Author Archives: Dr Sean Gabb

Blacking up on the Road to Auschwitz


 

Blacking up on the Road to Auschwitz
By Sean Gabb

On Friday, the 25th July, I was called by a female researcher at BBC Radio Ulster for a comment on a story in Northern Ireland. Several members of the Rugby Team there had been photographed at a fancy dress party, with their faces blacked up and wearing chains round their necks. All hell had broken loose on publications of the photographs, and grovelling apologies from all concerned hadn’t been enough to settle things. The local anti-racism bureaucracies were calling for resignations from the Team. Would I, as Director of the Libertarian Alliance, care to make a comment on this?

I could have come out with the boilerplate libertarian reply – that it’s not our business if someone paints his face black or green at a party, or puts on an SS uniform, or hangs himself, or consumes recreational drugs. I could also have said what I do believe about this incident, or what I know about it: that, if the politically correct hegemony makes it almost irresistible not to make jokes, it is uncharitable to laugh at black people in this way. However, I was in a bad mood that day, and so began the following conversation with the researcher: Continue reading

I Robot by Robert Anton Wilson


http://www.rawillumination.net/2012/02/i-robot-by-robert-anton-wilson.html

I, ROBOT by Robert Anton Wilson

(This short essay, another of Robert Anton Wilson’s “Illuminating Discords” columns from New Libertarian Weekly. It’s from issue No. 80, July 3, 1977. — Tom).

Fairness? Decency? How can you expect fairness or decency on a planet of sleeping people?
— Gurdjieff, 1918

Last year in Oui magazine, Dr. Timothy Leary and I published an article ghoulishly titled, “Brainwashing: How to Fold, Spindle and Mutilate the Human Mind.” I would like to summarize our basic positions here, preparatory to a more general discussion of neurological relativism.

Human beings, Leary and I propose, are basically giant robots created by DNA to make more DNA. (So are all the other multi-cellular organisms on this backward planet.) Continue reading

Interview with Richard Blake, Circa Magazine, July 2014


Interview with Richard Blake

Richard Blake has so far written these historical novels, all published in London by Hodder & Stoughton, and all set in the Byzantine Empire of the seventh century:

Conspiracies of Romeby Richard Blake (2008)
The Terror of Constantinople by Richard Blake (2009)
The Blood of Alexandria by Richard Blake (2010)
The Sword of Damascus by Richard Blake (2011)
The Ghosts of Athens by Richard Blake (2012)
The Curse of Babylon by Richard Blake (2013)

What was your original inspiration for Aelric? 

Based on the similarity in their names, is there any special connection readers are meant to draw between Aelric and the historical figure of Alaric, the Visigoth who sacked Rome in the fifth century?

I think the first idea came to me in the February of 2005, when my wife took me for a long weekend break in Rome. This was my first visit to the City, and my first at that time of year to anywhere in the Mediterranean World. In both senses, the visit opened my eyes. It was cold – much colder than England. Though I “knew” otherwise from the sources, I’d had a fixed notion of the ancient world as a place of omnipresent sun and warmth. Stumbling round the Forum in thick overcoat and gloves brought everything closer to my own experience, and set me thinking about what the Romans wore in winter, and how often most of them really bathed, and what the air must have been like in a place where a quarter of a million houses were heated with charcoal. Continue reading

If you can’t laugh at this…


…You’re looking at the wrong libertarian blog.

The Malaysian Aeroplane Crash


Though short of time, I feel some obligation to comment on this. Let’s take it as read that it was a horrible thing, and move to the questions of who did it and what it may lead to.

Here are the probable candidates for blame:

1. Moslem suicide bomber;
2. The Americans;
3. The Russians;
4. The Ukrainians;
5. The rebels. Continue reading

Richard Blake on the Byzantine Empire


Heraclius: Emperor of Byzantium
Walter E. Kaegi
Cambridge University Press, 2003, 380pp
ISBN 0 521 81459 6
Reviewed by Richard Blake

This is the first biography of Heraclius in over a century, and the first ever in English. That a biography was worth writing should be clear from the book’s cover note:

This book evaluates the life and times of the pivotal yet controversial and poorly understood Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (AD 610-641), a contemporary of the Prophet Muhammad. Heraclius’ reign is critical for understanding the background to fundamental changes in the Balkans and the Middle East, including the emergence of Islam, at the end of Antiquity.

Though few in England know of him, Heraclius is one of the most astonishing figures in history. Except they are true, the facts of his life read like something out of legend. He seized power in 610 just as the Persians were turning their war with the Empire from a set of opportunistic raids into an attempt at its destruction. During the next ten years, every Imperial frontier crumbled. After a thousand years of control by Greeks, or by Greeks and Romans, Persia and Egypt fell to the Persians.. The Slavs and Avars took most of Greece. The Lombards and Visigoths nibbled away at the remaining European provinces in the West. Africa aside, the Empire was reduced to a core that covered roughly the same area as modern Turkey. Continue reading

John Peaseland, Any Seaside Town


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From the Reviews: Continue reading

A Brief Guide to Self-Publishing and a free book offer


by Sean Gabb

Dear All,

I commend the attached article on self-publication. If you are interested in publishing yourself, but don’t know where to begin, this is a good overview of the current options. I write from long experience, even if some of my earlier efforts illustrate one of the big mistakes I warn against – this being the need to get someone else to read your work before you hit the publish button. No matter how well you think you’ve proofed something, you will tend to read what you think ought to be on the page, not what is there. I crawl with horrified shame at some of the howlers I used to let through.

But the other function of this post is to follow the advice I give about free gifts. In 2006, I published my first novel, The Column of Phocas. This was well-received at the time, and led to six commissions from Hodder & Stoughton and translations into half a dozen languages. Because I withdrew it from sale, I still have three boxes left from the second impression. Continue reading

David Hume: A Brief Appreciation


David Hume: A Brief Appreciation
by Sean Gabb
(Published in The Salisbury Review, Summer 2004)

In writing about David Hume (1711-76), it is hard to know where to begin. He was a first rate philosopher, historian, economist, political philosopher and literary critic. He was also one of the greatest prose writers of his age. How does one appreciate that achievement – especially as briefly as the space here requires?

One answer is to see his work, in all its diversity, as part of one consistent project. Hume was interested above all in what we can know about ourselves. His philosophy can be seen as a purely negative achievement – as a retreat into scepticism. It is that. But it is also a great clearing away of misconceptions. Most previous thinkers had regarded knowledge as most surely gained by a chain of deduction from undeniable first principles. Hume denied that reason in itself gave any knowledge about the world. For him, there could be no jump – as there was for Descartes – from simple to complex certainties. He rejected the old Platonic distinction between an intelligible world of essences and the world of appearances. Instead, he completed the work of Locke and Berkeley, focussing attention on the world of appearances. Even this, however, could not yield certain knowledge. The evidence of our senses was no more than a stream of sense impressions that might or might not be related to an external reality. These impressions we processed according to conceptions of cause and effect that could not themselves be rationally demonstrated. To say that A caused B for Hume meant only that we had always experienced certain effects one after the other, and that we had a customary expectation that they always would be. Continue reading

“No blacks, no Irish, no gays?”


by Jock Coats

http://jockcoats.me/node/3522

 April 4, 2010 

There’s been a right royal fuss been made in the past couple of weeks or so concerning a Bed & Breakfast owner in Cookham, Berkshire (unrelated note – my school had Stanley Spencer’s “Crucifixion” – the original – as its alter piece) who, having accepted a phone or internet booking from a gentleman who happened to be a Lib Dem parish councillor somewhere in Cambridgeshire, when he turned up with male partner in tow, politely turned them away, refunding them their money and saying she could not let two gay men share a double bed on the basis of her religious beliefs and she had no singles left to offer them. And now shadow Home Secretary for the Tories, Chris Grayling has been caught saying that they should have the right to refuse people for any reason in their own home, which has sparked of a furious reactions in the media, with blogs coming out both in favour of Grayling’s position and against it.

The two men have made a complaint to the police, since under one of the many “anti-discrimination” laws passed by this government (the Equalities Act 2006 in this case) it is illegal to refuse to provide goods and services to someone because of their age, race, disability, faith, gender or sexual orientation (there are probably more but you get the idea). Under similar laws forbidding so called “hate speech” we have seen all sorts of people stopped by police, or had police turn up at their homes to question them about some derogatory or discriminatory remark they have been alleged to have uttered somewhere.

And I suppose, as a gay man, you’d expect me to support such things. After all, don’t they level the playing field for us? Well, yes, and no. Clearly if they are something we are paying for through public funds collected from all of us through tax, nobody providing those goods and services or recruiting employees should be allowed to discriminate. That’s because we are already customers or users of that service by virtue of our funding it. It would be fraud in fact to discriminate (not that we aren’t already being massively defrauded by “public” services in any case).

But for private sector organisations and individuals, as businesses providing goods and services or as employers, actually it is I who is disadvantaged by these laws. Because the supplier or employer has by law to bite their lip and serve or hire me without discrimination (and preferably no doubt with a smile) I am not allowed to know in turn whether I am about to do business with someone whose real attitude toward me would probably make me not want to patronise their establishment or contribute to their success by being an employee. Of course you might say that yes, perhaps I have a right to know, but that the supplier or employer still has no right to refuse you if you still insist – and I suppose some people might, just to “spite” the supplier, but there’s another issue here…

As a private individual i can choose what to spend my money on, how to make my money indeed, and to build up capital goods that I can then choose how to use. It’s my property. Now why, just because I am offering as a “business” to sell or rent some of my property or provide a service for money, should the government be allowed to decide for me whom I must serve? Of course, if I were simply a rational economic actor out to maximise my income and profit, I would rather rent the room out to a gay couple than to have an empty room for the same fixed costs – Adam Smith’s self-interested butcher applies, but people, even business-people, are entitled not to be entirely rational all the time, especially where that rational choice clashes with some other deeply held belief.

Anyhow, I read somewhere that the couple who own the Cookham Bed & Breakfast had had a torrent of abusive emails and letters, so I sought out their website and sent them a message explaining that I am a gay, Lib Dem, Christian (not necessarily in that order!) and that I supported their right to dispose of their own property as they choose. Here is their rather nice reply:

Dear Jock

You have written one of the loveliest emails of the hundreds we have received in support.

You have understood we have no hate for gay people, but quite the opposite. It is also true that we would never refuse single rooms for gay people.

It is our prayer that the law will be amended to give us back the freedom which has been taken away from us in this area of our personal faith and integrity. You have been a great encouragement and we thank you so much for taking the time to write.

Thanks again and God bless

I find discrimination repulsive, but humanity has actually evolved by discrimination – it is in our genes; we have made great strides in eradicating much unjust discrimination, through inculturation, education and, well simply by living with each other, but this has to be allowed to happen naturally.

We can’t end discrimination simply by state fiat, by making it unlawful, and I find it dangerous to try. Not only is it a breach of freedom of speech, of expression and of association, but a curtailment of rights to use one’s own property as one wishes and of the rights of the purchaser of the good or service or the potential employee to discriminate against doing business with someone who doesn’t like them. But also it is artificially suppressing an instinct that lies deep inside many people and I have little doubt that one day that will return to bite us. Is it really so different from this sort of state censorship?  And I for one do not relish being an innocent victim if any backlash comes.

Continue reading

On the Persecution of Christian Bakers in Ulster


by Simon Muir

Note: I have spent much of my life denouncing the persecution of homosexuals. More recently, I have turned to denouncing the persecution of Christians by homosexuals. I do both on exactly the same grounds, of freedom of speech and freedom of association.

I urge our gay readers to join in these denunciations. The current persecution is wrong in itself, and is also undertaken without regard for its consequences. These, I have no doubt, will eventually include the recriminalisation – probably indirectly in the first instance – of homosexual acts. Homosexuals are the weakest element in the pc coalition of the oppressed. On the one hand, they are widely hated within the other groups. On the other, most of them have the option of creeping back into the closet the moment the winds shift direction – one whiff of persecution, and the gay lobby will become a leadership without a membership.

Now is the time for us all to take a stand for the traditional liberal values of freedom of speech and association. These cover the right of gay people to live as they please – and also of traditionalist Christians to have nothing to do with them. SIG

   Continue reading

Twin Towers “Struck by Lightning” after Necrophile Sex Romp Involving Jimmy Savile and Ted Heath


See below for pictures.

Continue reading

Learning to Love the Great Satan?


I have been looking through the various sales figures on my books. Around 75 per cent of my on-line book sales in the past year have been in the United States. It may be that I live in a nation of cheapskates who’d rather trawl the Web for a stray pdf than put a few pounds in my pocket. Or it may be that I’m giving my Colonial readers exactly what they want.

Perhaps I should set my next one in Hicksville, SC, where two middle class English children visiting their aunt (only by marriage) are menaced by the Reverend Hezekiah Z. Bottleburger, after they discover he is a cannibal with friends in high places. Because every novel I’ve written seems to involve unpleasantness deep underground, I could have satanic rituals in a complex of ancient Aztecish tunnels. Needless to say, Richard and Jessica frustrate the Rev. Bottleburger and President Weevilstein in their plan to take over world for a conspiracy of reptilian bipeds from beyond the void, and a grateful American people beg forgiveness for their act of treason in 1776.

It would be Enid Blyton meets Philip K. Dick. I could probably write it in my sleep, and wake up to see the cash roll in.

Keir Martland Reviews “The Break”


It’s Like ‘Atlas Shrugged’, Only Good!

Birthday presents rarely come with IOUs attached to them, but maybe this general maxim doesn’t extend to birthday presents given by novelists. And so, the below, is my feeble attempt at repaying the debt I incurred to Sean Gabb, author of ‘The Break’, by ageing a year.

To call the setting of the novel ‘futuristic’ would only be the half of it. The Break is the colloquial name given to a freak accident whereby Nature – or God – saw fit to plonk 21st century England right in the middle of the 11th century AD. On mainland Europe, then, the Byzantine Empire still breathes, the Crusades have not yet been called, and William the Bastard is Duke of Normandy. In Britain, there is a veritable police-state run by a matching – if slightly amplified – set of demagogues to those ruling Britain today. If I were living in the post-Break England, I know where I’d go. But that’s just it: contact with ‘Outsiders’ is expressly forbidden! Continue reading

Tax Drink: Hurt the Poor – Sean Gabb in The Phuket Gazette, 5th July 2014


Tax Drink: Hurt the Poor
By Sean Gabb
(Published in The Phuket Gazette, 5th July 2014)

There are two cases for taxing alcohol. The first is that government must somehow be paid for, and that drink can and should be taxed more heavily than food and books and clothing. The second is that drink is bad for us, and should be made so expensive that we buy less of it. Ignoring this first case, I will take issue with the second.

It is not the business of government to tell us how to live. That is for us to choose for ourselves. We all ought to know that drinking too much is bad for us. If some do not or will not, that is sad for them. If they make a nuisance of themselves, let there be laws against the nuisance. Let there be laws against being drunk and disorderly in public, and let punishments be greater for criminals who offend while drunk. But it is a disagreeable belief that fools can be made wise, or criminals deterred, by treating all of us like children. It is disagreeable for the reason already given, that we should be left to live as we please, and for the further reasons given below. Continue reading

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Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori


Paul Gottfried on English Blame for the Great War


Note: Paul Gottfried is one of the few surviving Hapsburg loyalists who happen to be Jewish, which gives him more freedom than your average guilt-denatured modern German to point out that we were hardly innocent third parties dragged into the horror of the Great War. The Germans did no more than anyone else to send the July Crisis out of control. They were no more unpleasant in the fighting than we were. Their war aims were no more unbalanced. The war guilt clause in the Versailles Treaty was monstrous, and I hope Woodrow Wilson and Lloyd George are both in the next to innermost circle of Hell – the innermost being reserved for three really wicked people, whose names I won’t mention because one of them will send the usual suspects into a frenzy.

My own belief is that the order of things before 1914 was the best of all possible worlds. And it could so easily have been maintained throughout the twentieth century by a close and trusting Anglo-German friendship. Equal, though separate and complementary, in genius, in enterprise, and in all else that makes a civilisation great, both nations had so much to gain by friendship, and so much to offer in the way of friendly guidance to the lesser nations of the world.

This being said, Paul does overlook the effect on British opinion of building a German fleet. Its only possible use was against us. It sent us into a panic. It scared us into allying with the ludicrous and declining French, and with the barbarous Russians. It allowed the devious and resentful Americans to slip the leash that kept them in the secondary status for which they have plainly always been fitted. Perhaps our response was excessive. But even a potential challenge by Germany to mastery of the seas had to be taken seriously. How would the Germans have reacted had we promised an army of three million men after 1898, and started joint military exercises along their border with the French? Because he overlooks the naval race, Paul fails to make his general case.

I think it’s best to regard the July Crisis itself as a catastrophic accident, for which no one actor can be uniquely blamed. It’s something for which whatever power you happen to be studying can be most credibly blamed. Almost every year in the two decades before 1914, there had been provocations from one great power or another. All were stupid. None wanted a general war.

Oh, and what makes it seem even more accidental is that, after 1912, Anglo-German relations were on the mend. The Germans had given up on the naval race, and would have been wholly out of it after 1916. The two countries worked amicably together to limit the scope of the Balkan War. If the crisis could have been delayed even another year, there might have been a war in Eastern Europe – but I see no reason why there would have been British involvement.

The Germans would probably have seen off the Russians in this war. But, let’s face it, so long as they aren’t wearing really sexy uniforms, when was German domination of Central and Eastern Europe ever such a bad thing?

I suppose I might also mention that this case is made at greater length in my novel, The Churchill Memorandum, which is currently on special offer via Amazon. SIG Continue reading

Plain Words about “Islamist Extremism” by Sean Gabb


Plain Words about “Islamist Extremism”
By Sean Gabb

According to The Daily Telegraph, “[o]ne of the most serious challenges facing [England] is that of tackling religious extremism.” Apparently, some of the Moslems here are attempting “to seal Islamic communities off hermetically from the rest of society.” They are taking over state schools in the areas where they are settled, and imposing on them their own ideas of curriculum and behaviour. Girls are made to sit at the back of the class. Evolution is not taught. Christmas and Easter are not celebrated. Instead, there is fasting during Ramadan, and the call to prayer sounds through the playground. We are all supposed to think this very wicked and in need of action by the British State.

I disagree. Mass-immigration has not, by any reasonable standard, been a success. Even before it started, anyone with half a brain could have seen what was coming. Many people did see, and only stiff laws and a controlled media have been enough to keep the volume of complaint to a low rumble. It may be encouraging that the ruling class has finally chosen to notice and deplore some of the consequences. But I am not encouraged. The media drumbeat against “Islamist extremism” and “radicalisation” is not, I think, the prelude not to a frank discussion of where we are, but to the finishing off of what freedom remains in this country. Continue reading

Brief Comment on the Commemoration in Sarajevo


The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Libertarian Alliance Mid-Summer Book Sale


JFS20

On the 22nd and 23rd June 2014, use the above code at the checkout to get 20 per cent off any or all of the following books:

Nigel Meek: Conservative Party Politicians at the Turn of the 20th/21st Centuries
John Kersey: The University Outside State Control
John Kersey: Arnold Harris Mathew and the Old Catholic Movement in England 1908-52
John Kersey: Joseph-Rene Vilatte (1854-1929): Some aspects of his life, work and succession
Sean Gabb: The Break
Sean Gabb: The Churchill Memorandum
Sean Gabb: Freedom of Speech in England
Sean Gabb: Literary Essays
Sean Gabb: Smoking, Class and the Legitimation of Power
Sean Gabb: Cultural Revolution, Culture War
Sean Gabb: War and the National Interest

Regards,

Sean Gabb

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. Continue reading

Willingly among the Hyenas


In London last night, to explain libertarianism to an audience of pro-state lefties. Less hostility than I expected – possibly the audience still recovering from the nudey men who were on before me. Report later.

Ambulances without Paramedics on Some 999 Calls to Save Money


by Stewart Cowan
http://www.realstreet.co.uk/2014/06/ambulances-without-paramedics-on-some-999-calls-to-save-money
Ambulances without Paramedics on Some 999 Calls to Save Money

Note: A fair point. There is currently no alternative to the NHS, and it will take a generation to replace it with something better for the people, as opposed to better for the usual special interests. This being so, we should insist that the budget is spent on healing the sick. SIG Continue reading

Review of “The Break” by Sean Gabb


I’ve read a few of Sean Gabb’s historical novels set in the Byzantine Empire in the 7th century, which are sort of a cross between the Flashman novels and H. Rider Haggard. This one is different. It combines the Byzantine Empire of the 11th century with science fiction: the British Isles are transported back in time almost a thousand years. Cut off from trade with the modern world, the population plummets, and the United Kingdom quickly turns into a police state: “this new order had emerged as quickly and as logically as the movement of iron filings in a magnetic field”. The book is mostly set in England, and part of the dark humour arises from how similar this awful Britain is to our own. Much diminished in morals but still far more technologically advanced than the rest of the world, we have the amusing scene of the Prime Minister telling the Byzantine ambassador that the Eastern Empire must impose recycling regulations, and the thuggish Home Secretary talking up multiculturalism and tolerance whilst threatening to arm the Turks and hating the Christians.

As for the plot, it’s sort of Bulldog Drummond meets sci-fi. Our heroine and hero get swept along by events and somehow manage to save the day and come out on top. You won’t see this one coming.

It’s a short book, just over 100,000 words, and reads quickly. I read it over three or four days.

Published on Amazon on the 14th June 2014

Brief Comment on Iraq


Note: This is an old article, but it will have do do as my comment on what is now happening in Iraq. I have another article somewhere in which I predicted the general course of what has since happened, but cannot currently lay hands on it. This will have to do. We destroyed a regime of secular nationalists on the promise that liberal democracy would somehow emerge from its rubble. All we have actually had is an unstoppable resurgence of religious enthusiasm. The best we can hope for is that our rulers will cut off aid to the rebels in Syria, and then do nothing while the Iranians restore as much order as they can – presumably also turning the stabilised areas into a protectorate.

Even so, there is little chance that, in the next few years, the chaos and bloodshed that began in 2003 will come to an end. In European societies, there is a spontaneous tendency to peace and reasonable prosperity. In most other societies, the only choice is between despotism and chaos. No doubt, Saddam Hussein was a bad man. He was certainly incompetent in his foreign policy. Back in the 1980s, though, you could go about Iraq in safety. You could smoke and drink in the restaurants. You could go to the church or mosque of your choice. You could make money. So long as you kept out of dissident politics, you would never see the inside of one of his torture chambers. If you had to bribe someone, he usually stayed bought. Now Saddam and his system are gone, Iraq has reverted to its normal state of chaos. Since our rulers still have no understanding of what they did in 1990 and 2003, we must let the Iranians sort things out. Sooner or later, enough of the excitable young men will have been killed, and another strong man will restore a brittle jollity to places like Basra and Baghdad.

I feel sorry for the Iraqis. If their country has become a slagheap reeking with human blood, it has been made that entirely by the elected politicians in London and Washington. I wish I could do more about this than cheer on defence cuts in London and the gathering collapse of dollar hegemony throughout the world. But what little I can do I will. SIG

Middle East Continue reading

The reckless mass medication of Britain


by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/the-reckless-mass-medication-of-britain/

Note: I entirely agree with Robert. Most of the drugs handed out like smarties are decidedly iffy. Statins, in particular, are dangerous. Many years ago, I was commissioned by a drug company to ghost a paper on the benefit of putting the whole population on statins. In the course of my research, I discovered a mass of dissident literature on their side effects. I was in need of money at the time, so I wrote the paper exactly as my brief demanded. But I felt rather guilty when I saw my words quoted as gospel on the BBC website. My advice is to take vitamins and hope for the best. Certainly, you should never believe anything you read about medications in the mainstream media. It may have been written by me. SIG Continue reading

Every Man a King Juan Carlos


by Joel Schlosberg
http://c4ss.org/content/27966
Every Man a King Juan Carlos

Note: Karl Hess was wrong. There is a fundamental difference between an hereditary monarch and an elected president or prime minister. Unless drawn from a class of hereditary landlords, the latter will always be a political bureaucrat. He will be part of a faction that may at any time be driven from office. Any regard he feels for the long term benefit of his country will be more than balanced by his own need to make five lifetimes of income for himself in five or ten years, and to keep his client base attached with jobs and sinecures. A monarch, on the other hand, has no need to lie his way to the top, or to stay there by handing out bribes. Taking the trouble to be born is no qualification for a shoemaker or brain surgeon. Heads of state are different. They have an actual incentive to look out for the long term benefit of the society over which they and their descendants will rule. Just because our own dear Queen has been shockingly useless does not invalidate the general case for a divine right but constitutional monarchy. Despite his corruption and philandering, Juan Carlos appears to have kept Spain more stable and more liberal than would otherwise have been the case. SIG

Continue reading

Hoppe Coming to England


Inter-Disciplinary Symposium on Business Ethics & Business/Economic History:

“The Challenges of Capitalism for the Common Good”

This one day research symposium takes place at Henley Business School, the University of Reading on Tuesday 17 June 2014.

The symposium focuses on the evolution of relations and constructions of moral values in key social classes influencing the definition of common good, and how it affects the economy and society.

The first part of the day is a historical focus on the pre-modern, medieval and modern relations between merchants and kings and their relevance in current challenges of business ethics in a forward-thinking academic community. It explores competing and complementary perspectives on societal perceptions of virtue and morality. Distinguished speakers are Professor Agustín González Enciso, Professor Daryl Koehn, Dr Alisdair Dobie and Prof. Dr H. H. Hoppe. Continue reading

For Discussion


I suspect that many of our regulars will need to pause when they see this, to wipe the vomit off their monitors. But I suggest the following:

1. It is not our business what consenting adults do in bed together;
2. It is mean-spirited to pass even non-coercive hostile judgement on what they do;
3. So long as no one who disagrees with the above is persecuted, there is nothing objectionable about gay marriage;
4. While the ideal is for children to be brought up in a stable union of both their biological parents, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the sort of family shown in the picture – it looks better than many defective versions of the ideal;
5. Though no hotelier should be forced to offer accommodation to such families, it is praiseworthy if one does.

I should, therefore, regard the advertisement as one of the few good things about the modern world. For some reason, however, I don’t. Is this because I am secretly as intolerant of homosexuality as Stephen Green? Or is it because the advertisement has an agenda that goes beyond liberal tolerance? Or am I now inclined to see Enemy Class propaganda in everything I look at?

All I can say for sure is that both men look like lefties.

Comments welcome.

REVIEW – The Churchill Memorandum – By Dr Sean Gabb


REVIEW – The Churchill Memorandum – By Dr Sean Gabb.

The Churchill Memorandum by Sean Gabb is a thriller set in an alternative timeline to our own. The major difference that Sean explores, is what would happen to the United Kingdom if World War 2 had been avoided by something as simple as Hitler’s vehicle crashing. The differences that have occurred as a result of this is what makes this alternative timeline so striking, and as a result of this, it will certainly appeal to any libertarian simply because of the differences that are explored. The pound sterling has not been inflated, so the pound is still worth a pound; there is still some semblance of a free market, and there is none of that ridiculous political correctness.

As for the story, it gets in to the action fairly early in the book, and the story is very good at creating suspense throughout. The choice of villains in this book are very interesting, and the story uses real characters to show the more traitorous among the various communists and politicians who were around during the time period that the book is set in. The main character, Anthony Markham, is very interesting, and his development throughout the book is well done. My only criticism of the story, is that Sean could have gone in to more detail around the background of some of the organisations that come up during the story, as some readers may know very little about the people behind them, so covering them more could have given the story a slightly stronger background. However, this didn’t ruin the story in the slightest, and it will no doubt be  a very enjoyable read for anyone who enjoys a good thriller; particularly so if you lived through the time period that the book is set in, which isn’t something that I have done.

I highly recommend this book to libertarians and conservatives alike, as both will find themes in this book that they will enjoy. However, you’d best avoid this book if you are a fan of political correctness, as Dr Gabb uses the theme of anti-pc frequently in this book, which I found to be highly refreshing compared to the works of most authors. The Churchill Memorandum will only set you back by about £10, and even less if you own a Kindle, so this is a definite must buy if the themes that this review has explored excite you. I am already looking forward to reading another of Dr Gabb’s books in the near future, and I hope you enjoy ‘The Churchill Memorandum’ as much as I have.

If you’d like to buy a copy, it is available for purchase HERE

Sean Gabb new novel “The Break” now available


Hi!

My new novel, The Break, has now been published worldwide and in all formats. The Break is a dystopian science fiction novel, set in 2018, by when the UK has become a traumatised and post-apocalyptic police state. I’m rather proud of the helicopter gunship massacre in Oxford Street.

This is my ninth published novel and my twelfth written. Hodder & Stoughton have published six of my historical novels, and several have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, Slovak, Hungarian, Indonesian and Chinese. See below for extracts from reviews of my previous books.

You can buy in these formats:

1. Hardback - un objet de luxe, intended mostly for the gift market
2. Paperback - still a fine object, but for those who prefer physical books to pixels on a tablet
3. For Kindle
4. For all other e-formats

If you buy my book and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review at your favourite on-line book seller. You might also care to look at my other sixteen books in print.

Regards,

Sean

Product Description: The Break, by Sean Gabb,
published 2nd June 2014

No one knows what caused The Break eleven months ago, but there’s no sign of its end.

England is settling into its new future as a reindustrialising concentration camp. The rest of the world is watching… waiting… curious…

It’s Wednesday the 7th March 2018 – in the mainland UK. Everywhere else, it’s some time in June 1065.

Jennifer thinks her family survived The Hunger because of their smuggling business – tampons and paracetamol to France, silver back to England. Little does she know what game her father was really playing, as she recrosses the Channel from an impromptu mission of her own. Little can she know how her life has already been torn apart.

Who has taken Jennifer’s parents? Where are they? What is the Home Secretary up to with the Americans? Why is she so desperate to lay hands on Michael? Will Jesus Christ return to Earth above Oxford Circus? When will the “Doomsday Project” go live?

Can the Byzantine Empire and the Catholic Church take on the British State, and win?

All will be answered – if Jennifer can stay alive in a post-apocalyptic London terrorised by cannibals, by thugs in uniform, and by motorbike gangs of Islamic suicide bombers.

From the Reviews

“Fascinating to read, very well written, an intriguing plot
and I enjoyed it very much.”
(Derek Jacobi, star of I Claudius and Gladiator)

“Vivid characters, devious plotting and buckets of gore are enhanced
by his unfamiliar choice of period. Nasty, fun and educational.”
(The Daily Telegraph)

“He knows how to deliver a fast-paced story
and his grasp of the period is impressively detailed.”
(The 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)

“As always, [his] plotting is as brilliantly devious as the mind of his sardonic
and very earthy hero. This is a story of villainy that reels you in
from its prosaic opening through a series of death-defying thrills and spills.”
(The Lancashire Evening Post)

“It would be hard to over-praise this extraordinary series,
a near-perfect blend of historical detail and atmosphere
with the plot of a conspiracy thriller, vivid characters,
high philosophy and vulgar comedy.”
(The Morning Star)

Should Voting be Compulsory? (Sky News), Sean Gabb


On Monday the 26th May 2014, Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, took part in a Sky News debate on compulsory voting. Chaired by Kay Burley, he was opposing a proposal put by Suzy Boniface.
Sean made these points:
  • We live in a Potemkin democracy. However we vote, we still live in a police state ruled by parasites and traitors. Not voting is effectively a vote against the system. Let the turnout drop far enough, and it brings on a crisis of legitimacy. That is its function. Also, if it does drop far enough, those of us who still vote give a big push to parties like UKIP. That changes nothing, but is very embarrassing to the ruling class.
  • Compulsory voting papers over the cracks. Indeed, add it to state-licensing and state-funding of political parties, and the lie is restored that we live in a functioning multi-party democracy with high levels of support. Sooner or later, we may turn from grumbling to counting the lamp posts in Westminster. But that will be for another generation of parasites and traitors to worry about.

Miss Boniface responded to these points with a spray of insults and alleged facts cribbed from Wikipedia.

UKIP and the European Elections


UKIP and the European Elections:
The Earthquake
(Unedited version of article published on VDare, 26th May 2014)
Sean Gabb

The votes have now been counted in the European elections, and even the BBC is admitting that the result is “an earthquake.” No one is now able, without lying, to claim there is a consensus in Europe for “ever closer union.”

These are the headline facts. However, I am writing largely for an American audience. So far as I can tell, the American media is both limited and selective in its foreign coverage. And most Americans show little interest in news from outside their own borders. Let me, then, explain something of the background to what has happened. Continue reading

Are You Talking to a Agent Provocateur?


by David Hathaway
http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/05/david-hathaway/are-you-talking-to-a-agent-provocateur/

Note: The Libertarian Alliance is, so far as I can tell, an agent provocateur-free zone. The probable reasons are as follows: 1) we are not perceived as a threat; 2) the British State is spending all its security budget on watching excitable teenagers in Leicester; c) both of the above. SIG

Are You Talking to a Agent Provocateur? Continue reading

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Europe According to Mr Putin


UKIP’s Warning To GOP Establishment: The Base Bites Back


https://www.vdare.com/articles/ukips-warning-to-gop-establishment-the-base-bites-back

This is an interestingly edited version of my article – much punchier and more American, though without much change in meaning. I will publish the original text in the next day or so. SIG

UKIP’s Warning To GOP Establishment: The Base Bites Back

By Sean Gabb on May 26, 2014

Even the BBC is admitting that the result is “an earthquake”: [<a
onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.bbc.co.uk']);” href=”http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27559714“>Eurosceptic ‘earthquake’ rocks EU elections, May 28, 2014] No one is now able, without lying, to claim there is any consensus in Europe for “ever-closer union”—the mantra of the European Union functionaries and their political puppets—or for continued mass immigration.

Background: The European Union has 28 member states and four central institutions: the Commission, the permanent bureaucracy; the Council of Ministers, a variable committee of elected officials from each member state; the Court of Justice, which rules on the meaning of the European treaties; and the Parliament of 766 members elected directly every five years. The Parliament has the least effective power. Its members are notorious for their idleness and pliability. If it were shut down, the EU would continue much as before. Shut down any of the other institutions—not that these are any more honest or competent—and the EU would stop functioning….more

Recital at the Guild of Musicians and Singers, 17 May 2014


Recital at the Guild of Musicians and Singers, 17 May 2014

Recital at the 41st General Meeting of the Guild of Musicians and Singers, 17 May 2014
John Kersey, piano
RDR CD103

Audio samples:
Faure: Barcarolle no. 2
Faure: Barcarolle no. 3
Faure: Nocturne no. 6
Alkan Symphony: movt. 1; movt. 2; movt. 3; movt 4

Price: £13.99. Click the button below to purchase this CD securely online.

Total time: 71 minutes 15 seconds

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924):
1. Barcarolle no. 2 in G major, op. 41 (1885) (6’16”)
2. Barcarolle no. 3 in G flat major, op. 42 (1885) (8’59”)
3. Barcarolle no. 4 in A flat major, op. 44 (1886) (4’06”)
4. Barcarolle no. 5 in F sharp major, op. 66 (1894) (6’28”)
5. Nocturne no. 6 in D flat major, op. 63 (1894) (+ applause) (10’32”)

Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-88):
Symphonie for solo piano, from 12 Etudes in the minor keys, op. 39 nos. 4-7
6. Allegro moderato (10’14”)
7. Marcia funebre: Andantino (6’27”)
8. Menuet (5’56”)
9. Finale: Presto (+ applause) (5’28”)

10. (encore) Faure: Nocturne no. 3 and concluding remarks by Master of the Guild Dr. David Bell (6’59”)

Recorded at the concert on 17 May 2014 and the rehearsal concert preceding it.

Fake Quote Files: Adolf Hitler on Gun Registration, Conquest and Disarmament


http://blog.skepticallibertarian.com/2013/03/19/fake-quote-files-adolf-hitler-on-gun-registration-conquest-and-disarmament/

Note: I am neither able nor willing to verify these claims for myself. I do, however, find them very likely. I can also say that guns were more easily available in Communist Czechoslovakia than they are in modern England. We need the right to own and use guns to protect ourselves from criminals. We also need them because owning a gun is rather like being rich – it gives you the confidence to tell people to get stuffed long before any need for escalation. But the idea that having a handgun at home will stop a seriously oppressive government is a joke. In America, it simply means that the police have turned into heavily militarised gangs. They get their way by outgunning their victims. SIG  Continue reading

Libertarian Racists?


Note: For the record, there are two Libertarian Alliances – both with the same logo and identical claims to apostolic succession from the LA established in 1979. This article refers to the other Libertarian Alliance, not to the Gabb/Davis/Meek/Kersey et al organisation that is descended from the Tame/Micklethwait reconstruction of the 1980s. Also for the record, our LA does not encourage derogatory speech about people of different colours or sexualities.

All this being said, I have spoken a number of times at meetings of the other LA, and I have spent time afterwards in the bar at the Institute of Education. Never once have I heard derogatory comments of the sort alleged in the article below. I have known David McDonagh since the 1970s and Jan Lester since the 1990s. Other people who regularly attend these meetings also attend functions of our LA. I simply do not believe such words would be uttered. I also find it hard to believe that, if overheard, such words would be tolerated by third parties: the bar staff in the IoE are usually black, as are many of the students.

I will go further. The LA of which I am Director is generally sceptical about mass-immigration. The other LA is more relaxed about open borders. Nico Metten, for example, often posts on this blog in opposition to those of us who do not share his fundamentalist belief in open borders. I do not believe that he would sit quiet while someone spoke about “macaroons.”

I suggest that, unless he can produce a recording, we should assume that Mr Ezra is mistaken. I might also ask why he appears to have made no protest at the time, but chose to denounce the other LA in a blog posting.

We take no responsibility for anything said or done by the other LA. At the same time, each organisation enjoys a close, if perhaps complex, relationship with the other. I do not like to see my friends insulted, and take this chance to protest at the insults offered in the article reposted below. SIG
Continue reading

I have voted in the European Elections


UKIP, of course – though a monstrously long ballot paper, with about half a dozen UKIP lookalikes near the top of it. We shall see what happens next.

Class, “Identity Politics” and Stigmergy: Why We Don’t Need “One Big Movement”


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/content/27365

Note: I do wish Kevin Carson and Keith Preston would kiss and make up. I admire them both and have learned much from both of them. I have reviewed their books with equal enthusiasm. I would like one day to have dinner with both of them. Indeed, the stated principles of each leave room for the other. Libertarianism is a cluster of diverse movements. Some of these overlap with anti-state traditionalism, others with anti-state leftism. These outlying movements often overlap with each other. There is no reason why we should try to agree with each other on every issue. There is good reason for exploring and for arguing over our differences. But we should at least try to stay on speaking terms with each other. So far as we know of their existence, the Libertarian Alliance will continue to make room for all points of view within the libertarian movement. SIG Continue reading

Climate Change and Corporate Welfare


Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/content/27328
Climate Change and Corporate Welfare

Note: I’m glad Kevin doesn’t agree that the State should do anything about “anthropogenic climate change.” He is probably right that the current American way of life is itself a product of state action. His problem is that he believes the lies about climate change. For the alleged collapse of the Antarctic ice shelf, look at this: http://m4gw.com/alarmist-headlines-on-antarctic-ice-sheet-collapse-obscure-truth/ SIG

It’s been a pretty bad couple of weeks on the climate front. Two separate teams of climate scientists warn that the collapse of the western Antarctic ice sheet has already begun and is now too late to stop. The six glaciers already in retreat are enough, by themselves to add four feet to global sea levels. Although total collapse will probably take 200 years or more, the loss of the whole sheet could bring the total sea rise to between 14 and 17 feet — over and above previous predictions, which assumed the western sheet would remain intact. In California alone, this would put LAX, the San Francisco airport and the San Onofre nuclear plant underwater, according to governor Jerry Brown. North America is entering its third summer in a row of extreme drought — the worst in centuries in the southwest US.

Meanwhile, Harvard Ph.D. student Vanessa Williamson suggests Tea Partiers are skeptical of anthropogenic climate change because of two beliefs: “First, the coastal elite looks down on people in Middle America; second, the government wants to exert ever-more control, and will use any pretext to do it.” The goal of the “global warming hoax,” Tea Partiers believe, is “to undo the American way of life — big cars, big homes, suburban sprawl — and make the heartland look more like the coasts” (Christopher Flavelle, “Climate Change is Stuck in the Culture War,” BloombergView, May 9).

What’s most striking is the belief that the Middle American lifestyle of SUVs, split-level ranches in cul-de-sacs, strip malls and Big Box stores is some sort of spontaneously emergent behavior in the free market, and that this could only be “undone” through increased government control. The truth is just the opposite. Continue reading

Health ‘Experts’ Gutted At Good News


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/N3xp3BFzWMk/health-experts-gutted-at-good-news.html

Health ‘Experts’ Gutted At Good News While the tobacco control industry has been chuntering on about how they know nothing about e-cigs so want them banned or restricted, the rest of the human population have been absolutely certain about what the BBC now confirms is true.

Smokers who use e-cigarettes to quit are more likely to succeed than those who use willpower alone or buy nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches or gum, a study suggests.

The survey of nearly 6,000 smokers found a fifth had quit with the aid of e-cigarettes.

That was 60% higher than those who did not use the devices, the study said.

Well of course. It’s because they mimic the habits of smoking, deliver the same throat hit, are cheaper than tobacco … and are fun. It really shouldn’t take months and months of debate to come to this conclusion, it’s hardly rocket science, is it? The fact that the ‘public health’ cartel has muddied the waters for so long in an attempt to deny something as plainly intuitive as this should raise alarm bells with the general public about what other lies the health ‘experts’ may have been telling.

So it’s official, e-cigs are good for public health then. Bizarrely, though, there will be thousands of ‘public health experts’ who will be gutted about it today.N3xp3BFzWMk

Richard Blake in Bahasa


An Indonesian publisher has bought the translation rights to the works of Mr Blake, and will bring them out in Bahasa, which is one of the main languages in that country. I hope soon to have news of a Russian edition.

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One for Ian B


Congratulations to John Kersey


Yesterday, I attended a piano recital given at All Hallows by the Tower by John Kersey, our Director of Cultural Affairs. He played six pieces by Gabriel Fauré and the Symphony for Solo Piano by Charles Alkan. This isn’t music that I would normally listen to, and so I cannot compare his performance with any of the main recordings. But I will say that he played with astonishing force and spirit. The imperfections of the instrument he was given only emphasised the magnificence of his artistry. Of the music played, I most liked the Fauré Barcarolle No.4 in A flat major, and the second movement of the Alkan. But this is a personal preference. The whole performance was a memorable event.

I hope John will soon issue a recording.

Review of Macaulay’s History of England


Review Article by Sean Gabb
The History of England
from the Accession of James II
Thomas Babington Macaulay
(First published 1848-60)
J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London, 1906, 3 volumes

I discovered Macaulay quite by chance in March 1979. My English teacher was absent one day, and I found myself in his classroom with nothing better to do than browse through a pile of old textbooks that had sat on a shelf as long as I could remember. One of them was called The Art of Précis , and contained passages of about 500 words from all the usual English writers. The book fell open at an extract from Macaulay’s 1847 speech on education. He was describing the illiteracy of the labouring classes. I know now that he was mistaken in his facts, having taken these from an enquiry that would be considered biassed and untruthful even by New Labour standards. But at the time, I was less interested in the accuracy of his claims than in the artistry with which he made them. There was a contrast in his prose between the superficial elegance of expression and a forward drive in the underlying rhythm that I had never seen before and that I could only compare to the music of Beethoven. From just those two paragraphs, I realised that I had discovered a great writer.

Within a few days, I had acquired his Critical and Historical Essays , and I read them as I had never read anything before. I was minded of Keats on first looking into Chapman’s Homer: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies

When some new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise -
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Continue reading

Retrospective: 40 Years of Remnant Review


Gary North – May 15, 2014

http://www.garynorth.com/public/12451.cfm

Remnant Review

Today is a big day for me. It probably isn’t a big day for you, but it is a big day for me.

On this day, 40 years ago, the first issue of Remnant Review was mailed to subscribers. It was a technologically primitive newsletter. Most newsletters were, back in 1974. You can download it here.

I still publish it once a month, as you can see. Back then, I published it every other week. When it started, it had four pages. It grew to six pages. It grew to eight pages. Then, beginning early in this century, I ceased publishing it in paper form. From then on, it varied in length in terms of digits. There is no particular length for the issues.

I had left the Foundation for Economic Education in March 1973. I joined Ron Paul’s staff in June 1976. So these two years constituted my breakthrough. I began to escape the golden manacles of a salary. My escape came in the fall of 1979. After this, I was self-supported. I was a full-time entrepreneur. That began in the months leading up to May 1974. Continue reading

John Warren on the Great Debate over Naughty Words on the LA Blog


by John Warren

Ian is quite right of course, our language is in constant flux.

One of the main reasons for that probably being that it’s now become a world language (unless one unexpectedly finds oneself in France of course).

So, here we see Julie (from near Chicago) reading and understanding the language in a slightly different way to Ian. Not only that, her coffee drinking experiences over there in the States, differs slightly to those generally experienced over here. Contrary to popular belief, the American coffee drinker usually shows just about twice the consideration shown by their European counterparts. Nearly always clearing up their tables before leaving and the men generally being more polite to the ladies. Something which never seems to happen in England anymore (I stopped being considerate because of the strange looks I was getting from the female staff who probably thought I was only cleaning up because I fancied stroking a pussy – right word is it Ian?) Continue reading

Nigel Farage and UKIP: A Step in the Right Direction


Nigel Farage and UKIP:
A Step in the Right Direction

Sean Gabb
(Unedited Version of Article Published by VDare on 9th May 2014)

For anyone not completely in love with the New World Order, most of the news coming out of England is depressing. I will, in this article, try for an exception to the rule. I grant that, since my subject is the rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), and since I am a fairly enthusiastic supporter of that party and of its leader, Nigel Farage, I may be guilty of wishful thinking. All the same, the party is currently doing well, and Mr Farage seems to be doing still better. Unless you are committed to the British National Party, and are suspicious of what may be called “The Conservative party in exile,” I think I can show that the rise of UKIP is at least a step in the right direction. Continue reading