History of the Libertarian Alliance

The Libertarian Alliance (LA) was formed in 1967 and is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties think tank – hosting the world’s second largest libertarian web site after the CATO Institute in Washington, DC.

The LA currently has nearly 800 pamphlets in print and has published more than 150 authors. It has attracted widespread press and media interest, and has been at the forefront of establishing libertarian ideas as an important part of modern political discourse.

Dr Sean Gabb, the Director of the Libertarian Alliance, speaks regularly on the Television, and on the radio, in current affairs programmes and where comment is required. On Monday 16th february 2009, he massively upset  a few people at Conservative-Future, giving a speech about the extent (large) to which the Tory Party on gaining power – as it might – should slash the size of the British State, including totally abolishing the BBC and taking it off air terminally.

The Purpose and Strategy of the Libertarian Alliance was published as LA Tactical Notes No.1 in 1981 and is available on this web site. It remains the best introductory guide to the organisation by underlining its primary purpose to explain radical free market ideas to members of the public be they students, journalists, businessmen, academics, government officials or anyone else interested in the future.

Building up an influential network of free market scholars and commentators throughout the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and beyond, has enabled the Libertarian Alliance to become the major global publishing operation that it is.

Dr Chris R. Tame, Founder and first Director of the Libertarian Alliance, died in March 2006. He was succeeded by Dr Timothy Evans and Dr Sean Gabb, who as President and Director, now jointly run the organisation.

The blog is run from a shed in Lancashire, by shifts of Chimpanzee Type Writers: best place for it really.

21 responses to “History of the Libertarian Alliance

  1. Could you please tell me why the american chemical agro industry is using acrylamide in their soil . Is it so that they can open new cancer clinics, as they are doing . This agent is I believe a nazi pre war medium, used on the jews . Am I right? I believe one of the nerve agents is acrylamide . The food showing high levels of acrylamide, I don’t believe are being produced naturely, as the powers to be want us to believe. If this is correct I believe they are breaking the treaty geneva protocal

  2. Acrylamide is a fairly harmless mmonomer for use in plastics. It has no function in “soil”, and does nothing there.

    “Acrylaldehyde”, known to us chemists as Acrolein, is a normal by-product of frying food that contains protein, which is more or less all foods.

    The Nazis did not know about either of these chemicals, although german chemists, frequently Jewish and therefore likely to have been elsewhere by then, probably characterised the compounds since German pre-war science was highly regarded and very advanced.

    Acrylamide is not a “nerve agent”. Nor is acrylaldehyde.

    The chemial used to cause death in gas chambers was “Zyklon-B.” There is a very large wikipedia entry about it if you would like to know more. Alternatively, “Einsatzgruppen” used to herd people into trucks, lock the doors, and pump in the exhaust gases from the engine, simple as that, and equally effective. There were so many peope to kill, and so little time. Perhaps george W Bushitler stages the 9/11 disaster to hide his einsatz activities against poor blacks in new Orleans? I do not know. Do you?

    What do you mean by “the powers”?

    The “Geneva protocol” is to do with agreed (or not) conduct of soldiers in war, towards combatants and civilians.

  3. acrylamide is a known neurotoxin . You can find out about the effects of acrylamide poisoning. Acrylamide is not allowed into our food , however it arrives by agricultural means . Acrrylonitrile is the purcusor for making acrylamide . Yes it came to north america by way of germany in 1953 , and was being tested by a german chemist by the name of herbst in 1926. It is a poison.

  4. Hey, I’ve been to several meetings of the Libertarian Alliance and didn’t see any of you people!

  5. There are two such Alliances, you know. Perhaps you went to the wrong other one.

  6. There are two. We are on ordinary friendly terms with the other one, and many people in the UK are members of both groups. This is fine by us and them. We broadly work for the same objectives, and that’s better than what the Marxists do to each other.

  7. It is true that Keynes misunderstood ” The Prof” aka A.C. Pigou, whose short biography or Memoir by John Saltmarsh and Patrick Wilkinsion was published by Kings College in 1960. Although Keynes’ attack on Marshall hurt Pigou. ..it was this episode ( ie impiety towards Marshall) ” in no sence caused a breach between these two men”. Pigou’s influence in relation to theory of employment and welfare merit revisitation. Whether Libertarians like it or not, Welfare matters: Then and now. ( CLAL Kings colllege1955-59 )

  8. Howard R Gray

    I am gratified that the two wings of the Libertarian Alliance are talking amicably at last.

    Years back I recall sitting on a bench in Leicester Square when George Miller sat down next to me and, amongst other comments, said to me “I hear there is going to be a split in the Libertarian Alliance”. This was about 3 days or so before it happened. He intimated that this information came from Russian intelligence.

    Be that as it may, there is a history of the alliance that needs to be written about this event. Minutes after this meeting Chris Tame was aware of this information, confirming what he already knew was in the wind at the time. An acrimonious split occurred fueled by an attempt to create a company to take over the name of the Libertarian Alliance by the side opposed to Chris Tame.

    Fortunately, there was an informal arbitration that settled the matter with the outcome that there are two separate organizations sharing the same name.

    The good thing is that none of this matters much anymore, the LA is going from strength to strength as an advocacy institution for libertarian ideas. Though I would like to see a write up of the event from all evolved in it. No history of the LA can be without some comment on this matter.

  9. Howard:

    The tip-off from the late George Miller is news to me.

    The pivotal event occurred when James Alexander took a copy of the LA mailing list from the IEA without approval. Scattered events surrounding this indicated an attempt to take over the LA and the Alternative Bookshop (which served as a meeting-point and outlet for the LA). Chris asked for my assistance, and I responded.

    There was no arbitration. Hillel Steiner conducted an inquiry at the Waldorf Hotel, and issued a vague report which did not rule in favour of either side. I was physically attacked after the inquiry had ended. I was threatened by a leader of the opposing faction who had had too much to drink. I found all this very distressing — I had had friends on both sides of this dispute and I found it all very stressful.

    I had resigned from the Executive Committee, a year or more previously, over the descent into factionalism and politicking which disrupted the Executive Committee’s functioning. I was happy to be out of it, to be honest.

    Chris did not want to publish an account of these events because he worried that it would scare away the “respectable” people which he cultivated in the hope of getting a paid position with them. There are several accounts of the dispute on the Web, none of which are complete. The truth was the first casualty, alas.


  10. “There are two such Alliances, you know. Perhaps you went to the wrong other one.”

    Guys, I (Nick Danger) was winding you up. I know all about the two (dis)alliances.

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  13. Well, there is plenty of falsehood on this topic above.

    DRS wrote an account of the event that appeared in Free Life. It can be found on the LA list were the archive of all the early FLs are.

    I suggested to James Alexander that he get the list of LA addresses from the IEA. What permission Hollick imagines that we needed for that is not clear. So it might be I that unwittingly caused the split, but I had no idea that anything like that might result, as James & I merely meant to begin a journal we were to call The Liberal but that was not anything to do with a new company or with the bookshop. We did get it out later & it evolved into The Libertarian Student later on. This should not have affected the LA at all, no more than did Brian’s side publications in his Anti-Soviet Society. But maybe it affected Chris in a way that I never imagined till Jeremy Hawden told me that Chris told him it did at Tim’s talk late last year.

    Chris was earlier upset by Mark Brady & DRS getting concerned over NTS in an Open Letter to the EC of LA, but JA & I backed CRT on that against MB & DRS, whom we thought were both getting a bit too worked up over a triviality. The full story is in the Free Life.

    It was solely Chris that made, or attempted to make, changes in the LA in 1982. No one else had any changes in mind as far as I know.

    But Tony Hollick, contrary to what he says, seemed to love it & he seems to be almost a complete stranger to the truth all along the way.


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  15. David:

    My lawyers acted for Chris and I. I counselled Chris, who was very distressed by the trend of events. I formulated and wrote the Letter to Members of 11 December 1982, offering a contractual basis for the LA. I co-edited “Free Life” for several issues. After DRS had attacked me and threatened to kill me, you asked me “Now do you understand?” as I was leaving, after Hillel Steiner’s meeting. I had been asked by the Anti-Terrorist Branch of New Scotland Yard to stay behind after Hillel Steiner’s Inquiry, so as to discern the intentions of DRS and his associates.

    Special Branch offered to prosecute DRS for multiple assaults and threats to kill. I asked for DRS to be allowed to return to his life in America.

    DRS rewarded this forbearance by co-authoring “The 18th Brumaire of Chris R. Tame” in Libertarian Vanguard, the publication of the US Libertarian Caucus. All this is a matter of record.


  16. It is relevant that during the LA fracas, Valery Senderov, an NTS activist, was on trial in Moscow on charges of “Anti-Soviet activity.” He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. Compare and contrast.


  17. I have just seen this, Tony.

    You are imagining things on saying that DRS threatened to kill you. And it is a very silly thing to say. You even say that I was in on this by saying that I checked to see if you comprehended that your life was at risk. That is also false and very silly. But then you do like saying silly things, Tony.

  18. Really, all this doesn’t matter any more. David, I’d be pleased if you would write stuff for us on here, if we have not already invited you so to do.

  19. I agree that it does not matter much David but it is, nevertheless, silly of Tony to say such false things. Some fool might think they are true.

    I do write for this blog now and again. Indeed I am writing this!

  20. David: I’m not asserting that I understood you to be referring to DRS’s threats. I didn’t (and don’t) understand what you meant by your remark. You may recall that DRS stood up, purple-faced and lunged across the table towards me, whereupon his associates grabbed him and subdued him. I got up to leave, whereupon you made your remark. What did you mean by it?

  21. I do not recall making any such remark. I feel certain that I never did say anything like that..

    I also feel certain that I never heard DRS threaten anyone: ever. And I have known him since 1968.

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