A Libertarian Approach to Family Values


dj

We live in the era of so-called “women’s rights”. I am not sure that women’s rights could only have been interpreted in a way that has weakened the traditional family. But that is the situation that now obtains in England today. My interest lies not in opposing women’s rights, as far as the latter is a self-sustaining ideological movement and not achieved via state fiat, but rather in the traditional family, and, in particular, in the role that it has in supporting the social fabric.

While I do believe that, ideally, all children should be brought up by parents that are committed to each other and to their children, I don’t see that the state can mandate the traditional family as the sole household arrangement. However, by the same token, it should not be funding the breakdown of the family either. It is simply anti-social for the state to allow single mothers to apply for and get social housing. The result has been an upsurge in the numbers of women who see single parenthood as a career choice.

I should add that I do not agree there should be any social housing available at all. Social housing distorts the property market, and allows large numbers of people to live essentially parasitical lifestyles. The recently leaked US embassy cable referring to the fact that 28% of Muslims present in the UK live in social housing also highlights the fact that social housing is being used to promote the government’s anti-British demographic objectives.

I would like to see all social housing privatised and all levels of government withdraw from housing policy. As a libertarian society would scale down (and ultimately eliminate) social security, one feasible way of withdrawing from social housing and slashing social welfare payments would be to give all present social housing to their present occupants, giving them a safety net in life, but being accompanied by a large cut in social welfare payments too. I would strongly support this in the case where social housing is inhabited by people of British or Irish descent; in other cases, social housing could be sold in job lots to private landlords, thus allowing the state to withdraw from the sector.

This would mean there was no social housing for single mothers—which is how it should be. No single mother should be able to casually assume that the broad mass of the population wished to fund her parasitical lifestyle. But the other aspect of this moral/social question I wish to comment on is relations between the sexes, and in particular the impact on the fathers of the children being brought up by mothers outside wedlock of the mothers’ decisions to proceed with the pregnancies.

While I do not necessarily approve of abortion—and serial abortion as a means of contraception is even more repugnant to me—there is an interesting social question regarding who makes the decision to proceed with an unplanned pregnancy. At present, the decision is 100% the woman’s to make—not unreasonably considering the fact that an operation on her own body would be required to accomplish an abortion—and yet the man is left in the situation where he will be called upon financially for 16 years thereafter if the woman decides to proceed, regardless of whether he wants the child or not.

This is manifestly unjust. The Child Support Agency is also a manifestly unjust organisation that doesn’t even ensure that the monies it garners from the fathers are given to the mothers/families involved. Quite simply, if a man has not entered into a legal agreement to support a woman and any children she bears—and this is the definition of “wedlock”—it is unjust for him to be required to financially support the upbringing of children who do not live with him and whose birth he did not agree to. A thirty-minute liaison after a drunken night out does not create an agreement of lifelong commitment to the woman—or to her future children. While people will say that a man has to honour his responsibilities, he is not involved in the decision whether to proceed with the pregnancy or not. He therefore has no responsibilities in the matter.

Why would any man want to pay for children who don’t live with him and with whose mother he has never entered into any agreement of commitment? A glance at The Jeremy Kyle Show on ITV shows that most working-class men who are interested in their children want the mother and the children as a package—and where he wishes to have a relationship with the woman, but she doesn’t reciprocate, he rarely wants to fund the lifestyles of either the mother or the children. Most of the DNA testing done on that show relates to the idea that a man has a responsibility to fund the upbringing of children who are genetically his, but who he may not even know, or with whom he is allowed only brief and supervised contact, and who are often the results of only a thirty-minute relationship with the mother.

The Child Support Agency should be closed down. Where children are born out of wedlock, and bearing in mind that the mother’s decision to proceed with the pregnancy is final, there should be no legally enforceable obligations on the father. In such circumstances, and given that I support the withdrawal of all benefits to unmarried mothers, the woman could only proceed with the pregnancy had she a private income or where her parents were happy to help to finance the child’s upbringing. The father might be prepared to help out, but given that he was under no moral or legal commitment (i.e., “no bond of wedlock”), it would be his free choice whether to do so or not.

Of course, a decision to proceed with a pregnancy is irrevocable once the child is born. It should be possible for parents who are not married to agree that the pregnancy go ahead, with the man signing a legal contract agreeing to take on the obligation of supporting a child born to a mother to whom he is not married. Such a legal agreement would give a cast-iron guarantee to the mother that she could proceed with the pregnancy and would be able to sue the father for maintenance were he to go back on the agreement. In the absence of such an agreement, she would not be able to look to the father or to the state for help. (Were it later shown via DNA testing that the child was not his, this could create a legal justification for his backing out of the agreement; ultimately, a mother does know if she has been having sex with numerous men and she has to take responsibility for herself too.)

This policy would lead to a large reduction in unmarried motherhood, with positive implications for crime, delinquency, child abuse and the quality of child rearing. It would create a situation of genuine equality between the sexes, which is after all what the rhetoric surrounding women’s rights is all about.

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69 responses to “A Libertarian Approach to Family Values

  1. It probably isn’t terribly Libertarian of me but I would prefer forced sterilization for multiple baby makers as opposed to abortion for any reason other than the health of the mother. You made some v good points and this is real substance to work with. How did you discover 28% of Muslims have social housing and what percentage have non Muslims?

  2. That information about 28% of Muslims was given in a Wikileaks diplomatic cable – the US embassy in London must have got the numbers from somewhere….

  3. 50% of all British Muslims are unemployed (Much higher for Bangladeshi’s slightly lower for Pakistanis, much, much, much higher for Somalis.), as such the figure of 28% in ‘social’ housing seems fairly conservative.

  4. I thought that Muslims from the Indian Empire and other places were brought in to work the textile industries, in the great Northern Industrial Cities*** in the 40s and 50s and 60s, when British native labour was getting too expensive owing to the “trade” “unions”, and was complaining about “new technology” (which is to say: lots of rather old machines that just got redesigned to go faster) and how it would “destroy jobs” – well, it did. Because they rejected it, and failed to hold onto even a slice of what they thought was “theirs”. So they got the Bangaldeshis instead, who did their jobs faster at half the money, and agreed they were richer than before….just like the Poles of a few years ago, in the service-industries of today.

    ***Preston, Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, and
    ***Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham.

    The two Great Arcs of cotton/wool cities.

  5. I’m not blaming the Bangladeshis and the Pakistanis (or even the Somalis, although I have no clue why any of these latter would want to be here). They just did what was rational for them at the time.

    They just all have ended up as unwitting catspaws and patsies, in a strategic plan by British GramscoStaliNazis to do cultural genocide on their own people.

    The BNP has probably even been set up, by the GSNs. It could be a sort of “sink” into which you could then pour all the (old-white-working-class) people that you despise (and who, as a GSN, you don’t need any more, not even as voters) and whose culture you hate, so you could throw shit at them while they die out, pretending under Thatcher in 1994/5 that they are “tightly-knit-communities”

  6. David, Many Asians, in particular Kashmiri Pakistanis were brought to Britain in the 1950′s and 1960′s under the pretext of working in the textile industry. The textile industry promptly died, ironically from competition from countries such as Pakistan. Leaving many Northern towns without any serious employment and large populations of Asian immigrants. Not a particularly winning combination.

    As for Somali’s. There are a surprisingly large number in Britain ,mainly but not exclusively in the South. They have almost 100% unemployment rates and are heavily involved in drug dealing and knife crime. Their victims are almost exclusively Black people of Caribbean background.

    Those are the facts, you can draw whatever conclusions from them that you want.

  7. It probably isn’t terribly Libertarian of me but I would prefer forced sterilization

    No it isn’t, in fact it’s about as un-libertarian as you can get short of wanting to expose the children or have the useless eaters shoved into lethal chambers.

    I despair, I really do.

  8. Does anyone have any comment on the subject of the blog (which is not the Somalis)? Should a 30 minute liaison between a man and a women he is not married to produce an unexpected lifelong commitment for the man? And would the approach I outlined a) be libertarian; and b) have positive social effects?

  9. dj has exposed a good point here. The subject of the post was I think, what families are for and what libertarians think about anti-liberal assaults on the concept of the nuclear family, and assaults on traditional human relations between the genders.

    I think that the tangential way in which we have all self-detonated, about this and that, and not strictly about the subject matter, shows how unfathomably angry people are.

    There will be stuff to say about this, and other matters to do with the nasty Political-Enemy-Class and its hatred of all things normal and human, in the LA Christmas Message.

  10. Peter, the way to deal with multiple baby-makers is to cut off the State Money sent to them, surely? You’d cut down on LabourNazi voters too at the same time, but it would take about 14-15 years to show.

    If you give money and state-houses to girls who get preggant straight from Year-9 in comprehensives, then you will get more of them. Doesn’t matter who the fathers are: they will be found if the girls are given the money. Then they (the fathers) can buy playstations and X-boxes, whatever those are, and move them into the flat of the next babymother.

  11. Also, if you are a member of the Enemy-Class, probably called “Jan” or “Callie”, who writes little booklets and leaflets for primary-school-children, about how to let your partner put a condom on you, before “petting” (whatever that may be), then you will get more babies.

  12. Do people have any views over the approach of The Jeremy Kyle Show, which is to condemn men for not wanting to finance the upbringing of children they have little contact with? I just don’t see how a slut can reasonably expect a man who has given no indication of commitment to her to pay a penny towards a baby whose birth was not his decision in the first place.

  13. djwebb2010, If a man doesn’t want the responsibility of a child, then he should not have unprotected sex with a slut. Actions have consequences and i have no sympathy with men who seek to avoid responsibility for their own bastards.

  14. Dave, are you seriously saying that you don’t know what petting is??

    Tony

    Meanwhile, dj continues to make libertarianism unsaleable and ugly.

  15. Look, a hundred years ago it was reasonable to expect a man to care for his bastards, but now with the pill etc – the decision whether to pop out sprogs is a deliberate one, not an act of God, with the woman holding the cards.

    Let’s imagine a woman tells a man she is on the pill, as she finds him attractive and wants to trap him into a long term relationship. She gets pregrant and decides to have the baby – how is this analogous to the expectation that a man should care for his natural children in the pre-modern era? As she is not married to him, it is totally outrageous for her to force him into a financial bind over this…

  16. petting – this is not a British English term, and it is not necessary for us to know what it means. But as far as I know it means heavy snogging.

  17. Is this blog a fair representation of the views of LA members?

    Social Housing hereabouts is built by the council using monies from bulk borrowing on 70 year mortgages. Less well off tenants are cross-subsidized from the rents paid by better-off tenants, who still get housing more cheaply than on “the free market” (there is no real free marketing in housing). Why is this objectionable??

    Tony

    PS: If planning controls were to be abolished, existing house prices would plummet.

  18. How many full LA members are there these days? Or are there just subscribers, with a small ruling oligarchy?

    Tony

  19. Tony Hollick – I don’t know if the LA is a membership organisation or not. I am not a member. And there is no requirement either for this blog post or the wider blog site to be a fair representation of LA member views. Are you saying that council housing costs the state nothing, as it is self-financing? I don’t know if that is true – what about the people working in the council? My objections are fiscal and social – I don’t want to pay towards social housing, and I don’t want the government to be able to run a social policy, encouraging illegitimacy, crime, delinquency and immigration.

  20. I incline to the DJ view. If someone half-decent gets a respectable girl up the duff, he should be persuaded to do right by her. But when two undies couple in a bus shelter, I fail to see what lifelong commitment any effect of that can bring.

    In general, with all these birth pills and coils the State showers about like confetti, it’s surely time for women to do as the feminists preach and take control of their own fertility.

    Regarding Tony’s moan, the purpose of the LA Blog is for libertarian issues to be discussed without too much fussy moderation (!). Since the masses are not listening with bated breath to our deliberations, and there don’t seem to be any ruling class dissidents shopping near us for ideas, I fail to see how we have any obligation to make libertarianism saleable. Our obligation is to sort out what is true and false.

    It’s a somewhat overdone and grandiose analogy, but do you suppose Marx and Engels sat around c1850, asking each other if this pamphlet or that would make scientific socialism more saleable? I think not. They followed ideas where they thought they led – and the intellectuals came trooping after.

  21. djwebb2010, when a man has sex with a woman he knows that there is a chance she will become pregnant. He knows that his actions can have consequences. Yes, some women are devious manipulative bitches who try to trap men with pregnancy. It is up to the man to avoid that trap by being careful where he choses to place his penis.

    We live in a culture in which people do not take responsibility for their actions, it is positively discouraged by the Welfare State. That is not a healthy thing.

    Regardless of whether it was the result of ‘when two undies couple in a bus shelter’ or not, a baby is a life time commitment. Rather than whine about how unfair that is, be more careful about who you have sex with.

  22. Since we believe in freedom and since we also presumably do not expect children to fend for themselves, we should accept that it is proper that the law should compel the parents of a child to make arrangements for its welfare and upbringing. Ergo, if a man does not want to face the responsibility, fiscal or otherwise, of a child, he should control his behaviour or otherwise face the consequences of his actions. It matters not one jot whether he was drunk at the time, whether it was a fumble in the bushes or whether he was lied to. Tough luck.

  23. You can equally argue that pregnancy is something that happens to a woman, not a man, and her decision to allow semen into her body- regardless of whether she was drunk, it was a fumble in the bushes or whether she was lied to- was a de facto acceptance of the risk of pregnancy and thus it is entirely a matter for her.

    As an analogy, a person who asks someone to tattoo them, then regrets it, cannot blame the tattooist. It was their own decision, and accepting the consequences was part of that decision.

  24. Barry, you are ignoring the fact that the man has no say in the decision to proceed with the pregnancy. That is the one point that makes the moral issues different to what it would have been long ago.

    True, in the 1930s, you could get a back-street abortion, but that was a very medically risky thing – think “knitting needles” and “gin” – so if a girl was pregnant she basically had to go through with it, and either convince the boy to marry her, or hand the child over to adoption. The moral choices available were so stark that they kept behaviour within bounds.

    Nowadays the choices are not stark – the morning after pill is not even an abortion. I would suggest the morning after pill is greatly preferably to an abortion – it means you are not wilfully destroying a life as you don’t know there is one yet. And the role of the state means that it is a career choice to be a single mother. yet the consequences in terms of crime and delinquency, welfarism, and even child abuse (statistically highly correlated to the mother’s boyfriends and not to the children’s own fathers) are very high.

    In http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/charlesmoore/8213354/What-we-can-learn-from-Victorian-hypocrisy.html , Charles Moore said “The modern challenge, for libertarians and do-gooders alike, is to work for a society which is both free and disciplined. It is babyish to see the two qualities as automatically opposed.” That is spot on. If you view libertarianism as something like a scene out of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee – I’d rather have the technocratic state… But in preference I would rather not have either, but a civil society that knows how to be free, without requring bureaucratic nannies.

  25. dj, you quote Charles Moore “The modern challenge, for libertarians and do-gooders alike, is to work for a society which is both free and disciplined. It is babyish to see the two qualities as automatically opposed.” and then you advocate that men should avoid responsibility for their children. You seem to have completely misunderstood the very words you quoted.

    As for the analogy of sex as going to a tatooist palour, with all the consequences being on the customer. That is a silly and inapt analogy. The act of sex implies the possibility of procreation, if a man has a problem with that then it is up to him to either take precautions or else not engage in the act. Otherwise he is giving an implied consent to whatever happens.

    The fact that a woman could choose to terminate or prevent a pregnancy matters not a whit. The man has choosen to shoot his DNA into her, that is his choice and it is his responsibility.

    If you don’t want the consequences, then don’t perform the act.

  26. My policies as set out in the article above would lead to a more disciplined society as women sought not to get pregnant by cads.

  27. The modern challenge for do-gooders is to learn how to shut the F up, and for libertarians the challenge is to shut them up. Two centuries of their persistent do-gooding has led us into a god-awful mess, and still they carry on. We will not attain a free society until those who wish to do us good can be nullified.

    The failure to appreciate this is why conservatism fails, and why it is just as antipodal to libertarianism as leftism is. Both left and right in Anglo countries are very close together politically. Both are determined to make the world a better place, and don’t give a damn how much misery they cause and liberty they destroy achieving it. So between them both you see they’ve licked liberty’s platter clean.

    Whatever familial arrangements people make is their business and nobody else’s. Whether they choose to procreate or not is their business and nobody else’s. Mithering twats in the upper class have spent the past two hundred years terrified of the much higher procreative capacity of the untermensch (because for some reason wealthy protestant women just don’t breed much) and a succession of absurd social engineering schemes, ranging from eugenics itself to welfarism have been tried to stop young chavs dropping sprogs.

    Well, they were doing it in Victorian times, they were doing it in the Good Old Days, and they’re still doing it now and considering the average “better” class woman shits out one asthmatic aspie after five rounds of IVF at the age of 42, it’s nice at least some of us are still having children, frankly.

    So, let us do what we can to send the do-gooders for a long walk off a short pier, and hopefully get some peace at last.

  28. What?

  29. What do you mean, “what?”?

  30. Social housing, social security, social justice, the word “social “adds so little to the concept it precedes. Delete the word and the opposite happens; you might have equitable housing, some security and maybe some justice all of its own. Whenever the word “social” is used, think the opposite the “socialist inversion principle” is at work here, there is always something not quite right afoot, the label social usually adorns the opposite intent or outcome. Here is the point, policy objectives may appear laudable but do they work or are they stalking horses for other covert objectives? Housing and social policy objectives are murky and it is difficult to discern the objectives in mind, creating constituency interest groups is obvious but what else is going on? There appears to be a desire to create and support an underclass for the benefit of the socialist establishment. No doubt there are other less obvious objectives in the background yet to be understood. The libertarian prescription is fine and dandy and quite right, however, there is the need to comprehend the overt and covert policy structures that one is fighting, more to the point, you might have to counter the law reform projects by inserting some sort of macrophagic clauses that sunset the reform projects subversively within the legislative programs.

    Social housing is the old feudal concept of tenure disguised as something for nearly nothing with the twist that you don’t necessarily have to work for it any more. Council tenants were the first tranche of serfs beholden to their socialist masters, the right to buy got rid of some of those benighted housing estates but only so far did the scheme go. Now we have housing associations, a far more corrupt set of operations, sucking in private money for the same aim to create fiefdoms for the left and their friends. The fact that Muslims are in on the deal isn’t a surprise, it merely confirms what is going on. Privatizing is the solution; it worked on the old council housing estates and still does. Housing associations should be reassigned in their ownerships structures, giving tenure in fee simple or copyhold to the tenants whichever is appropriate for the nature of the buildings involved. The problem isn’t privatizing, the issue is what happens next? Time and again, unintended consequences happen where new privileges and entitlements are created to fill the gap and co-opt the voters towards more socialist scams, housing associations merely stepped in where council housing left off. Abolish social housing fine by me but then what?

    Single motherhood is viewed as an entitlement inclusive of a right to retrieve money from men who father children and then the rest of us by way of the state if that isn’t too effective. The state steps in to prosecute deadbeat dads; what about deadbeat mothers who have several children with a number of separate dead beat dads time and again? Absolving the father might work, but there is another avenue that the left would take by simply furthering prosecutions for fathering by way of rape instead of attempting to garner funds from those dead beats via the Child Support Agency. Make no mistake the underclass is very good at obtaining its unjust deserts via the left wing do gooders, any changes in the law here must at least attempt to head the counter culture’s response off at the pass. No one should draft laws on this subject without a review of Theodore Dalrymple’s books on the criminal and under classes. Housing associations are merely a rewrite of the council estate serfdom project, be very careful about reform objectives here, otherwise the kraken will rear its head somewhere else.

    The thesis of the article is quite accurate, all one has to do is ask Lenin’s question “what is to be done?” A start would be to require a sure footed legislative program abolishing entitlements coupled with sun-setting vast numbers of laws that merely hand out funds and power to interest groups. There is a need for a policy objective about creating ways to sunset laws by appearing to reform them; rhetoric is the way to go. Persuading people against what they believe is their better nature won’t be easy.

    Is any of this possible? The pages of this blog are read by many………………. one is always hopeful.

  31. This blog has a large readership – very large, considering how little we’ve done to promote it. Search me, though, who all these readers are.

  32. Ian B, your diatribe against ‘do gooders’ seemed to be somewhat tangential to the discussion. Therefore the ‘what’.

  33. Howard makes a very good point about the entrapping nature of ‘social’ housing. With the best of intentions, it leads to individual dependency and wider community decay. And quite often it is very apparent that intentions are not the best and that council housing is deliberately used to create client groups.

    But the use of the word ‘social’ in front of any action justifies it in the eyes of the multitude.

  34. How about “Social education”? “Social health”? “Social Policing?”

  35. Yes, whatever offensive expansion of the State they can think of, putting the word ‘social’ in front of it acts to make it sound all soft and caring and anyone who opposes it as being heartless and cruel.

    It’s one of those powerful buzz words.

  36. I used the term “Social Housing” because it seemed less pejorative than “Council Housing”, and partially subsumes Housing Associations.

    The basic system is as I described. It doesn’t rely on anything but long repayment schedules and bulk borrowing to get lower interest rates. The cities gain from the provision of affordable housing constructed to basic standards.

    At the end of the 19th Centuriy, 95%+ of people lived in rented property, and invested savings in enterprise. Now people have their money tied up in the places where they live.

    Flirting with understatement, this is not an unalloyed blessing.

    Tony

  37. How many of those posting here accept Social Darwinism as a defensible or even admirable doctrine?

    Tony

  38. It depends on what you mean by Social Darwinism.

  39. Well in general terms, it normally means, “I’m a jolly good fellow and people like me naturally rise to the top of society because of our inherent superiority.”

    I’ve even seen it used by libertarians to promote the idea that people who do best in our society are there due to genetic benefits such as intelligence, while ignoring the success of Ed Balls or Vince Cable.

    If there is a social application of Darwinism, it can only say, “nothing succeeds like success”. Since all civilisations so far have been oligarchies, any selective process is selecting for oligarchic ability- effectively a psychopathic parasitism. This would from first principles ensure that the most useless members of society reach the top, while the productive members remain at the bottom[1]; eventually the burden of useless eaters in the corridors of power becomes so immense that the civilisation collapses. See Ancient Rome or Modern Britain for real examples.

    [1] For a specific current example, consider the rewards levels of useless shits like bankers compared to, say, productive plumbers, hairdressers or shoemakers.

  40. Social Darwinism is one of those silly phrases that means different things to different people and has no real rigorous meaning at all.

    But it is a very useful label to stick on someone to show that they are mean and horrible, almost as good as calling someone a racist.

    As for council housing, if anyone really thinks that it is simply a low cost way of providing people with decent housing, then i am afraid that they are deluded. Sink estates, instant slums and a dependent, client population are the results of council housing. And Housing Associations are incredibly expensive ways of inefficently providing housing whilst squeezing out people who don’t make the approved list.

    Tony, you need a serious reality check.

  41. Council housing was a perfectly acceptable and respectable way to live, in the 1950s, which is as early as I can still remember. Most owner-occupied houses were little better if at all in terms of facilities provided, such as electricity and running water. If you were urban or rich, you probably were on the “Town Gas Main”. This meant you could cook on gas hobs, or in ovens, and you had a thing called a “gas poker” (remember those?) to light the coal-boiler, or even your coal fireplaces if you were lucky with the house piping.

    I will never tire of saying this, and it’s time it was noticed. Sink estates such as exist now were deliberately made foul places, that should be hideous to behold and nasty to live in, by successive battering of this civilisation from GramscoFabiaNazism. This need “clients” to fill the ballot-boxes and postal-voting-fraud-lists, so as to retain “power”. The easiest way is to extort money from those who voted the wrong way or work for a living, and having extracted most of it for yourself, to hand crumbs on to a client underclass via the pork-barrel.

    This class has been purposefully kept uncurious and unsocialised, so that it will stay put, accept its handouts, commit crimes to order and generally behave as it’s told to, through the removal via the State of education. Education is an objective good and can be absolutely and objectively defined. It is liberal Classical Western education in the JudeoChristian tradition, which, when combined with increasing amounts of Hard Science and History (the proper joined-up kind), engenders curiousity and critical appraisal of what those who want to be “in charge” are up to.

    Erosion of the Family as a fundamental unit of a civil society that works and is minimally-coercive, which is where dj came in at the start of this article, must occur in order for the GramscoFabiaNazis to finally succeed. (I deliberately split infinitives sometimes, for effect.)

    We should start to boldly become much more serious about our ideological enemies.

    One of two things will happen:-

    (1) They back down or off at least…
    they will flinch and blink, startled that we actually mean what we say about tyranny and oppression, and are not merely talkative disgruntled intellectuals who can be safely ignored while they rape the planet for them and theirs, becoming “local big-men” lording it over a few hundred million surviving grubbing starving helots, and end human civilisation and progress.

    (2) They get really serious in return….
    they at last come into the open, arresting and incarcerating (or worse) liberal intellectuals, politicians (if any) bloggers, journalists who displease them occasionally, they “regulate” internet access (it’ll find a way round, it always does) they freeze the bank accounts of recusants and confiscate the contents, shot down parts of the Grid to inconvenience the opposition and not themselves, and generally do what Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Hitler and others did.

    The quicker we can act, the more my money is on option (1).

  42. Tony, anyone who refers, references to, links to or in anyway relies on wikipedia to make an argument is pretty much guaranteed to be a credulous fool.

  43. David, how exactly do you suggest that we become more ‘bold’?

    I’m genuinely curious and keen to hear some practical ideas. For what it’s worth, i think a lot of leftists are cowards who will run a mile when not protected by a cosy consensus and have to face real opposition. (for evidence, see how craven leftists are in the face of Islam which is diametrically opposed to things leftists profess to believe.)

  44. @CH
    I don’t know. Or rather, I’d prefer not to suggest. The trouble with the pre-capitalist-barbarians is that we have, while we slept for about 100 years, allowed them to control such massively-expanded-things such as the police. I would not want us here, on this blog, all of whom have no money, to come to the attention of the Police.

    The desperate time may come when, with all the electric power turned off, and the gas, and camerae everywhere, and the Enemy-Class-Honestiores shagging our better daughters at will and taking our sons for slavery, that on meeting a self-professed-lefty in the street, one has simply to kill him with one’s bare hands, in order to have red meat to eat to live a little longer. But I hope it will not come to that, ever. It would be better if they would all just admit that they are wrong and evil, that this has all been a massive project to gain world-domination for those who hate humans but not themselves, and go away to some faraway island or other, and diminish as savages like the Lord of the Flies….until they do not matter any more. They could contro or butcher each other to their heart’s content there, and I would not mind.

    The trouble has been that liberals, which is to say: classical minimal-statists – have been too tolerant of opposition. Opposition to liberalism means that the opposers want us dead, and our belief-system expunged. This is because we are good, and they are bad. It is because of the kind of people that we are faced with, and how they see the World. They cannot and will not change, whatever we do or try to offer as compromises.

    It is no use, any more, in my sad opinion, to pretend that we can “convince” people of the rightness of liberty simply by sitting on our arses and arguing and debating and proving. The sort of thing we are up against does not give a flying f*** for that sort of thing, and merely thinks we are unserious wimps. “The masses”, moreover, and their opinions, if any, are quite irrelevant, as Lenin astutely realised. Our ultimate battle is against about 500,000 nameable individuals of the Global Enemy-Class. Hegemonic Regime-Change will need to be executed in all countries at once, or we shall fail in our objective – what is that? – of making the planet safe for individual liberty, for long enough for some to get off.

    The asteroid is coming, we don’t know when exactly of course (but one will in the end) but if we allow socialism (and all its works) to even be thought of as having existed, it will delay the time when we can fend the thing away or get somebody plus all our accumulated culture off the planet in time.

    I would like to think that we could do the business by gaining control of the content of the “public media”, since this is a thing in front of which “the masses” sit for upwards of five hours a day at the least, and at the operation of which and in the employment of which the Enemy-Class directs its most fervent worship right now. This would be the best way, yes. But they are not going to listen, so I hesitate to suggest what else we ought to do.

    We could of course do nothing more than we are doing now, like sitting on our areses in front of laptops and arguing with each other, and things will not improve at all.

  45. Well, David, i agree with your analysis. Traditional liberalism has always emphasised tolerance and tolerance of those who seek to destroy you is moronically stupid. The enemies of liberty should be clearly identified as such, as enemies. Enemies should not be treated with tolerance, they should be treated as enemies to be confronted and defeated.

    In addition, the idea that simply making the arguments will be enough is wrong. People have argued on this website that all that is needed is to repeat the ‘truths’ of Libertarianism and people and society will be brought around. This is a deeply stupid idea. It assumes that people are purely rational and have no vested interests.

    I agree that morally violence may be justified against the leftist scum, but for whole host of reasons it would be self defeating to actually behave in that way. Instead we need to find a legal strategy of resistance and fightback against the leftist, parasite, thieving, enslaving scum.

    As a start i suggest possibly identifying particularly gruesome leftists in public life and subjecting them to scrutiny, FOIs to uncover embarassing information and releasing it at deliberately awkward times for them.

    Let them know that they are under scrutiny, that they are being watched and that they can not act with complete impunity. It would be a start.

  46. C H Ingoldby:

    I was responding to Sean’s query about Social Darwinism. If you have a better, more accessible source, just cite it without the cheap, silly sneer at Wikipedia, which offers more organized information than you will ever have. Contribute to Yuletide merriment by offering us your very own understanding of Social Darwinism, for a start.

    Tony

  47. Tony, Social Darwinism is a label used to smear people, it doesn’t have any other contemporary meaning.

    And relying, refering to or referencing to Wikipedia really is a foolish thing to do., doing so just makes you look foolish.

  48. Interesting blog.
    Enjoyed reading it – though goes off track now and then.
    “While I do believe that, ideally, all children should be brought up by parents that are committed to each other and to their children, I don’t see that the state can mandate the traditional family as the sole household arrangement. However, by the same token, it should not be funding the breakdown of the family either. It is simply anti-social for the state to allow single mothers to apply for and get social housing. The result has been an upsurge in the numbers of women who see single parenthood as a career choice.”

    That is the main point really, the State should not take on the role of the father or the parents of the pregnant woman. Trouble is the abdication of responsibility from all 3 groups is what has caused this situation. Morals or lack of is irrelevant, humans do what humans do.

    As for:
    “While I do not necessarily approve of abortion—and serial abortion as a means of contraception is even more repugnant to me—there is an interesting social question regarding who makes the decision to proceed with an unplanned pregnancy. At present, the decision is 100% the woman’s to make—not unreasonably considering the fact that an operation on her own body would be required to accomplish an abortion—and yet the man is left in the situation where he will be called upon financially for 16 years thereafter if the woman decides to proceed, regardless of whether he wants the child or not.”
    Well again the breakdown of responsibility between the 3 parties. Casual sex must be seen as just that with the effects of sadly being upon the woman. Both parties must see it as such, and they do I think. If there could have been a pill for men to take to make women pregnant rather than being able to automatically be able to make a woman pregnant the situation would be different. Maybe there would not be many people, who knows.

    As a woman I have to say since it was my body being impregnated I would want to take precautions – as one comment said the sigma and back-street abortions were a slight deterrent, and a great tragedy for some women, men and their unborn child, since the medical pregnancy testing was not as advanced as it is today and as for home-testing, there was none. Point is society sees sex for recreational purposes with out responsibilities as the norm, a lifestyle choice, and the State backs this up by focusing totally on the single mums. Forget the men for a moment. The state has to because of the social implications this was creating. Because the 3 groups involved were abdicating their responsibilities. Like binge drinking and city centre policing one calls for the other – to protect the general public who are not causing mayhem and being drunkenly violent, and even protecting the drunkenly violent from each other, NHS costs come into the equation then!

    Until society stops promoting casual sex and single parenthood through such actions, I am not talking about long term relationships or marriage that break down leaving a woman single with children, here I agree with:
    “It should be possible for parents who are not married to agree that the pregnancy go ahead, with the man signing a legal contract agreeing to take on the obligation of supporting a child born to a mother to whom he is not married. Such a legal agreement would give a cast-iron guarantee to the mother that she could proceed with the pregnancy and would be able to sue the father for maintenance were he to go back on the agreement. In the absence of such an agreement, she would not be able to look to the father or to the state for help. (Were it later shown via DNA testing that the child was not his, this could create a legal justification for his backing out of the agreement; ultimately, a mother does know if she has been having sex with numerous men and she has to take responsibility for herself too.).”
    As of course is the case now, the father from a past marriage has to pay ,maintenance.

    These are all patch work clauses that help towards the situation. The end of the day is that the 3 groups fail to take any responsibility and leave it to the state – binge drinking under age teenagers are encourage to drink by their family, boys and girls are encouraged to go for it. It seems no one wants to take responsibility for their actions.

    Like welfare for work there has to be a condition that makes it more difficult and not a lifestyle choice to have children and expect the State to take on the parental role. Not good for the woman, the child or the man involved.

    As it stands the system favours irresponsibility, rather than deterring responsibility.

    Finally the CSA only interferes with men already paying or known by the woman concerned – it has not netted in the absentee fathers who have taken no responsibility, one night stand or long term relationship, for the upkeep of their child, and cannot be found. Scrap it. Time the individuals concerned got responsible again. You want something, negotiate, you don’t think the chap will want to, don’t have unsafe sex, anyone who says it was not planned or i don’t know how that happened who lives in the UK is to stupid to be treated as an adult. So much information, birth-control pill, after sex pill, unbelievable. I know accidents can and will happen but we are not talking about a few mishaps here.

    I am new to libertarianism, found it interesting and am trying to connect with it.

  49. Let us make up our own minds as to whether “Social Darwinism” is a smear or not. Tell us what you understand it to mean. Discuss it, if you can.

    Tony

  50. I did not mean to post anonymously: Anonymous | 23 December, 2010 at 7:22 pm |

    Tony, do you want the answer to be part of this very interesting but long blog, or would it not be more applicable to set up another blog topic solely about Social Darwinism and its application within political, economic and sociological frameworks, as this blog contains 3 suppositions;
    (i) Social housing and the provision of such to single parents, included within that supposition the premise of doing away with social housing and giving such housing to a select group.
    (ii) Is single parenthood an applicable life style choice regardless of social housing or not? A totally anti-Libertarian stance since all human relationships should be voluntary. If you say there should be no choice to be a single parent, which is enforcing people to ‘form a relationship they do not want to be in, or to be enforced to give the child away for adoption or enforced to have an abortion.
    (iii) The impact on the fathers of the children being brought up by single mothers with or without their consent of the pregnancy or abortion in the first place, and the State’s insistence that absentee fathers, for whatever reason, pay towards the upkeep of the child.
    I presume that in (iii) we are looking at the non-commitment of a male and female to form a relationship to support that child so that the child has to be looked after by the female. In very rare cases the male has taken on this role whilst the mother has left, because the male did not want the child aborted and the female did not want to support it as a mother. But consent or not of the father or the child the outcome is still a single parent taking up social housing.

    I have to say that Social Darwinism seems to me to be just another philosophical view point, one way of explaining human behaviour, of itself it means nothing nor does it add anything to Libertarianism, and I do not think Social Darwinism, if below is the correct thesis of the theory, is actually totally relevant to Libertarianism:

    Social Darwinism is, “Theory of social selection that attempts to explain the success of certain social groups. Based on the laissez faire doctrine with heavily racial bias, it interprets ‘survival of the fittest’ concept to mean that only the best adapted (those already well off) survive the ‘natural conflict’ between social groups and thereby enhance the survival capacity of the remaining society. Popular in the 19th and 20th century Europe and USA and embraced by the Nazis, it has nothing to do with the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-82) or his theory of natural selection, and precedes the publication of his book ‘Origin Of Species.”

    http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/Social-Darwinism.html

    I base my premise on the the following definition of Libertarianism:
    “Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person’s right to life, liberty, and property-rights that people have naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force-actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.”

    http://www.theihs.org/node/504

    Thus what I am saying is, if the descriptions of Social Darwinism and Libertarianism is correct, the Libertarian view point is not about the survival of the fittest, best or intelligent – educational, scientific, economic, technological or political – it is a means to a way of living in society; and if I am right in my understanding of the thesis of this blog then under Libertarian philosophy it is not about the survival of the fittest etc., etc., but about that choice of behaviour and the State’s use of particular policies to prevent, allow, ignore, help or not, the progress of a said behaviour.

    I am willing to be corrected and to discuss.

  51. Social Darwinism can be a personal disposition or a chosen political order. Libertarianism is not and should not be just a matter of what the State does or doesn’t do; but the patterns of power in society. Since we have no way of knowing if anarchy can produce worthwhile free societies, or whether particular ‘flavours’ of anarchy can be chosen without something very like a State, it’s kinda pointless to speculate.

    Libertarian describes a philosophy, a state of affairs, kinds of behaviour. The “State vs. Private” polarity is a false distinction. Tyrannous behaviour is intrinsically objectionable, regardless of any status or titles.

    To build a proposed social order on “property titles” is chimerical, as property titles are not a self-evident unambiguous truth but elaborate constructs of particular groups and societies.

    Tony

  52. New Year,New Fight For My Liberty?(as long as I can still eat courtesy of the state)
    I would love to be a libertarian,I believe in it passionately. I want to live my own life unfettered by the state. I know I would do a better job than it does.When I have had the upper hand is all the proof I need.However in my struggle between liberty and bread I am confronted on a daily basis with all the inherent contradictions of being a “libertarian”and am slowly coming to the conclusion that ,like all the best things in life (freedom included)it is only for the better off, most favoured,born with the proverbial silver spoon e.t.c.
    In a few days time I will submit myself to a regular ritual that sees me paying homage to a state sponsored saviour with the grand title of Mentor-Counsellor.He’s saving me from myself,from a life of destitution,prostitution,and anything else that policy makers can think of. Most of all he will save me from state dependency!!I will produce my fortnightly Action Plan to convince him I am playing his little game.(without this you see I would not know how to search for,apply for or know what a job vacancy was)We will shuffle papers,sign papers and he will “put me on the system”While all this is going on I will think up more ways to get out of giving my mobile number- my little act of rebellion. If they cannot get me by letter ,e-mail or landline tough- tittie.I will not have the buggers on my case 24/7
    I will also think about how much money I’m worth to these private/state companies who implement the government so called Welfare -to -work agenda.How much for making me and a million others take literacy and numeracy tests;no matter that I am educated to post-graduate level and have been using my native language for nigh on 55 years; these things have to go on the system. why ,I ask, I can bring evidence.I am on another system somewhere and I have the paperwork.”Ah but it has to be on our system you see” well,no I don’t . Will I have to take my B.A.or my Teaching Qualification? Don’t be silly about it and just take the test.What happens if people fail I ask but, nobody seemed to know.I wanted desperately to follow the thread all the way to the top but, conscious of not wanting to be trouble lest I get thrown off the blasted system I acquiesced.
    Having proved my worthiness I get my reward a few days later.I can stay in my little rented house and I will eat every day and I might even have enough to pay something towards the salaries of our beloved B.B.C.”troughers.”
    Seriously though,How does one live the life of a libertarian when decisions pertaining to the continuance of my actual physical existence have to be made.I do not want to be homeless,Ido not like to be hungry.I also do not like to be dependent.I am in my rented house as it was the only option to save myself and my children many years ago from a very violent man.I put myself through university,had a very good job till redundancy, re-trained as a teacher;I am re-training again in the hope someone may employ me to do their office stuff. I desperately want to carve out my own life bothered by no-one and bothering no-one in return.I do not want to be in anyones system-especially a government one designed to “help me to help myself”and more especially when I know it is some scam to give private corporations loads of tax money.
    I wish there were a little piece of land somewhere in the world where I could plant myself.There would be no system save for the one I want for myself. Alas all the good land has been taken,mostly by oil corporations and agri-businesses.So if anyone has any ideas how I might deal with my contradictory life without actually making the ultimate sacrifice to market forces/survival of the fittest e.t.c. I would be most grateful.
    Not wanting to end on a miserable note, Happy new Year to all at L A

  53. Thank you Tony.

    If this premise is correct:
    “Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person’s right to life, liberty, and property-rights that people have naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force-actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.”

    Then as you say, “to build a proposed social order on just property titles is chimerical, as property titles are not a self-evident unambiguous truth but elaborate constructs of particular groups and societies.” I get that. But I was not saying that was the raison d’etre of Libertarianism, but a part of the many aspects of it, an important aspect of it though, as property titles, and rights, can be Hereditary attributions, private acquired attributions, private supplied attributions, State acquired attributions and or State supplied attributions to and of a society; they may be elaborate constructs of particular groups of societies, but they are a maxim to start with as it is what builds societies; groups of people working to provide for themselves and their families, to which the acquirement of a home, or homes, is paramount, be it rented or bought. To my knowledge there are no societies where the people do not wish to live in a home of some sort. Be it a Nomadic tent or an Igloo; homeless by choice not withstanding, another debate for another day.

    There could however be a discussion on the choice of provision or acquiring of homes, by whom and by what means, to which a Libertarian view can be seen to agree or disagree with:
    (a) for State funding, through taxes, of social housing to those in ‘need‘, with a definition of need determined by particular groups within the State/Government and society – through pressure groups etc..
    (b) or of a universal provision of State funding, through taxes, of social housing to those who so wish to use the State as a landlord.
    (c) or not for State funding and provision of social housing at all.
    (d) or a market based property provision whereby there are only private, philanthropically, charitable, religious or private organisations – think Housing Associate privately run without State connections – providing property.
    (e) a combination of (a) and (d) which we have now, to some extent, in the UK.

    There will always be someone prepared to provide property for rent or buying, as to whom and as by whom, and as to whether they discriminate against or even positive-discriminate to provide such property is part of the Libertarian debate.

    This brings in ‘dj’s’ comment of:
    “I would like to see all social housing privatised and all levels of government withdraw from housing policy. As a libertarian society would scale down (and ultimately eliminate) social security, one feasible way of withdrawing from social housing and slashing social welfare payments would be to give all present social housing to their present occupants, giving them a safety net in life, but being accompanied by a large cut in social welfare payments too. I would strongly support this in the case where social housing is inhabited by people of British or Irish descent; [ thus positive-discrimination in favour of a particular group] in other cases, social housing could be sold in job lots to private landlords, thus allowing the state to withdraw from the sector.” [Brackets mine]

    If what I understand from what you [Tony] have said is correct, and quoting you, “Libertarianism is not and should not be just a matter of what the State does or doesn’t do; but the patterns of power in society“, I must say I agree, but Libertarianism on its own with out reference to society, and what it does or does not do and how it does or does not do something, is just a political philosophy with no application to be inducted. Libertarian as of itself is meaningless.

    However when its principles are applied to any society format then the effect is, depending on your point of view, either a subjugation of those societies norms and values that have been induced or a liberation of said societies norms and values.

    Thus from your statement, “since we have no way of knowing if anarchy can produce worthwhile free societies, or whether particular ‘flavours’ of anarchy can be chosen without something very like a State, it’s kinda pointless to speculate”, I have to ask pointless to speculate on what? On what the State does or does not do? Surely not, as by the very principle that you have stated yourself, a State/Government must be applicable through which, or by which, to apply a set political (which to me Libertarianism is) philosophical agenda, other wise it is an anarchy of ideas, with virtual chaos, is there such a State? If you are saying there is no point in speculating on “if anarchy can produce worthwhile free societies, or whether particular ‘flavours’ of anarchy can be chosen” to work within a country or a State then I agree; there could of course be anarchies within a State, but, I contest, in opposition to, not instead of.

    Tony, where do you see Libertarianism standing on the above points? I thank you very much indeed for your input.

  54. Pingback: Libertarianism | Thinking

  55. Hi Daisy

    You said, “New Year,New Fight For My Liberty? (as long as I can still eat courtesy of the state)”

    Liberty and the State under the current Coalition government should get a bit better as time progresses. Trouble is the UK never got itself centered as to what “it” thought the State should do. It went a bit like Christianity, a lot of “do not do…” without a real means of helping people; the benefit system ties you in to a set way of behaviour, you have little choice as to how you can not just help yourself, but so that whatever steps you take to improve your lot, you are not penalised. Either through self endeavor or through agencies working for the welfare State.

    I know this as I was employed to help people look for work, via a private company with a Government contract. We were happered by totalitarian attitudes by some staff at the then Job Centre towards their “clients”. We were also hampered by the total waste of our time by some job searchers who did not want to work, did not see the point in working and resented having to go on a “course” to help them look for work. They had been going around the system for decades (quite a lot of them). The Job Cenres knew this. They knew who they were. Instead of wasting resources sending such people to places they don’t want to go to and use up space for people who did, they should have been bold enough to say enough already, take up several interviews or lose benefit, and they should have been able to direct first time unemployed people to use for help, not just those that had been out of work for six months or more. Thus you have a set up consisting of targets, goals, rules of behavior and expectations, all faffed about with by the various out sourcing and groups with set agendas to follow. With very little iniative to actually help people really make changes and take responsibility. Not so much as being dependent on benefits and being stuck on them. Hopefully some of the Coalition policies will help change this.

    I am wondering if the old Dole system was a tad more easier to live with. Now days with so many agencies connected to run and provide Governmental social benefits it is harder than ever to see the wood for the trees. Even Iain Duncan Smith could not get the exact information as to how many benefits there were and the rules and regulations appertaining to them. No hope for the average dude to get in or out once in this minefield.

    What would you propose Daisy, in place of what we have? Or to improve what we have got?

    efgd

  56. hi efg
    I think it’s not so much the state of dependency I dislike, though I certainly can’t wait to get another job, I think its the sheer waste of time and money which as I experience it seems to be tied into to state notions of equality. I am treated exactly the same as those people you described in your post;don’t want to work;quite happy as they are.The business of having to take tests like I was some idiot-”if only she would learn to read and write proper -very patronising. I know I am walking around with a money sign over my head for these companies who ,incidentally do no more than job centre staff–but hey their stats will look good and someone will keep the contract thereby ensuring staff can avoid the dole themselves,there doesnt seem to anything on offer to help me. They tell me every time I attend that there is nothing else for me to do as I’m doing it all.Do they think I will stop if I didn’t have to go there.
    The main point though was how on earth is it possibble to live the libertarian life. It struck me that our whole education and direction into careers all serve an added purpose of reinforcing the state system–look were we end up when we’re no longer needed to perform a particular task-i.e whatever job we’re made redundant from.There’s nowhere else to go except to the state for handouts.
    What would I do? well just as a money saver if anyone provides evidence of literacy and numeracy they won’t take a test.-How much would the company lose I wonder.I ought to be able to make the decision to earn just enough money to ensure my rent and food, find rubbish to burn e.t.c.But the nanny state wouldn’t allow it;who would pay the salary of the B.B.C. It makes me angry that I am forcedby law to make them a priority but not to ensure adequate heating. I know I could stop watching t.v. but that would mean depriving myself of the free channels it seems so unjust-if I don’t pay for the B.B.C. I can’t have any other chanel-what a stitch up!
    I don’t believe in equality you see, at least not the kind we are indoctrinated with. I go for equity, which means those who have never worked, have left school and gone straight to council house with child will get nothing from the state. those of us who have struggled to get their own education ,worked hard and done all the things one should to stay independent should be treated with a bit more respect-after all I am keeping them in work.
    If anyone has any ideas on making money I,m all ears. I really want to work for myself now after my experiences- could be a whole new adventure out there. Daisy

  57. There are many forms of anarchy, some more realistic than others. Any discussion of a particular anarchy has to recognize that since these anarchies are in conflict on key points, there has to be some means of selecting between them qua the wider society. Something like a State will be required to accomplish this. Like Constitutional Conventions.

    I wrote about some of this in an article “The Impossibility of Anarcho-Capitalism” which a Google search should find.

    Tony

  58. As I said elsewhere, “Libertarian” is for me an adjective or an adverb, not a noun or a person. It makes more sense that way.

    Tony

  59. Hi Daisy
    Get your point totally.
    All welfare systems run by whomever can be:
    (a) universal in outlook; everyone treated the same – hence your experience – and no one gets more or less than another, if one meets the criteria of the system that is :)
    (b) means tested in so much as each and every person applying for benefit will be given it or not depending on a myriad of circumstances.
    (c) a combination of (a) and (b); confusing and bureaucratic with many people getting a certain amount plus various other amounts from various other ‘benefits’ they may or not be ‘entitled to’ [to some extent all organisations are bureaucratic and self-serving]

    What you are saying, I think, is it is no so much the ‘workings of the system’ that you are fraught by but those at the front end of the system, the people ‘serving’ you in order to get you back into work by any means possible, under their rules of guidance and behaviour. To which I agree. If guidance mentors/client advisers – call them what you will – do not use their initiative they become rubber stampers. Having said that they are working under pressure to produce figures that show they have met their targets. This is measured by a myriad of targets:
    (i) the number of clients dealt with – as in seen/interviewed.
    (ii) the number of Action Plans that relate to the various means of ‘helping’ clients.
    (iii) the number of Action Plans that show either employment searching activity or training for work activity – there will a veto on training Action Plans if they out number active employment searching as their target is numbers into work.
    (iv) they have to set targets to and for clients to show they are fulling their job description.

    The point is that in any system people have a two-way interaction that is fraught with rules and regulation, a free society of any kind still has rules and regulations. If you make them pedantic then the client advisor has to show that they have ticked all the boxes needed to be ticked, written in every box that needs to be written in ans applied every rule and bureaucratic blah blah that has to be applied. It is how they do it, is there any way they can not apply certain applications to a client, written or numerical tests for instance where it is obviously not applicable. Here I understand your angst, but I have been amazed that there were a number of graduates I dealt with who were numerically illiterate, and though an employer might not be too fussed about that, it certainly helps to stop your job application or interview if you’ve got that far being dismissed; the first thing a personnel assistant (give them any title appertaining to this function) does it to look for ways of reducing the number of applicants to consider. Been there done that, spell check not used, poor grammar, obvious numerical failings failure to use specified buzz words etc., etc., etc.

    The hype that contractors will be better than Job Centre personnel is just that, hype – there are only so many things one can do to help a person get into employment, which is the sole goal of Job Centre staff and private contractor staff relating to welfare and job seeking activity. Hence the total waste of tax payers money with the circle of ‘initiatives and schemes’ being funded if not implemented by the Government. Here there is nothing new under the sun. New name, new expenditure outlay, new titles for staff, but same old same old. The waste of money and peoples time and effort in such shenanigans astounds me. There are four equations to this and they are interrelated and no amount of shilly shallying with them works:
    (1) number of jobs available.
    (2) number personnel avail for the jobs
    (3) location of personnel in relation to jobs – geography and demographic
    (4) type of jobs available relating to experience, training and qualification, age requirement, gender requirement, race and cultural requirement. Forget equality here we all make judgements on those things and though an employer states that they do not there is human behaviour involved; if you can prove you have been unfairly discriminated against fine. But…

    I do wish you well Daisy, all I can say is yes play by the rules but look for new ways to adapt and improve your situation, not via the system personnel as I said they have make sure all the boxes are ticked and they only required, and have time for, doing everything within their ‘job description = goals and targets’. Quite rightly they will say to you that you are doing all you can do; but that is under their guidelines. Work within them and move away from relying on them. As for self-employment, another chat for another day.

  60. Tony, thank you.
    To all on this site I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2011.
    Thank you for helping me use the little grey cells.

  61. I got sent this via an email. Thought you would appreciate it :)
    CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL MY FRIENDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE
    1940′s, 50′s and 60′s !

    First, we survived being born to mothers who drank while they
    carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.

    They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of
    bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for
    diabetes or cervical cancer.

    Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright
    coloured lead-based paints.

    We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets
    and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention,
    the risks we took hitchhiking.

    As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air
    bags.

    We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

    Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops,
    McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.

    Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn’t open on
    the weekends, somehow we didn’t starve to death!

    We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and
    NO ONE actually died from this.

    We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the
    corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers
    to blow up frogs with.

    We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft
    drinks with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because……
    WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

    We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as
    we were back when the streetlights came on.

    No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

    We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and
    then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built
    tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

    We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY , no video/dvd films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

    We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents.

    Only girls had pierced ears!

    We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not
    live in us forever.

    You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time.

    We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays,

    We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

    Mum didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

    RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
    Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine
    that!! Getting into the team was based on…
    MERIT

    Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bully’s always ruled the playground at school.

    The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
    They actually sided with the law!

    Our parents didn’t invent stupid names for their kids like
    ‘Kiora’ and ‘Blade’ and ‘Ridge’ and ‘Vanilla’

    We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL !

    You might want to share this with others who have had the luck
    to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our
    lives for our own good.

    And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

    Hope you enjoyed this, I did :) LOL
    Once again Happy New Year 2011 to you all.

  62. What a bummer: I did not get given my first Air Rifle until I was 12.

  63. Hi David
    I did not get an air rifle or a catapult, not for girls my Mum said :). But my beloved brother-in law defied the rules and gave me toy guns and rifles till I was old enough to buy my own. I did have a bow and arrows, work out my Mum’s logic on that :) and never hurt anybody, or myself, or animals. Yep I did design my own arrows, thank goodness my dear parents are not alive to know that, mind you they probably knew anyway. I always felt parents had built in radar because they always seemed to know what we were doing as kids even if we thought we were being clandestine.

    I do think kids miss out on the whole use your imagination thing now days. The ‘toys’ they get are a bit like big brother, this is what you do and this is how you do it – resistance is futile, no dismantling allowed, nor adaptations, as for thinking for your self, well fey, enough already, learn to be a good obedient citizen and…You get my drift.

    I wish I had known and taken up Libertarian ideology years ago, I would not now be beholden to the State for my livelihood. Mind you I would have to have a married someone different as well. Oh well, at least I can encourage my family members to think for themselves.

    I am always in debt to the people on this site and their blogs for helping me to think about what liberty means in terms of a libertarian ideology. I was a labourite, then a conservative, thought liberal democrats might be interesting, but what can I say. Oh hum.

  64. efgd:

    One book I recommend for the New Year is Bryan Magee’s crystalline little book “Popper”, a hundred pages or so of exposition of Karl Popper’s philosophy. This is a book I return to often. Money-back guarantee on this one!

    Wishing you a Happy New Year

    Tony

  65. @efgd
    Toys today are rubbish, mostly.

    Lego was all right until you could buy fully-formed smiling plastic men, fully-formed trees, fully-formed bits of knights and horses etc. Knex was OK until it died doing the same thing.

    In 1959, I had a good Meccano set, a Number-6, which added nicely to my Number-2 from a year or so before, plus a load of brass gears and chain. At a parents’ day at my school, one of my teachers on being told by my mother that “he likes to build machines with meccano”, said

    “WE DO NOT RECOMMEND MECCANO TO PARENTS OF OUR BOYS HERE, AS IT KILLS THEIR INITIATIVE.

    THEY WILL NOT THEN NEED TO LEARN HOW TO MACHINE UP THEIR OWN PARTS FOR THEIR DESIGNS, USING A LATHE AND TOOLS, AND THEIR MINDS WILL BECOME LAZY.”

  66. He naturally assumed that all fathers at home would have a lathe and know how to use it, and would of coourse have much in the way of steel things lying about (as we did.) The Second World War had sort of finished “that morning” for his generation. The school did not have a lathe, and said it was no part of its duty to teach metal-machining skills, since we were aged 7/8/9/10/11 and would undoubtedly learn this at home from our fathers.

    The idea that you could buy a kit of pre-shaped and pre-coloured parts, which you could bolt together (with nuts and bolts that WERE EVEN SUPPLIED IN THE BOX (worse, with a screwdriver of the right kind, pre-selected for you) and that you did not have to go to the “iron-monger’s shop” to order and choose) using some instructions the complexity of which would baffle a 2011 teenager who got 4 A*s at A-level, was anathema to these teachers.

    How are the mighty fallen.

  67. @David Davies
    If more people had been able to be taught what one my term “industrial” skills then flat packs would hold no fear – I look at one and think I know something will be missing, but do I know how to compensate? I do actually but many do not – if its not all there they are stumped.
    I think that is a sad part of society, the deindustrializing of the mind. We have the technological ingenious to achieve and design but if that is not taken up into practical usage then society loses out.

    I hope the “apprentice” skills that the government thinks the young unemployed will achieve through various schemes, at educational and employment level, being proposed and implemented will actually benefit said young people. The reason I say this is one of my family members, a young lad who is excellent at carpentry, and was learning such skills and through the system was able to sell what was made, was amazed when the new tutor decided that such archaic talents were no longer applicable for him and others to pursue and the programme was dropped.

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