are the Indian officers”) the Raj was a “good thing”.

    There was less warfare and bloodsoaked chaos that there was in the period before British domination.

    “But there was famine from time to time in Bengal” – there always was before modern times (it was the nature of subsitance farming).

  17. The “Indians were worse to each other than the British were to the Indians” argument is like justifying breaking up an abusive marriage, taking the wife captive, and raping her for the rest of your life, while saying that you don’t beat her as badly as her ex-husband did. IOW, the continued oppression of a person is not justified by having rescued that person from even worse oppression. That is why I do not make that my primary argument in favor of the US liberations of Afghanistan & Iraq. My primary argument for those is self-defense.

    Yes, nations exist, but Gabb’s problem is that the place of nationalism in his value hierarchy is above that of liberty, and thus he lets his nationalism filter out facts of reality which conflict with it (but are either no problem for liberty, or actually beneficial to the case for liberty). E.g., he completely overlooks Indian contributions in the sciences of mathematics, metallurgy, and architecture, just to name three rather obvious examples. (“Arabic” numerals are actually from India, “Damascus” steel came from India, and there are Hindu temples in southern India today built out of granite stones so big they still can’t be transported today with the help of modern trucks.) It was only due to English bigotry that these accomplishments were overlooked by MacCaulay (and prudery, due to the conflict between the sexual carvings on the Hindu temples and Victorian sensibilities; the sexless Muslim architecture of the North was far more congenial to them). That Gabb continues this bigotry is merely sad.

    Americans don’t bother getting upset when we get insulted by the English. We rule the world now, and merely find it cute that a tiny few of our former colonial masters still resent losing the battle of Yorktown.

  18. I have considerable differences in my political outlook compared with Sean Gabb, but I want to say this. To think that Dr Gabb, or anyone, should be ideologically and morally committed to an abstract idea, such as libertarianism, throughout his life would make a cardboard cut-out figure of the man. As if he only existed to serve individualistic ideas (and individualism taken to extremes is not the same thing as libertarianism, unless all libertarians are anarchists). As a REAL man of flesh and blood, he exists in a real society, is the product of a real culture, is not a purely dispassionate supporter of any particular theory. Why should he be? Why shouldn’t he be an English nationalist? It is almost as if you would like him to be disembodied, a being of pure spirit, instead of the product of a particular human culture. This is part of my problem with political correctness: it makes bland cardboard cut-outs of all of its followers. It removes real passions and motivations from its supporters, and leaves them as simply mouthpieces for certain supposedly liberal views. In fact libertarianism is also the product of Anglo-Saxon culture, and it makes more sense for those ideas to be discussed in the context of England’s recovering its traditional values–as traditionalism has at least some purchase on the English imagination–than to view those ideas as some kind of socially unconnected and chance thoughts that could potentially transform any society. I personally don’t care if India has a large state and high taxation — but I do care about it in the context of England, because that is not our original cultural settlement in England.

    It is quite wrong–and here I probably disagree with Dr Gabb, although I have no way of knowing for certain–of viewing freedom as an ethereal ideology, not thrown up by any society, and capable of equal implementation in any society. If his idea that libertarians and conservatives can find much in common, it must surely be because freedom is our historic culture. As Wordsworth wrote:

    It is not to be thought of that the Flood

    Of British freedom, which, to the open sea

    Of the world’s praise, from dark antiquity

    Hath flowed, “with pomp of waters, unwithstood,”

    Roused though it be full often to a mood

    Which spurns the check of salutary bands,

    That this most famous Stream in bogs and sands

    Should perish; and to evil and to good

    Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung

    Armoury of the invincible Knights of old:

    We must be free or die, who speak the tongue

    That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold

    Which Milton held.-In every thing we are sprung

    Of Earth’s first blood, have titles manifold.

  19. Roger Thornhill

    The British came to the Subcontinent (as we should all know, “India” did not exist) to make and take wealth.

    Later the State arrived.

    Many bad things happened. Some good things.

    Fact is, though, the British were not asked.

    Though there was a form of “consent”, it was more a breaking in, as a horse might consent, i.e. not truly, if we are honest with ourselves.

    The British are currently being “broken in” by the Fabians etc. Is that right? No. Is that good? No. It was not asked for, it was not consented to. Even if some “good things” might happen – say, high speed rail – is that good enough to compensate the loss of sovereignty? Hell no.

  20. Abhilash Nambiar

    I see most of Sean’s rants get anywhere from zero to ten votes But see this one get 74 and the other one

    http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/where-is-my-troll-on-the-koh-i-noor-diamond/

    get 55 and think to myself. Very interesting.

  21. Jayant Bhandari

    Abhilash:

    While Dr Gabb calls you a Hindu fanatic, I have never known you and have seen nothing in what you have written that tells me anything about your beliefs. So, I don’t know if you are even an Indian. You could be a blonde, Swedish Christian. You have written only one language, that of reason.

    In two of the earlier blogs, you wrote extremely rational, thorough, thought-provoking and objective comments on everything. There was nothing that I saw that smelled of any emotions or any religious or national affiliations. Only a total dimwit would claim otherwise.

    So scared was Dr Gabb with your comments in the first blog that he conveniently deleted it. Then he took on the job of writing this article in his bigoted and irrational style.

    I am one of the “Indians” Sean Gabb mentions. I had in the blog written about how useful English rule was for India. Dr Gabb conveniently ignored that, for it did not suit his purpose. I wrote in the earlier blog because Dr Gabb had started the first blog and then sent an email to a group that I belonged to. When I challenged him on some of his assertions, he manipulated access to the group email and instead sent two of his own to make it look as if I was agreeing with his assertions. Honesty… I doubt if Dr Gabb knows that word.

    The problem is that backward people like Dr Gabb wallow in the past and in the greatness of their ancestors. Indeed, England has given the world a lot, perhaps more than any other society. I have a huge respect for the English legacy and its intellectual contribution to humanity. But that was the work of certain people who live(d) in that area. The rationality and intellectual honesty that those great people have/had did not pass on to Dr Gabb and those of his kinds but to people like Abhilash.

    With his ethno-centric affiliations, Dr Gabb will have a tough time understanding that such intellectual inheritance can pass from an English person to someone who is probably not English (assuming Abhilash is not English).

    And I must say that England continues to be a country of great people. But it is on a slippery slope. On one hand there are more and more people now becoming socialist. On the other are a minority of arrogant, neo-conservatives of the sort like Dr Gabb.

    I have no respect for socialists, but they look quite good when compared with Dr Gabb and those of his kinds.

    A sane person looks at the future not backward, except to learn. It is here that Dr Gabb and Stephan Kinsella (in the earlier blog), with their ethno-centric eyes, do not recognize the achievements of the Asians in the recent times. The true test of the cake is in the eating. It is China that now provides cash and goods to the West. It is in the emerging markets that the world’s growth comes from. Even Africa has now mostly started to grow. Dr Gabb etc are indeed in for a rude shock, going forward, as they continue to become nobodies.

    There are hundreds of leftist websites. I don’t care to comment on those. Worse than left-liberals are the irrational, cultish, neo-conservatives of Libertarian Alliance. Now that I have recognized this, I can only suggest ignoring Libertarian Alliance. I just hope they remove “libertarian” from their name; at least they should use proper English.

    Finally, this article of Dr Gabb was intended to serve no libertarian purpose. But, as Abhilash, rightly alludes to, this was perhaps his only way to get some readership, for he does not seem to have much. Thanks England for marginalizing people like him.

  22. Abhilash Nambiar

    I suspect that Sean had himself deleted his original rant, but there is no way of being sure. Anyway if he did, it is debatable whether it has worked to his advantage. Of course there are admirable aspects to English tradition. Sean may not know what they are, but they are most certainly there. Stealing diamonds are not it though. Sorry Sean.

    Time will tell what skin tone the ideological descends of British civilization will have. I am a patient man. So I will wait. Not that it bothers me. But something tells me that it bothers Sean and of course dj.

    I must say Stephan Kinsella’s position surprised me. He is actually a very smart guy. Every time I posed a significant challenge he backtracked. I am not sure about the extent of his ethno-centric bias. He just seems to have chosen to defend his friend unconditionally.

  23. I am not in the habit of deleting my own posts – especially when I then repeat them word for word in another post. Nor am I aware of having censored any postings to anyone. I have intermittent access to the Internet and am using unfamiliar software. If I copied one thing and not another, it would at worst have been carelessness. But since I still fail to see what I am supposed to have done, I will not comment further.

    So far as Tim Starr is concerned, I am really astonished that someone who gloried in the Iraq and Afghan bloodbaths could dare comment on the Raj. I do recall being assured by Tim that the Iraq war could be made to pay for itself out of plunder.

    I have more respect for the Indians in this discussion than for sordid neo-cons like Tim Starr. All else aside, they do not seem to regard Moslem blood as a kind of cure for their bad lungs.

  24. Abhilash Nambiar

    Correction Sean – at worst you would be censoring, at best you could be careless. I am more than willing to settle for careless, all things considered.

    But still I do not understand your pride in British colonialism, but your opposition for the Iraq and Afghan wars. The numbers of civilian deaths in these wars are minuscule compared to those that died as a part of Britain’s colonial ambitions. Do you know how many Indian villages full of people where burnt down British soldiers to quell the 1857 uprising?

    And take the case of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iraqis and Afghans where conquered by liberal empire. And those that survive the present onslaught will certainly enjoy more freedoms than people of those parts ever have in their history.

    Nevertheless it would be unthinkable for you to write a rant entitled ‘The Gross Ingratitude of the Iraqis’ or ‘The Gross Ingratitude of the Afghanis’.

    You seem to hold to the notion of a blessed past that can never be recovered. But when it comes to the present you are more intimately familiar with and so do not hold to any mythical notions of glory.

    I can easily imagine an equivalent of Sean Gabb living in the 1850s speaking about the glory days of Queen Elizabeth I but fed up with Queen Victoria.

  25. Well, yes, I am proud of the Empire, including the suppression of the Indian Mutiny, which I am not about to condemn. To maintain an Empire, you have to keep order. But Iraq and Afghanistan are something different – they are illconceived ventures, because they are trying to make the Iraqis and Afghans walk before they can run, hoping they will take to democracy instantly. In the Empire of India, there was no intention to transplant our democratic system to India; merely to rule it benignly but despotically. The Empire was good for Britain. The Empire of India was self-financing – the money required to defend it was raised in taxes on India and not Britain – and Britain gained markets and natural resources as a result of the Empire. That is not the aim of the Iraqi and Afghan adventures today.

  26. Abhilash Nambiar

    My bad, I had forgotten that stupid dj was still around. I would not dignify his nonsense with a response. I was not addressing to dj. I was talking to Sean.

    I would not be surprised if dj condoned the Jallianwala Bagh massacre next.

  27. I once came up with a set of rules for predicting wars that Gabb would support:

    1) They must involve the defense of those who are ethnically English;
    2) They may not involve the killing of German civilians;
    3) They must include the killing of Celtic civilians.

    I see now that I need to revise #3:

    3) They must include the killing of either Celtic or Indian civilians.

  28. Jayant Bhandari

    “I have more respect for the Indians in this discussion than for…”

    Dr Gabb, are you trying to patronize the “lowly” Indians?

  29. Jayant and Abhilash,

    You have both basically accused Sean Gabb of lying, by continuing to accuse him of deleting the post after he explained he did not. This it seems to me is uncalled for and is exactly the incivility I was referring to initially.

    Jayant, you also state that Sean “manipulated access to the group email and instead sent two of his own to make it look as if I was agreeing with his assertions.”

    This is also false. I am the moderator for that list and I did not let your email through as it was inappropriate for that forum. Sean knew nothing about it until afterwards and had nothing to do with it.

    “A sane person looks at the future not backward, except to learn. It is here that Dr Gabb and Stephan Kinsella (in the earlier blog), with their ethno-centric eyes, do not recognize the achievements of the Asians in the recent times.”

    Your accusation against me here is groundless.

    As for Abhilash’s comments, it is a mystery to me why you are imputing all sorts of substantive views to me that I do not hold and did not ever endorse.

  30. All the response Tim Starr deserves is on the main page of this blog.

  31. Pondering further the disquiet of myself and others at Sean’s previous comments on this and the prior thread, it occurs to me that the root of the issue at hand is not directly related to Dr Gabb’s words, but rather what ideological baggage we — as readers — are bringing to the debate.

    ‘Libertarianism’ as term covers a whole host of different ideological positions, including some that are at extreme variance (e.g. minarchism is arguably closer to totalitarianism than it is to anarchism; the former being only a matter of degree, the latter a completely different perspective on the validity of external constraint/coercion upon one’s actions).

    Whilst hardly accepted as an authoritative source, the first line of the entry for ‘libertarianism’ on Wikipedia neatly encapsulates the vague nature of the term: “Libertarianism is advocacy of the maximization of individual liberty in thought and action.” Maximisation within what bounds? Those determined by the state? Without bounds? Are we talking about negative liberty or positive liberty? How should that liberty be maximised? What if maximising one person’s liberty impinges/imposes upon that of another? Who/what is the arbiter?

    No doubt some readers will contend that the definition of ‘libertarianism’ above is laughably vague, and would propose some other formulation. However, it strikes me that its very vagueness, its ideological uselessness if you will, is actually a fair reflection of matters. You, for instance, might wish to add property rights to that definition. But not all self-identifying libertarians believe in individual physical property rights, let alone the (frequently contentious) area of non-physical property rights. You might wish to add adherence to the non-aggression axiom to the definition. But, again, not all self-identifying libertarians would agree with that (and many who do also conveniently ignore it when espousing a minarchist case).

    In fact, I personally cannot think of a less vague description of ‘libertarianism’ than that offered to us by Wikipedia which encompasses the various strands of thought that do self-identify under that label (maybe, just maybe, we could amend that definition to suggest that libertarians seek to maximise negative liberty; however, I await correction from self-identifying libertarian proponents of positive liberty!)

    The (perceived) problems with Sean’s comments were, I believe, two-fold. Firstly, those of us who have read him over the years are used to seeing him vigorously defend the rights of individuals over the apparatus of the state (and, more latterly, against the other major holder of unbalanced power relationships in modern society against the individual: corporate entities), even when such defences would have proved deeply unpopular with the wider public (e.g. in sexual matters). As the focus of such writing has been largely upon the individual and, as many of us hold the primacy of the individual as totemic to our own ideological viewpoint, Dr Gabb’s recent burst of collectivism was no doubt surprising and unsettling.

    Secondly, the Libertarian Alliance is viewed by many — in large part explicitly because of Sean’s prior work — as a staunch supporter of ‘hard-core’ libertarianism. Whilst long-time readers of this blog will be aware of the nationalist, monarchist and Judeo-Christian bent of David Davis (the most regular author here), it is possible that many of us readers forget that Sean also espouses such views — simply because he so rarely writes upon those topics. In other words, there may be a tendency to regard Mr Davis’ comments as idiosyncratic, and not genuinely reflective of the basic ideology of (or at least the public face of) the Libertarian Alliance. I know that I have personally made that mistake previously, when raising objections to posts that David has written espousing support for violent foreign interventions by the British state!

    We — the humble readers — are probably guilty of bringing our own expectations of what it means to be a ‘libertarian’ to this discussion, and then feeling more than somewhat bemused when Dr Gabb is not exactly reflecting our own views back at ourselves; those expectations having been set both by our own ideological baggage and the prior writings of Sean himself. However, in light of the near vacuousness of the term ‘libertarianism’, is it any surprise that we should be disappointed when he fails to do so?

  32. Morlock: “those of us who have read him over the years are used to seeing him vigorously defend the rights of individuals over the apparatus of the state”

    This is indeed confusing me. I have read a lot of his free life commentaries. Most of them are a very well written, smart defendence of Individualism. But once in a while he comes up with this british nationalist nonsense. But that is not just him. There are a lot of libertarians in this country who somehow have a desire to defend the british state. I really don’t get what is behind this phenomenon. I am generally confused about how much trust the political system enjoys in this country, especially how much the surveillance is accepted.. While the general mood of the people seems to be much more pro free markets than in most other part of the world, certainly more than in Germany, the british are probably the most statist people on the planet when it comes to the support of their system. Very confusing.

  33. Abhilash Nambiar

    “Stephan Kinsella // 4 August, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Jayant and Abhilash,

    You have both basically accused Sean Gabb of lying, by continuing to accuse him of deleting the post after he explained he did not. ”

    I challenge you to quote explicitly where I accused Sean Gabb of deleting posts. You have quoted only Jayant but included my name regardless.

    “As for Abhilash’s comments, it is a mystery to me why you are imputing all sorts of substantive views to me that I do not hold and did not ever endorse.”

    Again no quote. No way to know what he is referring to. Given that Stephan has found the time to directly quote Jayant, I sure he finds it easy enough.

    Dear Stephan, quote me so that I know what you are talking about, and I will respond.

  34. No government is perfect (libertarians should know that) so the question is not “did the Raj do bad things” but rather “was it better or worse than the alternatives”.

    I am no friend of Warren Hastings (still less of Paul Benfield), but the idea that either French rule (the obvious result of the British had been defeated in India) or the rule of local tyrants (if, by some magic spell, both the British and the French had been defeated) would have been better is ABSURD.

    Of course it is possible to present better policies than were actually followed.

    For example (as I have already said) the salt tax should have abolished (although it should be remembered that the British did NOT introduce it – they inherited it) and the development plans that such taxes financed never gone in for at all.

    As for education – if Mr Macaulay wanted to encourage Western education in India he should have used his own money (and ONLY his own money) to do so. Neither the East India Company or Crown rule (i.e. the Indian taxpayer) should have been involved in this at all.

    There was no need for a class of Indian administrators to be educated – because, for a government not interested in “development” schemes there is no need for a class of administrators (Indian or English).

    Moderate development (0f the Robert Napier sort) always runs the risk of going into the wild development of Dalhousie (James Ramsey) – with Marquess seeming to believe that he could take India from the Middle Ages to the 19th century by development schemes (schemes he did NOT finance with his own mony – but with taxes on Indians). I have nothing aganst railways, telegraphs and so on – but I have everything against developments financed by money forced out of the farmers and merchants (if these schemes are good ideas – voluntary investment would come).

    Still being more of an “orientalist” than Dr Gabb (in the orginal sense of the word – not the reversal of the truth that the late Edward Said made up) I would only be expected to be a critic of Macaulay and Dalhousie.

    The fact remains that the sort of rule that Indians might have now simply WAS NOT A POSSBILITY in the 18th and 19th century – it is SELF DECEPTION to pretend that independent Constitutional rule was a possibility (it was not).

    I am reminded of Nehru pretending (perhaps even to himself) that “where the British are not there is peace” (the “divide and rule” myth) during the horrors of 1947 – in reality (of course) the only places where Hindus and Muslims were not killing each other is where there were large numbers of British troops on the spot. The day, indeed sometimes the hour, these troops were removed – the killings started.

    India has managed to create relative peace between Muslim and Hindu (although there remain killings from time to time) – but that is only because (let us be honest) Muslims are such a minority in modern India they know they have no chance for real power. If they thought otherwise they would treat Indian Hindus as they have treated the Hindu populations of Pakistan and Bagledesh.

    On land one of the mistakes of the Raj still hurts India – the weak establishment of property rights.

    The Zamindar class were never really “land owners” they were tax collectors (they had no interest in the development of estates in the Western sense favouring them in Bengal was a terrible error (thankfully an error that British administrators managed to prevent happening in much of South India).

    However, even to this day the Indian government (like the Raj) holds that the land of Indian peasants may be taken for “economic development”.

    This was the attitude of the local tyrants who ruled India before the Raj, it was also the attitude of the British (I wish to God it had not been – but it was) and it is the attitude of the Indian government now.

    This is what the Maoist “Naxilites” feed off – they tell the peasants “the government will steal your land and give it to mining companies and what not” and their words (although hypocrtical as the Maoists are no friends of the private ownership of land) have the ring of truth.

    Will India ever reject the p0licy of “public services” (i.e. the welfare schemes that are driving the government deeper into debt and inflation) and “economic development” (i.e. stealing the land of the peasants – not just VOLUNTARY development).

    I do not know, but one has to hope so.

    Sadly no govenrment of India (not the Princes, not the Raj and not the elected governments that followed it) have respected property rights and left people alone – but perhaps one day.

  35. Abhilash:

    “I challenge you to quote explicitly where I accused Sean Gabb of deleting posts. You have quoted only Jayant but included my name regardless.”

    You wrote this: “I suspect that Sean had himself deleted his original rant, but there is no way of being sure.”

    Well, you could take his word for it. That’s one way to “be sure.” Not to do so is to impugn his integrity and his character, which is undeserved. Merely because of a little debate, he should be called a liar?

    “As for Abhilash’s comments, it is a mystery to me why you are imputing all sorts of substantive views to me that I do not hold and did not ever endorse.”

    Again no quote. No way to know what he is referring to. Given that Stephan has found the time to directly quote Jayant, I sure he finds it easy enough.

    Abhilash, in an air of vituperation and mistrust, personal insults, etc., I don’t feel much is being accomplished and am not inclined to take more time than is necessary to hunt thru and find quotes. And anyway I don’t feel like dwelling on me–I’m not the issue. I sense there is a chance of good will from you, so I will simply say the following: I am 100% anarcho-capitalist. I’m an individualist. I’m no nationalist, nor “ethno-centrist”. Nor am I merely a so-called libertarian. I also believe none of this is incompatible with recognizing what a great libertarian, thinker, and ally Gabb is, even despite his “imperfections” as they might appear to a “purist” like me; nor is it incompatible with the idea that he is a good and honest man who should not be accused of dishonesty, cowardice, bigotry, etc., without damn good evidence and reason, not this flimsy emotional stuff here; nor is it incompatible with a call to civility.

    No, I do not intend to drag up my own quotes that fail to show I have non-libertarian things to say. You said you were “surprised” at my comments, as if I have deviated from libertarian principled in some way. I have not. I try to write precisely and narrowly, but people are determined sometimes to interpolate and extent what I say and attribute things to me that are not my views.

  36. Abhilash Nambiar

    Stephan,

    Did you notice the word ‘suspect’ in the little quote?

    “I suspect that Sean had himself deleted his original rant, but there is no way of being sure.”

    You are a lawyer, don’t you know the difference between a suspicion and accusation?

    —>’Abhilash, in an air of vituperation and mistrust, personal insults, etc., I don’t feel much is being accomplished and am not inclined to take more time than is necessary to hunt thru and find quotes’

    Ah! so you could not find the quote where I expressed all sorts of substantive views to Stephan that he do not hold and did not ever endorse.

    You said you do not have the time to hunt for them eh? Well then how did you come to such a conclusion to begin with??

    Stephan, I think I may have caught you making baseless accusations.

    Shame on you.

  37. Jayant Bhandari

    Stephan:

    Your being an willing accessory in Dr Gabb’s collectivist agenda and his view that Indians should be serfs of the British is now making you bent basic understanding law. In case of an Indian girl, I could have said, as I thought Dr Gabb should have, that one must give some leeway to someone whose first-language might not be English. That cannot be said for you, for I expect you to understand what “suspect” means. Yes, Abhilash, never said that Dr Gabb deleted anything. You have shown lack of integrity to apologize for saying something you should not have.

    You have failed to provide where people are making generalized acquisitions on you, for you never even read the blog. You are merely defending a friend. You are an accessory to Dr Gabb here, providing full unquestioned moral support, and then you say that you are an individualist. What a pathetic argument. Dr Gabb is an irrational collectivist. By being an accessory you are the same, I have no hesitation in calling you the same. Worse you have even tried you use your association with Mises to justify stupidities of Dr Gabb, undermining the value of Mises Institute in the eyes of uninitiated.

    This blog has been like a mind scanner. Let me say this Stephan… if you are prepared to do one thing I help you understand why you keep on calling me “uncivil.” Read a book “The conflict of visions” by Thomos Sowell and I will then tell you why you call me “uncivil.” I will help you understand the secret worldviews you hold.

  38. I am the blogmaster.

    None of the four people who are entitled to delete things from here, or indeed to delete the entire blog, did so.

    That is all I have to say.

  39. Sean:

    I suspect that there is a schism coming in the world libertarian movement. I can see it. It will be very sad and also rather counterproductive, especially at this time, when libertarianism has never been so under threat as now.

    I know that old Chris used to say that “there may be two libertarians on the planet who agree about everything, but I am not one of them”, but you and I and all English libertarians know that he meant this as an ironic joke, and it was not meant to be taken seriously. I don’t think that other nations quite understand ironic English humour, which failure will possibly be fatal to humankind. My wife, who is Polish (and the Poles are rather close to us in many thought-ways) certainly does not understand it at all, finds some of our humour-base often threatful and obscene, and often interprets it as direct insults, or worse. Perhaps that’s why Hitler used to get so angry, and kill even more people, when Churchill pilloried him charmingly?

    Chris was making a point. In the time he said what he did, there was not the sreramingly-urgent need to find a way of assaulting gross-Statism as there is now: things are much much worse than in his day, and we stand or fall, in a very very few years, by how we respond to, and defeat, the “forces of non-conservatism”, now.

    I paraphrase a Tony Blair phrase which everyone will remember.

    One thing Sean! You forgot to say, about the “British Empire”, that it was not the same sort of creation as those “Empires” of the various Eurotyrannies. We didn’t even want it, we didn’t know it had arrived, it cost shagloads of money, and we had to call it something. After all, Victoria was German, so what else would she understand?

  40. Stephan Kinsella

    Abhalash:

    “Did you notice the word ‘suspect’ in the little quote?”

    Okay, you only suspect Sean of being a liar. Myself, I would take him at his word.

    “You said you do not have the time to hunt for them eh? Well then how did you come to such a conclusion to begin with??”

    I really do not care to get into this. It’s petty, trivial, sidetracking, and a waste of my, and probably everyone else’s, time. I’m going to stick with substance, and ignore the emotional drama.
    Jayant:

    Your being an willing accessory in Dr Gabb’s collectivist agenda and his view that Indians should be serfs of the British is now making you bent basic understanding law.

    I don’t go for this silly high drama or nonrigorous talk. Accessory? That is a criminal term, which applies to criminal actions. Not discussions. Especially discussions about civility and substantive matters about which people can disagree.

    “That cannot be said for you, for I expect you to understand what “suspect” means. Yes, Abhilash, never said that Dr Gabb deleted anything. You have shown lack of integrity to apologize for saying something you should not have.”

    I know he said “suspect” and I find that also impermissibly incivil. But that is just me. I would not accuse someone of lying, or even say I “suspect” them of it, if they are someone I know and who is a good and honorable person, and they specifically tell me otherwise. I find it outrageous in fact to accuse them of lying, or even to say you suspect them of it, which is almost as bad. But we apparently disagree on civilized norms of interaction in this respect. That is your right, and people have different views as to how different kinds of presumptions and stances they jump to will affect them in the long run. I don’t care to discuss this any more.

    “You are merely defending a friend.”

    I am not. I was dragged into this by you, Jayant, by your uninvited, bizarre, incivil, and overreactionary email. You rattled my cage, son, so I replied. You have some chutzpah for feigning umbrage here. My entire involvement here was very limited and narrow. I have made myself exceedingly clear.

    ” You are an accessory to Dr Gabb here, providing full unquestioned moral support,”

    You sound like a Randian here, honestly. This is silly.

    and then you say that you are an individualist. What a pathetic argument. Dr Gabb is an irrational collectivist. By being an accessory you are the same, I have no hesitation in calling you the same.

    By your actions shall ye be known.

    Worse you have even tried you use your association with Mises to justify stupidities of Dr Gabb, undermining the value of Mises Institute in the eyes of uninitiated.

    This is just ridiculous, not worth resopnding to.

    This blog has been like a mind scanner. Let me say this Stephan… if you are prepared to do one thing I help you understand why you keep on calling me “uncivil.” Read a book “The conflict of visions” by Thomos Sowell and I will then tell you why you call me “uncivil.” I will help you understand the secret worldviews you hold.

    I have of course read it long ago, and didnt’ much like it. It’s unrigorous and not based on any coherent theory. His grouping of left and right is as incoherent as the left-right spectrum itself. It was interesting, but not conclusive or rigorous at all.

  41. Abhilash Nambiar

    Stephan Kinsella // 4 August, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    ‘Okay, you only suspect Sean of being a liar. Myself, I would take him at his word.’

    Yes and I am sure taking people at their word is the mark of a seasoned intellect.

    “I really do not care to get into this. It’s petty, trivial, sidetracking, and a waste of my, and probably everyone else’s, time. I’m going to stick with substance, and ignore the emotional drama.”

    Yes when you lack the capacity to substantiate your claim, that is a convenient dodge.

    After all the emotional drama in this question is plainly evident is it not?

    ““You said you do not have the time to hunt for them (them meaning quotes substantiating your claim) eh? Well then how did you come to such a conclusion to begin with??”

    Meanwhile “Gross Ingratitude of Indians” has no of inkling of emotional drama whatsoever. Stephan who are you trying to fool? You are defending a friend no matter what.

    I think you owe it to yourself to be more honest. In fact I expected it from you.

  42. @David Davis: “I suspect that there is a schism coming in the world libertarian movement. I can see it. It will be very sad and also rather counterproductive, especially at this time, when libertarianism has never been so under threat as now.”

    OK, as I believe that ‘the bigger picture’ is more important than this particular spat, I’ll bite.

    What on earth leads you to the views you expressed above? A schism along what lines? As my previous comment here mentioned, ‘libertarianism’ is as empty a label (if not more so) than ‘left’ and ‘right’. It’s a broader tent than the damned Millennium Dome.

    And in what way is it true that “libertarianism has never been so under threat as now”? Firstly, ideas/ideologies live outside of people on paper, computer disks and so on. Ideas can’t be under threat — they persist. The number of folks that believe them may change, admittedly, but nonetheless… Secondly also encompasses:

    “things are much much worse than in his [Chris Tame's] day, and we stand or fall, in a very very few years”

    Really? Why? Every generation has the nasty habit of believing that their time is special, that fundamental changes are afoot. It’s why millenarianism is such a recurring theme throughout history, and it’s simply caused by human ego: we are all unable to admit that we are pretty damned insignificant, and wish to associate grand meaning to our own lives and times (because we can only directly influence events during our own time, of course).

    It’s true that hinge-points in the history of the human race (or sections thereof) do occur. But few (any?) actually see them coming; we are only aware of them after the fact.

    Finally, you concluded the sentence quoted above thus:

    ‘things are much much worse than in his day, and we stand or fall, in a very very few years, by how we respond to, and defeat, the “forces of non-conservatism”, now.’

    My immediate reaction was: what on the sky pixie’s green earth has libertarianism got to do with conservatism? But, and again like ‘libertarianism’, ‘conservatism’ is such a pathetically vague term that it can mean more or less what the utterer wishes to believe it does.

    For the avoidance of doubt, would it not be profitable for you (and/or Sean) to make a post on this blog explicitly articulating your own ideologies, and that (if any in particular) promoted by the LA? A post that might include your own definitions of the terms ‘libertarian’ and ‘conservative’? If such commentary exists, please forgive me and provide a link.

    I make this suggestion not in order to provide additional fuel to the fire, but simply so that readers (myself included) can know more explicitly what world-views you entertain, and to enable us to better understand future postings here (ideological context is key, I hope that you’ll agree).

  43. Now that the firing has stopped (in which the offending side was decimated), I must add on a different topic…

    I have always emphasized in my writings how bad India is. Never before writing in this blog did I ever take a position in which people might have perceived me to be trying to show India in good light and the West in bad. That is not because I hate India but because it has a lot of problems and I know that ignoring problems does not help. Not too proud of the surrounding I grew up around in my small town, there was only future to look forward to and no past to be pleased about.

    But this has brought me to where I am, thankfully to a stage where I do not have to care about what anyone thinks of me, irrespective of who he is. I have friends and colleagues who are sympathetic to my beliefs. The West has been the catalyst, in my life. It has provided me the ingredients and the recipe. I have anything but huge respect for the West, something I wrote in virtually every comment I made here.

    Now, my Indian friends (who are very few, for most Indians don’t like me for writing what they see as anti-Indian) are asking if I have changed my views. So, no, India is a bad place and it needs to improve on many fronts.

    As I have written in this blog and elsewhere, India is a very poor, chaotic and difficult place to live. Corruption is rampant and is merely a symptom of social and cultural problems. Only a fool would deny that. However, as someone constantly travelling while consulting institutional investors, I went to India thrice last year, spending a lot of time in rural places. There are indeed, very real and significant changes taking place. I can see no reason why this should not continue for the next three decades or more. And this pleases me hugely, not for any nationalistic reasons, for I have not an iota of it, and would gladly bin my Indian passport when I can. I have no interest either in the tribal symbols called national anthem, flags and such idiotic stuff.

    It also pleases me hugely that a lot of similar changes are happening in South America and Africa, as elsewhere in Asia and East Europe. Most importantly there is also a change of tone in the societies in a lot of countries. They look forward with huge optimism, not backward. They look at where they can get to. They have no time to worry about the history or the past. They don’t have much to look back at anyway–their predicament forces them to look forward.

    This brings me to a sadness I feel when I see what is happening in the West, a civilization that has made most of what I am today. I feel bad that increasingly people consume opium of socialism. The rest prefer to look back, not honouring values that made the West great but puffing up their chests for the greatness that actually belonged to their forefathers. Despite their pride, it is a negative emotion. They have lost touch with what made the West so great. Alas, it must fall into ruins, unless it is principles that are resurrected.

    I have never written in a blog like this and will certainly not do it again. For despite that my side won (I am saying this partly in humour, so please don’t try to use your exhausted guns), in a war no one wins and I have lost more than one friend. Not that this bothers me the least, for I make friends not on the basis of nationality and color, but on the basis of similarity to my principles. And changes are inevitable in life. And I move on.

    I must finally comment on the Indian girl who blogged here. If I know who she is, she lives in a small town and is working on translating libertarian books in Hindi in her spare time. I just hope that she has not been discouraged. Indeed, when I heard about her and others she is working with, I was utterly shocked that a small city in India could produce libertarians. But I am increasingly getting accustomed to such shocks. Black swans galore! I just hope that interaction here did not discourage her from her work and her interest in continuing her understanding of liberty, perhaps the only thing that separates animals from humans. And it knows no color or race. I do know that a lot of this is being influenced by Lew Rockwell, Mises Institute and FEE.

    I will write no more on this site. I don’t attack disarmed people (again, saying this only in humour), but can say only one thing to Libertarian Alliance: Move on. If you cannot stop living in the past, you are only taking England, a place that produced most of what humanity is proud of, to oblivion. The world is changing, very rapidly, almost in real-time. Virtual communities are coming up. Growth rate is astounding. Areas in India were women were treated worse than cows are now sending their girls to schools. A lot of world is in chaos but they have the most to gain from the future. The West is so prosperous that it has only to lose. And given the demographics, whatever you do, the world will indeed look increasingly coloured and of other cultures than Anglo-Saxon. This is inevitable. Engage them and there is hope that you can steer them to be what you are so proud of the English culture.

    In hope that sanity, open-mindedness and truth prevails,

    Jayant Bhandari

  44. So we get to keep the Diamond?

  45. Abhilash Nambiar

    The diamond was really just a MacGuffin. I do not care where it ends up really. But it lead to a very interesting discussion. It revealed to me dj’s blatant bigotry and stupidity. Sean Gabb’s pride on a perceived lost utopia. His double standards – justifying oppressions of the past, while the same condemning today. Stephan Kinsella’s eagerness to defend a friend even at the expense of intellectual integrity. All of it has been truly revealing.

    The display diamond is a glass replica. The real diamond is probably at some pawn shop. Personally I could care less.

  46. Actually, let us come clean, now the debate is over. You are not really someone called Abhilash Nambiar. There is no Abhilash Nambiar. There never was an Abhilash Nambiar. You and your friend are actually both characters made up by DJ to feed his prejudices.

    He has invented two people with exaggeratedly Indian names, who have spent the past few days confirming every racist stereotype about half-educated Indians – the slipshod English, the inability to reason in a straight line, the resort to accusations of bad faith, persistent misrepresentation of the other side, self-pity mixed with pitiable pride.

    I will ask our Blog Master to check so far as possible the real origin of these “Indian” posts. If, as I now strongly believe, these two “Indians” are just projections of DJ´s racial prejudice, we shall both be VERY ANGRY INDEED.

    Both David Davis and I must make it plain to the whole world: there can be no room for racial stereotyping on the LA Blog. This sort of portrayal of Indians as semi-literate fools may have had a place in English literature before 1940 – though perhaps not even then. Nowadays, it is merely an insult to the hundreds of millions of real Indians of razor-sharp intellect.

    DJ, you have been warned….

  47. Laughing out loud!

  48. Well, I can’t help wondering if Abhilash and Jayant are in fact Sean Gabb. If they are not, it is difficult to see why they have both done so much to make him look like a superlative debater rather than the merely superb one I know him to be.

  49. Abhilash Nambiar

    ‘Both David Davis and I must make it plain to the whole world: there can be no room for racial stereotyping on the LA Blog. ‘

    Really Sean? No room for racial stereotyping? Since there is no room for racial stereotyping on the LA blog and you yourself posted these beautiful words:

    “Indians might at least have the grace to thank us for having saved them from the barbarism in which we found them. But for us, they’d still be burning wodows, and the country districts would still be swarming with Thugees. ”

    Then one must conclude that this is not an expression of racial stereotyping. Or at least Sean does not think they are. I on the other hand am not so sure. It is obviously national stereotyping which is just as bad. And there is a good overlap between racial and national stereotypes.

    Sean how do you tolerate yourself? Have you given yourself a warning? Or has someone else?

    I mean Sean, that last comment was such a U-turn from your original rant. I can’t help but feel that someone has arm twisted you into leaving it.

    ‘I will ask our Blog Master to check so far as possible the real origin of these “Indian” posts. ‘

    Go ahead let your Blog Master do all the checking he possibly can. The people at mises.org knows I am for real, they even have my credit card number. Jayant has his own article archives there with his picture.

    I think Sean may be looking for a scape goat in dj. dj I do not agree with almost anything you say, but at least you are straightforward. At least with you I can be sure of where I stand. I know Jayant holds a similar opinion about you. He said so in an email.

  50. Abhilash, it is humorous indeed to watch Sean Gabb press all your buttons, and see you “bite”, without an inkling in the world that he is JOKING!

  51. This is an old trick of Gabb. He does not know how to behave when he loses.

    Abhilash and others have done a superb job of isolating Gabb’s racism and egocentricity. If you had cared to read a few pages of his books you would know how his mind works. No wonder not many people like him. English are not like him.

    He writes reviews of his own books under different names.

    Dj and Sean Gabb are the same people–check the code.

  52. Anyone with half a braincell would have worked out from the above thread that Sean Gabb is somewhat to the left of me — the idea that he and I are the same person — what a hoot!

  53. I am getting the server codes and will put those here soon.

  54. Abhilash Nambiar

    Well if dj and Sean are indeed the same person, then Sean did in fact warn himself did he not? Is this what psychologists call a split personality disorder?

  55. DJ, of course, is also SD. If “SD” can be used to claim that DJ is me, it deflects much of the reasonable suspicion that DJ is AM and JB.

    I suppose I should issue another warning to DJ to stop being other people and to be himself only. Is one persona not enough for him?

  56. Sd: I think you should get those server codes and print them out on the thickest, roughest, most horrendously abrasive paper you can find. You should then roll the printout into a stiff tube and force it as far as as you can up your Internet expert arse. If you have trouble doing so, get Abhilash to lend a hand. I am sure if you tell her it will help to prove that Sean Gabb is a very wicked man she will lend a hand. Indeed, she will probably shove so hard that she ends up inside your mischievous body, with the hand in which she is grasping the printout thrust dramatically from your distended jaws.

  57. Abhilash Nambiar

    One problem M Huet. Abhilash is not a she, he is a he. Your words will make it to my little book of wisdom. If you do not do your fact checking, you will look stupid.

  58. You are also under suspicion, Huet.

    Dj, Huet and Sean’s comments seem to originate from IP server 213.151.217.149. This is based in Bratislava in Slovakia. Company: Orange Slovensko a s.

    More with documents in a few days.

  59. ???????????????????????

  60. Abhilash Nambiar

    Bratislava? That is the capital of Slovakia. Slovakia is not an alien country to Sean.

    http://www.seangabb.co.uk/slovak/slovak.htm

    Now this is getting interesting. Very interesting.

  61. Sd: You really are full of crap. Next you will be claiming that I am on the moon, with Elvis.

  62. Abhilash: So you are a man and not a woman.

    Well, intelligent people will have no trouble grasping that, because I am not familiar with Indian names, such a misconception is hardly to be regarded as reprehensible. There was a statistical likelihood that you were either male or female, after all, and to my Western ears the name sounded feminine. As to your laughable comment on my having failed to do “research”, you are being very silly. If I were to run off and research the names of all the people I correspond with or about, I should probably not have time to eat or sleep. And as nothing I said was gender-specific, you are simply proving even more what a drama queen you are. A more reasonable response than the one you gave would have been something like, “M Huet: You are mistaken in thinking I am a woman; I am a man”. Still, if you really, really want to hug yourself and count my trivial error on this matter as a great victory, please do – because I get the feeling you are someone who could use a bit of cheering up.

    This being said, there was another reason beyond my unfamiliarity with your name that led me to regard you as female, which is that your conduct suggested a somewhat hysterical woman, or possibly of an excitable young girl. You ostensibly are complaining about Sean’s views, but this is obviously deceitful. What you are really doing is just attacking his character in a distinctly perverse fashion. You have repeatedly claimed he is a liar and a coward, and you have even suggested he may be mentally ill. Now this is not normal debating technique, and it is the sort of behaviour one tends to see in people who are very emotional and prone to hysteria. If you concede nothing else then you ought at least to accept that it is a decidedly immature way of carrying on.

  63. Abhilash Nambiar

    M Huet // 7 August, 2010 at 3:16 pm
    “You have repeatedly claimed he is a liar and a coward, and you have even suggested he may be mentally ill.”

    I challenge you to quote me on that. If you claim that I said things that I did not, then you become a liar. If you cannot find such a quote, at least show the decency to apologize.

    I won’t comment on your gender identity issues. That is your problem not mine and certainly not relevant here.

  64. Rothbard would say there are lots of dimwit-serioso goings on on this thread! heh.

  65. Abhilash Nambiar

    But Rothbard cannot. So Stephan did it for him. Why, I wonder.

    Because Rothbard was a lot like Stephan Kinsella? Or is Stephan trying to feel important by comparing himself to Rothbard? If so, it is not necessary Stephan, your substantiated stand against intellectual property is good enough.

  66. Abhilash Nambiar

    I must add, Stephan’s stand against intellectual property runs counter to Rothbard’s. So Stephan does not accept even what Rothbard said uncritically. But Sean Gabb is no Rothbard.

  67. This exchange is quite bizarre.

    The lack of metrics make the comparisons of Indians over time obscure.

    The bon mot which Dave Davis attributes to Chris originates in David Friedman’s “The Machinery of Freedom.”

    And as Popper wrote, empires can be more liberal than nation-states, especially when “national self-determination” rules.

    Tony

  68. Is this Stephan Kinsella the person who wrote a critique of my essay “The Impossibility of Anarcho-Capitalism”?

    Tony

  69. Thank Heaven that Sean Gabb is no Rothbard.

    Tony

  70. Stephan Kinsella

    Mr. Hollick,

    Yessir, at your service. That was here (http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/20/the-irrelevance-of-the-impossibility-of-anarcho-libertarianism/ — this post has more stuff appended at the end than the mises post, which comments comments http://blog.mises.org/10500/the-irrelevance-of-the-impossibility-of-anarcho-libertarianism/).

    I’m friends with Sean from PFS meetings.

    Why the swipe at St. Rothbard? Heavens me.

  71. Oh – can we all go home, please?

  72. Abhilash Nambiar

    Would that be Bratislava for you Sean?

  73. You are a terrible loser and a fraud, Sean, aka Dj.

    You realised that your servile friend, Stephan Kinsella, was about to be ripped apart, so you made an appearance to stop the thread.

  74. Abhilash Nambiar

    It did not slip my attention that Tony had actually taken the swipe at Sean, although Stephan said otherwise.

    Also I am familiar enough with Stephan’s work to know he is a smart guy. Which is why I recognize him playing dumb to protect his friend.

    Stephan you can quote me on this one. I think you are going to hate yourself for what you did here. And when that happens try not to blame others for the self-induced uneasiness.

  75. Sd: So where’s this proof that Sean, DJ and myself are all shacked up together in Bratislava? Can we expect it some time before Christmas?

    Oops! Sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. I forgot for a second there about that great big yellow streak running down your back. Still, no real harm done. You just go off and clean yourself up a bit, and find a fresh pair of underpants. Then you can come back “fighting fit” and continue to snipe bravely from behind that rock beneath which you were so recently crawling.

  76. Is there an outbreak of purloined identities? Are we being overrun by holograms or something similar? Oh, what a tangled web…

    Tony

  77. We seem to have gone a long way from the actual debate – which is (in case people have forgotten) was the Raj, on balance, better or worse than the actual alternatives the various parts of India faced at the time.

    I think it is clear that the Raj (for all its mistakes and, yes, in spite of all its crimes) was less tyrannical than either French rule would have been (I mean over large areas – the French did not rule that badly in the tiny enclaves they had in the 19th and 20th centuries) or than the local (and endlessly AT WAR) local tyrants that dominated the various parts of India.

    In short Dr Gabb is correct – I am not shy of attacking Dr Gabb when I think he is wrong, but EVIDENCE that there were viable alternatives to the Raj that were better (not WORSE) has not been presented.

  78. Abhilash Nambiar

    Right British rule was better than French rule in the same way a benevolent slave master is better than a tyrannical one. And I am using those terms benevolent and tyrannical loosely here. That does not make slavery right nor does it make it worthy of gratitude. And being free is better in any case.

    Sean was not making an academic argument. First he was just ranting and trolling using national and ethnic stereotypes. Then he went into ranting and trolling using academic sounding words but making pretty much the same argument.

    Paul, I would be careful if I where you and make sure exactly what part of Sean’s argument I am in agreement with and be clear about it too. Sean never made the argument that British rule was better than French rule.

  79. Stephan:

    What is PFS?

    Tony

  80. Abhilash Nambiar

    PFS – Property and Freedom Society
    Founded by Hans Hermann Hoppe in 2005.

    http://propertyandfreedom.org/

  81. Abhilash Nambiar

    Sorry you where asking Stephan.

  82. Roger Thornhill

    Though I agree with Paul Marks’ summation of The Raj, I also agree with Abhilash Nambiar and restate what I said in my earlier comment – The British were not asked, they came.

    As a Libertarian, that is not acceptable. I am sure Fabians and Federasts will want to use that excuse over their disgraceful behaviour in Europe and beyond, only in their case I doubt if anyone could honestly say of them what Paul said of the Raj.

  83. Paul Marks:

    Yes, you had better heed Abhilash’s adice and be VERY CAREFUL waht you agree with and what you don’t. These are Matters of Grave Importance. We must be VERY SERIOSO about all this. Otherwise you may “hate yourself” “for this” later and be seen as an “intellectual coward.”

    this all reminds me a bit of this: I break for Randians; Breaking, Broken, Broke: Silly Objectivist Tendencies. also http://www.stephankinsella.com/2010/01/12/objectivism-schism-form-letter/

  84. Abhilash Nambiar

    I do not know much about Paul Marks to call him an intellect or an intellectual coward. But it is not the same for Stephan. Although I do not recall using the coward on Stephan. So I went back and checked and sure enough I did not. Do you feel like an intellectual coward Stephan? Is that why you said that? Or where you just trying to put words in my mouth?

  85. Abhilash, I didn’t say you said that. I dont feel like a coward–I have the face without pain or fear or guilt. No offense, seriosos.

  86. Abhilash Nambiar

    I wasn’t sure you did say that I said it; as is evident from my post. Nevertheless I was wondering where that term popped up from. “intellectual coward” It is a new one here.

    But you must know that name-calling is not an argument. But why must you not resort to that? You had no good argument to offer. Although to your credit ‘seriosos’ is a mild form of name calling.

    And I thought you would mop the floor with me. It would have been my badge of honor if you could. Instead you indulge in silly name calling. First I was surprised. Now I am disappointed.

  87. Stephan Kinsella is a lawyer and has a reputation to consider!

    Tony

  88. No pain == no immune system

    No fear == ignorance

    No guilt == sociopath

    Tony

  89. Stephan Kinsella

    Tony, it was a joke. Referencing a line from Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Nevermind. If you have to explain it…

    Abhilash, I have no desire to “mop the floor” with you. I have no desire to “give a good argument” here–there is nothing worth arguing about. Tempest in a teapot. And yes, “cowardly” was hurled around, in serioso fashion.

  90. Abhilash Nambiar

    Stephan you are just being chicken. You already tried to argue with me, failed and backed out. Then you tried accusing me of saying things that I did not and again backed out when you could not substantiate it. So it should not be surprising that now you are trying to play things down. Yet seeing Stephan Kinsella sink to this level continue to surprise and disappoint me.

  91. PFS is another one of Hoppe’s attempts to smuggle white-supremacism into libertarianism:

    http://rightwatch.tblog.com/

  92. It is reasonable to suppose that SD is none other than Tim Starr in drag – as ever, angry with me for the hurtful things I enjoy saying about him, and that he richly deserves.

    Since debate on the Raj is over, I have decided to remove myself from all other debate on this thread. The rest of you, of course, are at liberty to continue partying well into the cold light of morning…..

  93. Abhilash Nambiar

    ‘into the cold light of morning…’?

    What does that even mean when communicating across time zones?

  94. What was the purpose of this article? What libertarian purpose did it achieve? By taking a racist approach, it has only put off non-whites from the movement. As elsewhere, this seems intended for self-aggrandizement of Sean. Why poem on Tim Starr? Why not factually respond to his comments? Why should Stephan Kinsella on his website demean Tony Hollick’s article for being against anarcho-capitalism and then defend nationalism on this website? Very confusing!

  95. Abhilash Nambiar

    “Why should Stephan Kinsella on his website demean Tony Hollick’s article for being against anarcho-capitalism and then defend nationalism on this website?”

    Technically Stephan Kinsella did not defend nationalism, he defended someone who defended nationalism. A strange position to take given that he disapproves of nationalism.

    Then he tried to argue with someone who criticized someone who defended nationalism. And then he to resorted to some mild name calling which went no where. And when all of it failed he kind of like in the Fox in the “Fox and the Grapes” stated that there was never anything worth arguing about to begin with and walked away. Except the fox walked away from grapes while Kinsella walked away from a debate.

  96. Stephan Kinsella

    Abhilash, as far as I can recall, there is no real substantive “debate” here other than, er, a debate about Sean Gabb. Err… yeah. That’s what we’re about: debating about Mr. Sean Gabb!

  97. Abhilash Nambiar

    Yes we where debating about Sean Gabb, more precisely about the merit of his stand. And you tried defending him even though you said you did not agree with him. You did not agree with Tony Hollick either but you did not defend him. Sean Gabb must be special to you for other reasons.

  98. Hmm, so now it’s not only a debate “about” a particular libertarian, but it’s a meta-debate about the debate. Maybe there’s a Serioso pill I can take that can make me perk up.

  99. Abhilash Nambiar

    Meta-debate!? It is more like stating what is plainly evident. And no Stephan, playing dumb won’t help here.

    I have noted you do not talk about ‘seriosos’ anymore. Instead using terms like serioso fashion and now serioso pill. By attaching the word ‘serioso’ to things instead of persons you may have absolved yourself form name-calling. But you are still using it to mock what you cannot argue against. I urge you yo continue using it so that I can easily recognize when Stephan is trying to substitue mockery for sound arguments.

  100. This is all terribly terribly funny and amusing.

    But libertarians, which is to say: normal people without political hangups and grudges, except against GramsoFabiaNazis – which it is right, good and an individual and obligatory duty to have grudges against (for they are objectively wicked in the First Sense, and will thus have to go) ought to have a sense of proportion about what can be achieved in normal struggle, without Arms, against States.

    My good old friend Dr Sean Gabb is a good and decent liberal, who like me wants all people to be individually free. I don’t think we can be countenancing States to be able to allow this even if they would. We may all have to do it ourselves.

    I have no idea how.

  101. Abhilash Nambiar

    David Davis
    “My good old friend Dr Sean Gabb is a good and decent liberal, who like me wants all people to be individually free.”

    No he does not want everyone to be free. He wants Tony blair to be arrested and every minister in the Blair-Brown government to be hanged. No I do not think he is kidding. Given half a chance he will do it.

    http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/arrested-shot-on-sight-more-like/

    http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/every-minister-in-the-blair-brown-junto-should-be-hanged-for-treason-and-crimes-against-humanity/

  102. @Abhilash Nabiar
    You do not understand. The Tony Blair lot did not want people to be free, so they decided to act as GramscFabiaNazis. So, they should be hanged.

    We are right and they are wrong. There is a penalty for being wrong. Look, for a levity-simplistic version of that, at the last scenes of “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade”. That will be where the Old Knight said, at the gory death of the GramscoFabians, “They Chose Poorly”.

    You will think I’m a stupid clown now won’t you. But you don’t know if I’m joking, or not.

  103. I’m sorry, Abhilash, I spelt your name wrong in my hurry

  104. Hang Tony Blair but dress the Queen with diamonds, eh? Irrationality upon irrationality. No, Mr Davis… you and Mr Gabb are just pathetic statists. You are against Blair for it suits your political purpose.

    Mr Gabb wrote me an email to mollify me and then wrote on my Facebook page. He then de-friended me. Thereafter he claimed that I did not exist in the real world. You are a bunch of frauds.

    This is what Mr Gabb wrote above: “He [dj] has invented two people with exaggeratedly Indian names, who have spent the past few days confirming every racist stereotype about half-educated Indians – the slipshod English, the inability to reason in a straight line, the resort to accusations of bad faith, persistent misrepresentation of the other side, self-pity mixed with pitiable pride.”

    What is he implying? Mr Davis just do me a favor drop the name libertarian from your organisation. Honestly, if I had to chose between your kind of repulsive libertarianism and leftism, I chose the latter.

  105. Abhilash Nambiar

    David Davis | 12 August, 2010 at 7:16 pm
    ‘You will think I’m a stupid clown now won’t you.’

    You sure got that one right brother. You look like stupid clown the way you play with words and then change them when pushed, stupid being the operative word here. The irony being of course Sean accused Jayant and me for our supposed ‘inability to reason in a straight line.’

    Here is the bright part tough. When people take you seriously you can always use this line on them ‘But you don’t know if I’m joking, or not.’ It is a good line, because with clowns it indeed is hard to tell when they are joking.

    Stephan Kinsella may even vouch for the fact that you are a clown by telling myself and Jayant that we are taking things too seriously. He even has a mock word ‘serioso’. Try using that in your act to add some flavor. The place of the clown is secure for you. So I can enjoy the show.

  106. I haven’t read all the comments. Just as a general point I think that arguing about whether British rule of India was a Good or Bad thing is like arguing whether Rome should have conquered Judea. It’s an interesting academic discussion, but it happened, and was carried out by people long ago and very different to ourselves. Basically, everybody, everybody has been conquered- Britain by Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Normans for instance, because the rule of “conquer or be conquered” is the way human tribal society works and has always worked since we were chimps. If we start trying to blame the descendants of conquerers, madness that way lies, because we are all in the frame. And, no conquest is more moral or less moral than any other. They are all of a kind.

    Christianity’s ideological conquest of Europe (carried in some times by the military and sometimes by persuasion) made us into very different people to our tribal ancestors. Some good things reamined from that tribal past, such as a preference for Kings ruling by consent (e.g the Saxon thing) as opposed to the Oriental model of the God-King. But Christendom extinguished much of our ghastliness, such as infanticide and sacrifice and bestial religious rituals- I don’t know whether we’d have invented the steam engine in a society that still inaugurated a chief by having him fuck a horse.

    Sorry, that’s Ireland. Same principle though. Substitute “Guinness” for “steam engine”.

    As one or two of you, David Davis at least, knows, I’m embroiled in a lot of research into how we became who we are, and that involves criticism of various movements in Christianity, particularly the fundamentalist madness that birthed Protestantism. But to start arguing whether we should or should not have been Christians would be crazy. Likewise to argue whether Britian should or should not have ruled India for a while, or whether the Mughals were a Good Thing or a Bad Thing, is meaningless.

    It just happened. Get over it, India.

    As a counterfactual though, the great pity of the Empire is that England was not, by the late nineteenth century, a liberal country. As a result, the gross economic mistake was to try to plunder the Emoure for resources, rather than develop her industrially- resulting in her being a net cost which was certain to be lost. If we’d run the Empire on liberal philosophy, my bet is that by now it would be an enormous, loose, federation of developed states which had led the rest of the world to economic development and free trade. There may have been a first World War, but there would have been no second; America would not have become the superpower, socialism would have been forgotten, and we would now be living in some kind of Utopia, I daresay.

    But that’s the problem with speculating counterfactuals. You can come up with anything, because they aren’t real.

  107. PS-

    I used the word “we” to mean “us Brits” or “jolly yeomen of England” because I, like, I think Sean does (though I cannot speak for him) recognise the existence of collectives. Libertarianism/liberalism is a philosophy internal to collectives; you need a collective first in order for there to be something to be libertarian in character. That’s the thing the Anarchists don’t get. They like to claim they’re the only true Libertarians, when in fact they aren’t Libertarians at all. Once you abolish the collective, you abolish the thing to which the ruleset applies. The rules desired by Libertarians- freedom of speech, and from force and fraud etc- are abolished along with it. National collectives are what we have to work with right now and, since collectives in practise need to be geographic (it’s no use having a law against murder that applies to me but not my next door neighbour), something like nations is what we’re going to be stuck with for the foreseeable.

    I hope one day the world’s entire population will be a single Libertarian collective. But I’d be happy for now with just Britain making that change.

  108. Abhilash Nambiar

    Ian,

    Now I understand why you said, ‘It just happened. Get over it, India’ You could have just as well said ‘Get over it Tushar Gandhi’, or ‘Get over it Sean Gabb’. They both hold opposing stereotypical views of the British Empire, but you said ‘Get over it, India’ whatever that means. You where showing loyalty to the member of your collective. So you think libertarianism is only internal to a collective eh? I will let Mises rebuke you and Sean from the grave:

    ‘The various members of a nation or linguistic group and the clusters they
    form are not always united in friendship and good will. The history of every
    nation is a record of mutual dislike and even hatred between its subdivisions.
    Think of the English and the Scotch, the Yankees and the Southerners, the
    Prussians and the Bavarians. It was ideologies that overcame such animosities and inspired all members of a nation or linguistic group with those feelings of community and belonging together which present-day nationalists consider a natural and original phenomenon.’

  109. Abhilash Nambiar-

    I think one reason for writing “get over it, India”, is that the likes of Sean Gabb (who I’m sure would confirm that I’ve often taken great exception to stuff what he has wrote) has written in defence of the Empire is that Indians, other ex-colonised people, and their allies in the West, have consistenly attacked it. That is, it’s only an issue for Sean because it’s an issue for India(ns). So, if India got over it, and western crusaders got over it, I think Sean would get over it too, if you see what I mean.

    Regarding nations, that Mises quote doesn’t really apply to what I said. It doesn’t answer collectivism, it answers nationalism, and I’m not a nationalist. I don’t believe in blood and soil and all that rubbish. I do believe, because it is a fact, that certain groups of people live in certain places and have a tribal geographical claim- Indians, Scotchmen, and so on. It’s a very natural human thing.

    I think where there is a great desire to be separate, then collectives should split up. If the Scots want to go, I hope they do, and take Gordon Brown with them.

    It doesn’t alter the fact that in order to have a Libertarian system, you have to have something to apply the system to. If you want to change the rules of chess, you need a chessboard. Anarchism just kicks the board over. Libertarianism is the surety of certain freedoms, and achieves that by the prohibition of violent action. You don’t get that if you abolish everything, you just get whatever you get. So, to get liberty, I need to live in a collective that all agree to it, and then we all apply it to each other. As I said, the ultimate aim would be a global libertarian collective, with those liberties guaranteed from pole to pole. Until then, it’s smaller collectives, and you can call them nations or not, but that’s what we’ve got, and it is how mankind has always organised itself.

  110. I again enjoyed Dr. Sean Gabb’s imaginative and thought-provoking article and the lucidity of his argument. I myself have never had any doubts about a positive influence of the British Empire upon its colonies. In most cases they stood on a very low level of civilization and sometimes in deep barbarity when the British came and should be therefore grateful for what has been done on their behalf by the British in terms of railways, medicine, law , education etc.
    Yet what I find very problematic and hard to defend – apart from the opium and Boer wars and a few other things like Palestine and Cyprus – is the policy of the British Empire towards Turkey. Turkey was a medieval obscurantist oppressive regime stained with corruption and repeated massacres of its Christian subjects which ended with the Armenian and Greek genocides during WWI and soon afterwards.
    But the British Empire continuously played the role of the guardian angel of this Moslem tyranny against Russia even when Russia clearly acted in defence of the oppressed and slaughtered Christians in Turkey. It was so in 1877-1878 when the Bulgarian horrors forced for a while the anti-Russian imperialists in Britain to keep their mouth closed. But soon the horrors in Bulgaria were forgotten and the Imperial Navy was crusing in the Bosphorus ready to start another Crimean War if the Russians were to enter Constantinople and tried to change Agia Sophia back into a church.
    And still at the end of the day all of that imperial policy went bankrupt. The Turks betrayed the British, joined hand with the enemies of the British Empire and declared jihad on it.
    So didn’t the British Empire conduct a self-defeating policy – at least in this case – which accelerated its inglorious demise after another self-defeating
    war , i.e. WWII ?

  111. Abhilash Nambiar

    Ian B:

    ‘I don’t believe in blood and soil and all that rubbish. I do believe, because it is a fact, that certain groups of people live in certain places and have a tribal geographical claim- Indians, Scotchmen, and so on. It’s a very natural human thing.’

    On what basis do they have that claim? On the basis that they came there first and obtained the unowned property through home steading? Ok that makes sense. But if they do have such a claim, do they also have the claim to sell it? Can an Indian sell his land to a Scotsman or vice-versa. If not, then there are restrictions on that claim. But if such rights are not restricted, then we can safely say that it does not emanate from being a Scot or an Indian, it emanates from being human.

    ‘I think where there is a great desire to be separate, then collectives should split up. ‘

    Here is how it is done. You buy a house in an area where you find people living with habits you find more agreeable than in your present place. You sell your old house to someone who finds living in your area more agreeable than their present condition. It is a personal not a political decision.

    ‘It doesn’t alter the fact that in order to have a Libertarian system, you have to have something to apply the system to. If you want to change the rules of chess, you need a chessboard. ‘

    You have got it backwards. Nothing is applied. Libertarian law is discovered by understanding how humans act. That understanding is codified. That is what libertarianism is. Chess pieces and the board belong to an artificial universe governed by arbitrary rules. Here is another arbitrary rule I found today:

    “Libertarianism/liberalism is a philosophy internal to collectives; you need a collective first in order for there to be something to be libertarian in character. “

  112. Abhilash Nambiar

    ‘Jan:
    I myself have never had any doubts about a positive influence of the British Empire upon its colonies. In most cases they stood on a very low level of civilization and sometimes in deep barbarity when the British came and should be therefore grateful for what has been done on their behalf by the British in terms of railways, medicine, law , education etc.’

    The railway, medicine, law, education, etc., where not donations. They where instruments of oppression and exploitation. They where accessible only to the British rulers and their Indian collaborators primarily for that purpose. Sure they are not used that way anymore, but then again those places are no longer part of the British Empire.

    There is a positive influence to oppression. You understand how you are being oppressed and then you learn to do without it. And finally you see to it that the oppressors are never in a position to oppress ever again. In that sense alone the influence of the British Empire has been positive.

  113. Abhilash Nambiar

    “Ian B | 15 August, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    I think one reason for writing “get over it, India”, is that the likes of Sean Gabb (who I’m sure would confirm that I’ve often taken great exception to stuff what he has wrote) has written in defence of the Empire is that Indians, other ex-colonised people, and their allies in the West, have consistenly attacked it. That is, it’s only an issue for Sean because it’s an issue for India(ns). So, if India got over it, and western crusaders got over it, I think Sean would get over it too, if you see what I mean.”

    I was trying to find a concise way of exposing the absurdity in this statement. Then I figured the best way to rephrase the sentence so that it is less verbose and more to the point.

    “I think Sean will stop glorifying colonial oppression as soon as other people stopped criticizing it, if you see what I mean.

  114. Well Abhilash, I think maybe the point is that it would be helpful to stop this idea that only Europeans colonially oppressed anybody, which is the general thrust of the whole Colonial Oppression meme. Read history, and you’ll find that everybody invaded everybody else, given the chance, and it wasn’t invented in England in 1700 or whenever. Why doesn’t anybody complain so mightily about the Mughals, for instance? Are they too brown to be oppressors?

    Look. All of history is the tale of two types of people: the conquerors and the conquered. Often peoples switch from being one to the other, and sometimes back again. There have been considerably worse empires than the British one. As I said above, it ruled ignorantly. On the other hand, it didn’t entirely, or even significantly, erase the extant Indian culture; but get conquered by Muslims and your past ceases to exist, by contrast. Now there’s an imperialist collective! Strangely, nobody ever seems to ask the Muslims to give their land back to the indigenous cultures… but then the indigenous cultures were eradicated, weren’t they?

    Clearly my ancestors were way to soft on your ancestors.

  115. Abhilash Nambiar

    Ian, I am fully aware that oppression is not too uncommon in history. That does not become a reason to justify it.

    ‘Why doesn’t anybody complain so mightily about the Mughals, for instance? ‘
    Whom should such a complain be directed against? The Mughals where Indians, except Babar. Their dynasty is now destroyed. There is no one left to complain to. There is no one left with grievances. It is too far back in the past. There is no grudges from that era getting interfering with life today. In all these aspects Britain is different.

    ‘Strangely, nobody ever seems to ask the Muslims to give their land back to the indigenous cultures… but then the indigenous cultures were eradicated, weren’t they? Now there’s an imperialist collective! ‘

    Again who is the land to be given it back to? Turkey and Egypt are ruled by Turks and Egyptians. Iranians still rule Iran. Pakistan is still governed by The Punjabis and Sindhis who make up the land and Bangladesh is still ruled by Bengalis. There where wars that lead to their conquering and the subsequent destruction of their indigenous cultures. Today there is no one left to complain about the destroyed cultures, but people there still resent being conquered despite that. Iranians are generally not too fond of the Arabs; likewise with Turks and Iraqis; Bangladeshis and Pakistanis hate each other and even fought a brutal war. You are ignorant about their internal divisions so you speak this way.

    Also I looked up the term Imperialism – a policy of extending a country’s (more precisely its rulers’) power and influence through diplomacy or military force. Islam is not a country so calling Muslims Imperialists makes no sense. You need a different terminology with different words to explain what they did.

    ‘Clearly my ancestors were way to soft on your ancestors.’

    I will give you one concession. The Islamic invaders where no doubt more brutal than the British ones. That is documented history and it is still a taboo subject in India. So what is your point? If you say the British Empire was more liberal than other European empires I know that. If you say the British conquerors where less brutal than the Islamic conquerors, I already know that. Does that justify imperialism or oppression, hell no. No more than a benevolent slave master justifies slavery. So stop trying, it makes you look petty.

  116. Islam has, or had, a single head of State the Caliph, who was nominal ruler of the Ummah. Trying to narrow the definition of Imperialism to something Westphalian is too narrow. Islam was, for most of its history, a single polity under the Caliph, the sultans and emirs being just, in constitutional terms, governors. The Ummah is (or was, until the abolition of the Caliphate) a single polity which built an empire and was thus, by any reasonable definition, imperalist. The words we have serve just fine.

  117. A most excellent article. The very best I have read in years.

  118. Guy Leven-Torres wrote :

    “A most excellent article. ”

    YUCK!

  119. Abhilash Nambiar

    Ian B

    ‘Trying to narrow the definition of Imperialism to something Westphalian is too narrow.’

    There is nothing ‘Westphalian’ about the definition. It is not something I made up, I looked it up on a dictionary. Japanese rule in Korea and Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor also falls under that definition.

    ‘The Ummah is (or was, until the abolition of the Caliphate) a single polity which built an empire and was thus, by any reasonable definition, imperalist. The words we have serve just fine.’

    Ok now I know that you do not fully understand the expansionist nature of Islam. You are using the word Ummah incorrectly. Clearly you are trying to understand Islamic expansionism using the template of European Imperialism. It is a common mistake. People often try to understand the unfamiliar using a something that they are already familiar with.

  120. I’m saying that it’s close enough in terms of language. Quibbling about what is a country, a nation, a tribe, a people, a community, an empire etc, is a rather exhausting waste of time. People do this about the EU, arguing about what it is by various dictionary definitions- it’s not a federation, it’s not a nation, it’s not an empire, it’s not anything apparently, but that misses the point that it is a polity with governance powers, and what precisely you want to call that doesn’t really matter.

    So because we can argue endlessly about dictionary definitions, the building of empire by muslims isn’t “imperialism”, it becomes the more harmless sounding “expansionism”, as if the muslim empire/community/nation/ummah/peoples/federation gently flowed into surrounding districts.

    Precision is useful in language, but in this kind of conversation it is ideas that matter, not the particular lexicon. In general terms, if some leader says to his subordinates, “Take your sword and capture that land over there”, it’s building an empire, it’s imperialism, and that’s the issue. It might be just one village taking the one in the next valley, but it’s still empire building.

    The ummah is that geographic area controlled by Islam, or sometimes it also means a more notional “community of believers” (especially since the end of the Caliphate). In the age we are discussing, the Ummah was most definitely that geographic area conquered by Islam and thus under the notional rule of the Caliph.

  121. Abhilash Nambiar

    ‘harmless sounding “expansionism”’

    Expansionism sounds harmless to you? Interesting.

    ‘Precision is useful in language, but in this kind of conversation it is ideas that matter’

    I fully concur. The thing is meaning of words are more precisely used in English, the Koran and the Hadith, there is some deliberate imprecision that allows for some wiggle room. When you use precise translations for imprecise original words, you are misunderstanding the idea, rather than understanding it. I do not know whether it is a genuine misunderstanding or you prefer it that way. In any case your understanding of Islamic expansionism will be truncated if you stick with imperialistic terms.

    But I digress from the main topic of discussion. This is a topic for another discussion.

  122. Unfortunately Liberal Imperialism is to be blamed for a lot of the mess we got in to in the first place. This essay reminds me of Woodrow Wilson making the world safe for democracy. It didn’t work out very well.

    If the Empire was such a great idea they wouldn’t have left. Ireland would still be part of the UK. Absolutely the Empire has much to its credit. However forcing people to be free is not a libertarian position.

  123. Anders. Please show where in this essay it defends Liberal Imperialism or ‘forcing people to be free’.

    Please read the essay on its own terms without assumptions.

  124. Abhilash Nambiar

    You are right ‘bob’ there is no argument here that defends ‘forcing people to be free’. Anders must have thought that it was the crux of the argument, but he is mistaken. Sean’s essential argument is that oppression is ok as long as it produces outcomes that he deems appropriate.

  125. I don’t think Sean’s saying that at all. My interpretation would be that people claiming oppression are ignoring the full picture. Being conquered and invaded was not abnormal historically- it was routine. All the pre-existing societies in India (which had no “Indian” identity back then, remember) were themselves the results of conquest and thus “oppression”. But nobody complains about them, as if Indians were all wandering around in a state of Edenic liberty until the nasty old Brits turned up. It’s simply a biased view.

    We have, in general, at the global level, since then rejected the conquer and oppress model of civilisation, and I’m sure we’re all glad of that. But it was the norm at the time, and singling out one conquerer as a special case is simply biased. England is itself the result of conquest (by the Normans). Perhaps we too should be demanding reparations from their descendents.

  126. Abhilash Nambiar

    ‘My interpretation would be that people claiming oppression are ignoring the full picture. Being conquered and invaded was not abnormal historically- it was routine.’

    I like the spin you put to the issue. However that was not his argument. Like you rightly put it is your interpretation of his argument misinterpretation would be the better word. You do not defend his original argument of course because you cannot.

    ‘All the pre-existing societies in India (which had no “Indian” identity back then, remember) were themselves the results of conquest and thus “oppression”.’

    To say there was no ‘Indian’ identity back then is like telling there was no European identity before the European Union. You speak again about what you are ignorant about.

    ‘As if Indians were all wandering around in a state of Edenic liberty until the nasty old Brits turned up. ‘
    No one here said that. And I do not have to teach you two wrongs don’t make one right or do I?

    Also you ignore the distinction between past events that is still part of living memory and past events that forever belong to history and has lost its relevance to those living today. The Norman Invasion of Britain falls under the latter, the colonization of India falls under the former. You ignore it because it is convenient. It is evident here

    ‘All the pre-existing societies in India (which had no “Indian” identity back then, remember) were themselves the results of conquest and thus “oppression”. But nobody complains about them, as if Indians were all wandering around in a state of Edenic liberty until the nasty old Brits turned up. ‘

    ‘ England is itself the result of conquest (by the Normans). Perhaps we too should be demanding reparations from their descendants.’

    Nobody complains about them because there is no one left to complain.

    So you go along breaking your straw men because that is what you are really good at.

  127. I certainly commend you for having the courage to write this, and one can make a good case that not only the British, but also the Austro-Hungarian Empires, and for that matter, the Kaiser’s in Germany, were better than what came after. (Once could add the too-obvious and mention russia, as well.)
    Atonement is something best left for Sunday confession; perhaps the diamond-whiners should confess their sins, and say a couple of ‘Hail, Britannicas’ as penance. It might teach them some patience and humility. (That, or they can contemplate what ‘atonement’ they will offer when the Kashmiris demand it of them…)
    Regards,
    -ssgconway

  128. I certainly commend you for having the courage to write this, and one can make a good case that not only the British, but also the Austro-Hungarian Empires, and for that matter, the Kaiser’s in Germany, were better than what came after. (Once could add the too-obvious and mention russia, as well.)
    Atonement is something best left for Sunday confession; perhaps the diamond-whiners should confess their sins, and say a couple of ‘Hail, Britannicas’ as penance. It might teach them some patience and humility. (That, or they can contemplate what ‘atonement’ they will offer when the Kashmiris demand it of them…)

  129. Abhilash Nambiar

    ssgconway,

    When you and Sean get back your precious ‘liberal’ empire you can make the diamond-whiners ‘confess’ whatever you want and make them ‘hail’ whatever you want, ‘Hail, Britannica’, ‘Hail, Hitler’ it will be all up to you. You can even make them offer atonement for Kashmir, because you will be completely in charge just like the ‘good old days’. Unless of course there is power struggle between you and Sean, in that case may the more ‘liberal’ emperor win.

    But all that belongs to an unlikely future. But there is a way to try and atone for the unchangeable sins of the past. A silly old diamond might just work. Not that I care, but it will work with the diamond-whiners. That is until some other whiner finds yet another Indian skeleton in the old British cupboard.
    This is the problem when instituions with a stained past survive into the present. The past continues to haunt those that empower it.

  130. Universal Law of Racism (URL)

    Racism may be deemed to exist where a simpler or less complex situation is not esteemed better than a more complex or advanced.

    No? Okay. Working on it.

    In the meantime I suppose it’s like comparing ships and ships. Some have better engines, some better galleys, some are prettier (my dear departed mom hated England when she came to the UK with her parents in her teens because it was so dull and grim and glum) and some are more efficient. Some celebrate life and some are technological excellent.

    But I suppose the bottom line of life, is not dying, and in that respect, to my knowledge, the western way of life (substantially British) is the best that has been.

  131. Abhilash Nambiar

    John B | 21 August, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    ‘Racism may be deemed to exist where a simpler or less complex situation is not esteemed better than a more complex or advanced.’

    Ok this makes no sense.

    ‘But I suppose the bottom line of life, is not dying, and in that respect, to my knowledge, the western way of life (substantially British) is the best that has been.’
    To say the bottom line of line of life is living, is simply tautology. Besides if only just the Britishers where good at it, everyone else would have died out, leaving vast uninhabited tracts for colonization. Is that the way you remember it?

  132. The most important aspect of living is staying alive. When trying to determine what is the most important aspect of a culture, one can have many yard sticks. Which makes the best music, art, buildings, poetry, technology, etc? What are the criteria of what might be considered the most important concerns?
    If one is looking for an approximation of an absolute, the answer seems to be that it is whatever promotes life the best. Because without life there is nothing.
    That concern is firstly for food, clothing and shelter. To many folk, that is as far as it goes. When those have been taken care of then one can look to the extras.
    Therefore those aspects of a culture that promote survival seem to be the most important.
    Western technology has definitely carried the day there.
    We were all supposed to start starving some few years ago, but then the “Green Revolution” came along with massive food production and here we still are.
    Medicines are mainly products of western technology. Modern medical techniques. Modern building techniques. Modern transport.
    Crises are predicted, over the horizon, sure, but none here for the moment.
    What has enabled this?
    Technology. Which has mainly been the product of the western approach to life. Management of resources, etc.
    I had not meant to say, and I do not say, which was was/is “better”. That is a value judgement and is subjective according to the standards you wish to apply.
    I did look at things from a survival point of view.

    However I must confess that my preference has been very much to ways of life that are other than the western way, for most of my life. They are simply more beautiful to me. Well, to be honest it has been more a fusion but with a definite bias away from the average western approach.
    The music, the art, the attitude and the philosophy.
    That is my preference, but I do appreciate the western way for what it is and what it has done to facilitate material, physical, life.

  133. Abhilash Nambiar

    “If one is looking for an approximation of an absolute, the answer seems to be that it is whatever promotes life the best. Because without life there is nothing.”

    Here I see arbitrary, personal preferences and popular opinions trying to masquerade as objective fact. If there is one absolute it is that humans act to remove uneasiness felt.

    Food, clothing and shelter come within that framework. So do writing pseudo-intellectual blog entries.

    While you speak about the greatness of Western medicine, Industry, Technology, etc., you fail to recognize that they have value only within the framework of being useful to humans acting to remove uneasiness, and applies only to those specific individuals whose uneasiness is removed as a result of using them.

    So here we have a situation these instruments where made generously available to those that oppress, subjugate, conquer and even kill. He that claims to value life over death may choose to look down upon such a shameful turn of events. But he does not and yet claims to value life.

    The oppressors are gone now. Their tools they left behind. Now available to the natives to deal with their uneasiness, the best they can. There are no heros in this story. Except perhaps those with that fiery spirit of independence threw away the shackles that had bound them for so long and then tried to make for themselves a life that they saw fit. No other action is more consistent with the spirit of liberty that you claim to admire.

    The fires of liberty are still burning and its enemies then as now are being slowly roasted in its smoldering flames. Theirs is the fate worst than hell and it is of their own making.

  134. But I suppose the bottom line of life, is not dying, and in that respect, to my knowledge, the western way of life (substantially British) is the best that has been.

    Just to be a pedant, the “bottom line of life” is simply living long enough to procreate and reproduce. Living past the natural age of reproduction can be seen as a bonus or a curse, but our genes don’t give a damn; to them it’s irrelevant.

  135. You know, all this stirring talk of the fiery spirit of independence and throwing off the shackles of the oppressors would have a bit more purchase if the first act of the people of India hadn’t been a massacre of said people of India with half a million dead.

    I know, I know, it was the oppressors’ fault for not stopping them…

  136. At least, now, I think we know where we stand.

  137. As to the other point of discussion, there isn’t an objective meaning of life. David Hume showed that nearly three centuries ago.

  138. Abhilash Nambiar

    Morlock | 21 August, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
    Just to be a pedant, the “bottom line of life” is simply living long enough to procreate and reproduce.

    This is certainly true for all living things except human beings. Check this out.

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/articles/MacDonald-Evangelicals_files/Hardin.jpg

    That is why I said ‘If there is one absolute it is that humans act to remove uneasiness felt’.

  139. Abhilash Nambiar

    “Ian B | 21 August, 2010 at 7:42 pm |

    You know, all this stirring talk of the fiery spirit of independence and throwing off the shackles of the oppressors would have a bit more purchase if the first act of the people of India hadn’t been a massacre of said people of India with half a million dead.

    I know, I know, it was the oppressors’ fault for not stopping them…”

    Don’t put words in my mouth Ian. I never said “it was the oppressors’ fault for not stopping them…”. You are great and beating down your straw men. No one knows how many died in the post-independence riots. Half a million is a high end estimate. So people do not start off by using their newly found freedoms responsibly. But unless they are hurting you, why should you complain? It is not your problem and you can do enough to see to it that it stays that way.

  140. Ian: “there isn’t an objective meaning of life. David Hume showed that nearly three centuries ago.”

    and hte very question is meaningless. What could it mean anyway for us to “have meaning”? Meaning to whom? Some big powerful dude in the sky? Even if He had a Plan for us–so what? that’s just positivism writ large to even care in the first place what He thinks or His purposes for us are? I give my own life whatever “meaning” it has.

  141. Of course it’s a meaningless question. But most people believe it is a meaningful question, as we see in this discussion. This means that they spend vasty amounts of time trying to figure out what life is all about, and then when they think they’ve got it, turn to imposing that on everybody else.

    The therapeutic State that wages war on drugs, tobacco and cakes is a consequence of the belief that life is objectively about staying alive as long as possible for instance.

    It’s an enormously common delusion, the belief that life has meaning.

  142. Abhilash-

    ” But unless they are hurting you, why should you complain? ”

    I’m not complaining. I was taking the piss out of the stirring talk of throwing off shackles and so on. “We want to be free so we can live in liberty and peace”; that’s a pretty admirable sentiment. “We want to be free so we can hack each other to death due to religious and tribal bigotry”; that’s not quite so impressive.

  143. Abhilash Nambiar

    ‘We want to be free so we can hack each other to death due to religious and tribal bigotry” that’s not quite so impressive.’

    On that point I fully concur. To say it is not quite impressive is putting it mildly in my opinion.

  144. It doesn’t seem there is real love of or desire for truth.
    I suppose it could be considered as good as playing cricket or baseball.
    But it condemns one to repeat the same mistakes.

  145. Someone here mentioned “diamond whiners.” I think the only diamond whiner I have seen here are Sean Gabb and those who obsequiously follow him. I know that at least Abhilash and my position has been that YOU (whatever that means but generally the “diamond whiners”) keep it. In fact, if I were the judge to decide on who gets to keep the diamond between the English Queen or the Indian President, I unequivocally prefer the English Queen. That will for the very simple reason that I would rather that your tyrant be rich than mine. If collateral from those diamonds help the UK to finance ever growing video cameras or prison or guns for YOUR police, so it be. Good luck.

    The larger question to me is why this so much attraction for a silly diamond and slavish belonging to “we” defined as those white folks who grew up in England, who are trying to live vicariously through a great, successful and winning generation that passed away many generation ago. Apart from a word “we” that the passed away group of English and the current English can be applied to, there is no similarity. We are all individuals. But Libertarian Alliance and its nationalists, living inherent contradiction, cannot see this. To me this has consistently shows how fossilized thinking of some has become in the UK or Europe. In today’s world such narrow-mindedness is going to take you nowhere. But that is not yet a full-blown problem. The problem will be with your children. If they learn and imbibe such ethno-centricity, not only they will end up seeing themselves as minority in England but most importantly they will hate themselves when their narrow-mindedness ends up getting them no job else than as house servants for the colored folks. Good luck again! I will watch the drama unfolding from my TV screen.

  146. Abhilash Nambiar

    Jayant Bhandari | 21 August, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    ‘If they learn and imbibe such ethno-centricity, not only they will end up seeing themselves as minority in England but most importantly they will hate themselves when their narrow-mindedness ends up getting them no job else than as house servants for the colored folks. ‘

    Don’t you think that last statement there was a bit too harsh? I think it is. I agree with most that you wrote, but this came out a little too harsh. There are no boundaries to occupation in a free society. People will find jobs that best matchs their skill and temperament with the needs of others and no one will feel ashamed for it, unless they are deluded by false ideologies. The caste system in India comes to mind. There is a false ideology prevalent in the US too these days. That everyone should get a college education and a job that deserves it.

    John B | 21 August, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
    ‘It doesn’t seem there is real love of or desire for truth’
    True, no one likes truth for its own sake. There is no such thing as a dispassionate search for truth or a real love for truth, etc.,. People seek truth for its capacity to reduce uneasiness felt. And if truth does not serve that purpose, there is temptation to prefer what they know to be untrue.

  147. Hi, quality article. We’re huge fans of Ayn Rand / Atlas Shrugged as well – so much, in fact, that we made the green-blue bracelet that Hank Rearden gave to his wife. We call it the Liberty Bracelet and you can check it out at http://www.libertybracelet.com. Donations will go to the Campaign For Liberty so we had a feeling you’d enjoy it.

    If you’d like to write about the Bracelet or let us write about it for you, we’d love to send you the “Family and Friends” coupon for them! Please drop an e-mail if you’d be down, we would be very thankful.

    Anyhow, cool blog… we joined your feed now so thanks again!

  148. Gabb is an example of eurocentricity and racism that helped build ideas of slavery and colonialism. Beliefs that his people are superior and the other peoples are incapable of doing anything was once justification for slavery and colonisation and robbing of entire countries wealth.

    however this is the 21st century, its a pity that there are still people around who hang onto the 16th century misdirections.

  149. Abhilash Nambiar

    A comment after so long, wow.

    r johnson,
    Sean is an anglophile for sure and that may at times impede his capacity to think critically, but to call him ‘an example of euro centricity and racism’ in my humble opinion is an exaggeration. But he has the potential to be the dreaded ‘example of euro centricity and racism’. Need I say more?

  150. To be honest, I couldn’t read through the article, jsut because it was too long and boring. But ur an ass.

  151. Interesting blog and a helpful one to know that that these libertarians, Stephan Kinsella and Sean Gab, are fanatics and racists.

  152. Abhilash Nambiar

    If Stephan Kinsella and Sean Gabb are proud of the accomplishments of Western Civilization, that is not racism. But if the pride impedes their capacity to think, they are better off without the pride.

  153. This might be this blog’s greatest piece of writing I have ever seen.

  154. Is it okay to place part of this on my personal weblog if I post a reference point to this webpage?

  155. Abhilash Nambiar

    It has been a while, my opinions on this matter has matured somewhat. I am beginning to get what Stephan meant by the term dimwit-serioso. I am still reluctant to fully open up in this about what my views are, not that I mind using politically incorrect terms. Given that blogs like these tend to be frequented by racists, even inadvertently empowering them can be a huge mistake. I wonder if anyone is still around who cares to know anyway. At this point I can neither condemn nor condone the history of British rule in India. I am beginning to appreciate the good work Lord Macaulay did in India. I may find myself labelled India hater anytime after this comment gets posted. The thought scares me, but I think keeping quiet and pretending will make it worse. Maybe no one will respond to this post and make my life easy.

  156. Abhilash Nambiar

    Thanks Sean, will do.