“Unmanly and unEnglish”
by Sean Gabb
(First Published in The Libertarian Enterprise, 26th August 2012)
Having seen what they can do to others, I generally try to avoid personal disputes. I write this article with some reluctance. But, since I am aware of a directed campaign to blacken my name, I feel that I have no choice but to write it. Continue reading
by Dick Puddlecote
A Nanny Looks Forward To 2013 Sorry, I did try but just can’t let this pass without comment.
A government minister has written to magazine editors asking them not to promote post-Christmas “miracle” diets because they pose a “health risk”.
Equalities minister Jo Swinson wrote an open letter asking magazines to “shed the fad diets and fitness myths” in their January editions.
She suggested they “celebrate the beauty of diversity in body shape, skin colour, size and age” instead. Continue reading
The Story of the Mises Institute
[The Free Market, May 1988]
The Mises Institute comes at both economic scholarship and applied political philosophy from a very different perspective. It believes that “policy analysis” without principle is mere flim-flam and ad-hocery—murky political conclusions resting on foundations of sand. It also believes that policy analysis that does not rest on scholarly principles is scarcely worth the paper it is written on or the time and money devoted to it. In short, that the only worthwhile analysis of the contemporary political and economic scene rests consistently on firm scholarly principles. Continue reading
by Kevin Carson
Social Democracy as High-Overhead “Socialism”
Around a hundred years ago, guild socialist G.D.H. Cole argued that social democrats had made a major strategic decision not to contest the way property was distributed or production organized under corporate capitalism. Instead, they would limit their agenda to a (partial) equalization of the way the rents on concentrated property, the output of these institutions, was distributed.
One reason was that challenging the actual ownership of property would be politically impossible. But another reason, Cole suggested, was that the original socialist project of attacking the institutional structures of capitalism itself, and putting labor in direct control of the production process, would undermine the power of the managerial and professional classes who made up so much of the social democratic, Fabian and Progressive movements. Continue reading
by Dick Puddlecote
The ‘Next Logical Step’ For Fake Charity Control It has been more than encouraging to see that government have now embraced the term ‘fake charities’. I’m hoping that the Devil will have something to say about this considering he coined it in the first place.
Longrider has commented on this development a couple of times this week, most recently by referencing an article by Crristina Odone in the Telegraph. His comments are spot on. Continue reading
Statement by Sean Gabb
Director of the Libertarian Alliance
I have had my attention drawn to this comment, posted by Paul Marks on our blog:
“It would, of course, be emotionally satisfying to cut Kevin Carson’s Black Flagger (Black Flaggers like Carson will side with the Red Flagger Marxists – indeed they already are and have for years) throat, or blow his head off with a bullet (although he would be more likely to do those things to me) – but it is the job of politics to AVOID THAT SITUATION.”
The comment, I think all will agree, shows a most alarming degeneracy of character. I am shocked. It is not the job of politics to keep us from cutting the throats of those with whom we disagree. No one of good character is tempted even to fantasise about such things. The next time Paul boasts of his conversion to Christianity, or of his instinctive cultural conservatism, or in general of his spotless moral purity, I for one will remember the malevolent and dangerous beast I have seen behind the smiling mask.
In a normal country, this would be the limit of what I need to say. However, I am advised that Paul has committed a crime under the Public Order Act, and the Malicious Communications Act, and under about half a dozen other of the laws that comprise the Thatcher-Blair police state. Regardless of this, he has put us in breach of the terms of service of the organisation that hosts this blog.
Therefore, I will say that Paul’s comment does not, in its particulars or its generality, represent the views of the Libertarian Alliance, and that it fills us with the same abhorrence that any other reasonable man must feel on reading it. We will take no action against him this time. But we are watching him. We require him to place some minimal restraint on his disgusting passions. We have tolerated, and will continue to tolerate, his inability to refrain from vulgar and sometimes hysterical abuse. But a repetition of these murder fantasies will not be so indulgently received.
Yup. What is a Libertarian for? Why are we here? Why in the face of all this socialism going on about our ears, do we bother?
It echoes what one of my teachers sometime in the 1950s asked us once…“BOYS! WHY are you HERE?” The correct answer was:- “er…to learn how to learn, Sir!” I mean, sometimes, it’s hard to discern what the hell are we trying to do, since comparing pissing into the wind with what can be done against the brilliantly-arrayed forces of the GramscoFabiaNazis*** produces an obvious imbalance.
The situation in those parts of the world where stuff goes on that actually matters much to other humans, is not good.Governments everywhere are falling into the hands of the 60s-generation of neoNazi layabouts.
A GramscoFabiaNazi sadly got elected in the USA in Continue reading
by Michael Enoch
Note: Interesting view on victim disarmament from outside the libertarian movement. SIG
Is there really any rational basis for the idea of gun control? Or is it just a desperate grasping for some kind of symbolic control after an outbreak of mass violence? Or is it something even deeper? On its face the idea of gun control is ridiculous. Conservatives, libertarians and gun enthusiasts have been making the same basic points for years whenever the issue comes up in response to whatever the latest mass shooting incident happens to be. The fact that there will be such incidents is a social inevitability at this point. Continue reading
by Dick Puddlecote
EU Confirms Westminster Is A Waste Of Time And Money How much do you reckon the Palace of Westminster is worth? And what about Portcullis House?
In fact, just about every building and piece of land central government stands upon would make a pretty penny in reducing the deficit if sold off, eh? The Department of Health’s Richmond House is on prime South London real estate within easy walking distance of Waterloo station and just an inexpensive cab fare to the West End. 30 luxury flats there would fetch a million each, I reckon. Continue reading
Virgin and Child enthroned (867), apse mosaic in the Great Church in Constantinople
A Happy Christmas from The Libertarian Alliance
by Kevin Carson
Why I Don’t Much Like Liberals
Although people like Bill O’Reilly habitually refer to establishment liberals as the “far Left,” they are two very different things.
What we identify as mid-20th century, New Deal liberalism is rooted in the Progressivism of the turn of the 20th century. The Progressives came largely from the white collar managerial-professional classes that controlled large bureaucratic organizations — giant corporations, government agencies, universities, foundations and think tanks — that dominated American society after the Civil War. Many Progressives in the corporate world came from industrial engineering backgrounds. The kinds of people who made up the demographic base of Progressivism saw American society as an extension of the large, hierarchical institutions they managed, and thought society could be managed the same way way an engineer managed industrial processes. Continue reading
by Ian McKay
Letter to the Guardian on libertarian
As long time readers of my work know, I’ve been somewhat critical of George Monbiot in the past (awarding him Muppet of The Week, twice). His account of anarchism in his book Age of Consent must be one of the worse ever, making his “critique” completely worthless. I was going to review that book at one stage, but it is so terrible it was impossible to summarise (or even know where to start!) and so that joined the “started but not finished” pile! Suffice to say, he really should do some research before writing about anarchism.
This is not to say he does not get it right at times. He does, particularly on green issues (such as refuting climate-change deniers). He gets it right in this recent article for the Guardian: This bastardised libertarianism makes ‘freedom’ an instrument of oppression. In response to Monbiot, a letter from Dr Sean Gabb, the Director of the so-called Libertarian Alliance was published. I replied to that and amazingly the Guardian published it on 24th of December, unedited. This letter is included at the end of this blog, but first a few comments on the original article and the propertarian letter. Continue reading
“Capitalism”: The Known Reality
The following article was written by Chris Sciabarra and published on his blog Notablog, February 4th, 2005.
Reaching out to the Left has been the source of much good discussion at the Liberty and Power Group Blog. So I’d like to pick up on that thread, yet again.
After reading [a] comment by Jake Smith in response to my “Market Shall Set You Free” post, I took a stroll over to Kevin Carson’s Mutualist Blog, which he subtitles “Free Market Anti-Capitalism.” It’s a provocative subtitle, actually. I’ve been having an ongoing discussion with a friend of mine for months about the nature of capitalism, so any subtitle that calls for “Free Market Anti-Capitalism” is intriguing on the face of it. (Kevin also has a very interesting book out, entitled Studies in Mutualist Political Economy.) He writes: Continue reading
by Robert Henderson
Opt out of opting in or out
The government has refused to make an automatic filter for pornography a legal requirement for ISPs with those wishing to access it having to opt out of the filters. They have not done this out of any concern for freedom of expression but because the government has Continue reading
It falls to me, usually, in nominal charge of the Chipmanzee Duty-Type-Writors in the Lancashire Nissen Hut, to do something occasionally. One such duty is to scratch this organisation’s Christmas message in the tidal sands of ephemeral journalism, somewhere.
I have a feeling that last year got a bit hectic and I forgot to remind the little buggers to do it, but rest assured that something will be coming up this time: to either please or annoy all you people, on the day or just before.
Hugh Muir writes in The Guardian for the 19th December 2012:
“Still this is God’s work, and there will always be somebody willing to diagnose just where we have gone wrong and make public their plans for putting things right. Out there in front is Dr Sean Gabb, self-proclaimed writer of “a million words of journalism” and director of the all-seeing Libertarian Alliance. Gabbauthored a book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, in which he explains how the “current ruling class has turned England into a totalitarian police state, and how this ruling class can be overthrown and utterly destroyed”. He and the Scruton-ites don’t agree on everything, but one does see them shaking things up a bit. Making England England again.”
I was wondering about the sudden rush for copies of my various books. Happy Christmas, Mr Muir – though, since you’re a writer for The Guardian, I’ll not add wishes for a prosperous 2013!
by Sheldon Richman
Capitalism versus Capitalism
The following article was written by Sheldon Richman and published on his blog Free Association, April 12th, 2006.
While reading the symposium on Kevin Carson’s book, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, in the latest Journal of Libertarian Studies, I was struck by how upset people can get when someone uses a term differently from how they use it — even if he makes his usage perfectly clear and explicitly draws on legitimate historical precedent. This comes up on at least two occasions in the commentary on Carson. I’ve read Carson’s book, and I had no trouble seeing how he uses the word “capitalism.” Much of the book is devoted to showing that historical capitalism — the real-life mercantilist political-economic system that most people attach that word to — bears only superficial resemblance to the laissez-faire free market, which he favors. Indeed anyone who does not quickly see this in Carson’s work is not paying attention. It is not some obscure point buried under other material. It is the point! Moreover, Carson shows the historical precedent — in the work of Thomas Hodgskin and Benjamin Tucker, for example — for such usage. It shouldn’t be hard to grasp. Continue reading
by Sheldon Richman
Capitalism versus Capitalism, continued
The following article was written by Sheldon Richman and published on his blog Free Association, April 15th, 2006.
In my previous post about the Journal of Libertarian Studies symposium on Kevin Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, I said that the harsh reaction to Carson’s use of the word “capitalism” was striking. I did not intend to take up every point made against Carson in the critiques. As I said before, valid criticisms can be and have been made of his 400-page book covering political-economic theory and history. Nevertheless, I have learned much from the book. Overall it is a valuable contribution to political economy and a timely reminder (if that is the right word) to libertarians of how radical their creed actually is. In my view, one cannot overstate the importance of Carson’s asking libertarians: what are you defending, the free market or the political-economic system we currently live in? He is right that many libertarians are ambivalent, one day criticizing the pervasive state intervention and privilege, the next day defending particular companies and individuals as though their gains were purely the outcome of effort in a laissez-faire environment. It is fair to ask, as Carson does, which is it? Continue reading
by Keith Preston
A new study of the psychology of political beliefs indicates that Pareto was correct when he said that an individual’s political views are as much an indication of their own innate personality type and psychological makeup as much as anything else. In other words, we may be “hard-wired” to adapt certain political outlooks. Read about the study here. And see what the same study said about liberals and conservatives here.
Emma Goldman once said that anarchists are born and not made, and Sean Gabb said in his interview with me that being a libertarian is like being a homosexual in that it appears to be innate to the person’s own essential characteristics and not something that is merely adopted. I generally agree with that with the qualification that political beliefs, like sexuality, are something of a continuum. Someone can be either a hard-core libertarian or merely be a libertarian-leaning liberal, conservative, socialist or centrist. Also, I’ve noticed that people raised in libertarian or anarchist families seem to be much more likely to hold those views as adults when compared to people raised in environments where more conventional political views were the norm. The ironic observation that we can make from this is that people who are normally herd creatures (which is most people) can in fact adopt libertarian or anarchist views if such views are the norm for the “herds” with which they are the most closely associated. There is also the question of “libertarians of convenience,” that is, folks who adopt libertarian views because they believe their values or references groups are under attack by the existing state and embrace libertarianism as a survival strategy for their own kind. Continue reading
by D.J. Webb
It is amazing just how much authority our current ruling class draws from the distinction it continually draws between itself and the former ruling class. We are seemingly unable to identify the ruling class today. We still think that it is the Blimps, the “conservatives”, the people who went to Eton, members of the Bullingdon Club, the Royal Family, the Lords, the “rich” (???), people who wear ties, people who wear straw boaters at Oxford, etc.
Actually, this has not been the ruling class for a generation, and yet those who have taken their place constantly poke fun at them and gain a kind of demotic support for a much nastier and more intrusive form of rule today. Continue reading