Tag Archives: libertarianism

Whither Libertarianism?


http://therightstuff.biz/2014/02/28/whither-libertarianism/

by Michael Enoch

Many harsh criticisms have been made on this site, by myself and others, of the more autisticneckbeardy and fedoraish strains of Libertarianism. Bulbasaur in particular has gained a reputation for pouring vitriol and contempt down on Libertarianism and its bastard stepchildren, Voluntaryism and Anarcho-capitalism. I have tried to take a more moderate approach, but have not always been exactly charitable. This may have seemed like hate to many of you. The words may have stung. Some buttcheeks may have gotten red, chapped or perhaps a bit numb and tingly over the whole affair. (You know who you are.) But Let me assure you dear readers, this was not done out of hatred or anger. At least not entirely. We did it because we cared. It was tough love. In contrast I am now offering my apology for Libertarianism.

Is it?

Is it?

If you leave aside the absurd and rather ham-fisted attempts at formulating a universal and objective basis for the concept of natural rights, the self-righteous moral preaching about the initiation of violence and the tendency to monomaniacally focus on the state as the source of all human ills, Libertarianism has a solid foundation. One question worth asking is why progressives hate it so much. The answer is because of the Libertarian focus on property rights and capitalism as institutions to be preserved and defended. As I have said elsewhere and still maintain, anti-capitalism is retarded. Socialism is flawed. Communism is abominable. Allow me to quote myself:

“Property is the physical foundation of society. Property is elitist, inegalitarian and hierarchical. It necessarily creates an inequality between those with and those without. This originally manifests itself in human history as an inequality in the ability to successfully engage in violence. Those who secure property for themselves through violence and are able to defend it are then in a better position to acquire more and more property due to the lowered risk of further violence that comes with each subsequent property acquisition. This in a nutshell is the origin of the ancient landed aristocracy, and ultimately the state. Under the state social life becomes more predictable as property norms are established and enforced. Wealth and productivity increase. This is a fundamentally healthy process.

The next step is increased trade and markets. Markets are simply a non-violent means of distribution and exchange. They are necessary if people want to avoid constant violence over resources. This is not to say that violence is necessarily bad. All markets exist and are sustained within a context that contains a perpetual threat of violence to maintain order. Markets are a means to avoid incessant violence, but like any stable human system they rely on men willing to use violence to back them up when rules are broken and norms are not respected. The idea of a purely free, voluntary and non-violent market has never been anything but a dildo of massive proportions.

Division of labor, productivity and trade help create the material conditions for the development of civilization and meaningful human existence.”

There really is no good argument for anti-capitalism. Most objections to it devolve into maudlin whining over “fairness” and tearful special pleading for this or that poor oppressed victim group. No matter how edgy, reactionary or unexpected your political views are, if you honestly think you can organize the production and distribution of goods and services at the state level, you are retarded and you will fail. Libertarianism gets this right. But there are some other troubling trends that need be addressed.

Recently, due to its rising popularity and exposure, Libertarianism has become a target for infiltration and rent-seeking by assorted liberals, Marxists and feminists with varying agendas. Sites such as Bleeding Heart Libertarians have cropped up in an effort to make Libertarianism more palatable to liberals and progressives by pandering to their prejudices and claiming that free markets will achieve “social justice” better and faster than statism. This rather lukewarm political trend is mostly made of up tepid and uninspired middle-aged economics professors such as Steve Horwitz. These milquetoasts are no doubt driven by an unconscious desire to fit in better ideologically with their progressive peers in academia.

Marxist factions, masquerading under the less odious labels of “Mutualism” or “Left-Libertarianism,” have sought to co-opt certain aspects of Libertarian political economy in an effort to yet again resurrect the long discredited Marxist Labor Theory of Value and steer Libertarianism in an explicitly left wing direction. This effort, spearheaded by overweight, pretentious and socially awkward bloggers Kevin CarsonBrad SpanglerCharles W. Johnson and Shawn P. Wilbur along with morbidly obese philosophy professor Roderick Long has largely fizzled out over the last couple years. Mutualism has been abandoned. No one really knew what it was in the first place. Many individuals that were initially seduced by Carson’s Marxist revision of Libertarian theory have since been assimilated back into the mainstream Brahmin anarchist movement (AKA the Democratic Party in college). The website for C4SS, the flagship think-tank of this tendency, has dwindled into obscurity and now contents itself to be a mouthpiece for bizarre outpourings of critical Gender and Queer theory. Left-Libertarianism has effectively been reclaimed by the progressives.

Feminists, mostly active on college campuses, have infiltrated Libertarianism using their typical rent-seeking tactics of inserting themselves into male dominated spaces, exploiting the immature sexuality of socially awkward nerds, demanding equal representation and insisting all the rules be changed to accommodate them. Thus college Libertarianism has largely become a yet another campus gay rights movement and forum for bored, trivial and spoiled middle class women to whine about privilege and talk about their vaginas. This inevitably leads to the standard feminist griping that Libertarianism is too white, too male, too privileged etc. Of course it is. If it were not, entitlement minded feminists would never have zeroed in on it as a huge, juicy pile of untapped resources in the first place.

The problem is not that Libertarianism is primarily made up of affluent white males. Just the opposite. The problem is that this is seen as a problem. The problem is that people take these complaints seriously and try to integrate women and non-whites for no other reason than race or gender. Libertarianism has always been an ideology for white males. It is an intellectual forum in which they can engage in philosophical argument, repartee, camaraderie and nonviolent competition for status. It should be celebrated and preserved as a masculine, Western-oriented political movement standing against the tide of progressivism, Marxism, feminism and egalitarianism, not allow itself to be co-opted or handicapped by these poisonous ideologies.

“Taxes are expropriation”: Hoppe interview in Wirtschaftswoche


http://www.hanshoppe.com/2014/01/taxes-are-expropriation-interview-in-wirtschaftswoche/

by STEPHAN KINSELLA on JANUARY 7, 2014

Below is an English translation of Professor Hoppe’s interview by “Wirtschaftswoche”, Germany’s leading business-weekly. The interview covers various topics, including the business cycle, the nature of the state, anarcho-capitalism, taxation as expropriation, and the like.

***

Interview in Wirtschaftswoche
“Taxes are expropriation”

by Malte Fischer

The anarcho-libertarian economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe argues for a state-free society. Where government has, for example, no right to compel the citizens to pay taxes to finance armed forces.

http://www.wiwo.de/politik/konjunktur/hans-hermann-hoppe-steuern-sind-enteignung-seite-all/9282336-all.html

Business Week:

Professor Hoppe, We currently have booming state intervention in both the economy and in society again. Many citizens want more government and less market. How do you explain that?

Hoppe:

History shows that crises promote the growth of the state. This is particularly evident in wars and terrorist attacks. Governments use such crises in order to pose as crisis-solvers. This also applies to the financial crisis. It has provided the governments and central banks with a welcome opportunity to intervene even more in the economy and society. Government representatives have managed to lay the blame for the crisis on capitalism, the markets and greed.

Without the intervention of central banks and governments in the form of liquidity injections and stimulus programs, wouldn’t the world have been thrown into a deep depression like in the 1930s? 

There is a misconception that governments and central banks can aid the economy with programs to help it bounce back. Even in the 1930s in the USA there were Continue reading

“Bad news coming” thought Winston…


Christopher Houseman

No, not the impending cuts of so many public payroll salaries (some of which have jobs associated with them), but rather a certain commonality in the Coalition about the motives for their present course of action.

Nick Clegg has assured the LibDems that he doesn’t want to cut the state for the sake of cutting it. No, he wants to cut it so he can rebuild the state differently. Likewise, Liam Fox has informed the Tories that he doesn’t want to cut defence and nor does David Cameron (cue Tory applause) – but at the moment, he has no choice.

Thus is the libertarian ideal of a smaller state smeared in the eyes of political activists and the wider public as a necessary evil, a stopping-off point to be endured on the road to the sunny uplands of a reshaped and re-expanded State tomorrow.

Unless libertarians can convincingly and appealingly present to the public the truly joyous reality of being able to work (or not) as we please, with whom we please, to offer goods and services we’re proud of to whomever we please, libertarians will remain marginalised and misunderstood. They’ll be seen as an articulate but callous bunch, perversely rejoicing over the wider dislocation and misery caused by the State’s champions ditching the minions they think they can most easily do without.

When faced with people determined to do exactly the wrong thing, Lenin’s “The worse the better” dictum may be an accurate response to their failures. But it’s no way to market anything to anyone.

PS. I note the Tories’ pledge to let headteachers discipline children for misbehaviour on the way to and from school. I leave the last word on this news to John Taylor Gatto:

As schooling encroaches further and further into family and personal life, monopolizing the development of mind and character, children become human resources at the disposal of whatever form of governance is dominant at the moment.

Anarcho-Capitalism versus Minarchism


David Davis

Interesting analysis over at CountingCats, of a problem which has been bugging me for some years: how to ensure Order becoming the inevitable daughter of Liberty, as she really is, instead of people thinking that Liberty arises out of imposed order.

New UK Libertarian forum spotted!


Michael Winning

I was over at The Last Ditch’s place and I spotted this just now. Do go, I’m going to give it a try now and then, even me.

Libertarian Britain


David Davis

Go to conservativehome and take part in the lively discussion thread about whether “Britain is becoming more conservative – or perhaps more libertarian?

Warcry, from the leader of the UK Libertarian Party


David Davis

Reprinted in full:-

Posted by Devil’s Kitchen at 1/05/2010 12:15:00 AM

My friends,

We are broke. Our country—whatever it may once have been—is now laden with debt. And this isn’t “the government’s debt”: it is our debt.

The government has no money but what it takes—what it extorts—from us.

We have gone beyond consensus politics: if a man were to come to your door, with a gun, and demand half of everything that you earned—on pain of severe punishment, on pain of the total ruination of your life—would you not protest?

For a moment, lay aside those dutiful thoughts of those starving millions beyond your gate, and think, instead, of those within your own household—within your own family: would you not rather protect them first?

Of course you would: they are your kith and kin and you would expect—would you not?—that everyone, like you, would defend theirs against you were you the one holding the gun.

The government has now utterly removed from you the means of protecting yourself and your family against the man with the gun: indeed, you dare not defend yourself because you fear that it is you, not the mugger, who would end up in the dock.

For the government is the man with the gun, demanding tithes from you: the government is here, at your door. But not randomly.

No.

The government has gone out and bought itself nice things—plasma TVs, second homes, duckhouses, moats. And jobs, and votes. All of those things that you could not afford—because it has been here before: at your door, with a gun.

Five years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those children who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.

Four years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those unhealthy who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.

Three years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those uneducated who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.

Two years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those feckless bankers who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.

One year ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those MPs who had no duck-houses or second homes or moats. You paid, because you had no option.

And now the government has spent everything that you had to give, and more, on its pet projects—on buying its second homes, on buying its duckhouses, on buying its votes—and none of it benefited you and yours. Not even by one iota.

The government didn’t care that you couldn’t afford to give any more: it didn’t care that you had no money.

The government didn’t care that you had lost your job: the government didn’t care that all of those thousands of pounds it took in National Insurance payments translated into a few hundred when you were in need.

And now, when you are getting back on your feet—back in a job that is not as good as the one the government destroyed, back struggling to look after your family on the pittance you are paid, back paying off your debts—the government, too, is back: it’s back with the gun.

The government is back—demanding half of what you broke your back to earn—because it has more grand schemes, more votes to buy, more trinkets to deliver to its favoured ones.

Will you so willingly hand over the sweat of your brow? Will you so willingly condemn you and yours to penury? Will you capitulate again?

Or will you fight?

Join us—and help us to stop the extortion.

Join us—and understand that providing for you and yours is not a sin.

Join us—and realise that a society that pulls together is a society that stays together.

Join us—and help us fight for a future in which people help each other voluntarily, because it is right and fitting to do so.

Join us—and help to build a future in which men, women and children take back their work, their birthrights, their dignity and their compassion from a government that cares nothing for you.

Join us.

Because—whether the government is Tory, Labour or LibDem—soon you will have nothing left to lose.Labels: , ,

This is what I was trying to say the other day


…but Charlotte Gore said it better.

David Davis

I just contented myself with this.

That’s the problem


It’s 2nd December 2009, ans this place does not really feel any different from what it did on 30th November (2009.)

David Davis

The fact that the UK is no longer a Sovereign State, I mean.

Libertarians, these last 50 years, have spent too much time hailing the virtues of Sovereign Individuality, and Rand has much to be blamed for here.You just can’t go off and do a John Galt any more, however good it makes you feel to read about it, in a world where all the Statists have guns and satellites, and you have nothing except, possibly a candle if you are allowed the fat (meat-eating) and string (global rain forests) to make it. (And nothing to light it with, for Health and Safety.)

Simultaneously Libertarians have spent too little time thinking about the inevitably-partly-Statist environment under which we all have for now to operate.  Too much effort has been devoted, with the best of intentions, to suggesting via think-tanks lots of interesting and entirely logical ways of “increasing choice” while simultaneously negating the influence of The Enemy Class.

Since the Enemy Class is currently in charge, this will no longer do. It is a waste of effort, since (a) they won’t listen and (b) they’ll “surveille” and then take down names. Some protection of an at least slightly non-fully-statist environment ought to have been undertaken, such as the British Conservative and Unionist Party, as an example of something we’d have liked to take over and redirected to proper objectives.

Perhaps, in our trying to take over Conservative Movements here and there, we ought to have covertly hidden our neutrality towards things like Guns, Drugs, Homosexuality, low tax, Rock Music, fast cars, gender-equality and proper education, until we’d got proper control of whatever movement it was we were trying to subvert. Our Policy Position should have resembled The Daily Mail for as long as it was convenient to do so, and as we are all more sexy than 1,000 Paul Dacres and Melanie Phillipses, we would have wiped the floor: Obama would be begging under a Chicago flyover by now, if we had thus had our way.

The future of libertarianism as a mass philosophy, if one exists, lies not in think tanks: these have been, are and will be bright stars of reason and correctness for sure, but are increasingly designed to be surrounded by armed Endarkenment backed up by a comatose population, which has been first disarmed, then de-educated and de-mobilised, and finally starved on purpose all together for one objective.

The passing of the UK into history in its form as a Soveriegn State does not seem to matter to most people in any way much. There is still the Wireless Tele Vision, which broadcasts much the same material as on Monday: Non-Denominational-Community Winter Trees still appear in all shops, slightly earlier and slightly more expensive than usual: Cheryl Cole still has “nights out” while wearing various items of clothing: the Tele Vision News still broadcasts footage of a “house fire” in which a “mother and young children died while a man was seen running away”, accompanied by a grieving Chief Constable who “appeals for information” while stating that “_his thoughts are with_”.

Perhaps it does not really matter that this is happening, or even that it happens against the background of public apathy about big things and shallow voyeurism about tiny ones. Except that both these trends are driven by and happening in a State which has actively sought to being them about. It did this so it can refortify itself behind a more powerful wall of absolutism, the EU (or should I say the USE?) than would have existed if Lisbon hadn’t been able to happen.

In 2010, Libertarians ought to consider how best to help existing parties and statists tactically, who have the best chance of forming British governments which are specifically not this one: even if it means only a slowing of the drift towards slavery for now and not even a cessation of the drift. This is better than falling down a torrent.

If that does not work, then one day perhaps we have to consider the alternatives.

Charles Clarke articulates everything about the GramscoFascist-Left mindset


David Davis

It’s all about “power” and being “progressive”…but I think we all gathered that some time ago. Progessive towards what, of course, is what matters. As libertarians we need to sit down and decide whether or not to Get Serious about those who frankly and openly want our defeat, because they fervently believe us to be wrong, and that they are right. We need to decide what to do about the (now real and dangerous)  force – of many kinds – used by them, against us and against individual humans who resist intellectually. They know they are so right that they ought to prevail : against truth and reason, and against anyone who thinks they are “mad”, “illogical”, or beginning to think about sometihng called  “Political Correctness Gone Mad”…

…as you all are tired of being told by me, we MUST NEVER ever ever use that phrase, for it legitimises “Political Correctness” in that it admits of a “mad” condition which it might adopt. As if it was not totally “intelligently designed” (which it is.)

PC is designed to do, under fully-logical and quite sensibly centralised intellectual direction, those things which it has done and intends to do. Which is to say, destroy the ability to articulate certain words and therefore certain thoughts. Until there are only the allowed ones.

Now then: Charles Clarke, the old Marxist student “activist” (all today’s fascist bastards were, so what: they never had real jobs in their lives – pity I didn’t run over his sandals with my motorbike when I could have done) may be doing one of three things.

(1) He  is either wanting to seriously help along the “Project” – which is to say, total and irremediable enslavement (and deletion as even an idea or concept) of the one people which “progressives” have most hated in all history, and so he cares that “Labour” should win the next election.

(2) Or else he is just expressing the usual GramscoFabiaNazi emotions on finding that their now-frankly-expressed policies and objectives are less than fully-popular all the time with everyone.

(3) It’s the power thing, and he sees his last chance of getting the Main Chance. Even if it’s for a few months only. And as he knows, you can always rig elections and stuff ballot-boxes, or get lots of “postal votes” – specially in Rotten Boroughs, but especially in those that are not quite so rotten that there is a chance of a Non-Labour-non-GramscoFascist-lefty being elected. The ballot-boxes to be stuffed under the tactical-terms of the “Project” will be in these places which matter.

Cameron (for it sadly will probably be he) ought to be under no illusions about how his “poll lead” will strangely have been seen to have evaporated, on election night, owing to a “huge last-minute-groundswell of support for Labour”.

Libertarians, in my sad opinion, will have to be prepared to be very, very, very unforgiving, in the sense of “unconditional surrender” towards principal members of the Enemy Class. Classical liberal niceness towards defeated enemies, certainly for the duration of the War which the GramscoFabians cheerfully trumpet is going on, will have to take second place to seriousness about our objectives.

And probably for many many centuries afterwards until all trace of their deliberately prosecuted, unfathomable wickedness is lost under isotope-traces in sedimentary rocks.

“We have found traces of evidence that, 3 billion years ago, a class of persons in an ostensibly modern civilisation actually _thought these things! (Horror!)…

(1) There should be a “State” (chorus: what’s that???)

(2) Its employees could _take money off you by force_ !!! (chorus: Naaaaaaaaahhh !!!…. errrrr?….uh…?????)

etc etc etc

Piracy in The Channel…so where does that leave Space?


If liberty and order can’t prevail in the English Channel, how can they prevail in space which is and will be  much, much more vital?

David Davis

Successive Tory governments GramscoFabiWeimarians, followed by New Labour GramscoFabiaNazis, none of which, functionally these days, are populated by persons who have served properly, hate the Armed Forces so much that we now have effectively none.

There will, sometime, come a next election that matters. In it, a Libertarian Government will be elected in an England which has left or will immediately leave the UK, as will be inevitable, and therefore also structurallywill leave or has left the EU also. The legalistic shenaniggans will be tremendously hilarious. We do not (as Hitler said infamously, or maybe it was Ludendorff in another war? Or perhaps it was Stalin?) “care nothing for treaties” – we will, as people who do agreement and not force, do our very best to console and satisfy every party who is properly  involved, as is right and proper.

At that point, the lack of methods available to deal with simple stuff like a gang of semi-armed-men riding a rubber-tyre, and then stealing a cargo ship in full daylight at pop-gun-point, will be felt. Whether “our” ship or somebody else’s, is immaterial. The point is that, owing to in-house-Fabianism, control of our near oceans will appear to have been lost.

Since shipping lines will all be private property again by then, this libertarian State will appear incapable of helping to protect such individual property rights. This will be embarrassing to say the least.

In the interim, a very very  strong blue-water-Navy, probably encompassing  fully the Air and Submarine  Arms as is natural, will be a Libertarian Priority. The logical conclusion, so long as GramscoFabiaNazis continue to either exist or be able to teach on this planet, will be an extension to space.

The weaponization of Space, will become necessary for Man’s survival in the Universe in future, in order that he will be able actually to get off here with some hope of establishment elsewhere. It will become therefore a battle against people like Rousseau, Lenin, Marx, Gramsci, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Sir Jonathon Porritt (who is old enough and ugly enough and educated enough to know better), Pol Pot, Mugabe, that bugger who did the Peru thingy, and the like.

A very, very poor, badly-written and also bad and pedestrian, SF novel about politics, about 16 years ago, was started by me then. Fortunately, all trace of  it was lost when that computer went awol, and the only “floppy” (remember those? it fitted puite well on one in MS-Word 2.0 along with lots of other gear) which I had saved was an oldish draft and also was, much later, found to be “corrupted”. In it, fleeing libertarians were forced to construct a ring of Orbital Forts round the Earth (guns facing downwards) after they had left for The Stars, with whatever people and remnants of the Western Canon and Culture thay could carry with them.

I continue to be convinced by those insights which came to me when I was thus younger.

Libertarians will find how many enemies they have, among the still non-disarmed governments of places where they have not electorally triumphed, and they will therefore experience problems, for many many I hope only) months – but let’s not bank on it. Praise the Lord, and keep your powder very very very dry.

Birthday Greetings to Hans-Hermann Hoppe


Sean Gabb

Professor Hoppe was sixty on the 29th July. At a private celebration of this occasion in America, he was presented with a Festschrift – that is, a book of essays by those he has influenced. One of these essays is by me, and I republish it here. The whole book can be found here: http://www.stephankinsella.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/hulsmann-kinsella_property-freedom-society-2009.pdf

On behalf of the Libertarian Alliance, I wish Professor Hoppe a happy birthday, and many more years of happiness and of creative activity.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe
And the Political Equivalent of Nuclear Fusion
By Sean Gabb

I have been invited to contribute a chapter to this book of appreciations of Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Now, he is a person of forbidding achievements. He has made important contributions to economics, to political theory, to law, and to epistemology, among much else. He is also a person of much organisational ability, and the conferences he runs at Bodrum for his Property and Freedom Society have rapidly established themselves as one of the high points in the libertarian calendar.

This makes it difficult to know where to start when it comes to writing a single chapter about his achievements. What I have decided to do, however, is to try and show how what he might regard as one of his minor achievements is contributing to a new and potentially significant consensus within the libertarian and conservative movements.

The End of the Cold War: A Victory Denied

In the ideological sense, the Cold War was fought between the defenders of liberty and tradition and their most open and comprehensive enemies. Yet in the settlement that followed the defeat of Communism, the main losers have been libertarians and conservatives.

Those who still regard this defeat as one for the enemies of liberty and tradition have failed to see beneath the surface of things to the underlying reality. Orthodox Marxism-Leninism, together with its numerous heresies, was mostly important not in its own terms, but as an excuse. In every generation, there are people who want to live at the expense of others, or to make them unhappy, or both. Unless they are able to be predators by act of conquest—the Assyrians, for example, or the Mongols—these people always need arguments to persuade their victims that being robbed or murdered will make the world a better place. Most of them need themselves to believe these arguments.

Long before the Berlin Wall came down, Marxism had become an embarrassment. Its historical and economic underpinnings had crumbled. Its predictions had all been falsified. Its promises were all broken. Its body count and the poverty of its survivors could no longer be denied. It no longer served to justify the actions or the existence of the Soviet state. Its disestablishment after 1989 was less a defeat for the enemies of liberty and tradition than a release.

The accelerated rise of politically correct multiculturalism since then, and the rise from almost nothing of environmentalism, should not, therefore, be seen as ideologies of asylum for dispossessed Marxists. Rather, they are ideologies of transformation and control more in keeping with the spirit of the present age. Just as Marxism once did, each provides a shared narrative, a shared terminology, and shared feeling of doing good for those whose objects are anything but good.

They are, moreover, better than Marxism, so far as they are less threatening to the powers that be in the West. Diversity and sustainability requirements raise up bureaucracies that allow a cartelisation of costs that privilege established wealth against the competition of new entrants. They otherwise provide jobs and status in organisations that look reassuringly like conventional businesses.

The New World Order

The result has been the emergence since 1989 of a new order in which broadly liberal and democratic institutions are being transformed into the agencies of a police state, and in which traditional ways of life and real diversities are being swept aside in favour of centrally-directed homogeneity.

There is nothing unusual about what is happening. There is nothing that should not have been at least dimly perceived back in 1989. At the end of every real war, the winning alliance tends to break up, as the often radically different interest groups that comprised it find that what brought them together no longer exists to hold them together. New alliances then form between interest groups on the winning and losing sides.

This happened at the end of the Napoleonic wars, when Britain and France found themselves increasingly on the same side against the Central European powers. It happened again at the end of the Second World War, when the Americans and Russians fell out, and both recruited their zones of occupied Germany as allies in the new struggle. It has now happened with the new ideological that emerged at the end of the Cold War.

Whether or not this was to be expected, libertarians and conservatives have reason to feel aggrieved. They were perhaps the two most prominent ideological groups in the battle against Communism. Libertarian economists provided the most devastating weapons of attack. Conservatives did most to articulate the revulsion that ordinary people felt when confronted with the kleptocracy and mass-murder at the heart of Communism. They are now jointly surplus to requirements in a world where ex-Trotskyites and even former Communist Party members have put on suits and become government ministers, and now sit happily at dinner with the heads of global corporations.

There are three possible responses to this state of affairs. Libertarians and conservatives can whine piteously about the unfairness of things. Or they can carry on, as if nothing had changed after 1989, addressing arguments to the same allies and against the same enemies. Or they can recognise that the world has changed, and that promoting the same values requires differences of approach.

New Times, New Ways

Let me now drop the impersonal tone. I will not speak directly for the conservatives. But I will speak for the general libertarian movement. There is no orthodoxy here. Libertarians disagree with each other almost as much as we disagree with our various opponents. Even so, it is possible to see an emerging consensus—first that there is need of a new approach, and second of its nature.

In explaining this, the logical place to start is with our thoughts on the free market.

Limited Liability: The Worm in the Free Market Bud

Everyone knows that libertarians believe in free markets. Something we have not always made sufficiently plain—something that we may not always have been clear about ourselves—is that when we talk about free markets, what we mean is markets of free people. It does not mean that we endorse markets simply because they are efficient, or even because they are creative. In particular, we have no affection for big business.

Though there can be no doubt they have enriched the world, companies like Microsoft and General Motors and ICI are not natural institutions. They are creatures of the State. They came into being and are sustained by incorporation laws. These laws permit individuals and groups of individuals to act not as themselves, but as servants of a fictitious entity. The directors and shareholders are not legally responsible for the debts of the entity. Nor need they feel morally responsible for their actions or inaction on its behalf.

Because of limited liability, business corporations can attract large amounts of investment. Because they are not natural persons, they need not follow the cycle of growth and decline normal to unincorporated businesses. Instead, one generation of directors and shareholders can give way to another. These devices allow business corporations to grow much larger than unincorporated businesses.

It might be argued that incorporation laws are similar to marriage laws—that is, that they gather what would otherwise be a number of complex agreements into a single act. If there were no state, people would still cohabit. Each partner could still make the other next of kin. There would be agreements or customary rules to regulate the management of common property and the rearing of children.

But this is not the case with incorporation. Certainly, the owners of any business could agree with their suppliers and customers that they are servants of a fictitious entity, and that their liability for debt is limited to their investment in the entity. But they could not contract out of liability in tort. This fact alone would put off any investor who was not able to buy a controlling interest. I and countless millions of people like me own shares in companies of which I know nothing. If we knew that we were to be regarded, in the event of a large award of damages, as jointly and severally liable for payment, hardly any of us would risk being shareholders.

Now, except for anarchists, to say that something could not exist without the state does not make it in itself illegitimate. But it is a reasonable presumption.that whatever cannot exist naturally needs a strong justification in terms of utility. It is not enough to point to the achievements of big business. Libertarians have faced similar arguments for centuries now about the state. In most countries, the state provides education. In my country, the state provides most healthcare. Obviously, this does not mean that education and healthcare would not be provided without the state. It is the same with business corporations. All pharmaceuticals and most computer software have been developed by big business corporations. But there is no reason to suppose they cannot be otherwise provided.

And even if it could be shown that there would be fewer of these things in a world without incorporation, the costs of incorporation must be weighed against the benefits.

Crony Capitalism

When the number and size of business corporations grows beyond a certain limit, they tend to become part of the ruling class. To create a new business and make it grow large requires entrepreneurship, which is most often a quality of outsiders. To administer what is already established and make it bigger require skills similar to those required by politics and state administration. Between the state and the larger business corporations, therefore, there will be an overlap or a continual exchange of personnel.

This will make it possible for business corporations to externalise some of their costs of growth. They will, as political insiders, press for state involvement in the building of roads and railways and other transport infrastructure that allows them to enjoy greater economies of scale than would otherwise be possible. They will press for the political control of foreign markets. They will be best placed for securing government contracts—often to provide things that they themselves insist are necessary.

Given an ideological climate favourable to active intervention, they will fashion the tax and regulatory system to the disadvantage of smaller competitors.

There are then the cultural costs. Anyone who works for any length of time in a large business corporation tends to become just another “human resource”—all his important life decisions made for him by others, and encouraged into political and cultural passivity. To do well here, he needs to become a receiver and transmitter of orders, to accept authority and avoid arguments with superiors, and to regard success in terms of steady income punctuated by steady advances. He must essentially be a bureaucrat. He will know nothing of how real business is transacted. He will care nothing about laws and taxes that stop others from transacting real business. He will not be inclined to resist paternalism in the political arrangements of his country.

An End to Compromise

As said, this rejection of what may be called “actually existing capitalism” is only an emerging consensus. There are still many libertarians who see nothing wrong with business corporations in themselves. And until quite recently, people like me were on the fringe of the libertarian movement. But, then, until recently, it was not unreasonable for libertarians to look favourably on business corporations.

Until 1989, all politics were shaped by the great ideological tug of war over socialism. We had little choice about joining that tug of war, and none in which direction we would be pulling—and none about with whom we would be pulling. The Communists wanted to destroy business corporations as well as market freedom. Even corrupted markets are better than no markets. And it should never be forgotten that “actually existing capitalism” works. It may constrain both markets and the human spirit. But it has been better than any other system of economic organisation offered in the last hundred years. It has been fantastically productive. It has raised, and is raising, billions from poverty to prosperity. A libertarian world of small and unprivileged business units would be better. But what we has was pretty good, and was to be defended against all its mainstream rivals.

But times are altered. Business corporations have become increasingly global since the end of the Cold War. They have been moving steadily out of their entrepreneurial phase into the bureaucratic. They are increasingly demanding naked privilege. They are demanding intellectual property rights laws that go far beyond what any ordinary person might think reasonable. Through what are called “free trade” agreements, they are promoting regulatory cartelisation at the world level. Nobody of consequence wants to nationalise the corporations. They work happily with governments of every apparent persuasion. Their leading personnel are, more than ever, members of the ruling class.

The more libertarians doubt the legitimacy of the business corporation, more we reconnect or connect with other traditions of resistance to state power. There is nothing anti-libertarian about strong working class organisations. So long as there is no grant of legal privilege, libertarians can have no objection to trade unions, or cooperatives, or other institutions. We might have nothing against the break up of large landed estates—country and town.

Big business no longer needs or deserves our support. We can now safely emphasise the radical elements of our ideology. We are no longer in danger of supporting alternative institutions that may turn out to be Communist front organisations.[1]

Outreach to Conservatives: Old Friends in New Times

So much for the first part of our emerging strategy of resistance. But there is now the matter of our relationship with the conservatives. I do not mean by this the neo-conservatives. Generally speaking, the prefix “neo” has a negative meaning. And these people are less interested in tradition than in keeping up a military-industrial complex that may have been necessary to face down Soviet Communism, but which now is simply a standing danger to freedom at home and peace abroad.

No—what I mean is real conservatives in the English-speaking sense. Their defence of tradition is necessarily a defence of limited government, of due process, of civil liberty, and of market freedom. They were natural allies in the past. There is no reason why they should not continue to be in the future.

The problem so far has been that there are certain differences between libertarians and conservatives that have prevented full-hearted cooperation. With the ending of the Communist threat, it did seem for a while as if we might go our separate ways. Even now, it is not commonly accepted that there is a new threat just as deadly and just as much in need of co-ordinated resistance.

The main difference is one of vision. The libertarian utopia is one of maximum choice in a world of rapid technological progress. What we ultimately want is an order not wholly based on this planet, in which people live for at least a very long time. We are not very interested in keeping up old ways of life simply because they are old.

Conservatives, of course, are interested in keeping up these old ways. They hated socialism as an attack on their ideal order. They sometimes regard libertarianism as barely less of an attack. In particular, they do not believe in mass immigration, which they perceive as a threat to their organic nation state. And they are dubious about a freedom of trade that may prevent their country from feeding itself or from producing its own manufactures.

Here we come at last to what I see as the main achievement of Hans-Hermann Hoppe. I am not ualified to assess his economic work. Because my own philosophical outlook is bounded by the Greek sceptics and by Epicurus and the British empiricists, his epistemology does not really answer any of the questions that I have ever asked. Nor will I claim that he agrees with my own dislike of business corporations. But his clarification of what a libertarian order might be is something that I can appreciate. And it is this that I think his greatest contribution to the joint cause of liberty and tradition.

The Problem of Immigration

Let us consider his work on immigration. Until the end of the twentieth century, there was a libertarian consensus over immigration that had emerged during earlier concerns about the entry of Jews and Irish Catholics to England or of the southern and eastern races of Europe to America. Libertarians insisted, and gained agreement over time, that the problems raised by these immigrations were either imaginary or short term; and that policies of benign neglect would turn strangers into citizens.

With the rise of mass immigration from outside the European world, this opinion has had to come under review. If every Jew in Eastern Europe had moved to England before 1906, it would have raised the population by perhaps three million. If every Slovak in Europe had moved to America before 1920, it would have raised the population also by three million. These were peoples whose appearance and values were reasonably similar to those of the native population, and who could be expected in time to become largely indistinguishable from the native population.

It may be different with non-European immigrants. These look different. Their values are often radically different, and even hostile. There are potentially unlimited numbers of them. Their simple presence seems likely to displace cultural patterns that have long been vaguely favourable to freedom, and to place a strong downward pressure on the incomes of the poor. They are, moreover, being used as an excuse to create an order in which freedom of speech and contract and in which democratic accountability are being set aside in the supposed interests of public order.

The mainstream libertarian response has been to deny that there is in itself any problem at all, and that the experience of past immigrations will simply be repeated. Their only policy recommendations are to raise louder objections to the multicultural police state that was already growing before the quickening of non-European immigration. They also point out that much dispute between newcomers and natives takes place within areas controlled or influenced by the state. Let there be no state education, and there need be no argument over whether some schools should allow teachers to wear veils and others should teach the inerrancy of the Bible or the non-existence of God. Let there be no welfare state, and there need be no argument over taxes on natives to maintain the children of strangers or over taxes on strangers to pay the pensions of natives.

As for the argument over falling wage rates, this is countered by the observation that greater market freedom would after a while check or even reverse this trend, or by denying the legitimacy of any state concern with the living standards of the poor.

What Professor Hoppe does is to ignore the polarity of the debate as it has been set up. Those who want an anarchist order have so far had to accept the legitimacy of mass-immigration. Those who have been worried about mass-immigration have had to accept the need of a state to control the border. Professor Hoppe walks straight through this debate.

The State; Not Guardian but Traitor at the Gate

He regards the mass immigration of the past half century into western countries as an instance not of libertarian open borders, but of “forced integration”. It is different from free trade in goods and services so far as it is not a free choice of individuals to associate as they please. Instead, it is a product of anti-discrimination laws and state welfare policies.

In a democracy, politicians will have an interest in importing those most likely to vote for big government, or those most likely to lend themselves to an electoral balkanisation that puts an end to the accountability of rulers to ruled. Given enough pressure by the majority, these politicians will make immigration laws that look tough. But these will lead at best to random acts of oppression against the sorts of immigrant who, in any rational order, might be welcomed. The policies of indiscriminate welfare that attract paupers into the country, and of political correctness and multiculturalism that prevent the majority from resisting, will continue unchecked.

But let us imagine a society in which there is no state. Obviously, there would be no welfare provided by the tax payers. Nor would it be possible to frighten the natives into passivity. Nor, though, would there be unchecked immigration.

Professor Hoppe says:

“[L]et us…assume an anarcho-capitalist society…..All land is privately owned, including all streets, rivers, airports, harbors, etc.. With respect to some pieces of land, the property title may be unrestricted; that is, the owner is permitted to do with his property whatever he pleases as long as he does not physically damage the property owned by others. With respect to other territories, the property title may be more or less severely restricted. As is currently the case in some housing developments, the owner may be bound by contractual limitations on what he can do with his property (voluntary zoning), which might include residential vs. commercial use, no buildings more than four stories high, no sale or rent to Jews, Germans, Catholics, homosexuals, Haitians, families with or without children, or smokers, for example.

“Clearly, under this scenario there exists no such thing as freedom of immigration. Rather, there exists the freedom of many independent private property owners to admit or exclude others from their own property in accordance with their own unrestricted or restricted property titles. Admission to some territories might be easy, while to others it might be nearly impossible. In any case, however, admission to the property of the admitting person does not imply a ‘freedom to move around,’ unless other property owners consent to such movements. There will be as much immigration or non-immigration, inclusivity or exclusivity, desegregation or segregation, non-discrimination or discrimination based on racial, ethnic, linguistic, religious, cultural or whatever other grounds as individual owners or associations of individual owners allow.

“Note that none of this, not even the most exclusive form of segregationism, has anything to do with a rejection of free trade and the adoption of protectionism. From the fact that one does not want to associate with or live in the neighborhood of Blacks, Turks, Catholics or Hindus, etc., it does not follow that one does not want to trade with them from a distance. To the contrary, it is precisely the absolute voluntariness of human association and separation—the absence of any form of forced integration—that makes peaceful relationships—free trade—between culturally, racially, ethnically, or religiously distinct people possible.”[2]

Indeed, he does not stop with immigration. He argues that a libertarian world would have room for highly traditional communities in which conservative views of morality would be the norm.

Now, I repeat, this may be a theoretical contribution that Professor Hoppe rates lower than his work on Austrian economic theory. For me and for anyone else who wants a fusion of libertarian and conservative movements, it is a contribution of first class importance.

Resisting the New World Order: The End of the Beginning?

Conservatives might not be wholly pleased by such a world. Their organic ideal has room for a powerful state. But the answer to this at the moment—and for some time to come—is that any state able to intervene in matters of personal morality will necessarily be run by the kind of people who now run the state that we have. This will not be a conservative state. Therefore, libertarianism must, for the foreseeable future, be a strategy for conservatives.

We are talking here about a debate that is taking place between a few hundred people, and that is ignored by almost everyone else. There is no chance, either in England or in America, of a libertarian or even of a really conservative electoral victory.

But, if regrettable, this is not necessarily important. What is important is that two groups of intellectuals should arrive at the truth and agree between themselves on that truth and how it should be promoted. If what they decide is the truth, it will eventually have its effect.

I have said that those who enjoy living at the expense of others hardly ever argue honestly about what they want. They hardly ever admit to themselves what they want. Instead, they operate from behind the most presently convenient ideology of legitimisation. Attack these ideologies hard enough, and they will crumble. That may provoke the oppressed to stand up and demand their rights. More likely, it will confuse and weaken those who benefit from such ideologies so that they eventually give in to less violent demands.

Libertarians and conservatives may have lost the Cold War. But the battle continues. And, thanks in part to the work of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, what just a few years ago might have seemed a futile last stand may be the prelude to a dazzling counter-attack.


[1] [1] None of the above should be regarded as original. There is a large, though mostly American, literature on this point. See, for example, Murray Rothbard: “Every element in the New Deal program: central planning, creation of a network of compulsory cartels for industry and agriculture, inflation and credit expansion, artificial raising of wage rates and promotion of unions within the overall monopoly structure, government regulation and ownership, all this had been anticipated and adumbrated during the previous two decades. And this program, with its privileging of various big business interests at the top of the collectivist heap, was in no sense reminiscent of socialism or leftism; there was nothing smacking of the egalitarian or the proletarian here. No, the kinship of this burgeoning collectivism was not at all with socialism-communism but with fascism, or socialism-of-the-right, a kinship which many big businessmen of the twenties expressed openly in their yearning for abandonment of a quasi-laissez-faire system for a collectivism which they could control…. Both left and right have been persistently misled by the notion that intervention by the government is ipso facto leftish and antibusiness.” (Murray N. Rothbard, “Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty,” Left & Right 1, no. 1, Spring 1965.

For further discussions, see: Gabriel S. Kolko, Railroads and Regulation, 1877-1916, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1965 and The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History, 1900-1916, Free Press, New York, 1965; Murray N. Rothbard, “War Collectivism in World War I” in Ronald Radosh and Murray N. Rothbard, eds., A New History of Leviathan, Dutton, New York, 1972; Robert Higgs, Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 1987; Paul Weaver, The Suicidal Corporation: How Big Business Fails America, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1988; Butler Shaffer, In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918-1938, Bucknell University Press, Lewisburg, 1997; John T. Flynn, As We Go Marching, Free Life, New York, 1973; Roy Childs, Big Business and the Rise of American Statism, unnamed publisher, 1971; Joseph Stromberg, “Political Economy of Liberal Corporatism” and “The Role of State Monopoly Capitalism in the American Empire”, both from the Center for Libertarian Studies, New York, 1978; Kevin A. Carson, The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand : Corporate Capitalism as a System of State-Guaranteed Privilege, Red Lion Press, Montreal, 2001; Kevin A. Carson, Austrian and Marxist Theories of Monopoly-Capital: A Mutualist Synthesis, Economic Notes 102, The Libertarian Alliance, London, 2004.

I particularly commend the works of Kevin Carson. See also Appendix Two for a more extended discussion of these matters.

[2] Hans-Hermann Hoppe, On Free Immigration and Forced Integration, 1999—available at: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/hermann-hoppe1.html (checked September 2008)

Harry Patch: The Third Section of the World War passes into history now


Harry Patch has died. I will be honoured to be one of his pall-bearers, although I am sure I will not be asked.

David Davis

Yep, we can all play games about which war is inside which section of the Ongoing World War….but I think that 1914-1919 is the third bit of the main modern section of it. The fourth bit started in about 1935,  and the fifth bit on 1st Sept 1939. Other bits have been intermittently conflagrating on, here and there, for decades since then. 1950, 1956, 1967, 1973, Lebanon, 1991, 2003 and so on.

The point about Harry Patch is not that he represented War-Statism, even though people like Prince Charles tried to take him over as an icon. What we as libertarians ought to celebrate is that individuals can go through this torment, made for them by States, come out the other side, and survive.

In a world in which there is a Libertarian Civilisation, and also some others that are not this thing, there will be wars, for a time. They will be defensive wars waged by the libertarian polity: sorry, I know it, this is what will be. The other States will not want to allow such a thing to be, for it will expose traumatically their dangerous isolation and total lack of underlying strategic support from their own slaves peoples.

I could not begin to tell you authoritatively what Harry Patch thought he was fighting for. For I did not know him, and I would also have been reticent about asking him that question since he was (a) very old, and (b) probably quite sensitive about what he’d give as an answer. But we can probably agree that what he thought he was fighting for was something not very akin to big-statism, which is to say, fascism as practised by the government today in the UK.

And so the Great War now passes into true history as defined by there being nobody who remembered it. We ought to be careful that libertarianism does not go the same way, as there are actually now too few proper ideological libertarians to do what Chris Tame said “make a difference”.

National Libertarian Front: Libertarianism 6. The British Movement


Sean Gabb

The resurgence of the Libertarian movement in Britain occurred in the late 1970s under the direction of Chris Thame who’s life was tragically cut short in 2006. During his life he was the key person in organising the Libertarian Alliance, which aimed not to repeat what it saw as the errors of American Libertarianism. Firstly it would not contest elections believing these to be a waste of time and effort serving only to divide the movement and exhaust the movement over matters of triviality. Secondly, the Libertarian Alliance sought to avoid the conflict endemic in the Libertarian movement such as the conflict between Objectivists and Austrians and provide a forum for genteel debate.
The Libertarian Alliance saw its role as not engaging with the masses but in targeting the intellectuals – the 5% of the population that were interested in political ideas. Taking its cue from the Fabian Society, it published scholarly articles, organised conferences, spoke at University and appeared on radio debates in the expectation that these ideas would eventually be picked up by the political classes and implemented, much like the ideas behind the Institute of Economic Affairs were eventually picked up and became the template of thatcherism.
Needless to say it didn’t, the Libertarian movement in Britain which peaked in the early 1990s has been in decline ever since with its aging membership not being replaced with young members, to the point where the pessimistic amongst them predict that eventually there will be too few living libertarians to sustain a movement and it might die just as Libertarian ideas were dead through much of the twentieth century. This decline prompted Sean Gabb in conjunction with Chris Thame to resurrect class analysis, which for many has been regarded as the preserve of marxism. They concluded that Libertarian ideas whilst true were not being given the light of the day because they were a threat to the wealth, power and status of the class of individuals who draw, wealth, power and status from an activist state.
The Libertarian Alliance, in spite of this analysis continues its strategy of courting the intellectuals even though their ideas is not in the self-interest of the many statist intellectuals suckling at the states teat. The National Libertarian Front argues that radical political change cannot be achieved by publishing a few more pamphlets rather it must engage in the sorts of visible activism traditionally associated with the ‘far right’ and ‘far left’.

Posted by KJ at 10:43

2 comments:
Jock Coats said…
The National Libertarian Front argues that radical political change cannot be achieved by publishing a few more pamphlets rather it must engage in the sorts of visible activism traditionally associated with the ‘far right’ and ‘far left’.
I think it’s fair to say that this is slowly happening here. Many are realizing that we need real life examples of doing without the state. You will probably appreciate that we don’t go in much for “revolutionary” agitation here!
So my focus, for example, is in creating a local “sterling free” trading network for business-to-business and business-to-customer use in my county, and market based affordable housing projects without state subsidy, as a visible example of ways in which people can work fre of the state.
In that, it’s much more of a “mutualist” (see your article on Kevin Carson later) approach of building the institutions that will one day replace the state “organically” rather than trying to persuade a naturally not very revolutionary or activist population to decide on one big momentous change (at the ballot box or otherwise).
Time will tell – people do say that gradualism is a recipe for failure, but equally, our “Overton Window” approach is well enough established.

11 July 2009 18:01
Sean Gabb said…
An interesting analysis. A brief correction: the correct spelling is Tame, not Thame.
On the matter of our strategy, we still see our purpose as providing the intellectual underpinnings for any mass movement that may one day emerge.

National Libertarian Front: Libertarianism 6. The British Movement

What is libertarianism, Part 3: Some clearly-put thoughts from Apocalypse-Nowish


David Davis

This is turning into a proper debate, with lots of people’s viewpoints being happily exposed.

I wisch ti weren’t necessary to have to articulate what we mean, but if we must, then we must.

What is Libertarianism, part 2: The Leg-Iron perspective


David Davis

While worrying about how – and worse: why -  it is now needful to //define libertarianism// , a discussion fortunately kicked off by The Last Ditch yesterday, I chanced on this. A simple and clear statement of what a libertarian civilisation would be like in terms of practical details.

What is libertarianism? Interesting discussion going on at CountingCats, and nothing from me today


David Davis

Here. h/t The Last Ditch.

And libertarianism might mean ultimately protection from this. You might like to read about it over there.

Will the first libertarian State (minimalist) have to be armed to the teeth against foreing Statists? Discuss.


David Davis

I do worry about this, really I do: and I lie awake at night and I do not know what to suggest.

It does occur to one that in the event of a truly Libertarian “government” – if that’s not oxymoronic – arriving in power somewhere any time soon – and I don’t somehow think it will be here in the UK – what will we do about the following?  

By this I mean the inevitable ire, fulminations, threats, missiles such as the Shithead-3, the Gramsci-VII, the Fabian-V, the Skcidpan-flying-dustbin-Mark37,478-people’s-sword (based as always on the V-2 and about as effective as seen in 1991) sanctions (you name it, we didn’t invent it!) outright attempts at piracy of out trading-ships on the High Seas by the “people’s spontaneously-arising-revolutionary forces of the” states-most-threatened, and the like?

And what is all this sword-iconography about, that “people’s states” seem to affect strongly? Like this stuff?

I do not mean to be churlish about people who sell us things, but why do that when others do or did this?

 

Must like swords, then

Must like swords, then

I confess that I don’t see the point. I don’t think even the statist forces of the UK do swords much on their badges. Swords are old hat (bad pun.)

Perhaps they still use them as machinery to behead people. Well then, personally, I believe that to be repellent and disgusting and (even) very very pre-barbarian, and I would put a stop to it in Westminster now  __in__  all those “nations” (Ha!) who do it today, and I’d go after the f****rs on the High seas if needed. As you all know, this writer does not favour the death penalty under the present cicumstances here, for this reason:-

For we cannot delegate to the Agency at Westminster any rights that we do not ourselves posess.

But to get back to the point of this post, as I have to go out and do orange-diode-stuff to the meters on the Steel Beast for a bit, a Libertarian Admministration would have hard choices: I don’t think all of them will involve domestic policy decisions – which will be easy as we can just fire everybody on the State-payroll, raze the buildings, and mallet the hard-drives of the State departments that will need to be “let go”.

I think some decisions will involve what foreign powers think of us, and I don’t think they will be initially friendly.

Really, I was just looking at this stuff, and thinking strategically. Obviously battleships are a no-no, as they are noe deadmeat, but you get the point.#

Censoring libertarian websites


David Davis

I am indebted to The Devil for this link, which is to some kind of Dutch Statist person, and I have sent (the person) the following comment, in case he censors it….

 

 

Dear Mr Paul

I think you also ought to be aware of the websites of the Libertarian Alliance, which is a 40-year-old liberal think-tank and publishing house of long establishment in the UK.

The libertarian Alliance is fully in favour of your right to both think and say what you believe to be right. If you believe that sites which peddle what you think are erroneous doctrines ought to be shut down, then you have every right to say so. We support your right.

 If however you want to censor “liberal” sites in actuality, then you will be no different from socialists such as Nazis and their friends the Stalinists, Maoists, Trotskyists, and any other kinds of “ists” on the side of big-statism.

I am the blogmaster of the Libertarian Alliance. We would like to gain publicity by your trying to have Dutch people’s access to our sites banned in Holland, since we are liberals and you clearly do not view liberalism in quite the positive light that we do..

 http://libertarian.co.uk

http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com

I’m going to add this: (to his…)

Is there, er, some reason why my comment, posted as an insurance on my own blog, and which was sent to you, has not, er, appeared?

 Are you censoring it? You can of course, because this blog on which I am commenting is of course your property. Do you understand about property? Or does your blog get so few hits that you only clock in every 31st of August in years without an “R” in the name?

Some people out there like us….


Here they are…and yes we stand behind Guido in his hours of travail, doing what we can which is rather little. Hope he’s watching his back.

Amid all this wrangling over weaponised dustbins, we are in danger of losing sight of some of the finer things that ought to be preserved after the dawn of liberty


David Davis

I am not sure if the present Queen will survive to the age when she might be graciously allowed to preside over a Libertarian Great Britain, or even a Scotland-Wales-and-Ulster (England having left the UK and possibly requiring something else.) She is already old, and our triumph must still be a long way off as things go now. We must probably pin our hopes on Kate Middleton.

But the survival of quaint, harmless and deeply-morally-based rituals, in the few odd cracks and crannies of what remains of English Civilisation after the various successive ZanuLieBorgs that followed Lord Salisbury, is a good sign.

It is doubtful if there are more than 5 million people alive in the Uk today who know what Maundy Money means; how it originated, or what it represents theologically. Certainly it is not taught any more in Scumbag Schools, either as part of “R E” or anything else – let alone history. No other national traditions have anything similar so far as I know.

Kevin Myers, the great Irish journalist and Man of Letters, once wrote that a key positive of liberal democratic civilisations is that great uplifting liberty and freedom to forget. To be allowed, ultimately, to forget what things mean, that are done by big states – even in the end he said, for example, to forget in the centuries to come why we uncomprehendingly will hand each other poppies in the street on 11th November every year.

The poor wretched subjects of Kim Jong-Il (a troid which this blog loves to hate, for he is bad) are not allowed to forget who is their terrorizer and slave-driver: not allowed to forget what missiles and tanks they now possess, and are weekly paraded before their massed phalnaxes of hungry despairing cheerleaders. The poor Cubans are not allowed to forget the dead GramscoMarxiaNazi pig Castro, even though he died some four years ago) as actroids are wheeled sequentially out to become him, haranguing their cheering thriongs hour after hour, after hour, afte hour. And then on the Wireless, later.

But forgetting is what Free Peoples are allowed to do. It is an astonishing relief; what remains is the necessary social binding between free individuals who must and need to interact in autonomous ways, through the Market and through the normal guidelines of ordinary sociableness that define us as the thinking animal which first did language, for co-operation and survivability.

Nobody I bet you who you ask in the street today will give a f*** about Maundy Money: 91.267% of respondents will think you deranged for even asking. Many indeed of them are trying desperately to pay Gordon Brown’s bills: no washing of the feet of the poor for him! Ugh. Socialists historically who have met poor people, decide they don’t like them very much, and  bugger off. In their black cars.

If we should ever succeed in forging a libertarian civilisation, here or anywhere, I would like to think that things like Maundy Money will survive. This in particular links the “Sovereign” with the rest of ordinary mortals, and shows that – whatever might have gone before – they are people too, and recognise a universal moral authority above themselves.

Libertarian beliefs: a sign of mental illness?


David Davis

The Cato Institute seems to think that people think so. Interesting.

The point of libertarianism: relevant contemplation by The Devil


David Davis

Please read the entire thing. Libertarianism _must_ win, or humanity is doomed.

Brilliant prescience: a Libertarian Polity


David Davis

Brilliant, from Old Holborn, the bastard. The problem of where a Libertarian polity might arise is a real one. There are almost no conditions I can envisage, under which a real modern “Big State” would allow itself to be transformed wholesale into a libertarian one: the Clientariat is too big and too well-supported by Armed Police (the ones you pay for, their helicopters, their HK MP5s, their computers, their squad cars, their “stab-proof-vests charmingly emphasised in bright yellow, their connections with Interior Ministry Troops, their diversity-outreach-courses, and the like.)  

So we have to consider the geographical alternatives.

Obligations to The Landed Underclass for bringing it to our attention here. I wish I had the time to write all this stuff myself, but sadly not. They do it better than I can in any case.

Slash parliamentary seats: good idea. Get rid of Labour “rotten boroughs” entirely….


…and ensure the right kind of permanent majority. (UPDATE:- It will also save a very very large sum, many millions, in “MPs’ expenses”… HAH !! )

HOW TO build a minimal-statist Britain from the bottom up:   part 3,142A/5  :-

David Davis

The first thing you have to do is abolish the concept of “safe” Labour seats in “inner cities” and the “Celtic Fringe”. I expect the Scotsnats can be relied on to demolish Labour in Scotland eventually, and then we can cut the place adrift unless it wants also to leave the EU with us -  but we can help by amalgamating small slum seats with few voters and lots of “constituency activists” who forge ballot papers and rig postal votes, into large slum seats with the same original number of activists, some of whom will get demoralised and piss off onto the dole (which we may stop) and so whose remainder will have less proportional effect. The voters will be less proportionally-well-represented, but for the time being most of them will not give a f***. They will still have their Foot Ball, and their flat screen wireless tele visions.

In line of course with “progressive” policies, while doing the above, you could get your Tory activists to “encourage” individual voters to “engage with the defining issues of Modern Britain today“, thus “individually aiding their ability to focus on the delivery of appropriate franchise policy“.

In the Bedford Conservative Association -  many, many years ago, we just called this “collecting old ladies and driving them to and from the Polling Station“, but the policy could be extended creatively.

The second thing you should do is what has been proposed here.

You could also vote for the LPUK, wherever it stands in forthcoming elections. It is making a pretty good stab at formulating a minimal-statist manifesto that makes sense. It is also the nearest thing we will get, being practical and realistic, to a limited-statist government in the next couple of hundred years.

Interesting thought about libertarians…..


…..here.

David Davis

Musingsonliberty: another interesting new blog spotted.


David Davis

Might be interesting. Here it is.

Stalin, Putin and today’s Russia: so who’s right about Georgia now, then?


David Davis

Just spotted this, and it does not surprise me at all. We need régime change in Russia the USSR, as I keep on boringly saying. The current Russian government the New Communists should be got rid of quietly, elections should be held under scrutiny by the UK libertarian Party, and then the USSR Russia should be invited to join NATO.

I expect Tony’s got something to say about this!

Here’s a couple of good quotes taken from the article-thread…..


Irony: He wasn’t Russian. He was Georgian. But he did KILL 30 million Russians. My favorite Stalin quote: “One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.” Any person not working for the Collective was seen as “surplus” by Stalin, and he deliberately starved them to death. He was one of the most evil people in history. At least Hitler had the bad excuse of hate going for him. Stalin did what he did out of pure, callous, amoral, bureaucratic lack of empathy. He didn’t hate his victims. He simply had no practical use for them.
I HAVE been in Russia. Putin is Hitler reincarnate. He even has the “Putin Youth.” Since he has been in office over 300 Russian journalists have been murdered for speaking out against his regime. He has taken away the right of the citizens to elect their own local governments. They are now appointed by the Kremlin. Putin is a totalitarian dictator, pure and simple. The reason for all his Cold War bluster and military buildup is to keep all the oil and gas money out of the hands of the common folk and in the hands of the billionaire oligarchs. He is a fascist.

Daughter-planets – if any – will thank the Anglosphere, and NOT other foundation-civilisations (there aren’t any.)


When we have gone, they will understand who was responsible. This was just one example from the Croydonian.

David Davis

PS:- I think India will be a great Blue-Water nation: all good luck to it, for it deserves every success that it will win.

Agincourt and WW1: different enemies for different reasons. If libertarianism is not about defending what these old men think they fought for, then it is nothing.


David Davis

I have been garotted, in the last 48 hours or so, for writing about why it’s important to think about past battles of the English against large enemies who wanted us all dead for the wrong reasons, and what the impications are and were for the survival of libery for individuals.

All tyrants want the English dead. It ought not to be surprosing at all, at all at all. And their reasons are, naturally, wrong, for we are right. But without English liberalism there will be no libertarianism.

Here’s one of the very last articles that you will  ever read, about what my old man used to call “The Poor Old Chaps”. File it for historical purposes. It’s nearly Remembrance Sunday, and as these guys pass out of our lives and into memory, make a little note of them. Libertarian conferences are all very well and nice, but I don’t think we’d have been having any at all (at all at all) if things had been different by the end of the Third World War*** in 1991.

***First = 1752-1759

***second = 1793-1815

***third = 1899-1991

Good stuff.


David Davis

To the UK Libertarian Party, you have grown up, and you have the philosophical basis now to fight elections.

You’ll fail at first. Badly. But you knew that before you set out.

Good chaps, dear boys. Let’s try to do well now!

The UK Libertarian Party manifesto, as of today, 17th September 2008


Please read it here.

Libertarians have often disagreed with eqch other about the need for a Libertarian Party in the UK. or even whether forming one is wise. The Libertarian Alliance publicly takes no position either way, since we are a research and publishing organisation, and a think-tank. But my personal views are that it’s time for a party.

Order in the special-brew!

On a more serious note, I will republish links to it from time to time, as the Party’s policies become more fine-tuned.

“PATRIOTISM IS NOT AN OPTIONAL EXTRA” … by Robert Henderson


David Davis

Libertarians are unfortunately quite good at viewing their philosophy (or the several ones?) in isolation – in a vacuum as it were. In this respect we often fall victim to the chronic psychological condition, suffered by most lefties and other types of theoretical fascists, which I now call Marxistitis; this condition is sometimes compicated by acute bouts of  massive watery Verbose-Hegeliorrhoea. (These are NOT links! I don’t put links in red – it’s just that I have not written their two wikipages yet.)

We often tend to get a bit like that when “two or three of us are gathered together”… we think the battle of ideas is won, merely because we are right (of course we know we are, and we even know that…that fascist leftism will crumble into dust eventually.)

But not yet. And in the meantime, the forces of wickedness are daily gaining ground, and we are losing even the battle for liberty in Libertarianism’s country of birth, and its civilisational “range” (I use “range” in the zoological sense here, as of an area that’s effectively benign for a species and in which it occupies ecological niches).

Yes, we now have blogs – and ours are good, and better than the enemy’s, who howls “FOUL!” (because we know we are right.) So what? Cisco and the fat-pipe-people (good name for a “beat group”, yes? I think they are called “bands” now…) can pull the plug, or else our ISPs could be nobbled. So we could all go down in the end, and have to become as silent as 20-odd years ago, if a dash of Liberarian Nationalism is not, I think, injected, in order to at last bring about Sovereign Libertarian Polities (or even one.) I have got into deep shit for this on here before, but I think it matters.

Here’s Robert Henderson:-

PATRIOTISM IS NOT AN OPTIONAL EXTRA

Robert Henderson

Contents

1. What is patriotism?
2. The value of patriotism
3. Tribes are natural
4. Nations are tribes writ large
5. The importance of a national territory
6. The democratic value of nations
7. What the individual owes to the nation
8. The liberal internationalist
9. How to move from multiculturalism to patriotism

2021

Twenty twenty one
And the pogroms come
Because no public One
Would heed Nature’s thrum
Saying ever on
Before each one
The tribe must come.

1. What is patriotism?

By patriotism I mean the sense of belonging to a people, of owning a
land, of instinctively favouring your own country’s men and women,
of knowing that the interest of the “tribe” must come before
everything else. By this definition patriotism is something which the
vast majority of human beings can understand, – the only people who may
be genuinely immune to such comprehension are those who are severely
mentally retarded and those with a personality disorder such as autism
which reduces their ability to understand the social context.

The ease and near universality of understanding sets patriotism apart
from ideologies such as Marxism and liberal internationalism which ask
the individual to master both the tenets of the ideology and complicated
arguments to support of the ideology against attack Those who respond
to the call of patriotism cannot be hoodwinked and manipulated by the
few because almost everyone understands what patriotism is
instinctively. Contrast this with the fate of the majority of those
who, while professing to be adherents of an intellectually demanding
ideology , actually have little understanding of it, either because
they are intellectually lazy or because they lack the intellectual
wherewithal to master the ideology. Such people are left in the position
of the laity in Europe in mediaeval times when the use of Latin in both
translations of the Bible and church rites meant that the vast majority
of the population were left at the mercy of the a small clerical elite
who simply told them what to believe whether or not it was sanctioned by
the Scriptures.

2. The value of patriotism

The value of patriotism lies in its ability to produce social
coherence and an enduring and discrete population . Without patriotism
a country becomes no more than a geographical expression and is ready
prey for colonisation by overt conquest or covert conquest through
mass immigration.

The notion , assiduously disseminated by liberal internationalists,
that human beings are interchangeable social atoms who may live as
readily in one society as another is a recipe for national suicide,
because it embraces policies such as mass immigration which directly
lead to the weakening and ultimately to the destruction of their own
nations. Of course, for the liberal internationalist the destruction
of nation states and the subordination of nations are desired ends ,
but this is predicated on the demonstrably false premise that diverse
populations will live as peacefully and productively as homogeneous ones
. Indeed, the common internationalist claim is that diverse societies
will be stronger and, by implication, more enduring than homogenous
ones. The internationalists have no meaningful grounds for believing
this, for the whole experience of human history and the world as it
is today says that diversity of race and ethnicity in the same
territory equates to violence and social incoherence. There is
literally no example of a diverse society which has not suffered from
its diversity.

Ironically, the consequence of mixed populations is not a diminishing
of national/tribal sentiment, but an inflation of it. A people secure
in its own territory does not need to engage in constant national
expression because nothing threatens it: a people in a mixed society
must constantly do so because all the ethnic/racial groups are
necessarily in conflict because of the need for each to compete for
power and resources for their own group.

3. Tribes are natural

The sense of being separate, of belonging to a discrete group with
identifiable characteristics is a necessary part of being human
because Man is a social animal. All social animals have to have
boundaries to know where the group begins and ends. This is because a
social animal must operate within a hierarchy and a hierarchy can only
exist where there are boundaries. No boundaries, no hierarchy, because
no individual could ever know what the dominance/submission situation
was within their species, or at least within those members of the
species with whom they interact.

Where does “must operate within a hierarchy” come from? First the
observed facts: all social animals do produce hierarchies – although
these vary considerably in form – and human beings always produce
hierarchies, whether they are hunter-gatherers or people populating a
great modern city.

Why do social animals always form hierarchies? For animals other than
Man the answer is I think simple enough: only by forming hierarchies can
social groups cohere. This is most probably because animals vary
considerably in their physical and mental qualities. Observe any animal,
even the simplest single cell organism, and differences between
individuals within the species will become apparent. Some are more
vigorous than others, some larger, some, more adventurous and so on.
Individuals will also vary by age and, in sexually reproducing species,
sex.

In a solitary animal the practical consequences of differences between
individuals will be decided by direct competition, most commonly by the
formation of territories and the attempted monopoly of mates and food
within the territory, with the best endowed animals on average being
more successful.

When an animal is social, differences in individual quality have to be
resolved by something other than the methods used by solitary animals
such as scent marking of territory boundaries and serious fighting
because the animals have to live in close proximity. Competition for
desirable goods still occurs, most notably competition for mates, but
normally within behaviours which are not fatal to other members of the
group or behaviours which are so disruptive as to threaten the survival
of the group. The upshot of this social accommodation is the formation
of different social niches into which ind Continue reading

The interesting thing about the British “Labour” “Party”.


David Davis

The British Labouring-Party wants socialism: its credentials are fine in that regard, for they scoop money from poor-people via “tax-ation”, to be used by themselves. It is after all what socialists are for, and what they have always been for. Just look at the murdering pig Castro, and the other modern murderer Saddam Hussein. Hitler and Stalin were no different. No were the pigs Pol Pot and some robot called “ho chi Mhinh”, nor Mao and Brzhezhniev.

But now it’s faced with a real “di”-”lemma”. (Two problems at once.) It wants to stay in power, so it must get rid of Gordon Brown, or esle its Gauleiters in Westmonster will be out of their jobs at the next election, with nowhere to go since they are institutionally-unemployable. Or, if they wait till then, they’ll go down as a crowd who put in two (or more?) PMs without an election.

Their problem is their lack of Terror-Police. Now, I grant you, they’ve tried hard to instil the terror-factor in the present lot of Fuzz, but in a still-functioning liberal democracy it’s hard to make the Met look quite like the Gestapo or the KGB, even when their squads get to shoot blameless Brazilian electricians and be paid for it.

Labour can’t get out of this jam, for they have not got round, early enough as Lenin and Mao and Castro their friends did, to fixing the opposition via police terror early enough after 1997. They did try but it was too little and too late. Perhaps they thought we were all asleep and it would not be necessary (mostly true I’m afraid.)

They either have to dump an (admittedly inadequate) unlected PM and put in another (unelcted one), which ought to trigger an election which they will lose, or else they have to go on with ths one, who will lose the next election anyway (barring serious accidents.)

What a sad, sad pass for poor socialists, so right as they are, so moral and caring as they are, so correct and so messianically-driven for the common good as they are – to come to.

They are going to get thrown out, again, in a fair fight – as always is the case when one is offered. It’s tru: when people are offered socialism in a free and fair set of choices, they always reject it. So there’s hope, but the big battalions of PR firepower are still on the enemy’s side. 

ITEM:

I can’t blog as much in future. Never mind, for others will take my place, I am working on that matter. Libertarian blogging sadly comes between me and my family, not just in time matters but opinion ones also. It’s called “saving the f*****g world.”

I shall continue to blog when people are not looking. Posts may not be every day.

Sean Gabb to be interviewed by “Tyzden” tomorrow (the main Slovak weekly)


Sean Gabb

1. I shall give a two hour interview tomorrow (Saturday 26th July) to a magazine called Tyzden, which is the main weekly in Slovakia. It will run a four page spread about libertarianism. David D will link it here when it has been published.
 
2. Derek Jacobi has contributed a puff for the paperback edition of my first novel. There is no link to this review yet, but it will be posted as soon as it appears.

Sean Gabb to speak at the Oxford Union, 6th November 2008


Posted on behalf of…

Sean Gabb

Sean Gabb (away from home computer)
Director, The Libertarian Alliance
sean@libertarian.co.uk

I have to find out what the title of the debate will be, and will let all of you eager commentariat, wetting yourselves with anticipation, know what it’s about asap.

No doubt, Sean has – as usual - got himself stuck in a waterlogged trench opposite the Socialist Politically-Correct-Deaths-Head-Hussars, about something or other, and it will be an amusing show…. – DD

If Zanu-Laborg can’t find anyone to stand in Glasgow, then a Libertarian should offer to do it for them …


… on certain conditions.

David Davis (not that one…)

Here’s a report of what’s happening, for the benefit of foreign readers.

A Libertarian, keen to make this a proper contest, for the benefit of representative democracy, could offer him/herself to Zanu-Laborg, as a prospective Parliamentary Candidate. Since there will be nobody else with a brain, all the other possibles being “gamma-minus” semi-morons who think Labour is a good thing, the local committee will have to accept the Libertarian.

He/she will insist on campaigning on a minimal-statist, pro-capitalist, anti-EU, post-barbarian, liberal civil liberties platform, or else he/she will refuse to stand, and the buggers will have nobody who can win against the SNP – their worst nightmare.

This libertarian candidate will succeed in hoovering up all the “pocket” labour votes, (since none of them will read the detail of what he/she says) and Labour will win, and Brown will live to fight another … hour. The Tories should support this as the longer Brown stays in power, the better the Tories will do in the end in 2010, and the further down into the cesspit Labour will be cast, for longer.

In return for selling its soul to liberalism as defined by libertarians, Zanu-Laborg will get more life, for a bit longer. This will also have the benign effect of shifting all the parties’ positions firther towards freedom and further from helotism.

Discuss….

Why what happens to Prince William and Kate Middleton is important for British libertarians.


David Davis

The point about the importance of the British Royal Family is that, in my view, the future of libertarianism depends on how well Libertarian philosophy - and its actual living adherents, who can type and post and get out to the www - survive. In an increasingly hostile world. The political climate is less destructive for us, I think, in constitutional monarchies such as here and in the Scandinavian-and-Dutch-type “bicycling-King-kingdoms”. Therefore we ought to want the survival of the one here in the UK for as long as possible. I think that the William-Kate thingy will help us, as Libertarians, in the decades to come.

True, the Queen has done next-to-nothing as a constitutional Head of State, to oppose the tyrannical posturings and imposts of her various governments, to say nothing of the EU and its baleful effects, but that does not make the system we have a wrong one.

This was out 6th-December-2006 post, the first on the subject and the one whereby I could say “you have read it here first”:-

http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2006/12/06/the-view-from-the-bridge-4/

Libertarian Alliance Showcase Publication No 5: State Your Terms! On The Mis-Use of Language to Convey Subtle Collectivist Messages


David Davis

Neil Lock, in this 2002 LA publication from our Library, gets to the root of the problem.

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/polin/polin177.pdf

I notice it in British GCSE and A-level science and geography papers and text books all the time.

Brian Micklethwait on winning libertarian arguments … topical in view of a slight but encouraging shift towards a less headlong fall into absolutism.


Libertarian Alliance Showcase Publication No 3:

David Davis

My good old friend Brian wrote “How to Win the Libertarian Argument” in 1990.

The capture of City Hall by Boris Johnson, commented on below by Sean, is a smaller and less discouraging step towards the abyss of a fully-tyrannised Britain than might have been the case, had Dread Ken won again – or anybody else for that matter. Three election victories and his bumptious self-importance would have been totally insufferable – not to mention the further inevitable slides down into the cesspool of Cubanised stalinism.

Granted that there is of course now a proper Libertarian Party in the UK for the first time, Conservatives ought also to mind their real liberal roots more, come out, and believe in a more libertarian foundation for their policies.

Here’s Brian starting off (the link is above):-

 

The first rule for winning the libertarian argument is that you

must have it.

That sounds fairly obvious, does it not? Yet how many times

must we libertarians listen to self-styled “practical” and “realistic”

comrades, who tell us that the way to argue for the

abolition of income tax or the legalisation of heroin or the

abolition of compulsory education is to start these arguments

by arguing instead for the lowering of income tax by two per

cent, the legalisation of marijuana, and the introduction of

education vouchers. The idea is that having bought these

mild and diluted versions of libertarianism, people will then

be drawn into accepting the more “extreme” manifestations

of libertarianism, as if being enticed into the back room of a

pornography shop.

 

Read more…….

And for those of you who would like to mine the Libertarian Alliance library of about 800 publications by us over the last 25-odd years, please go here, and browse….


David Davis

Just to advise all you people that we have added to our blogroll the
fine folks at FreeTalkLive.com, the most successful liberty-oriented
podcast. They do 6 shows a week and are on thirty or forty radio
stations in the USA.

 

GO TO “the line is here” now.


David Davis

Marevllous stuff, stirring and purgative. Pass the bottle round chaps, let’s all drink to that.

Here is a Long Video Interview with Chris Tame from 1991


Posted by Sean Gabb

CHRIS TAME, TWO YEARS ON


Sean Gabb

Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 171
20th March 2008
postCount(‘flc171′);Comments | postCountTB(‘flc171′); Trackback

Chris R. Tame: Two Years After
by Sean Gabb

When Samuel Johnson died, his friend David Garrick commented: “He has made a chasm, which not only nothing can fill up, but which nothing has a tendency to fill up. Johnson is dead. Let us go to the next best:-there is nobody; no man can be said to put you in mind of Johnson.” It is now two years since the death of Chris R. Tame, Founder and first Director of the Libertarian Alliance. I can think of nothing more fitting that to repeat those words.

I first met Chris on Monday the 31st December 1979. I was back in London from University, and had decided to inflict myself for the day on National Association for Freedom. I spoke for about half an hour with Gerald Hartup, after which we ran out of anything more to say. He was busy. I was boring. Robert Moss was not available. Stephen Eyres, the Director, was available, but I was not his type, and so he refused to come off the telephone when Gerald introduced us.

Eventually, I was persuaded into a small room without windows and left to consult the “archive”. As I skimmed through the unsorted mountain of literature and old issues of The Free Nation, I read about a new bookshop that had opened just round the corner in Covent Garden. It was wholly devoted to books about liberty. Having no reason to linger in hope of a meeting with Mr Eyres, I made my excuses and went in search of Floral Street.

As yet, the Alternative Bookshop had no fascia, and I walked past the place once. Inside, thousands of books, both old and new, were packed into rudimentary shelves. On the plain, whitewashed walls were various posters, most of these from the Libertarian Party of America. One that I particularly remember was a listing of the core principles of the National Socialist German Workers Party that emphasised its socialist origins and ideals.

I saw none of this at first, as the inside of the shop was very hot, and my spectacles steamed up as soon as I was through the door.

“Can I help you?” asked someone behind the counter to my left. As my spectacle lenses adjusted to the new temperature, I saw a slim, rather short young man with a mass of tight black curls and long sideburns that framed a rather sharp, mobile face. In the blast from the several fan heaters placed behind the counter, he sat in black trousers and a white frilly shirt open to the waist.

“I’ve just come from the NAFF offices” I said. “I read about this shop in The Free Nation.”

The man smiled. “I’m Chris Tame, the Manager” he said. There was a slight but distinct emphasis on the word Manager. I now know that Chris was eleven days past his 30th birthday, and this was his first position of any importance. And it was an important position. He had previously worked at the NAFF, but as a researcher and in strict subordination to people whose views he largely did not share and whose persons he generally despised. Plucked from there, he was now in charge of his own operation, from where he could spread his own distinctive views of liberty without close supervision. He had every reason for that slight emphasis. He was a young man going places, and he wanted the world to know that.

Introductions made, Chris took me on a tour of the bookshop. Here were the Austrian economics, here the Ayn Rand. Here was the history, and here the attacks on socialism, both national and international. He darted from stack to stack, pulling out books for my inspection. I bought some Bastiat, whom I had found in old translations at York, and Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, and something by Leonard E. Read. With the exception of this last, I still have the books.

After a while, I got the impression that Chris had given up on trying to sell more to me. Instead, he was pulling down books simply to discuss them. He seemed to have read them all, and was interested in what I might think of them. I mentioned that I was studying the history of the later Roman Empire. He paused for a moment. He had nothing about that on the shelves, but could recommend books I might find elsewhere. And he did.

It seemed to be over in half an hour, but we sat alone in the bookshop all afternoon. We spoke and spoke. In that first meeting, we covered in outline all the points of difference that were to keep us gently arguing for the next 26 years. I never did ask Chris what he made of me, but I found him both fascinating and disturbing.

At last, it was time for the bookshop to close. Chris invited me for coffee. But I had agreed to meet someone else down at Charing Cross. Before I left, though, he told me about the Libertarian Alliance. This was an organisation he had started. He said I might find it more congenial than the NAFF. I looked at the leaflet he gave me. It looked pleasantly uncompromising, and I joined at once. I think the subscription for students was £7.50. For this, I was promised four issues per year of Free Life magazine and written notification of events of interest. As ever with Chris, there was no distinction made between the work he wanted to do and the work he was paid to do. It was over a year before I realised that the Alternative Bookshop was other than a projection of the Libertarian Alliance.

I pass over the next twenty six years. I do so because so much happened in the time, and because it will be fully narrated in my biography of Chris. I pass over all the scandalous and comical and exciting things I shared with Chris. I pass over the diagnosis of cancer and the rapid failure of his health. I pass over those last terrible months.

But he has now been dead two years. No one can possibly replace him as a centre of gravity for the British libertarian movement. At first or second hand, he inspired every libertarian alive in this country. When the history of British libertarianism is written, it will be seen that all the lines of continuity between the nineteenth and twenty first centuries run through Chris.

Chris is dead. But he is not forgotten; and as time goes by, his memory will be more cherished.

Here are all the Voices of Liberty Videos


Sean Gabb

http://video.google.co.uk/videosearch?q=%22voices+of+liberty%22+gabb&hl=en-GB&sitesearch=

There is a major (2 hours-plus) interview with Chris Tame (don’t worry, we don’t do boring fascist lefty Castro ranting-stuff here about “the people” and “the future”, for we want you all to be interested and involved - ed.) plus sessions with Tim Evans; Brian Micklethwait; prof Roger Scruton; Ralph, Lord Harris; Patrick Minford: Raymond Plant; Dr Robert Lefever;  Kevin McFarlane; Ian Anderson; Norman Barry; Phillip Loades; and many others.  

The Libertarian Alliance Christmas Message. The Sky darkens. The forces of Evil daily encroach on the West, but…..


David Davis 

…..there is hope.

I’m tempted to compare our lot today in the embattled Anglosphere with that of the Holy Family on that first Christmas 2,000 years ago. Libertarianism in England is a broad church. There’s room for all shades of opinion about the Grand Question, from the anti-religious, through atheism, various gnostic stuff I don’t fully understand, and all the way to belief in a grand cosmic order (“Logos”) – call it God if you will, (read ch.1 John (v.i et seq) for the full explanation,) to which practically all thinking physicists cleave eventually.

It reads, under one form of translation as “In the beginning was Order. Order was God, and Order was [with = authorised text] God.”  By contrast I prefer to read the Greek as the ablative case, which could mean any of  “by/with/from”, so you could have “by” equally well here. If God created order (in a Newtonian physical sense, in the universe out of nothing (which He can if He wills it) and Liberty is the mother of order – and not its daughter as socialists think – and if God endowed His creation, the Universe (including Man) with free will, then it’s our lot now to defend its exercise, against all-comers.

The Grand Question was posed by Alfred the Great, in his later years, trying to grapple with the embryonic notions of modern Statehood, and the toughish job of being a king of somewhere desirable in an imperfect world full of pre-capitalist barbarians as well as some better people. This troubling time in which he lived was in the beginnings of the first, oldest and longest-surviving unitary nation in the modern history of the West. (Yes and I’ll talk about ancient China and Japan another time, thanks, so you chaps just form an orderly queue please.)

He articulated his problem by asking; “What is life? Why are we here? What then must we do?”

What must Libertarians do at Christmas?

Firstly they ought to give thanks for the non-accidental accidents of geological and anthropological history which produced a quite large and rather unassailable (well nearly) island, not far to the north of the continent that contained the remnants of the Graeco-Roman inheritance. Not more than a day’s bad sailing, and sometimes even visible. There was somewhere for an alternative view of the world, unencumbered by land borders requiring armies and perpetual fighting. The climate, even, was clement, most of the time.

Secondly, they ought to thank the evolving people of that island, for their erratic but remorseless progress towards a Limited State. It took nearly 1,000 years, it sometimes ended in fisticuffs, but by about 1870 – significantly the year the railway network (private) achieved its greatest ever extent so that no house was more than 3 miles from a station – Britain was about as free as any nation had ever been or would afterwards be. Dr Sean Gabb has chronicled how a man could be born, live and die without coming materially into contact with the State, in his latest book.

Thirdly, they ought to give thanks for the Gospels, and for the Mosaic Decalogue. These documents have underpinned, do underpin now, and will underpin, between today and Armageddon, the foundations of liberal Classical civilisation. (I like John best; he took the trouble to explain to us what Jesus Christ was for, and why He came.)

The countries that bore Libertarianism into being, and which most harbour it today, pay at least lip-service to this tradition, even though it is being viciously undermined by socialist memory-wipers in all climes and in all spheres of human action. Wiping of memories is their job; otherwise evil cannot triumph – why do they always refer to a “Year Zero” – as if there has been no past worth recording and learning from, and as if they are the sole arbiters of the future? If evil is to triumph, this result rests on no recognition of its dangerous isolation and lack of support among Men.

Fourthly then, regarding evil’s need to suppress info about itself, we have to thank the Internet for this latest, and possibly last, God-granted ability to spread information. Many places languish yet in internet-darkness. Notably China, North Korea, Cuba (I’m sure without checking) and many countries on “Arab Street” (what an evil, condescending way to refer to poor miserable enslaved people, used as it is by the fascist mediarati and the other execrable Polly Toynbees of this world. They want i-Pods, BMWs, uncensored broadband, an electricity-grid that works most of the time, and hot and cold running water and flush-toilets, just like we do.)

But for the discovery of these technological advantages that give us yet the edge in this century’s global war against liberty (that’s what it is, folks) – we have to thank first of all and last of all, God, Who Is, through all time and everywhere, and who gave Man the gift of Free Will. This great  technological advantage of The West (born and evolved broadly in the free will of individual intellectual creation) is what Churchill called in “The River War”, the “strong arms of science”, in which he pictured liberal Judeo-Christian civilisation cradled. You may not be allowed to read this book for much longer, so you’d better go to http://www.gutenberg.org/ now and download a copy before it get deleted.

God needed to send no prophets after His Son Jesus Christ; I mean to say, whatever for? Anyone who thinks so is mistaken, and the victim of a ruse. All he needed to do was to give Man free will, and allow Man to set up the conditions for its proper exercise. This occurred, even if only once, and that has been enough for a body of lore and philosophy about liberty – as a discursible concept – to flourish, unlike any time before.

And so Liberty truly became the Mother and not the daughter of Order, and that is where I came in, as one aspect of His Creation was realised. Probably quite accidentally, and perhaps not even noticed importantly enough by That People wott dunn it, at the time. A pity, since lack of this realisation may have led to the death of liberal England, not through lack of sincerity about its rightness, but of failure to spot that it had mortal enemies.

All that Libertarians do is explain how a civilisation based on this would work in practice.

We wish a happy and joyful Christmas to all you people our readers, out there somewhere. If 2008 is looking dark, then write more; talk to more people, give them the directions to The Door Out Of Hell. And in doing so, pull the scales from their eyes about socialism and its allies.

Libertarian overtakes Marxism on Google. (2nd July 2007, an update of that position.)


The first part is what the title was.

Here are today’s results from about a minute ago:

Libertarian = (about) 11,600,000

Marxist = (about) 8,370,000

Marxism = (about) 6,420,000

And some addons, now, for some effect;

“Right Wing” = 3,350,000

Interestingly, “liberal” = (about) 77,200,000

“left liberal” = 294,000 (really? That little?) (almost-real lefties, sort of holograms of one)

“genuine liberal” (that is to say, REAL lefties who are Stalinists and Castro-worshippers) = 17,100 (WHAT??????)

and………….

 “Fascist Bastard” (see Freedom and Whisky for more about this animal) = 713  (yes just 713.) 

Are we on the “right” (I will use the enemy’s terms here, so that their deluded map-readers can tell their Gauleiters where we are sitting, so they can throw stuff at us) all just the victims of a smoke-and-mirrors-game? Will we all wake up in a minute and find it’s just been a bad dream, and the world really is a Market-Civilisation after all?