Category Archives: history

The FoodNazi farm-animal-Police dishonoureth us, doth bully us and yea, seriously degradeth us (from and old and unremembered tongue-twister)

David Davis

Here we see the Salt-Nazis regrouping for another attempt to either ration salt, or tax it, or both. As War Secretary of an incoming British Libertarian Minimal-Statist Classical-Liberal government’s first administration, I’m not especially worried about these people, for they will simply “have to go”. What salt is in what purchased food will become a matter for the manufacturing sellers and their buyers, as is good and right.

However, there is hope for proper capitalism still since there seem to be enough people still alive who are old enough to write stuff like the following:-

I have no objection against government offering advice and to an extent it is duty bound to pass it on. I don’t, however, go along with the tiresome narrative that food companies are evil because they deliberately hide toxic, addictive, additives to make profits knowing full well that it is killing their customers. Go along with that and one ends up demanding that the state should protect us by ‘acting’ against ‘Big Food’. It’s a trope that is encouraged by the WHO and ‘health’ activists, peopled as they are by those whose agenda is to use health as a tool for attacking western capitalism via global companies. Simplistic though it is, the idea of sinister corporations covertly poisoning populations to make money is a powerful one and seems to find sympathy with many people. I’m quite sure that in the ideal world as envisaged by the WHO and it’s cohorts that state food rationing would be the norm. Perhaps by manufacturing fears of ‘Big Food’ it will eventually encourage a demand for the state to control the food supply? Some might want this, I don’t know, but it certainly isn’t a world I’d wish to inhabit.

Happy (and peculiarly late) Easter to our readers

David Davis

It’s 2014, and almost four years after (some of us) elected a load of self-regarding cheapskate tightwad moochers who were thought to be slightly less venal that the previous thirteen years of identical moochers.

In reality little has changed: the moochers and the bureaucrats are still in charge, but mostly busy trying to defame, talk down and generally smear another lot of wannabe-moochers. Although the ferocity with which this is being conducted suggests that the parvenu-moochers aren’t quite like the incumbent moochers, and may actually reduce career-mooching opportunities if allowed to get near the “destruct” levers.

We can but hope: it’s all there is now.

Living Standards in England – A Stimulus for Discussion

by Sean Gabb

One of my interests is long term movements in living standards. I have the full Phelps-Brown and Hopwood Index for the 12th to 20th centuries, but not in a form that can be easily republished. Here is a graph showing movements between the 15th and early 20th centuries.

The problems with making a long term series ought to be obvious. Even for England, we don’t have the complete data. The prices commonly used are for wholesale goods, and the most complete series of wage rates we have are for building workers in London, which may diverge for long periods from the wider average. Until fairly recently, money wages were supplemented by shifting degrees of payment in kind, and this is hard to take into account. Then we have unknown degrees of substitution between goods. Continue reading

The End of Benn

by David McDonagh

Anthony Neil Wedgewood Benn (3 April 1925 – 14 March 2014), Tony Benn, is dead.

He seemed to be confused all his life but he seemed very friendly and he never realised that politics was hostile to the people. When he left the House of Commons in 2001, his wife suggested that he could now spend more time on politics, so this is what he said to the media, but this mere propaganda is not so hostile but quite liberal as it may call for coercion but mere propaganda actually coerces none by itself. Continue reading

War and liberalism

David Davis

Statists and other varieties of socialist have more or less succeeded in making the planet as dangerous a place as the buggers can get away with. Liberal minimal-statism will never, ever be forgiven for causing useless pre-capitalist-barbarian intellectuals and poseurs to be fully redundant.

This article in the Torygraph caught my eye this morning, and filled me with forebodings concerning certain things that happened in Britain’s recent history. I regard event like WW2 as having happened “this morning”, sometimes, in the light of how I perceive the March Of Time.

It is in general not good to (as the late Osama-bin-Liner said about weak and strong horses) seem to be a weak horse. This is because that Man’s biological instincts and use of neo-English-social-rationality are not at all walking in step in the majority of populations, nations and races today, in contrast generally with how they are in populations inside the Anglosphere.

Modern “Democrat” US Presidents seem to be an exception, a sort of throwback to pre-settlement-primitivism, in which you Continue reading

Appendix: The Axial Period

by Kevin Carson

Appendix: The Axial Period

Download: Destroying the Master’s House With the Master’s Tools: Some Notes on the Libertarian Theory of Ideology

Karl Jaspers coined the term “Axial Age” to describe a widespread, fundamental shift in ethical values that occurred in a number of societies in the mid-1st millennium BCE. It included the rise of Greek philosophy, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and the prophetic movement of Judah and Israel. All these developments were characterized by a shift from aristocratic values to democratic and universal ones that applied equally to all human beings regardless of social status. Continue reading

Historical Examples

by Kevin Carson

Historical Examples

Download: Destroying the Master’s House With the Master’s Tools: Some Notes on the Libertarian Theory of Ideology

Scott argues that the popular religion—or “folk Catholicism”—of Christian Europe,

far from serving ruling interests, was practiced and interpreted in ways that often defended peasant property rights, contested large differences in wealth, and even provided something of a millennial ideology with revolutionary import. Rather than being a “general anesthesia,” folk Catholicism was a provocation—one that, together with its adherents in the lower clergy, provided the ideological underpinnings for countless rebellions against seigneurial authority. [96]

As the Catholic church developed into a conservative institution—especially after it was established under Constantine—it shifted away from the earlier millenarianism that had predominated in Christian thought in the first two or three centuries. This shift included the growing dominance of Origen’s spiritualization of eschatology as a matter of individual salvation, and the Augustinian view of the Millennium and Kingdom of God at historically realized in the Church. Continue reading

The Children Of Israel

by Kevin Carson
The Children Of Israel

Download: Destroying the Master’s House With the Master’s Tools: Some Notes on the Libertarian Theory of Ideology

For some time it has been the consensus among historians of early Israel that the thoroughgoing conquest of Canaan and resulting tribal domains described in the Book Joshua was anachronistic—a projection onto the past of a geographical state of affairs that existed only after the monarchy had defeated the Philistines and the Israelite population had expanded from their original hill territory to the lowland areas of Canaan. The first archaelogical appearance of Israelite villages in the central highlands of Canaan was in the late 13th century BCE; these areas remained their main strongholds for some two centuries until their increased numbers and the establishment of the monarchy under David enabled them to contest control of the fertile lowlands.

Some historians, like Norman Gottwald, suggest the Israelites—rather than infiltrating Canaan from the outside—were predominantly inhabitants of Canaan itself who moved to the central highlands of Palestine for relative freedom. He originally developed this thesis—which we will consider shortly—at length, in his 1979 book The Tribes of Yahweh: A Sociology of the Religion of Liberated Israel 1250-1050 B.C.E. Continue reading

A Case for the Landed Aristocracy (2014), by Sean Gabb Flash Animation

Sean Gabb,
A Case for the English Landed Aristocracy,
Speech to the (Other) Libertarian Alliance,
London, Monday 10th February 2014

To understand the rubbish heap that England has become, it is useful to look at the circumstances that prompted the emergence of the modern State in Europe.

Around the end of the thirteenth century, the world entered one of its cooling phases. In a world of limited technology, this lowered the Malthusian ceiling – by which I mean the limit to which population was always tending, and beyond which it could not for any long time rise. Populations that could just about feed themselves during the warm period were now too large. Continue reading

Richard Blake Reviews “Myth and History”

Review Article by Richard Blake
Myth and History
Stephen James Yeates
Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2012, 496pp, £29.95 (pbk)
ISBN-13: 978-1842174784

I was told about this book by Dararis Tighe, whose own review can be found on Amazon. I refer you to her comments on its poor writing and sloppy editing. These are entirely just. Instead of repeating her, though, I will concentrate on the substantive claims made in the book. These are summarised in the product description:

Our recent understanding of British history has been slowly unravelling thanks to new techniques such as DNA analysis, new archaeological data and reassessment of the literary evidence. There are considerable problems in understanding the early history of Britain; sources for the centuries from the first Roman invasion to 1000 AD are few and contradictory, the archaeological record complex and there is little collaboration or agreement between archaeologists, Roman and Anglo-Saxon historians. A common assumption concerning the development of the English language and, therefore British history, is that there was an invasion from northern Europe in the fifth century, the so-called Anglo-Saxon migration; a model based on the writings of Bede. However the Bedan model has become increasingly unsustainable and is on the verge of collapse. Myth and History offers a comprehensive re-assessment of the present scientific, historical, archaeological and language evidence, debunking the model of British history based on Bede, and showing how Roman texts can be used in conjunction with the other evidence to build an alternative picture. Stephen Yeates demonstrates that the evidence that has been used to construct the story of an Anglo-Saxon migration, with an incoming population replacing most, if not all, of the British population has been found wanting, that initial attempts to interpret literally the DNA evidence based on historical sources are problematic, and that the best DNA analysis of the British Isles fits the evidence into a broader European view which attempts to plot the movement of people across the Continent and which sees the major migration periods in Europe as occurring in the Mesolithic and the Neolithic. This DNA analysis is constant with the latest assessments based on language development, contemporary historical reports from the Roman period, and the analysis of archaeological data from the Iron Age and Roman period. He also argues that the Roman texts can be used to identify where the Late Roman provinces of Britain actually lay and this leads to important conclusions about the ethnicity and origins of the early British peoples. This book is a timely attempt to unravel myth from history, present a cogent platform for Anglo-Saxon studies and understand who the British people really are. Continue reading

Watch your arses (number-142a)

David Davis

A number of years ago, Richard Littlejohn wrote about the EU using this dreadful device in his novel “To Hell In A Handcart”. In his story, the people win. I’m not so sure about how reality will pan out.

Now, people, do you still want to remain in the EU after reading this? Expect the cars of all libertarian, classical-liberal and other anti-EU bloggers to be “remotely stopped” frequently.

Many years before this, in fact in about 1985, Bernard Adamczewski gave a talk at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, saying that the coming technological revolution (this was before the internet, remember) would free people from government tyranny. He seems to have become wrong about this.

(I know when it was, for I have a b/w photo of him and me talking there, on the wall of my Library. And I know which suits and tie I wore that year.)

I think that few of us spotted this one coming. EU reintroduces death penalty via LISBON “in the case of war, riots, upheaval”

David Davis

I think it might be time to flag this one to The Faithful. Some of us may not have noticed it – I certainly didn’t. Do you read Eurotreaties? I do not, for I have not time.

And since it was in a footnote to a footnote to something that few if any normal people would be willing or able to spend the time reading through comprehensively, we all might be forgiven.

The entire notion now throws, into ever-sharper focus, this Nation’s relationship with the EU. I have nothing to add to that sentence for you may all have your own thoughts.

As we all know, I am not in favour of modern States being able to take life: this is because in all cases the right to do that to another human has been denied by the state’s law.

If I have not a right to end someone’s life who has wronged me and mine, and if my arms and guns and kitchen-knives and screwdrivers have been seized off me in that regard,  then I also have not the right to delegate that right to Continue reading

Thinking about witch-burning

David Davis

It does not usually fall to me, to comment on such matters: this is because of today’s PuritaNazi “guilt by association” meme, as in what used to happen to people that even just _/looked at/_ Witches that were on their way to being burned.

I’m not sure that I ought even to be opening my mouth here, as any sort of comment can be so dangerous, and taken the wrong way can lead to death.

I’m hoping that I shan’t get dragged by the happily-screaming-mob into the fire-tumbril merely by referring obliquely to the bound-and-gagged man, as he is drawn past me on a ground-hurdle, spat on, and pelted with dogshit.

Being alive and a young man in the 1950s, 60 and 70s meant this thing, amoong others. You _knew_ (we all knew, we weren’t stupid you know) that to simply _be_ a disk-jockey, and (specially) _on the radio and the telly!_ was to be able to _get_ all the girls that you could possibly handle. They literally _threw themselves_ at these people. Being Men Of The World, we’d advise our teenage female counterparts “not to go with that fella” (I’m not implying here that it would have been Continue reading

Chinese Bureaucracy, 2

by Spandrell

Chinese Bureaucracy, 2

So in talking about how all states end up surrendering real power to the permanent bureaucracy, I thought it interesting to look at the example of China, which has the oldest and most well structured permanent bureaucracy of all. The previous post was on how the Chinese Empire started as a mostly hands-off affair where the Emperors let most daily decisions of government to their ministers, but little by little they assumed more power, until by the Ming Dynasty they assumed personal rule. Continue reading

Well, sorry about that one. Here’s Auberon Waugh to cheer you up instead.

David Davis

Reprinted from the Spectator, 1966…

Auberon Waugh’s Christmas Sermon

18 comments Auberon Waugh 25 December 2013 11:00

Writing in the 23 December 1966 edition of The Spectator, Auberon Waugh considers the role of Christianity, in all its forms, in an English Christmas.

It’s not hard to see why most grown-ups detest Christmas nowadays. It is expensive and tawdry, a time for self-deception and false sentiment. It is a children’s feast, which is why we all pretend to be children and show gratitude for unwelcome presents and rot our fragile insides with poisonous green crystallised fruit. To crown all the meretricious jollity and make-believe, an enormous number of grown-up Englishmen go to church.

This has become as much part of Christmas as Continue reading

The Libertarian Alliance Christmas (sermon): I did want to say something positive, but I can’t. Sorry.

David Davis

Well, this is Christmas, I guess, and time goes around and comes around, and it seems like five minutes ago that I wrote the LA’s first Christmas Message on this blog, six or seven years ago. I’m not sure that there’s much else new to say from that time, but the Chimpanzee Type-Writors in the Blog’s freezing, damp Nissen-Hut must at least pretend to keep up appearances.

On every day and in every way, our rulers (do we need such people, really?) conspire to push us further and further down the outfall-pipe. It’s actually very depressing to be alive in Britain in 2013, knowing that one was being born some number of decades before, in a country which, while less blessed with the planet’s offerings, was at least less unfree in most ways.

All I’d really like to say to Libertarians this Christmas is that I think we are running out of time. It’s slipping by us all fast and I don’t know when there might be another time. I’m certain I said it before, possibly last year and the year before that and the year before that: it’s quite fortunate that statistNazis are rather inefficient and take longer than they might, to do what they need to do. Even Enoch Powell said once: “be of good cheer: for the rot has set in, but it will take quite some time”. There are some choices now open to us, as follows:-

(1) We can continue to try to “influence debate”, by publishing, by some of us (not enough to make a difference) going about having eggs and turned-off-mikes thrown at us in universities and on radio stations and in “Conservative” gatherings and meetings and stuff like that. We can continue to do that thing. But I don’t think anyone that matters, or is on our side, is listening. The ones not on our side will simply delete the file they got sent for airing, or turn off the mike when we get too near the truth.

(2) We can espouse “activism”, but all this will do is get us imprisoned, possibly for ever for we are right, and out families broken up, our computers “taken into local authority-care”, and our children “seized for hard-drive analysis”. As a strategy, this will therefore avail other people nought. The trouble is that we have been shown time and time again that “activism” pays, since people like Nelson Mandela, Gerry Adams, the dead pigs Castro and Stalin, the other dead leftist pig Hitler (he got lucky while young) and Ho Chi Mhinh “got into government”. But I don’t think any living Libertarian conservatives are willing to pay the price or are even young enough to see it redeemed.

(3) Each of us can build an “armoured library”. How you all do this is entirely up to you. It needn’t even be armoured, so long as you didn’t tell policemen, who’d of course tip off scumbag mobsters to come and accidentally burn it as soon as it was convenient for (them).

Sorry to be so depressing this year. It’s no use getting excited that “over 145 people” got to see the lecture at (somewhere or other) by “Dr Human Hope”, the really really articulate and perspicacious founder of the “freedom free thingy”, at some place or other, and which several hundred Libertarians from at least “20″ countries attended. Nor, even, that his lecture got “published on the internet.

Merry Christmas: the time has come to face reality. Nobody’s really interested enough in liberty – either for themselves or for others, and certainly not for others – for us to make a difference any more.

I’m not saying we should give up and die. Just that we must not expect victory, for we shall not get it.

Remembering Corporate Liberalism

by Roderick Long

Remembering Corporate Liberalism

The main plotline of the Star Wars prequel trilogy concerns an apparent conflict between the central government (the Senate) on the one hand and a coalition of mercantile interests (the Trade Federation, the Commerce Guild, etc.) on the other. As events unfold, however, it quickly becomes obvious to the audience (though much less quickly to the protagonists) that the conflict is largely a ruse, with the leadership of the two sides (Chancellor Palpatine and Count Dooku, respectively) secretly working hand in glove. Continue reading

Was World War I the error of modern history?

By Mustela nivalis

Niall Fergusson in an interview originally aired in 2000 explains what went wrong (see video). Amongst other things he says: Belgian neutrality was a pretext of the British government. Nobody in Europe in any decision making capacity was under any illusions what a war would mean. Lord Grey, the British foreign minister, even warned the Russian government beforehand that a war would lead to a “new 1848″ in Europe, i.e. social upheaval endangering the existing order. An economist called Jean de Bloch had warned in 1898 that future wars would be utterly destructive. Millions would have to be mobilized and the defensive position was far superior to the offensive. In Europe this would lead to a stalemate and any war would be decided by economic attrition.

Fergusson here repeats his assertion that had Germany won (i.e. had Britain kept out of it), we would have had a continental free trade area under German leadership 80 years before it actually happened (minus Russian Revolution, Nazism, WW2 and the Cold War).

Fergusson is probably right when he says that it was the soldiers’ personal revenge motive that kept WW1 going despite all the mass killings and horrors. But that’s only part of it. Unfortunately, he does not mention another decisive factor: the decoupling of money from gold in all the participating countries (except, I think, for the US, which came late to the party), allowing governments to ramp up war debts like never before. Previously, wars stopped when one or both sides ran out of money (because it was backed by some real value). This time, it stopped only when people in the Axis countries were dying in the streets of starvation.

Ian B on the Nature and Progress of the Pastoral Races

The facts will be inevitably loose in this kind of discussion, partly because of limited data and partly because we are looking at trends rather than absolutes. Just as the assertion that Swedes tend to taller than Chinamen is valid in a world where some Chinamen are quite tall and some Swedes rather short

To say that one culture differs from another culture in some way does not mean the complete separation of traits. If we say that Prussia was a more militarist society than England, that does not mean that England was pacifist, or that the Prussians were permanently at war. Nonetheless we can see how 19th century Prussian militarism shaped the whole society; its social interactions, industry, education, politics, etc. Here, I’m trying to look at something deeper and more fundamental; family structure, and I suggest a gradient from North to South on the map from us down to the Levant. The general model we find, indeed in the Bible, is pastoralist. Here up North, we find agrarians tilling the heavy soil. The latter leads to “the couple in a farmhouse with their children”. The former leads to the “herdsman tribe”. And when each society advances, it will develop different civilisation types, with quite different understandings of the nature of the individual and the collective.

Continue reading

Armoured Libraries and survival of culture and law

David Davis

Various prominent British libertarians seem now agreed that The Endarkenment approaches. The signs have been increasingly clear for some time. The fact that liberty is the mother of order and not its daughter is inconvenient for those that mean to boot the vast majority of Mankind – except themselves – backwards, cruelly, painfully and hard into pre-enlightenment misery, starvation, disease and servitude.

Being a scientist myself by training and thought-modes, and therefore by definition not an intellectual -  I have never figured out why humans get to want to bring about – and worse, specifically for others than themselves – what I described above.

It always seems after careful analysis of their plans, that they would like to visit upon the whole of humanity what Churchill described as “the torments that Dante reserved for the damned”.

[Incidentally, I think that "intellectual" (the noun) is is a mere imaginary literary concept, applied by primitive pre-scientific mystics to themselves and their friends who still work according to neolithic non-tribe-male-skull-crashing theories of how to behave towards others, and are driven by emotion and wishful thinking. This may become the subject of another discussion, but perhaps I may accidentally have defined "conservatives" as definitely not these people. We shall have to see, when I have time to try to write something again.]

Various commenters on recent postings here have said things like this, and this, and this. In the darkness however, someone said this, and Continue reading

How reason may be ignored and ideologies embraced or discarded

How reason may be ignored and ideologies embraced or discarded
Robert Henderson

The English philosopher Tony Flew died in 2010. The academic subject around which he wove his life should have made him less vulnerable to false reasoning. That in turn should have armour plated him against being captured by ideologies. In fact he was a sucker for ideologies and twice threw over ideological beliefs for other ideological beliefs. His intelligence and erudition did not prove any guard against folly.

I knew Flew when he was still comparatively young when I was a student of Keele U in the late sixties and early seventies. At that time he was in his late forties and held the Chair of Philosophy at the university.

Continue reading

How English Liberalism was Created by Accident and Custom, and then Destroyed by Liberals

How English Liberalism was Created by Accident and Custom, and then Destroyed by Liberals(1)
Sean Gabb
Published in 1998 as Historical Notes No. 31
ISBN 1 85637 410 6
by the Libertarian Alliance, London


One: The Question Stated
Two: The Seventeenth Century Origins of Liberal England
Three: The Administrative Vacuum of the Eighteenth Century
Four: The Decline and Fall of English Liberty
Conclusion: The Prospects for Liberty Notes

Continue reading

You Looking at Me?

by Robert Henderson

Note: This may be an irrelevant aside, but I’ve long suspected that the differences in philosophical and scientific achievement between the European and other peoples are partly caused by differences in writing. The Greeks and those they influenced developed fully alphabetical writing. This has two advantages. First, it means that the effort to become literate involves learning just a few dozen symbols, rather than many thousands, thereby promoting an emphasis on analysis rather than memory. Second, it promotes, by analogy, an atomistic approach to thinking – the understanding that ideas can be separated into their most basic units. When you must spend your early years learning thousands of symbols, most of which may have only an arbitrary resemblance to the things they signify, there may be a greater tendency to respect past authority, and a reduced ability to conceive or show interest in or judge between new ideas.

The Greeks are obviously The Exceptional People. Their achievement hardly needs describing. The Egyptians, though ingenious, were rigidly conservative and unenquiring. The Jews and Syrians, with their imperfect alphabets, were – until they fell strongly under Greek influence – somewhere between. The Egyptians became a properly intellectual people when, with their adoption of Christianity, they gave themselves an alphabet based on the Greek.

Coming into the modern world, alphabetical peoples have been the most successful. Indeed, the real intellectual improvement of the Oriental peoples may owe something to word processing software, which requires its users to enter idiographs as combinations of Roman letters, thereby importing a kind of atomism into their thought processes.

It may be, as Robert implies in his essay, that the initial choice between alphabetical and idiographic styles is – regardless of the superficial accidents of adoption – an expression of innate predispositions. But, once the choice has been made, it will surely have immense further effects. The example of the modern Japanese, and of the Egyptians before and after they adopted their alphabet, shows the great influence of writing style on thinking. SIG Continue reading

Ian B on the Functions of Government

Here in the Olde World, we didn’t create governments to do anything. In the case of Britain, the government is Mrs Queen, and she owns the country, which is why we are classed as subjects. Basically we’re all tenants, here by tradition on her land. We’re allowed to vote a bit for her council of advisers, who live in a palace in West minister, and we’re so grateful for that we also agree to buy them second and third homes, and pay for their duck houses and other necessary fripperies. Continue reading

Taylorism, Progressivism, and Rule by Experts

by Kevin Carson
Taylorism, Progressivism, and Rule by Experts

The Progressive movement at the turn of the twentieth century—the doctrine from which the main current of modern liberalism developed—is sometimes erroneously viewed as an “anti-business” philosophy. It was anti-market to be sure, but by no means necessarily anti-business. Progressivism was, more than anything, managerialist.

The American economy after the Civil War became increasingly dominated by large organizations. I’ve written in The Freeman before about the role of the government in the growth of the centralized corporate economy: the railroad land grants and subsidies, which tipped the balance toward large manufacturing firms serving a national market (“The Distorting Effects of Transportation Subsidies,” November 2010), and the patent system, which was a primary tool of consolidation and cartelization in a number of industries (“How ‘Intellectual Property’ Impedes Competition,” October 2009, Continue reading

Capitalism vs. The Market – A Braudelian Definition

by Sebastian AB

Capitalism vs. The Market – A Braudelian Definition

Fernand Braudel

“Need I comment that these capitalists, both in Islam and in Christendom, were friends of the prince and helpers or exploiters of the state? […]”

“Thus, the modern state, which did not create capitalism but only inherited it, sometimes acts in its favor and at other times acts against it; it sometimes allows capitalism to expand and at other times destroys its mainspring. Capitalism only triumphs when it becomes identified with the state, when it is the state.

In the first great phase, that of the Italian city-states of Venice, Genoa, and Florence, power lay in the hands of the moneyed elite. In seventeenth century Holland the aristocracy of the Regents governed for the benefit and even according to the directives of the businessmen, merchants, and moneylenders […].”

- Fernand Braudel, (1977) Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism, (pp. 92-3). Continue reading

The Internet as Result of a Negative Feedback Loop Against Centralisation

By Mustela nivalis

In a comment under my post about how it was ‘the internet wot won it’, meaning that it stopped some insane thugs from insanely intervening violently in that nest of vipers which is called Syria, Sean Gabb wrote:
I keep asking myself what would have happened in July 1914 if we’d had the Internet. One thing for sure is that the idiots in charge wouldn’t have had such an easy ride to Armageddon.
The interesting point I think is this: Without WWI and everything that followed there would not have been an internet. There needed to be a longish historical phase of intense worldwide centralization before a decentralizing force appeared.

In 2010, we thought we’d bought a little time

David Davis

The disgusting Maria Miller is proposing state regulation of media, and, to cap it all, here in Britain. I have to admit that the only-narrow defeat of David Cameron in 2010 by the triumphant Gordon Brown – the real winner of that election – was seen by many of us as buying a little time, so that we’d not slide down quite so rapidly into the cesspool of socialism.

But it didn’t work out like that. I’d actually doubt whether even the foul Tony Blair would have put through such a measure. These sorts of things happen in Cuba and North Korea, not here.

I’ve not yet on this blog proposed my solution for people such as this. It is “voluntransportation”. It is for people that don’t like certain things the properties of free(ish) markets and free(ish) nations, and want to deprive others in those nations of the same things that they themselves disapprove of.

They are to be voluntransported to a place or places where there is nothing of what they don’t like and want to ban, regulate, ration or destroy. They can then be happy with each other. The first place suggested was the South Sandwich islands, where there is not much of anyting at all. So it would be very good and they’d have nothing to grumble about.

For mere regulators of the press, the penal-boats would set the voluntransportees adrift, about 100 yards off the “shoreline” (look at these) in boats made of newspaper. Preferably old unpulped copies of the News Of The World.

For GreeNazis, they’d be botted at gunpoint, off the gunwales of said boats, about 880 yards off (the boats will be very full and therefore large, and can’t “land” people in the full sense of the word there.) Some will make it, clinging to the frost-frozen corpses of those that didn’t.

The Levellers as Left Libertarians

by Julio Rodman
The Levellers as Left Libertarians

The seemingly unbridgeable ideological gap in America between economic libertarians, on the one hand, and on the other, those who advocate various manners and degrees of redistribution of wealth can be rationally resolved through an understanding of the significance of the concepts of property rights and redistributive justice to those who advocated them in 1640′s England, in the course of their struggle against a dominant and economically parasitic aristocracy. Sometimes, in order to resolve a certain public moral disagreement in a way which satisfies the concerns of all contending parties it is necessary to recall the common history and historical struggles of the parties in disagreement; so that common and often inexplicit moral concerns can be identified on the basis of which common conclusions about political and economic policy can be deduced. Sometimes, in other words, people in dispute on moral and political matters may actually be fighting for the same thing without realizing it.

The left libertarian ideal of a voluntaristic society composed of small property holders is of common historical significance to, and captures and harmonizes the concerns of, contending parties in this particular modern moral debate. And such harmonization is in fact central to the purpose and spirit of left libertarianism, which seeks to establish that the value of economic liberty, which is conventionally considered a “conservative” or “right-wing” ideal, is not just reconcilable with but actually inseparable from egalitarian economic ideals typically associated with “leftism”.

Identifying the origins of ideas is never a precise task, but an origin for the moral concepts and values at play in the modern public disagreement between libertarians and statist redistributionists can plausibly be located in the English Civil War, in the dispute between the Levellers and the Diggers over the proper revolutionary response to domination by the feudal-monarchial ruling class. Mid-17th century England was a time in which many of the controversies that animate modern politics, and particularly those surrounding property rights and redistributive justice, first materialized and were first explored. Later western political philosophy concerning the question of property, such as Locke and Marx, can, despite the generally unrefined and imprecise nature of the writings of these English revolutionary public philosophers, be fairly characterized as an attempt to resolve the questions broached by the English Revolutionaries of the 1640’s. Continue reading

I just thought all you people would like to see how the EU is allowing Nazis to say things about Britain and Gibraltar. Nothing about the fact that these are “minors” at schools then.

David Davis

There’s no point in trying to keep on buggering on and on, and on and on and on and on and on, about “Ceuta and Melilla” as the SpanNazi Government will simply unlisten as soon as its GCHQ get the syllable “ceu”. Apart from giving nuclear weapons to Morocco, there is nothing to be done about this one.


But this relates back to what I said in a comment on an earlier post: this was about whether, and how, or even if, we allow the expression of GramcoFabiaNazism after a victory.

My thesis is that we really, really, truly, madly, deeply, do NOT want to have to go through all this stuff all over again.


Queen Elizabeth-the-Useless failed in the execution of her Coronation Oath. But I expect we will all cry sincerely when she passes on.

David Davis

I am not always precisely in tune with my colleague Sean Gabb, regarding the failings of Elizabeth-the-Useless. Although he is quite correct in stating that she _could have_ blocked Rome, the SEA, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon at any time when these were issues. On any one of these – and the earlier the more chance of success – The Queen could have refused to assign her signature to any of this pretentious socialist rubbish, could have forced a General Election, and prevented the Franco-Collectivisto-Gramscian re-Nazification of Europe, saving her own subjects hundreds of billions of Sterling, not to say even trillions, in the process. We might even have got our managed-fisheries back before they were destroyed utterly (ask my father, who worked in the 70s for the MAFF, and who is now dead.). And at least up to Nice, she might also have got away with it. It would have been wise to resist early on.

But she continues to continue to soldier on, probably because she reminds the masses of their favourite great-aunt (I also have one, my aunty Betty who is actually a real aunt for I am rather old now and who even looks and sounds like the Queen a lot, and is only slightly older) or Grandmother.

As the Queen is old, and as she is a woman, and as it is not suitable to impeach or charge women for high treason – at least not “directly” – I would like to cleave to the position that “The Queen has been very, very badly advised, continually, for 61 years, in the matter of her constitutional dealings with the Continue reading

The end of Left-Wing-Conservatism: was it an “infantile disorder”, or just Alzheimer’s?

David Davis

Top Point:- Libertarians working in a statist “democratic civilisation” – which is to say: an imperfect democracy corroded by the presence, vestigial or worse, of socialistNazi components of allowed public discourse – regard political parties as advertising agencies whose job is to service, effectively, the “Liberty Account”. If they would not do the job adequately, then we would fire them and hire another one.

The Chimpanzee Type-writers have not been as active as they used to be. Perhaps, as a fellow I knew once in London said “it’s the heat” that affected their keyboard speeds. But we need to get things going again for the coming Arctic Winter, since warble-gloaming has ceased for the last 17 years, so we are now told by those who know the truth.

However, the Ukip conference is on, or was. I don’t really know if it’s more than a day. What does it matter how long Party Conferences really are? “Do all animals really fly?” is a more important question. They wree only charging £35 for a day ticket, compared with £520 from the Tories. I guess the Tory charge was that steep so as to deliberately keep out anybody who wasn’t a “lobbyist”.

You need to have money these days, to “access ministers”, I guess. I feel a “Piers Gaveston moment” coming on: ministers better beware I think.

Here’s what I wrote to the dully Tory-graph about the problem of Ukip for the British Conservative Party. I use the discriminator “we”, not because I am a member of Ukip (I am not – at least not yet) but because I think it is now speaking for the British working masses of people that live in that class that today’s MetropolitaNazi politicians find difficult to “relate to”. These are people that may not have “senior public sector, public-administrative and media jobs”.

They may drive 53-reg Ford Mondeos.  Or even older. I drive Y67LNE – that dates me…They may work in some smallish private business, a few or many miles from home, and thus have large fuel costs, mostly excise taxation. They may not have had “a pay rise” for years.

So here it is:-
It’s actually too late to do anything aout Ukip. We may win the odd Parliamentary seat, or we may not. I’d guess one, or at a push, two. We’ll clean up anyway in the EuroNazi “elections”, and Ukip will e the largest UK party in StrasNazi-bourg or wherever the thing is “sitting” now, and it will be dedicated to getting arguably the most important caged-EuroNation our of the EUSSR.

You see, Tories, you have betrayed the People of Britain. You’ve tried to be a leftyparty, thinking it’d get you elected. And even that nearly didn’t work in 2010, and you’re saddled with LeftoNazi limpDemNazis who actually hate and despise you – the despising is actually worse than the hating – _Even More that the LabourNazis do_ if that were conceivable.

We in Ukip really, absolutely, don’t give a fuck if we Continue reading

UKIP and the Tories…what will the Toryawayday say tomorrow?

David Davis
It’s actually too late to do anything aout Ukip. We may win the odd Parliamentary seat, or we may not. I’d guess one, or at a push, two. We’ll clean up anyway in the EuroNazi “elections”, and Ukip will e the largest UK party in StrasNazi-bourg or wherever the thing is “sitting” now, and it will be dedicated to getting arguably the most important caged-EuroNation our of the EUSSR.

You see, Tories, you have betrayed the People of Britain. You’ve tried to be a leftyparty, thinking it’d get you elected. And even that nearly didn’t work in 2010, and you’re saddled with LeftoNazi limpDemNazis who actually hate and despise you – the despising is actually worse than the hating – _Even More that the LabourNazis do_ if that were conceivable.

We in Ukip really don’t give a f**k if we tip Ed Miliband into power. We know how bad he will be, and all the trolls and orcs he’ll let back into the farm to continue trashing stuff. You are no better so far.

We also don’t give a f**k if your party becomes toast permanently after a 2015 defeat. You had the chance in 2010 to give the Queen an ultimatum, and say that you were NOT prepared to go into government with either of the other groups of thuggish Nazi gangsters, and that you would _refuse_ to allow Parliament to be restarted until she called another election, which you would then have won. Of course, you still sere not going to give us our promised referendum on Lisbon and the EUSSR so it wouldn’t have made any difference, but at least you’d still have people’s respect to a tiny extent.

Face facts: you’re going to lose seats to Ukip, and probably to the LibDemNazis and Labour Nazis, because Ukip will make a point of targetting your marginals. If we get in, it’s a bonus. If you’re out, at least you’re punished. we’ll all be in the shit whichever Nazi party gets back in.

If you manage somehow to do, we’ll be only marching to the deathcamps slightly less fast than if one of the others was at the wheel.

A mid-August Tale of Two Walls: 1961 and 1971

by Mustela nivalis

On a Sunday in mid-August 1961 (it was the 13th) the people of Berlin woke up to the news that their city had been split in two. The iron curtain had become concrete (pun intended [sorry]). The last escape hatch from the East had been brutally closed. People running away had become an embarrassment for the believers in socialism. It was a wall born of hyper-rationality (everything can be planned down to the last nut and bolt and shoe and string). Streets and squares were cut in half, as were families. People in East Germany continued to escape to the relative freedom of the West, but the risks were immeasurably greater. It took 28 years of relatively peaceful standoff, a costly arms race and an overextension of the Eastern Empire (into Afghanistan) for the wheels to begin to come off the soviet-socialist experiment. And two more years for them to come off completely. Continue reading

While looking for shooting stars tonight

I’ve just come back in from looking for shooting stars. My 10 year old daughter was with me, and together we saw 6 in half an hour. We also saw at least as many satellites. All on polar orbits. I’ve been stargazing on and off all my life. I remember noticing a drop in the number of observed satellites after the end of the Cold War. Now there are more than before, it seems to me. While we were outside, my daughter mentioned that her (state) primary school teacher (who trained as a secondary school maths teacher) had told her class that our sun is the largest star. My daughter had raised her hand and said that’s not right, there are loads of stars that are much much bigger (she’s seen comparisons on YouTube). The teacher replied, apparently: Not in our galaxy. Oh dear. I pointed vertically upwards to Vega and told her that star is one of our next door neighbours, you can see the Milky Way behind it. It’s about twice the size of our sun. Just saying.

I suppose it’s alright to mention that her teacher is female. She was, after all, challenged by another female.

The first rise and fall of the Left

Reblogged from Jim, who offers this trenchant analysis of the Commonwealth and its aftermath.

Before the English Civil war, the state was Throne and Altar, what we would now call the right.  The state maintained slavery, enforced official religion, and everyone was required to pretend to believe in the divine right of Kings, much as today everyone is with equal plausibility required to pretend to believe that women are equal to men.

The English Civil war was intended to secure the rights of Englishmen, but to Englishmen’s dismay, what we would now call right dictatorship was replaced by a dictatorship of the predecessors of today’s left.

Holy leftists were continually outflanked by people even Continue reading

Tom Paine returns

David Davis (reblogged from The Last Ditch)

It’s interesting to see Tom’s personal discussion with himself, about the effectiveness (or otherwise) of what libertarian bloggers do.

The future

Quite a few readers have kindly told me how much they missed my trip updates since I returned from the USA. Some of them however only started to read this blog to follow my American journey and would be surprised and perhaps even shocked if I returned to my old subjects.

I rather embarrassed myself at dinner at a friend’s house last week. Another guest was a retired senior civil servant and now a substantial London rentier on his savings from the money extorted for him over decades from taxpayers. Predictably, I laid into him about how out-of-control the British State has become.There was some Continue reading

Should We Celebrate the American Revolution?

by Anthony Gregory
Should We Celebrate the American Revolution?

Note: “Libertarians must unflinchingly oppose Britain’s eighteenth-century imperialism.” Stuff and nonsense! I’m a libertarian, and I feel an uncomplicated pride in the history of England. All governments may be bad, but some are worse than others; and the British Empire was the one bright patch on world history outside Europe. Mr Gregory does much to expose the myth of the American struggle for liberty. He doesn’t go far enough, however. By 1776, slavery was illegal in England. A slave had only to set foot on English soil, and he became a free man. The American Constitution entrenches both slavery and the slave trade. As Samuel Johnson asked of the Declaration of Independence, “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?” Indeed, I suspect that, had slavery not been abolished in England, the colonists would not have started their rebellion. A commissioner sent over from London, with a warrant to dish out a couple of peerages and a few dozen baronetcies, would soon have had their leaders panting and thumping their tails on the ground.

There were some ghastly Americans outside my railway station yesterday, openly celebrating their Treason Day. One of them tried to give me a copy of the rebel flag. I pushed the thing away and gave her a five minute ticking off. The modern situation of America is not a betrayal of 1776, I explained, but a richly-deserved punishment for it. Bah! SIG Continue reading

The Myth of 19th-Century Laissez-Faire: Who Benefits Today?

by Roderick Long
The Myth of 19th-Century Laissez-Faire: Who Benefits Today?

Last week Michael Lind asked a silly question (“The question libertarians just can’t answer”): if libertarianism is so great, why hasn’t any country tried it?

The question is silly because the libertarian answer is obvious: Libertarianism is great for ordinary people, but not for the power elites that control countries and determine what policies they implement, and who don’t welcome seeing their privileged status subjected to free-market competition. And ordinary people don’t agitate for libertarian policies because most of them are not familiar with the full case for libertarianism’s benefits, in large part because the education system is controlled by the aforementioned elites.

Lind’s question is analogous to ones that might have been asked a few centuries ago: If religious toleration, or equality for women, or the abolition of slavery are so great, why haven’t any countries tried them? All such questions amount to asking: If liberation from oppression is so great for the oppressed, why haven’t their oppressors embraced it? Continue reading

Making Sense of English Law Enforcement in the 18th Century

( original by David Friedman)

Note: I’ve always greatly admired this essay. Indeed, now that he’s read it, my friend Richard Blake is writing a novel set in the London of 1696 that involves a criminal trial. SIG

[This is based on the version of the article on my hard disk, and so may differ in detail from the published version. It is published here with the permission of the University of Chicago Roundtable, where it originally appeared.]

Making Sense of English Law Enforcement in the 18th Century

David Friedman

The criminal justice system of England in the 18th century presents a curious spectacle to an observer more familiar with modern institutions. The two most striking anomalies are the institutions for prosecuting offenders and the range of punishments. Prosecution of almost all criminal offenses was private, usually by the victim. Intermediate punishments for serious offenses were strikingly absent. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that, in the early years of the century, English courts imposed only two sentences on convicted felons. Either they turned them loose or they hanged them.[1] Continue reading

Biography of Marcus Junius Brutus

Marcus Brutus (85 BC – 42 BC): Purger of Tyranny
Peter Richards

Libertarian Heritage No. 30

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

ISBN: 9781856376600
ISSN: 0959-566X (print)
ISSN: 2042-2733 (online)

© 2013: Libertarian Alliance, Peter Richards

Peter Richards is a Hampshire businessman and writer. Besides being a supporter of the LA, he is a member of the Rationalist Association, the Society for Individual Freedom and the Freedom Association. He has also contributed to The Freethinker, Right Now! and The Individual. In 2011, the Book Guild published Free-born John Lilburne: English Libertarian: And Other Essays on Liberty, many of the chapters of which were first published by the LA or SIF.

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.



Excellent Brutus!Of all human race
The best!

These words were written by the 17thcentury poet Abraham Cowley.1He is referring to Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, better known to us as Brutus, one of the leading conspirators responsible for the assassination of Julius Caesar on 15th March 44 BC.Brutus was a prominent politician during the latter years of the Roman Republic but he is best remembered for the what happened on the Ides of March at the Theatre of Pompey.Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar has ensured that his story has continued to be told through the ages. Continue reading

Everyone said “You can’t unseat the Political EnemyClass by voting them out. Well, I say: “it has never been tried before, and we shall have to see.”

David Davis

Clown or fruitcake?

(from Matt at the DT)

Today, for the first time a rather historically large number of British voters get to be able to elect, if they like, candidates for “Council Seats” (this to say in honest countries – “socialist Soviets”) from the United Kingdom Independence Party. Now, the Libertarian Alliance goes out of its way to be perennially nasty to all the parties extant in the UK, from time to time, and sometimes all at once. But it’s natural that a little more of our ire and frustration is reserved for those which are more truly socialist than others: for I at least can’t figure out how it might be possible to be what some people call themselves, which is “libertarian socialists” (yes I have heard that one) or even “left libertarians”, although that might just be possible.

This round of elections for regional soviets councils is notable for the frantic and public attempts by other parties, particularly the Tories, to make direct and sometimes ad-hominem attacks on the reputations and backgrounds of rather a lot of UKIP candidates. I’ve been watching British elections since 1959, more or less, and haven’t noticed any such thing on this scale ever before. If they occurred, such assaults tended to come from the socialist left.

The entire British political-class, ably egged on by the BBC, appears to have taken fright at the idea that, for once, letting people vote for who they’d like might actually change things, and not to that class’s liking. As I type, there are no results yet from vote-counting, but the morning may be interesting.

I want to continue by offering a libertarian-based policy position document for a party such as UKIP, were it to, let us say, win a majority in a regional soviet, or even a general election. But as rheumatoid arthritis is making my elbows increasingly non-functional tonight, typing is a little strenuous and exciting. So I’ll save that for a post in the next couple of days or so when the painkillers have kicked in.  Meanwhile, commenters might like to add their own suggestions.


(Incidentally, the headline owes a little credit to Air Marshall Arthur “Bomber” Harris”, who used a similar expression when someone suggested that “you can’t win a war by bombing the enemy alone”.)

May Day “Un-American?” It’s as American as Apple Pie!

by Kevin Carson

May Day “Un-American?” It’s as American as Apple Pie!

Most Americans think of May Day, if they think of it at all, as some sort of communist holiday. Their awareness of it is based mainly on a vague memory of parades of military hardware on Red Square and Soviet leaders’ “fraternal greetings” to leaders of the state communist regimes of their Warsaw Pact satellites. If you’re unfamiliar with the history of May Day, you might be surprised to learn not only that it originated in the United States, but that it was strongly supported by American free market anarchists. May Day — the international holiday of the workers’ and socialist movements — was created by American workers, right here in the good old U.S. of A. Continue reading

Margaret Thatcher and the cult of personality

by Robert Henderson

Two Cults

Margaret Thatcher was the subject of a cult of personality. This was not the result of calculated propaganda, but simply the creation of her extraordinary personality. Because the cult of personality developed not in a totalitarian state but a country where public opposition was possible, there were two cults of personality attached to her in a relationship which mimicked the matter/antimatter duality. These were the Thatcherite religious believers fulfilling the role of matter and the Thatcher-hating Left acting as the antimatter.

Both the matter and the antimatter Thatcher cults were potent. The religious believers bowed down before the great god MARKET (and Thatcher was his prophet) and, when things went wrong, did what all religious believers do until they lose their faith, denied reality by simply pretending something had not happened or by giving a calamity some absurd spin to ”prove” the god had not failed. Continue reading

Popping Pills With The Romans 

I was recently reading a book (the historical fiction, Conspiracies of Rome by Richard Blake if you were to wonder) and early on in the book there were a few references to pills. Of the medicinal kind. ‘Buying pills from the Apothecary’. ‘ Pills rattling in a metal pill box’.
This got me to thinking about pills in Ancient Rome. I had not come across any reference to them in an early Roman setting before, not in non fiction and not in fiction.  That is not to say that there are none, just none that I have come across or remember. And, as is the way with me when I sense there is something new for me to learn about periods of history that interest me, my mind was awash with questions. Continue reading

Further Thoughts on the Legacy of Margaret Thatcher

By Sean Gabb

Because I’m busy on something else, this will be an abbreviated argument, and will be short on facts. But I feel obliged to give some explanation for my claim, made elsewhere, that Mrs Thatcher did great harm to British industry and to the industrial working classes.

The lefties claim she pulled the plug out of the British economy in the early 1980s, and deliberately put millions of workers on the scrapheap. The Thatcherites claim that all she did was to allow the liquidation of previous malinvestments, and that the industrial concerns that failed were unviable. Both are wrong, but I suspect the lefties – if for other reasons than they normally give – may be less wrong than the Thatcherites. Continue reading

The good is oft-interr-ed with their bones

David Davis

Since Margaret Thatcher is to be in-terr-ed tomorrow, I just thought we’d throw one last punch at her enemies and ours. I found this wonderful piece on The Last Ditch the other day, and one para deserves to be highlighted in our usual way:-

“If you want to know who freedom’s enemies are, mention her with approval. Mad eyes will light up all around you and foul sentiments will fill the air. Note their names and never leave them alone with anything you value; material, spiritual or ethical.”

Yes of course, I _know_ that we object to her having

(a) made the British State more efficient – as a recipe for disaster one would recommend this since the British-Political-Enemyclass is efficient already at making a powerful tyrannical state, and

(b) because she failed to absolutely destroy socialism at home and in the world, before members of that same EnemyClass destroyed her.

But I think that Tom Paine’s paragraph sums up who we are up against, whatever we as classical liberals think of Thatcher herself. I think we can lay her to rest now. May The Iron Lady Rust In Peace.

El legado de Margaret Thatcher

Note: A most fluent and generally exact translation. I’m also impressed by the very helpful editorial note on the meaning of Enemy Class. SIG
15 Abril, 2013

Mucho será dicho durante las próximas semanas acerca de los “logros” de Margaret Thatcher. Lo dicho se dividirá entre los elogios del ‘Daily Mail’ y las quejas del ‘Guardian’. Mi visión personal es que ella fue algo malo para Inglaterra.

Ella comenzó la transformación de este país en un estado policíaco “políticamente correcto”. Su gobierno se comportó con desprecio por las normas constitucionales casi hasta el punto de regodearse por ello. Incorporó leyes de lavado de dinero que ahora se han extendido hacia una supervisión general sobre nuestras cuestiones financieras. Ella facilitó las condiciones para las pesquisas y confiscaciones policíacas  Incrementó el número y poder de la policía. Debilitó al juicio por jurado. Debilitó las protecciones del debido proceso de los acusados. Le otorgó a las agencias ejecutivas el poder de multar y sancionar sin que medie el debido proceso. Comenzó los primeros pasos hacia la criminalización total de la posesión de armas. Continue reading

How Much “Civilization” Does Your Tax Money Buy?

by Kevin Carson
How Much “Civilization” Does Your Tax Money Buy?

Tax Day, April 15, is traditionally the time of year when liberals trot out that old Oliver Wendell Holmes chestnut: “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”

But what kind of “civilization” are we paying for? At the federal level, if you include not only the nominal “Defense” [sic] budget, but Veterans’ Affairs, the military aspects of NASA and the Department of Energy, interest on the national debt from past wars, etc., military spending is nearly half the total budget. Continue reading

Margaret Thatcher: Wrong on many things, but right on the one thing that mattered – or so argues Christie Davies

by Christie Davies

Note: “Mrs Thatcher had destroyed the entire working class movement.”

I cannot regard this as in any sense a positive achievement. Certainly, many trade unions were at least obstructive. But they were mostly obstructive where management was already crap or underwritten by the taxpayers. What she did was to create an environment where the unions could be captured by Enemy Class scum, and where the members could be degraded to the status of “human resources.”

I also suspect that much manufacturing was destroyed not in the negative sense of letting failed businesses go under, but in the more positive sense of manipulating the currency so that otherwise viable businesses failed. I do not believe the Thatcherite vision for this country had room for large scale manufacturing in native hands, in which millions of skilled and semi-skilled workers could balance personal autonomy and collective security. Her economic legacy is a country dominated by the least entrepreneurial middle classes. The underclass is a product partly of indiscriminate welfare for those who will not work, but also of severely constrained opportunities for those at the bottom.

I repeat that Mrs Thatcher must be judged not by the hopes and wishes of those who supported her, but by the present state of affairs that she did most to enable. SIG

Margaret Thatcher: Wrong on many things, but right on the one thing that mattered – or so argues Christie Davies

Margaret Thatcher was a great Prime Minister because she was right on the one issue that mattered in her time – the need for socialism to be defeated both in Britain and in the World. The views expressed here are those of Christie Davies, not those of the Social Affairs Unit, its Trustees, Advisors or Director. Continue reading