About the Libertarian Alliance

The Libertarian Alliance (often known as the LA) is Britain’s leading free market and civil liberties think tank, founded nearly 40 years ago. It currently has rather more than 800 publications in print, dedicated to the principles of life, liberty and property.

The Libertarian Alliance consciously tries not to take any party-political position, in regard to elections or manifesto analysis for the Main Anglosphere Nations. It does not even officially endorse the LPUK, although it looks kindly upon it, and indeed some LA members and supporters are members of LPUK, which is perfectly fine. However, the LA may comment positively or negatively upon submissions by all the various parties involved in any such elections.

The Libertarian Alliance, broadly, regards British political parties as if they were Advertising Agencies retained to service the “Individual Liberty” account.

Whichever party therefore does not do a good job of looking after “Individual Liberty”, fails to actively promote it, and fails to make liberty more accessible and successful, would get fired, and we would then possibly endorse the views of some other outfit.

Having said that, it will become clear as you read this blog and our site, that we have in the past mostly lambasted what is called “New Labour” – partly because it was in power for a very long and sad time, partly because there was still  – even in October 2009 when we first put this page up – no effective and principled opposition in the UK, and partly because, ultimately, socialist or Statist principles are incompatible with Liberty.

As a reader will see from the above in red, we do – and would – reserve many harsh words for the Tories: they have no excuse for not standing up proudly and assertively for individual liberty. They have brought the mutliplication of small, embryonic libertarian parties in the UK recently, upon themselves. If they lose – or fail to win – seats, as a result, it is their fault. Indeed, the “Coalition” is proving every bit as disappointing to liberals as the Blair/Brown-Terror that went before it.

The purpose of the LA, in the autumn of 2009 as we wrote this, and as for many years past, was – and is – to be a “think-tank”, rather than a campaigning organisation. This may change as time goes on, or it may not: we cannot know what events may bring. Chris Tame, the founder, always thought that the LA was a publishing facility which could also bring intellectual power to bear on the trends of political and economic thought of the time.

At ont time in the past, we even tried to subvert and turn towards real libertarianism the youth wing of the British Conservative Party: this did not work, and Margaret Thatcher (PBUH) shut down the Federation of Conservative Students as a result. We are cheerfully frank and open about our wish to infiltrate and subvert for the good, the objectives of any other political party that we may, in our wisdom, decide to target. We have never “gone forth like thieves in the night”.

We may try again, or not. We shall have to see. We may pick another party, if we think this route is profitable. Or not. The Director of Northern Affairs has occasionally tried to interest local UKIP officers and campaigners in Lancashire, in libertarian ideas: so far, to rather little effect, but it is early days.

As time goes on, the organisation may decide to take more active part in the battle of ideas. We cannot at this stage tell either way.

Publishing on average two to three new papers and videos a month, the LA’s pamphlets and wideo records are ideal for students, academics and journalists and anyone else interested in liberty and freedom.

The LA holds an occasional range of meetings and seminars, and its spokespeople regularly appear in the press and on television and radio. Since about the end of 2006, the LA has been running an increasingly influential blog.

There is a usually a major conference, generally held over two days in London in late October every year, to which anybody (anybody at all, whosoever)  may apply to attend. This has been a fixture for the past decade.

The Libertarian Alliance relies completely on private donations from individuals, for its work.

Its officers take no remuneration for time spent writing, developing projects, sorting out web stuff etc, and organisation. They do not even claim for hotel bills and such. Sometimes they may apply to be paid for such supplies as printer cartridges, and petrol, etc. That is all.

We run on what, in the Anglosphere, is called a “shoestring”. Gordon Brown’s budget for tea and biscuits in 10 Downing Street for any year, would have been bigger than our annual spend in any of our last 40-odd years.

Please go to the main LA site, and send us some money if you feel able to. We shall be suitably grateful.

30 responses to “About the Libertarian Alliance

  1. OT: Your link to the Adam Smith Institute Blog is broken.

    Good luck, Gav

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  5. Just wanted to let you know that Delaware Libertarian has talked you up to my readers and posted a permanent link to your site.

    Great blog!

    If you do reciprocal links, please check me out.

    Thanks

    Steve

  6. I’ve only just found your comment here Steve – thanks a lot, anyway as since then we have been sending each other the odd few readers I hope! DD

  7. There is a thin line between freedom and selfishness, self indulgence and ignorance.

  8. i admire this blog……….

    Freddie

  9. Hi. This is an interesting blog! :)

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  16. The reason I disagree with your blog here, is not so much your assertions on specific issues (though how I as an environmentalist can be classified as both a fascist and a socialist at the same time by various groups is puzzling), but rather on the underlying philosophy you are basing such responses on.

    You claim to support ‘Individual Liberty’ as your primary philosophy, indicating a libertarian outlook. The standard question for this philosophy is that if you embrace individual liberty above all, what happens when two individuals disagree. If you accept that others have a right to individual freedom, you cannot impose any constraints upon them. This obviously, will result in anarchy.

    Which in the end means libertarian/free-market arguments devolve to a ‘you get what you earn’ philosophy whereby those who own more, control those who don’t. This is blatantly unjust and undermines the very free-market approach you advocate by deny one of it’s qualifying conditions: under a free market, all participants must have the same starting point.

    The free market philosophy was admirable in many ways, but in the end, far to simplistic to supplant paternalistic government.

    As such, ever argument you build upon this premise will be incorrect.

  17. GY, what happens when two individuals disagree is that they each live their own lives in the way they see fit, without imposing constraints upon one another. If you want to call this “anarchy”, perhaps you are right, in the sense that no government can legitimately enter the disagreement to arbitrarily use force to impose one single view upon both of them (a resolution neither of them may agree with, and leaves everyone worse off). I suspect however you use “anarchy” in the vulgar sense of “chaos”, adding circularity to your assertions. The government can legitimately use force however to protect the individual and property rights of one person against another. If the disagreement between two individuals – which is a normal part of life, by the way: it’s a bit concerning that you see this is some worrying special case – descended into violence or one person trying to forcefully impose her will upon the other, then the government can legitimately protect the other individual’s freedom by blocking this tyrannical behaviour.
    I also find it bizarre how you consider a “you get what you earn” philosophy to be a “devolved”, dangerous or backward state of affairs. Getting what you earn is just about the fairest possible way of living we have, isn’t it? Surely this is preferable to a government arbitrarily stepping in and confiscating money you have legitimately earned, and redistributing it according to the whim of the day to those who have not earned it (including big corporations).
    Furthermore, a free market would indeed allow everyone to start at the same point – you will be rewarded according to the skills you can offer to other people. Without a government skewing markets and supporting monopolies, more and more people would be able to become self-supporting and run their own businesses, working freelance and getting a fair reward for what they offer. You criticise free markets because “those who own more control those who don’t”, but you fail to substantiate this claim. Under a truly free market, nobody “controls” anyone else – if you don’t like an employer, you can pack up and leave and do something else. If you don’t like a “paternalistic government”, you are really stuck – there is no alternative, and they really do control you.
    So in the end, you try to criticise free markets because of this unsubstantiated claim of control, but on the other you support and defend a “paternalistic” system which is controlling by definition – your position is somewhat confused, methinks.
    I would put it to you that “paternalistic government” is not only highly simplistic (systems theory shows us that central cognition is far simpler than, and inferior to, distributed cognition), but that it takes its subjects to be morons too, who need parenting. If people are so stupid, what makes you think government employees will be any different? Either way you look at it, your worldview falls down. Given that you think everyone needs a paternalistic government, and you cannot even substantiate your reasons why, I am not at all surprised that an inconsistent misanthrope such as yourself has been called both a “fascist” and a “socialist”.

  18. sippinatbells re GY: “Paternalistic Government”, because we all need parents, or pseudo-parental advice, even when we are adults? However, that aside, the attitude towards paternalistic governments is that somehow they are, as a body, not as individuals, infallible. That they know best and that they, like some parents, do not allow for dissent of different opinion. They pretend to listen to you but then carry on as normal, or rather in the way they were going in the first place. Is that not autocratic parenting? Hmm. Just wondering.

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  21. I thought I would agree with your blog but some of your views are a bit iffy fella!

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