Me, Two Nudey Men, and a Theatre Full of Lefties


http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2014-06-19-sig-libertarianism-hackney.mp3

Me, Two Nudey Men, and a Theatre Full of Lefties
By Sean Gabb
19th June 2014

The London International Festival of Theatre is an enterprise funded by the Arts Council  of England and by the Culture Programme of the European Union. If I ever come to power as the front man for a military coup, it will be on my list of things to shut down before breakfast. This being said, I was happy to take part, on Wednesday the 18th June 2014, in its “Change for a Tenner” evening at the Yard Theatre in Hackney. My main outreach of late, has been to explain libertarianism to schoolchildren and traditionalists. Here was my first chance in several years to address an audience of committed pro-state leftists. The fee offered, plus expenses, was nice, though not essential to my acceptance.

The programme was for eight people, one after the other, to go on stage, and to speak for five minutes in favour of some “radical” change. Each would then take questions, and all would take part at the end in a panel discussion. I was to be the last speaker. Of course, five minutes meant fifteen, and the questions took up another ten. After the first five speakers, I had to remind the organisers of my enslavement to the railway timetables, and was sent on stage early. This meant I was unable to see the other two speakers. Here, though, is a brief account of what I did see.

Ellie Harrison – “Bring Back British Rail”

I agree with Miss Harrison that the railways were privatised in a corrupt and incompetent manner. I used to know some of the people involved, and remain surprised that the railways still work at all. In general, privatisation is change from one mode of extraction to another more profitable to the ruling class. But her speech was a denunciation of the Conservative Party, with only a single, brief acknowledgement of who won the 1997, 2001 and 2005 general elections. She even managed to annoy several members of an audience made up, so far as I could tell, of state-funded “artists” and local government officers.

Colin Bex – “Independence for Wessex”

I dislike speeches read from a text – especially when the text seems to fill half a ream of paper. And Mr Bex has a talent for stripping the romance out of nationalism. As he spoke about structures of government, and the sinister restrictions he would place on the lives of his subjects, he showed all the charisma of someone speaking at a Liberal Democrat conference. He did manage one flash on interest, though, when someone asked about his immigration policy. He sneered at the idea of racism, and agreed that his independent Wessex would keep out undesirables.

Trenton Oldfield – “Elitism is Tyranny”

This was not a written speech, and it showed. Apparently, Mr Oldfield disrupted the Boat Race in 2012, by jumping into the Thames, and was sent to prison for six months. Exactly why he jumped in the river, and why he got so long inside for it, were not revealed. Instead, he gave a disjointed and repetitive speech of almost cartoonish political correctness. His main point, so far as he had one, was that we should challenge our “white privilege” by committing acts likely to get us put in prison. Search me how this would make life better for the “oppressed.”

Eric Mutch – “Give Us All a Basic Income of £11,375″

I am not sure why Mr Mutch fixed on so precise a sum for his basic income. But his idea was that everyone in the country would get it, and it would be funded by a 50 per cent tax on all income that anyone cared to earn. He avoided the question that someone asked about incentives to work. When asked how he would stop the entire human race from settling here to claim his basic income, he narrowed the bounty from all resident adults to all adult citizens.

Andrew Welch – “A Case for Nudism”

Eloquently and without notes, Mr Welch put an interesting case for nudism. He said there was nothing disreputable or eccentric in going about naked. Towards the end of his speech, he took of all his clothes, thereby showing why middle aged men generally prefer to keep them on. He invited the rest of us to do likewise. Another middle aged man who was sitting behind me did strip off, and they stood together during a very polite question and answer session.

Sean Gabb – “What is Libertarianism?”

Here is a summary of my speech:

If you are a libertarian, you will believe in three central propositions. First, you want to be left alone. Second, you want to leave others alone. Third, you want others to leave others alone. We believe in a society based on the interactions of consenting adults.

A libertarian society would be radically different from the present order of things. But there is no reason to suppose such a society would be without the good things of life. There would still be exchanges of goods and services. There would still be education and healthcare. There would still be roads and railways. It would not be worse than the present order of things, and could easily be much better.

The great difference between a libertarian society and the present order is the existence of the State – which is a shorthand term for a network of people who get their living at the expense of others, and whose other mission in life is to make others dance as they desire. We are systematically oppressed by the State. It steals tax money from us. It regulates every detail of our lives. Though its privileged and licensed media, it lies to us. It lies to us more profoundly through its regulated or directly-funded schools and universities. It also kills on our behalf. It may not kill us very often, but it does send off young men in uniform to commit atrocities abroad for reasons that are never honestly discussed with us. We are against the State.

In opposing the State, we are also against the various interest groups that cluster round it. Among these are big business. Because we believe in a society of consenting adults, we necessarily believe in markets and private enterprise. But big business is not a natural growth. It often exists because of incorporation laws, and limited liability laws, and transport and infrastructure subsidies, and regulations that keep little people from starting their own businesses.

In short, we believe in a world of voluntary interactions. If you believe in one too, then you are a libertarian. If you do not, I look forward to your questions.

It was my intention to speak slowly and without passion. Having listened to my recording of the speech, I feel I may have gone a little too far in the opposite direction from the previous speakers. I sound as if I had taken too much valium, or was losing a battle with terminal boredom. In my use of long and often complex sentences, I may even have fallen into self-parody. But I was clear, and the questions afterwards bordered on the explosive. I refer you for these to the recording.

This, by the way, is less satisfactory than I hoped it would be. At the last minute, I decided to put my mobile telephone into video mode and to set it up about fifteen feet away. Sadly, I placed it in an unstable equilibrium, and it moved me progressively out of frame. As for the sound, it just about works.

Some of you will say that I could have made more of an effort to reach out for common ground. I had no wish to. When I speak to traditionalists, we start from a shared belief that the country has gone badly wrong, and that something radical is needed to set things right. My contribution to the debate is to argue that liberty is no enemy of tradition, but that its real enemy is the modern British State. For most of my audience last night, this is already the best of possible worlds. There is no conceivable voluntary order in which they would have so easy a living. The best use of my time with them was very politely to call them authoritarian scum and to poke fun at their outrage.

Yes, I enjoyed my trip to London yesterday. If the London International Theatre Festival cares to invite me back, I will probably accept.

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74 responses to “Me, Two Nudey Men, and a Theatre Full of Lefties

  1. Julie near Chicago

    What delightful, understated cattiness, Dr. Gabb. Now that is how it should be done. :) *applause*

    I want to hear the Q&A.

    Unqualified agreement with paras. 1, 2, & 5 of your speech. Three and 4 specifically as stated: sometimes aye, sometimes nay, it depends.

    But thanks for the excellent report, and (most of) the speech as well. And, special notice of this final gem:

    “For most of my audience last night, this is already the best of possible worlds. There is no conceivable voluntary order in which they would have so easy a living. The best use of my time with them was very politely to call them authoritarian scum and to poke fun at their outrage.”

  2. Funnily enough, today I’ve been idly scrawling some more prep sketches for my never-to-be-started, let alone completed, Utopian futuristic story. It will never be done partly because it would probably draw unwanted attention from Plod, since in the future people are routinely nudist, which means drawing some naked children; this being predicated though on the asumption that everyone 250 years from now is (a) immortal and (b) has total control of their appearance, ergo there are no doughy middle aged people, etc. While the world contains people who look like most of us do, nudity will never catch on.

    As to the actual meat and two veg of the evening from a libertarian perspective, I always think the best two minuter argument goes something like, “the State has asked us to trade freedom for security. But we give it our freedom, yet it demonstrably does not increase our security” and then when the arguments come back regarding the wondrousnessness of some particular progressive reform as a rebuttal, you can take them apart one by one. But that’s just me.

    • Julie near Chicago

      Ian, in response to your second sentence:

      My husband was a (very good) amateur photographer, and I used to enjoy giving him books of photographic art as gifts.

      I’m going to ask you to engage in a little mind-reading, in the interest of discretion. Consider the following sentence: “I desire lunch.” In particular, consider the second or Middle word.

      There is a book of art photos that a professional art-photographer took of her school-age younglings. They are actually rather androgynous, being basically string-beans, but they are also sweet and charming and I think express a quality of filial love. And I think their corporeality is not shielded from the camera.

      The title of the book is, “Objects of [Middle word].”

      Unfortunately, having it in the house worries me somewhat. “C-P,” don’tcha know.

      The photographer’s short professional bio is at

      http://www.sheilametzner.com/index.php#mi=1&pt=0&pi=2&s=0&p=0&a=0&at=0

      It absolutely tears me up to have to be concerned about the rozzers over something so silly. Although it’s true that the title could have been intended as a double-entendre. –Have you seen any interesting Marcel Duchamps lately? *g*

      • Just as a matter of pure vanity, here’s one of the sketches I mentioned, which btw is entirely family friendly-

        http://tinypic.com/?ref=2h5shv7

        Mom in the centre there is about 250 years old in the story. Like I said, it’s a Utopian thing, sort of my “Looking Backward”. That’s a domestic robot on the right. Because I liked clichés.

        • Oh bollocks, that was meant to be a link rather than an embedding. Hopefully our blogmeisters can fix it?

          Sorry everyone.

        • Julie near Chicago

          Socks, Ian, family-friendly my ****! Why it’s loaded with Freudian symbolism. Just look at the nose on that snowman! Tsk!! And I’m sure there’s plenty more where that came from, if you just give me a little time …. mmmm …. now where is that magnifying glass …..

          Seriously, it’s a delightful sketch and I’d love to see the whole book, completed. If I’m going to look like the Mom at age 250, I think I’ll stick around…she looks like my daughter as a teeny-bopper. Only thing is, your Mom is a blonde, whereas I was (formerly, alas) a very dark brunette. But with red highlights *g*.

          I really like it. It has a happy feel. Thanks for sharing!

          • Thanks Julie. I still feel stupid and embarrassed to not check the link code and blat it into the thread like that. Hopefully David or Sean can replace it with a link…

            If I’m going to look like the Mom at age 250, I think I’ll stick around…

            Well, maybe you will, you never know. Mom there is one of our contemporaries who lived long enough to receive the first life extension therapies.

            For a long while I’ve had the story as having a protagonist who wakes up in the future (from Cryogenic storage) and is then led around by Basil Exposition having the future explained to him/her as in Bellamy’s original influential cringe-fest “Looking Backward”. It’s just recently I realised it would be much better if she were one of us, who lived to be a little old lady in a nursing home, buried her husband and children… and then got the chance to be young again. Forever. That gives her a more interesting perspective on the whole thing as a character.

            I’ve wondered about doing the thing as a mix of text and graphics, since any way I break it down it’s a lot of talking heads for a comic. The main problem is it never gets to be a proper story, more a set of vignettes. But maybe that would work. Dunno.

            • Julie near Chicago

              I don’t see why “a set of vignettes” — tableaux — wouldn’t work. I know I’ve read novels that were set out like that. Like, in music, a suite of tone poems. Or even a set (a series) of short shorts, like Fredric Brown’s or Robert Sheckley’s.

              Anyway, it sounds intriguing. Do it purely for the fun of it and only when you feel like it, and if it’s not done by the time they put me in the freezer I will nag at you like a good Mom when I get unfroze. :>)

              PS. FYI, I swiped this page with your sketch on it. Deal with it. :>)))

  3. Julie near Chicago

    And now I have heard The Speech, and the Q&A. Very good!
    . . .

    Sean, effectively aren’t you claiming an anarchist position, presumably anarcho-capitalist (as it is so-called)? I ask because in arguing against the State, don’t you by implication argue against the Nation? But it seems to me that you are a nationalist, not in any aggressive sense, nor even in an exclusionary sense, but simply that you approve of some sort of traditional conception of the British nation (if that’s the right way to put it–England/Britain/UK/Commonwealth distinction, I mean) and wish to see it continue, Britishly.

    Of course nobody believes in starting from the dictionary-definition of words anymore (using a really solid, reliable, scholarly dictionary — the ancient 1933 OED, for instance, or Webster’s 1828 or even 1913); so the answer to my question would depend on your usage of the widely-varying terms “nation” and “state.”

  4. J. Keen Holland

    Your conclusion here was brilliant:
    “There is no conceivable voluntary order in which they would have so easy a living. The best use of my time with them was very politely to call them authoritarian scum and to poke fun at their outrage.”

  5. The Q&A session was interesting. They hit at some libertarian weak spots, issues that I think need more discussion. A particular one is the question of what happens to those who cannot apparently participate as agents in a libertarian society- the mad, senile, severely infirm etc. The standard answers from libertarianism usually boil down to relying on some form of charity, and it is a weak answer frankly.

    The welfare state, for all its profound problems, does ensure that nobody starves to death. Libertarianism needs at least as good an answer to that, and I do not believe that it currently has one.

    My own view is deepened on this problem because there seems to me to be a belief, or hope, among libertarians that with the State out of the way there will be more charity. I personally do not believe this. Most of charitable work- of which there is an historically unprecedented amount currently- is motivated by the same sorts of drivers as other progressivism. As such, I expect that in a Libertarian polity there will be considerably less charity, and thus the problem is exacerbated.

    Even if I am entirely wrong about that, we still need a good answer. I don’t think we have one, currently.

  6. Julie near Chicago

    It always sounds lame, Ian, I agree. But the thing is, we have a social atmosphere of mistrust right now. People think (and are encouraged to believe) that if they don’t have the legal protection of being able to scrounge off others. And that humans are naturally inhuman beasts.

    The Left claims that that’s what WE (non-lefties/libruls) believe. That men are evil by nature…and that only they believe that men are Good.

    (To which I respond, Then why are you trying to remake us?)

    Back on topic. I wonder if anyone has done a scholarly survey of deaths due to lack of care (food, warmth, medical treatment) where there was no charity. I suppose so…. It really is true that in the Good Old Days the doc wouldn’t charge you more than you could pay, or would accept payment in kind, or would arrange to be payed in installments, or some such thing. (They also made house calls.)

    I do think your remark about a Proggie impulse driving a lot of today’s charity is a good one, but here in the States, statistics keep showing that Republicans contribute more to charity than do Dems, although I have some problems with that statement myself. (Of course, god knows there are Republican Proggies!)

    The Welfare State, as argued by both Austrians and Chicagoans, actually traps people in poverty by various initiatives that make things more expensive than they would be otherwise — such as charitable giving! (The bean-counters have to be paid, and so do their guardians, and so do the CEO’s of the charities, and…and….) Plus, the money The Gov takes for “welfare” (Obamaphones anyone?) is money that could have gone directly from its owner to the charity or even the recipient. Not everyone would contribute as much as he presently does through taxation, but whatever is contributed would be used much more efficiently. Or so the argument goes, and that sounds right to me.

  7. There’s an unquestioned assumption that some people deserve a free ride simply because they can’t, or won’t, provide for themselves (bearing in mind in some cases it will be because as individuals they failed to provide for lean times during times of plenty). This is an assumption that should be questioned, especially given all current corporate charities use that assumption as an axiom on which to construct their pork barrel and it’s the fundamental assumption these authoritarian scumbags use as the ethical justification for their use of violence.

  8. “The welfare state, for all its profound problems, does ensure that nobody starves to death”

    A-No it doesn’t– people are allowed to starve to death in NHS hospitals every year.
    B-The end of mass starvation precedes welfare states –the are not the cause of abundant cheap food. It is, as usual, socialist liars cashing in on the success of the market.
    C- The game isn’t over yet. Let us wait until the whole total-inter/national- bankruptcy-meets-millions-of-dependant-dummies-with-no-personal-resources-or-character scenario has played out before talking about the wonder of welfare.

  9. So Ian B, we are all such a bunch of horrible bastards that without our benevolent state the sick and infirm would no doubt die in the street? Excuse me as I vomit my laughter.

  10. Avoided question about incentive to work?

    No I didn’t

    I said anyone wanting to have more than a basic income would have the incentive to go out anddo paid work to earn more.

    I said all human beings are inquisitive, just watch any small child for proof we are born inquisitive. we want to explore and “do stuff”

    Given longer to answer I would also have said it would be provided by a libertarian ideal of free market economics. Supply and demand. If the market demands a job be done, the labour market supplies the labour. Supply and demand decides the wage.

    As for everyone settling here, I said Switzerland was about to have a referendum to introduce the unconditional basic income in their country, so we could soon find out.

    I also said if Switzerland introduces it, that’ll be the watershed moment that cracks open the dam and leads to citizens in countries around the world demanding it in their countries as well.

    Given more time to answer I would have said. Immigration creates demand, demand creates work, work creates jobs, jobs create wages, wages create tax revenue, therefore immigration creates wealth.

    As long as there is enough space to accmodate everyone; where’s the problem?

    I’m a free market libertarian Sean, my libertarianism relies on an unconditional basic income for everyone, yours relies on the gun.

    Mine abolishes poverty, liberates everyone and works.

    Yours doesn’t.

    • I actually think this is a fairly valid argument; i.e. the icentive to earn more. But to be honest, speaking personally, if the State gave me an unconditional basic frugal income, I’d probably never do another stroke of work again.

      • What would you do instead then Ian?

        • Kick back, enjoy myself. Leisure.

          I’m a “work to live” kinda guy. If I don’t need to work to live, I don’t work, and get on with living instead.

          • So you would create “work” for others in the leisure industry, boosting the economy.

            What would you do for leisure, what would you do to enjoy yourself?

            • My neigbour and I tried this. He spent all spring and summer toiling in his field, growing food, and I spent it all watching telly. When his grain was ripe, and bailed and threshed and so on, I headed over and took it all off him.

              For some reason he was not happy. He shouted, “Look, you have taken all my food what I have grown, now I have no food!”.

              I smiled at him, and cheerfully replied, “yes, but look at how much work you now have! Rejoice!”. And off I went with his produce.

              Consumption does not drive the economy, it’s a basic Keynesian fallacy.

              • So how are you going to enjoy your leisure time then? No going to the leisure centre or cinema, no eating out, no travelling.OPretty boring leisure time then. No watching telly either. All leisure but no consumption? How?

                • You’ve missed the point. If you give me the ability to consume without producing, that’s what I will do. Which is why it’s a bad idea.

                  • Consumers need products
                    products need consumers
                    buyers need sellers
                    sellers need buyers

                    Supplers need demand
                    demand needs suppliers

                    without one the other can’t survive either.

                    Sean produces a blog we consume it.

                    we produce an audience for a blog, Sean writes a blog and consumes our audience.

                    its simple free market libertarian economics ;-)

                • I’m with Ian B on this whole question. Everyone able and willing to earn more than £c11k would leave the country or find some way to conceal his income. The rest of us would sit and press the feeding button till nothing came out.

                  • Conceal their income? What the way everyone does now?

                    Leave the country? What and leave their houses? Their families? Their jobs that earn them the extra income?

                    I don’t think so

                    And if they do, we have a vastly smaller population and therefore they’ll recieve more resources between them all

                    Plus you’ve changed your tune. First wed have mass immigration, now you say mass emigration.

                    Which one is it?

                    Can’t have both ;-)

          • You’d be happier? Yes?

            So the society would be a happier place too, which benefits us all.

  11. The Earth presents us with more than enough resources to eradicate poverty and meet the basic needs for food and shelter of every human being on the planet. Pity there’s not enough money to pay for it all.

    WHAT’S THE INCENTIVE TO WORK?

    Define “Work?”. No, seriously, define “work?”

    You’re currently reading this article. Is that “work”?

    If you said No.

    What if I offered to pay you £7 an hour to read this article. Is it “work” now?

    If you said Yes. Which one is it? Is reading this article “work”? Yes or No?

    Everything is “work”.

    “Work”,is quite simply “doing something”.

    With an Unconditional Basic Income everyone would be able to choose the “work” they want to do.

    They could either do “work” they love, just for the love of it.

    Or

    They could “supply” their labour to earn a wage, set by a true free market, using supply and demand economics.

    Eradicating Poverty is a socialists dream

    Living in a true free market economy is a libertarians dream.

    Unconditional Basic Income does both.

    Join us!!!!!!!!

    Vote BIG

    • It may be remiss of me to say, but where exactly is the £11,375 to come from?
      I struggle to come up with an answer that is not going to end up “at the point of a gun.” Which libertarianim is which again?

      I’m disappointed that nobody took Julie up on the point she raised re: statehood / nationhood as it’s something that interests me (and I’m firmly in the AnCap camp). I don’t necessarily think that the one depends on the other -that nations do not require states to be be nations.

      • £6,000 per person by abolishing welfare & pensions budget

        £5,375 by taxing all other earned income at 50%

        Unconditional Basic Income is universal, tax free & non returnable

      • Ever thought about money?

        In 2007 we were in a boom and there was loads of money

        In 2008 we were in a recession and there was suddenly no money. So much so that we had to start cutting our public services in a new age of austerity.

        In 2014 we are out of recession and entering another boom. Suddenly there is loads of money again.

        Boom. Recession. Boom.

        Loads of money. No money. Loads of money.

        What about resources during that time?

        Did the level of resources differ greatly over that time period?

        Answer: No

        Ok some resources are dwindling like some forms of energy, but over the same period that money has appeared and disappeared, the resources available has been pretty constant.

        This proves money is not a reliable indicator of our ability to pay every citizen an unconditional basic income.

        It’s a fallacy and myth.

        Boom and bust is a fallacy.

        There are, and always have been enough resources to meet everyone’s basic needs.

        There were enough resources in the boom of 2007

        There were the same/enough resources in the recession of 2008

        There are the same/enough in the new boom of 2014

        “There’s not enough money”. My arse.

        Pull the other one mate. I bet it votes UKIP.

      • The Earth presents us with more than enough resources to eradicate poverty and meet the basic needs for food and shelter of every human being on the planet.

        Pity there’s not enough money to pay for it all.

    • “The Earth presents us with more than enough resources to eradicate poverty and meet the basic needs for food and shelter of every human being on the planet.”

      The Earth doesn’t present us with that at all. We had to find a way to do it and keep doing it.

      “Everything is “work”.”

      But not everything is paid work. Reading a blog might be work, but will you pay me to do it? Probably not.

      “With an Unconditional Basic Income everyone would be able to choose the “work” they want to do.”

      That’s great. The only work I’d like to do is racing around in an F1 car and being a porn star. I wonder how many people are willing to pay me to do those things? Probably not many, so I suppose everyone who doesn’t will have to be coerced by the government.

  12. Sean

    Define “Productive”

    Define “Unproductive”

  13. Reblogged this on Ricardo Ben-Safed and commented:
    I can agree with Gabb’s 3 principles for a Libertarian society. 1. You want to be left alone, 2. You want to leave others alone. and 3. You oppose others not leaving others alone.

  14. So arts council is “unproductive”? Taking something of greater value and turning it into something of lesser value?

    But

    Turning wood into a table is “productive”? Because it takes something of lesser value and turns it into something of greater value?

    That’s completely subjective though isn’t it?

    It’s only objective if whatever is produced is sold for a higher price.

    So you’re saying something is only productive if it can be sold at a profit?

    So making a landmine is productive but the work a mother does to nurture/raise a child is unproductive?

    Oh and spending money anywhere creates turnover, creates more money.

    Did you live by your anti arts council principle and give your fee back Sean?

    • You still haven’t told us how you’re going to redistribute wealth – and with it a productive person’s time, sweat, and aspirations – without doing it at gunpoint. If you haven’t figured out a method for that then you’re not a libertarian, (deliberate?) misinterpretation of WSPQ notwithstanding. As I said previously, you’re spouting the same old collectivist bullshit that killed millions in the C20th dressed up in tawdry new rags.
      On your other point, anyone and his dog can point you to the makers and takers. People will *voluntarily* buy or trade for products and services of value and that will prove someone is producing something of value. The Arts Council is very much on the takers side, which is not the same thing as saying art has no value and is unproductive.

  15. Who “produces” the biggest share of the “profit”. The person who “sells” or the person who “buys”?

  16. Watch and learn.

    Paying everyone an unconditional basic income works. Here’s the evidence.

    Liberating ;-)

  17. Actually the welfare schemes (and so on) recently introduced by the Congress Party in India have created a big fiscal deficit.

    “Surprise, surprise” they are unsustainable. Although I doubt that the new BJP government will have the guts to roll the schemes back (democracy tends to be a one way street as far as the growth of government spending is concerned).

    The economic growth that India had was prior to the introduction of these health, education and income support schemes – and caused by the (partial) end of the “Permit Raj” (deregulation).

    As for a “basic income” in return for no work in Britain.

    I see so people (including me) are going to start work at 0530 in the morning helping out at the local park if we are paid to just stay in bed.

    Pull the other on – it has got bells on.

    As for the Arts – they were in a much better state before Lord Keynes got the government to set up the “Arts Council”.

    Government subsidies are not “just” a matter of robbing the taxpayer they have also actively harmed the arts.

  18. People spending money leads to economic decline LOL which school of economics did you go to ;-)

      • The best thing to do when you haven’t got a fucking clue about the most basic elements of economics is to go and read a fucking book about it, instead of hanging around a thread posting comments which you are too ignorant to understand just demonstrate your woeful lack of the most basic understanding of the subject.

        For instance, work is simply the expenditure of energy on some task. It is measured in joules. What economists are interested in is whether work produces or destroys value; at which point we are way over your head- and no, the answer is not to post another comment asking “define ‘value'”, it’s to go and read that fucking book.

  19. I agree. So go read the book and get back to me ;-)

  20. So your argument is not that people wouldn’t work, but that they wouldn’t do any work of economic value? No one would make land mines, no one would work as an investment banker, no one would work in a call centre?

  21. People would just do work that destroys economic value, like caring for elderly relatives, volunteer work, and educate themselves.

    When what we know we really all need more of is gold miners using mercury to mine for gold to prop up our economic system, never mind that theyre poisoning your food chain LOL

  22. The Incoherent Leftie is strong in this one.

  23. Resorting to random insults? Voila. I win ;-)

  24. The BIG Political Party is an example why the non-initiation of force principle won’t work in practise, unless you take a very “robust” view if what constitutes self defence.
    That’s why I want gunships in high orbit.

  25. Paul Marks

    Once I would have argued with you about that John Pate. Arguing that someone like BPP was peaceful.

    However, I no longer believe that.

    Even leaving the planet would not be enough for these people – they still want to loot “the rich”, as a recent Hollywood flick made clear.

    So you have left the planet? Well you still must pay for our right to health care!

    Ditto the “basic income” – because spending the money of other people is “good for the economy” and is “Social Justice” anyway.

    So those gunships would (sadly) be needed.

    Sometimes force is needed – for example in helping defeat the Italian Fascists and German National Socialists in North Africa during World War II.

  26. 1. Earth does provide us with food and shelter for free.

    2. Given the money and freedom that an unconditional basic income provides, maybe I would pay you to read my blog or to be a F1 porn star.

  27. Julie near Chicago

    1. At the very least, one must pick up off the forest floor, insert into one’s mouth, and chew and swallow the “free” largesse of the Earth. This is, precisely, work: effort expended, and in fact effort expended in order to sustain one’s life. Put that together with the similarly-unfree sustenance of similarly acquired nuts, and you have a living freely provided by the Earth, although it may be neither healthy nor long, let alone gratifying.

    2. It’s nice that you are able to think that the goverment is able to provide with money and freedom off its own hook, with no consideration of where that money came from. Maybe it was actually printed (or written, or enpixelated) de novo by the government or its agents in fact if not in law (yes, I could put that into Latin); but that’s an irrelevant technicality. The fact is that the government does not produce the wealth which it then sees fit to distribute equally to all citizens, their children, legally-resident aliens, and probably even illegally-resident aliens.

    Rather, it gets the money representing that wealth by ordering people to pony up varying amounts of it, on pain of being fined and even incarcerated if the required amount of protecition is not forthcoming, in a timely and fussless manner. It can also seize your assets without your permission.

    In other, the government gets the money it gives YOU, Mr. BIG Political Party, through clear extortion and outright theft.

    I should think that this would bother you and your colleagues, but then I have this prejudice against expropriating a part of a man’s life, which is what extortion and theft do.

    . . .

    Also, if “everyone gets a guaranteed, free, equal basic income,” don’t you see that you yourself must actually work to produce something of economic value, so as to pay the taxes that this whole musical-chairs scheme is built on? Unless you don’t intend to work at all, and are convinced that you can mooch off everybody else to the extent that your preferred lifestyle (including sense of financial security and availability of satisfactory provender, goods, and services) requires.

    Note that since there are some people who literally cannot work (unless you’re in favor of “euthanizing”–murdering–those who are literally incapable of it, such as infants, patients in coma, the severely retarded, patients in coma, those with Alzheimers, patients in coma, etc.), and since various clerks, bean counters, lawyers, and politicians along the way will have to be paid, you will end up with LESS money than you would have if you did the work and kept your earnings instead of turning some (or all) of it over to The Gov for the Basic, Equal, Guaranteed Distribution. If you’re really worried about either Inequality or The Poor, why not get together with your B.I.G. Party colleagues and form a club to distribute these funds, contributed by each of you, to those who earn less than you? That way none of the money’s wasted, since it all goes directly from the earner to the recipient. No bean counters, lawyers, politicians, programmers, etc., etc., to be paid or bought off….

  28. 1. Not allowed to do that anymore though are we. freely Hunt, gather & build shelter. It’s a human right that “shopping economy” has robbed from us.

    2. You said if someone pays you then it is work. UBI is pay

    3. Where does money come from then?

  29. We want the same thing really. Just disagree on how to make it happen.

    Liberate every human being

  30. Paul Marks

    No BPP – as Julie has already pointed out. you do not want to liberate people (other than from reality), you want to loot them (and murder anyone who resists being looted – or tries to prevent someone else being looted).

    As for “hunt” and “build a shelter” and so on – most people in the West who actually know how to do these things tend to be what you would call “right wing”. it is not true that they would “shoot you on sight” (as the saying goes) but they are certainly not on your side.

    As for the “Lockian Proviso” (John Locke’s loose talk of “as much and as good left for others”) this is based on Samuel Pufendorf’s misreading of the Book of Genesis (a misreading that seems to have influenced Locke).

    God does not give the world to humanity in common – land is unowned till it is claimed.

    Nor is it the case that taking the land of farmers so you can hunt and fish upon it would reduce poverty – actually it would increase poverty.

    Justice is actually NOT about poverty (at least not directly) you and me (if you are poor as I am) being poor does NOT give us the right to loot others who are not poor.

    Our claim (if we have one) is based on mercy (not justice – not crime and punishment), on the supreme Christian virtue of charity (Samuel Pufendorf’s compulsory charity was a logical confusion – if something is compulsory it is NOT the virtue of charity).

  31. Paul Marks

    I certainly did not mean to imply that either Samuel Pufendorf or John Locke were against private property (they were not) – but they did seem to imply that it needs to be justified (it does not).

    If someone is stupid this is no argument for taking his land, and “your distant ancestors stole it originally” is no argument either (one does NOT have to prove unbroken title from the first farmers – Iceland, where present day farmers can show their dissent from is NOT the standard one has to live up to). This is the point Edmund Burke is making in both “Letter to a Noble Lord” (addressed to the incredibly unwise Duke of Bedford – who was actively subsidising those who planned to rob and murder him and his family) and his Appeal from the New Whigs to the Old.

    As an Irishman Edmund Burke knew that “arguments” based on “you are stupid and lazy – I could manage the land better than you” or “your ancestors stole the land anyway – so I have the right to burn you out now” means centuries of blood soaked “confiscations and counter confiscations”.

    A society where property rights were so insecure (so disputed) that law was men riding around with rifles on their backs, not an old night watchman (as in England).

    At the risk of sounding utilitarian….. one can not get long term economic development that way. Which meant that the Irish economy (or most of it – there were some reasonable areas) was an “accident waiting to happen” – and it went down (in horror) in the 1840s.