Monthly Archives: June 2011

I have found out what Godwin’s Law is


David Davis

Last night, I had the grave misfortune to fail to avoid, in the house, televised snatches of the impossibly self-regarding and arrogant Stephen Fry (described as a registered clever-person) on some programme with the awful “Jo Brand”.

I got caught in the shrapnel of Fry’s utterances as I passed. Anybody else who, henceforth, compares me with this pompous twit (sadly I sound  like him, so they say, and I know lots of stuff etc etc etc…) will suffer the flails of my barbed writings.

Yes, you’ve guessed it: other members of my family actually “use” a Wire-less Tele Vision Apparatus. I occasionally try to get it removed back to The Man Who Installed It, without much success.

They were discussing Godwin’s Law, which I had heard referred to knowingly by many internetties over the years, but was afraid to ask what it was: if I did, then my un-knowing-ness would be revealed publicly to all and I would be killed.

But all you people who have clearly known it for years will all be relieved, that I can now slink into your company – still standing timidly at the back and nodding approvingly at anything sounding vaguely intellectual, mind – and hold my head a little higher.

I have, of course, been outing the GramscoStaliNazi nature of our main enemies for years: almost five now on here, and for varying times in other places. Perhaps there ought to be a counter-hypothesis, David’s Law – which states that as a discussion about leftists which have been correctly-tagged at the start as Nazis progresses, the probability that someone will say the phrase “swivel-eyed” or “Little Englander” approaches 1.

Private plates and State-Puritanism


David Davis

This fellow bought ” BO11 LUX” quite legally from the DVLA for £399. Now they say it’s “offensive” and threaten him with arrest if he displays it.

I think Ian B’s comments on my posting below are relevant here.

Popsies and popularity


David Davis

About 2½ years ago, I got castigated on here by one or two rather self-righteous libertarians (they’ll know who they are.) I used images of a “young woman prominent in the public prints” to attract otherwise unsuspecting seekers-after-liberty on searches for liberal ideas. (It worked. Our daily hit rate went from about 500 to over 1,000 in short order.)

Today, Guido does it unashamedly, and gets 160+ comments in less than two hours. (His traffic’s a lot higher too.)

Well, I don’t mind at all.

Help Keep Kevin Carson Busy!


by Brad Spangler

Dear Supporters of the Center for a Stateless Society,

I’m starting the third quarter 2011 fundraiser early in hopes that it  will clear up an apparent database problem with the donation software we use.

Here’s where we’re at…

C4SS staff has been paid for up through half of their February 2011 pay. Here is what our regular monthly expenses for staff pay look like.

Research Associate: Carson — $250 (2 weekly articles + $50, 1/6 of 1 biannual study)

News Analyst: Worden — $100 (1 weekly article)
News Analyst: D’Amato — $300 (3 weekly articles)
Social Media Specialist: Litz — $320 (10 hours/wk / 40 hours/month @ 8/hour)
Media Coordinator: Knapp — $640 (20 hours/wk / 80 hours/month @ 8/hour)Total: $1610

So, half of February plus all of March through June means we’re seeking 4.5 times $1610 — which means we’re looking to raise $7245 between now and the end of August 2011.

To donate, please click on the “Contribute” button which you’ll find on the fundraising widget you’ll find on every page of our web site.

http://c4ss.org/

Nobody else really fills the niche we fill. If you agree that what we do matters, please support our work as best you can.

Regards,

Brad Spangler
Director, Center for a Stateless Society

Libertarian Alliance News Release on the Car Smoking Ban


News Release from: Sean Gabb, Director, the Libertarian Alliance
Contact: Sean Gabb – sean@libertarian.co.uk – 07956 472 199
Release Date: Wednesday the 22nd June 2011
Release Time: Immediate
Other Details: See below

Sean  Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance on BBC Three Counties Radio, on
Wednesday the 22nd June 2011, to discuss whether smoking should be
banned in cars where children are present. A Bill to this effect was
discussed on that day in Parliament.

Sean says no for these reasons:

•  The claim that 300,000 children suffer ill-effects every year in the
United Kingdom from “passive smoking” is a falsehood. There is no way
of gathering such data. There is even no sound epidemiological evidence
that passive smoking even exists. The alleged figure of 300,000 children
is what is called a “junk statistic.” It is in the same league as the
claims made in the 1980s about the number of people who would die of
aids by 1990, or the claims made in the 1990s about the numbers who
would soon be dead from mad cow disease. It is almost as gross a
falsehood as the fraudulent global warming claims made by British
scientists.
•  These statistics produced by pressure groups and
politicians are plainly dubious on their own account. Every single
statistical claim reported by the media and accepted by the politicians
seems to justify higher taxes or tighter controls on adult actions, or
both. There was a time when it was necessary to bribe priests into
saying that God wanted if before the authorities could oppress ordinary
people. Nowadays, a set of junk statistics is produced.
•  The demand for a smoking ban in cars is also an instance of the “saving the
kiddies” argument. This proceeds by hiding the agenda of control behind a
cloud of hot air about the need to protect children.

Therefore, the Libertarian Alliance is against any smoking ban in cars.

Listen here:
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/?q=node/565
http://www2.libertarian.co.uk/?q=node/362

End

Notes to Editors

The  Libertarian Alliance was founded in 1979, and is the foremost civil
liberties and free market policy institute in the United Kingdom. With
over 800 publications already available, its website grows by the week.

Dr  Sean Gabb is Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He has written over a
dozen books and around a million words of journalism, and has appeared
on hundreds of radio and television programmes. His seven novels have
been commercially translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, Hungarian,
Slovak and Complex Chinese. His latest novel, The Churchill Memorandum,
can be found on Amazon

His latest book, Smoking, Class and the Legitimation, was released on the 22nd June 2011, and can be seen here:
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/smoking-class-and-the-legitimisation-of-power/16111783

Another New Book from Sean Gabb


News Release from: Sean Gabb, Director, the Libertarian Alliance
Contact: Sean Gabb – sean@libertarian.co.uk – 07956 472 199
Date: Wednesday the 22nd June 2011
Release Time: immediate
Other Details: See below

New Book by Sean Gabb

SMOKING, CLASS AND THE LEGITIMATION OF POWER
by Sean Gabb

The “War against Tobacco” is one of the central facts of modern life. We have high taxes on tobacco, bans or at least controls on the promotion of tobacco products, campaigns against smoking financed by the taxpayers, and growing attempts to criminalise smoking outside the home—and even perhaps soon inside the home.

In this book, Sean Gabb analyses the nature and progress of the “war”. He shows how it began almost as soon as tobacco was first brought out of America. James I of England (1603-25), for example, tried to suppress its use with heavy taxes. Sultan Murad IV of Turkey (1623-40) used personally to behead smokers in the streets of Constantinople. In parts of Germany until 1691, smoking carried the death penalty. By 1901, Louisiana and Wyoming were the only American States not to have passed laws restricting the sale and public smoking of cigarettes.

The stated reasons for the war have varied according to time and place. According to Dr Gabb, however, all reasons have one thing in common—they rest on a base of lies and half truths. The dangers of smoking are far less proven than governments and the anti-tobacco lobbies insist they are. The dangers of passive smoking have never been proved at all.

But this is not simply a book about the history of tobacco and the scientific debate on its dangers. It also examines why, given the status of the evidence against it, there is a war against tobacco. Dr Gabb shows that this war is part of a much larger project of lifestyle regulation by the ruling class, and that its function is to provide a set of plausible excuses for the extraction of resources from the people and for the exercise of power over them. This book provides a kind of “unified field” theory to bring within a single explanatory structure some of the most important attacks on free choice and government limitation that we face today.

This is a class issue, and no discussion of tobacco policy can be complete without an understanding of the dynamics of class.

Sean Gabb is a writer and broadcaster whose novels have been translated into Italian, Spanish, Greek, Hungarian, Slovak and Chinese. He is Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He lives in Kent with his wife and daughter.

Smoking, Class and the Legitimation Power
by Sean Gabb
Paperback, 204pp, £7.99
Published 22nd June 2011
by the Hampden Press, London
Hampden Press ISBN: 0 9541032 8 9
Lulu ISBN: 978 1 4477 5772 6


(http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/seangabb)

L. Neil Smith on Mercantilism and Intellectual Property


Musings on Mercantilism
by L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

All of our lives, we Baby Boomers and those who have come after  us, have been loftily informed by the culture’s intelligentsia, by  the literati, by the cognoscentithat the way we live—we  children of the Productive Class—where we choose to live, mostly in  the suburbs, is all wrong, hideous, like something out of a horror  movie. Continue reading

Our Corporate Military


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/?p=7558

Nicholas Kristoff, in an NYT op-ed (“Our Lefty Military,” June 16), points to the “astonishingly liberal ethos” that governs the military internally — single-payer health insurance, job security, educational opportunities, free daycare — in support of Gen. Wesley Clark’s description of it as “the purest application of socialism there is.” Continue reading

Boris Johnson, a politican, speaking something like the truth


David Davis

It s hard to see how “Europe” – and I can’t see the Central Bank of China (or India or Brazil or South Africa or Russia or China or Japan or Pakistan helping either, in this crisis….I am rather running out of powerful countries’ central banks now, and I didn’t even mention the USA (whose Central Bank probably has enough problems of its own without having to contemplate those of others) agreeing to continue to “bail out” sinking Greece any more. After all, they have now Ireland, italy, Spain, Portugal and (probably) Slovenia, Slobodia, Ruritania, Malvinia, Unobtainia, Upper-Jipoo-Poo-Land and Lower-Unzippo-Land to deal with in short order.

The poor Greeks simply ought not to have let themselves be undermined by a GramscoStaliNazi political Enemy-Class which wanted to encompass their enslavement. Stalin, the Prime Nazi, who distinguished himelf by killing more people in less time over a larger area and for less money spent than even Hitler or Mao-ze-Tung,  had it in for them all along: he even planned their engulfment while we would not be looking in 1944, as he wanted their ship bases and coastline to assault Italy, France, Spain and our dominions and bases in the Med, for StaliNazism. He was very frank, always.  He said so openly, and FDR wetted himself with delight at that and thought Churchill was a drunken wimp to demur and try to offer alternaitves. Churchill at least saved the Greeks from direct Nazi-Stalinization in 1945. But it clearly was not enough because of the Greek temperament, the beauty of their topography, and the niceness of sun and sand and Retzina.

Ken Clarke at the Eurosauce again


David Davis

It seems it’s him what kept the Euro thing alive in the 90s, to keep it going when everyone else was getting cold feet. Something will have to be done about the man: his superficial buffoonery clearly hides a much more evila mind than one can imagine, from looking at the bugger.

It’s time Cameron woke up


David Davis

The Greece situation seems to get worse and worse.

Why should not the “pretty blonde” be “in her twenties”?


David Davis

This piece is of great levity and little substance, and heavy-libertarians will sneer at the LA, but I will type anyway. It’s about how people do life, and what some regard as important or interesting or even, just, fun: something you could even have got for yourself.

When an English Llibertarian adminsitration comes to power , I’d just like to tell some of you buggers how to behave in the places where certain rituals are conducted. This is how you get to be “accepted”, and how to get to go out with (and possibly marry) the best women, who will understand best how to continue “the liberal project”, using you and your genes. Next week, I’ll do Henley for you. This week, it’s Ascot.

My rheumatoid arthritis is giving me some remission, and so therefore I get ired about the presumptious presumptions of the journalists who work for the British Political-Enemy-Class. This piece amused me – or at least its subtext did.

Ascot (pronounced ” asc’(a)t” – and YOU MUST NEVER SAY … “We’re going to “Royal Asc-Ott” (as in “ASC-OTT” – it’s like saying “Harrow-Gate“) instead of “harroga’t” – and YOU MUST NEVER go “horse-riding” or “horse-racing” – it’s “riding” or “racing”….everyone knows that only horses are ridden or raced – there is no other kind of racing at all) is one of those things which I think would persist even under a liberatarian administration. It is not even certain that we would remove The Queen or any English hereditary monarch as Head of State. Certainly, British libertarians would continue to uphold a British (minimal) State, I feel sure, and which might well have an hereditary component.

Oh…and you must never say “Royal” as in “Royal Asc-ott”. If you do, it tells us that …well…the GramscoStaliNazis would understand what to do with you as you are trying hard to better yourself. But we, however, as liberals, will let it pass, and you may proceed……you are allowed under our admninstrations to better yourself and we will forgive verbal faux-pas.

No, the point about this link is that GramscoStaliNazis have succeeded in corrupting everything, as planned. This is what they do, what they have always cheerfully planned to do, and what is their job. The Fabians who were their preliminary-scribes, were quite clear about what would be done as early as 1884. I am surprised that it has taken so long for people to begin to twig what is going on. Very sorry to rub it in now.

In the early 1990s, I was very fortunate through the good offices of friends and colleagues and people who had known me for some time, to be able to enter the Royal Enclosure. At that time, under conservatism and unlike today under Stalinism no amount of money could get you in (socialism is different) I even clocked up enough appearances therein (four or five, I can’t now remember) to be able to “enter” my own wife. She has been once – in 1998 or 1999 (I think, I will have to check the badge if I can find it ever): that was enough, for it is merely honorific and of no substance, as you people all know. In a society of StaliNazis, where status is all, it did count.

If people are brawling and fighting over women, at Ascot, then I imagine that this is going on in the “Silver Ring”, or even outside that, where “Public Service Employees” may even congregate. This is the enclosure wherein anyone can go, on payment of a fee. I expect that this grawl (or “brawl”) has been organised in advance by the “Wireless Tele Vision Services”.

You can always tell if the MSM has organised an “Ascot” event, of any kind. This is because (a) there are no top hats (too expensive to trash – even grey ones – ) and (b) all the men’s morning suits are grey. You DO NOT hire a grey morning suit. Sorry. A Gentleman does not wear grey morning suits, even if Prince Charles (sad fellow) has been seen in one.  Morning suits are black. That is what they are.

Understanding China and the Chinese, by John Derbyshire


Understanding China and the Chinese
By John Derbyshire

Here are some remarks I delivered to the sixth annual meeting of Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe’sProperty and Freedom Society, held at theKaria Princess Hotel in Bodrum, Turkey, May 26-30, 2011.

The subject of my address was “Understanding China and the Chinese.” The conference organizers meant it to form part of a set, with Jared Taylor following me on the topic “Understanding Japan and the Japanese,” then John O’Sullivan on “Understanding Europe and its Bureaucrats,” then Prof. Norman Stone on “Understanding Turkey and the Turks.”

As things turned out, the set was unfortunately incomplete, as the Japanese Embassy in Washington D.C., with very un-Japanese inefficiency, lost Jared’s passport a few days before the conference, leaving him no time to sort the problem out and so unable to embark for Turkey.

We missed Jared and commiserate with him on what seems to have been an exceptionally bad year for him so far, marred by misfortunes and indignities at the hands of various state apparatuses, by no means only the Japanese. (He did manage to bring out a book, though.)

The rest of us went ahead with our presentations anyway. Here is mine. Continue reading

One in the eye for the GreeNazis


David Davis

This is so good I had to show you all how much energy we can now deploy, and point out how much more could be got.

Dear me, the BBC at the anti-capitalist-sauce, again….


David Davis

I couldn’t just let this one go: the subliminal message just chimes in so well with today’s British-State GCSE/A-level “Geography” “syllabuses”. Everyone probably believed it wholeheartedly – it was said on the “Telly”… After all, the “educationists” who produce the syllabus-twaddle just love maundering on about TNCs based in MEDCs exploiting the Pull-Factor among MDPs in LEDCs.

You couldn’t make it up: the use of so many acronyms guarantees the unemployability of any British-State-geography student in any capacity other than a Soviet Metropolitan Council planning department.

Yet Another Novel from Mr Blake


He’s just finished the first draft of his Ghosts of Athens, which won’t come out for another year. He should have a provisional final draft by next week, then he can start giving me the moral support to begin work on my own next book.

Foreign Aid – A Danegeld extracted by the Liberal Internationalists


by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/?p=929

“Aid – an excellent method for transferring money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries”. — Peter Bauer (http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/globalDimensions/research/aidTradeDevelopment/Default.htm)

The UK has been pumping Aid into the Third World since the 1950s. At present day values several hundred billion pounds of British taxpayers’ money has been given to foreigners. Despite the present economic crisis all three major British Parties have committed themselves to not merely maintaining the Aid but substantially raising it. This year around £9 billion will be given away ; by 2014/15 that is projected to increase to £11.5 billion as our political class have committed themselves to meeting the UN’s 0.7% of GDP target by then. (http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Media-Room/News-Stories/2010/Spending-Review-2010/). Continue reading

Gaddafi regime ‘not attending London Olympics’


by Mario Huet

I’m sure there will be plenty of bloodstained butchers in attendance, fawned upon and traded with by our own obsequious bunch of irredeemable warmongers.  It may sound bad, but I have more respect for the former:  at least they have some experience of getting their *own* hands bloody, rather than having all the torturing and murdering done by proxy and hiding behind the collective irresponsibility of ‘peacekeeping’ organisations.  For the most part brutal tyrants confine their evils to their own countries, whereas our ‘decent’ politicians spend much of their time interfering in countries that are thousands of miles away, that they know bugger-all about, and that are neither their moral nor their official concern.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13777148

Continuing the theme of socialist art


Michael Winning

Spotting the “Naughty but pretty” posting below and noting people’s thoughts about Joe Stalin, I always admired this banknote from the old Czechoslovakia. Like the “people and the army being united” it says all you want to know about the Stalinist mindset. And really it is very wel done.

“Public Service”? I’m Taking My Business Elsewhere


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/?p=7477

Steven Cohen, writing at Huffington Post (“We Need to Respond to the Attack on Public Service,” June 13), writes that “the profound and intensifying attack on government and public service” is cause to be “frightened.” Continue reading

The Kind of “Public Service” We Can Do Without


by David D’Amato
http://c4ss.org/?p=7461

In a column for the Huffington Post on Monday, June 13, 2011, Columbia University’s Steven Cohen asserts that “every American should be frightened by the profound and intensifying attack on government and public service.” Cohen submits a vision of the United States very close to an antithesis of the one that actually exists, his alternative universe being a place where the state has been trivialized in favor of “the free market.” Continue reading

Jaded by Mere Porn? How about This for Shock Value?


It takes a lot nowadays to make me open my eyes and stare at something in shocked disgust. This does the job pretty well.

Even so, it is well-composed and technically accomplished. Every detail works towards producing the desired effect – or would do if we didn’t know better about its main subject.

On the whole, I prefer socialist realism to Nazi art. I prefer both to most art produced in the democracies since about 1910. I’ve spent some very happy afternoons shuffling about Bratislava and looking at now neglected public art. There is a fine mosaic in the main railway station, and some good paintings in the central post office. There is even a fine statue – cast in concrete! – of some unmemorable apparatchik. It’s in the middle of a housing estate close by Ruzinov.

The best thing to do in a place like Bratislava is to keep looking up at the first and second floor of buildings in the centre. You will see things the natives stopped noticing many years ago.

Explaining Conservative Support Among “Ordinary People”.


Something Larry doesn’t take into account is the notion that many ordinary people are conservatives, and vote Conservative because they vainly hope it will do genuinely conservative things. Another reason for voting Conservative is still greater dislike of the possibly worse scum in the lefty parties. In general, there is no need for this rehashing of Adorno. SIG Continue reading

Richard Garner RIP


I’ve just picked this up from Oliver Deckard on FaceBook. I don’t yet know what happened, but wish to express my own shock and sorrow at this terrible loss. Richard was a young man with so much promise. He had so much to enjoy and so much to contribute. His loss diminishes us all. SIG

Sadly, we lost another libertarian at the weekend it seems.

I met Richard at the RAD (Rally Against Debt) on Saturday 14th May and didn’t realise at the time that he was Richard GARNER I had enjoyed reading over the years on various forums, LA articles (an example here http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/philn/philn067.htm) and the facebook. Indeed, we exchanged comments just on Friday evening about the NHS.

Then on Saturday I received a message from his family that he was missing…

There are so few of us anyway, ‘we few, we happy few, we band of brothers’ that – apart from the considerable personal tragedy of a young life cut short – the death from an active writer like Richard hits us especially hard.

When I met Richard he struck me as friendly, if a little shy. He joined the conversation and made intelligent thoughtful comments. I wish I had been more friendly in that I wished I had realised he was Richard Garner and therefore had an opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated his writing. As Jan Lester once said to me, “fellowship is important” and we have much to learn from Epicurus who believed that friendship was so important that we should spend as much time with our friends as we possibly can; indeed so much so that we should never eat a meal alone even if we can eat with a friend.

From the comments now appearing on his wall http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512489388 it seems that Richard exemplfied this; he was indeed a great and loyal friend. He went out of his way to show support for his friends. This was remarked on by those even at the opposite political spectrum who were at times ‘offended’ by his expressed views.

Let us libertarians be Medusian; cut one of us down and we grow two more. And let us make that special extra effort to engage in fellowship. I will take this opportunity to thank Matt Davies and others for making the effort to come down that day of the RAD and of course Annabelle Fuller for organising it. Also I want to thank Philip Chaston for the engaging conversation and debate we had afterwards over coffee as well as others I talked to in the Westminster Arms later.

Sean Gabb (away from home computer)
Director, The Libertarian Alliance (Carbon Positive since 1979)
sean@libertarian.co.uk Tel: 07956 472 199
Skype Username: seangabb

http://www.libertarian.co.uk
http://www.seangabb.co.uk
http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk
http://www.richardblake.org.uk/
http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com
http://www.facebook.com/sean.gabb
http://vimeo.com/seangabb

Wikipedia Entry: http://tinyurl.com/23jvoz

Buy these novels by Richard Blake: “Conspiracies of Rome” <“>http://tinyurl.com/l8uj8r&gt; (“Fascinating to read, very well written, an intriguing plot” Derek Jacobi); “Terror of Constantinople” <“>http://tinyurl.com/n9ugw3&gt; (“Nasty, fun and educational” The Daily Telegraph); “Blood of Alexandria” <.”>http://tinyurl.com/356mwdr&gt;. “Sword of Damascus” will be published in June 2011. Buy them for your own enjoyment. Buy them as presents for your friends and loved ones.

Naughty but Pretty!


Good Soviets

It’s Not Big Government If It Helps the Rich


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/?p=7396

In standard “small government conservative” discourse, one of the more popular talking points concerns the alleged mechanism behind the rise of big government: The poor and working class majority vote themselves largess out of the public treasury, taxing all the thrifty and productive “John Galts” out there, until government spends and borrows itself into bankruptcy.

There’s only one problem with this little scenario: The actual hogs at the trough mostly look like Mr. Moneypenny on the Monopoly gameboard.

Take a look at the biggest causes, on the spending side, of the deficit increase since 2001:

Two unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and an increase in the so-called “Defense” budget (when’s the last time America actually fought a war to defend her own territory, as opposed to attacking some little country on the other side of the world?).

The unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit, which amounts to a transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars a year to Big Pharma for drugs at a patent markup of up to 2000%.

The vast expansion of the security-industrial complex since 9-11 — Homeland Security, the TSA, and tens of billions a year in increased intelligence spending — with Uncle Sam throwing out untold thousands of contracts to security and surveillance technology firms, all the while calling “Soooie! Here, piggy!”

And of course there’s the ongoing growth of the prison-industrial complex under the War on Drugs, with prison guard unions and private prison corporation lobbyists agitating for ever more draconian drug laws.

And if you think about it, it’s minorities, the poor, and the less educated who are least likely to vote. Who do you really think is more likely the primary actor behind the food stamp program — the agribusiness interests in Bob Dole’s old constituency, or that powerful voting bloc of single mothers on welfare?

Take a look at the map of net taxpaying states and net revenue consuming states: The overwhelming flow of money is from taxpayers in Blue States to recipients in Red States. 27 of 32 states that get more than they give vote Republican, and 14 of 18 that give more than they get vote Democratic.

This really shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The overwhelming majority of net tax recipients are in the South, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains and Alaska (you know, those ruggedly independent areas that want government to get off their back).

Military bases are disproportionately located in the South. At one time the tech industry in Newt Gingrich’s old district was the top recipient of DoD R&D money. And the economies of states in the Plains and Rockies (not to mention Sarah “Thanks, But No Thanks” Palin’s Alaska) are heavily skewed toward agriculture and extractive industries.

The primary recipients of farm subsidies are large-scale cereal grain operations in Red States of the Midwest and Upper Plains. And the so-called “Sagebrush Rebellion” (you may have heard of it) is mainly a movement of the oil, mining, ranching and logging industries to get preferential access to government land, along with taxpayer subsidies of much of their operating expenses.

Even the welfare state, on which the working poor and underclass of the Red States are disproportionately dependent, is a subsidy to the low-wage employers in all those “right to work” banana republics of the South.

So when the Norquists, Armeys and DeLays say they’re against “big government,” know them for the liars they are. They’re not against big government as such. Big government that helps poor people, of course, is socialism — flaming red ruin on wheels. But big government that helps the Good ol’ Boys in the country club isn’t big government at all. It’s just “free enterprise.”

Where is John Galt? That’s him over there with his face in the trough.

Political Notes 196, The Mirage of Equal Opportunity (2011), by Anthony Daniels


Resentment is a very common and easily aroused emotion. In fact, it is one of the very few emotions that never lets you down or disappoints – the only other I can think of is righteous indignation – and is certainly the only emotion that can last a lifetime. Righteous indignation, it is true, can be long-lasting, but is seldom lifelong; unlike resentment, it necessarily changes its focus and attaches to something new, whereas resentment can be fixated early and last until the deathbed.

via Political Notes 196, The Mirage of Equal Opportunity (2011), by Anthony Daniels.

Paedomania


By D.J. Webb

I don’t have any interested in drawings of children being raped,
but I know of no legitimate law where people could be imprisoned for drawing
such a scene. See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2002181/Ex-leader-paedophile-pressure-group-person-convicted-making-drawings-children-raped.html

I have no objection to throwing the book at paedophiles, and
would consider penalties much, much stiffer than any contemplated by our leading
political parties – including the death penalty in many cases – but we have
seen

1. viewing pictures on the Internet equated with actual
child rape (in a free society the police would have to have good reason to
believe you had actually engaged in sex with a minor before viewing anything on
your computer anyway, and the possession of an easily copiable computer image
should not be actionable at all, no matter how repugnant it makes the person
downloading it).

2. the judicial insistence that all child nudity, including
nudity where there is no sexual component, is pornographic, including pictures
of children wearing no clothes at the seasides, whereas, no matter what the
motivation of the adult taking the photographs (eg a paedophile could be using
a camera on the beach), the image is simply not pornographic – unless the judge
himself is a paedophile… (actually…. I could believe that).

3. and now the drawing of imaginary pictures depicting
paedophile scenes is equated with physically raping a child.

4. It is worth asking (I don’t know from the article) the
presumed age of the children in the drawings: there are “children”
above the age of sexual maturity simply because the law says they are children
(eg the age of consent varies from country to country), and then there is the
real hardcore paedophilia of people who target those who are actually children.

I’m not suggesting eg 15 year olds should be subject to
predatory behaviour, but that there is a difference between eg rape of a 7 year
old (too young to know what is happening) and apparently consensual sex with
someone a week before his/her 16th birthday, who is biologically mature, old
enough to know what is happening, and only a “child” because we
choose to keep young people in education until they are 16.

It is easy to go down the kneejerk route and say that all such
people should have no rights – but we should think of how close the state is moving
into all our lives. When the state can monitor your drawings… there is really
no private sphere left. You will notice the case in that article is described
as a “landmark” case – in other words, a case making new case law
that will begin to be more widely applied. While it is true that the Coroners
and Justice Act 2009 does say “references to an image of a child include
references to an image of an imaginary child”, so this is not one of the
cases where new laws are being made by judges, statute laws that are an abuse
of power are also of great concern to me.

We have a very strange state! We read a while back of how a
young adult who raped a 6 year old was not given a detentionary sentence,
because the Christian parents “forgave” him (but real forgiveness
relates to forgiving something done to yourself: it was simply evil for the
parents to forgive “vicariously” on behalf of their child), only for
him to then rape a 7 year old – so real cases of paedophilia don’t necessarily
get condign punishment, whereas on the other hand, these drawings, which do not
include any violent act on any child, are subject to punishment. Does anyone
understand this?

New Novel by Richard Blake (pub. Hodder & Stoughton) – 9th June 2011


News Release from: Sean Gabb, Director, the Libertarian Alliance
Contact: Sean Gabb – sean – 07956 472 199
Release Time: Immediate
Other Details: See below

Title: New Novel by Libertarian Author Richard Blake

The Libertarian Alliance is pleased to commend Richard Blake’s new novel Sword of Damascus, which was published by Hodder & Stoughton on the 9th June 2011. Richard Blake is England’s foremost libertarian novelist. His earlier novels have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Slovak and Complex Chinese. This is his fourth in a series of critically-acclaimed and internationally best-selling historical thrillers.

Set in 687 AD, Sword of Damascus takes place against the life or death struggle of the Byzantine Empire against the first and greatest expansion of Islam. Expelled, after nearly a thousand years, from Syria, Egypt and increasingly from North Africa, the formerly dominant power of the Mediterranean world has been pushed further and further back – even to the very walls of its capital, Constantinople.

All that has saved it from utter defeat is the invention of Greek Fire, a mysterious liquid – or is it a gas? – that has turned back the Islamic advance and restored Byzantine control of the seas. Yes, without this “miracle weapon,” Constantinople would have fallen in the 7th century, rather than the 15th, and the new barbarian kingdoms of Europe would have gone down one by one before the unstoppable cry of Allah al akbar! But for Greek Fire, Edward Gibbon’s famous surmise would have become the truth:

“…the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.”

But what importance has all this to old Aelric, who writes his memoirs and waits patiently for death in the remote wastes of northern England? Little does he expect a double siege of his monastery, a kidnapping, a near-fatal chase through the Mediterranean, and a confrontation at the end of this that will settle the future of mankind. Will age have robbed Aelric of his charm, his intelligence, his resourcefulness, or of his talent for cold and homicidal duplicity?

Comments on Richard Blake’s Earlier Novels

‘Vivid characters, devious plotting and buckets of gore are enhanced by his unfamiliar choice of period. Nasty, fun and educational.’ Daily Telegraph

‘He knows how to deliver a fast-paced story and his grasp of the period is impressively detailed’ Mail on Sunday

‘A rollicking and raunchy read . . . Anyone who enjoys their history with large dollops of action, sex, intrigue and, above all, fun will absolutely love this novel.’ Historical Novels Review

‘Fascinating to read, very well written, an intriguing plot and I enjoyed it very much.’ Derek Jacobi, star of I Claudius and Gladiator

See here for publisher’s details. See here for Amazon listing.

Contact Details

Eleni Fostiropoulos
Senior Publicity Manager, Hodder & Stoughton
338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH

Richard Blake
richard_blake
http://richardblake.me.uk/

End

Notes to Editors

The Libertarian Alliance was founded in 1979, and is the foremost civil liberties and free market policy institute in the United Kingdom. With over 800 publications already available, its website grows by the week. It is also committed to promoting the works of libertarian novelists, musicians and artists.

Dr Sean Gabb is Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He has written over a dozen books and around a million words of journalism, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programmes. His seven novels have been commercially translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Slovak and Complex Chinese. His latest novel, The Churchill Memorandum, can be found on Amazon

Sean Gabb
Director, The Libertarian Alliance (Carbon Positive since 1979)
sean Tel: 07956 472 199

Postal Address: Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, London W1J 6HL, England

http://www.libertarian.co.uk
http://www2.libertarian.co.uk
http://www.seangabb.co.uk
http://richardblake.me.uk/
http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com
http://www.facebook.com/sean.gabb
http://vimeo.com/seangabb
Wikipedia Entry

Latest Richard Blake now out! Bliss is it in this dawn to be alive….


The Sword of Damascus (Aelric)

Zoom
Zoom

// <![CDATA[

registerImage("original_image", "http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51qaQeW564L._SL500_AA266_PIkin3,BottomRight,-18,34_AA300_SH20_OU02_.jpg&quot;,"", "
Zoom
Zoom
", "");
var ivStrings = new Object();
// ]]>


Print List Price: £19.99
Kindle Price: £6.99 includes VAT & free wireless delivery via
Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £13.00 (65%)
Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.
This price was set by the publisher

Libertarianism and White Racial Nationalism – Anyone Fancy Replying?


by Kevin MacDonald

[Note: Kevin MacDoanld is the high priest of an increasingly influential strand within the white nationalist movement. Though I think this essay on libertarianism is at least ill-informed, I suggest that his views should be taken seriously. Sooner or later, the current order of things within the English-speaking world will collapse. The ruling class will then look about for a new paradigm, and will be drawn to anything that looks coherent and likely to work. That will be our chance - and it will also be the chance of people like Professor MacDonald. Anyone who ignores his views, or dismisses them with a few stock phrases, does our movement and the future of mankind a disservice. We do need to ensure that his views are subject to fair and searching criticism.

It is necessary for him to attack libertarianism, as it is an anomaly in terms of his worldview. Marxism and Freudianism are both destructive and largely Jewish. Therefore, he can fit them very easily into his scheme of Jewish enmity. Libertarianism, on the other hand, is opposed to these attacks on our civilisation, and is built on roots that go deep within our civilisation - and is, in its modern forms, largely Jewish. Ayn Rand, Ludvig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, et al, must somehow be fitted into his scheme. Only then can what he regards as the main rival alternative to the current order of things be dismissed.

Libertarians are opposed to the current order of things. We are against politically correct police states at home, and against all moves to global government. I suggest that we should also take a much more sceptical view of big business than we have traditionally expressed. At the same time, our utopia is one of life, liberty and property - of a cleaned up western civilisation within which all mankind can participate. If we want to make sure that the end of the current order of things will take us closer to our own utopia - and not be an excuse for a white gentiles only police state - we need to take on Professor MacDonald's strain of white nationalism. We need to do this in the same way as we took on the Marxists in the last century. That means a wide reading of their literature and a dispassionate critique.

The mainstream Jewish organisations have utterly failed in this duty. Smears by association and calls for censorship win no arguments. It may be a pathetically small sum, but the Libertarian Alliance will pay £50 for the best response to this essay. If any Jewish organisation has the sense to add to this prize, we will pass the money straight over to the lucky winner. Sean Gabb]

Continue reading

Stephan Kinsella Reviews The Churchill Memorandum


The Churchill MorandumI recently read The Churchill Memorandum, by English libertarian Sean Gabb. I devoured most of it on a transatlantic flight, and finished the last bit on terra firma. I tend to like thrillers (some favorite authors include Nelson DeMille and, of late, Cherie Priest, author of Bloodshot); alternate history (e.g., Harry Turtledove, Brad Linaweaver’s Moon of Ice, L. Neil Smith’s The Probability Broach); and books with libertarian themes or influences (L. Neil Smith, Ayn Rand, Henry Hazlitt, Brad Linaweaver, Victor Koman, J. Neil Schulman). So it’s no surprise I enjoyed The Churchill Memorandum, which is very well written and which combines all three features (full disclosure: Gabb is a friend).

The novel is set in 1959, in an alternate history in which Hitler died in a car accident in 1939, thus averting WWII and changing the course of history. Gabb’s libertarian influences — he’s the head of the UK Libertarian Alliance — as well as his deep historical knowledge, are evident throughout the book. The novel depicts amazing technological progress — some of it rivaling or exceeding 2011 levels — in 1959, since WWII did not occur to sap away the economic strength and entrepreneurial innovations of tens of millions of individuals who would otherwise have been eviscerated in state war. So in 1959 there are magnetic bullet trains, home energy generators, and many other seemingly fantastic innovations.

The story follows the adventures of one Anthony Markham, a Churchill historian who, on a trip to the now-fascist police-state and isolationist America to research the Churchill archives at Harvard, stumbles across an explosive document that purports to document secret pacts that changed the course of American and world history. This leads to an intriguing geopolitical thriller informed by the author’s libertarian views. It is told in first person point of view (POV), my personal favorite for thrillers (and other novels) since it forces the narrator to show not tell, and not to omnisciently cheat and reveal details the protagonist would not know. Gabb’s ambivalent and somewhat bipolar English attitude towards America — at once a great power and friend of England, and a schizophrenic and dangerous destroyer of the ancient European order and institutions — is present throughout; and as a skeptic of the American mythos myself, I really enjoyed this foreign perspective. (Gabb recently presented a talk on “The Case Against the American War of Independence.”)

To explain the presence of the above-mentioned presence of a variety of technical innovations in 1959 that in the real world did not occur till decades later, Gabb has his protagonist Markham discuss with historian Michael Foot, one of the villains (in reality Foot was a Labour MP), what would have happened by, say, 1934, had WWI — the Great War — not occurred:

“The war broke out in 1914,” I began. “We are now in 1959. … I suggest that it’s too long now to say what would have happened if Princip’s gun had misfired at Sarajevo.

“Let’s take a shorter time. Let’s not assume 1959, but 1934, which is twenty years after a Great War that never happened. What might we have seen then? Some things, no doubt, would have happened anyway, and were only accelerated or retarded by the War. Among these must be the emancipation of women, and universal suffrage, and Irish Home Rule, and the decline of France as a great power, and the rise of Japan. You can add to this the development of radio communications and the simplification of clothing.

“We can also be more certain about the things that wouldn’t have happened. Obviously there wouldn’t have been the violent death, by 1923, of between ten and twenty million people. … The American genie would not have been so abruptly summoned from its bottle — and then so brutally stuffed back in. There would have been no Great Depression. Music and the arts wouldn’t have gone through that long descent into freakishness. We’d probably not have continued so long up the dead ends of the distributed power you like so much, or of oil power, or of aeroplane development. Hitler would never have got his statues put up all over Germany and its Eastern Territories. Lenin … would have died in Switzerland of tertiary syphilis. Stalin would have been caught and hanged for bank robbery.

“Turning to what might have happened is rather hard, even just looking at 1934. But, if most of the millions who died in or because of the Great War would otherwise have passed unmemorable lives — and there’s nothing bad about that! — there must have been other Beethovens and Pasteurs and Edisons who would have enriched mankind. Without their early deaths, we might, by 1934, have been roughly where we are now. The tuberculosis and polio vaccines might have been developed twenty or thirty years earlier. The development of the cancer vaccines might not have had to wait until now to be at the testing stage. The non-development of certain technologies would have been balanced by the earlier development of other technologies — and even the development of some that are as yet unknown.

“I suppose I should add that the non-occurrence of known evils does not mean that other evils would not have taken their place. Perhaps, without the Great War, all manner of other bad things would have happened in its place. It requires a leap of faith to say it — but I do believe that, but for the Great War, mankind would have been far better off by 1934 than it was.”

By this clever device — having a character in the alternate world of 1959 in which there had been no WWII speculate on what his world might have looked like twenty years after the Great War did not occur — Gabb neatly explains why his alternate 1959 differs in so many bizarre ways from the real 1959: many technologies are far ahead, such as magnetized bullet trains; while others are behind — blimps or zeppelins appear to be used more than jumbo jets, since airplane technology did not get the artificial boost it got in the real world due to WWII.

Sean Gabb with cup

The passage is also informed by the libertarian free-market view that humans are our most precious resource. One of the tragedies of war is not only the lives lost, but the cultural and scientific contributions to humanity and society many of these victims would otherwise have made. This exchange also shows why Gabb set his novel in 1959, instead of, say, 2011 — predicting the effects of Hitler’s 1939 death would be too speculative more than about twenty years out. So the 1959 setting makes perfect sense to explore the consequences of a WWII-free world.

In addition to a rogues’ gallery of various early 20th-century politicians and leftists playing a role in the plot, Ayn Rand also makes an appearance (jailed in the United States for smuggling from Canada) as do her disciples Alan Greenspan (arrested when trying to emigrate using a false ID) and Nathaniel Branden (leading some kind of underground resistance in England). And a rising star in British politics, young Margaret Roberts (later Thatcher), is mentioned near the end of the novel. And the names Mises and Hayek are floating around — Mises as Goering’s Finance Minister, and Hayek in some high-level government position in Germany as well.

My only quibbles: a few typos (missed quotation marks here and there, mainly); a tendency of some of the bad guys to speak overly melodramatically and floridly, like Bond villains; and a profusion of dropped names from the post-WWI English political set, presumably most of them real, but due to my American ignorance and declining desire and ability to keep going to Wikipedia for elaboration (I was on a plane over the Atlantic, remember, for most of this, where Internet connectivity is unavailable).

But the action is crisp, the imagined alternate world intriguing. Recommended for those who like, say, any two of my troika above: thrillers, libertarian fiction, alternate history.

Stephan is an attorney and libertarian writer in Houston, Senior Fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the founder and editor of Libertarian Papers. His most recent book is Property, Freedom, and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe (co-editor, with Jörg Guido Hülsmann; Mises Institute, 2009).

Introduction to L. Neil Smith\’s Down with Power (2011), by Sean Gabb


If you are leafing through this introduction and wondering whether to buy the book—do buy it. If you have bought it already and have started with my introduction – you are in for a treat. If you want some pious explanation of what a good idea it might be to privatise the cracks between the paving stones, you have not been a perfectly rational consumer. If, on the other hand, you want chapter and verse on how your country is owned by pigs and run by wolves, and on how glorious it would be if we stopped being sheep—in this case, ladies and gentlemen, fasten your belts and enjoy the ride!

via Introduction to L. Neil Smith\’s Down with Power (2011), by Sean Gabb.

Political versus Apolitical Strategies


by Anna Morgenstern
http://c4ss.org/?p=7332

The problem with any sort of “political” ideology is that they are largely made up of a “laundry list” of specific issue proposals. This is true whether there is an underlying consistent idea behind them or not. Continue reading

FLC210, Should the State Decide What Clothes Children Are Allowed to Wear? 6th June 2011, by Sean Gabb


In the past few days, I have made six appearances in the British media. Each one has been to argue against a proposal by the British Government to make an Act of Parliament to control the alleged sexualisationof children. This will involve trying to regulate the type of clothes worn by children, and trying to stop them from watching possibly indecent music videos.

via FLC210, Should the State Decide What Clothes Children Are Allowed to Wear? 6th June 2011, by Sean Gabb.

Strangling Freedom


by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/?p=921

Over the past sixty life in Britain has become so hemmed about with laws and regulations that the individual is increasingly at risk of committing a crime without even knowing it. Britons are also subjected to unremitting political propaganda in the politically correct interest by politicians, the mainstream media, public servants, teachers and the major corporations, be they public bodies, non-profit making or private enterprise.

Such intrusion into the lives of Britons is unprecedented. Consider this list of the things that sixty years ago you could legally and without great bureaucratic fuss experience or do ; things which are now impossible because of new laws or changed circumstances : Continue reading

Green idiocy


by His Grace the Devil

Caroline Lucas, the face of evil: “look upon my works, ye people with half a brain, and despair (for the future of the human race).” Continue reading

An Eccentric but Interesting View of Rousseau


I’ve never thought much of JJR myself, but this is an interesting view of some of his writings. I’ve left it in Americanese, but have corrected all the misspellings that jumped out at me. None of these was gross, and might even be put down to typing mistakes. But I am old fashioned enough to believe that someone who can’t spell isn’t worth reading, and may not have read all the big books he alludes to.

No, let me go off at a tangent and clarify my own thoughts on this point. An undergraduate anarchist may have something to say, and his variable or even non-existent spelling is to be tolerated so far as he has something to say. But a man – let’s say – in his forties, who lays claim to the wisdom of the ages, and who denounces anyone who disagrees with him as if he were taking part in a rerun of Burke v Price, yet who plainly does not understand the rules of spelling, punctuation and grammar – let us even suppose he occasionally throws in Latin words and phrases, but misspells or mangles these in a manner that suggests total ignorance of the language – why, such a person stands, in my opinion, somewhere between the pitiable and the loathsome. And that is just for the spelling, punctuation and grammar. Someone who gets these wrong, and who also manages to write pompous incoherency, really should consider retiring to his bedsit and putting a rope about his neck.

I can’t say I have anyone particular in mind. Certainly, Miss Antas is worth reading and thinking about. [SIG]
Continue reading

Anti-Poverty = Anti-State


by David D’Amato
http://c4ss.org/?p=7292

BBC News recently reported that “Brazil has launched a welfare scheme to lift millions out of extreme poverty by 2014.” The South American country’s plan will direct resources into already-established programs and toward those regions with the highest rates of poverty. Continue reading

Sean Gabb v Esther Rantzen – Tonight on BBC Radio 5


by Sean Gabb

I do intend to write a Director’s Bulletin in the next day or so. This will tell you about all our broadcasting and publishing and general  outreach of the past fortnight – and it has been a lot.

For the moment, though, I’m writing to say that I’m on BBC  Radio 5 his evening – Saturday 4th June at 22:00 BST – to discuss whether  there should be laws to stop children from dressing in provocative ways and  from watching certain kinds of music video. I’ll be up against Esther Rantzen and some Tory MP whose name is still unknown.

It will be a phone-in programme, with the ability to receive  text messages and e-mails. It’s also broadcast on the Web, so it can be heard  all over the world. I’d be most grateful if you could find the time to support  me tonight. If you call in, you will probably not get on air. But the weight of  texts and e-mails can be  impressive – especially if they come from abroad.

Here are the details:

Steve Nolan Show
10pm-Midnight BST, Saturday 4th June 2011
BBC Radio 5
909/693 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/
Call 0500 909 693
Text 85058
Email 606@bbc.co.uk

Free expression or permitted opinion: that is the choice


by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/?p=914

Robert Henderson

‘And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose upon the earth, so truth be in the field [and] we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter…’ [Milton - Areogapitica].

Milton’s words perhaps contain more significance than he realised, for a society only becomes wholeheartedly tyrannical when censorship allows no effective opposition. To take a most dramatic instance, if the Nazis had been forced by frequently expressed contrary public opinion to explain their policy of genocide to the German people, it is highly improbable that the whole grisly business would have been mooted, for we know that even without any serious public opposition the Nazis went to considerable lengths, in the midst of a most tremendous war, to persuade the mass of Germans that Jews were simply being resettled or, at worst, used as forced labour. Without free expression, democracy cannot function because the whole purpose of democracy is to allow any view to be put forward for public acceptance or rejection. Continue reading

Mustafa Akyol: Arguments for a New Turkish Hegemony over the Near and Middle East


pfs-2011 Mustafa Akyol, Drawing Borders in the Middle East: Ottoman Provinces v Western State Creations from Sean Gabb on Vimeo.

Doug French, In Defence of Mortgage Defaulters


Watch out : the Coalition is laying the ground for a national identity system


by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/?p=900

The Coalition Government is creating the basis for a national identity system which could evolve into a full blown compulsory identity system including identity cards, although identity cards are not in themselves the main threat to liberty, that being the creation of a database with a great deal of personal information on it. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8526946/Coalition-builds-new-national-identity-system.html.

How is this potential replacement for Labour’s ID Card system being developed? It is ostensibly part of the Coalition’s cost cutting programme. Their ultimate aim is doubtless to restrict access to public services and benefits through websites. In pursuit of this end the Coalition proposes that people wishing to access public services should create a unique personal identifier, with either mutual organisations or private companies such as VISA providing “identity assurance” services. The individual would choose their identity assurance provider. Here is the Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude explaining the Government’s position:

“The UK coalition government plans to introduce the identity assurance model in August 2012. If all goes well, the government plans to come up with a working prototype of the model in October this year.

“Online services have the potential to make life more convenient for service users as well as delivering cost savings. However, currently customers have to enter multiple log-in details and passwords to access different public services, sometimes on the same website,” said Maude, The Register reports.

“It acts as a deterrent to people switching to digital channels, hampers the vision of digital being the primary channel for accessing government information and transactions, and provides an opportunity for fraudster,” he added. Read more: http://www.itproportal.com/2011/05/20/uk-government-plans-id-assurance-marketplace/#ixzz1Nfqa4pWo

A pilot scheme is due to start in October 2011 and will include “the Department for Work and Pensions’ universal credits, NHS HealthSpace and HMRC’s one click programmes.” (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/19/cabinet_office_id_assurance/)

The scheme has nothing like the ambition of Labour’s ID Card scheme, but it is easy to see how it could grow into a fully fledged identity scheme which would be every bit as intrusive as that proposed by the Labour Government. Personal details will be held on the databases run by the identity assurance suppliers and the universal identifier will allow state departments to readily link the data held on an individual by various government departments and databases. It is also likely that every child will have an identifier from birth because they need to access
services such as the NHS and education.

That would be the immediate authoritarian danger. Move the story along a year or two and we see it being made more and more difficult to gain access to public services without using a website. That will mean a universal identifier becomes ever more necessary. Eventually a future government will announce that as, say, 80% of te people eligible for public services have unique personal identifiers, in a ear or two everyone must have them if they wish to access public services. Once hat is done, not having a unique personal identifier will seem odd at best and suspicious at worst. A government will then make the case that it is essential for everyone to have a unique personal identifier so that terrorism, crime in general and immigration can be tackled. They will then make a unique personal identifier compulsory. At that point we are potentially at the scenario envisaged by the Labour Government; a universal database system contain vast amounts of personal data. All that would be lacking is a physical identity card.

The absence of a physical identity card would not in itself be a great check on an authoritarian government because identification by biometrics such as iris scans or fingerprints could be done by machines – it is not unreasonable to imagine technology advancing enough within the next few years to provide the police with biometric scanners linked to a central database which they can carry with them. But before we get to the stage where the holding of a unique personal identifier is compulsory, identity cards may have been issued because the government thinks (rightly) that a physical object will tie people to the idea more than a system held in cyberspace.

There is also the private and mutual sector dimension. A reliable means of identifying people would be very attractive to private companies and not-for-profit organisations (many of which are effectively sub-contracted state agencies). Once the identity assurance system is up and running, there will doubtless be lobbying for the unique personal identifier is extended to them. The likelihood is that the wish would be eventually granted. This in turn would increase the speed of the take up of the unique personal identifiers as it would become increasing difficult
to exist without one. It is also likely that once possession of a unique personal identifier became the norm, insurers who deal with insuring businesses dealing directly with the public will insist on such companies requiring a unique personal identifier before granting insurance. Alternatively they would up the premium for companies which refuse.

The other risk is that data is lost, stolen or sold illegally. That could have immense personal consequences. The greater the need for a unique personal identifier, the greater the opportunity for amassing information about individuals. Imagine a world in which most or all of these were linked: work record, health record, spending patterns, details of civil law actions, police record (which could simply be an arrest from which no trial or caution resulted) and tax details. Should you have a spouse and children, their records might well end up linked to yours.

The Coalition Government will make promises that none of these things will happen, but we all know how worthless such promises are. Nor can any Government bind its successor because we have no superior constitutional law. All a future government would have to do is introduce new legislation to allow them to do whatever they want.

The time to protest about such possibilities is now, not when the system is up and running. Create the same stink about this as was made about Labour’s ID Card scheme. See it off now because it will never be seen off once the basic system, is in place. A national identity system whether officially compulsory by law or made irresistible by public and private administrative demands becomes a licence to exist in the jurisdiction which insists upon its use.

Property and Freedom Society Videos


Here is all I have had time to upload so far:

http://vimeo.com/channels/203292

 

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Welcome to the Property and Freedom Society Conference, 2011


The Sixth Annual Conference of the

Property and Freedom Society,

held at the Hotel Karia Princess,

Bodrum, Turkey,

26-29 May 2011

Hans-Hermann Hoppe,

Welcome and Introductions