Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

News from the Libertarian Alliance

Expand Messages
  • Dr Sean Gabb
    Libertarian Alliance Contact Details: Dr Sean Gabb 07956 472 199, sean@libertarian.co.uk Monday 11th March 2013 Dear All,
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 11, 2013
      Libertarian Alliance
      Contact Details: Dr Sean Gabb
      07956 472 199, sean@... <mailto:sean@...>
      Monday 11th March 2013

      Dear All,

      Various to report.

      Some Critical Comments on Roderick T. Long’s “Why Libertarians Believe There Is Only One Right”
      J. C. Lester, Philosophical Notes No. 86


      This article explains various imprecisions and clear errors concerning libertarianism in Roderick T. Long’s essay.1Contra Long, I argue as follows.Non-aggression is not the fundamental libertarian right—liberty is.There are non-libertarian rights, but they don’t override liberty.Assumptions are inevitable because justifications are impossible.Rights should not be “defined” but, rather, morally and metaphysically theorized.Moral and legal permissibility need to be clearly distinguished.Long has unwittingly adopted libertarian, normative conceptions of “aggression” and “force”.It is possible to accept the right to liberty on no grounds whatsoever, and also conjecture that liberty/deontologism and welfare/consequentialism are systematically compatible for conceptual and causal reasons.Long’s rejection of positive rights is privileging and not conceptual.Property needs to be derived from an explicit, non-normative, theory of libertarian liberty.Long’s overall account is “mysterious” and “one-sided.” Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/some-critical-comments-on-roderick-t-longs-why-libertarians-believe-there-is-only-o-ne-rightj-c-lester/>

      The Lessons of History
      by Sean Gabb
      (First Published 22nd March 2003)

      Whatever the more nihilistic historians may claim, history does reveal certain regularities in our behaviour. One of these is that, whenever large numbers of intelligent people agree that it can only get better, the world takes a turn decidedly for the worse. The poets of the Augustan age saw that the present was better than the past, and thought the good times would continue. Instead, the Roman world got Tiberius, Caligula, Nero and Domitian. When Constantine became a Christian, Eusebius insisted this would herald an age of peace and justice. Within a century, Augustine was having to write at immense length to show how this had only apparently not happened. The Enlightenment is famous for its optimism, and we all know it ended with the Terror and a quarter century of bloodletting across Europe. The Victorian belief in progress was knocked on the head at the Somme and Passchendael, and quietly expired in the extermination camps and the Gulag. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/the-lessons-of-history/#more-19143>

      Jury Nullification: A Barrister Writes
      by Howard Gray

      Juries have a duty to try the case according to the law: this is trite. The judge is the tribunal of law, and the jury is the tribunal of fact: that is the simple rule of how criminal law works, and also just as trite. Judges in England are allowed broad scope to direct juries on the law and often put forward their views of the facts usually pre-seasoned with the exhortation that it is “up to you ladies and gentlemen of the jury” about any particular point they deem in need of comment.

      That being said, there is a plethora of rules that they must use to put to a jury about particular points of law and about the standard of proof that must always be there in their directions. For example the “you must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt” and “satisfied so that you are sure”, then they go on to give examples. There are the Turnbull directions on corroboration of witness testimony and so on. Each factual element that has a contentious nature must be directed upon in the judge’s homily to the jury at the end of the trial. Failure to adequately direct a jury can result in the verdict being set aside on appeal. Jurors needn’t be too worried that justice will be denied; appeals are often successful. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/jury-nullification-a-barrister-writes/#more-19129>

      Let Us Have Gay Marriage – But not Yet!
      by Sean Gabb
      (Unedited Version of Article
      Published in TakiMag <http://takimag.com/article/let_us_have_gay_marriage_but_not_yet_sean_gabb/print#axzz2MTSFDRfc>, February 2013)

      Bearing in mind its nature, I think anyone who writes about the gay marriage Bill, now before Parliament, has more than a usual obligation to be honest about his underlying beliefs. Mine are easily stated. I have never shared or understood the moral prejudice against homosexual acts. Even as a boy, I thought the legal penalties were unjust. A quarter of a century ago, I wrote an essay in which, among much else, I called for gay marriage to be allowed. I have a long and consistent, and open, record on gay issues. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/let-us-have-gay-marriage-but-not-yet-by-sean-gabb/#more-19125>

      Flexischooling: Letter Sent to My MP
      by Sean Gabb

      Dear Charlie,

      I am writing as your constituent, and as the parent of a child at a school in your constituency, to complain about the Government’s change in the policy over flexischooling. This is the practice of letting children receive part of their education in school and part at home.

      The change in policy is summarised thus on the DfES wesbite: Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/flexischooling/#more-19122>

      Should There be a Minimum Price for Alcohol?
      by Sean Gabb

      http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2013-03-01-drink-sig.mp3 <http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2013-03-01-drink-sig.mp3>

      Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, speaking on BBC Radio 5 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/>on the 1st March 2013.

      The background to this discussion was a report <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21621144>from the Alcohol Health Alliance, calling for a minimum price of 50p per unit for alcohol, and various restrictions on the advertising and sale of alcohol.

      Sean argues these points: Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/should-there-be-a-minimum-price-for-alcohol-by-sean-gabb/#more-19107>

      Jury Nullification
      by D.J. Webb

      I think there is an important point to be made about jury trials. Of course, the recent collapse of the jury trial of Vicky Price is partly down to the stupidity of the jurors and the removal of the property franchise for serving on a jury — and well-to-do people should never be able to evade their duty in serving on a jury simply because they feel they have other things to do with their time. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/jury-nullification/#more-19102>

      Should David Cameron Apologise for Amritsar?
      By Sean Gabb

      http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2013-02-20-apology-sig.mp3 <http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia2013-02-20-apology-sig.mp3>

      On Wednesday the 20th February 2013, I was asked by the BBC <http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qqvqs> to comment on David Cameron’s “apology <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/poll/2013/feb/20/amritsar-massacre-cameron-apology>” to the Indians for the events at Amritsar in April 1919. A few hours later, I found myself on air with Keith Vaz MP, who was a Minister in the Blair Government. Without transcribing my words from the recording, here is what I said:

      “I do not expect the Prime Minister to apologise for what happened at Amritsar. No more do I expect the Indians to apologise for the Black Hole of Calcutta, or for the bestial atrocities committed by the sepoys against British woman and children during the Mutiny.

      “However, while there are doubtless Indians who get a thrill from watching the grandchildren of the white sahib grovel in the dust, this apology or semi-apology is really about British politics. Whether Conservative or Liberal or Labour, we are ruled by a cartel of cultural Marxists. Part of what they are about involves rewriting British history as a catalogue of shame. That alone explains why our leaders keep going about the world, apologising to every group of foreigners who may think they have a grudge against us. I am proud of my country and of its history. I want no part of this.”

      To put it mildly, this is not an opinion heard very often on the BBC. But I was then asked about the principle of historic apologies. Instead of discussing the principle more than in passing, I took the opportunity to say this: Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/should-david-cameron-apologise-for-amritsar-by-sean-gabb/#more-19066>

      Football Attendance and Family Allowance
      by A.B.

      A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a comment on the BBC football page in which it was pointed out that a train trip from Manchester to London, to watch the Arsenal vs. Man City game would cost 50 pounds, plus 62 pounds for the ticket and 20 pounds for food, for a total of 132 pounds. On Wednesday, 87,000 spectators watched the England vs. Brazil game at Wembley. Every week the Premier League stadiums are filled to the brim with crowds ranging from about 30,000 to 80,000, depending on the size of the stadium. In addition, when television cameras focus on the crowds, they seem pretty much middle-class to me. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/football-attendance-and-family-allowance/#more-18999>

      Is Libertarianism "Unfair"?
      by D.J. Webb

      I have umm’d and aah’d for a long time over how to approach this issue, because it often seems that libertarianism is an ideological reflex of personal interests. For example, Allister Heath at City AM, generally fairly free-market in his approach, called recently for tax reform, but a “reform” that would retain taxes on income and profits and avoid imposing any levies on the occupation of land. On this very LA blog, many people otherwise libertarian in their general views have seemed vituperatively to oppose shifting taxation from income and profits onto property. Such people are often vocal in decrying any attempt to talk about the “fairness” of the free market, while happy to accept state intervention to skew economic opportunities in the interests of those who already have wealth and property. It is likely that most people who are “free-market” in their view of economics are simply expressing their own interests in the economy. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/is-libertarianism-unfair/#more-18986>

      Speech to a Traditionalist Conservative Group
      by Sean Gabb

      http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2013-02-01-swinton-sig.mp3 <http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2013-02-01-swinton-sig.mp3> Flash Animation

      On Friday the 1st February 2013, a debate took place at The Counting House <http://www.the-counting-house.com/>, which is a pub at the junction of Gracechurch Street and Cornhill in the City of London. The question was How to be a Conservative in 21st Century Britain.

      Sean Gabb spoke for the Libertarian Alliance <http://www.libertarian.co.uk/>. Sam Swerling spoke for the Swinton Circle <http://www.swintoncircle.org.uk/>. Their speeches were followed by a lively question and answer session. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/sean-gabb-speech-to-a-traditionalist-conservative-group/#more-18940>

      One Sometimes Does not Know What to Do or Think
      by David Davis

      As I get older and older ( I have already outlived our old chum Chris Tame by almost seven years – and I never imagined that I would be talking about being er, sort of, er, old) the world seems to lurch from one cock-up to another, or one disaster to another. Most are government-mediated. It’s difficult, sometimes, to distinguish a “natural” disaster like an earthquake from a government-mediated one such as the “banking crisis”. Both kinds usually result in lost and wasted resources: the poorer the country, the more the UN wastes in hotels, escort girls. “feasibility-studies” and jet-flights: and the bigger the bank, the more the Treasury wastes in Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/one-sometimes-does-not-know-what-to-do-or-think/#more-18932>

      Sean Gabb on Drinking and Driving:
      A Police Officer Writes

      Note: I have removed the officer’s name, but this e-mail is reproduced here on the LA Blog exactly as received. I think he is inaccurate in several of his factual claims, especially since I know people who have been subject to random breath testing around the Christmas period. I have also encountered any number of police officers who struck me as either mad or high on drugs. However, since he has taken the trouble to write at such length, and so politely, I do require that those who wish to respond should do so in a calm and factual manner. The officer will, I am sure, be following your comments. It would be useful if he were to go away with a better idea than he appears to have of the objections that we have to police powers and to the frequent use and misuse of these powers. SIG Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/sean-gabb-on-drinking-and-driving-a-police-officer-writes/#more-18922>

      That Sheep May Safely Graze
      by Sean Gabb

      This evening, the 26th September 2006, the BBC will broadcast its latest Whistleblower programme. This investigates the sharp and often illegal practices of court bailiffs. They are accused of tricking debtors—and frequently third parties —out of thousands of pounds that are not owed.

      According to a report in The Daily Mail, the bailiffs in one firm are accused of:

      * Doubling or tripling a judgment debt, and then appearing generous by deducting £100—and keeping the whole excess for themselves;
      * Telling the relatives of debtors that they would have their own possessions seized;
      * Threatening debtors with violence;
      * Breaking and entering the premises of debtors and of third parties.

      So far as they are true—and I have not seen the programme in question—these accusations show patterns of behaviour of which I was not previously aware. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/abusive-bailiffs-old-but-possibly-relevant-thoughts/#more-18905>

      Should There be Laws against Drinking and Driving?
      by Sean Gabb

      http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2013-01-22-sig-drink.mp3 <http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2013-01-22-sig-drink.mp3> Flash Animation

      Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, speaking on BBC Radio 4 <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/void(0)/*370*/>on the 22nd January 2013.

      The excuse for this discussion was a story about an Irish local authority that wishes to relax the drinking and driving laws <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/void(0)/*371*/>.

      Sean argues these points: Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/should-there-be-laws-against-drinking-and-driving/#more-18884>

      by Sean Gabb

      This is an ex cathedra statement, not an invitation to debate. It is made in view of certain comments recently posted on this blog.

      The problem with anti-semitic conspiracy theories is that they involve continuous selection. Therefore, you take the fact that Karl Marx was a socialist, and overlook that he was a racist and cultural conservative. You take the fact that Mahler was a musical revolutionary, and overlook that he was a German nationalist. You wholly overlook people like Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises, or Paul Gottfried and Meyer Schiller. You also overlook how many poisonous lefties there seem to be in Israel, calling for open borders and the demotion of Jewish symbols. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/anti-semitism/#more-18860>

      Who Wields the Royal Veto?
      by D.J. Webb

      An intriguing article on the Telegraph <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/9801835/Queen-and-Prince-Charles-using-power-of-veto-over-new-laws-Whitehall-documents-reveal.html> website claims that the Royal family are regularly vetoing new laws, although the article appears sloppily written, and in particular the writer doesn’t appear to know the difference between the formal casting of a veto and the registering of some kind of objection to a law in advance. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/who-wields-the-royal-veto/#more-18838>

      Is Capitalism Just Fraud?
      By David J. Webb

      Located as I am in “rip-off Britain”, it is a worthy question indeed whether capitalism is, in the final analysis, just fraud. Businesses should try to sell their goods for the maximum price in the market—doesn’t that make it likely that the free market is just a conduit for deception? Libertarians are generally left with vague comments along the lines of caveat emptor that ignore the fact that good value and good service are hard to find in the market, whoever one buys from. So I think the question apposite and worth considering. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/is-capitalism-just-fraud/#more-18753>

      Iraq: I Wish I Had Been Wrong
      by Sean Gabb

      My normal reaction when I turn out to be right is a combination of surprise and patronising self-righteousness. Where this Iraqi business is concerned, I really wish I had been wrong. Since the American war aims were never fully explained, there is no official criterion for judging the outcome of the war. On any reasonable view, however, the war has been a disaster.

      The Americans invaded Iraq on a false prospectus. There were no weapons of mass-destruction. There was no link to al Qa’eda, nor any reason to think an invasion would reduce the will and ability of other terrorist groups. They destroyed the country’s administration and much of its infrastructure, and have done little to replace this. They rule the county by armed force. They are censoring the media. They have imprisoned thousands without charge or trial. They have tortured many prisoners. Their military is degenerating by the day into an armed rabble, killing civilians apparently at random. Before invading, they spoke of injecting liberal and democratic values into the heart of the Middle East. Instead, they have simply made themselves hated without being feared. Continue reading → <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/article-on-the-iraq-war-from-11th-may-2004/#more-18728>

      Sean Gabb
      Director, The Libertarian Alliance (Carbon Positive since 1979)
      sean@... <mailto:sean@...> Tel: 07956 472 199

      Postal Address: Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, London W1J 6HL, England

      Donate <https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=BVG33QPY5Z6GA>

      http://www.libertarian.co.uk <http://www.libertarian.co.uk/>
      http://www.seangabb.co.uk <http://www.seangabb.co.uk/>
      <http://www.richardblake.org.uk/>http://richardblake.me.uk/ <http://richardblake.me.uk/>
      http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com <http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/>
      http://www.facebook.com/sean.gabb <http://www.facebook.com/sean.gabb>
      http://vimeo.com/seangabb <http://vimeo.com/seangabb>
      Wikipedia Entry <http://tinyurl.com/23jvoz>

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Sean Gabb
      The Libertarian Alliance Contact Details News from The Libertarian Alliance Contact Details: Dr Sean Gabb 07956 472 199, sean@libertarian.co.uk Dear All, Let
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 28, 2013
        The Libertarian Alliance  Contact Details

        News from
        The Libertarian Alliance
        Contact Details: Dr Sean Gabb
        07956 472 199, sean@...


        Dear All,

        Let me begin with a warning: Do not, under any circumstances, lock yourself into a contract with Talk Talk as your Internet Service Provider. The broadband speed is a third of what is promised. The hardware used appears to be junk - that, or the people in charge of it are as incompetent at making it work as I am at playing the violin. The customer service is an insult. I lost the ability to send out e-mails on the 16th September this year. The senior support staff have just told me they are unable and unwilling to provide me with the service for which I am still obliged to pay. I am now using a friend's broadband for sending out this general message, and will use all the legal devices open to me to slither out of a contract that will otherwise bind me till next April. You have been warned!

        The Libertarian Alliance has remained very active, nevertheless. You may be aware of some of our activities: I have not been entirely unable to send out e-mails. But, if you have received one of the occasional messages that has drifted out, please indulge me for this relisting of some of our high points. These are only from the past month. I advise you to look round on our Blog to see what we've we've been doing. Also, do look at the comments. These are often as long and interesting as the original postings - sometimes more so. Our long term policy of moderating only those comments likely to get us into trouble with the authorities is paying handsome dividends in terms of the time and effort put into the comments. When people know they will be published, even if they are insulting us, they feel inspired to do their best. You are welcome to join in.

        We are currently expanding the LA Committee, and expect to be more active next year in the physical world than we have been of late. In terms of our staying power, and the quality of our output, and our embrace of the whole spectrum of libertarian thought, we are the most important libertarian organisation outside North America. We have outlived any number of libertarian political parties and libertarian policy institutes. Those we have not outlived we easily outperform.

        I therefore commend our latest efforts to your attention. They are worth it.

        Sean Gabb

        Sean Gabb – Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, And How to Get It Back

        by Kevin Carson

        Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, And How to Get It Back

        Sean Gabb, successor to the late Chris Tame as Director of the Libertarian Alliance, is very much a man of the Right: a composite of Burkean and Little Englander, roughly equivalent to the Old Right or paleolibertarians on this side of the Atlantic. In his critique of managerialism and the corporate state, however, he has much to say about globalization and corporate rule, among many other things, that left-libertarians will find of benefit.

        Continue reading

        Culture Wars and the Police State: A Reply to Kevin Carson

        by Keith Preston

        This is my response to Kevin Carson’s recently republished review of Sean Gabb’s book “Cultural Revolution, Culture War”

        Libertarian Alliance

        I doubt it’s possible to develop a thorough or effective critique of statism as it exists in contemporary Western industrialized democracies without a comprehensive critique of the PC ideology. The evidence is overwhelming that PC is simply a new form of political authoritarianism, and something that the ruling class is incorporating into its own ideological superstructure. I’m a Nietzschean-Stirnerite, not any kind of conservative, but I find it disappointing that so many of my fellow libertarians and anarchists are unable to see PC for what it is.

        Continue reading


        The Logical Beauty of Libertarianism

        Interview with Hans-Hermann Hoppe

        [The Brazilian Philosophy Magazine Dicta & Contradicta interviews Hans-Hermann Hoppe. July 15, 2013.]

        Would the change from a statist to a libertarian society help or hinder the production of high culture?

        Hoppe: A libertarian society would be significantly more prosperous and wealthy and this would certainly help both low and high culture. But a free society — a society without taxes and tax-subsidies and without so-called “intellectual property rights” — would produce a very different culture, with a very different set of products, producers, stars, and failures.

        Continue reading

        Should the Poor be Prevented from Buying “Super-Strong” Alcohol? (2013), by Sean Gabb

        http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2013-11-18-drink-sig.mp3 Flash Animation

        Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, speaking on BBC Radio Leeds on the 18th November 2013.

        The background to this discussion is a joint venture between Wakefield Council and West Yorkshire Police, to prevent the sale of “super-strong” alcohol to poor people, thereby preventing them from making nuisances of themselves. This will be an “entirely voluntary” scheme, in which shopkeepers will be “invited” to take part. According to Sergeant John Rogerson, ”We’ll also monitor the premises of retailers who haven’t signed up for increased levels of anti-social behaviour, public order offences, licensing offences and shop theft. If there are any increases, we will notify the licensing department and deal with any offences appropriately.”

        Sean Gabb says:

        Continue reading

        Richard Garner’s Article on Marx: A Former Marxist Writes

        by D.J. Webb

        Unfortunately, this writer, probably a good libertarian, knows almost nothing about Marx’s views. I will comment in order as things come up in the ramshackle post above:

        1. Marx did not say that goods would or should exchange on the basis of the labour time incorporated in them. [How could anyone tell or calculate this?] Marx said the opposite – that goods would NOT exchange on the basis of the labour time incorporated in them, or if they did so, it would be by accident. Continue reading

        The Marxian Theory of Exploitation: A Critique

        The Marxian Theory of Exploitation:
        A Critique

        Richard Garner

        Economic Notes No. 115

        ISBN 9781856376631
        ISSN 0267-7164 (print)
        ISSN 2042-2547 (online)

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

        © 2013: Libertarian Alliance; Richard Garner

        Richard Garner was a libertarian philosopher and a frequent contributor to the Libertarian Alliance and the Society for Individual Freedom until his premature death in 2011 at the age of 33. This pamphlet is an edited version of one that appeared on his personal blog on the 6th March 2008 and which first appeared in hardcopy in the September 2013 issue of The Individual, the journal of the SIF.

        The views expressed in this publication are those of its author, and not necessarily those of the Libertarian Alliance, its Committee, Advisory Council or subscribers.


        Marxian “exploitation” versus reality

        Socialists have railed against the market economy as inherently exploitative. One of the most well known and influential examples of this is in the writings of Karl Marx. This theory was developed most completely in his massive three-volume economics treatise Capital, but is neatly summarised by Arthur P. Mendel:

        The entire argument in Capital rests on the labor theory of value. As was the case with virtually all the parts that Marx fused into his system, this concept was borrowed from earlier writers, in this case from the ‘classical’ economists such as Adam Smith and, especially, David Ricardo. It is primarily a price theory, according to which ‘commodities’ should exchange on the basis of the ‘socially necessary’ labor time devoted to their production. In other words, the amount of time a laborer works to produce a particular item determines its “exchange value”: two products of equal labor value would thus be exchanged for one another.

        Continue reading

        Free the Marine!

        by D.J. Webb

        After reading unpleasant news today, I have to say the first thing I would do if I were in power is to release the Marine framed for a “crime” in Afghanistan and sentenced to life imprisonment today . I have clarified repeatedly that libertarianism has nothing to do with the idea there should be no nations and no borders. There need to be borders so we can defend our nation and its culture. Freedom can only be realised as part of a free society, not a ragbag of individuals, and so that society needs to be defended. There are going to be foreign opponents of the UK that our soldiers confront in battle – it is irrelevant for my purposes that the stated objective of bringing democracy, sweetness and light to Afghanistan was unachievable from the outset and had no connection to our national interests.

        Continue reading

        Should all teachers be “unqualified”?

        David Davis

        There is a bit of a to-do in the MSM at present, with the LabourNazis saying that all teachers should embrace Marxism, have QTS, and other saying that it’s counterproductive. It rather depends what you want, as a nation, out of an “education system”, as if that entire term was not already tautological.

        My own thoughts, reflecting on a longish life and how I got here, are this.

        Backlash against Crown Prosecution Service’s ‘homophobic witch-hunt’

        Backlash against Crown Prosecution Service’s ‘homophobic witch-hunt’

        Obscenity law expert fears CPS using porn laws to persecute gay men

        The CPS is targeting gay men for looking at legal adult pornography, an experienced defence solicitor warns. The Crown Prosecution Service pursued a gay man for possession of alleged indecent pornographic images over a 580-day ordeal. They continued long after the man’s defence produced conclusive evidence that all participants in the pornographic images were of legal age of consent. Continue reading

        Ian B on the Functions of Government

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

        Challenging the “Conservative” mindset

        By D. J. Webb

        I haven’t had much time to write on politics recently, for which I apologise to readers of the LA blog.

        I want to address a problem today that I see frequently. You can call it the Daily Mail mentality, or big-C conservatism, or the smug middle class. This mentality is even exhibited in some of the pro-free market think-tanks that rail against the fecklessness of the benefits scroungers and the young in general, hoping that, by cracking down on benefits, a tax cut for the well heeled can thereby be afforded. This sort of thing can often pass for libertarianism.

        Let me use the example of my mother to illustrate the problem. She condemns her grandchildren for not getting jobs and running up payday loans. Apparently, the young people today don’t want to get on the hard way, by working for your living. They want it all now, handed to them on a plate, without having to work for it. I think many readers of this blog will recognise the theme, which appears to be a regurgitation of some of the worst articles on the Daily Mail website. Warming to her topic, she has been known to wax lyrical on the social obligation to pay the council tax. Is she a budding libertarian? Continue reading

        Traditionalism and Free Trade: An Exercise in Libertarian Outreach

        Traditionalism and Free Trade: 
        An Exercise in Libertarian Outreach
        By Sean Gabb

        Of the issues that divide libertarians and traditionalists, free trade may be the most important. It is central to nearly all our debates. Do we tend to a contractual or an organic view of human relationships? Do we embrace or do we fear a technological and economic progress that is carrying us into a world we cannot predict? Do we regard mankind as a single race, capable, despite its present separations, of a single future history? Or do we regard these present separations as inevitable, and perhaps worth maintaining? Where do we stand in the debate over England that took place between about 1830 and 1850? In all these and more, how we view free trade will usually correlate with, and may determine, the side that we take.

        Since the end of the Cold War, libertarians and traditionalists have been drawn increasingly together. We face a ruling class that is equally at war with liberty and with tradition. On many practical issues – our endless wars, the police state, the shift of power to unaccountable global institutions – we are in agreement. Therefore, while some of us continue the old disputes and mutual condemnations, others have chosen to set aside the condemnations, and to explore in what degree the disputes can be reconciled. Continue reading

        The myth of the Unconscious

        Book Review by David McDonagh

        Therapy Breakthrough: Why some psychotherapies work better than others. Michael R. Edelstein, Richard K. Kujoth and David Ramsay Steele.

        The book is about the old Freudian psychotherapy and the new, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy [CBT] that has largely replaced it over the last 60 years. The main difference seems to be that, bit by bit, and in their own innovative way, during the last 60 years the various followers of Freud tended to abandon the Unconscious mind idea or meme that many authors and psychotherapists today tend to think does not exist. I think, with the authors, they are right in that assumption. Continue reading

        Why I’m not Wearing a Poppy

        Why I’m not Wearing a Poppy
        by D.J. Webb

        Once again the annual row on the wearing of poppies is taking place. The powers that be are against patriotism on principle, although there is considerable contradiction in running a society and not being supportive of it. However, the issue has been rather muddied for me by Britain‘s habit of sending young men abroad into wars that have no conceivable connection to our national interest. I support our soldiers unconditionally, whether the wars are justified or not, as they are British soldiers. I also feel very sorry for those wounded, or killed, in wars staged for the convenience of the liberal elite. But I have not worn a poppy for several years now. Continue reading

        Libertarianism: Thick and Thin – and Why Paleolibertarianism is Neither

        by Keir Martland

        Libertarianism: Thick and Thin – and Why Paleolibertarianism is Neither

        By Keir Martland

        After reading a paper by Jeffrey Tucker and Lew Rockwell, I decided I would put something into words which I heretofore hadn’t been able to: paleolibertarianism isn’t actually a type of ‘thick libertarianism’. For those unfamiliar with the terms, I’ll give a brief explanation of them.

        To be a thin libertarian is to be concerned solely with libertarian politics or philosophy, with no views whatsoever on culture. A thin libertarian will respond to anything with the flippant retort “As long as it doesn’t violate the NAP.” Perhaps the best example I could give to you of this would be a libertarian who is also culturally relativist. Continue reading

        Britain and the Reversion to Ancestral Ways (2013), by Sean Gabb


        Britain and the Global Reversion to Ancestral Ways:
        A Speech Given to the Conference of
        The Traditional Britain Group,

        Held in London on the 19th October 2013.

        [What began as laziness, and then settled into method, is that I do not prepare speeches in advance. What I do is to prepare a mental list of the things I feel inclined to say, and of the order in which I might say them, and then to leave the manner of saying them to the inspiration of the day. If there is a written text, it is usually prepared after the event. After decades of practice, this usually works rather well. Because there will soon be a video of it on YouTube, you can judge for yourselves whether my speech to the Traditional Britain Group was any good. Here, for the moment, is what I probably said.] Continue reading

        Preserving the substance of a nation: the role of a traditional conservative counter-establishment

        by John Kersey

        This is the text of a speech delivered earlier today to the Traditional Britain Group conference.

        I am going to begin with a simple thesis: the loss of the English nation has progressed to such an extent that ordinary measures will not be sufficient to restore it. I am going to propose to you that if we aim to see the restoration of traditional Conservatism in this country, we cannot rely upon the existing mechanisms of our society – its national politics and its institutions – to serve that purpose. I have two main reasons for proposing this theory, and after I enumerate them, I will then go on to explain their consequences for us and the necessity for a traditional conservative counter-establishment.

        The first difficulty we face is really more of a historical phenomenon than anything else. It is that where change of a widespread and fundamental nature has occurred, it is then near-impossible to return to the status quo ante. If we look to English history, there are events – such as the Restoration of 1660 – that may seem to look backwards, but in reality constitute the combination of elements of the past and present. The most usual pattern is that of thesis – which in this example is absolute monarchy; antithesis – the Puritan Commonwealth; and then synthesis – the constitutional monarchy that constitutes the Restoration. England is very good indeed at giving the veneer of continuity to what is in fact profound change. This can fool us into mistaking style for substance. I am going to suggest to you that we as conservatives are too often fooled in this way, and that we are sometimes satisfied with a change of style where in fact it is substance that needs to be addressed. Genuine change of substance – in this case reactionary reversion – is extremely rare, and will almost invariably be achieved at the cost of much bloodshed. We in Britain have not succeeded hitherto in turning the clock back in public life. I suggest it is unlikely that we can easily succeed in doing so in the future.

        The second difficulty is in our perception of the effects of change. We often see the results of change and we must then look for its causes. Sometimes this is uncontroversial, but often we feel sure that we can connect cause and effect in a straight line more because of our inner convictions rather than because of an actual and measurable connexion. Many of us believe that much of the blame for the problems that face our country can be placed at the feet of our current batch of elected representatives, or their immediate predecessors. But what if what we are perceiving is in fact a much more gradual and deep-rooted process working its way out, and with less to do with politicians than with social change that is the outcome of a variety of post-1945 factors? The root of conservatism is in an extremely guarded attitude to change, precisely because change has unpredictable, and sometimes unmeasurable effects. We should therefore be very careful not to assume that where we propose change we can predict its outcome. In particular, we must not assume that the solutions of yesterday can be applied to the problems of today with the same results. And we must be aware that anything we create will be at constant risk from both external opposition and infiltration.

        Conservatism and traditionalism are not ideologies; they are anti-ideological in that they rest upon a system of fixed, guiding principles rather than upon an agenda based upon change. As such, if we define ourselves as conservatives and traditionalists, we need to beware of ideologically-driven forces that oppose what we stand for. In our time the two most prominent ideologies that threaten conservatism and traditionalism are socialism and neoconservatism. Neoconservatism is the outcome of an attempt to apply Left-wing models of ideology and change to core conservative ideas.

        Continue reading



        The Libertarian Alliance (Carbon Positive since 1979)
        director@... Tel: 07956 472 199

        Postal Address: Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, London W1J 6HL, England


        Subscribe to LA Blog

        RSS Feed RSS - Posts
        RSS Feed RSS - Comments

        Please click
        to donate to the Libertarian Alliance

      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.