Category Archives: Liberty

Jobs For The Boys


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/DXX0n7EMQuo/jobs-for-boys.html

Jobs For The Boys Much like we’ve seen with the plain packaging campaign in the past couple of years, it would appear that wherever we see corruption, the Department of Health is often close at hand.

I’ve been reading with astonishment the obfuscation, dubious process and utter disregard for truth which has accompanied Forest’s complaint to the ASA about the government’s mendacious “mutations” anti-smoking adverts. The full story is at Simon Clark’s blog (here and here) and Liberal Vision so do go have a read of the background. Be prepared to pick your jaw up off the floor, mind. Continue reading

Markets Not Capitalism: A Review


by Cory Massimino
http://c4ss.org/content/29932

Markets Not Capitalism: A Review

Markets not Capitalism is a wonderfully compiled set of readings spanning 150 years of the market anarchist tradition. We must first commend Gary Chartier and Charles Johnson on their work in bringing all this great literature together and bundling it in a fantastic book for those interested in what market anarchism truly has to offer, as stated by its most ardent supporters of both past and present.

It’s hard to believe the number of genius thinkers who have writings in Markets not Capitalism: Benjamin Tucker, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Voltarine de Cleyre, Karl Hess, Roy Childs, William Gillis, Kevin Carson, Roderick Long, and Sheldon Richman to name a few. The compilation truly blends together the 19th century individualist anarchist tradition with the modern left libertarian thinkers who are following in the former’s footsteps. Continue reading

A Word on Teachers


The below is from the comments section of this post by Swithun Dobson. Aside from the layout making it a challenge to read, I found it highly enjoyable. It’s an important article. It’s an important issue. And if articles like this are not written or read or shared then things like this will happen without our even noticing them. I then thought about my own schooling. Not private, but state schooling. I don’t know all that many people who went to private schools, but the general feeling I get from those who have experienced both is that a) private schooling is immeasurably better, but b) that it can succeed in being rather more subtle in its indoctrination or dumbing down than state schooling. The replacement of that subtlety itself may indeed be imminent. Anyhow, what I’ve just said may be rubbish and what I write below actually has very little to do with the article in question. However, Sean thought it warranted a separate blog post and so this is it. I have omitted some of it and expanded in parts. 

Those of a certain age who perhaps attended a grammar school and have done moderately well ought to be forgiven for believing that, while the state system is now grossly inefficient and obviously dumbed-down, the students have never had it so good. They, after all, didn’t get the leisure that children have today. And the computerisation of at least one lesson per week cuts down on the amount of writing they are obliged to do. Not only this, but those on the outside of a state school are under the frequently given impression that the lessons are “fun”, the teachers are “caring”, and that the continual research into the special and varying needs of some students has made all “equal in opportunity”.

Continue reading

Education: Another Step to the Total State


by Swithun Dobson

Independent Schools: Arms of the State

The Proposed New Independent Standards for Schools (PNISS) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/322296/Consultation_Document_23_6_-_independent_school_standards.pdf are a bigger threat to educational liberty than the National Curriculum and will effectively mean all independent schools will become arms of the state.

Here are the most egregious passages with some brief comments. Continue reading

Tolerance vs. Relativism


by David D’Amato
http://c4ss.org/content/29644

Tolerance vs. Relativism

This week is remarkable in at least one rather important sense; it marks one of the most hideous and deeply frightening statements I’ve heard in all of my twenty-nine years, a viscerally unnerving remark made so casually and offhandedly that I nearly became ill on the spot. In the course of an otherwise pleasant conversation on the countless differences between cultures and the importance of patience and tolerance, I was told that female genital mutilation (from here on “FGM”) was not necessarily barbaric in and of itself — that its barbarism or lack thereof depended critically upon the cultural context within which it takes place. No act, I was told, is per se barbaric, but rather all cultures must be regarded as equal, and thus nothing is to be deprecated in itself. Here I offer, for the edification of the reader, a primer on the subject, which comes to us courtesy of a BBC article entitled “Anatomy of female genital mutilation” (the description that follows is explicit and extremely disturbing): Continue reading

Daniel Harding Reviews The Break


http://bluelibertyblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/review-the-break-by-sean-gabb/

‘The Break’ is the latest book by Sean Gabb, and another that explores another alternate timeline of the UK, as well as the amusing political outcomes of said universe. ‘The Break’ is set in the UK in 2018, in the aftermath of a disastrous event (the break) that has taken modern Britain and thrown her back near enough 1,000 years in time, or put her in an alternate universe in the more accurate sense. Most of the story is based around the quest of a young girl who needs to find her parents who have gone missing during her time abroad in Normandy. The other main character is the nephew of a Byzantine diplomat who have come to England to meet her rulers. Continue reading

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Graphic of the Day


Jane Cobden: Carrying on Her Father’s Work


by Sheldon Richman
http://c4ss.org/content/29751

Jane Cobden: Carrying on Her Father’s Work

Among libertarians and classical liberals, the name Richard Cobden (1804–1865) evokes admiration and applause. His activities — and successes — on behalf of freedom, free markets, and government retrenchment are legendary. Most famously, he cofounded — with John Bright — the Anti–Corn Law League, which successfully campaigned for repeal of the import tariffs on grain. Those trade restrictions had made food expensive for England’s working class while enriching the landed aristocracy. Continue reading

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!


by the Rev. Dr Alan Clifford

Note: When Dr Clifford turned up last year with some of his congregation, to hand out leaflets at the Gay Pride March in Norwich, he nearly got prosecuted for Hate Crime. If he gets done this year for handing out the leaflet reproduced below, we shall know that the country really has become a lunatic police state. SIG Continue reading

Know A Decent Pub Garden? Shhh, Don’t Tell


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/PtdutLRJ3jE/know-decent-pub-garden-shhh-don-tell.html

Know A Decent Pub Garden? Shhh, Don’t Tell Via ASH Scotland, this written question exchange between a Green MSP and Scotland’s anti-smoker in chief is highly amusing (I think even he was probably struggling not to laugh when he read it). Continue reading

Review of Richard Blake’s “Curse of Babylon”


The Curse of Babylon

by Richard Blake

Amid the plotting, revolts and wild hedonism of the remains of the Roman empire at the beginning of the seventh century, English adventurer Aelric faces his hardest challenge as he tries to stop a Persian invasion – and deal with a determined and dangerous woman. Continue reading

Comment on Jihad Watch


by Ahmet the Turk

Original Post: Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, July 25, 2014

Response:

I wasn’t aware that Geller had written an equally length refutal. Sometimes there is a section header titled message history, which hides the message instead of the history. I didn’t click to expand it, that’s why I didn’t see what Geller wrote, which is also lengthy. If you want me to discuss any part of it in detail please point it out, otherwise I am responding to the general drift of these accusations.

Turkish uses plenty of Arabic and Farsi vocabulary in exactly the same way English uses Latin and Greek words. I looked it up in the 1890 edition of the Redhouse dictionary. This dictionary was published when Turkey’s emperor officially had zimmi subjects and it was published by an American lexicographer, Sir James Redhouse, who was working for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. A zimmi (feminine zimmiye) is simply defined as “A non-Muslim subject of the Ottoman Empire or of a Muslim state.” Full stop. Continue reading

“Economic Patriotism”: The Last Refuge of a Tax Scoundrel


by Joel Schlossberg
http://c4ss.org/content/29571

“Economic Patriotism”: The Last Refuge of a Tax Scoundrel

In mid-July, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew proposed that Congress prohibit US-based companies from moving offshore in search of more favorable tax climates, citing an ostensible need for a “new sense of economic patriotism.”

The resort to “patriotism” theater stands out as the most egregious aspect of legislation whose retroactive status would blatantly violate the Constitution’s prohibition on ex post facto laws. Continue reading

I Robot by Robert Anton Wilson


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

I, ROBOT by Robert Anton Wilson

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

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

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

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

Anarchism and Crime


‘Anarchism and Crime’ by Wilson and Shea

(This article ran in Green Egg. I could not find a date, so all I can say is it was in the 1970s. It reads like one of the missing appendices for Illuminatus!, but I can’t think of anyone I could ask to test my theory. My thanks to Mike Gathers for making it available to everyone. — Tom.)

Anarchism and Crime
By Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea

Because anarchists aim at the abolition of government, the first question they are usually asked is, “What about murderers, thieves, rapists? The government protects us from them. Would you just let them run wild?” Continue reading

ISIS: Yes, Mr. Blair, You Did Build This


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/content/29482

ISIS: Yes, Mr. Blair, You Did Build This

Last month, in a tone which might best be called unlikely insistence, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair reassured the public that “we” — the UK and United States — “have to liberate ourselves from the notion that we caused” the destabilization of Iraq by the ISIS insurgency. Well, actually you did.

Let’s go back to the Versailles peace conference at the end of WWI, when Britain — with the agreement of the other Western powers — carved the mandate of Iraq out of three former Ottoman provinces. These provinces — Sunni Kurdish, Sunni Arab and Shia marsh Arab — were about as unwieldy as any other artificial country the imperial powers of Europe cobbled together around the world and displayed high potential for instability from the beginning. Continue reading

What the Media Won’t Report About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17


The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity

What the Media Won’t Report About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17

Rep. Ron Paul, July 21, 2014

Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said. President Obama held a press conference to claim – even before an investigation – that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, did the same at the UN Security Council – just one day after the crash! Continue reading

Groomed by Labour – Screwed by Tories?


by Anna Raccoon
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/AnnaRaccoon/~3/jup-DvW8oCg/

Groomed by Labour – Screwed by Tories?

NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.

Lord Denning described the Magna Carta as ‘the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot’. Continue reading

Green Moral Exhibitionism


green 1

Political arguments should primarily be based on reason, logic and empirical justification, with ethics taking only a secondary consideration. The reason being: if a policy passes the test with regard to reason, logic and empirical justification, it should pass the ethicality test too. But if ethics is the primary goal, then it can mislead, as reason, logic and empirical justification often take a back seat in the deliberations, which then increases the chances of a mistaken proposal. Continue reading

Richard Blake: “Why Byzantium?”


The Joys of Writing Byzantine Historical Fiction
Richard Blake
(
Published on ForWinterNights, July 2014)

As the author of six novels set in seventh century Byzantium, I’m often asked: Why choose that period? There’s always been strong interest within the historical fiction community in Classical Greece, and in Rome a century either side of the birth of Christ, and the western Dark Ages. With very few exceptions – Robert Graves’ Count Belisarius, for example, or Cecelia Holland’s Belt of Gold – Byzantium in any period of its long history is a neglected area. Why, then, did I choose it?

The short answer is that I wanted to be different. I won’t say that there are too many novels set in the other periods mentioned above. There is, even so, a very large number of them. If there is always a market for them, standing out from the crowd requires greater ability than I at first thought I had. And so I began Conspiracies of Rome (2008) I ran at once into difficulties I hadn’t considered, and that could have been shuffled past had I decided on a thriller about the plot to kill Julius Caesar. Solving these difficulties put me through a second education as a writer, and may even have shown that I do possess certain abilities. Before elaborating on this point, however, let me give a longer answer to my question: Why choose Byzantium? Continue reading

Henry George


by James Tuttle
http://c4ss.org/content/29415

Henry George

The following article was written by Kenneth Gregg and published at CLASSical Liberalism, September 4, 2005.

What is necessary for the use of land is not its private ownership, but the security of improvements. It is not necessary to say to a man, ‘this land is yours,’ in order to induce him to cultivate or improve it. It is only necessary to say to him, ‘whatever your labor, or capital produces on this land shall be yours.’ Give a man security that he may reap, and he will sow; assure him of the possession of the house he wants to build, and he will build it. These are the natural rewards of labor. It is for the sake of the reaping that men sow; it is for the sake of possessing houses that men build. The ownership of land has nothing to do with it. –Henry George Continue reading

Is Market Anarchism eclipsing Anarcho-Marxism?


http://attackthesystem.com/2014/07/18/is-market-anarchism-eclipsing-anarcho-marxism/

Is Market Anarchism eclipsing Anarcho-Marxism?

by Keith Preston

It seems to me that in the last couple of years “free market anarchism” in its various forms has grown to the point where it’s now starting to eclipse or even surpass the “anarcho-Marxists” in terms of size and influence. I base this observation on the number of public events sponsored by both, and the online presence of both. Am I right or wrong in this perception? Continue reading

DRIP and Tricks of the Political Trade


by Stewart Cowen
http://www.realstreet.co.uk/2014/07/drip-and-tricks-of-the-political-trade

DRIP and Tricks of the Political Trade

The real reason for the drastic Government reshuffle, according to many commentators, is to deflect our attention from the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill which has been rushed through the Commons after the European Court of Justice decided the current measures were ‘illegal’. But according to The Freedom Association: Continue reading

Attention Economy


by Nick Land
http://www.xenosystems.net/attention-economy/
Attention Economy

rkhs put up a link to this (on Twitter). I suspect it will irritate almost everyone reading this, but it’s worth pushing past that. Even the irritation has significance. The world it introduces, of Internet-era marketing culture, is of self-evident importance to anyone seeking to understand our times — and what they’re tilting into.

Attention Economics is a thing. Wikipedia is (of course) itself a remarkable node in the new economy of attention, packaging information in a way that adapts it to a continuous current of distraction. Its indispensable specialism is low-concentration research resources. Whatever its failings, it’s already all-but impossible to imagine the world working without it. Continue reading

Peace Through Superior Firepower


David Davis

Three and more decades ago, when the Libertarian Alliance kept “The Alternative Bookshop” in Covent Garden, we used to print badges that said useful things to people: rather as if we were Marxists-Turned-Upside-Down – in the words of one of my very perceptive and incisive University chums.


I call this badge to mind [I have kept in the Main Lower Library's Archive Of Objects an example of all the best ones we made] in view of the events of Thursday et-seq. If the Liberal Capitalist West was properly at “Defence-Stations” – and it is not – then it is quite inconceivable that the Russian dictatorship-Junta would even dare to contemplate thinking even privately of destabilizing Ukraine to chew off bits of it – let alone (worse) inveigling traitorous Marxist-sympathisers within Ukraine to do so as its catspaws.


Incidentally we also wouldn’t have more than a light regional but nugatory difficulty with “Islam”: which it is believed is a sort of mysogynistic pre-capitalist desert-survival-guide, but which most of its tacit adherents resignedly accept the Fatwa that it is a “Religion”. For the individual human costs of trying to “leave” it, as prescribed in its Book, don’t bear thinking about.

A major and exact historical parallel, in the same continent, is in front of our noses. In 1938 as you all know, this is when the Third Reich privately egged on the Sudeten-“Germans” under the fascistleftoid Nazi Conrad Henlein, in their efforts to dismember Czechosolvakia. In that instance a major reason was the intended confiscation of Europe’s third largest military organisation, plus the hijacking of Czech and Slovak heavy industry like the Skoda armaments-complex. The Czechoslovak Army alone fielded 43 divisions in that year, not counting its armour-capability.
Eastern Ukraine, as you all know, contains the major part of that country’s industrial and coal mining areas.

I leave you all to draw your own conclusions.

In the meantime, as War Secretary, I’ll ensure that all Anglosphere Nations that wish to “travel with us on the Rad Map For Peace”  – the proper one, not the US Democratic Party one – at the very least, are armed to the teeth, without any sort of restriction.
I’ll also be tearing up the Ottawa Treaty and denouncing it on behalf of the UK, for which I will have defence responsibility. It will be my decision, taken in the UK’s best interests. It’s no other nation’s damn business whether we choose to deploy “airfield denial weapons” or not, for example.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_Treaty

The Malaysian Aeroplane Crash


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

Here are the probable candidates for blame:

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

The Ideology of Totalitarian Humanism


http://attackthesystem.com/the-ideology-of-totalitarian-humanism/

The Ideology of Totalitarian Humanism

By Keith Preston

Many on the alternative Right are inclined to refer to PC as “cultural Marxism.” In some ways, this is an apt metaphor, as the PC ideology bears a resemblance to the reductionist concept of class antagonism that orthodox Marxism advances. If the dualistic class dichotomy of “proletarians and bourgeoisie” is replaced with a newer dichotomy pitting feminist women, minorities, gays, immigrants, the transgendered and others having been or believed to be oppressed against the “hegemony” of “straight, white, Christian, males,” then similarities between PC and Marxism do indeed emerge. However, PC could in some ways be compared with totalitarianism from the other end of the political spectrum. If the duality of “Aryans” believed to be oppressed by and in mortal struggle with “the Jews” is replaced with the aforementioned dichotomy advanced by PC, a reductionism of comparable crudity likewise becomes apparent. Yet it would seem to me that such metaphors as “cultural Marxism” or “liberal Nazism” are not really the best characterizations of PC. Continue reading

If we can be ‘transgender’, why can’t we be ‘transracial’?


Race Is a Social Construct, So I’m a Poor Black Orphan

If you’re generally a busy bumblebee like I am, you don’t have time to sit around all day socially constructing things. Thus, I am so glad that there are volunteers who do this work for me—and at no charge to boot! Merely keeping up with the latest culturally acceptable semantic terms is a full-time job in itself, and I am truly grateful there are people out there who tell me what to say and how to think. I am also in awe of their ability to make shit up while believing it’s true. Hats off to them—and I say that as a man who owns about twenty hats.

Continue reading

Event in Deal Library


Meet the author – Richard Blake

KCC events, Talks & Presentations

Deal Library , Deal

Meet local author Sean Gabb writing as Richard Blake at Deal Library for an insight into his historical fiction writing.

Sean Gabb is a historian, broadcaster and university lecturer and lives in the Deal area. He has written eight fiction books some under the name Richard Blake.
He has also written for The Times and the Birmingham Post. Sean has also written a number of nonfiction political titles.

Saturday 19th July 2014

11.00 am

Venue

Deal Library
Broad Street
Deal
CT14 6ER

Open the Borders Now and Forever


by David D’Amato
http://c4ss.org/content/29313

Note: I don’t believe that open borders are presently advisable. But there are libertarians who think otherwise. The mission of the Libertarian Alliance is to let all sides be beard on this issue. I therefore commend David’s article to your attention. SIG

Continue reading

Reason is not the primary driver of Man


Reason is not the primary driver of Man

Robert Henderson

Man, at least in his modern secular First World form, has the illusion of free will. That is unsurprising because he is a highly intelligent and self-conscious entity with a discrete personality and an ego and it is natural for such a being to think that the choices they make are free choices insofar as they act without overt constraints from other people, their biology or brute circumstances. In fact, free will is an illusion not as a consequence of the constraints of human biology or the nature of the universe Man inhabits, but as a consequence of the fact that the concept is a logical nonsense. Continue reading

Macaulay on Our Revolution With a Difference


This I’ve found to be the most telling quote from ‘History of England’ so far. Before I give you Macaulay, here is the LA’s own John Kersey. The words below are from his 2013 speech to the Traditional Britain Group:

The first difficulty we face is really more of a historical phenomenon than anything else. It is that where change of a widespread and fundamental nature has occurred, it is then near-impossible to return to the status quo ante. If we look to English history, there are events – such as the Restoration of 1660 – that may seem to look backwards, but in reality constitute the combination of elements of the past and present. The most usual pattern is that of thesis – which in this example is absolute monarchy; antithesis – the Puritan Commonwealth; and then synthesis – the constitutional monarchy that constitutes the Restoration. England is very good indeed at giving the veneer of continuity to what is in fact profound change.

 

Continue reading

“Monk” Lewis: The Dan Brown of 1796?


The Dan Brown of 1796?

Some years ago, when everybody else was was reading it, I read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. It was pretty ridiculous, but it had an uncanny ability to keep me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen. (RAW fans will recall that the main source material for the book also was used in RAW’s earlier novel, The Widow’s Son. Dan Brown’s lawyers apparently missed the chance to use The Widow’s Son as part of their defense in plagiarism trial.)

A few days ago, British writer Sean Gabb talked me into reading The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis. I asked Dr. Gabb why he listed Lewis as one of his favorite writers, and he replied, “The Monk is a gloatingly lurid tale of lust and horror. Lewis was seventeen when he wrote it. I was that when I read it. Unable to put it down, I took it into an A Level Mathematics exam. Dickens and Wilkie Collins much admired it. My mother read it some years back, and was surprised when I showed her the publication date.” So I read it (or more precisely, listened to the free LibriVox audiobook, ably read by James K. White.) I thought it was ridiculous, but I was hooked. I had to keep going to find out what would happen to its poor, tormented characters. Continue reading

For the Children… and the Adults


by Stewart Cowen
http://www.realstreet.co.uk/2014/07/for-the-children-and-the-adults
For the Children… and the Adults

Leg-iron tells us that Theresa May has announced that there is going to be an investigation into paedophilia, not just in Westminster,

To placate the masses, they are also going to investigate the NHS, the BBC and the Church (just the one religion, naturally) where they will find plenty of big name scapegoats to take the drones’ attention away from them.

It’s what they do. Like creating new Acts containing a variety of themes and hoping nobody notices the really intrusive or offensive part.

So yes, I’m sure this insider “enquiry” will find a few NHS doctors who have groped children and some more dead or aging weirdos employed by the BBC and some nonces-in-frocks in “the Church”. Continue reading

Who’s Been Misleading The EU?


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/QiF-QzWn4SI/whos-been-misleading-eu.html

Who’s Been Misleading The EU? Now this is interesting.

European officials have been wrongly labelling e-liquid as extremely toxic.

The civil servants had been misclassifying e-liquid as either a CLP category 2 product, alongside strychnine, or a category 3 product, alongside formaldehyde. The new report demonstrates that the acute oral and dermal toxic hazards of the strongest consumer e-liquids only merit being classed as category 4 – along with washing-up liquid – while the vast majority of e-liquid (which has nicotine concentrations below 25mg/ml or 2.5%) does not require any type of formal hazard warning.

Continue reading

David Hume: A Brief Appreciation


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

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

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

Free Immigration Is Forced Integration


by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/07/hans-hermann-hoppe/free-immigration-is-forced-integration/

Free Immigration Is Forced Integration

The classical argument in favor of free immigration runs as follows: Other things being equal, businesses go to low-wage areas, and labor moves to high-wage areas, thus affecting a tendency toward the equalization of wage rates (for the same kind of labor) as well as the optimal localization of capital. An influx of migrants into a given-sized high-wage area will lower nominal wage rates. However, it will not lower real wage rates if the population is below its optimum size. To the contrary, if this is the case, the produced output will increase over-proportionally, and real incomes will actually rise. Thus, restrictions on immigration will harm the protected domestic workers qua consumers more than they gain qua producers. Moreover, immigration restrictions will increase the “flight” of capital abroad (the export of capital which otherwise might have stayed), still causing an equalization of wage rates (although somewhat more slowly), but leading to a less than optimal allocation of capital, thereby harming world living standards all-around.

In addition, traditionally labor unions, and nowadays environmentalists, are opposed to free immigration, and this should prima facie count as another argument in favor of a policy of free immigration. Continue reading

The Question is, Why Would ANYONE Trust the Government?


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/content/29187

The Question is, Why Would ANYONE Trust the Government?

The drastic long-term drop in Americans’ trust for government since the 1950s periodically evokes pearl-clutching on the center-left. Liberal radio talk show host Leslie Marshall recently tweeted, as apparent cause for concern, a Pew Research poll finding the percentage of the public that trusts government to “do the right thing” most of the time or “pretty much always” at 19% in 2013 (by way of background, it peaked at 77% in 1965). She linked to a piece by Julian Zelizer at CNN (“Distrustful Americans still live in age of Watergate,” July 7), lamenting the low level of faith in government (“which is necessary for a healthy society”) as a cultural inheritance from Vietnam and Watergate and calling for political forms to root out corruption, restore public trust and render the political system once again functional. Continue reading

EU politics: MPs duck out on opt-ins


by Richard North
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=85073

EU politics: MPs duck out on opt-ins000a FT-010 ArrestW.jpg

The Financial Times tells the tale of the House of Commons “rebellion” that never was, with the Guardian (and others) adding more detail. You wonder how well briefed the MPs (and the media) actually are, though, when the still refer to 35 opt-back-ins, when the actual figure has been reduced to 33. But then, what does a little detail like that matter? Continue reading

Trade agreements: is “unbundling” the future?


by Richard North
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=85071

Trade agreements: is “unbundling” the future?

A little while ago, the Financial Times ran a piece by Alan Beattie on UKIP’s trade policy (above), who argued that it “would leave Britain isolated and vulnerable”. I didn’t write a review then, as there was more to the issue which Beattie raised that, what he termed “Farage’s dream of prosperity” which is to be “born of a US treaty”. This, Beattie thinks, is “a dangerous fantasy”.

The points made, however, are bigger than UKIP’s trade policy, and could have been raised without reference to “Farage’s dream”, one that comes with a promise of a new trade deal “as soon as Britain’s exit liberates the UK from the dead hand of European protectionism”. Continue reading

Politics has no place in a charity


by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/politics-has-no-place-in-a-charity/

There are many aspects of modern charities which run contrary what is still, despite all the bad publicity charities have had in recent years, the general public’s idea of what a charity should be; an organisation which is doing good works by raising money from individuals, is the reverse of self-serving and a morally good thing.

There is much dislike about modern charities. They are frequently incompetently run, often too much of a charity’s income goes on administration, especially the pay of the senior staff, embezzlement by the staff of charities is too frequent for comfort and larger charities often take much of their funding from the state. However, those weaknesses are not the subject of this piece. What I am concerned with here is the political aspect of charities in Britain, an aspect which seems to loom ever larger. Continue reading

Learning to Love the Great Satan?


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

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

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

Film review – Transcendence


by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/film-review-transcendence/
Film review – Transcendence

Transcendence

Main Cast

Johnny Depp as Dr. Will Caster, an artificial-intelligence researcher.
Morgan Freeman as Joseph Tagger, a government scientist
Rebecca Hall as Evelyn Caster, Caster’s wife and a fellow academic.
Kate Mara as Bree, the leader of Revolutionary Independence From Technology (R.I.F.T.)
Cillian Murphy as Donald Buchanan, an FBI agent.
Cole Hauser as Colonel Stevens, a military officer.
Paul Bettany as Max Waters, Caster’s best friend.
Director: Wally Pfister Continue reading

Me, Two Nudey Men, and a Theatre Full of Lefties – An Alternative View


Note: One must always try to hear the other side. SIG

Review: #LIFTChange Some people think I’m bonkers, but I just think I’m free. Reviewed by Ben DeVere.

“Some people think I’m bonkers, but I just think I’m free” was the fifth event in LIFT’s Change for a Tenner! season, dedicated to exploring ideas around social and political change. We were introduced to eight campaigners who demand change through sometimes bonkers and often beautiful acts in The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick. Why do they do it? When will they stop? Are they making a point, or do they really believe that a change is going to come?

First up was Ellie Harrison who pointed out that today’s eccentricity is tomorrow’s common sense, and took us through her (really very sensible) campaign to Bring Back British Rail. The most eccentric idea on her menu was of politicians admitting they’d made a mistake. Wessex Regionalist Colin Bex wasn’t very silly either. A very English secessionist, he upped the non-nonsense by reasonably setting out a localist agenda in the name of autonomy and old school common sense. A lovely man with a fine beard, socked feet in sandals and lots of badges. You know the type. Probably a rambler. Continue reading

How To Have Law Without Legislation


by Murray Rothbard
http://mises.org/daily/6804/How-To-Have-Law-Without-Legislation

How To Have Law Without Legislation

[Adapted from Rothbard’s book review of Freedom
and the Law
by Bruno Leoni. This review first
appeared in
New Individualist Review ,
edited by Ralph Raico.]

[In his book Freedom and the Law,] Professor [Bruno] Leoni’s major thesis is that even the staunchest free-market economists have unwisely admitted that laws must be created by governmental legislation; this concession, Leoni shows, provides an inevitable gateway for State tyranny over the individual. The other side of the coin to increasing intervention by government in the free market has been the burgeoning of legislation, with its inherent coercion by a majority—or, more often, by an oligarchy of pseudo-“representatives” of a majority—over the rest of the population. In this connection, Leoni presents a brilliant critique of F.A. Hayek’s recent writings on the “rule of the law.” In contrast to Hayek, who calls for general legislative rules as opposed to the vagaries of arbitrary bureaucracy or of “administrative law,” Leoni points out that the real and underlying menace to individual freedom is not the administrator but the legislative statute that makes the administrative ruling possible. [1] It is not enough, demonstrates Leoni, to have general rules applicable to everyone and written down in advance; for these rules themselves may—and generally do—invade freedom. Continue reading

AMERICA’S HEROIC DAWN


by the Rev. Dr Alan Clifford
1776? 1620?
What about the events of 1562-5?
As sexual perversion and Islamic darkness tighten their grip on the USA, Americans need to recover their earliest history…

AMERICA’S HEROIC DAWN
THE HUGUENOT MARTYRS OF FLORIDA

Dr Alan C. Clifford

UN

A largely-forgotten history reminds us that the first attempted Christian settlement in North America was by Huguenots seeking a haven from persecution in France. This follows the era of Christopher Columbus whose first adventures to the New World date from 1492, soon followed by the Cabots from England a few years later. Not to forget the English Jamestown settlement of 1607, the Huguenot adventure occurred sixty years before the Pilgrim Fathers founded the Plymouth plantation in 1620.

This was the era of Iberian domination, when Spain was the world’s ‘super power’. With the blessing of the Pope, Spain and Portugal laid claim to the New World. Their brutal Central and South American conquests brought justifiable opprobrium upon the cruel fascism of King Philip II and his ilk. Predictably, war was inevitable as less-compliant European nations resisted this evil and expanding tyranny. The Protestant Reformation fuelled the animosity as anti-Catholic sailors from Normandy found courage to challenge Spanish arrogance. One form of resistance was to attack the Spanish treasure ships bringing gold and silver from Mexico, Peru and elsewhere. Outraged by the cruel horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, hot-headed French pirates thought nothing of enriching themselves at Spain’s expense. They were the scourge of the Spanish Main. The Spaniards called these high-seas raiders corsarios luteranos, i.e. ‘Lutheran pirates’. However, among these ‘Protestant adventurers’ were more noble souls with more honourable aspirations, properly called Calvinists. Continue reading

What They Got Wrong In The Rolf Harris Trial


James Knight

A very interesting, but highly contentious, issue reared its ugly head yesterday as Rolf Harris was convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault.

What’s extremely contentious about the outcome is that he was charged under the sexual offences Act of 1956, because the offences happened at a time of old legislation. Basically, if he’d have done the same things now he would have received a heftier sentence, because cultural evolution has shifted people’s perspective and tolerance on crimes like paedophilia, with penalties now being severer.

Having had a night’s sleep on this, I don’t think it’s right that someone should receive a shorter sentence that has been matched to the legislative time of the crime(s). It seems clear to me that past crimes should be penalised according to the present legislation (and I mean this generally speaking, not just taking into account Rolf Harris’s situation).

Given that legislative measures and acts of jurisprudence are built on a cultural evolution of the increased wisdom and revisions of human beings over time, I’m of the view that sentencing for any crime should be administered according to the legislation of the time of the trial, not the offence – otherwise it rather undermines the perceived wisdom that went into the revision processes of jurisprudence over time.

My friend Mark made an interesting point; he warned that it could set a dangerous precedent. He says: “If we raised the age of consent to 18 we could then punish all those who had sex at Continue reading

Rolf Harris – Beyond Reasonable Doubt? 2 Attachments


http://www.libertarianview.co.uk/current-affairs/rolf-harris-beyond-reasonable-doubt

Rolf Harris – Beyond Reasonable Doubt?

Posted on July 3, 2014 by admin

Rolf Harris has been convicted and for many that is conclusive proof of his guilt. However, we should not forget that the British justice system is not perfect, it can make errors, as these high profile miscarriages of justice show.

I do not know if Rolf Harris committed the crimes he was accused of. However, I find the fact that he was convicted, based on the evidence reported by the BBC, alarming.

Let me explain why: Continue reading

The Break, Reviewed by Robert Groezinger


http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/07/robert-groezinger/is-the-past-the-future/

Is the Past the Future?

By Robert Groezinger

July 5, 2014

Imagine waking up one day and discovering that, although your country has not changed, the rest of the world has. You find that while your immediate surroundings have not altered, everything outside your country has inexplicably reverted to a time of about a millennium ago.

This is the setting of Sean Gabb’s new novel The Break: In the year 2017, after days of violent storms, which ground all planes and force all ships into harbour, modern Britain, with all its cars, TVs, smartphones, CCTV cameras, unaccountable police and militant political correctness, finds itself surrounded by a world which considers the year to be AD 1064. The cities of mainland Europe have disappeared or contracted to clusters of a few thousand thatched houses. Roads, railway lines and canals have all vanished. The rest of the continent consists mainly of forest and other uncultivated land. Further south, the Byzantine Empire is still going strong – just. The great schism that split the early church into an eastern Orthodox and western Catholic branch happened only 10 years previously. And the Normans have yet to invade England. Continue reading

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


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

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

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