The Full Coercive Apparatus of a Police State:
Thoughts on the Dark Side of the Thatcher Decade
3rd May 1989, Published as Legal Notes No. 6, by the Libertarian Alliance,
London, 1989, ISBN 1 870614 39 9
Ten years ago (1979) I gave way to one of my rare bursts of enthusiasm. I was at the time, I’ll grant, still a schoolboy; and these things are always more permissible in them than in others. But, even for a schoolboy, it was a very great burst of enthusiasm. I seriously thought that, along with Mrs Thatcher, the second dawn of classical liberalism had arrived. This was it, I thought. No more socialism. No more national decline. No more Road to Serfdom. Oh, even as lads of my age went, I was naïve. Continue reading
Posted in Announcements, Blogroll, Events, LA Papers, Law, Liberty, MARKET CIVILISATION, Minimal-Statism, News Releases
Tagged Hayek, Margaret Thatcher, police
Any (Good) Thing the State Can Do, We Can Do Better
The following article was written by Gary Chartier and published on his blog, Liberalaw, June 7th, 2010.
The question whether people in a stateless society could respond satisfactorily to a disaster like the BP oil spill is really just a special case of the general question whether people without the state can do the things people attempt to do through the state. It seems to me that the answer is “yes.” Continue reading
Perhaps the principal source of division between anarcho-capitalists and socialist-anarchists in the classical tradition relates to the question of who should control what the Marxists call the “means of production.” Anarcho-capitalists envision a system of absolute private property rights rooted in the homesteading principle and defined along Lockean lines. Anarcho-capitalists also accept wage labor, profit, interest, landlordism, and absentee ownership. Continue reading
by Keith Preston
In On Community, a recent pamphlet on Gustav Landauer, Larry Gambone suggested the need for an “antipolitical movement” to dismantle the state, in order to eliminate obstacles to non-statist alternatives. It was no longer possible, he argued, merely to act outside the state framework while treating it as irrelevant. To do so entailed the risk that “you might end up like the folks at Waco.” In an earlier work, Sane Anarchy, he suggested a few items for the agenda of such a movement. I now submit a list of my own (after a few pages of preferatory comment), as a basis for discussion. Continue reading
by Roderick Long
Thinking Our Anger
“Thinking Our Anger“ was originally published in the Summer 2001 issue of Formulations formerly the Free Nation Foundation now published by the Libertarian Nation Foundation, written by Roderick T. Long. This talk was delivered at the Auburn Philosophical Society’s Roundtable on Hate, 5 October 2001, convened in response to the September 11 attacks a month earlier.
The events of September 11th have occasioned a wide variety of responses, ranging from calls to turn the other cheek, to calls to nuke half the Middle East—and every imaginable shade of opinion in between. At a time when emotions run high, how should we go about deciding on a morally appropriate response? Should we allow ourselves to be guided by our anger, or should we put our anger aside and make an unemotional decision? Continue reading
by D.J Webb
I have umm’d and aah’d for a long time over how to approach this issue, because it often seems that libertarianism is an ideological reflex of personal interests. For example, Allister Heath at City AM, generally fairly free-market in his approach, called recently for tax reform, but a “reform” that would retain taxes on income and profits and avoid imposing any levies on the occupation of land. On this very LA blog, many people otherwise libertarian in their general views have seemed vituperatively to oppose shifting taxation from income and profits onto property. Such people are often vocal in decrying any attempt to talk about the “fairness” of the free market, while happy to accept state intervention to skew economic opportunities in the interests of those who already have wealth and property. It is likely that most people who are “free-market” in their view of economics are simply expressing their own interests in the economy. Continue reading
Robert Groezinger is a good friend and a committed libertarian. I strongly recommend this new book, which sets out a Gospel-based argument, in the tradition of Gary North, for a necessary connection between the Christian Faith and a free market society.
“Der Kapitalismus ist aus dem Christentum hervorgegangen – und braucht ihn, um zu überleben. Auch das Christentum braucht den Kapitalismus – und fordert ihn sogar. Nicht jedoch einen staatlich regulierten Kapitalismus, der nur für jene wirklich vorteilhaft ist, die gute Beziehungen zur Regierung unterhalten und somit zu Korruption und Betrug einlädt, sondern einen Kapitalismus, der so frei ist, dass selbst Geld unter Wettbewerbsbedingungen hergestellt wird. Zentralbanken aber stellen unser Geld unter staatlich garantierten Monopollizenzen her. Damit genießen sie ungerechtfertigte Privilegien. Anhand zahlreicher Beispiele aus der Bibel zeigt Robert Grözinger, dass die Gleichnisse, Aussagen und Mahnungen Jesu von den Prinzipien einer wirklich freien Marktwirtschaft untermauert sind. Grundsätze wie Individualismus und Privateigentum sind Fundamente, die schon im Alten Testament gelegt wurden. Daneben skizziert Grözinger die Wechselwirkung in der historischen Entwicklung von Christentum und Kapitalismus sowie die Unvereinbarkeit von Christentum und Sozialismus. Damit meint er nicht nur den Kommunismus, sondern auch seine weichere Form: den überbordenden Wohlfahrtsstaat, den uns die staatlich erzwungene Barmherzigkeit beschert hat. Und seine neueste, krasseste Version: den Ökologismus. Wie eine freie Gesellschaft auf christlichen Werten und freier Marktwirtschaft basieren kann, zeigt Robert Grözinger in Jesus, der Kapitalist.”
by Kevin Carson
In “Libertarianism and Liberalism: What Went Wrong,” I gave my opinion of what was wrong with both mainstream libertarianism and mainstream liberalism (”wrong” in the sense to presenting an obstacle to an anti-authoritarian coalition of liberals and libertarians). In my last post, “Liberalism: What’s Going Right,” I discussed some reasons for hope within movement liberalism: some individuals who show signs of thinking outside the box when it comes to abandoning the worst features of the liberal establishment and finding common ground with free market libertarians. Now I’d like to do the same thing on the libertarian side. Continue reading
On Being Uncertain:
A Case for Scepticism
by Sean Gabb
One reason I have written almost nothing this month for Free Life Commentary is that my busiest time of year is upon me. I have examinations to set and mark and to prepare students for. I am also hard at work on other projects that I hope will bear fruit in the months to come. And I am bored with the essay that I was trying to write. This was to be about the European Union and what makes it really so bad. However, I found myself unable to write my usual thousand words an hour. Indeed, I was picking over it for days and even weeks. I found it lacking the connection between ideas and the general clarity and smoothness of construction that I have always tried to achieve. In truth, I was bored with it. Pay me to do so, I grant, and I will show an almost convincing interest in what I find the dullest subject. But these are essays that I write above all else for my own entertainment. If something bores me—and the European Union does for the moment—I see no reason to switch on my notebook computer.
Therefore, I will write nothing yet again about the great issues of the day. I will instead respond to several of my readers who objected to my confession of scepticism in my last piece about ghosts. I am asked how I can be a sceptic when our knowledge of the world is based on such sure foundations. How can I deny the obvious, and so join myself to the nihilists whose own course of doubt ends in the various kinds of political correctness, and whose denial of reality in earlier generations cleared the way for the gulag and the holocaust? Continue reading
The following article was written by Charles Johnson and published in The Freeman, July 2008.
To what extent should libertarians concern themselves with social commitments, practices, projects, or movements that seek social outcomes beyond, or other than, the standard libertarian commitment to expanding the scope of freedom from government coercion? Continue reading
by James Tuttle
Note: I met Mike in Slovakia in 2008, and look forward to seeing him again every year. His principled stand isn’t one I feel inclined to imitate. However, it is very much to be admired. SIG Continue reading
I wrote this in 1994. I still more or less agree with it. SIG
John Stuart Mill
Prepared by dell from the Harvard Classics edition,
published by P.F. Collier & Son, Massachusetts, 1909
Available from gopher://gopher.panix.com/misc/referencelibrary/classicsofliterature/
First published 1859, published on-line September 1993, 281.53kb, public domain Continue reading
by Keith Preston
Note: I’m very impressed by the work of Keith Preston. I came up with the phrase “Enemy Class” to describe the enemies of bourgeois civilisation. Our Blogmaster uses a long circumlocution. Ian B has his preferred terminology. I suggest we should adopt the Prestonism of “totalitarian humanists.” We are all talking about more or less the same group of people.
Totalitarian humanists are people whose legitimising ideology is cultural leftism, and who are imposing this via a police state at home and military force abroad. They have merged with a much older corporate elite. They have massively enlarged the military and police arms of the State. Until about 30 years ago, they were denouncing these three forces. But they have now spread their ideology to their former enemies, and thereby cleansed them of evil. They seek absolute and unaccountable power, and the consequent destruction of ancient liberties and intermediary institutions, by insisting on the absolute goodness of their legitimising ideology and the absolute evil of the various “hates” they are combating. They control business and education and the media, and politics and law and administration, and every medical bureaucracy. They are embedded in every main religion except Islam. They are absolutely supreme in every transnational bureaucracy.
As an aside, I suggest that the European Union is evil not because it is run by Frenchmen and Germans, or whatever. Let’s be reasonable – rule from Paris or Berlin would not in itself be catastrophic. It isn’t evil because our own liberal institutions are being destroyed – these have already been destroyed. It is evil because it is another place from which the totalitarian humanists can exercise absolute and unaccountable power to reshape us as they desire.
A good British example of totalitarian humanism is the Stephen Lawrence circus. Two men faced 20 years of administrative and legal harassment and media vilification. They were finally brought to trial and convicted on the basis of what looks like fabricated evidence. One of them could only be tried after the very ancient protection against double jeopardy had been stripped out of the Common Law. Had this been done to Sinn Fein/IRA terrorists, there would – rightly – have been howls of outrage. In this case, the entire ruling class set up a squeal of delight. Nothing – certainly not due process or even common decency – can be allowed to stand in the way of crushing racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, or any other excuse for not joining in the Potemkin love feast of the totalitarian humanists.
Other examples are the persecution of Emma West, the persecution of Christian hoteliers who won’t rent out rooms to homosexuals, refusal to let devout Christians foster children, denial of NHS treatment to people who live other than as directed, the attempted use of sporting associations to
brainwash the white working classes. These really are all examples of the same war against bourgeois civilisation.
I could say more. But here is the essay. Read and consider its implications for our own strategy. [SIG] Continue reading
by Stephan Kinsella
Down with anti-market “anarchists”
There’s a lot of noise being made by the left- and mutualist-libertarian crowd about the arrest of some so-called “anarchists” (scare quotes because anti-market “anarchists” are not real anarchists, i.e. anarcho-libertarians) and seizure by the police of “anarchist” and anarchist literature, including some by mutualist-libertarian Kevin Carson. From what I can gather from various incoherent media and blog descriptions, an “anarchist” group called the RNC Welcoming Committee was going to protest the Republican convention in Minnesota; some market anarchists tried to join up to make some inroads with the commie “anarchists”, and some Ron Paul supporters. For some reason the cops made arrests and seized literature, which included some of Carson’s writings. Continue reading
“England was a much better place when ruled by a committee of aristocratic landlords. All experience of the past 127 years has shown that ordinary people are not to be trusted with public affairs. They have consistently failed to see through the rogues and charlatans who have progressively monopolised English politics since the Third Reform Act, and have been too numerous to feel or be exposed to any sense of personal shame at this failure. The only way that England can now be saved is by a Caesaristic dictatorship, after which a restored Constitution will restrict the vote and access to elected office to persons of good character.”
Evaluate and critically discuss this anonymous, though wholly sound, comment. Candidates are encouraged to make some reference to the failed reforms that Sulla made to the Roman Constitution, and to the more thoroughgoing reconstuction by Julius Caesar, and to the final settlement by Augustus. Additional marks will be given to those candidates who recognise Gladstone as the proto-Blairite wrecker that he was. Candidates who use American spellings, or make any reference to the politics or history of the United States, will be failed without right of appeal.
von Sean Gabb
Vorteilhaft auch für die angeschlagene bürgerliche Zivilisation
Die übliche englische Antwort auf den schottischen Nationalismus ist, ihn zu ignorieren, ihn als Irritation zu betrachten oder ihn unter Erinnerung an die gemeinsame Geschichte herunterzureden oder den Wert englischer Subventionen hervorzuheben und darauf zu warten, dass sich in der Debatte der gesunde Menschenverstand durchsetzt. Ich behaupte, dass keine dieser Reaktionen angemessen ist. Keine davon berücksichtigt, dass England und Schottland verschiedene Nationen sind und dass der lauteste und aktivste Teil der schottischen Nation entschieden hat, dass die derzeitige Union der Nationen nicht im schottischen Interesse ist. Das bedeutet nicht notwendig, dass die Auflösung der Union unausweichlich ist. Es macht sie jedoch erstrebenswert. Schottland mag unter der Union gelitten haben, oder auch nicht. Aber die Union hat viel dazu beigetragen, England an den Punkt des Zusammenbruchs zu bringen und es scheint mir vernünftig zu sagen, dass die Sicherheit Englands niemals gewährleistet werden kann, solange sich schottische Mitglieder im Westminster-Parlament befinden.
by Stephan Kinsella
Rothbard, in For A New Liberty:
The idea of a strictly limited constitutional State was a noble experiment that failed, even under the most favorable and propitious circumstances. If it failed then, why should a similar experiment fare any better now? No, it is the conservative laissez-fairist, the man who puts all the guns and all the decision-making power into the hands of the central government and then says, “Limit yourself”; it is he who is truly the impractical utopian. Continue reading
by Kevin Carson
Looking back on the events of 2011, I have to keep reminding myself it wasn’t a dream. Continue reading
“The basic right-wing populist insight is that we live in a statist country and a statist world dominated by a ruling elite, consisting of a coalition of Big Government, Big Business, and various influential special interest groups. More specifically, the old America of individual liberty, private property, and minimal government has been replaced by a coalition of politicians and bureaucrats allied with, and even dominated by, powerful corporate and Old Money financial elites (e.g., the Rockefellers, the Trilateralists); and the New Class of technocrats and intellectuals, including Ivy League academics and media elites, who constitute the opinion-moulding class in society. In short, we are ruled by an updated, twentieth-century coalition of Throne and Altar, except that this Throne is various big business groups, and the Altar is secular, statist intellectuals, although mixed in with the secularists is a judicious infusion of Social Gospel, mainstream Christians. The ruling class in the State has always needed intellectuals to apologize for their rule and to sucker the masses into subservience, i.e., into paying the taxes and going along with State rule. In the old days, in most societies, a form of priestcraft or State Church constituted the opinion-moulders who apologized for that rule. Now, in a more secular age, we have technocrats, “social scientists,” and media intellectuals, who apologize for the State system and staff in the ranks of its bureaucracy.“
by Thomas Knapp
As right-wing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh loves to note, words mean things. What they mean isn’t always obvious, of course. Meanings change over time. Gaps between usage and reality are open to exploitation and abuse. One key task of any movement for change is to close those gaps — to help people accurately identify words with the phenomena they actually describe. Continue reading