Category Archives: Competition

Customer Service


My wife and I bought this kettle from the Aga Shop in Tunbridge Wells on the 2nd October 2004. Yesterday, the handle sheared away. I wrote to the Aga Shop at once, enclosing the photograph and a copy of the receipt. I got a reply this morning, promising a replacement within seven days.

Aga products are expensive. The original kettle cost £64 in 2004. A new one now costs £100. But you can’t fault the company’s attention to customer service. British often is best.

In Defence of Loan Sharking


Loan Sharking: A Brief Defence
By Sean Gabb

The British Government has announced it will cap the rates of interest on the loans people take out to tide them over till payday. It will amend the current Financial Services Bill to give the planned Financial Conduct Authority the power to limit charges.

Now, some of the interest rates charged do look astonishing. The loan companies that advertise on Channel Five all charge about 2,000 per cent. Others are said to charge as much as 4,000 per cent. The last time I borrowed money, I paid five per cent. I avoid going into debt on my credit cards, because of the 22 per cent charged on them. It may seem heartless to defend the right to charge very high interest rates – especially as these are charged to the very poor, who then have trouble getting out of debt. However, limiting the rate of interest they can be charged is not the way to help the poor. Let me explain. Continue reading

Anyone Fancy Entering this Competition?


100 euros doesn’t seem much of an incentive. Also, you have to get to the presentation in Brussels under your own steam. Here is my proposed definition. You are welcome to enter it under your own name. If you win, good luck.

“A Libertarian is someone who wants to be left alone, who wants to leave others alone, and who wants others to leave others alone. All else is a matter of detail.”

The Mises Book Circle “Definition of Libertarianism Prize”, sponsored by Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP

Preamble

Early in 2011 UKIP ran a “Definition of Libertarianism” competition with a cash prize via the Mises Book Circle, but it lacked a strict timetable and lapsed, and there was no winner. So my apologies to all who have enquired as to the result of that competition, the new competition will be strictly run, and will properly complete.

The new competition

The new competition will start today, on sending of this email, and will fully complete on Tuesday 30 October 2012, at the meeting of the Mises Book Circle, when Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP, will present the prize of EUR100 to the winner, who must be personally present and participate throughout the meeting and accept the prize as awarded.

Rules for entry

  1. Define (in English) “Libertarianism” using no more      than 100 words
  2. Email the entry to michael.jose@ep.europarl.eu      (and no other email address) by the deadline of Monday 29 October 2012,      5pm
  3. Entrants shall be personally present to read their definition      aloud at the Mises Circle meeting on Tuesday 30 October, from 6.00 to 7.00      pm in the European Parliament, room A1H1 (those not having a security pass      must alert us to arrange timely sign-in on the night)
  4. Entrants shall personally participate in the proceedings as      required on the night
  5. The winner shall be present in person to receive the prize of      100 euro (a single note, serial no. S18620540809 has been allocated) from      Godfrey Bloom at the end of the meeting which will conclude the      competition
  6. The organisers of the competition shall not enter a definition
  7. Any or all entries may be subsequently published in varied      formats, with or without attribution to the entrant, and entrants shall de      facto give consent for publication by entering the competition
  8. Previous entries may be re-submitted, but are not re-entered      automatically

Michael Jose (UKIP Policy Advisor, ASP 4F147), shall be entirely responsible for the proper running of the proceedings and final adjudication in all matters of procedure, and timely award of the prize

Issued: Wednesday 29 August 2012

Well, at least there wasn’t a six-foot dancing penis


Well,  at least there wasn’t a six-foot dancing penis
Robert Henderson

Prior to the  opening ceremony of the  London Olympics,  the last time Britain put on a taxpayer-funded  entertainment that was  meant  to project the country to the world was on 31 January 1999.  The event was broadcast   from the  Dome (now the O2 Arena)  to mark the new millennium.  True to the politically correct  dicta of the time, the Millennium show  said precisely nothing about British history or culture and was an exceptionally  trite mishmash of  the “we are all one happy global family” variety of painfully right on exhortation and posturing  (see http://wwp.millennium-dome.com/news/news-dome-990916show.htm).  The lowlight of the show was a six-foot dancing penis. Tawdry is the word which comes to mind. Continue reading

The London Olympics Opening Ceremony: A Grotesque and Sinister Pantomime (2012), by Sean Gabb | Sean Gabb


 

The London Olympics Opening Ceremony:
A Grotesque and Sinister Pantomime
By Sean Gabb
(First Published in VDare, 29th August 2012)

Kill Them All, Philip I am glad I made the effort to watch the opening of the London Olympics. It was a most interesting summary of what England has become.

The general purpose of the opening was to legitimise the current ruling class. English history was portrayed as a shameful nightmare. We had Victorian capitalists polluting the countryside and oppressing the working class. We had sexism and racism and war. From this, we were shown the gradual emergence of our caring, sharing, soft and loving new order of things. There was a long celebration of the National Health Service, with eight hundred dancing doctors and nurses, and dancing invalid children. There were joyous messages read out by the great and good. There was more dancing and music and comedy. At the culmination of all this, we saw a corner of the Olympic Flag carried by Doreen Lawrence – the mother of a black youth whose alleged murder in 1993 was made the opportunity to sweep away outmoded institutions like equality before the law and the protection against double jeopardy. Long before the Olympic Flame was lit, the world was supposed to believe that England was a country blessed with genius in every calling and essentially at peace with itself.

The London Olympics Opening Ceremony: A Grotesque and Sinister Pantomime (2012), by Sean Gabb | Sean Gabb

When the Mafia Can’t Compete With the Chamber of Commerce


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/?p=8150

I’ve written frequently on the national regulatory state as a source of monopoly rents to big business. But the true nature of regulation as a naked power grab by incumbent businesses is nowhere more apparent than at the local level. At the lower levels of government, conventional, brick-and-mortar business establishments are heavily involved in using regulatory enforcement to shut down low-cost competition. Continue reading

Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize 2010


Why a Libertarian Society would not Deprive Individuals
of Cultural Roots and Collective Identity

David Robert Gibson

Cultural Notes No. 55

ISBN: 9781856376211
ISSN: 0267-677X (print)
ISSN: 2042-2539 (online)

An occasional publication of the Libertarian Alliance,
Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, Mayfair, London W1J 6HL.

© 2010: Libertarian Alliance; David Robert Gibson.

David Robert Gibson was born in London in 1953, and lives in semi-rural Essex. He left school at 16, and has worked in many occupations including the civil service, as a community worker and as a courier. Since 1988, he has worked in information technology and he has been a freelance computer consultant/technician since 2000. His interests include individual freedom, spiritual development, libertarian politics, history, the countryside, aesthetics and motoring. This essay is a slightly revised version of the winning entry to the Libertarian Alliance’s 2010 Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize, ‘
Would a Libertarian Society Deprive Individuals of Cultural Roots and Collective Identity?.

The views expressed in this publication are those of its author, and not necessarily those of the Libertarian Alliance, its Committee,
Advisory Council or subscribers.

FOR LIFE, LIBERTY AND PROPERTY

PREFACE

I take it as a privilege to present my essay for a prize established in the name of the late Dr Chris R. Tame.  I have tried to write this from the heart, to further and do honour to the cause of libertarianism, and also as a modest effort to help continue the work that Chris championed for almost 40 years.

INTRODUCTION

The answer to the question is No—well, that’s certainly my answer.  If and when we achieve a libertarian society, two things are certain—that its people will have individual freedom at their core principle, and those people will have histories—cultural roots and many of them collective identities.  Being libertarians, those people will surely reflect upon whether or not those cultural roots and collective identities are compatible with individual freedom, and so keep or discard them accordingly.  In a libertarian society, there will not be, as there are now, central authorities to impose or deny those associations, or to make a ‘Year Zero’ break from their past.  They will not be ignorant, passive ‘sheeple’ to be cajoled and coerced into obedience by rulers.  Rather, free people will, having complete freedom of conscience, action and association, decide themselves.  So we had best answer the question by reflecting upon what sort of adherence to cultural roots and collective identities will be compatible with living the libertarian life.  There is the additional possibility that these freed people will set down new cultural roots and even collective identities, freely entered into and freely left.  Any collective association will be subservient to the prime principle of freedom—that the individual person is free to think and act as they choose, provided that that does not infringe other people’s freedom to do the very same.

Libertarianism is a political and social philosophy, and most completely, a way of life.  The vast majority of political ‘philosophies’—I use inverted commas because most of them are not wise—boil down to one group of people imposing their will upon those who do not agree with them, i.e. everyone else.  In 21st Century Britain, we live in a society that most political commentators would call ‘free and democratic’.  To be sure, this is neither an absolute monarchy nor a communist or fascist state, according to the purist meanings of those words.  However, and despite regular elections, local, national and European, like all three political models ‘ representative democracy’ exists by ‘elected’ groups of people, almost invariably supported by a minority of the electorate, enacting laws that the rest of us are required to obey.  If we disobey, even if that disobedience hurts no one and may help many, the Regime can and will send their agents, and not even always as a last resort, to imprison or murder us.  That is not freedom, it is not libertarian, and it will not do!

THE SURVIVAL OF CULTURAL ROOTS AND COLLECTIVE IDENTITIES

Families are the most universal and enduring cultural roots and collective identities, and they must endure for any society to survive.  A libertarian society will not subsidise families, either by money or propaganda, and so I foresee a resurgence in the traditional heterosexual marriage/partnership between a man and woman, usually with children, simply because it is the most self-sustaining kind.  Without children a society becomes extinct!  Parents would nurture children when they are young, and children no doubt would return that kindness when they are old.  That is the traditional way.  Sadly, because the state provides copious welfare payments and big business issues propaganda in the form of advertising telling people they should work for status, possessions and shallow entertainment, this traditional way is dying-out.  Instead, parents are often ‘semi-detached’ towards their children, leaving them to be ‘brought-up’ by role models on television, the media and in computer games.  They then increasingly often, send them off to ‘uni’(versity).  These children as adults then ‘return the compliment’ by having increasingly little to do with their parents, and when the latter are old, pack them off to a nursing home.  This does not make for a caring and cohesive society.

Work would continue, and as workers spend much of their lives at work they would naturally build and sustain a collective identity with their colleagues, during work and afterwards.  As government would not exist, or if it did it would be vastly smaller than now, there would be far fewer people working in central locations.  The state would be gone or minimal in size, and large companies would no longer have the state protection given them via limited liability.  Nor would large companies have state patronage.  I work in Information Technology, and I have noticed that in state colleges, most of the computers there are supplied by huge multi-national corporations including Hewlett Packard and Dell.  Their turnover would wither considerably.  Consequently, most people would work locally and so their identities would be far more with people in their locality.  This was, of course, true of the vast bulk of people throughout almost all of recorded history.

Clubs and informal groups attract many people to spend time, with and identify with, others who share their interest in practicing games, arts, intellectual pursuits, various forms of ‘self-improvement’, myriad hobbies, and historical societies and re-enactment groups like the Ermine Street Guard and the Sealed Knot.  These are voluntary, and so I foresee they will continue.

Political parties, I expect, would cease to exist, since they serve to gain freedom or advantage for themselves and or their ‘clients’.  A libertarian society will give people freedom and those people will not take advantage, since to do so would not be libertarian!  I suspect that some readers will be surprised by my summary dismissal of political parties.  To them I pose the question: In a society where people are free, what would be the raison d’être of political parties?  The same must be asked of international organisations, and probably even the nation state—and answered, in my view, in the negative.

Religion in libertarian society deserves a more complex answer.  Religion, or the modernist term for it, ‘Faith’, includes a vast array of doctrines and, much more important, practices.  It is not the business of libertarians, rather like Elizabeth I, to enquire into men’s souls, but we must consider whether what they do allows people to be free.  Religious practices are of two very different types – those that focus on meditation, contemplation and or prayer—what I shall call mystical, and those that act to change the world socially (and culturally and politically)—what I shall call militant.

The religions that are largely mystical include Buddhism, Taoism, the more quietist forms of Hinduism, contemplative Christianity and Sufism.  In the modern world Islam is by far the most militant—both in the laws it imposes in Muslim countries, and the violence it carries out there and in other lands in the name of Islamic jihad, although in the Indian sub-continent some Hindus and even a few Buddhists take up arms to impose their religion upon ‘non-believers’.  I include under the title militant, less formal but widespread practices including female genital mutilation and ‘honour killings’.  Some ‘Christian fundamentalists’ would like to impose their religion upon others, that is a desire rather than a practice.  In short, a libertarian society can co-exist with mystics (indeed it may be enhanced by them as I will mention in my Conclusion).  It cannot co-exist with militants, but rather the overwhelming majority of individual people asserting their own freedom of action, without denying other people theirs, will make its successful establishment possible and so people will have no reason to be militant.  Some readers may find this a bland assertion; of them I ask: How can we have a libertarian society when many members of it are not willing libertarians?  People must become libertarian in their hearts and souls before a libertarian society can be created.  They will not be obeying orders!

There are people here, and in growing numbers, from abroad, who follow cultural traditions from their homelands, or the homelands of their descendants, including Ramadan, Eid and Diwali.  Jews and Muslims traditionally do not eat pork, nor do Hindus eat beef.  Most of these practices do not conflict with the libertarian life, but I feel that my Essay would be incomplete if I failed to mention, at least in passing, that many immigrants are establishing the cultures of their homelands here.  Insofar as those cultural roots and collective identity are anti-libertarian, as many manifestly are, they will delay or render increasingly impossible a libertarian society here.

I have long argued1 against mass immigration, that is immigration without the prior invitation of a native citizen here, is illegitimate.  I have also argued against imposed multi-culturalism, that is the state imposition of enforced association upon people with members of other races, religions, cultures and orientations.  I think both are morally wrong, not least because they are achieved via coercion, and that both are destroying the peace within society and may well bring it to a bloody end.  I consider that both are disruptions of the traditional relatively homogeneous culture and neither deserves to stand.  What is to be done to cure these problems?  I do not have a watertight answer, but I do feel that libertarians should spend time in thought and reflection to find one.

Libertarianism is not a nationalist movement, but rather an individualist one.  However is it a non-coercive philosophy, and both mass immigration and multi-culturalism have been imposed.  Words including racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic (not to mention homophobic, sexist, etc. in other conflicts) have been used by the new-Left establishment, with a mounting intensity that crosses the line into fanaticism, to vilify people who prefer the company of others who are like themselves.  They should not stand, and I feel that in a libertarian society people will be free to resume traditional associations, if they wish to, freely.  We will not be made to fit into cultural straightjackets tailored by any regime.

I do not know whether a libertarian society will establish itself throughout the nation, or even the world.  In view of the way society is fracturing, I think it rather more likely that it will start locally, perhaps within a ‘patchwork’ of differing cultures.  If that comes to pass, the militia that I mention elsewhere probably will be essential to its survival.

There are many periodical traditions that people follow, including Remembrance Day, Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night, (largely Christian) Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Saints Days and Harvest Festival and Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday, and wearing crosses, (largely Pagan and Druid) Summer and Winter Solstice celebrations at Stonehenge and elsewhere, May Poles and Morris Dancing, (largely in Scotland) Hogmanay, and sundry other religious and secular celebrations.  None of these involve people suffering or imposing oppression upon other people, so I see no conflict between their practice and the libertarian life.  Many of these constitute part of what many people see as ‘being English’, and again for the same innocuous reason, I do not see anything un-libertarian in that.  Some may even have ‘Charles and Di’ mugs on their mantle-pieces, but not, alas, me.

Charity is a long-established tradition here and throughout most of the world, operated by church and secular groups.  One major criticism that the political Left level at the dismantling of the ‘welfare state’—a natural consequence of a libertarian society—is that the poor will ‘go to the wall’.  Whether or not that became true it should not be maintained at the expense of coercive theft from taxpayers.  I also think that that is unjustified.  In a libertarian society, people will be free to do as they wish with their money and their time.  I have talked with many libertarians, and my strong impression of them is that they are decent-hearted folk.  I deduce that in the absence of state poor relief, charitable giving would continue and probably increase, at least until such time that the libertarian morality of self-support replaced that of financial dependency (upon taxpayers via a coercive state machine), for all but people who were too ill or disabled to support themselves.  Those people were once known as ‘the deserving poor’, before political correctness brought obloquy upon those who uttered it.

REVIVED AND NEW TRADITIONS

Some English ways are in decline or have all but died.  Libertarian culture will give people the freedom to sell their apples in pounds and ounces, to hunt foxes, and to own guns, including handguns (I was interested to see a pair of Wordworth’s pistols in the William Wordsworth Exhibition at Dove Cottage in Grasmere, Cumbria—clearly there was a time when even such as a poet would own handguns!).  Successive United Kingdom governments and the European Union have legislated to make these traditional practices extinct, and their health and safety laws threaten playing conkers and such local traditions as Cheese Rolling at Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire—no more in a libertarian society.  There may also arise new traditions celebrating men who have furthered the cause of liberty here, including John Pym, John Hampden and Oliver Cromwell.

Libertarians will not initiate violence, but those who are not pacifists will surely want to be able to protect themselves.  Even if our society becomes libertarian, most of the world will be slower in becoming so—judging by the state of the world over hundreds of years of history.  Consequently, I suspect we will see the return of militias, local paramilitary forces—strictly voluntary equivalents of the Anglo-Saxon fyrd, and of those here in the early modern period.  They will serve to expel foreign invaders, and be held together not by conscription or formal contract with the state, but rather by the security of mutual protection and a sense of honour in not leaving their comrades in the lurch.

Readers may have noticed my mention, with approval, of mystical pursuits.  I suspect that many libertarians are so because they find libertarianism intellectually satisfying or compelling (and so it is).  I find more inspiration in how well it reconciles with the quest for spiritual liberation, and I would be far from surprised if the triumph of libertarianism saw many more people following the path to spiritual enlightenment.  I think we will see the establishment of meditation centres – modern echoes of the abbeys that were widespread in the mediaeval period.  In my view we need to seek inner liberation from fear, guilt and anxiety in order to be in the right state of mind to be alert fully to our political serfdom, and to assert our freedom from it.  Conventional religion is largely focused upon collective identity—services in churches and more recently in some areas in mosques and temples, but the religion to which I refer focuses more within—upon individual identity, arguably enlightened by a greater Self, or to some God.

Why do I write of mystical religion in an essay that is considerably about politics?  Was not one of the achievements of the ‘Enlightenment’ the separation of Church and State?  To those questions I reply that personal spiritual elevation is not obedience to an institution or a creed, it is the search for inner freedom, and how can we become free without, politically, when we are not free within, spiritually?  We live in an immensely complex, fast-moving, ambitious and materialist society, in which publicly no value is placed upon the inner man—the soul or spirit.  Jesus is recorded as saying, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26 and Mark 8:36-37).  Buddhist and Taoist sages said similar, indeed Taoism has as its central principle Wu Wei—non-interference (with the natural rhythm of life).  Is not non-interference also central to the libertarian life?  I feel that it is in harmony with the thoughts of great libertarians like Mises, Hayek, Rand, Rothbard, Rockwell, Hoppe, etc.  I hope that this non-interference will become an established culture.

I will digress briefly from the central point of my essay because I think I would be unfair for me, having mentioned spiritual endeavour to readers, to leave them without giving them any direction towards it.  Do try to practice meditation (or prayer), for example two techniques ‘Sitting quietly doing nothing’—and watching the passage of thoughts without becoming attached to them, and the similar ‘Mindfulness of Breathing’—observing your natural rhythm of breaths, without interfering with that rhythm.  You may well find that you become less urgent, less ambitious and more at peace with yourself.  You may find that you understand yourself better, and as I consider that we all have the same mixture of feelings and motives, albeit in different proportions, we will understand other people better.  You may also find that you become less tolerant of coercion, being coerced and coercing other people, and so deepened in libertarian convictions.

We venture into the unknown in predicting what new traditions will arise, but judging from our pre-libertarian past, they will continue to be very varied, and probably often local.

CONCLUSION

So, to conclude: the cultural attachments that people hold dear to themselves are numerous and varied in character.  We can deduce that some of them will survive in a new libertarian society, and that others will not.  The question that the essay title poses begs another: How will we achieve a libertarian society?  Answering it lies beyond this discussion, but it should occupy at least some of the time of all who call themselves ‘Libertarian’.  Answering it successfully in ways that satisfy both our minds, and more importantly, our souls, and consequently satisfy the vast majority of people who are not libertarians, will lead inexorably to libertarian lives for all.  We do well to reflect, day-to-day and hour-to-hour, how we need to change our outlook, and to make those changes.  I commend this essay to its readers, and I hope that reflection upon it will help them to illuminate their libertarian life.

NOTE

(1) Such as on the Libertarian Alliance’s Yahoo! Group, where you can read more of my reflections from time to time on a variety of subjects.  The Group can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/libertarian-alliance-forum/.

Libertarian Alliance home

Another Test of Libertarian Credentials


Sean Gabb

This one is from the Center for a Stateless Society – http://c4ss.org/quiz

Here, for what it may be worth, is how I score:

Boycott Tesco’s!


NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International

Release Date: Friday 21st May 2010
Release Time: Immediate

Contact Details:
Dr Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199, sean@libertarian.co.uk

For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message
Release url: http://www.libertarian.co.uk/news/nr080.htm

“BOYCOTT CORPORATIST AND ANTI-WORKING CLASS  TESCO’S” SAYS FREE MARKET AND CIVIL LIBERTIES THINK TANK

The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties institute, today calls for a boycott of Tesco’s because of its support for plans to stop the poor from drinking. [The company has welcomed a promise by the Coalition Government to ban shops in England and Wales from selling alcohol at below cost price.]

Speaking today in London, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, comments:

“The Government’s proposal, and the welcome given it by Tesco’s, amount to an attack on the poor. The ruling class politicians who continually whine about alcohol will not be affected by minimum pricing or the abolition of special offers. I might add that none of them can be affected by such laws. Income aside, anyone who lies his way into Parliament can look forward to round the clock drinking in the Palace of Westminster of untaxed alcohol.

“But the measures will hurt poor people, for whom alcohol will become cripplingly expensive and hard to find. They have the same right to drink as the rest of us. Bearing in mind the problems willed on them by our exploitative ruling class, they often have a greater need to drink.

“The claim that drinking ’causes’ public disorder is nonsense. Alcohol does not run about the streets. People do. If people are making nuisances of themselves, the police should be reminded that they are no longer New Labour’s equivalent of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and told to start protecting life and property again.

“But, going back to Tesco’s, this is also another attempt by a joint stock limited liability corporation – which has no right to exist – to limit competition and raise profits. We have no doubt the Company will use the good publicity got from supporting this wicked policy to win planning permission appeals to build more superstores. The incidental misery into which millions of our poorest fellow citizens will be thrown never crosses their privileged, high-salaried minds.

“On behalf of the Libertarian Alliance, I call on all progressive people of good will to boycott Tesco until it stops supporting this attack on the poor and on free competition.

“Drinking is not just for the rich.”

The Libertarian Alliance believes:

* That all the licensing laws should be repealed;
* That all controls on the marketing of alcohol should be repealed;
* That alcohol taxes should be reduced to the same level as the lowest in the European Union, and that there should be no increase in other taxes;
* That not a penny of the taxpayers’ money should be given to any organisation arguing against the above.

END OF COPY

Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. His book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, may be downloaded for free from http://tinyurl.com/34e2o3. It may also be bought. His other books are available from Hampden Press at http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at sean@libertarian.co.uk

Extended Contact Details:

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 700 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at http://www.libertarian.co.uk

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Lansdowne Row
Mayfair
London
W1J 6HL
Tel: 07956 472 199

Associated Organisations

The Libertarian International – http://www.libertarian.to – is a sister organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the world.

Sean Gabb’s personal website – http://www.seangabb.co.uk – contains about a million words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians and conservatives.

Hampden Press – http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.- the publishing house of the Libertarian Alliance.

Liberalia – http://www.liberalia.com – maintained by by LA Executive member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French and English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source of documentation on these issues for students and scholars.

Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize 2009


The 2009 Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize
£1,000 to be Won

In honour of Dr Chris R. Tame (1949-2006), The Libertarian Alliance offers a yearly prize of £1,000 for an essay on a subject to be announced by Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance. This year, the Prize has been most generously sponsored by Teresa Gorman, long-term conservative and libertarian activist and formerly Conservative Member of Parliament for Billericay.

By the 16th October 2009, contestants are invited to submit essays to Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance.
Essay Title: “Can a Libertarian also be a Conservative?”
Essay Length: 3,000 words excluding notes and bibliography

Explanatory Note

Do libertarians believe, almost by definition, is a society so radically different from anything that has so far existed that they have nothing in common with conservatives? Is it the case that the working relationship between libertarians and conservatives during the 20th century was never more than an alliance of necessity against state socialism? Was that relationship even a terrible mistake? Are the natural allies of libertarians the anti-state socialists rather than defenders of an old order that was happy to kill and oppress when it was able? Is libertarianism, as Roderick Long believes, the real “proletarian revolution”? Or, on the other hand, does liberty, if it is to last for any reasonable time, require conservative institutions? Is it wise to discard past experience as irrelevant to the future? Is there an argument for putting up with imperfect but broadly libertarian institutions, on the grounds that to change them involves the risk of losing all freedom? If most European types of conservatism are incompatible with libertarianism, is it the same with English conservatism?

These are some of the themes that might usefully be explored in answering my question. Please note, however, that this is not an exhaustive list. I am looking for something original and interesting – not a set of answers to each of the above sub-questions thrown into essay form. I am also not looking for detailed analyses of Mr Cameron or the Conservative Party. My questions is more about conservatives than Conservatives.

Reading

You may find these works useful:

F.A. Hayek, “Freedom, Reason, and Tradition“; Chapter Four, The Constitution of Liberty ISBN 0-226-32084-7, University of Chicago Press, 1960

Murray N. Rothbard, Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty

Rules

  • Essays must be original and previously unpublished works.
  • Essays must be submitted in English and typed and in hard copy by sending to The Libertarian Alliance, Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, Mayfair, London W1J 6H, United Kingdom.
  • Essays  must also be submitted by e-mail and in MS Word format to Sean Gabb – sean@libertarian.co.uk .
  • Essays must bear the name and full address of the author, including his e-mail address. The name does not need to be genuine, but work submitted under what Sean Gabb considers an absurd pseudonym may be rejected. Certainly, the prize money will be by cheque, and so must be made out to a real person.
  • Essays must have been received ain both hard and soft copy no later than Friday the 16th October 2009.
  • The winner will be announced on the evening of Saturday the 25th October 2008, at the banquet of the Libertarian Alliance Conference, to be held at the National Liberal Club in London.
  • The winner will be required to make a ten minute acceptance speech on Saturday the 24th October 2009, at the banquet of the Libertarian Alliance Conference, to be held at the National Liberal Club in London. This speech may be made in person, or by pre-recorded video, or may be read out by Sean Gabb, .
  • The prize will be £1,000, made out to the winner and payable in Sterling by cheque drawn on one of the United Kingdom clearing banks. No other form of payment will be considered.
  • The winning essay will be published by the Libertarian Alliance. All essays submitted will be published by the Libertarian Alliance.
  • In all matters of deciding the winner of the Prize and in all associated matters, the decision of Sean Gabb shall be final.
  • The act of submitting an essay shall constitute full acceptance of these terms
  • This prize competition is not open to any Officer of the Libertarian Alliance or of the Libertarian International, or to any previous winner of the competition.

For all questions, please contact Sean Gabb, though be prepared to wait for an answer.

Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize 2008

Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize 2009


tamelalogo

The 2009 Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize
£1,000 to be Won

by Sean Gabb

In honour of Dr Chris R. Tame (1949-2006), The Libertarian Alliance offers a yearly prize of £1,000 for an essay on a subject to be announced by Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance. This year, the Prize has been most generously sponsored by Teresa Gorman, long-term conservative and libertarian activist and formerly Conservative Member of Parliament for Billericay.

By the 16th October 2009, contestants are invited to submit essays to Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance.
Essay Title: “Can a Libertarian also be a Conservative?”
Essay Length: 3,000 words (+ or – 10%)  excluding notes and bibliography

Explanatory Note for briefing applicants

(1) Do libertarians believe, almost by definition, that there  could be a society so radically different from anything that has so far existed, that they have nothing in common with conservatives?

(2) Is it the case that the working relationship between libertarians and conservatives during the 20th century was never more than an alliance of necessity against state socialism?

(3) Was that relationship even a terrible mistake? Are the natural allies of libertarians the anti-state socialists rather than defenders of an old order that was happy to kill and oppress when it was able?

(4) Is libertarianism, as Roderick Long believes, the real “proletarian revolution”?

(5) Or, on the other hand, does liberty, if it is to last for any reasonable time, require conservative institutions? Is it wise to discard past experience as irrelevant to the future?

(6) Is there an argument for putting up with imperfect but broadly libertarian institutions, on the grounds that to change them involves the risk of losing all freedom?

(7) If most European types of conservatism are incompatible with libertarianism, is it the same with English conservatism?

These are some of the themes that might usefully be explored in answering my question. Please note, however, that this is not an exhaustive list. I am looking for something original and interesting – not a set of answers to each of the above sub-questions thrown into essay form.

I am also  //not//  looking for detailed analyses of Mr Cameron or the Conservative Party.

My questions is more about conservatives than Conservatives.

Rules

  • Essays must be original and previously unpublished works.
  • Essays must be submitted in English and typed and in hard copy by sending to The Libertarian Alliance, Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, Mayfair, London W1J 6H, United Kingdom.
  • Essays  must also be submitted by e-mail and in MS Word format to Sean Gabb – sean@libertarian.co.uk .
  • Essays must bear the name and full address of the author, including his e-mail address. The name does not need to be genuine, but work submitted under what Sean Gabb considers an absurd pseudonym may be rejected. Certainly, the prize money will be by cheque, and so must be made out to a real person.
  • Essays must have been received in both hard and soft copy no later than Friday the 16th October 2009.
  • The winner will be announced on the evening of Saturday the 24th October 2009, at the banquet of the Libertarian Alliance Conference, to be held at the National Liberal Club in London.
  • The winner will be required to make a ten minute acceptance speech on Saturday the 24th October 2009, at the banquet of the Libertarian Alliance Conference, to be held at the National Liberal Club in London. This speech may be made in person, or by pre-recorded video, or may be read out by Sean Gabb, .
  • The prize will be £1,000, made out to the winner and payable in Sterling by cheque drawn on one of the United Kingdom’s clearing banks, even if nationalised. No other form of payment will be considered.
  • The winning essay will be published by the Libertarian Alliance. All essays submitted will be published by the Libertarian Alliance.
  • In all matters of deciding the winner of the Prize and in all associated matters, the decision of Sean Gabb shall be final.
  • The act of submitting an essay shall constitute full acceptance of these terms
  • This prize competition is not open to any Officer of the Libertarian Alliance or of the Libertarian International.

For all questions, please contact Sean Gabb, though be prepared to wait for an answer.

Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize 2009

A request for Gordon.


 Fred Bloggs

In the face of the current economic crisis, the collapse of the housing market, the raiding of pensions, the nationalisation of banks, and “Jolobial Warmin’”, Gordon Brown should do what any respectable and honourable man would do in this situation.

Commit suicide.

Since this might be a bit hard for Gordon to decide himself, I have put it to a vote on how he will commit suicide.

Exams=Toilet Paper


Fred Bloggs

I have just been looking on the AQA site and i found the grade boundaries for januarys GCSE’s, and needless to say they symbolize perfectly how our education system is Stuka diving into oblivion.

To see how horrific the grade boundaries are click Here.

Eurovision “song” “contest”: there will be no reason to be forced to watch it at all (at-all-at-all-at-all) now that Sir Terry Wogan is not performing.


David Davis

I have always wondered what the point of the Eurovision “Song” “Contest” was.

In the 1970s and 1980s, there were some fairly good Beat Groups, such as ABBA, and even some soloists, such as Cliff Richard, who sang fairly musical stuff, which was kind of about something or other that people cared about. (I count ABBA as honourary British since they could (a) sing, (b) write music, (c) they were Swedish, kind of,  and (d) they sounded quite good most of the time.) The times were pre-the-rise-of-the-EUSSR-supersoviet, and so people tended to vote for the best song, and never mind whow their awful neighbours were whom they had to be seen to publicly-placate-on-EUSSR_wide-TV, so that they would not get into trouble with the authorities Gestapo afterwards and have their benefits EU handouts withdrawn.

Then, we were dragged more firmly into the EUSSR EU, and we started to stop winning. This in itself didn’t totally matter, as we had Sir Terry Wogan to compère it and be suitably cynical about everybody on there, in his charming way, the good Englishman that he is, so he is, to be sure, to be sure.

Now, there is no point in being on. Not only do we not win, or even come next-to-bottom as opposed to absolutely totally and utterly bottom, but we absolutely tank. This is because nobody feels they have to pretend to like us any more, as we are Maritime-liberals with no land borders and they are Euro-authoritarians with very very long borders with other scratchy neighbours.

But the worst thing culturally speaking, about it, is that nobody even pretends to vote for the best music any more. They vote for whoever is the most powerful neighbour, or the one with most “clout of the day” in the corridors of Eurofascism power.

Furthermore, dear old cynical, funny Sir Terry is going. What’s the point of the thing? Why don’t we just read some books instead, while the blasted thing is on?

I don’t think that Libertarians would object in any way if the European subject-peoples of the EUSSR want to self-flagellate publicly to “music”, on the Wireless Tele Vision once a year, while pretending to sing songs which they think will be “for” “Europe”. But I guess that most liberals, being somewhat puritanical (unlike socialists) about time and resources wasted on pointless acts such as flag-waving, parading and collectively performing – especially acts which are only designed to get the “act-or” into the Public Prints, will think twice about this fascist smugfest in future.

Goobye and good riddance (I hope!) Let’s hope against hope that we get “invited” to “not participate”.

Sean Gabb – Latest Director’s Bulletin, November 2008


Sean Gabb

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/about/bulletin-2008-11-08.htm

Director’s Bulletin
9th November 2008

Introduction
Libertarian Alliance Conference
Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize 2008 – £1,000 Won!
Helen Evans
Norman Barry RIP
Sean Gabb in The Times
Other Media Appearances
Barack Obama
Books Received
Attendance at UKIP Function
Speaking Engagements
Negative Scanner Wanted

Introduction

I have done rather less during the past few months than usual for the Libertarian Alliance. My time has been taken up instead with finishing one novel and working on another, and with playing nursery rhymes to my daughter in many different keys.

But the Libertarian Alliance as a whole has remained very active. We have just held our most successful conference ever, and we continue to put our case in the media and wherever else we are invited.

Libertarian Alliance Conference

Our conference of two weekends ago, at the National Liberal Club in London, was our most successful ever. It is unfair to single out any particular speakers at the expense of the others. However, our three most prominent speakers were Aubrey de Gray, David Friedman and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. These all gave excellent speeches.

When advertising our conferences, I have always urged people to book early to ensure a place. Usually, we get between 80 and 90 people, and there is always room to let people come along on the day – even if dinners are less easy to arrange at short notice. This year, however, we reached the Monday before the beginning of the conference, and had 112 people on our list. The Liberal Club’s fire regulations limit for our usual room was 120. Over the next few days, another 20 people tried to book with us. When I removed the PayPal buttons from the brochure page on our website, people began to telephone us and tried begging for places. In the event, we had 120 people at the conference, and 113 booked in for dinner.

One of these, I am pleased to say, was Teresa Gorman, who was one of our most consistent friends in the Parliamentary Conservative Party during the 1980s and 1990s. Though now in semi-retirement, Teresa looks good and remains on good form.

It is not certain we shall be so crowded next year. Even so, I do recommend early booking.

As ever, we made a full video record of the speeches. Because I am busy doing other things, because it takes time to process video, and because my desktop computer is unaccountably very slow, it took me a fortnight to get the video files uploaded to the Internet. But they are now available. You can see our video record at

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/conferences/conf08record.htm

These files have been radically downsampled for Google. However, if you want better quality copies on DVD, you can use the PayPal buttons at the bottom of the record page. This year, we are happy to take payment in pounds, in dollars and in euros.

Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize 2008 – £1,000 Won!

The subject for this year’s essay as “Can a Libertarian Society be Described as ‘Tesco minus the State’?” I am disappointed that no one came forward to give a robust defence of corporations on libertarian grounds. I did promise impartial judging. However, I received a number of very fine entries, all of which will be published by the Libertarian Alliance. After much deliberation, I decided that the best entry was from Keith Preston in America. His was a very impressive entry, and we shall be delighted to publish this as a Libertarian Alliance pamphlet. For the moment, it can be seen on our blog:

<http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/chris-r-tame-memorial-prize-winning-essay/>

Next year, I am hoping for several thousand pounds of sponsorship, so that we can offer a first prize of £1000, but also several dozen second and third prizes for lesser amounts.

Helen Evans

We were all naturally concerned when Helen Evans, our Events Coordinator, fell dangerously ill just before the conference. However, she is now out of danger and well on the road to recovery. Our thoughts are with her, with her husband Tim and with their daughter Petica.

Norman Barry RIP

For those who have not heard already, I must announce the death, on the 21st October 2008, of Norman Barry. I first met him in 1986, and he was one of my external examiners some years afterward. A most distinguished scholar, he was victim in his final years to multiple sclerosis.

According to the announcement on the University of Buckingham website,

“It is with great sadness that the University has learned of the death this morning of Professor Norman Barry. As one of the foremost exponents of classical liberal theory in the United Kingdom, Norman established the foundation around which the study of politics developed at the University. His work as a scholar of Friedrich von Hayek, as a social and political theorist and as a writer in business ethics contributed greatly to the academic reputation of the University after his arrival in 1982. He received the ‘Liberty in Theory’ Lifetime Award from the Libertarian Alliance (LA) in 2005. Our condolences go to his colleagues, friends and family.

“A graduate of the University of Exeter, Professor Barry lectured in Politics at Queen’s University of Belfast and at Birmingham Polytechnic (now the University of Central England) before being appointed as a Reader in Politics at the University of Buckingham in 1982. His books include Hayek’s Social and Economic Philosophy (1979), An Introduction to Modern Political Theory (1981), The Morality of Business Enterprise (1991), Classical Liberalism in an Age of Post-Communism (1996) and Business Ethics (1998). He was awarded a Chair in Social and Political Theory at Buckingham in 1984. He was also a visiting scholar at the Centre for Social Philosophy and Policy, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and at the Liberty Fund, Indianapolis. He was a member of the Advisory Council of the Institute of Economic Affairs, London; the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, London; and the David Hume Institute, Edinburgh.”

The full announcement is here:
http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/news/newsarchive2008/norman-barry.html

You can also see an interview with Professor Barry from 1991. This is in our Botsford Archive at:
http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=5778658966132637817

Sean Gabb in The Times

I think I did send this out. If not, I should have done. On Friday the 24th October 2008, The Times carried an article by me in favour of disestablishing the Church of England. Here is the article:
<http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/public_sector/article5003179.ece>

Here is a longer article I wrote a few years back, in which I argue against disestablishment:
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc082.htm

I have changed my mind about the Church and about several other issues on which I was once a strong conservative.

Other Media Appearances

I have been much in demand by the BBC these past few months. I regret, however, that I have been far too disorganised to record any of these. My most recent was the night before the American election on Radio 5, where I denounced most politicians as motivated by money, kinky sex, or the sheer joy of messing up the lives of others. I scandalised some Labour politicians and politics lecturer, who had come on in the belief that he would be worshiping at the shrine of St Barack the Redeemer. His embittered annoyance, and his attempt to turn the listeners against me with his revelation that the Libertarian Alliance believes in legalising all drugs and even incest between consenting adults, made for an entertaining broadcast. Sadly, I failed to record any of this. I will try to do better in future.

Barack Obama

I did think of betting money on the election of Mr McCain as American President. However, the more I looked at him on the television, the more I realised he was one of those figures, half comic, half sinister, who are thrown up at the end of every ancien regime. I guessed that millions of Americans would vote for him through clenched teeth, bearing in mind it was him or a black man. But I decided in the end he was not worth the risk of losing £20.

So Mr Obama it is. He will contrive, if very differently, to be even worse for America than Mr Bush has been. On the other hand, he will probably be less inclined than Mr McCain would have been to blow the world up. And if he is a closet Moslem, that is certainly less alarming than the acknowledged Christianity of Mrs Palin.

Oh – and, since he is half-Kenyan and was born before 1963, he will be the first American President in many years whose father was a British citizen. I am sure this fact will not be overlooked by Lyndon Larouche and his many followers in America. Perhaps the Empire is striking back!

My comments on his election can be read here:
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc176.htm

Those who want to understand the true nature of the evil he means to America, should read my book Cultural Revolution, Culture War. You can get copies here:
<http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cultural-Revolution-Culture-War-Conservatives/dp/095410322X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226250079&sr=8-2 >

I am running out of copies, but want to sell all of these before I set to work on another edition. If you buy now, you may be able to give copies to your loved ones for Christmas/Hannukah/Diwali/Kwanzaa. You are too late for Eid.

Books Received

At the Libertarian Alliance conference, David Friedman gave me a copy of his novel Harald. This is a fantasy set in world loosely based on the early middle ages, and is a very good read. I wish he had brought more copies so he could have sold and signed them. I think it is important for libertarians to write about more than how to privatise the Bulgarian motorways. David has always been a diverse writer, and his novel is a significant move into fiction.

You can buy your copies of this at:
http://www.amazon.com/Harald-David-D-Friedman/dp/1416520562

I have also been sent a copy of The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain by Douglas Carswell and Dan Hannan. This is a remarkable attempt by two Conservative politicians to give their party some actual policies. Of their two main prescriptions, one is excellent, the other on the verge of terrifying. The first is to devolve to every county and city in England all the powers of the Scottish Assembly. This would at once undo the massive centralisation of power England has suffered during the past hundred years. The second is to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and to subject the judiciary to the restored legislative sovereignty of Parliament. Giving power with no hope of appeal to 625 of the most ignorant and corrupt people in the United Kingdom is not the way to make the country a better place.

I will review this book at some length in the next few weeks. you can buy copies here:
<http://www.amazon.co.uk/Books/s?ie=UTF8&rh=n%3A266239%2Cp_27%3ADan%20Hannan&field-author=Dan%20Hannan&page=1>

Attendance at UKIP Function

On the 17th October 2008, I was invited to a closed meeting of the UK Independence Party on HMS Belfast. This was addressed very ably by Nigel Farage, who spoke about his party’s strategy for doing well at the next elections to the European Parliament. Though I do not feel able to say more about what was a closed meeting, I was very impressed by all I saw and heard. Regardless of the strained relations for much of this year between UKIP and the Libertarian Alliance, it has been my settled intention to continue voting for UKIP. I am now glad to report that relations are no longer strained.

Speaking Engagements

I have accepted an engagement to speak to the Shelley Society at Eton College. This will be around the middle of the present month. I may record the event, but will only make my own speech available on the Internet.

Negative Scanner Wanted

I have several thousand negatives from the Chris R. Tame collection of photographs. I want to have these scanned in for upload to the Internet. Is there anyone out there able and willing to lend me a good negative scanner?


Sean Gabb
Director, The Libertarian Alliance
sean@libertarian.co.uk
Tel: 07956 472 199

http://www.libertarian.co.uk
http://www.seangabb.co.uk
http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk
http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com

FREE download of my book – Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back
Wikipedia Entry

Libertarian Alliance home

Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize Winning Essay


Sean Gabb

I, writing from the National Liberal Club in London, where the Libertarian Alliance and Libertarian International are holding our 2008 conference.

This is going well.

This evening, at the dinner, I will announce the winner of the Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize. I can tell you all now that the winner is Keith Preston. His essay was, in my opinion, the best. Here it is:

Keith Preston is the founder and director of American Revolutionary Vanguard, a U.S.-based tendency committed to advancing the principles of anti-statism, personal liberty, cooperative individualist economics, and the sovereignty and self-determination of communities and nations. He is a graduate student in history, an independent business owner and entrepreneur, and advocate of a new radicalism that reaches beyond the archaic left/right model of the political spectrum. See the ARV website at http://www.attackthesystem.com

Free Enterprise: The Antidote to Corporate Plutocracy

A political libertarian, broadly defined, is someone who wishes to dramatically

reduce the role of the state in human social life so as to maximize individual freedom of

thought, action and association. The natural corollary to libertarian anti-statism is the

defense of the free market in economic affairs. Many libertarians and not a few

conservatives, at least in the Anglo nations, claim to be staunch proponents of free

enterprise. Yet this defense is often rather selective, and timid, to say the least.

Libertarians and free-market conservatives will voice opposition to state-owned enterprises, the social welfare and public health services, state-funded and operated educational institutions, or regulatory bureaus and agencies, such as those governing labor relations, relations between racial, ethnic, and gender groups, or those regulating

the use of the environment. Curiously absent among many libertarian, conservative, or free-market critiques of interventions by the state into society are the myriad of ways in which government acts to assist, protect, and, indeed, impose outright, an economic order maintained for the benefit of politically connected plutocratic elites. Of course, recognition of this fact has led some on the Left to make much sport of libertarians, whom they often refer to, less than affectionately, as “Republicans who take drugs”,

or “Tories who are soft on buggery”, and other such clichés.

Some advocates of free enterprise will respond to such charges by indignantly proclaiming their opposition to state efforts to “bail out” bankrupt corporations or subsidies to corporate entities for the ostensible purpose of research and development. Yet such defenses will often underestimate the degree to which the state serves to create market distortions for the sake of upholding a corporation-dominated economic order. Such distortions result from a plethora of interventions including not only bailouts and subsidies but also the fictitious legal infrastructure of corporate “personhood”, limited liability laws, government contracts, loans, guarantees, purchases of goods, price controls, regulatory privilege, grants of monopolies, protectionist tariffs and trade policies, bankruptcy laws, military intervention to gain access to international markets and protect foreign investments, regulating or prohibiting organized labor activity, eminent domain, discriminatory taxation, ignoring corporate crimes and countless other

forms of state-imposed favors and privileges.1

Perhaps the efficacious gift to the present corporate order by the state has been

what Kevin Carson calls “the subsidy of history,” a reference to the process by which the

indigenous inhabitants and possessors of property in land were originally expropriated

during the course of the construction of traditional feudal societies and the subsequent

transformation of feudalism into what is now called “capitalism”, or the corporatist-

plutocratic societies that we have today. Contrary to the myths to which some subscribe,

including many libertarians, the evolution of capitalism out of the old feudal order was

not one where liberty triumphed over privilege, but one where privilege asserted itself in

newer and more sophisticated forms. As Carson explains:

There were two ways Parliament could have abolished feudalism

and reformed property. It might have treated the customary possessive

rights of the peasantry as genuine title to property in the modern sense,

and then abolished their rents. But what it actually did, instead, was to

treat the artificial “property rights” of the landed aristocracy, in feudal

legal theory, as real property rights in the modern sense; the landed

classes were given full legal title, and the peasants were transformed

into tenants at will with no customary restriction on the rents that could be charged…

In European colonies where a large native peasantry already lived,

states sometimes granted quasi-feudal titles to landed elites to collect

rent from those already living on and cultivating the land; a good example

is latifundismo, which prevails in Latin America to the present day.

Another example is British East Africa. The most fertile 20 percent of

Kenya was stolen by the colonial authorities, and the native peasantry

evicted, so the land could be used for cash-crop farming by white settlers

(using the labor of the evicted peasantry, of course, to work their own

former land). As for those who remained on their own land, they were “encouraged” to enter the wage-labor market by a stiff poll tax that had

to be paid in cash. Multiply these examples by a hundred and you get a

bare hint of the sheer scale of robbery over the past 500 years.

…Factory owners were not innocent in all of this. Mises claimed that the

capital investments on which the factory system was built came largely

from hard-working and thrifty workmen who saved their own earnings

as investment capital. In fact, however, they were junior partners of the

landed elites, with much of their investment capital coming either from

the Whig landed oligarchy or from the overseas fruits of mercantilism,

slavery and colonialism.

In addition, factory employers depended on harsh authoritarian measures

by the government to keep labor under control and reduce its bargaining

power. In England the Laws of Settlement acted as a sort of internal passport system, preventing workers from traveling outside the parish of their birth

without government permission. Thus workers were prevented from “voting

with their feet” in search of better-paying jobs. You might think this would

have worked to the disadvantage of employers in under populated areas, like Manchester and other areas of the industrial north. But never fear: the state

came to the employers’ rescue. Because workers were forbidden to migrate

on their own in search of better pay, employers were freed from the necessity

of offering high enough wages to attract free agents; instead, they were able

to “hire” workers auctioned off by the parish Poor Law authorities on terms

set by collusion between the authorities and employers.2

The Central American nation of El Salvador provides an excellent case study in

how “actually existing capitalism” came about. The indigenous people of El Salvador,

known as the Pipil Indians, were conquered in the early sixteenth century by the Spanish

conquistadors. It was not until 1821 that El Salvador claimed its independence from

Spain and subsequently became an independent nation in 1839. The system of land

ownership in Salvadoran society was communal in nature as late as the end of the

eighteenth century with ownership rights relegated to individual towns and Pipil villages.

The primary agricultural products produced by the peasants were cattle, indigo, corn,

beans and coffee. The Pipil were essentially practicing a type of collective self-

employment.

As the international market for coffee expanded, some of the wealthier and more

powerful merchants and landowners began pressuring the Salvadoran government to

intervene into the economic structures of the nation in such a way as to make the

accumulation of personal wealth more rapid through the establishment of larger, private

plantations with a more greatly regimented labor force. Consequently, the government

began to destroy the traditional system of property rights held by the towns and villages

in order to establish individual plantations owned by those from the privileged classes

who already possessed the means of acquiring credit. This change was implemented in

several steps. In 1846, landowners with more than 5,000 coffee bushes were granted

immunity from paying export duties for seven years and from paying taxes for a ten year

period. Plantations owned by the Salvadoran government were also transferred to

politically connected private individuals. In 1881, the communal land rights the Pipil had

possessed for centuries were rescinded, making self-sufficiency for the Indians

impossible. The government subsequently refused to grant even subsistence plots to the

Pipil as the Salvadoran state was now fully under the control of the large plantation

owners. This escalating economic repression was met with resistance and five separate

peasant rebellions occurred during the late nineteenth century. By the middle part of the

twentieth century, El Salvador’s coffee plantations, called fincas, were producing ninety-

five percent of the country’s export product and were controlled by a tiny oligarchy of

landowning families.3

The phrase “means of acquiring credit” from the previous paragraph is a

particularly significant one as the purpose of state control over banking and the issuance

of money serves to narrowly constrict the supply of available credit which in turn renders

entrepreneurship inaccessible to the majority of the population at large. Indeed, Murray

Rothbard argued that bankers as a class “are inherently inclined towards statism”4 as they

are typically involved with unsound practices, such as fractional reserve credit, that

subsequently lead to calls for assistance from the state, or derive much of their business

from direct involvement with the state, for instance, through the underwriting of

government bonds. Therefore, the banking class becomes the financial arm of the state

not only by specifically underwriting the activities of the state, such as war, plunder and

repression, but also by serving to create and maintain a plutocracy of businessmen,

manufacturers, politically-connected elites and others able to obtain access to the

narrowly constricted supply of credit within the context of the market distortions

generated by the state’s money monopoly.5

The process by which “capitalism” as it is actually practiced in the modern

countries developed-by means of a partnership between the forces of state and capital,

rather than through a genuine free market-has already been very briefly described. There

remains the question of how this relationship has subsequently been maintained over the

past two centuries. Gabriel Kolko’s landmark study of the historic relationship between

state and capital traced the development of this symbiosis from the “railroad government

complex” of mid-nineteenth century America through the supposed “reforms” of the so-

called Progressive Era to the cartelization of labor, industry and government by means of

Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.6 At each stage of this development of American state-

capitalism, members of “the capitalist class”-bankers, industrialists, manufacturers,

businessmen-adamantly pushed for and were directly involved in the creation of a state-

managed economy whose effect would be to shield themselves from smaller, less

politically connected competitors, co-opt labor unions and generate a source of

monopolistic protection and cost-free revenue from the state. Similar if not identical

parallels can be found in the development of state-capitalism in the other modern

countries.7

Indeed, parallels can also be drawn between the structures of contemporary state-

capitalism and historic feudalism. Since the High Middle Ages government has been

transformed from its earlier identification with a specific person or persons into a

corporate entity with a life and identity of its own beyond that of its individual members.8

Out of this process of transformation from personal government to corporate government,

the evolution of a system of state-capitalist privilege that has supplanted feudal privilege,

the ever greater interaction and co-dependency between the plutocratic elite and the

minions of the state, and the wider integration of organized labor, political interests

groups generated by mass democracy and unprecedented expansion of the public sector

has emerged a politico-economic order that might be referred to as the “new

manorialism”. These “new manors” are the multitude of bureaucratic entities that

maintain an institutional identity of their own, though their individual personnel may

change with time, and who exist first and foremost for the sake of their own self-

preservation, irrespective of the original purposes for which they were ostensibly

established. The “new manors” may include institutional entities that function as de jour

arms of the state, such as regulatory bureaus, police and other “law enforcement”

agencies, state-run social service departments or educational facilities, or they may

include de facto arms of the state, such as the banking and corporate entities whose

position of privilege, indeed, whose very existence, is dependent upon state intervention.9

Out of this domestic state-capitalist order there has emerged an overarching

international order rooted in the pre-eminence of the American state-capitalist class and

its junior partners from a number of the other developed nations. Hans Hermann Hoppe

describes this arrangement:

Moreover, from a global perspective, mankind has come closer than

ever before to the establishment of a world government. Even before

the destruction of the Soviet Empire, the United States had attained

hegemonical status over Western Europe…and the Pacific Rim countries…

as indicated by the presence of American troops and military bases…

by the role of the American dollar as the ultimate international reserve

currency and of the U.S. Federal Reserve System as the “lender” or

“liquidity provider” of last resort for the entire Western banking system,

and by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the

World Bank and the…World Trade Organization. In addition, under

American hegemony the political integration of Western Europe has steadily advanced. With the recent establishment of a European Central Bank and a European Currency (EURO), the European Community is near completion.

At the same time, with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

a significant step toward the political integration of the American continent

has been taken. In the absence of the Soviet Empire and its military threat,

the United States has emerged as the world’s sole and undisputed military superpower and its “top cop.”10

Such is what “big business” has wrought. Such an international imperial order is about as

far removed from the libertarian principles of small government and free enterprise as

anything could possibly be. Thus far in this discussion, the surface has only been

scratched concerning the deformation of the natural market process from what it might

otherwise have been because of state intervention and the corresponding system of

corporate plutocratic rule. No mention has been made of the monopoly privilege inherent

in patent laws and the legal concept of “intellectual property.” The role of transportation

subsidies in the centralization of wealth and the destruction of smaller competitors to “big

business” has not been discussed. Indeed, a credible case can be made that without direct or indirect subsidies to those transportation systems such as air, water or long distance land travel that are necessary for the cultivation and maintenance of markets over large geographical entities, the kind of domination of present day retail and commercial food markets exercised by such gargantuan entities as Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Tesco and others would likely be impossible. 11 No challenge has been made to conventional

views regarding legitimacy of land titles as opposed to contending views, such as those

rooted in usufructuary or geoist principles.12 There has been no discussion, as there easily

could be, of the role of the state in the creation of the underclass of contemporary

societies and the related social pathologies, a situation whose roots go far deeper than the

mere “culture of dependency” bemoaned by conventional conservatives and some

libertarians.13 The role of the state in the dispossession of the indigenous agricultural

population in the period of early capitalist development in the West and in the

contemporary Third World has been mentioned, but such dispossessions continue to

occur even in modern societies.14

The implications of these insights for libertarian strategy are rather profound

indeed. If libertarianism is to be identified in the public mind and among lay people as an

apology for the corporation-dominated status quo, and if libertarians proceed as if

“conservative” apologists for big business were their natural friends, and insist that a libertarian world would be one ruled by the likes of Boeing, Halliburton, ‘Tesco, Microsoft, or Dupont, then libertarianism will never be anything more than an appendage to the ideological superstructure modern intellectual classes use to legitimize plutocratic rule.15 However, if libertarianism asserts itself as a new radicalism, the polar opposite of plutocrat-friendly “conservatism”, and more radical than anything offered by the increasing moribund and archaic Left, then libertarianism may well indeed inspire new generations of militants to take aim at the statist status quo. Libertarianism may become the guiding system of thought for radicals and reformers everywhere as liberalism was in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and as socialism was for subsequent generations.16

As for the question of what an economy devoid of statist, corporatist and

plutocratic rule would actually look like, it can be expected that removal of state-imposed

barriers to obtainment of credit, entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency (as

opposed to dependency on state and corporate bureaucracies for employment, insurance

and social services) will be one where Colin Ward’s ideal of a “self-employed” society is

largely realized.17 No longer will the average man be dependent on Chase Manhattan, Home Depot, General Motors, ‘Tesco or Texaco for his livelihood or his sustenance. Instead, he will have finally acquired the means of existing economically as a self-sufficient dignified individual in a community of peers where privilege is the result of merit and equal liberty is the unchallengeable prerogative of all.

Early in the twentieth century there were a variety of movements championing the independent small producer and the cooperative management of large enterprises including anarcho-syndicalism from the extreme Left and distributism from the reactionary Catholic Right.18 These tendencies still exist on the outer fringes of political and economic thought. One need not agree with every bit of analysis or every proposal advanced by these schools of thinking to recognize their visionary libertarian aspects. Numerous economic arrangements currently exist that offer glimpses into what post-statist, post-plutocratic institutions of production might be.

One of these is the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, a collection of worker-

owned and operated industries originating from the Basque region of Spain. Having been

in existence since 1941, the Mondragon cooperatives initially established a “peoples’

bank” of the kind originally suggested by the godfather of classical anarchism, Pierre

Joseph Proudhon,19 for the development of still more enterprises, which now total more

than 150 in number, including the private University of Mondragon. Its supermarket

division is the third largest retail outlet in Spain and the largest Spanish-owned food store

chain. Each individual cooperative has a workers’ council of its own, and the entire

cooperative federation is governed by a congress of workers from the different

enterprises. 20

Still another quite interesting example is the Brazilian company Semco SA. While

privately owned as a family business, Semco practices a form of radical industrial democracy. Under the leadership of Ricardo Semler, who inherited the company from his

father, Semco maintains a management structure where workers manage themselves and

set their own production goals and budgets with remuneration based on productivity,

efficiency and cost effectiveness. Workers receive twenty-five percent of the profits from

their division. Middle management has essentially been eliminated. Workers have the

right of veto over company expenditures. Job duties are frequently rotated and even the

CEO position is shared by six persons, including owner Semler, who serve six month

terms in the chief executive position. The company now has over 3,000 employees,

annual revenue of over $200 million and a growth rate of forty percent each year.21

An economy organized on the basis of worker-owned and operated industries,

peoples’ banks, mutuals, consumer cooperatives, anarcho-syndicalist labor unions,

individual and family enterprises, small farms and crafts workers associations engaged in

local production for local use, voluntary charitable institutions, land trusts, or voluntary

collectives, communes and kibbutzim may seem farfetched to some, but no more so and

probably less so than a modern industrial, high-tech economy where the merchant class is

the ruling class and the working class is a frequently affluent middle class would have

seemed to residents of the feudal societies of pre-modern times. If the expansion of the

market economy, specialization, the division of labor, industrialization and technological

advancements can bring about the achievements of modern societies in eradicating

disease, starvation, infant mortality and early death, one can only wonder what a genuine

free enterprise system might achieve, and would have already achieved were it not for the

scourge of statism and the corresponding plutocracy.

1 Kevin A. Carson, The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand: Corporate-Capitalism As a State-Guaranteed System of Privilege (Red Lion Press, 2001-Revised January 2002).

2 Kevin A. Carson, “The Subsidy of History”, The Freeman, Vol. 58, No. 5, June 2008.

3 Raymond Bonner, Weakness and Deceit: U.S. Policy and El Salvador. (New York: Times Books, 1984), pp. 19- 23.

4 Murray N. Rothbard, “Wall Street, Banks and American Foreign Policy”, World Market Perspective, 1984.

5 Rothbard, Ibid.; Kevin A. Carson, “Tucker’s Big Four: The Money Monopoly”, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Chapter Five: Section B. Archived at http:// mutualist.org/id73.html . Accessed September 10, 2008; Hans Hermann Hoppe, “Banking, Nation-States and International Politics: A Sociological Reconstruction of the Present Economic Order” The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (Boston/Dordrecht/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993), pp. 61-92; Benjamin R. Tucker, “Part II: Money and Interest”, Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One, 1897. Archived at http://fair-use.org/benjamin-tucker/instead-of-a-book/.

Accessed on September 10, 2008.

6 Gabriel Kolko, The Triumph of Conservatism, MacMillan, 1963.

7 Terry Arthur, “Free Enterprise: Left or Right? Neither!”, Libertarian Alliance, 1984.

8 Martin Van Creveld, The Rise and Decline of the State (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

9 James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution: What Is Happening in the World (Greenwood Press Reprint, 1972, originally published in 1940). This classic conservative work argues that modern societies are neither “capitalist” nor “socialist” in the way these terms were historically understood. Instead, a new kind of politico-economic order has emerged in modern times where political and economic rule is conducted by a “managerial class” of bureaucrats presiding over mass organizations-governments and their bureaus and agencies, corporations and financial institutions, armies, political parties, unions, universities, media, foundations and the like. Membership in the upper strata of these entities is often rotational in that many of the same individuals shift about from the various sectors of the managerial class, for instance, from elected positions in government to corporate boards of directors to key positions in the media or elite foundations to appointed positions in the bureaucracy.

10 Hans Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed. (New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 2001), pp. 108-109.

11 Kevin A. Carson, “Transportation Subsidies”, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Chapter Five, Section E. Archived at http://mutualist.org/id76.html Accessed on September 10, 2008.

12 Among anti-state radicals, a fairly wide divergence of opinion exists concerning the manner by which property rights in land should be defined. Most “mainstream” libertarians hold to some version of Lockean property rights while more radical libertarians (mutualists, syndicalists, anarcho-communists) along with some distributists argue that property rights should be defined according to the principles of occupancy and use. Still others adhere to the view of Henry George (geoism or geolibertarianism) that land ownership should be subject to a land value tax. For a discussion of this controversy among libertarians, see Kevin A. Carson, “Tucker’s Big Four: The Land Monopoly”, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Chapter Five: Section B. Archived at http://www.mutualist.org/id66.html. Accessed on September 10, 2008. Carson summarizes the matter elsewhere: “In Chapter Five of Mutualist Political Economy, I included an extended discussion of property rights theory that relied heavily on “Hogeye Bill” Orton’s commentary from sundry message boards. According to Orton, no particular theory of property rights can be logically deduced from the axiom of self-ownership. Rather, self-ownership can interact with a variety of property rights templates to produce alternative economic orders in a stateless society. So whether rightful ownership of a piece of land is determined by Lockean, a mutualist, Georgist, or syndicalist rule is a matter of local convention. Questions of coercion can only be settled once this prior question is addressed. And since there is no a priori principle from which any particular set of rules can be deduced, we can only judge between them on consequentialist grounds: what other important values do they tend to promote or hinder?
So it’s quite conceivable that non-severable, non-marketable shares in a collectively owned enterprise might depend, not on contract among the members, but on the property rights convention of the local community. Saying that such an arrangement is “coercion” is begging the question of whether the Lockean rules for initial acquisition and transfer of property is the only self-evidently true ones.” Carson, “Socialist Definitional Free-for-All, Part I”, Archived at http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2005/12/socialist-definitional-free-for-all.html. Accessed on September 10, 2008.

13 No doubt much conservative criticism of the welfare state for creating perverse incentives for anti-social behavior, such as familial dysfunction, criminality and a hindered work ethic, are correct and insightful. Yet, many of the social pathologies associated with the “underclass” populations of American and European cities is traceable to detrimental state interventions far beyond those of conventional social welfare systems. A number of works by libertarians and non-libertarians alike have documented the process by which organic social, economic and cultural life has been destroyed among these populations by a wide range of interventions, most of which are imposed for the sake of advancing plutocratic interests. See Kevin A. Carson, “Reparations: Cui Bono?” Archived at http://mutualist.org/id9.html. Accessed on September 10, 2008; Charles Johnson, “Scratching By: How Government Creates Poverty As We Know It”, The Freeman, Vol. 57, No. 10, December 2007; Keith Preston, “The Political Economy of the War on Drugs”, (American Revolutionary Vanguard, 2001), Archived at http://attackthesystem.com/the-politicial-economy-of-the-war-on-drugs/ Accessed on September 10, 2008; Thomas J. Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit, (Princeton University Press, 1996, 2005); Walter E. Williams, The State Against Blacks, (McGraw-Hill, 1982).

14 For an illuminating discussion of the role of state intervention in the dispossession of the indigenous rural agricultural population of America’s heartland in the 1980s and 1990s, see James Bovard, Farm Fiasco, (ICS Press, 1989) and Joel Dyer, Harvest of Rage, (Westview Press, 1997).

15 The role of the intellectual class as both a constituent group for statism and as the creators of the ideological superstructure of statism is discussed in Hans Hermann Hoppe, “Natural Elites, Intellectuals and the State”, Mises Institute, July 21, 2006. Archived at http://mises.org/story/2214. Accessed on September 11, 2008. Of course, the concept of an ideological superstructure used to legitimize a particular system of class rule is most closely associated with Marxist analysis. For an examination of the differences as well as the points of agreement between Marxists and libertarians, see Hans Hermann Hoppe, “Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis”, The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (Boston/Dordrecht/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993), pp. 93-110.

16 Murray Rothbard considered libertarians to be the far left end of the political spectrum, with “conservatives”, i.e., proponents of an authoritarian order based on hierarchy, status, and privilege (and justified with appeals to tradition) to be on the far right, with Marxists and other socialists constituting an incoherent middle-of-the-road position. See Murray N. Rothbard, Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty, (Cato Institute, 1979). The left-wing anarchist Larry Gambone’s exhaustive examination of the thinking of the early socialists indicates that the original aim of socialism was not the state-run economies associated with socialism in contemporary political discourse, but an economy ordered on the basis of decentralized cooperative enterprises. Larry Gambone, “The Myth of Socialism as Statism”, (Porcupine Blog, May 6, 2006). Archived at http://porkupineblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/myth-of-socialism-as-statism.html. Accessed on September 11, 2008.

17 Colin Ward, “A Self-Employed Society”, Anarchy In Action, (London: Freedom Press, 1982), pp. 95-109.

18 Rudolf Rocker, Anarcho-Syndicalism, (Martin Secker and Warburg, Ltd., 1938); Hilaire Belloc, The Servile State, (The Liberty Fund, originally published in 1913); G. K. Chesterton, The Outline of Sanity, (HIS Press, 2002, originally published in 1927); Anthony Cooney, Distributism, (Third Way Movement Ltd., 1998).

19 Larry Gambone, Proudhon and Anarchism: Proudhon’s Libertarian Thought and the Anarchist Movement, (Red Lion Press, 1996).

20 William Whyte, Making Mondragon: The Growth and Dynamics of the Worker Cooperative Complex, (ILR Press, 1991).

21 Ricardo Semler, Maverick, (Arrow Press, 1993).

Bibliography:

Arthur, Terry, “Free Enterprise: Left or Right? Neither!”, Libertarian Alliance, 1984.

Belloc, Hilaire. The Servile State. The Liberty Fund, originally published in 1913.

Bonner, Raymond. Weakness and Deceit: U.S. Policy and El Salvador. New York: Times

Books, 1984.

Bovard, James. Farm Fiasco. ICS Press, 1989.

Burnham, James. The Managerial Revolution: What Is Happening in the World.

Greenwood Press Reprint, 1972, originally published in 1940.

Carson, Kevin A. “Reparations: Cui Bono?”Archived at http://mutualist.org/id9.html

Carson, Kevin A.,“Socialist Definitional Free-for-All, Part I”, Archived at

http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2005/12/socialist-definitional-free-for-all.html Accessed on September 10, 2008.

Carson, Kevin A. The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand: Corporate-Capitalism As a

State-Guaranteed System of Privilege. Red Lion Press, 2001-Revised January

2002.

Carson, Kevin A. “The Subsidy of History”, The Freeman, Vol. 58, No. 5, June 2008.

Carson, Kevin A., “Transportation Subsidies”, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy,

Chapter Five, Section E. Archived at http://mutualist.org/id76.html Accessed on

September 10, 2008.

Carson, Kevin A. “Tucker’s Big Four: The Land Monopoly”, Studies in Mutualist

Political Economy, Chapter Five: Section B. Archived at

http://www.mutualist.org/id66.html. Accessed on September 10, 2008.

Carson, Kevin A. “Tucker’s Big Four: The Money Monopoly”, Studies in Mutualist

Political Economy, Chapter Five: Section B. Archived at http://

mutualist.org/id73.html . Accessed September 10, 2008.

Chesterton, G. K. The Outline of Sanity. HIS Press, 2002, originally published in 1927.

Cooney, Anthony. Distributism. Third Way Movement Ltd., 1998.

Dyer, Joel. Harvest of Rage. Westview Press, 1997.

Gambone, Larry. Proudhon and Anarchism: Proudhon’s Libertarian Thought and the

Anarchist Movement. Red Lion Press, 1996.

Gambone, Larry, “The Myth of Socialism as Statism”, Porcupine Blog, May 6, 2006).

Archived at http://porkupineblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/myth-of-socialism-as-

statism.html. Accessed on September 11, 2008.

Hoppe, Hans Hermann, “Banking, Nation-States and International Politics: A

Sociological Reconstruction of the Present Economic Order,” The Economics

and Ethics of Private Property. Boston/Dordrecht/London: Kluwer Academic

Publishers, 1993.

Hoppe, Hans Hermann. Democracy: The God That Failed. New Brunswick and London:

Transaction Publishers, 2001.

Hoppe, Hans Hermann, “Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis”, The Economics and

Ethics of Private Property. Boston/Dordrecht/London: Kluwer Academic

Publishers, 1993.

Hoppe, Hans Hermann, “Natural Elites, Intellectuals and the State”, Mises Institute, July

21, 2006. Archived at http://mises.org/story/2214. Accessed on September 11,

2008.

Johnson, Charles, “Scratching By: How Government Creates Poverty As We Know It”,

The Freeman, Vol. 57, No. 10, December 2007.

Kolko, Gabriel. The Triumph of Conservatism. MacMillan, 1963.

Preston, Keith, “The Political Economy of the War on Drugs”, (American Revolutionary

Vanguard, 2001), Archived at http://attackthesystem.com/the-politicial-economy-

of-the-war-on-drugs/ Accessed on September 10, 2008

Rocker, Rudolf. Anarcho-Syndicalism. Martin Secker and Warburg, Ltd., 1938.

Rothbard, Murray N. Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty. Cato Institute, 1979.

Rothbard, Murray N., “Wall Street, Banks and American Foreign Policy”, World Market

Perspective, 1984.

Semler, Ricardo. Maverick. Arrow Press, 1993.

Sugrue, Thomas J. The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar

Detroit. Princeton University Press, 1996, 2005.

Tucker, Benjamin R., “Part II: Money and Interest”, Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too

Busy To Write One, 1897. Archived at http://fair-use.org/benjamin-

tucker/instead-of-a-book/. Accessed on September 10, 2008.

Van Creveld, Martin. The Rise and Decline of the State. Cambridge University Press,

1999.

Ward, Colin, “A Self-Employed Society”, Anarchy In Action. London: Freedom Press,

1982.

Williams, Walter E. The State Against Blacks. McGraw-Hill, 1982.

Whyte, William. Making Mondragon: The Growth and Dynamics of the Worker

Cooperative Complex. (ILR Press, 1991).

LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE ESSAY PRIZE (£ 1,000 ): IS BIG BUSINESS PART OF THE FREE MARKET?


Sean Gabb
The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties
policy institute, today announces the title for its 2008 Chris R. Tame
Memorial Essay Prize competition.

This Prize is funded by a generous grant from The PROMIS Unit of Primary
Care and is in honour of Chris R. Tame (1949-2006) Founder and first
Director of the Libertarian Alliance. The Prize is worth £1000.

The essay title for 2008 is:

“Can a Libertarian Society be Described as ‘Tesco minus the State’?”
Essay Length: 3,000 words excluding notes and bibliography
Submission Date: 10th October 2008

Explanatory Note

The purpose of this year’s essay title is to draw wider attention to a
debate that has been taking place within the libertarian movement for
over a century, and that is now more relevant than ever: is big business
really part of the free market in which libertarians believe? Or is it
just the “third way” between free enterprise and socialism?

Many socialists and conservatives regard libertarians as cheerleaders for
big business. Our belief in free enterprise is understood as support for
the bigger, and therefore the more successful, corporations – General
Motors, Microsoft, HSBC, Tesco, and so forth – and for an international
financial system centred on the City of London.

Some libertarians are happy to be so regarded. They dislike the way in
which big government provides opportunities for big business to acquire
privileges that shelter it from competition. Even so, they believe that a
world without government, or a world with much less government, would be
broadly similar in its patterns of enterprise to the world that we now
have. It would be much improved, but not fundamentally dissimilar.

Other libertarians disagree. They regard big business as fundamentally a
creation of big government. Incorporation laws free entrepreneurs from
personal risk and personal responsibility, and allow the growth of large
business organisations that are bureaucratically managed. These
organisations then cartellise their markets and externalise many of their
costs. The result is systematic distortion of market behaviour from the
forms it would take without government intervention. These libertarians
often go further in their analysis by denying the legitimacy of
intellectual property rights and ownership rights in land beyond what any
individual can directly use.

Where do you stand in this debate? Are you broadly comfortable with a
global capitalism that is raising billions of people from starvation
towards affluence. Or are you a radical with a vision of a society that
has never yet been tried and is as alien and even frightening to most
people as anything promised by the Marxists.

The winner of the 2008 competition will be announced at the London
conference of the Libertarian Alliance, on Saturday the 25th October at
the National Liberal Club.

Full details of the Prize at

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/conferences/prize08.htm

Full details of the Conference at

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/conferences/conf08brochure.htm

END OF COPY

Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. His latest
book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England,
and How to Get It Back, may be downloaded for free from
http://tinyurl.com/34e2o3. It may also be bought. His other books are
available from Hampden Press at http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.

He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at
sean@libertarian.co.uk

Extended Contact Details:

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil
liberties policy institute. It has published over 800 articles, pamphlets
and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms.
These are freely available at http://www.libertarian.co.uk

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Lansdowne Row
Mayfair
London W1J 6HL
Tel: 07956 472 199

Associated Organisations

The Libertarian International – http://www.libertarian.to – is a sister
organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate
various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the
world.

Sean Gabb’s personal website – http://www.seangabb.co.uk – contains about
a million words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians and
conservatives.

Hampden Press – http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.- the publishing house of
the Libertarian Alliance.

Liberalia – http://www.liberalia.com – maintained by by LA Executive
member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French
and English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source
of documentation on these issues for students and scholars.

Here is a Great Slab of Text from Sean


Market Behaviour in the Ancient World:
An Overview of the Debate
Sean Gabb

This is the text of a speech given to the
Third Conference of the Property and Freedom Society
held in Bodrum, Turkey, in May 2008

 There is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some Philosophers have not maintained for Truth.[1]

Introductory

It is a settled assumption among most libertarians, classical liberals and English-speaking conservatives that market behaviour is part of human nature. Whether or not we care to make a point of it, we stand with John Locke and, through him, with the men of the Middle Ages and with the Greeks and Romans, in trying to derive what is right from what is natural.[2]

We believe that there is a natural inclination to promote our own welfare and that of our loved ones. We further believe that, given reasonable security of life and property, this inclination will lead to the emergence of a system of voluntary exchange. That is, we will seek to trade the things we have or can create for other things that we regard as of greater value to ourselves.

In doing so, ratios of exchange that we call prices will be revealed. These prices, in turn, will provide general information about what should be produced, in what ways and in what quantities. Furthermore, changes in price will provide information about changes in preferences or in abilities to produce. Custom will set aside one or more goods to serve as money. Institutions will emerge that channel savings into productive investment, that spread risk, and that moderate expected fluctuations in price. Laws will develop to police the transfer of property and performance of contracts.

We believe that market economies emerge spontaneously and are self-regulating and self-sustaining. This is not to say that all market societies will be the same. Their exact shape will depend on the intellectual and moral qualities of the individuals who comprise them. They will reflect pre-existing patterns of trust and honesty and the general cultural and religious values of a people. They will also be more or less distorted by government intervention.[3] But we do say that market behaviour is natural – that, in the absence of extreme government coercion, or extreme disorder, buying and selling to increase our own welfare is what we naturally do.[4]

The Power of the Naturalist Apologia

It is not necessary for us to believe this. We can take a purely utilitarian view of social and economic arrangements. We can ignore whether markets are natural, and only ask whether they maximises human wellbeing. But, as said, we do tend to believe it. And it is perhaps the most powerful long range weapon in the libertarian and conservative arsenal. This is because our whole civilisation stands within the natural law tradition. For all it is ignored where not denigrated, this tradition shapes the assumptions of common debate. Show that marriage and the family are “natural” institutions, and they are much harder to attack. Let it be shown that slavery is “unnatural”, and its defence must rest on purported arguments of utility or on cultural acceptance.

In our civilisation, therefore, it is a very strong defence of market behaviour to say that “capitalism is what people do: socialism is what governments do”.

Not surprisingly, this naturalistic claim has been subject for at least the past two centuries to systematic and continuous attack. For much of this time, the strongest attack has been in the counterclaim that, whether natural or not, markets lead to avoidable inequality and to economic instability. More recently, we have been told that they damage the overall environment of our planet.

These kinds of attack have been refuted or are in the process of being refuted. This does not prevent them from being endlessly repeated in different forms. But I will say no more about them. I will instead discuss the more subtle form of attack, which is to deny that market behaviour is natural – to claim that it is a product of specific circumstances, which have not always existed and need not always exist.

Relativism

The most notable philosopher in this tradition was, of course, Karl Marx. He argued that the values of any civilisation – prior, at least, to the socialist culmination – are determined by its mode of production. He says:

In acquiring new productive forces men change their mode of production; and in changing their mode of production, in changing the way of earning their living, they change all their social relations. The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill society with the industrial capitalist. The same men who establish their social relations in conformity with the material productivity, produce also principles, ideas, and categories, in conformity with their social relations. Thus the ideas, these categories, are as little eternal as the relations they express. They are historical and transitory products.[5]

This is a radically subversive claim. It allows any institution, any custom, any set of beliefs – no matter how obviously right or true they might appear – to be dismissed as “ideology” or “false consciousness”. Let this claim be accepted, and our own claims about the naturalness of market behaviour fall to the ground.

With the remaining exception of North Korea and perhaps too of Cuba, the Marxist political experiments of the twentieth century have all long since collapsed, and, bearing in mind their known record of mass-murder and impoverishment, there are few who will admit to regretting their collapse. But Marxism as a critique of the existing order and as a theory of social change, remains alive and well in the universities. In its reformulation by Gramsci, as further developed by Althusser and Foucault among others, it may be called the dominant ideology of our age. Its hold on the English-speaking world has been noted by both conservative and libertarian writers, and is subject to an increasingly lively debate.[6]

What I wish, however, to discuss in this speech is the rather less well noted hold this line of attack has acquired in the field of classical studies. Though Marx was himself a classicist of some distinction,[7] his followers have said little of interest about the ancient world. His influence, though profound, has been indirect. It passes, with much alteration, through the work of Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) and Moses Finley (1912-86).

The Polanyi Attack

Karl Polanyi was born to a prosperous Jewish family in Budapest. After studying Law and Philosophy, he was called to the Bar in 1912. He served as a cavalry officer in the Austro-Hungarian army during the Great War, and was invalided out after fighting on the Russian Front. After the War, he supported the first republican government in Hungary. When this was toppled by the Communist revolution, he fled to Vienna. Here, he edited Der Oesterreichische Volkswirt, a socialistic newspaper, between 1924 and 1933. He then moved first to England, and then to America, where he taught and where published his most important works – some posthumously. These are:

  • The Great Transformation (1944)
  • Trade and Markets in the Early Empires (1957, edited and with contributions by others)
  • Dahomey and the Slave Trade (1966)
  • Primitive, Archaic, and Modern Economics: Essays of Karl Polanyi (1968).
  • The Livelihood of Man (Studies in social discontinuity) (1977)

There are two essential arguments in this body of work. The first is the familiar socialist claim of the 1930s and after, that the Great Depression was a systemic and universal market failure from which the market economies of the world would never recover. The second is that the market economy itself was only a recent and passing phase in human development. He argues that

[t]he concept of the market economy was born with the French Physiocrats simultaneously with the emergence of the institution of the market as a supply-demand-price mechanism…. This was, in the course of time, followed by the revolutionary innovations of markets with fluctuating prices for the factors of production, labor and land.[8]

That is, the patterns of market behaviour, which economists from Adam Smith onwards have regarded as natural to man, are barely as old as the classical economics that seeks to analyse them. For the rest of history, he says,

no economy has ever existed that, even in principle, was controlled by markets…. Gain and profit made on exchange never [before the nineteenth century] played an important part in human economy.[9]

In place of the market, he argues,

[t]he outstanding discovery of recent historical and anthropological research is that man’s economy, as a rule, is submerged in his social relationships. He does not act so as to safeguard his individual interests in the possession of material goods; he acts as to safeguard his actual standing, his social claims, his social assets. He values material goods only in so far as they serve this end.[10]

This is not to say that there was no market activity before the end of the eighteenth century. There have been production and trade and money and prices throughout recorded history. People have often been ruthless in their pursuit of self-interest and the interests of their friends and relatives. But market behaviour as we would recognise it was always peripheral to the main organising principles of society.[11] These principles were Reciprocity and Redistribution.

The meaning of reciprocity is that, in pre-modern societies, people specialised in the production of goods and services that they were best able to provide, but did not do so with any thought of trading these for money with which to buy other things. They did this instead to share with those around them. Those around them did the same. The outcome was societies in which prices might exist, but in which prices gave no indication of what and how to produce.

Redistribution takes place when the authorities take possession of harvests or other social gains and share these among the people according to their needs or status. Once more, this left no room for competitive pricing of goods in order to maximise individual welfare. The function of prices was to provide “[s]imple quantitative equivalences for grain, oil, wine, and wool [to] allow the staples to be substituted for each other”.[12]

In evidence for these claims, Polanyi appeals repeatedly to the civilisations of the ancient Near East – Sumeria, Babylon, Egypt and so forth. Take, for example:

Even in highly stratified archaic societies such as Sumeria, Babylonia, Assyria, the Hittites or Egypt, storage economies prevailed; and, in spite of a large-scale use of money as a standard, its use for indirect exchange was negligible. This may, incidentally, explain the complete absence of coins in the great civilizations of Babylonia and Egypt.[13]

There was, he does not deny, considerable foreign trade in these civilisations. Very little timber was grown in Egypt, and so this had to be imported. There was much export of luxury goods from Egypt and of corn. But this trade, according to Polanyi, was always directed through “ports of trade”. Here, prices were set by treaty, not by supply and demand; and care was taken to insulate these ports from the main territories that they served. Within these territories, no external influences were permitted on either prices or production decisions.

Polanyi dismisses the work of earlier economic historians – Henri Pirenne,[14] for example, or Michael Rostovtzeff[15]as biased by “economic solipsism”.[16] These did believe that ancient civilisations were based on market behaviour. Their claims were largely worthless, however, because they brought to their examination of the evidence the assumptions of modern economics. They supposed no discontinuity between earlier civilisations and our own. And because they never doubted that it must have existed, they found evidence for market behaviour where none in fact did exist.

Moses Finley

Though not a disciple – he was influenced at least as much by Max Weber[17]Moses Finley carries this sort of analysis into the civilisation of classical antiquity. Educated at Columbia University in New York, he became known as a Communist sympathiser. He moved to England, and became, among much else, Professor of Ancient History at Cambridge.

In his most important work, The Ancient Economy, published in 1973, he argues that considerations of status and civic prestige determined the allocation of resources among the Greeks and Romans, and that modern economic analysis is either useless or misleading as a guide to their behaviour.

Together with Polanyi, he did not deny that the men of classical antiquity produced and consumed goods, engaged in various forms of exchange including long-distance trade, and developed monetary systems employing coinage. But all economic activity took place within a culture that stressed the welfare of the community over that of the individual. Economic activity took place in so far as people had to provide income for themselves and their families. The main source of income was from the land, and most farming was for immediate consumption, not for the market.

He says:

[T]he prevailing mentality [in the ancient world] was acquisitive but not productive.[18]

Indeed, the Greeks in particular had a low opinion of any economic activity that was not connected with farm management and getting goods and services for immediate consumption. They despised commerce and industry. If there was ever a surplus, its purpose was not to be invested in further production, but to make time for the leisure necessary for participation in the political and military affairs of their city states.

These states were not centres of commerce and industry. Much rather, they were places for people to lead pleasant lives, or from which a territory was governed. They had market places, but were not central points for extended market behaviour. Unlike modern cities, they were parasitic on the agricultural territories, consuming much and contributing nothing in the tangible sense.

Moreover, their specific motivations aside, Finley argues that the Greeks and Romans could not have been rational economic agents in the modern sense. Even had they wanted to be other than they were, they lacked the conceptual and organisational tools without which a market economy is impossible. They had no idea of how to determine what was economically rational. They were unable to distinguish between capital and income. They were unable to measure profitability. They had no functioning markets for land or capital. Savings were mostly coin hoards. Most lending was for consumption by the rich or to exploit poor farmers pressed by the tax gatherers. Most labour, outside the smallholding, was performed by slaves; and, as with other capital goods, there was no way of calculating what, if any, net contribution they made to total output.

In support of these claims, he notes that the title of Marshall’s Principles of Economics is made up of words derives from Latin and Greek, but cannot itself be translated into either language. He continues:

Neither can the basic terms, such as labour, production, capital, investment, income, circulation, demand, entrepreneur, utility, at least not in the abstract form required for economic analysis. In stressing this I am [not suggesting] that the ancients were like Moliere’s M. Jourdain, who spoke prose without knowing it, but that they in fact lacked the concept of an ‘economy’, and, a fortiori, that they lacked the conceptual elements which together constitute what we call ‘the economy’. Of course, they farmed, traded, manufactured, mined, taxed, coined, deposited and loaned money, made profits or failed in their enterprises. And they discussed these activities in their talk and their writings. What they did not do, however, was to combine these particular activities conceptually into a unit, in Parsonian terms into ‘a differentiated sub-system of society’
 

It then becomes essential to ask whether this is merely accidental and intellectual failing, a problem in the history of ideas in the narrow sense, or whether it is the consequence of the structure of ancient society.[19]

And so they lacked the concepts of economic analysis because they had no economy that could be analysed. Therefore, he says,

no modern investment model is applicable to the preferences of the men who dominated ancient society.[20]

Who Controls the Present Controls the Past….

The debate over the Polanyi and Finley view of ancient economic organisation – or perhaps over the Marx and Weber and Polanyi and Finley views – does not seem to have been followed with much attention by libertarians and conservatives. It is worth following, even so. Beyond a very basic level, history is as much about the present as the past. Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a glorious work of pure history. But it is also an account of what he saw as the long night of reason – and its attendant nightmares – between the golden age of the Antonines and his own age, and an anxious search for reassurance that there would be no second sleep. Macaulay’s History of England is in part an attempt to legitimise the Victorian settlement as the culmination of historical processes that had their local origin in the 1680s. How readers can be brought to think about the past will insensibly affect how they see the present.

Now, if it could be shown that the Aztecs had no concept of market behaviour, and that they were motivated by considerations wholly different from our own, it would be of little consequence. Everything we know about Aztec civilisation raises doubts whether it was worth calling a civilisation. The Aztecs had no writing and were ignorant of metal working and wheeled transport. Their cultural values were expressed in ritual torture, mass human sacrifice and cannibalism. The Mayans and Toltecs and all the others of their sort seem to have been no better. We may deplore the brutality of the Spanish conquest, but still conclude that it was, on balance, a blessing for the peoples of South America.

But it is different with the empires of the ancient Near East – and very different with the Greeks and Romans. These latter races are our intellectual fathers. Everything we ourselves have achieved is built on the foundations they laid. They gave us the names of all our arts and sciences. Eighty per cent of the English vocabulary is derived from Greek or Latin. Knowledge of these languages may be less widely diffused than it was until a century ago. But the general prestige of the Greeks and Romans is barely less now than it was among the mediaeval pilgrims who gaped at the crumbling remains of the Colisseum and the Baths of Diocletian. If it can be shown that they were wholly unlike us in their economic motivations, that would surely place in doubt the notion that market behaviour is natural to us.

And if few people outside the relevant university departments have read Polanyi and Finley, their conclusions are transmitted through popular histories and newspaper articles and television documentaries, and through large numbers of students who, however superficially, are exposed to these conclusions.

Moreover, Polanyi has had an often pervasive influence in social science departments throughout the United States, and on certain kinds of archaeology. According to Peter Sawyer,

Polanyi’s analysis… has been enthusiastically accepted by some archaeologists who think it provides a basis for reconstructing social, economic and even political phenomena in periods for which only material evidence survives.[21]

We need, therefore, to know about these writers, and – if not quite so much as in the case of the climate change propagandists – to know in what manner their claims are best refuted.

It is not enough to insist that market behaviour is indeed natural, and that all evidence from the past must be interpreted in this light. The reply, as said, will be that we are guilty of “false consciousness” or of “economic solipsism”. Just because we cannot imagine a viable civilisation without market behaviour does not mean that such has not existed.

Ad Hominem Replies Rejected

Nor is it enough to show that Polanyi at least had an obvious polemical interest in making his claims about pre-modern economic behaviour. For all his differences with the Bela Kun Government, he was a socialist, and he was convinced that our future development should be in the direction of a gentler, wealthier repeat of the reciprocity and redistribution that he believed he saw in the past.[22]

His wife says of him:

It is given to the best among men somewhere to let down the roots of a sacred hate in the course of their lives. This happened to Polanyi in England. At later stages, in the United States it merely grew in intensity. His hatred was directed against market society and its effects, which divested man of his human shape.[23]

Speaking more bluntly himself, he says:

In order to comprehend German fascism, we must revert to Ricardian England.[24]

But we would all, I hope, agree, that a man’s motive for putting an argument has no bearing on the validity of that argument. Let us suppose letters of Ludwig von Mises were discovered, in which he claims that the text of Human Action was dictated to him by the Archangel Gabriel – would this invalidate his economics? I think not. Nor do Polanyi’s socialist beliefs in themselves invalidate his answer to the question:

What is to be done, though, when it appears that some economies have operated on altogether different principles, showing a widespread use of money, and far-flung trading activities, yet no evidence of markets or gain made on buying and selling? It is then that we must re-examine our notions of the economy.[25]

Problems of Definition

A better approach is to ask what Polanyi and Finley really mean by a market economy. They were both socialists. With few exceptions, socialists are better at denouncing than understanding market behaviour. Not surprisingly, their definitions are eccentric.

For both of them, it seems, a market economy exists in any society where everything is bought or sold. Polanyi comes close to this caricature view of markets:

All transactions are turned into money transactions…. All income must derive from the sale of something or other, and whatever the actual source of a person’s income, it must be regarded as resulting from sale….[26]

Let there be – or appear to be – a society in which there is evidence of reciprocity and redistribution, and it becomes, by definition, not a market economy. Let other evidence be shown in the same place for market activity, and it can be dismissed as “peripheral”.

If this is a fair reading of at least Polanyi, we can deny that there has ever been a market economy. In modern England and America, for example, probably most services are not exchanged by way for formal market transactions. And I am not referring to the very large amount of state activity. My wife does not expect payment for ironing my shirts. I do not expect payment for changing my daughter’s soiled nappies. Friends do favours for each other. People give to charities. Even many goods are exchanged within large business organisations at prices that are administratively convenient rather than determined by demand and supply.

Even so, just because it is grossly overstated, or made to rest in part on false definitions, does not in itself invalidate a case. The claim is that market behaviour was alien to earlier civilisations than our own. The only proper way to test the truth of this claim is to look at the evidence alleged in its support.

The Appeal to Evidence

Here, we reach a notorious problem. If someone were to claim that market behaviour was peripheral to life in eighteenth century England, it would be easy to laugh at him. This is not to say the claim has not been or will not be made. But if it were made, it could be refuted with a mass of government and private statistics, of newspaper reports and law reports, of high literature, of sermons, speeches and letters, of descriptive and analytical surveys, of biographies and novels, and of physical remains. Ludicrous claims can always be based on selective and misread evidence. In this case, the weight of the evidence must be decisive.

If we turn, however, to the ancient world, the evidence must almost always be indecisive. Very few ancient writings have survived. Obviously, two thousand years are a long time; and ancient civilisation did collapse. Add to this that far fewer documents relating to economic matters were produced or could be preserved than has been the case with us. There was no printing: everything had to be copied by hand. The best writing material was papyrus, which was both expensive and fragile. The normal writing materials for accounts and administrative documents were waxed tablets, which were scraped and reused, and thin wooden sheets, which were thrown away once they had served their purpose.

The literary remains of Greece and Rome which have come down to us through generations of copying and recopying are the products of a rather snobbish culture, and contain little direct information about economic behaviour. The great writers, as Finley observes, do seem to have lacked the conceptual framework for intelligent discussion of finance and commerce. Even otherwise, these were matters they regarded as beneath the notice of history. Thucydides, for example, gives full discussion to the political causes of the Peloponnesian War, but says nothing of what we know from the archaeological evidence was the complete Athenian displacement of Corinth in the pottery markets of the Western Mediterranean world.

During the past century or so, the rubbish dumps of Egypt have revealed a mass of the everyday documentation we have for no other area of the ancient world. There are tax records, and commercial correspondence, and administrative commands, among much else. The problem here is that Egypt was always an exception. From its earliest history, its geography opened it to capture and exploitation by rent-seeking elites. The Pharaohs were worshipped as gods and given whatever they demanded. The Ptolemies organised the country into one gigantic state enterprise and used the proceeds for making a big noise in the Hellenistic world. The Roman Emperors kept up the monopolies and requisitions, treating Egypt as their personal property, and so far as possible isolating it from the rest of the Empire. The documentary evidence, therefore, we have from Egypt may not be representative of the ancient world as a whole.

But all this, plus the material archaeology, is all we have. And if we want to know anything for economic motivations and behaviour, we must press the evidence we have as hard as we can. The history of the ancient world is, in many important respects like a mosaic that has been broken up with many of its tiles thrown away. The whole must be reconstructed from the parts remaining. It is a difficult enterprise, but it can be attempted.

If there is little direct, there is much indirect evidence. This is scattered through the surviving body of ancient literature. It consists of casual remarks, illustrations to arguments, even comments that are in themselves foolish. It is a question of looking for this, and of knowing how to use it.

An interesting example of how evidence can be extracted and used comes not from our own ancient world, but from pre-Columbian South America. Deirdre McCloskey has looked at the geographical distribution of Mayan obsidian tools. She notes that, the farther from the sources of their obsidian, the smaller was the ratio of blade weight to cutting length. She comments:

By taking more care with more costly obsidian the blade makers were earning better profits; as they did by taking less care with less costly obsidian.[27]

What we have here, then, is evidence that illiterate, stone age toolmakers were at least as conscious of opportunity cost as any Victorian mill owner, and rather more so than the average socialist planner of the next century. So long, of course, as this is evidence – this is, so long as the tools are distributed as claimed – we have empirical reason for doubting the Polanyi claim that,

previously to our time no economy has ever existed that, even in principle, was controlled by markets…. Gain and profit made on exchange never [before the nineteenth century] played an important part in human economy.[28]

But what of our own ancient world? What of all the indirect evidence that can be extracted from the surviving writings of many civilisations over about three thousand years? What can this show us about economic motivations?

Morris Silver: An Economist among Classicists

An answer is given by Morris Silver, who is now Professor Emeritus of Economics at City College of the City University of New York. He appears to know something of Greek and Latin, though nothing of the ancient semitic languages. However, he does understand economics, which is more than can be said for most other contributors to this debate. Using the most authoritative translations, he has extracted and interpreted what may be a sufficient amount of the indirect evidence.

The Abstract from his first main contribution to the debate reads:

The essay challenges Karl Polanyi’s position – that ancient Near Eastern economies knew state and temple administration but not price-making markets. It is found that the prerequisite functions of a market economy listed by Polanyi – the allocation of consumer goods, land, and labor through the supply-demand-price mechanism; risk-bearing organised as a market function; and loan markets – were all present in the ancient Near East. Although Polanyi criticised stage theories with their ‘predilections for continuity’ he imposed his own version of continuity on history in lumping together many thousands of years under the rubric of ‘archaic society’. This perspective prevented him from recognising that ancient Mesopotamia experienced lengthy and significant periods of unfettered market activity as well as periods of pervasive state regulation.[29]

The next thirty four pages are a step by step demolition of Polanyi. Professor Silver organises the Polanyi case into fourteen assertions, expressed as quotations from his works. He refutes each in turn, thereby establishing his own case that people in the distant past had exactly the same motivations as we have, and responded with frameworks of customs and institutions quite similar to our own. Anyone who comes to his work from reading Polanyi and his various disciples will appreciate just how deadly – and often how funny – his demolition is. He established beyond reasonable doubt that Polanyi and his followers either knew nothing about the ancient Near East or cared nothing about the truth.

To take just one example of what the evidence really suggests, there is this letter of about 2000 BC from an Egyptian farmer called Hekanakht. He is writing to his family. The letter says:

You shall only give this food to my people as long as they are working. Take care! Hoe all my fields, sieve (the seed grain…) with the sieve and hack with your noses in the work. If they are energetic, you will be thanked, so that I will not have to scold you…. Be energetic! You are eating my food…. Now I have caused 24 deben of copper for the rent of land to be brought to you by Sihathor. Now have 20 (?) arouras of land cultivated for us in the Perhaa beside Hau the Younger by (paying) the rent with copper, clothes, northern barley or any[thing], but only after you have sold the oil and everything else there….[30]

It could be that ancient Egypt was a place without significant market activity, and where the pursuit of profit through trade was unknown. If so, no one appears to have told Hekanakht.

Professor Silver is mostly interested in the semitic civilisations of the ancient Near East. He says little in his main works about the Greeks and Romans. What he does say is usually to express his contempt for Moses Finley. And it does appear to be a justified contempt. Finley may have been a good writer and a competent classical scholar in the technical sense. His claims about economic motivation, even so, are about as worthless as those of Polanyi, but never made with the same boldness and openness to refutation.

I have been able to find only one attempted answer to Professor Silver. This is a seven page article from 1985 by Anne Mayhew, Walter C. Neale and David W. Tandy. These writers claim that Polanyi has been misunderstood, that the translations used are the wrong ones, and that Professor Silver is guilty of the usual “economic solipsism”.[31] Professor Silver’s response fills only two pages, and does no more than point out that his critics have not understood him, and repeat the arguments that seem to have caused most difficulty to his critics.[32]

The Uniformity of Human Nature

And this should be it. The argument should have been settled in 1983. We can argue over the meaning of words, and cast doubt on a writer’s impartiality. But there is no reason for doing so. During the past few hundred years, economic theory has done well enough to analyse our actions, and in a sense to predict them. If it can be shown that the same economic theory can be applied without absurdity to people in the distant past, the Polanyi and Finley arguments collapse. The main difference between people now and in the distant past is that our market institutions enable a pace of material improvement that seems to be unique in human history. Because of that, we are richer. Our motivations, though, are unchanged.

Finley is mostly right when he says that the Greek and Roman intellectuals had no concept of market behaviour. But this is not because they lived in a world of reciprocity and redistribution. It is instead because they were members of ruling classes that were more than usually parasitic. Wealth for them was something to be seized from the merchants and workers and peasants and spent on wars of aggression. When they eventually found ways to destroy wealth faster than their victims could create it, their civilisation collapsed.

There is nothing original in this point, however. It was clear to J.B. Say over two centuries ago:

The literature of the ancients, their legislation, their public treaties, and their administration of the conquered provinces, all proclaim their utter ignorance of the nature and origin of wealth, of the manner in which it is distributed, and of the effects of its consumption.[33]

But if ancient ruling classes were parasitic, the civilisation of classical antiquity did last for well over a thousand years. This length of parasitism requires a fairly sturdy host. While there is no direct evidence for the nature and extent of market behaviour among the Greeks and Romans, there is some indirect evidence of considerable sophistication.

Forward Contracts: Thales of Miletus

Let us take the case of Thales of Miletus (c620-c546 BC), one of the earliest of Greek philosophers. This story is told of him by Aristotle:

There is the anecdote of Thales the Milesian and his financial device, which involves a principle of universal application, but is attributed to him on account of his reputation for wisdom. He was reproached for his poverty, which was supposed to show that philosophy was of no use. According to the story, he knew by his skill in the stars while it was yet winter that there would be a great harvest of olives in the coming year; so, having a little money, he gave deposits for the use of all the olive-presses in Chios and Miletus, which he hired at a low price because no one bid against him. When the harvest-time came, and many were wanted all at once and of a sudden, he let them out at any rate which he pleased, and made a quantity of money.[34]

Whether this is a true story about Thales, or even of market conditions in Miletus, is of no importance. What is important is the unvoiced background to the story. It cannot easily be taken as an instance of the predatory capitalism that Polanyi and Finley are willing to grant to the ancient world. Thales decided that there would be a good olive crop. He did not buy olive presses. Instead, he took out options on them. He and those who dealt with him, seem to have understood the nature of the deal made. When it turned out that Thales had predicted right, he seems to have had no trouble with enforcing his contracts. This assumes a familiarity of the courts with such contracts, and a commercial state of mind either among the peoples of Chios and Miletus, or – assuming the story is apocryphal – among Artistotle’s Athenian audience.

Many of the Greek city states were considerable trading centres. They lack any detailed commercial histories. Certainly, no ancient writer thought it consistent with the dignity of history to describe their economic structure and the causes of their commercial greatness. But this casual anecdote must stand in place of the unwritten histories as evidence for thriving and sophisticated financial economies.

Integrated Markets in Capital and Land: The Financial Crisis of 33 AD

Let us next take a brief but important notice in Tacitus, for the year 33 AD:

Meanwhile a powerful host of accusers fell with sudden fury on the class which systematically increased its wealth by usury in defiance of a law passed by Caesar the Dictator defining the terms of lending money and of holding estates in Italy, a law long obsolete because the public good is sacrificed to private interest. The curse of usury was indeed of old standing in Rome and a most frequent cause of sedition and discord, and it was therefore repressed even in the early days of a less corrupt morality. First, the Twelve Tables prohibited any one from exacting more than 10 per cent., when, previously, the rate had depended on the caprice of the wealthy. Subsequently, by a bill brought in by the tribunes, interest was reduced to half that amount, and finally compound interest was wholly forbidden. A check too was put by several enactments of the people on evasions which, though continually put down, still, through strange artifices, reappeared. On this occasion, however, Gracchus, the praetor, to whose jurisdiction the inquiry had fallen, felt himself compelled by the number of persons endangered to refer the matter to the Senate. In their dismay the senators, not one of whom was free from similar guilt, threw themselves on the emperor’s indulgence. He yielded, and a year and six months were granted, within which every one was to settle his private accounts conformably to the requirements of the law.
 

Hence followed a scarcity of money, a great shock being given to all credit, the current coin too, in consequence of the conviction of so many persons and the sale of their property, being locked up in the imperial treasury or the public exchequer. To meet this, the Senate had directed that every creditor should have two-thirds his capital secured on estates in Italy. Creditors however were suing for payment in full, and it was not respectable for persons when sued to break faith. So, at first, there were clamorous meetings and importunate entreaties; then noisy applications to the praetor’s court. And the very device intended as a remedy, the sale and purchase of estates, proved the contrary, as the usurers had hoarded up all their money for buying land. The facilities for selling were followed by a fall of prices, and the deeper a man was in debt, the more reluctantly did he part with his property, and many were utterly ruined. The destruction of private wealth precipitated the fall of rank and reputation, till at last the emperor interposed his aid by distributing throughout the banks a hundred million sesterces, and allowing freedom to borrow without interest for three years, provided the borrower gave security to the State in land to double the amount. Credit was thus restored, and gradually private lenders were found. The purchase too of estates was not carried out according to the letter of the Senate’s decree, rigour at the outset, as usual with such matters, becoming negligence in the end.[35]

So far as we can understand what was happening, the passage largely explains itself. An old law restricting the rate of interest is suddenly revived. This invalidates a large class of loans above the official rate made on short term but renewable contracts. An indulgence is given of eighteen months, during which the now illegal loans are systematically called in. The result is a liquidity crisis in which land prices collapse. The crisis is dealt with by emergency lending by the Emperor.

There is nothing unusual about this sort of crisis. We are passing through something similar at the moment. What Tacitus is showing is a developed economy with much integration of capital and land markets. We can see how easily land can be sold, and how responsive prices are to the forces of demand and supply. Again, special pleading can be brought to bear on the story to try and minimise the extent of market behaviour. But, so far as this crisis can be analysed in terms of standard economic theory, the simplest explanation is to conclude that the economy of the early Roman Empire was, in its essentials, like that of the modern world.

Conclusion

I repeat: the argument should have been settled in 1983, with the publication of the first article by Professor Silver. Perhaps it should never have been suffered to begin. Sadly, though, there is a bitter and unending hatred among the intellectual classes of our civilisation for market behaviour that will be manifested in any subject. The only answer is continual policing and continual refutation.

Our duty, as libertarian and conservative intellectuals, is to be aware of the relevant debates outside our own subjects, and to join in the applause for those who stand subjectively or objectively on the side of truth.

Notes

[1] Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Part III, Chapter VI.

[2] “To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.” (John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government (1689), Chapter II, Section 4)

[3] “The RHINE flows north, the RHONE south; yet both spring from the same mountain, and are also actuated, in their opposite directions, by the same principle of gravity. The different inclinations of the ground on which they run, cause all the difference of their courses.” (David Hume, A Dialogue (1748?), published in Enquiries Concerning the Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals, Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition 1902, p.333)

[4] “THIS division of labour, from which so many advantages are derived, is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which foresees and intends that general opulence to which it gives occasion. It is the necessary, though very slow and gradual consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility; the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.” (Adam Smith, An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), Book I, Chapter 2).

[5] Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy (1847), Chapter Two: “The Metaphysics of Political Economy” – available on-line at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/poverty-philosophy/ch02.htm  (checked May 2008).

[6] See, for example: Paul Gottfried, After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1999; The Strange Death of Marxism: The European Left in the New Millennium, University of Missouri Press, Missouri, 2005; Sean Gabb, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, Hampden Press, London, 2007. By complete chance, copies of this last, and very significant, book are available for sale at the back of this room.

[7] He wrote his doctoral thesis on The Difference between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature (1841). It can be found on-line at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1841/dr-theses/index.htm – checked May 2008.

[8] Karl Polanyi, The Livelihood of Man, Academic Press, New York, 1977, pp 6-7.

[9] Karl Polanyi et al (eds) Trade and Market in the Early Empires: Economics in History and Theory, The Free Press, Glencoe, Illinois, 1957, p.43.

[10] Karl Polanyi, Origins of Our Time: The Great Transformation (British edition of The Great Transformation), Victor Gollancz, London, 1945, p.53.

[11] Ibid, pp 41-50.

[12] Polanyi, The Livelihood of Man, p.61.

[13] Ibid, pp 119-20.

[14] See, for example, Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne, Allen and Unwin, London, 1935.

[15] See, for example, Michael Rostovtzeff, Historv of the Ancient World, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1926; Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1926; Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World,. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1941.

[16] Polanyi, The Livelihood of Man, pp 14-15.

[17] Hinnerk Bruhns, “Max Weber’s ‘Basic Concepts’ in the Context of his Studies in Economic History”, Max Weber Studies (2006 Bhft I) 39-69.

[18] Moses Finley, The Ancient Economy, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, (1973) 2nd edition 1985, p.23.

[19] Ibid, p.21.

[20] Ibid, p.144.

[21] Peter Sawyer, “Early Fairs and Markets in England and Scandinavia”, in B.L. Anderson and AJ.H. Latham, (eds), The Market in History, Croom Helm, London, 1986, p.61.

[22] He says: “In the receding rule of the market in the modern world, shapes reminiscent of the economic organisation of earlier times make their appearance. Of course we stand firmly committed to the progress and freedoms which are the promise of modern society. But a purposeful view of the past may help us to meet our present over concern with economic matters and to achieve a level of human integration, that comprises the economy, without being absorbed in it.” (Polanyi, Trade and Market, ‘Introductory Note’, p.xviii).

[23] Polanyi, The Livelihood of Man, “Introduction”, p.xvi.

[24] Polanyi, The Great Transformation, p.30.

[25] Polanyi, Trade and Market, p.xvii.

[26] Polanyi, The Great Transformation, p.41.

[27] Deirdre N. McCloskey, “Polanyi was Right, and Wrong”, Eastern Economic Journal, 23, 1997, p.484.

[28] Polanyi, Trade and Market, p.43.

[29] Morris Silver, “Karl Polanyi and Markets in the Ancient Near East: The Challenge of the Evidence”, The Journal of Economic History, Vol. XLIII, No.4, December 1983, p.795. This article was greatly expanded and published as Economic Structures of the Ancient Near East, Croom Helm, London, 1985, and then as  Economic Structures of Antiquity, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1995. He maintains a website on ancient economies at http://sondmor.tripod.com/index-html – checked May 2008.

[30] Quoted in Silver, “Polanyi and Markets”, p.826.

[31] Anne Mayhew, Walter C. Neale and David W. Tandy, “Markets in the Ancient Near East: A Challenge to Silver’s Arguments and Use of Evidence”, The Journal of Economic History, Vol. XLV, No.1, March 1985, pp127-34.

[32] Morris Silver, “Karl Polanyi and Markets in the Ancient Near East: A Reply”, The Journal of Economic History, Vol. XLV, No.1, March 1985, pp135-37.

[33] Jean-Baptise Say, A Treatise of Political Economy, translated by C.R. Princep, American edition, Grigg and Eliot, Philadelphia, 1836, p xxviii.

[34] Aristotle, Politics, Book 1, part XI, translated by Benjamin Jowett, available on-line at: http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.1.one.html  – checked May 2008.

[35] Tactus, Annals, Book 6, 16-17, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb [1864-1877], available on-line at: http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/tac/index.htm ?checked May 2008.

This is quite sweet and interesting. Not sure it will catch on in the UK, where we have “foot ballers’” “wives”, but it puts a new take on “AFFORDABLE HOUSING”


David Davis

Affordable housing… is this what the fascist pigs who concrete the South or Britain over fully, mean? Don’t think so somehow!

I don’t think I’d like to live in one, but for billions of people the world over, it could be an improvement. I am of course a very fortunate man…for now.

STOCKHOLM NETWORK … new press release backs education vouchers


As parents signal willingness to run schools themselves, think tank launches DVD calling for school vouchers FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/04/08 In the wake of increasing numbers of parents taking matters into their own hands and setting up independent, no frills schools (The Daily Telegraph, ‘Parents set up their own primary’, page 10, 02/04/08), the Stockholm Network offered its vision for British education in 2020. Launching a new film on the internet, Stockholm Network CEO, Helen Disney said:  “The State should continue to fund most primary and secondary education, but such money ought to follow pupils in the form of a voucher and be spent in a much more competitive and open market of independent providers.  Learning from the Swedish policy agenda which has greatly encouraged school choice, parents and teachers must be allowed to set up their own schools where there is a critical mass of local support.” Launching the DVD: Back to School: How Choice and Competition could make Britain’s future brighter, which explores market reforms in education, the Stockholm Network recommends three key policy changes that it believes will greatly improve school standards and outcomes:  1)      Money to follow pupils via a voucher which can be spent in any school;2)      All schools to be set free from Whitehall control and therefore to be in the independent for-profit and not-for-profit sector by 2015;3)      All schools to initially work to a national curriculum with the possibility of later deregulation and flexible opt-outs. To view the documentary please visit:http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/gregoryjude/video/x4b7ax_back-to-school_politics  Following the example of the New Model School Company, set up to make independent education available to a wider range of families by keeping fees below £5,000 per annum, the Stockholm Network wants to see traditionally over-priced public schools competitively challenged by an influx of new market entrants: “It is vital that the supply of independent schools increases in response to the growing demand, in order to stimulate competition. The independent schools sector should be able to cater for the children of low- and middle-income parents, as well as the rich. The reason that many of the leading independent schools have been able to increase their fees by nearly 100% in the last ten years in that they reside in an essentially ossified market, without genuine competition,” explains Robert Whelan, Managing Director of the New Model School Company, which runs Maple Walk School in Kensal Town.  Commenting on the debate that will be sparked by the new film, Helen Disney concludes: “This DVD fires the starting pistol on the education debate for the next general election. I have no doubt that the idea of state money following the pupil will be attractive to a vast majority of voters. I also believe that once set free from Whitehall, state schools will thrive in a new and universal market of independent provision. The time is now right for politicians to allow competition to drive up school standards and to do so not just for the well-off but for everyone.” - ENDS -

For quotes and commentary on the above, please call Cara Walker, Head of Media and Communications on 00 44 20 7354 8888 or cara@stockholm-network.org

  Notes to Editors: The Stockholm Network is the leading pan-European think tank. It offers a unique network of 130 + market-oriented think tanks across Europe providing access to the best European policy thinking. Tel: 020 7354 8888, Fax: 020 7359 8888  www.stockholm-network.org 

Killing the socialistically-socialised bastards that commit crimes. Good quote from the Remittance Man


“Quote of the day” ……. we don’t really do quotes of the day, as we don’t know what days we can publish anything … but ….

As I have said many times before, the term “unnecessary force” is a really pointless one.

There are only two levels of force: the one that doesn’t get the job done and the one that does.

All other discussion is academic. Besides, not knowing which member of the public might turn into Bob The Berserker when asked to hand over his wallet, but being sure that any one of them might, could just be the sort of deterrent these scumbags need.

Any government that tries to define what is and what is not “necessary” force, has not had any of its members exposed to any at all.

Indeed, this may be the first British “government” in which no persons have ever served in the Armed Forces; it may also be the first to forcefully-self-insulate against “other” “threats”, which is to say ordinary “petty” crimes against the person, which all the rest of us are forced to put up with.

Wasn’t it “Jacqui” Smith, the Ministeress of the Interior, who has bodyguards to go with her to get a takeaway, and who “would not walk alone to the Tube at midnight? (Does she even take the Tube?) What a load of self-regarding bastards we have allowed to get power over us while we slept.

As you all know, I hold it to be an axiom that 100% of all Crimes** are the result of the necessary and conscious decisions to commit them. You or I could decide to commit one, just as a scumbag called “Lee”, say, from High Park, could decide to – the difference is that “Lee” (I am told that 37% of all men under 40, who are called “Lee”, are in prison at any one time) has the bleeding-heart-Stalinist-anti-English-Civilisation mob on his side, in the “Probation Industry”, and we have not.

**Things such as “speeding”, running over a traffic warden or “parking attendant”, and harassing a bureucrast, or threatening a “Council” official with boiling in oil, are NOT “crimes” – they are merely temporarily defined as such by our jailers.

British Stalinist government, in bed with the media, now interfering in voluntary contractual shopping arrangements. 13 reasons why you should demand free plastic carrier-bags.


David Davis 

And those were just the 13 I could stump up with in as many minutes of typing. You ‘orrible lot will want to add more – so, comments please! 

Today, we have this splashed all over the Daily Mail. The Dear Leader, Gordon Brown, has “thrown his weight” behind the Daily Mail’s landmark campaign to “banish the bags”, with an “impassioned plea” to retailers.

Here are some extracts;

 Gordon Brown gives supermarkets one year to start charging for plastic bags … or else…..

The Prime Minister is lending his voice to the Daily Mail’s campaign against the blight of “plastic poison”.

Supermarkets will be forced to charge their customers for disposable carrier bags under plans for a new green levy drawn up by Gordon Brown. They will be given a year to end their reliance on single-use plastic bags or face a legal requirement to introduce a charge and reveal how much it raises.

Gordon Brown: Plan for action in war on plastic

The Prime Minister will introduce legislation next month to impose a charge of 5p or even more on all giveaway bags next year if they fail to comply.

And today he throws his weight behind the Daily Mail’s landmark “Banish the Bags” campaign with an impassioned plea to retailers.

Writing exclusively for the Mail, he urges them to follow the example of Marks & Spencer by calling time on the wasteful culture of free single-use carrier bags that is fouling the planet.

And he reveals that like millions of families each week, he and his wife Sarah are left with a “binful of plastic bags” from their supermarket delivery to remind them of the scale of the problem.

The Mail campaign, and its shocking image of a majestic giant turtle swathed in deadly plastic, has triggered an unprecedented response from readers clamouring for action to end “plastic pollution” caused by 13billion bags handed out by shops each year.

Film stars, environmental groups, academics and politicians have rallied to the campaign.

Last night, Tesco and Sainsbury’s responded to public pressure by confirming that they are drawing up plans to reduce the amount of plastic bags they give away.

And yesterday, the trade body which represents 33,000 convenience stores said they are ready to accept a plastic bag tax in a bid to reduce the number handed out.

There are suspicions that many major chains have been dragging their feet on the issue.

Threats of force if non-compliance ensues do not, to me, sound like an “impassioned plea”. This is, in semantic terms, what is called “ruling by decree”. 

Furthermore, if   Film stars, environmental groups, academics and politicians   have all “rallied” to this cause, then, like Margaret Thatcher used to do with each morning’s Guardian newspaper (she read it and decided to do exacty the opposite of what it recommended) we ought to run a mile from these people.

And…..John Band of bantitry has also just ripped the pants off the greenazis here. (Hat Tip from the Devil.)

And not, here are MY thirteen reasons to use and praise the polythene carrier bag:

(1) it uses less than one cc of cheap, burnable hydrocarbons – it is the singel most efficient and cheapest method of bulk carriage on the planet, or ever.

(2) it requires little energy resources to make, per unit bag, and can be burnt afterwards, to release its carbon back to the air where it correctly belongs.

(3) you can clear up child-vomit into it and bin it for no money.

(4) you can carry stuff home on the bus easily in it.

(5) making it gives employment to thousands of people, here and in LDCs.

(6) you can recycle bulk amounts of them, if you really really must, into low-grade plastic goods.

(7) it sets man apart from the “animals”, who have foolishly, and to their eternal mortal peril, not studied chemistry and so not developed means of moving bulk goods; so they go extinct, or starve in the dark when food is scarce (and then greenazis make us run along and jump about and get them out of their mess.)

(8) you can wrap stuff in it for storage for long periods, and unlike paper or “natural” products, it stays waterproof, does not go mouldy, and does not degrade.

(9) you can hurl in-car-rubbish wrapped in one, into a passing litter-bin, without getting out of the car. You have only to wind down the window, park within 5 feet of the bin, and aim well.

(10) you can line the inside of the roof of your thatched caveman’s hut with lots of them (laid like slates, start at the BOTTOM, overlap triple in thirds just like slate (as used to be) row by row, and work UP!) when the greenazis stop you from building proper houses that you can live in. The handles even act like hooks and can be hung over the projecting twig-ends, so you don’t even have to use the nails that they won’t allow you to anyway (too much “carbon”.) Then, when you can’t replace the rotting thatch as the greenazis won’t let you cut any more reeds from the new wetlands where Cambridge used to stand, the water still won’t get inside.

(11) Gordon Brown, the dear leader, and Sarah, the Mother of the People, have decreed that those with whom you would voluntarily do business, may not offer you, of their own volition, a convenient way to carry away your just goods, for nothing. This last alone is good and sufficient reason for at last standing up to the Nazi leftist control-freakish moonbattery of our Dear Leaders and their unconscionably wicked (they KNOW they are doing it, it is deliberate) film-star friends.

(12) you can put ot over your head in bed while shagging the slightly rough bird you picked up in the disco after the students’ uni-meeting; or you can do the “double-bag-job” – she wears one too in case yours falls off.

(13) you can vomit into it on those long bus-journeys the greenazis will make you take everywhere, using your “internal passport” (see MEG HILLIER MP  (Lab.) ) after cars are banned. Then, stow it surreptitiously between the broken and parting plastic wall-plates of the bus, just before you queue off.

If the grocers cave in, we are truly lost. Not just this, everything.

Good News! Supermarkets to get planning permission for more out of town sites…..but…..isn’t the free market being distorted here?


David Davis 

Today’s oily Torygraph had a piece here, about the “competition commission” (WHY IS THERE ONLY ONE?) and its report on whether to let Multiple Grocers (this is what these outfits really are) acquire more sites.

As our readers know, I have never failed to be the defender of “supermarkets” – especially out-of-town ones, which help poor overworked middle-class workers and families to have cheap nice food, frequently flown from all over the world even out of season (which helps 3rd-world growers too) in five minutes flat, with free parking.

The torygraph didn’t publish my comment, probably because I said in it “we have not time to scratch our bums, let alone get on park-and-rides, and walk about with sagging bags to to shop in nice little chatty grocers….”, and I foolishly failed to save it in Word. Never mind.

But why are o-o-t supermarkets so popular, and why are “independent town-centre” grocers and others going to the wall? The government has done the following things to bring this about:

(1) It has almost criminalised private driving into towns and city centres. If not criminal yet, it is seriously expensive and circumscribed. And families need large tonnages of stuff, not a hand-basketfull.

(2) It has almost criminalised farming (we all wait to hear what baleful regulations and costs DEFRA – or whatever it’s called this week – will load onto the surviving English farmers soon. This means there is seemingly redundant land which nobody is allowed to do anything with. Building brezze-block-and-cardboard houses cheek-by-jowl? Four million of them, for Brown’s dependency-votariat? Or two thousand supermarkets? Which is more useful and puts less strain on the drainage and sewage systems? Your say!

(3) To pay existing taxation levels and yet live, people have to work so hard, especially if unemployed. there is no time to wander about quaint towns in search of what you need, probably from 125 diffent shops, while not being allowed near your car.

These market distortions are chiefly responsible for the situation that the state has got itself into. If farming was still allowed in England in particular, and largely deregulated, then green belt land would be too expensive for “developers” to play with, and state planning departments would have nobody to be schmoozed up the arse by, would lose importance, and would go on permanent sick leave due to “stress” – a good thing overall.

If driving and parking in town centres was allowed or much cheaper, “little independent shops” which Green Nazis and Friends of the Earth masturbate about in public, would do better. More rich people (who have no time) and poor people (who might) could patronise them.

I quote form Sir Terry Leahy here, from the torygraph article;

However, the supermarkets have frequently argued that their success has come from offering an ever wider and increasingly cheap range of goods.

Moreover, by opening their stores for longer, they have helped make their shoppers’ lives more convenient.

Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco, last week launched a passionate defence of supermarkets.

“There is always a divide in society between those who trust people, and those who say people cannot be trusted,” he said.

“Well, I put my trust in people, in consumers. Supermarkets are their creation. We prosper and grow by delivering what they want.

“That is our role in society. And our success is a shared success, one that benefits all.’’

Political Correctness – more on this and the enforcement thereof. Degrading of property rights in the UK by stalinist government


In today’s TIMES, we have this;

Here is a summary if the link breaks;

Greater powers for official ‘snoopers’
Jill Sherman, Whitehall Editor
More than a dozen Bills going through Parliament extend

the powers of state inspectors to enter
people’s homes, the Government has admitted.
Despite a pledge by Gordon Brown last October
that he would limit powers and introduce a liberty
test, he has extended the right to enter property in
planning, crime, environmental, education and
health legislation.
A parliamentary answer obtained by the
Conservatives shows that nine Bills and one draft Bill contain
new powers of entry, with three others entrenching
existing powers.

“The fact that Gordon Brown is entrenching and
extending powers of state bureaucrats to enter
people’s homes makes a mockery of his so-called
review into powers of entry,” Eric Pickles, the
Shadow Communities Secretary, said.
The Counter-terrorism Bill and the Criminal Justice
and Immigration Bill, for example, allow entrance to
properties to enforce “social disorder” and
anti-terrorist laws. The Education and Skills Bill
allows the State to inspect private schools and the
Climate Change Bill allows officials to enter homes
to enforce black bin charges and to monitor
carbon-trading schemes.

Mr Pickles, who said that there was a need for
measures to tackle crime and terrorism, added:
 “Yet this uncontrolled extension contradicts Gordon
Brown’s empty promises on liberty and is another
worrying sign of the surveillance state.”
A survey of state powers to enter people’s homes
by the Centre for Policy Studies last April highlighted
a significant expansion of entry powers under Labour.
The spokesman from the Home Office said that all the
Bills would be included in the review of powers
of entry. The spokesman added that it was inevitable
that some new powers had to be included in the Bills
to ensure the laws were enforceable.

[This is a typical response from a person stripping you of your
liberties, and a somewhat lazy and casual one at that -Christina Speight] (see her blog)

There comes a point where, if we consider what property rights are, the line dividing them from the “rights” (temporal) delegated by consent to a “state” becomes stepped-over, and not by us but by the “state”.

We have to begin putting the word “state” in parantheses, to indicate our further and further sundering from it and its now avowed objectives. This is despite however in favour we were formally, even slightly, of a minimal “state”, as minimal-statist libertarians (there really are such people!)

We ought to consider what remedies can be taken, against this increasing tide of forced entry and (inevitable) turning-over of our private possessions, including our rubbish (which ought also to be private, for quite sound reasons.) So you green-nazis you can go stuff this new stuff up your jacksis – look it up if you don’t know what a “jacksi” is (and I bet you won’t find it on any wiki either.)

Suppose I wanted to dig a coal mine in my back garden, here? I will have to go quite deep, at least 11,000 feet as the “Wigan-Nine” – that great and renowned seam which drove the Battle of the Atlantic in WW1, and which probably does still yet underlie me here, had its shafts about 20 miles east, and tilts west at a gradient of about 1 in 11. Apart from the problem of disposing of the spoil (a simple matter of property rights and contract) why can’t I do it?

The boundary of property rights between the individual and the “state” stops at the individual’s fence. If we allow “states” to tax fixed property (and there are reasonably sound minimal-statist arguments for allowing a limited measure of this, as opposed to “direct taxation of income” which can be corrupted and get out of hand as is now the case) then in return we must have rights of limitation of allowing Nazi bureauphilia-crazed loons to trample unannounced all over our property. If there is no private sphere (the Englishman’s Castle) then we live in Cuba or North Korea and we might as well go there.

A man described as an “Archbishop of Canterbury” says “Sharia Law is inevitable” in the UK.


Here it was. As seen on the Booby-See.

I know what to do.

Let the Statist outfit that still thinks it’s in charge in the UK do the following thing.

Let it state that any aspect of “Sharia” “law” that accords entirely with the accumulated precepts of English Law as codified, and as updated by case law as is natural, shall be unofficially allowed. Any contrary procedure or jurisprudential opinions, emanating from “Sharia” “law” will be disallowed.

Individuals who don’t like this settlement are free to live in whatever country they choose or will have them.

Along with I expect other Christians, I’m not sure quite what this clearly very saintly man, a true socialist and (I am sure) sincere critic of English civilisation, is really doing in Lambeth Palace. He can’t be happy there, and is clearly a tormented individual. He may now be presiding over the dissolution of his Church, which is no longer my problem as I have been a Roman Catholic for some years – but it is his.

There is now a Libertarian Party in the UK.


David Davis

Here it is.

Are Biofuels starving the world ….. We might be getting some slight movement here, in the sysiphean struggle to move the boulder.


David Davis (in the starving uncultivated DEFRA’d fields of England) 

“Are biofuels starving the world?” I do get a little encouragement sometimes, from the search-engine-strings that come in to us here. This blog takes a position on this debate, which is well known. The way to help people to the truth is to say that whereas we in the (still, even now) fortunate West will be able to afford to pay more for what food becomes available, poor starving Africans will not.

I find that you have to say that, and in just that way: otherwise, understanding is not communicated. This is because New-Labour-disorientated populations all think that all starving people are Africans. That in turn is because they are forced by the Government to do nothing except watch the Wireless Tele Vision. The Wireless Tele Vision people tell them to feel sorry for immobile African children with flies on their faces, and with fat tummies, that the UN is God, and that they should immediately get on their phones and give money to “Sir” “Bob Geldof” and other pop singers and global-mega-charities, right away, since only these semi-divine beings can help the poor fly-tormented children.

Item: if there is nothing to eat, then there is not only no food but no excreta or waste. So, where do all the flies in the BBC-News-tear-jerk-movies come from?  Fly populations as large as would support the local concentration of flies seen on these miserable pitiable humans, would not be sustainable in an environment consisting only of the humans themselves. There are only so many eggs, as a female insect, that you can lay and that will go to full-term in a living, moving child, however weak it may be. 

I only ask because I want to know.

Perhaps it’s down to the dead bodies, there because the “EU” cancelled its “peacekeeping mission” owing to the prospect of “conflict”?

Here’s a prayer to what a misguided but very good and nice man, whom I know and who lives near me, and for whom I have driven white vans, call “THE LEADERS”; Please, please, as you just now have the power to do it, stop this biofuels catastrophe now, while there is time.

“How to make a chemistry set”


David Davis 

Let knowledge drive out your fear, as will always be the case, here and for ever.

We’re working on it.

Six reasons why you might choose to smoke


David Davis

Like my old friend Chris Tame, who abhorred smoking and thought it was a disgusting and filthy habit, but for some of his life worked for FOREST, and with deep sincerity about the necessary liberty of the individual to decide, I would not smoke even if you paid me. Well……..now you’re offering, of course every Man has his price, but in my case it would be quite high, say £100,000 a year tax-paid, for life. You’d have to be able to wave goodbuy to about 5 million of capital.

The current lack of defence of smokers in the UK, in the face of a staggeringly cruel and merciless onslaught by the Nazi Smoke-Police, has I think its roots in the former hubris with which smokers freely (it was of course allowed) polluted the air in offices, rooms, trains, pubs and the like, without (mostly) asking if they might be allowed. When, until the late 70s, they were a majority of adults,  I guess this was tough but inevitable.

The point is, because we all felt so put-upon by their habit and its nasty smells, when we couldn’t do a thing about it, we are failing to defend Continue reading

“Why does Tesco have soviet powers”


David Davis

Why indeed? Does it? I didn’t think so. Who ARE you, who keeps on about this stuff?

Happy New Year 2008 from the Libertarian Alliance. The bastards are still in power (everywhere) but WE and YOU are still alive, and therefore there is hope.


David Davis 

Happy New Year. Some news is good. Gordon Brown, described as a socialist, is wallowing in mire. He can’t seem to get out, and his hair grows greyer by the day – have you noticed? He will look like Tony Blair, and soon, only bigger (is this worse?)

Nicholas Sarkozy has a new girlfriend, a very pretty young Italian woman, and highly shaggable too by the look of things. Good for him. Presidents of France should have sex a lot, and with very pretty and slightly younger women, for it is their real job, and I think it will keep their very delightful and nice country (which I do love despite my posts) out of trouble, since they will legislate less, getting up later as they then will. Poor old stuck-up anal “de Gaulle”, patriotic as he undoubtedly was, did not look like a male hominid at all, just some sort of, well, I don’t know what – at least he kept us out of the EUSSR for a bit. The fascist pig Mitterand at least had the grace to have illegitimate children (a creation,) a saving grace that some other fascist pig, a rather small and insignifiacnt one, called Hitler, will not be able to adduce in front of the RECORDING ANGEL, on The Day.

Pakistan’s news is less good. At least they have appointed some young lad from the right University. I’m sorry about his mum and send condolences: I knew her very slightly at a distance then, when she was at LMH. She went to grander parties than I was invited to. But I’m sure they’ll sort it out. Better not say what I had just typed and deleted, re nuclear war due to “inadequate control of weapons” – say you’re safe and the devil will get you next day.

Do we care about a failed socialist “bank” which costs us £57 billion to bail out? To save votes and seats in the English North East Soviet?

Nah. We will DRINK £57 billion of lager alone, next Thursday morning. It’s OUR job (see Nicholas Sarkozy, above.) They have sex, we get drunk and sing and shout. But I hope he spanks the bottoms of the enarques a bit.

Liverpool’s  “European capital of culture 2008″ is going to go DOWN THE DRAIN, in socialist ruin, and indescribable corruption. (Remember I am the “Director of Northern Affairs”  …….  and YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST  !!!  ) I bet you all 5p. Each…………Every reader of this post who takes on the bet. NB! This does NOT mean I am happy about it; all that money, taken especially from poor-people, even lots of poor-people in Liverpool, and everybody taken in by a scam to rival the Olympics, and nothing to show for it except a few thousand bureaucrats, many of which are ill on sick-leave. Like the chief-finger-man Jason somebody-or-other.

Can’t think of anything else to sound lugubrious about right now, perhaps it’s the champagne working. 

Anyway, We at the LA all wish you, our readers, all that you yourselves would wish for you and those whom you love, which is what is really important in life. Socialism statizes love. This is destruction writ large.

If the STATE “does love”, which is to say “care”, then nobody has to love anybody, and that road leads to disaster. That’s the one and only thing I want to put for 2008, to kick it off.

Anybody who thinks anything else has ROCKS in his head. Happy new Year !!!

Why do bureaucrats do what they do, and if we could find out, how could we stop them?


As is often stated on here, “I have not even time to scratch my arse” – so I thank Samizdata for flagging a think-piece about essence of “bureaucrat-ness”, and perhaps why modern civilisations seem to degenerate into more or less petty tyranny over the individual. This is always at the insistence of some powerful group or other that claims to have moral and executive authority over lives and property:-

The face of the enemy

Guy Herbert (London)   Best of Samizdata.net • Personal views • Privacy & Panopticon

(1)

Sometimes it is worth plagiarising yourself.

I was asked in a pre-interview chat the other day, about 30 seconds from live TV, “Why is the government doing this? ‘Terrorism’ doesn’t seem to make sense; there has to be something more to it.” It’s hard to be snappy on the point even without crazy pressure, so mumbled something about my interlocutor going to Google and typing “Transformational Government”. I do recommend it, but I have a fairly neat explanation for why Transformational Government too. Just not quite neat enough to recall and pitch in 30 seconds on a GMTV sofa at 6:30 in the morning.

I actually wrote it about 3 years ago, in the days when I had time to think, as a comment on Phil Booth’s (whatever happened to him) blog, the Infinite Ideas Machine:

My answer arises from a pub conversation a while back with the post-Marxist commentator Joe Kaplinsky. He maintains  >>”they” don’t know what they want the information for,  they are just collecting it just in case it should ever come in useful, because that’s what bureaucrats do.<< There is much in that, but I think there’s slightly more.

The slightly more is a glimpse of bureaucratic fundamentalism to rival the more explicit fundamentalisms of religious and political fanatics. The administrative class (“class” in the cultural not economic sense) in Britain, but also in Europe more generally – and from which New Labour is almost exclusively drawn – holds it as self evident that the life and personality of an individual is a unitary object capable of being better managed if only there is enough information collected and enough “best practice” followed.

It is a fundamentalist faith in that if the world is out of line with the model, the world is wrong; that written rules and established methods are unquestionable from outside the tradition; and that forcing people to live within the categories determined by the faith is justifiable for a general and individual good that is evident to the elect.

It’s not that control is sought for its own sake, more that they yearn for the best well-ordered and coherent society, and believe this can be determined and imposed given sufficient expertise and information. Hence joined up government. They really do believe that efficiency is achieved by connecting everything to everything else in a giant bureaucratic system. It is the Soviet illusion, dressed up in “new technology” and market-friendly initiatives that co-opt corporate bureaucracies into the dream rather than setting them up as enemies.

The same people who claimed to have absorbed Hayek’s explanation of why 5-year plans can’t work during their turn away from Old Labour are too dull (or too intoxicated by the vision of the power to make a good society) to see that replacing some of the clerks with machines and the telegraph with the internet makes no difference to the basic proposition.

There is always a demonized group too, one which does not fid into the Utopian plans for “society”, to the infallibility of which the bureau-group is the only and legitimate heir. That great theoretical-modelling group the Nazis used Jews and Slavs…Student Marxists from Marx himself onwards demonised “capitalists” and “plutocrats”…today’s global-warming-Nazis use drivers of “SUVS”, and secondarily anybody in the west except Al Gore who needs to use energy. 

Paul Johnson I recall, in his book “Intellectuals”, referred in the last pages to the “Tyranny of Ideas”. My thesis is that as civilisation gets more complicated and ramified, there begin to exist in it more and more spaces, sort of lacunae…These are places in which angry disaffected persons who are (a) quite intelligent and (b) largely useless at any sort of consumer-pleasing work whatsoever (such as shopkeeping, science, or making and growing stuff that chaps want to buy.) Feeling sidelined, and having the articulation needed to be able to project their contrary plans for how civilisation might develop, they metaphorically lose their temper, throw their toys and propose that everyone be FORCED to comply with their model (see Samizdata above) of how the world ought to work.

Their plans sound messianic and plausible to masses of other people who have nothing initially to lose by trying the experiment. In pre-capitalist societies things called “revolutions” (by the left) occur. In advanced pluralist democracies (and no, Germany was NOT one of these in 1919, but the UK still is one, even now) a creeping stalinism comes about.

I think this needs to be explored further, but right now my drving services are demanded by the boys.

Christopher Monckton, his take on the fairy-tale global greenazi zombifest in Bali, and strategies for what we deniers do now that we are going to win.


David Davis

I was fortunate to be alerted to the passage reproduced below. It’s longish, but warblog-readers have, as is widely known, all the time in the world. I didn’t know that the neoCommunist (that is to say, Nazi) assault on the West via anthropogenic global-warm-monger-lying is actually coming apart at the seams quite so soon.

This is rather good news. But as their story unravels into chaos, doubt and untruth, we are therefore allowed by Providence to go one more time around the Jolly Carousel of Armageddon. This is an extra ride, paid for by Capitalism, an unmuzzled Western Press and Media, and the forces of truth, which we have been given a last opportunity to take with our mortal Enemy, to see who will get thrown off into the dust 

This time, we liberals must not relax our grip on the windpipe of anti-human protopastoral huntergathering darkness-nonsense. At the end of this post I will hazard a few guesses as to what liberals ought to do. But for now here’s Chris Monckton:-

VISCOUNT MONCKTON’S INSIDE STORY ON THE BALI CONFERENCE
A readable but revealing summary of what really happened at the UNFCC meeting on climate change in Bali. And why the ordinary people of the world should be very, very afraid.Bali diary
Fortnight Of The Undead
By Christopher Monckton in Nusa Dua,
Bali

Down the Poxy, our local fleapit late on a Saturday night, voodoo flicks like Night Of The Undead were always popular when I was a lad. To shrieks of scornful merriment from the teenage audience, mindless zombies would totter aimless across the clumsily-constructed sets with lugubrious expressions frozen on their messily-made-up death-masks until the hero, with the lurv interest wrenched screeching from the clutches of the late Baron Samedi and draped admiringly on her rescuer’s extravagantly-muscled arm, triumphantly saved the day.

Thus it was in Bali during the Fortnight Of The Undead. There was surreality in the air. The overwhelming majority of the governmental delegates, journalists, quango stallholders, fortune-hunters and environmental lobbyists who attended the UN climate conference in the soulless Nusa Dua conference centre tottered aimlessly among the clumsily-constructed sets with lugubrious expressions frozen on their messily-made-up death-masks. Monckton’s Rule: the further Left, the tackier the make-up. The only laughter came from our gallant band of doubters, the heroes of this otherwise gloomy production.

I nearly didn’t go to Bali. The UN, which had not wanted any dissent at this carefully-staged event, rejected my journalistic credentials out of hand, and without explanation. However, a non-government organization came to the rescue and the high priests didn’t dare to say No a second time. That would have looked too obvious. I proved my journo-cred by writing a major article in the Jakarta Post on day 1 of the conference, cheekily claiming my share of the Nobel Prize because the IPCC had made a correction to its latest Holy Book at my suggestion, and concluding that, since our influence on the climate is a non-problem, and the correct approach to a non-problem is to do nothing, my fellow-participants should have the courage to do nothing and push off home.

The Post circulated the article to all delegates and syndicated it worldwide, provoking weeping and gnashing of dentures among the zombies at my challenge to the scientific accuracy of the Holy Books of the IPCC. I don’t think the UN will dare to question my journalistic credentials again.

The UN’s sinister bureaucrats were furious that their attempt to stop me writing in the newspapers from the conference had failed. So they interrupted a presentation by me to delegates, threatened to have me thrown out by Security if I addressed any meeting open to the Press in the conference venues, and cancelled without reason a room they had previously booked for our team’s daily conferences. The room wasn’t even needed for someone else: it stood empty. So we mounted a demo outside the conference: half a dozen scientists (and me) in white lab-coats and (for some reason) wrap-around shades, holding a banner saying, “New science drives out old fears: Kyoto 2 is not needed”.

The UN, whose pot-bellied goons had taken over the entire Nusa Dua conference zone from the leaner and more competent Indonesian and Balinese security forces, moved us on within minutes, while allowing anti-nuclear protesters, Greens and even Hilary Benn, described as a UK Minister, to mount demonstrations for hours on end.

The official propaganda mantra at the conference, first suggested by a UK pressure-group last year and now enthusiastically adopted by the UN, was that “The Science Is Settled”. The zombies, led by the outgoing and incoming conference chairmen, recited this mantra with glazed but increasingly desperate pietism.

An IPCC lead author came to one of the press conferences we managed to hold before the UN showed its alarm at our effect on the delegates by shutting us down. He said a mere layman like me had no business challenging the supposed “consensus”. And he tried to maintain that a table of figures in the latest Holy Book had been added up correctly when, as a slide I was showing made quite clear, it had not added up to within a factor of two of the right answer. In the land of the zombies, two plus two equals nine.

Outside the conference hall, I went up to a fragrant Japanese lady manning one of the exhibits set up by the ever-growing number of taxpayer-funded quangos with bewildering but important-sounding initials that are profiting by the lavish State handouts available to anyone willing to proselytize for the cult of the wrathful God Siotu. “What disasters?” I enquired, with an expression of shambling, potty-Peer innocence. This usually provoked a lurid list of plagues, droughts, floods, deaths, cataclysms and mass extinctions worthy of St. John the Divine at his most hyperbolic. The UK High Court judge who condemned Al Gore for exaggerations of this sort would have locked up most of the stallholders and sent me the key.

But this lady had somehow escaped the zombies. She drew me to one side and whispered, “Don’t tell my boss, but two-thirds of the delegates here are mad.” They would have been mad, if they’d had minds at all. One of the most enduring impressions on all of our team was that the Enlightenment has been switched off. Enter the Dark Age of Unreason. Ever since the high priests tampered with the scientists’ text of the IPCC’s 1995 Holy Book, deleting multiple references to the absence of credible evidence for any anthropogenic effect on climate and inserting the directly contrary statement that there was now a discernible human influence, anyone who dares to check the science is regarded as a heretic for daring to question the Holy Books of voodoo. Never mind the facts: just believe the nonsense, even when it doesn’t add up.

I couldn’t resist baiting the stallholder at the stand run by a certain national weather bureau. This particular tax-gobbler, reliably Messianic in its Siotological fervour, had a childishly imaginative poster that ramped up the imagined disasters as global temperature rose by each additional degree Celsius. At just 2 degrees, the poster said the Greenland ice sheet would be permanently destabilized. Oo-er. The message was illustrated by the usual picture of a glacier calving spectacularly into the water.

“‘Scuse me,” I said, Earl-of-Emsworth expression in place, “but isn’t that a picture of a glacier that cuts across a freshwater lake in Argentina?” For it wasn’t Greenland. It looked suspiciously like a grainy vid-grab from the traditional collapsing-glacier footage shown every few minutes on the unspeakable BBC. As the waters of the freshwater lake build up behind the glacier, it breaks apart spectacularly every eight years. Or rather, as I pointed out to the stallholder, every five years these days, because much of the southern hemisphere is cooling. This image did not demonstrate “global warming” but regional cooling.
 
The stallholder robotically reached for the IPCC’s latest Holy Book and showed me graphs of sharply-rising temperatures in South Africa, Australasia and South America. She didn’t show me the Antarctic, of course: that has been cooling for half a century. It had not occurred to the poor dear to wonder why the IPCC’s temperature graphs for all continents but one were shown as rising steeply in recent years, when the global mean temperature has not shown any statistically-significant rise since the IPCC’s previous Holy Book came out in 2001. The thing about stable average temperatures is that if some have risen others  must have fallen. Or so it seems to me. But then I’m not a zombie.

“Anyway,” I said, “doesn’t the 2007 rewrite of the Holy Book say that the Greenland Ice Sheet would only lose significant ice-mass if a temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius or more were to be sustained for several millennia?” That, after all, was what a UK High Court judge had recently found, when he condemned Al Gore’s ludicrous hundredfold exaggeration of sea-level rise as alarmist and told ministers to correct this and eight other flagrant errors in Gore’s rocky-horror movie before exposing hapless schoolchildren to it.

Here’s a question. If the science behind the scare is as certain as the zombies say, why are they so terrified of a few doubters? Google me and you’ll find hundreds of enviro-loony websites, such as Wikipedia, now an international music-hall joke for inaccuracy, that call me a fraud (for writing about climate science when I’m not a climate scientist), a plagiarist (for citing learned papers rather than making up scare stories), and a liar (for saying I’m a member of the House of Lords when – er – I’m a member of the House of Lords, though, being merely hereditary, I don’t have a seat there).

One of these bedwetting sites even has a “Monckton Watch” page, with a hilarious collection of colourful stories, including the story of how I told the stallholder that much of the southern hemisphere was cooling. No mention that the location of the BBC’s favourite glacier has indeed been cooling. And, of course, no mention of the elephant in the room – that a national weather bureau had flagrantly exaggerated the Holy Book’s official ramblings about Greenland on its silly, taxpayer-funded poster.

You’ll find precious little science on the zombie websites. They specialize in global whingeing ad hominem, rather than scientific argument ad rem. The frenetic personal assaults have become so self-evidently ludicrous that I’m getting an increasing number of emails from people who have first heard of my work from the Kool-Aid slurpers and have gone on to find, to their surprise, that the peer-reviewed science to which my climate papers politely draw attention does suggest that the Holy Books have exaggerated both the influence of Siotu over temperature and the consequences of warmer weather.

An example. A couple of months back I posted a paper citing peer-reviewed evidence that the fingerprint of greenhouse-gas warming – temperature rising over the decades at a rate three times faster six miles up in the tropical troposphere than at the surface – is absent from all of the real-world records of actual temperature change throughout the past half-century. During the Bali conference, I presented my own linear regression analysis going back 25 years and demonstrating that the rate of change in temperature falls with altitude, while the IPCC’s models predict that if CO2 is at fault it should be increasing with altitude. Two days later our team of heroes had the pleasure of circulating to delegates a paper just published by the formidable John Christy and his colleagues, spectacularly and definitively confirming this result.

We circulated a one-page summary of the Christy paper showing the tropical upper-troposphere “hot-spot” as predicted in the Holy Book, and the total absence of the “hot-spot” in the observed data. We explained that, in the words of Professor Dick Lindzen of MIT, who knows more about the bad behaviour of the atmosphere than anyone, the missing “hot-spot” means that the IPCC’s estimate of the impact of greenhouse-gas enrichment on temperature is at least a threefold exaggeration.

As I was handing our flyer round the Press tent, a “development journalist” angrily said: “How dare you criticize the IPCC’s scientists?” I sat down and said: “I don’t attack the scientists, though they certainly attack me. I attack the bad science.”

“Well, then,” he said, “how dare you substitute your judgment for that of thousands of climate scientists?” I said that the crucial chapter in the Holy Book attributing rising temperatures to Siotu had been written by only 53 people, not all of whom were scientists, and that – by coincidence – 53% of the comments by 60 reviewers had been rejected by the authors of the chapter. Not exactly the 2,500 scientists claimed by the high priests, and not exactly a consensus either.

I explained that I was an old-fashioned scribbler who had been taught to be sceptical of all sides of every debate, and that the authors of the Holy Book were obviously not good at sums. “Give me an example,” he said. So I did.

The Holy Book saith: “The CO2 radiative forcing increased by 20% during the last 10 years (1995-2005).” Radiative forcing quantifies increases in radiant energy in the atmosphere, and hence in temperature. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 in 1995 was 360 parts per million. In 2005 it was just 5% higher, at 378 ppm. But each additional molecule of CO2 in the air causes a smaller radiant-energy increase than its predecessor. So the true increase in radiative forcing was 1%, not 20%. The high priests have exaggerated the CO2 effect 20-fold.

“So how are you so nauseatingly certain that you’re right?” he asked. “Well,” I said, “because I worked out that the proportionate increase in CO2 between 1995 and 2005 was 5%, not 20%, and then did a simple calculation from this to work out the radiative forcing. It’s called ‘checking’.” He looked baffled. Voodoo has indeed replaced science, and the paradox is that the new religion claims to worship science.

The zombies seem listlessly incapable of checking even the most elementary facts. Take Yvo de Boer, the UN archpriest at the conference. He made an impassioned speech saying that the sceptics had had their day and that everyone now accepted that, for instance, the island nations of the Pacific were facing an imminent threat from rising sea levels. Er, no. Corals have been around for 275 million years. They’ve survived temperatures up to 7 degrees Celsius warmer than today’s. And has it never occurred to the poor sap to wonder why, after a rise of 400 feet in sea level over the past 10,000 years, the sea has – by some startling concidence – exactly reached the surface of all the coral atolls?

No, it’s not a coincidence, because corals grow to meet the light. They can outpace at least ten times the Holy Books’ high-end estimate of sea-level rise, which is anyway down by a third since just six years ago. We know this, because the mean centennial rate of sea-level rise since the end of the last Ice Age has been – get this – at least double the high priests’ highest estimate of future sea-level rise. Nine-tenths of the land-based ice sheets of the world have already melted. There’s so little left that even if it began to melt (which it won’t) the rise in sea level would be very, very slow.

The new Australian prime minister got a dutiful round of applause from the zombies when he announced that his first official act had been to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. He didn’t tell them that back home he’d also let it be known that Australia had not the slightest intention of complying with the protocol. But then, practically no one else is complying with it either.

For me, it was this laughable disconnection between rhetoric and reality that was the most striking feature of the conference. Anyone with half a brain can see, after making the most elementary of enquiries, that greenhouse gases can’t have all that much effect on temperature, that even if they did the consequences would be minimal and largely beneficial. For this reason – since Heaven has a sense of humour – global temperature has now been stubbornly failing to rise for the best part of a decade, and (unless you’re James Hansen, who started the scare in the first place) 2007 will yet again fail to be a “record year for temperature” – and the zombies go back only 150 years.

Since CO2 can’t be exercising more than a minuscule influence on temperature, and since the temperature is accordingly failing to rise as predicted (or, in the past seven years, at all), the entire conference was unnecessary, but the zombies didn’t know, and they didn’t care, and – either way – they were getting rich at taxpayers’ expense thanks to the most elaborately-conceived scare of modern times.

Bryan Leyland, the leader of our delegation and an engineer far too highly-qualified to be an IPCC reviewer, asked the IPCC lead author how many more years of temperatures failing to rise as predicted would convince him to give up the pretence that the IPCC’s predictions have any connection with reality. Answer came there none.

I had a quiet word with the US delegation before the conference began, just to confirm that they were not about to go soft and goofy as Australia has done. A solidly-constructed Congressman gave me the clear message that as long as George Bush was in the White House there would be no nonsense. That meant that both this conference and the next one – at Poznan in Poland this time next year – will merely mark time until President Bush isn’t. Nothing can happen until Copenhagen in two years’ time.

I also said Konichi-wa to the Japanese delegation, whose members diligently turned up half an hour before each session, while the rest were still drying out their hangovers. They politely read our daily messages to delegates, and joined the US and Canada as the pariahs of the conference, refusing to shuffle along with the zombies.

The Luxembourgeois delegation were not so polite. A peasant-faced minister took one look at the High Court judge’s list of the errors in Al Gore’s movie and rudely tore it up in front of me, throwing the pieces on to the floor. Not enough Luxe, too much bourgeois, one feels. Unusual animation for a zombie, though. One of his colleagues began collecting up copies of the judge’s list of Gore’s bloopers as I was distributing them. I remonstrated politely and she desisted, deciding to go and complain to Security instead. On the way, she murmured that she had a black belt in karate. “So do I,” I said, with equal mendacity, trying my geriatric best to look like James Bond.

Back at the Poxy, the only time the zombies used to show any animation was when Baron Samedi came on set. They would set up an eerie, unpleasant keening, and would jerk chaotically in their frenzied excitement. So it was in Bali when, on the eve of the closing Friday, not so much Baron Samedi as Baron Thursdi, Al Gore private-jetted and motorcaded in with his vast retinue to receive the plaudits of the faithful, and to hell with the carbon footprint. Gore did what I had been taught never to do. He attacked his own country for withstanding the voodoo cult. The zombies loved it. The keening and screeching and jerking were exactly as I had remembered them.

Gore needs to pretend that the situation is urgent when it is becoming increasingly plain to everyone that it isn’t. The robust corn-stalk chewers of Iowa, polled recently about election issues, ranked “global warming” so low that fewer than one in 200 thought it mattered at all.

Therefore, to whip up the flagging panic that keeps the gravy-train of “global warming” rolling, Baron Thursdi came up with a new, improved list of 50 errors and exaggerations:

•    Floods in 18 countries, plus Mexico: Four errors in one. First, individual extreme-weather events cannot be attributed to “global warming”. Secondly, the number of floods is not unprecedented, though TV makes them more visible than before. Thirdly, even if the floods were caused by warming, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause. Thirdly – and it was astonishing how few of the zombies knew this – there has been no statistically-significant increase in mean global surface temperature since the last IPCC Holy Book in 2001. “Global warming” has stopped.
•    The Arctic ice-cap will be gone within 5 to 7 years: Six errors in one. First, as a paper published by NASA during the conference demonstrates, Arctic warming has nothing much to do with “global warming”: instead, as numerous studies confirm, it is chiefly caused by decadal alterations in the ocean circulation affecting the region. Thirdly, it was warmer in the Arctic in the 1940s than it is today. Fourthly, thinner pack-ice is surprisingly resistant to melting, so the ice-cap will probably be still there for many years to come, even if (which is unlikely) the warming trend resumes. Fifthly, the ice-cap was probably absent during the mediaeval warm period, and almost certainly absent during the Bronze Age climate optimum, when temperatures were higher than today’s for almost 2,000 years. Sixthly, the Greenland ice sheet melted completely away 850,000 years ago. There cannot have been an Arctic ice-cap then. So the disappearance of the Arctic ice-cap, even if it occurred, would be neither unprecedented nor alarming

.
•    Forest fires are causing devastation: Five errors in one. First, most forest fires are caused by humans – power-lines sparking in the wind, carelessly-tossed cigarette-butts, or even arson. Secondly, individual events of this kind cannot be attributed to “global warming”. Thirdly, warmer weather is generally wetter weather, because – as the Clausius-Clapeyron relation demonstrates – the space occupied by the atmosphere can carry near-exponentially greater concentrations of water vapour as the weather becomes warmer. Fourthly, it has not got warmer since 2001, so there is no factual basis whatsoever for attributing more forest fires to warmer weather. Fifthly, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.
•    Many cities are short of water: Four errors in one. First, water shortages arise from too much demand on too little supply. Secondly, one cannot attribute individual events of this kind to “global warming”. Thirdly, there has been no “global warming” for the best part of a decade. Fourthly, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.
•    There are more severe storms: Six errors in one. First, the scientific literature is divided on the question whether warmer weather will intensify storms. Secondly, the scientific literature is unanimous that the warmer weather which stopped happening in 2001 has not in fact caused more severe storms: the number of landfalling Atlantic hurricanes shows no trend for 100 years, and, in the 30 years for which we have records, the number of tropical cyclones and of typhoons has actually fallen steadily. Thirdly, outside the tropics warmer weather is likely to mean fewer severe storms. Fourthly, even if there had been more severe storms, they cannot be attributed to “global warming”. Fifthly, there has not been any “global warming” for the past seven years. Sixthly, even if there had been any warming, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.

  • West Antarctica has lost an area the size of California: Four errors in one. First, the bulk of Antarctica is cooling (Doran et al., 2004). Secondly, Gore’s movie says there were seven areas the size of Rhode Island that had melted (in total, 1/55 of the size of Texas), so his figures are inconsistent. Thirdly, Antarctic sea-ice extent reached record levels in September this year. Fourthly, even if Antarctica had warmed, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.
  • Deserts are growing: Three errors in one. First, some deserts are growing; others are not. Secondly, Gore’s movie says the southern Sahara is plagued by new drought, but the Sahara has shrunk by 300,000 square kilometres in the past 30 years, giving place to vegetation. Nomadic tribes are returning to territories they have not occupied in living memory. Thirdly, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.

•    Sea level is rising: Eight errors in one. First, sea level has been rising ever since the end of the last Ice Age. Secondly, it has been rising at a mean rate of 4 feet per century, more than double the latest Holy Book’s highest estimate of future sea-level rise. Thirdly, Gore himself does not believe his ridiculous estimate that the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets will raise sea level by 20 feet imminently: he has just bought a $4 million condo in the St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco, a few feet from the Bay. Fourthly, the Holy Book shows that the combined contribution of these two ice sheets to sea-level rise over the next 100 years will be just two and a half inches. Fifthly, most of the 1 ft 5 in sea level rise that is the IPCC’s best estimate over the coming century will occur not from ice-melt but from thermosteric expansion of sea-water. Sixthly, Nils-Axel Morner, the world’s greatest expert on sea level, says even the IPCC’s forecast is exaggerated. Seventhly, the UK High Court judge condemned Gore for his “alarmist” exaggeration of sea-level rise, yet Gore seems unwilling to accept that he has erred. Eighthly, even if sea-level were rising at record rates, which it is not, the fact of the warming that caused the increase does not tell us the cause of the warming.
•    CO2 is “global warming pollution”: Seven errors in one. First, CO2 is a naturally-occurring substance, not a pollutant. Secondly, CO2 concentrations, in geological terms, are at record low levels – less than 400 parts per million compared with 7,000 ppm in the Cambrian era. Thirdly, CO2 is food for trees and plants. With chlorophyll and sunlight, it is an essential constituent in photosynthesis, without which there would be no plant life as we know it. Fourthly, CO2 is harmless to animals even at very high concentrations – indeed, the concentration in the room where Gore spoke, with a thousand zombies yelling lustily, is likely to have well above 1000 ppm, but none of the zombies came to harm. Fifthly, CO2 is harmless to plants even at concentrations of 10,000 ppm, as laboratory tests have demonstrated. Sixthly, you breathe out CO2 every time you exhale. Seventhly, CO2 forms the bubbles in sparkling drinks like Coca-Cola and champagne, and it also forms the spaces between the solid matter in bread. For all these reasons, it is not a pollutant, and we are doing no more than to restore to the atmosphere the normal levels that have harmlessly prevailed in the past, playing their part in the emergence and development of life itself.
•    Venus has experienced a runaway greenhouse effect, and the EU says Earth is the sister planet of Venus: Four errors in one. First, Venus is much closer to the Sun than the Earth is, and the incoming solar radiation of 236 watts per square meter at the surface is far too little to create a runaway greenhouse effect. Secondly, the surface temperature on Venus, chiefly because of its proximity to the Sun, is 455 degrees C, compared with the Earth’s 15 degrees C. Gore mentioned these figures, but led the audience falsely to imagine that the difference in temperature is chiefly attributable to the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere of Venus. Thirdly, CO2 concentration reached 7000 parts per million in the Cambrian era, compared with less than 400 ppm today, and temperature rose only to 22 degrees Celsius, so Gore’s comparison with the 455 degrees C obtaining on the surface of Venus is a 20-fold exaggeration of the maximum temperature likely to arise on Earth. Fourthly, a concentration of 7000 parts per million could only be reached if today’s concentration were to increase 18-fold. In 1994 Gore said that there were canals on Mars, with water in them. Best not to take his word on other planetary bodies. He would have been more to the point if he had admitted that warming has recently been observed on Mars, on the surface of Jupiter, on the largest of Neptune’s moons and even on distant Pluto. All those SUVs in space, one supposes. Or could the guilty party, perhaps, be the Sun, which has been more active in the past 70 years than at almost any similar period in at least the past 11,400 years?
•    The IPCC’s 2007 Holy Book is “unanimous”: Five errors in one. First – and this cannot be repeated often enough – science is not a democratic process, and it does not matter how many scientists reach a conclusion if that conclusion is contrary to the objective truth. Secondly, the Holy Book is in fact very far from unanimous: it quotes numerous peer-reviewed papers that disagree with its conclusions. Thirdly, the Holy Book fails to quote many hundreds of further peer-reviewed papers that disagree with its conclusions. Fourthly, the IPCC’s Holy Books are divided into chapters, each with about 50 authors, and the authors sign off only on their own chapters. Fifthly, the high priests of voodoo try to secure unanimity by rejecting the nomination of authors, such as Paul Reiter, who knows that malaria is not a tropical disease and would not be spread by “global warming”, whose views are known to be contrary to the teachings of the Holy Books. Fifthly, Chris Landsea, an expert on hurricanes, resigned from the IPCC process, condemning it as unduly political, when Kevin Trenberth, his lead author, appeared on a public platform advocating the notion that “global warming” causes more frequent hurricanes. He is by no means the only resigner from the supposedly “unanimous” IPCC process.

*      Svante Arrhenius made 10,000 calculations 116 years ago, demonstrating that temperature would rise “many degrees” in response to CO2 doubling: 4 errors in one. First, Arrhenius’ paper making that erroneous claim was published in 1896, 111 years ago, not 116. Secondly, his calculations are now known to have been inaccurate, since he had relied upon lunar spectral data that were defective. Thirdly, Arrhenius could have spared himself the trouble of his 10,000 calculations if he had used the Stefan-Boltzmann radiative-transfer equation, which integrates radiant-energy emission spectra across all wavelengths and converts the energy to temperature. In 1906, once he had come across the equation, he wrote a little-known paper in German, in which he revised his calculations and concluded that the warming in response to a CO2 doubling would be 1.6 degrees C, or exactly half the IPCC’s exaggerated current central estimate. Fourthly, even this estimate is probably too high.
As with the 35 errors in Gore’s movie, so with the 50 in his speech to the zombies in Bali, comfortably exceeding his personal best – all the errors tend towards an extreme and scientifically-unwarranted exaggeration of the imagined threat posed by “global warming”. The zombies, of course, lapped up every word handed down from on high by Baron Thursdi, for Bali was a science-free, fact-free zone, question-free zone. The probability that all 43 of Gore’s latest errors could have pointed by mere accident and ignorance in the direction of excessive alarm is less than one in a million billion.

Therein lies a danger that Gore has not yet seen. For he failed, yet again, to declare his financial interest before whipping up worldwide alarm with his trademark errors and exaggerations in Bali. He is a director of Lehman Brothers, a global finance house that wants to control the worldwide managed market in carbon-emissions trading. He founded his own “green” corporation, Generation Investment Management. He is a paid member of the Board of a renewable-energy company. In the UK, if he made a speech containing so many deliberate and unidirectional errors as he did in Bali, and if he failed to declare his financial interest, he would be committing a criminal offence.

It is surely only a matter of time before a complaint is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that, through the numerous, extreme and scientifically-unwarranted exaggerations which Gore has relentlessly continued to peddle notwithstanding the warning in the UK judge’s verdict, he is in effect fraudulently promoting a false prospectors to potential investors. Indeed, his exaggerations are on such a scale, and have commanded such attention, and have done so much damage, that he may even have committed an offence under the Federal racketeering statute. I wanted to ask Gore about his failure to disclose his financial interest, but – as usual – he does not dare to take questions.

The day Gore spoke in Bali, I received an email (one of hundreds from all over the world in response to my article in the Jakarta Post) from one of the Port Commissioners of Washington State. He said his fellow-Commissioners, solely on the basis of Gore’s rantings, were proposing to increase the height of the sea-walls by 20 feet. Real economic and environmental harm is now being caused by these unscientific exaggerations, which have gained credence among the zombies merely by their repetition on the lips of a former Vice-President of the United States.  

The US delegation did not crumble in Bali. It stood firm in the cause of right and truth and common sense. So it was not possible for the zombies to go as far as they wanted in inflicting pointless, economically-disastrous and climatically-irrelevant policies on the world. For the sake of being seen to do something while they wait for Copenhagen, they have laboriously drawn up a “Bali Roadmap”. Like the Middle East Roadmap, the Bali Roadmap is a non-map of a non-existent road to nowhere. Meantime, we have alarmed the alarmists, and that is a first step towards the dawn of truth.To view the original article http://nzclimatescience.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=178&Itemid=1

So what ought adult human beings to do now? Kevin Rudd at least, it seems, went home saying to the Australian people that he and they would have no business trying to comply with all  communist/west-hobbling, African-killing Kyoto nonsense, or any sort of “Road Map”, and thank goodness for that – it’s a start.

The main danger I see from where I am is residual effects of the near-dissastrous attempt to shut dowm the planet, which could last for decades, in the minds of impressionable students of today. I’m afraid that nearly all teachers in British schools will, if they don’t agree to attend re-education camps run by the erstwhile “deniers”, have to be gassed and incinerated in concentration camps. Given however that it’s Christmas, I’m feeling merciful, and all I would do is force them to live normal lives in a liberal polity, driving 4×4 SUVs and relying on nuclear power stations, until they die.

There is another problem, which is what to do about state policies that decree unrealistic and unachievable percentage amounts of energy to be produced by “renewable” means. There is of course no such thing since substantially all the earth’s energy input derives from the Sun, which is itself not renewable – and on a Cosmic scale the Universe is running down, according to the Laws of Thermodynamics (a part of science which is substantiually settled, at least for the forseeable future.) As realisation of the vast degree to which populations have been “had” percolates into the body-politic, it will become easier and easier to throw out either sitting MPs or whole guvmints which persist in cleaving to wrong notions of reality.

 Like “multiculturalism”, which is now formally discredited although still being taught in nazi schools, anthropogenic global warming will go the same way. The remaining problem is a legal one, which will centre on how much money to sue Al Gore for, in return for his deliberate falsehoods and for substantive damages to be awarded against him, for actual revenue losses or even avoidable deaths, caused by his vaporous orations. He’s quite rich, I am told, and could pay.

The final strategic peg must be private-sector plans for further development of known (and  exploration of unknown) (non-)fossil fuel resources (most of it is abiogenic) together with a private-sector commitment, unshackled by hippy-anti-fears, of nuclear power.

Energy transforms people’s lives, and it transformes the lives of poor-people most, and first.

“Political Correctness Gone Mad”. I wish…God, how I wish, that it was just some sort of madness…..


  David Davis

……and that this was true and it was just a bad dream, and not a misrepresentation of what “PC” is really for. How many, many times do you read in the papers about some poor, sensible human being, tormented by The Forces of Darkness in the form of officials of some British Soviet or other?

A nice old lady who is forbidden to tidy her grass verge outside her house and plant plants on it, because she must wear a hard hat and a yellow-fascist-jacket, and have cones to stop the traffic?

The Soviet of a large British city which celebrates “winterval”, whatever that is? (Must be Nazi….it sounds sort of neopastoral/Nordic/pagan.)

The (many) schools which do not stage a Nativity Play any more (it’s supposed to be “offensive” to other “faiths”) and in a Christian Nation?

I could go on. You know them all, for you – and the entire civilised world – are all irritated by the supposed need these threatening leftist busybody stormtroopers have for upsetting ordinary conservative people, as some sort of displacement activity to make up for their staggering lack of social graces, or of educational/cultural qualifications of any actual value whatsoever.

“Political Correctness”, as a phrase, shows all the marks of self-regarding intellectual arrogance plus an assumed monopoly of the truth. (And I thought the fascist left derided monopolies?) We liberals, being not (infantile or grown-up) leftists but on the “extreme-right” (their term for our position, not ours!) by contrast know that we ARE correct. This is because history bears out the truth of our hypotheses, about how and why the world and civilised human society functions as it does.

Moreover, we do not distort the terms of civilised discourse by banning the use of certain words that we think can define concepts with which we disagree.

To associate the English word “correct”, with (a) political discourse, and (b) the censorship of words so as to lead to the censorship of ideas, is a crime. I only have to wonder for how long a War Crimes judge will send each of these min-Gramscians to prison for, when we finally get our teeth into their bollocks, in return for all the harm they have done to people.

Merry Christmas, and peace and goodwill to all men – but not to you buggers who are trying to destroy our civilisation. I’m sorry, but I can’t make myself extend the Forgiveness of God at this Christmas time to you bastards. There is too much at stake, too many defenceless people alive whose lives you plan to ruin,  and your gloves have been so very, very off, against us, for so long now, and we have run out of patence with you evil imbeciles.

You understand force and threats and death and abolition of cultural ideas you don’t like; so be careful that your ideas don’t end up perishing in the same way. Better just to become real liberals and forget all that childish Marxist stuff, before it’s too late for you to recant.

As the New Dark Age closes in, non-domiciled newsmakers of conservative disposition will buy blogs and run them outside Nazi jurisdictions, or even from space. How much is this one worth?


David Davis 

Found on Guido, someone asks on the right sidebar “How much is Drudge worth?”

 Of course the LA Blog is not yet in that class, for estimates for Drudge wallow around $10-$40 million, but it’s nice to dream. We’d have to continue to write, I guess, otherwise the buggers would’ve wasted their money.

If Rupert Murdoch is watching, you were at my old College, matey!

What’s to stop a blog being hosted on a geostationary satellite? The costs of bringing one down in flames will be enormous, and beyond the reach of most of this coming century’s moribund collectivisms. The costs of sending up material to it, for relaying down again, will by contrast be nugatory. A few thousand dollars, a tame tech-geek, and someone could do it from the moss-lands round here.

Only the finest blogs will be offered for. These will contain the most organised and most professionally-driven writers, with the sharpest takes on the encroaching destruction of language and thought – who also intend to stay on in the dark.

Perhaps there is some point to knowing about electronics and comms after all, long after we are all expected to not want to.

HOW LIBERTY DIES…REMOVED YOU-TUBE VIDEO ON SEAN GABBS LAST POSTING TODAY IS ON http://devilskitchen.me.uk


IT’S CALLED   >>>  HOW LIBERTY DIES  <<< RIP IT    RIP IT    RIP IT

Ghastly, sick socialist behaviour by the Gauleiters and “ushers” of the “Europarliament”, against a very very large and loud protest IN THE CHAMBER by EuroMPs.

The Curse of the Carboncrats. Stalinism, tyranny and destruction of all that we are, rolled into one. I thought you’d like this from Moonbattery.


From Moonbattery on 12th December in case you’d missed it. I was polishing a staircase for a friend so i had not time that day to scratch my arse. But here it is now…….

Global Warming Totalitarians Push Personal “Carbon Limit”

The totalitarian moonbattery known as environmentalism is really getting scary in the UK, where under cover of the global warming hoax, authoritarian bureauweenies now want to impose a “carbon limit” on each individual.

Subjects of the British bureaucracy would be required to carry a “carbon credit card,” to be used when paying utility bills or buying gasoline. Joseph Stalin, who killed millions by withholding food from his own populace, would be delighted to hear that you’ll need a valid carbon card to buy food.

When you’ve used up your carbon limit, you’re out of luck. Escaping to a free country won’t be easy, because the carbon card will also be required for travel. Think of it as envirokooks’ version of the Mark of the Beast.

It’s looking more and more like Britain would have held onto more of its liberty if it had allowed itself to be defeated from without by the Nazis, rather than from within by moonbats.

With Chindia going hell-4-leather for growth as is its right (can Africa be far behind? I can’t see Chindian firms ignoring its potential, can you – even if we are forced to?) there is absolutely no point in trying to limit anybody’s use of energy.

It all points to my first hypothesis, some years ago, which is that socialism’s latest wicked, sepulchral, ghoulish re-incarnation as the greenazis of Morgoth (green outside, red inside, brown-shirts all over) is a special punishment for BRITAIN, for showing the rest of the world the WAY TO THE DOOR OUT OF HELL.

Education education education. What a bastard, evil, wicked liar Tony Blair was, to emulate what his political forebears had also said……to think that governments could (and worse, should) educate humans


David Davis

The Torygraph was kind enough to publish today what I had said on its comment pages – remarkably quickly by its usual standards I might add - about how we could make “Britain’s education world class”….again or at all? The question about what “world class” meant was not strictly addressed, but this is what I said;

Britain’s education WAS “world-class”; in fact we invented the world using the curriculum and system we had.

Here’s a “TEN_POINT_PLAN” !!! (1) Junk the National(ized) Curriculum, hook line and sinker. (I mean the Nazi one curently used.)(1A) Teach ENGLISH GRAMMAR, properly, early on. About age 5-7 is not too late to save these people.

(2) Return to proper liberal Classical education, as it was more or less up to 40 years ago, and thus rooted in the continuous history and cultural development of the Christian West, found on Rome and Greece.

(3) Teach joined-up-history/maths/science as a unified philosophy, as it was for us then.

(4) Teach proper Geography, rooted in the History of the Earth, and the places therein. (Tourism trends, social/foreign-aid/government intervention issues and traffic control have no part in this, they are for bureaucrats.)

(5) Teach Latin and Classical Greek -the latter especially, and both especially to scientists. Teach them using the original timeless texts, as well as any shilly-shally-modern-themed stuff you want.

(6) Tony Blair’s pledge to have every school on the internet by 1999 or summat, has proved to be a hollow achievement. Put proper libraries, with books containing large numbers of words and text, back in every school. 99% of the internet is junk. The skill comes in knowing how to sift junk from seeds and nuggets that are useful. teach this for Christ’s sAKE, there must be people, mostly old, who know what to do. It’s called “knowing how to think”.

(7) Inject pride back into British history and culture. We did invent the world, and we should say so. Children will then want to learn this story, as it will be cool – it was for us, but we did not even need the word to describe it, for it just, er, was.

(8) Sack all teachers who are (a) Marxist or left-leaning, for it is a fact that the Left hates liberal Classical (that is to say, English) culture. Honest leftists admit this bent freely. take them at their word, and take them out of the education system. Either we are right, or they are. If we have the courage of our convictions as to what is right, we should steel ourselves and do this.

Hire all the old ladies and retired colonels instead who are left. I’m sure they’d be glad of the opportunity Once More to go unto the Breach.

(9) Remove ALL government involvement in what is taught. This will eradicate lies such as anthropogenic global warming, hatred of “firms”, for “polluting rivers”, hatred of farmers for “destroying the countryside”, and hatred of supermarkets for “ripping off consumers” and “third world growers”. Children have no business learning what governemtns say about themselves in schools owned and run by governments.

(10) Abolish the BBC, close it down, auction the archives to other broadcasters. Politicians will then not have a willing mouthpiece hostile to all the above plans.

At the risk of attracting major opprobrium, and at the risk of being called unlibertarian, I really really would advocate the cleansing of the UK school system of teachers who are even slightly sympathetic to socialist and (therefore) anti-liberal ideals. Now I know this is controversial, but I have (in my old age) difficulty figuring out how it’s possible for a socialist to become a libertarian. Either socialists agree that libertarianism is right, or they do not. if they do, then they are not socialists. If they don’t, then they are opponents of liberalism, which is to say conservatism.

I do not believe it is unlibertarian to expunge non-libertarians from posts where they could promote unlibertarianism. Either libertarianism is right, or it is wrong. If it’s right but will not fight, it will be right but it will fail. We live in an imperfect world, and many libertarians do not reailise this, and we may still have to fight for it, as this is still The Dawn of Time.

If they, the socialists, say that they are our opponents, then it does not matter so long as they do nothing to hurt people and force then to be things they don’t want to be.  they do not NEED to invoke Utopia. Capitalism bring them all the benefits they need and also to the people they say they srve. But the moment they hurt people, such as telling them untruths in classrooms of children, or growing “bio” “fuels”, then they do harm and hurt to all-people, and ought to be opposed, and by force if needed.

I wonder when the first “task forces” of assault-liberals, will assault biofuel fields, and (I don’t know what) burn them? It would be pointless, but also simultaneously symmetrical. 

MOONBATTERY. If you want to stay sane in this darkening world, drink pints of it now. (It comes in pints…)


David Davis

Moonbattery is quite good today.

And, and and.

While you are about it, you can look up and download our approx 800++++++ publications on the LA website. I need periodically to remind all you good people, for you are all busy striving to eradicate socialism and expunge it from the face of the Earth. and blogging is a part-time activity or it is nothing.

Reminding you all, saves me having to publish sermons – after all, we are not a blasted church, where you have to sit and listen to the poor old chap mumbling, while the dinner burns. You don’t need me to orate it, you can read the bloody stuff yourself! About three million words. (All good gear, by the way! Trust me.)

Is it better for a Sovereign Human to exist or not? Some sub-Human socialists think not….well, there is a place where they may feel comfortable.


David Davis 

I got this by accident from Mark Steyn about five minutes ago. (Eat my petrol-and-wee-stained-trousers, all you Steyn-hating-slairs!) The implication of its meaning is so awful, and so obscenely disgusting, that I had to post it to you all to show what we liberals are up against.

I say liberals (that is to say; conservatives and libertarians of MOST kinds) to differentiate us irrevocably (now I see the whites of our enemies’ eyes, if indeed that is what they have in their “heads”, rather than bottomless, non-radiating sinks of unutterable evil) from what is being described. 

What is being described here in this piece from Mark is Nazis, other kinds of leftist such as “greens” and other classes of death-lovers, Castro-c***-lickers and planet-corpse-f****rs. Here is his “CORNER” piece for 08.12.07;

Christmas gift ideas   [Mark Steyn]

There’s no better holiday gift than a great book and, courtesy of Oxford University Press, here’s a stocking stuffer that’s sure to bring a glow to the environmentally aware loved one in your family this Christmas morn:

Better Never To Have Been: The Harm Of Coming Into Existence
by David Benatar

Most people believe that they were either benefited or at least not harmed by being brought into existence. Thus, if they ever do reflect on whether they should bring others into existence–rather than having children without even thinking about whether they should–they presume that they do them no harm. Better Never to Have Been challenges these assumptions. David Benatar argues that coming into existence is always a serious harm… The author shows that there are a number of well-documented features of human psychology that explain why people systematically overestimate the quality of their lives and why they are thus resistant to the suggestion that they were seriously harmed by being brought into existence. The author then argues for the ‘anti-natal’ view–that it is always wrong to have children–and he shows that combining the anti-natal view with common pro-choice views about foetal moral status yield a ‘pro-death’ view about abortion (at the earlier stages of gestation). Anti-natalism also implies that it would be better if humanity became extinct. Although counter-intuitive for many, that implication is defended, not least by showing that it solves many conundrums of moral theory about population.

The author is a professor at the University of Cape Town. That’s on the Cape of Good Hope, though evidently not in this case. 

(via Spiked and Tim Blair)

The harm of coming into existence?

The tragedy for us is that if there had been no “existence”, then there would have been no “utopianism” and Nazi philpsphies such as socialism, for us to have to spend the strength of our lives blogging against.

The tragedy for the Great Enemy is that, if this writer was right, then there would be no stage on which to act, and lie, to All Creation. There would be no audience. I don’t think the sad dude Benatar has thought this one out.

We on the liberal and conservative blogs will scragg him to bits, and he will have himself to blame for his nemesis. 

Surely, seen from this point, when socialist idiots are saying rubbish which they thinlk nobody will contradict, then we are now approaching The Last Battle, Armageddon; when the Forces of Good take on the Forces of Evil for the last time.

We may still lose, but let’s take comfort. At least we can rest happy that Polly Toynbee and all the other leftist fascist pigs like Castro, Putin, Chavez, Jim the Jolly mayor of Newtingstone, bendy-buses, wheely-bins, uneducated socialist teachers and those chaps that run government departments and quangos and think they are right so to do, and ALL the computer-suppliers-to-the-state, will all get swallowed up in the cesspit of Satan’s maw.

BINGE DRINKING. A Socialist MP, called a “Grogan”, blames a shopkeeper. Yeah, right. We all go to shops to get stuff and then we bingedrink and get rat-arsed in the street with it; hence all the 2am streetphotos.


Simon Heffer in today’s Telegraph has it right;

David Davis

Binge drinking is the only cure for Brown

If you want to know what Labour MPs do with themselves all day, here’s an example.

One of them, a John Grogan, has followed a missable career as a student union leader and local government flunkey by becoming MP for Selby. Better still, he is (and I am not making this up, I promise) “chairman of the all-party beer group”, a calling for which only being president of a student union can possibly prepare one.

With typical brilliance, he this week described Sir Terry Leahy, one of Britain’s most successful businessmen and chief executive of Tesco, as “the godfather of British binge drinking”. He said Sir Terry was underpricing booze in his stores “all the time”, and warned him this must stop.

I am sure Sir Terry would rather take commercial advice from a pet stoat than from this moron – at least, as a Tesco shareholder, I hope he would. And doesn’t Mr Grogan understand that binge drinking and the pervasiveness of the Brown Terror are intimately related?

(In what still used to be Czechoslovakia, there was in 1991/2 a politcal party called “Strana Priteli Piva” (the SPP) translating as the “party of the friends of beer”. Perhaps he ought to find it and join?)

The Stockhom Network Golden Umbrella Think-Tank Awards, London 5th December 2007


Dr Tim Evans

PRESS RELEASE

6 December 2007

WINNERS OF EUROPEAN THINK TANK AWARDS REVEALED:

As part their 10 year anniversary celebrations, the London-based market-oriented think tank, the Stockholm Network, held their first ever pan-European think tank awards ceremony last night at the National Liberal Club in London.  

In such a hotly contested field, the most influential think tanks from across Europe descended upon London, along with British and European politicians, journalists and policy makers. Each award was presented by luminaries from across the political landscape, with Boyden Gray, the US Ambassador to the EU, delivering the key note speech.

In the 10 years since its inception, the Stockholm Network has acted as the umbrella organisation for market-oriented individuals and policy institutes in Europe. During this time the number of think tanks in the network has expanded exponentially, now reaching 130 member think tanks.

Stockholm Network Golden Umbrella Think Tank Awards winners 2007

The Award for the Best Think Tank in New Market Economies

Free Minds Association in Azerbaijan

Presented by

Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, US Ambassador to the EU

 

The Award for the Best Contribution to Free Market Thinking

José Piñera, former secretary of Labour and Social Security in Chile

Presented by

Dr. Tom Palmer, Vice President for International Programs, The Cato Institute

 

The Best New Think Tank Award

European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels

Presented by

The Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP, Centre for Social Justice

 

SN Think Tank of the Year Award

Institute for Market Economics in Bulgaria

Presented by

Dr. Jan Čarnogursky, former Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic

 

The Personality of the Year Award

Prof. Atilla Yayla, Political Scientist and President of the Association for Liberal Thinking in Turkey

Presented by

Alice Thomson, Assistant Editor, Comment Section, The Daily Telegraph

 

The Internet Award

Institute of Economic and Social Studies in Slovak Republic

Presented by

Cécile Philippe, Director – General, Molinari Economic Institute

 

The Award for Best Research

Istituto Bruno Leoni in Italy

Presented by

Christofer Fjellner MEP, European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats

 

The Innovation Award

Taxpayers’ Alliance in the United Kingdom

Presented by

Janet Daley, Leader Writer, The Daily Telegraph

 

The Media Award

Institute for Market Economics in Bulgaria

Presented by

John Fund, Wall Street Journal

 

- ENDS -

For quotes and commentary on the above, please call Cara Walker, Head of Communication for the Stockholm Network on 00 44 20 7354 8888 or via e-mail to: cara@stockholm-network.org

 

Notes to Editors:

 

The Stockholm Network is the leading pan-European think tank. It offers a unique network of 130 market-oriented think tanks across Europe providing access to the best European policy thinking.

 

For further Information contact:

 

Helen Disney, CEO,

Stockholm Network

 

Tel: 020 7354 888                Fax: 020 7359 8888

helen@stockholm-network.org     http://www.stockholm-network.org/

 

“TESCOS LAW ON FOOD” – yet another teacher getting at her pupils I think. (Search-engine-string.)


David Davis 

What do you, our bolg-reader, make of “Tesco’s law on food”?

Does Tesco make law? Can it control food in any way?

Do any children know, either way, about either concept? 

Interesting I thought – as to what is going on in our schools perhaps?

Perhaps someone ought to McCarthy-ise our state schools, and even the others too, just to make sure. Now I know this is a very un-libertarian thing to say – but undefended Libertarianism is all very well and good in a Market-Civilisation in which the other side also plays by the rules, but it does not get very far in the real world, which is very dark and full of evil people who lie.

The trouble is, the other side contains people like Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Jim Livingstone the Jolly Mayor of Longdon, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara (he WAS a murderer, and your T-shirt is NOT cool), Mayo-zee-Tung, that man in Vietnam called “Chew-Ing-Gum” or something like that (we nearly bombed him out of Haiphong but were stopped by the fascist pig Brzhezhniev, who made the other democrat fascist pig who was then the President of the USA blink) Chirac, Putin, Billary Clinton and Al-Gore-the-Goracle…..evil wicked man, who lies about gases and planets – I mean, of all things to lie about, what would you choose to lie about?

Back to Tesco’s Law on Food. A prize of a ration-voucher (one per responder maximum) for a 2p bottle of Non-Alcoholic British-State Champagne-Substitute, for the first 500 blogger-repliers, who can each tell me what this string ought to mean.

I should explain the post below THIS ONE. (Sorry!)


David Davis 

Our one blogreader (HI!… ‘You all-right ?) may be confused by the prevailing frequency of references to the UK’s major supermarket chains. This is because;

(1) People need food. Or they die. Socialism, being of the Devil, then arises, and takes a view.

(2) Socialism exists. Bummer. (…ON THE EARTH, FOR NOW…YOU PRE-CAPITALIST-MARXBOUND-BARBARIAN-UNENLIGHTENED-SLAIRS JUST WAIT TILL WE GET PROPERLY STARTED ON YOU, FROM SPACE…..(by just leaving you to stew in your own choices)…..) It therefore attracts dangerous, unsocialised, saddo dirigiste deadbeats; these are persons who can’t be trusted to do any useful work for real-people-who-are-responsible-for-others, and who thus have to pay bills and all that stuff, and who (that is to say, the deadbeats) instead therefore have no choice but to go into politics in Britain in the 21st century. Even the libdems won’t have them from now on, being desperate and running out of time, so they-deads have to go into the Labouring Party. Just look at the Labouring-Party today. Drowning in money, and no clue as to who it was from, and having to give it back, and looking very unprofessional overall.

If I was a truly-madly-deeply-professional Statist, such as Saddam Hussein or Stalin or Hitler or Castor or Pol Pot or Chirac or Putin or Mugabe, I would have had them all shot by now, and a new lot re-elected to serve the people even more effectively and, er, can’t remember the next word but it is superbly portentious and redolent with gravity and meaning – like 666, the years of the 5-year-plan.

(3) Deadbeats and socialsits (I like “socialsits” and will save it for later) think they are important, and want to affect the lives of other persons – just like those chaps who write and distribute viruses; so they “plan” stuff.

There is no other purpose to these people’s lives; I can’t fathom how such a fate has befallen the brains of such a large number of hominids, in so short a time. The Renaissance was not meant to lead to this pass. 

(4) “Food” hits all the buttons of highly-charged graphic art, such as the images of burstingly-large corn-sheaves on all the currency of the old Soviet Empire.

(5) Socialsits want to get at the mass food-distribution system in the UK. For heaven’s sake, they invented rationing. They would like to bring it back in some post-modernly-disguised form, for they hate the fact that everybody from the 4×4-woman-school-run-driveress to the single-mum-from-Bootle-in-a-clapped-out-Metro-driven-by-her-beater-upper, can get food from where she/they can afford to go.

(6) The main UK supermarket chians; that is to say, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Morrisons and Waitrose, are very, very, very good at delivering exactly the foods that their particular customer target groups want, at the prices they can (just about ) afford. This is just one aspect of what is called CAPITALISM.

(7) This state of affairs is hateful to the leftist Nazi government in Westminster. So hateful that in fact the better performers – such as Tesco –  are to be ordered to sell land and sites to the worse ones. Just watch.

I make these casual observations in the light of the progressive destruction of indigenous UK food suppliers over the last 10 years or so, by a government that knows the producers mostly don’t vote for it, never did, or ever would.

So we blog about food, and its production, and distribution, and the morality or otherwise of the entities involved. 

If I was Tesco, and I owned all the shares in myself, then I would move abroad, if I was me. I would close my outlets in the UK, sack all the staff, bulldoze all my sites, hand them over to the “competition commission”, and tell the gumment, which thinks it ought to dictate what foods people ought to eat at what prices and from what kinds of outlets, to go on and try to do it for itself.

My last words on this?

“U S S R”

And also…..telephone Robert Mugabe, its friend, and ask him if in the kindness of his heart, he could possibly send us some food.

“Waitrose becoming obsessed by profit” – I SHOULD HOPE SO…


David Davis 

This has got to be just about the most lunatically-brilliant search-engine-string to hit the side of the blog today.

The mouse that “can’t get cancer”. Another example of free-market science success that won’t be available on the NHS in England.


David Davis 

The Daily Mail, in its rather sad “two sensational-health-scares plus two sensational-advances (and all for women mostly) per week per front page” editorial policy, trumpeted today;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/healthmain.html?in_article_id=496751&in_page_id=1770&ito=1490

“The mouse that can’t get cancer”.

I object to this popularly-journalized demonization of cancer – not because it’s an often painful and sometimes currently incurable condition – but because news about our progess towards its being made nugatory, such as with colds and flu for instance, has fallen into the hands of those who drive popular culture and popular-use-of-popular-media.

Molecular biophysicists have known for some years that there are genes which act, sort of like a “dead-man’s handle”, in cells which become what we call “neoplastic”; that is to say, cancerous. these cells have “lost” the ability to respond to ordinary chemical signals from their host body, telling them all the while “don’t divide”. So? They divide. Then they do it again…..and again, and again, and again, and…… the result is? Cancer. Some genes exist in multicellular organisms exactly to respond to this scenario, and they shut down any such cell line. Sometimes, tragically, these genes can become broken, in the course of many many cell replications in one’s life. (That’s why cancers are often conditions of middle or old age.)

But “The mouse that can’t get cancer” is I think a premature stab for us at some confidence in the future. Let’s not get too excited in England in 2007….for…………

Gordon Brown still wants you to die painfully, for a few decades more, like his political forebears still rationed foods and petrol and clothes (even CLOTHES for f***’s sake?) for years after the War. After all, if such was available on the NHS, then rich-people would queue up for it first, and we can’t have that. 

There is no doubt that Man will beat cancer generally and in detail. It may even happen in our lifetimes. But there is also no doubt that, as soon as such treatment whatever becomes available, it will “not be available on the NHS in England”. Probably in Scotland. Most probably in Poland too.

A freer market in university research in the USA has brought this new insight about. isn’t it interestingly tragic that a thingy called “NICE” (the national institute for clinical excellence) often forbids stuff automatically to England, which is permitted to be “funded” elsewhere. Well, there’s socialism for you.

Fascist assaults on Advertising gather pace; now it’s the turn of “junk foods” and “alcohol”.


David Davis 

The Sunday Telegraph carried in its business setcion a thingy saying “new ad curbs would slash TV income.” The gist is that proposed “controls” (it’s “for the children” of course) and a 9pm “watershed” for ads for the next things this gumment disapproves of will lower the share prices of the TV contractors further, and “cost the advertising industry” £250million.

ALL THE BLASTED STUPID MYOPIC BUGGERS, collecting their salaries for the now, HAVE MISSED THE POINT. They are heading for disaster, rather fast.

They will go the way of the cigarette manufacturers in the last century, as they will not make this fight a fight about individual freedom and censorship, which is actually what it is.

In a market-civilisation, advertising is essential to individual liberty. Advertising a good product, or one which people want, ensures its success. Advertising a bad product causes it to be garotted fast and relatively painlessly, except for the maker who chiefly suffers, but that’s freedom for you.

Socialists and other Nazis can’t take this at all. They are so hung up on “planning” and direction of masses of people that they just can’t see that successful advetising means there has to have been a successful and wanted product, which people, er, wanted. If they did not want it, they would not buy it. They even teach my students that “advertising makes people buy things they don’t want or need.” Yes, they do, in England, in 2007. It’s difficult to combat except one-2-one, when you can use logic and reason, but you can do it, slowly. (But that’s not enough.)

Many of you here know the pre-capitalist societies of Central and Eastern Europe pre-1989. There was by then little or no advertising – notwithstanding that there were rather few goods available anyway. This was not the fault of producers, who were not allowed. Totalitarian societies are characterized by the lack of goods and info thereof, and the plethora of State glorification of their leaders and “parties”. We are heading that way rather quickly in England.

In about 1980 I was asked with a good friend, now a succesful London IP lawyer, to draft a case for tobacco advertising, courtesy of Peter Marsh, of Allen Brady and Marsh, for whom I worked at that time. (Rod Allen died recently.) This would be presented to a committee of marketing directors of the major tobacco companies, in support of their opposition to an ad-ban. My friend and I came up with a liberal (I would not go so far as to say Libertarian) defence of any advertising including that for tobacco products, based on the fact that control of information, or its suppression, amounted to censorship. We said that if the product was legal to make and sell and own, then people who made it ought to be allowed to speak well of it. Any encroachment on their ability to do so would amount to suppression of free speech, and oculd not be tolerated in a free Market-Civilisation. Thatcher was young, FOREST was young, and they might just have got away with it while the enemy-class flank was unguarded.

Instead, the report was blown out. They said “we can’t get away with this”. They decided to try and contradict the medical evidence about lung cancer (not possible to do) and also to try to say “advertising is all about getting the consumer to switch brands”…”we can switch them to “lower tar” brands!”

I and my friend said we would recommend this plan if they took it up as they wanted to, as a recipe for utter disaster, and ultimate defeat by the State.

The rest, as they say, is history. (Our recommendations were not adopted, although dear Peter Marsh endorsed every word.)

So, now that smoking is almost outlawed, people, espeically  poor people, drink heavily and eat nice-tasting food from hot-food-joints, to help distance themselves from the eternal hellfire of safety-socialism for a few minutes or hours more. The state-sponsored prevalence of post-Christian atheism means that they can’t expect anything after this life (the gumment says so) and nobody believes all those Moslems about all those virgins anyway, and half of the poor buggers are also non-virgin women and certainly not lesbians as they have children, so where do they go to, then? Hell? 

So there is only tobacco (where still allowed) burgers and chips, and drink.  Gambling will stop when they poor-buggers all run out of money, and as the state is bust there won’t be able to be a “weekly lucky chance benefit payment” scheme (to keep it running) masterminded by that man whose name I can’t remember but who is described as a “Chancellor of an Exchequer”.

There is talk that the “industry” will “work with” the gumment. That, alas, is what happened last time.

Those who do not learn from history will be condemned to repeat it.

Libertarian overtakes Marxism on Google. (2nd July 2007, an update of that position.)


The first part is what the title was.

Here are today’s results from about a minute ago:

Libertarian = (about) 11,600,000

Marxist = (about) 8,370,000

Marxism = (about) 6,420,000

And some addons, now, for some effect;

“Right Wing” = 3,350,000

Interestingly, “liberal” = (about) 77,200,000

“left liberal” = 294,000 (really? That little?) (almost-real lefties, sort of holograms of one)

“genuine liberal” (that is to say, REAL lefties who are Stalinists and Castro-worshippers) = 17,100 (WHAT??????)

and………….

 “Fascist Bastard” (see Freedom and Whisky for more about this animal) = 713  (yes just 713.) 

Are we on the “right” (I will use the enemy’s terms here, so that their deluded map-readers can tell their Gauleiters where we are sitting, so they can throw stuff at us) all just the victims of a smoke-and-mirrors-game? Will we all wake up in a minute and find it’s just been a bad dream, and the world really is a Market-Civilisation after all?

“SHOULD GOVERNMENT CONTROL FOOD”…interesting serch-engine-term. I wonder if it’s another teacher getting at (her) pupils?


This text-string hit the starboard-hull of the Bolg, in poor visibility, in a heavy following sea, about half an hour ago. You can just picture, can’t you, the turmoil suddenly created in the Enlisted Able-Bolgmen’s Mess (Starboard, Off-Duty-Watch.) Grog-mugs and laptops scattered everywhere. And the poor buggers was writing about something else. 

Can’t have been sent from anyone doing proper work; has to beby direction, to a child, and from a member of the Unter-Kindergauleiterins-Sonderamt, within some British State-childminding-facility. 

“Should Government control food”?

I think we are beginning to see the underlying agenda driving the Fascist-lefty nonces, people-killers, narks and grasses who are behind the “obesity epedemic”.

They failed to overturn individual freedom under the Soviet Empire (although a sinister comeback is in progress there, although they did succeed in murdering tens of millions so they can be proud of limited success.) The Nazi lefties failed in Germany, although the EU is still sadly alive and (almost) well – see my posts of 3rd and 4th February 2008 - and they also managed to murder millions. They failed again when their toy Wall fell in 1989, although it was quite a lethal toy, very appropriate.

Then, capitalism still managing to limp on regardless, they tried “global cooling” in the 1970s/80s. Fortunately, the sad Jimmy Carter and the detached Callaghan wree no more, and Thatcher and Reagan shepherded the world in their strong arms, so nobody was listening.

Thne they tried “global warming”. This time, lefties, busy outflanking us while we fought the Cold War, had marched through the West’s institutions early enough and in sufficient numbers to be in positions to control the terms of discourse.

This successful March was a deeply embarrassing failing on our part, and it ought never to have been allowed. We should have realised that there was a Titanic battle between good and evil going on, against us (the good) using our own free institutions, and we should have fought back in kind. Unfortunately Hollywood  made sure that we could not do a McCarthy on our universities. Hollywood Jews ought to be ashamed of their major creative promotion of an industry, vulnerable to infiltration by lefties and anti-Americans, which set out to criticize, and even undermine, those very societies that did NOT murder them. But “global warming” has captured temporarily (I hope) the terms of debate, since its plausibility rests on the foundations of the falsified  “post-Science” now ordered to be taught as Vulgate by the Marchers. Yes, “global warming” is indeed gaining them some success; they will at least be able to hobble and attenuate the growth of freedom in some countries, those which they have successfuly marched through the institutions of.

But they won’t succeed with Chindia, no. Chindia will make them look silly in the eyes of those successful nations which cmoe after we are gone. So no future ultimately with “global warming, except to destroy our civilisation for us, here. That may be enough for them but I doubt it. They want truly global hegemony, frozen for all time. So they are ultimately doomed yet again if they stay in the gobal-warming-boat.

But wait! In the nick of time, they can bring back a version of “rationing” (does anyone remember that?) MUCH worse after WW2 even than during it, when U-boats were sinking our food as fast as we could buy it. The rationale was that the government had to control access to food, as otherwise “rich people” would buy up all the food, and “everyone else would starve” – I was even told that at kindergarten!

They’re now screaming that everybody is fat – the word “obese” somehow sounds much more like a disease requiring treatment by “experts” – reminds me of what we used to call “Soviet Government Health Farms“. Not only can they apply it directly to us as a torment now, since we are fortunate ot be able to eat enough to be full-size humans most of the time, but they can later threaten Chindia and other places with it as their standard of living increases and they can afford to but more and nicer food.

Have you noticed, how it’s always the foods which taste of anything at all, which are the “culprits”? Fats (specially the tasy ones like animal fats…) Red meats (protein mostly, but healthily leavened with salts and interesting fats.) Salt (it makes tasteless stuff, such as bare protein and starches, taste of something.) Even snails, which we may be reduced to poaching, probably illegally.

Yes I expect that governments would like to “control food”. You could even issue “coupons”; it would be like trying to buy petrol in Czechoslovakia in the 80s, they would love that! Or it would hark back to the Great Days of 1945-56, when food was actually rationed! Favoured individuals, “in” with the dictocrats, could make shagloads – like “Labour” MPs and “golden couples” (do, and would) – Cooperballs, anyone?

It’s a major aspect of individual life that this government does not yet really control effectively, so it’s probably pencilled in somewhere. You know! “No-one is suggesting that individually-focussed access to personal  nutrition requirements be made the subject of discussion-plans for centrally-determined and co-ordinated management!”

Mr No-One usually gets his suggestions adopted in time. Planning regulations….medicines….motor travel….parking….medicines….cigarettes….drugs….alcohol (soon)….cheap air travel….how long before food? 

I’m often blamed for being pessimistic. Well, I’m an optimist who has collected all the facts.


Guys get at me, for going on about how terrible it all is, and how we are going down into a New Dark Age, and the like. All right, let’s just look at today’s news, or some of it.

The Torygraph leads (2nd or 3rd) with a go about how “binge drinking” has not “been curbed” by relaxing licensing laws. The usual fascist “alliance of suspects” teams up behind “some experts”, to shout about how nasty it is that some people get pissed in public sometimes or more often than that.

Look, it’s bloody cold and wet and windy up here on the Island. This has been for 1,400 years due to Al Gore who you lot gave a Noble Prize to, for talking crap and prostituting scientists. We came here coz’ we couldn’t stand you lot of Romanized pimps wot drank wine and stuff (and ate barbecued mice in fish sauce, and little live birds in brandy, and frogs and snails (garlic-flavoured-rubber, but not entirely unpleasant if the garlic was good enough)), and other unmentionables.

We ‘azz to keep warm somehow. So wee getz drunk, alright? Usually in a “go”, now and then, as we hazz to go and work to grow stuff all year and do the hedges and things like that in the freezing rain so the cows don’t trample all over the food, unlike you lot back in Romanland who izz on benefits and getz paid by us through the CAP to not grow stuff, using our taxes. So we azz to drink gallons at once. The wenches too, it’s their night off as well you see.

It’s more economical to drink like that, as we only needz to get drunk say once or twice a week, unlike your grizzly “sweet old men sitting 3×3 on sunlit steps with moustaches smiling at the tourists’ People-Movers”, and who are probably faintly pissed to a slight haziness the whole time.

While we getz drunk, we all sing tunelessly about about how ‘orrible you lot are and about how we all killed Grendel the EUmonster the other day and we left the bloody frogs. Then we goes and rapes all the wenches afterwards in the barn, on whatever hay izz not too damp and cold and covered with rat-droppings. The wenches oblige by dressing like Big Brother and showing they’s meaningless tattoos on they’s bums (and other places) for us to notice, so we all knowz they izz “up for it” and it’s all right.

More taxation will only turn alcohol into a commodity like drugs, which will be stolen and mugged for. The Police will have more forms, and more different ones, to fill in, and less will be done to mitigate the baleful effects of adding another prohibited substance to the long and increasing list that fuels petty crime.

I wonder how long before we will be forbidden to own ammonium nitrate, or cars, or glue that sticks anything other than paper together?