For freedom to flourish, we need liberty (as I keep saying.)
Hayek particularised this relationship between whatever “State” authorities there may be, and individuals, by stating that “to be controlled in one’s economic pursuits…..is to be controlled in everything”.
Today we learn that the Forestry Commission, a body statist to its very fibre (no pun intended) from its inception to its present activities, is to terminate ancient rights of individuals to collect fallen timber and dead wood for any purpose, on the grounds of “health and safety.”
I am not convinced that the right is enshrined in Magna Carta, as my copy does not appear to explicitly state it. But the point is that this is a symbolic act by a “big statist” QUANGO, designed further to separate individuals from victimless rights, which is to say natural ones as we have always described. it is nothing to do with “political correctness gone mad” – as if PC was something designed to help civilisations operate sanely and rationally anyway.
No: the plan to forbid people from gathering their own dead wood, instead “licensing” “local timber merchants” to sell it to them, merely is another act in the sordid sham of “bringing government closer to the people it serves”. Just like death-camps “served” the Jews and others under another socialist state I shan’t mention: government was brought closer to them than was good for their health and well-being.
Like my post the other day, on the true importance and meaning of revising history with regard to Agincourt (and why what the French revisionist historians are doint is TOTALLY relevant to the fight for liberty) what the Forestry-gauleiters are up to is yet another little detailed skirmish in the long retreat of liberty from the lives of ordinary people.
This gradual confiscation is designed to make it harder and harder for us to climb back out of the Dark Age in store for us, to a state where real Natural Rights can again be exercised in a minimal-statist environment. Successful conferences like ours which has just closed in London last night, will do great good in firing up the officers of libertarianism for the future. But officers are no use unless the “lesser folk”, for whom it is all about in the end, and of whom there are many many millions, understand what’s at stake, and how to use liberal philosophy to combat petty local assaults on natural rights.
Grand think-pieces will not be forgotten. But, in the even grander strategic context of British libertarian thought and tactics for re-engineering liberty for humans, this blog will increasingly take the role of exposer of petty, nasty, bureaucratic destruction of liberties, especially ancient ones.