The Manifesto of the Live and Let Live Party


(Author’s Note: Tom Rogers recently made a comment, on a thread about the forthcoming UK election, asking for “plausible and realistic ideas that can be put into action and that will appeal to ordinary working people.” Despite my strong aversion to politics as it exists today, and to politicians of all stripes and all parties, I thought it might be good to set down my best stab at exactly that. Hence this draft outline of a “party manifesto,” intended to spark thought and discussion.

I thought of several possible names for the party – the Good People’s Party, the Sanity Party, the Peace and Justice Party, perhaps even the Zero Agenda Party. But I eventually settled on the “Live and Let Live Party.”)

Introduction

For the last 150 years or so, the primary human political unit has been the nation state. There have been empires, too; but these do not seem to have been stable in recent times. The British empire, eventually, failed. The Soviet empire failed. The EU empire is well on its way to failing. And cracks are starting to show even in the hegemony of the American empire.

Most Western nation states, including the UK, have some form of democracy. But there are serious cracks appearing in democracy, too. From roughly the 1920s up to the early 1990s, power in the UK swung back and forth between two opposite poles; the Tories or the “right,” and Labour or the “left.” Those who preferred one over the other, were relatively happy half of the time, and oppressed the other half of the time. But around 25 years ago, things changed. The policies of the different parties grew closer together, and became more and more estranged from the interests of us, the good people. So today, many people face an election in which none of the major parties shows any concern for us. None of them are worth voting for; and each has something in them that is downright evil. Whoever wins in June, politics is likely to continue, as it has been doing for many years, getting worse rather than better.

This is why we formed the Live and Let Live Party. We want the party to do for everyone in the UK exactly what it says on the tin. We want everyone to have the freedom to live their own lives in their own way, free from all unnecessary restrictions. But there is a flip side to that freedom. That is, that each of us must always allow others to enjoy the same freedom in return. You cannot peaceably Live with others, unless you are willing to Let them Live in return.

From an academic point of view, there is much wrong with current political systems. You can question the ethical basis for the nation and for its state. You can question whether today’s 17th century style “Westphalian” nation states are out of date, and ripe for replacement by something better. You can question whether a nation must have borders, giving examples like the English and the Kurds. You can question whether it should have a military, and if so how big. You can question whether we need as big and active a government as we have, or indeed whether we need political government at all. You can question whether democracy has been a success or a failure, or whether it may even, over the long run, have made things worse. You can question whether forming a political party is a sensible thing to do, for those who are fed up with the system. But none of this professorial prattle actually gets anything done on the ground, where it matters.

So our party must have, ultimately, a practical focus. We have to accept, at least for the short term, the existing institutions. We have to accept nations and borders. We have to accept the need for military defence. We have to accept the parliament as it is. We have to accept the population of the UK as it is today. We have to accept, or at least to seek to work tolerably with, our neighbours and our strategic partners. And it is in this context that we, the Live and Let Live Party, are pleased to present our manifesto.

What we stand for

  1. We’re for the individual. We’re for the interests of every individual in the UK, criminals and political hacks excepted. We recognize that the individual is the fundamental unit, from which all societies are built. And that every individual is different. Each has his or her own combination of needs and desires, choices and inclinations, strengths and weaknesses. Further, our social view is bottom-up. We want to empower all individuals to run their own lives in their own way as far as possible. When considering social interactions, we focus always on the individuals involved. And we do not accept that any social construct, including a political nation, is somehow superior to the aggregate of the individuals who constitute it.
  2. We’re for the family. The family is vitally important, because it is the smallest social unit which can survive indefinitely. We understand that those, who choose to have families, have taken on a huge responsibility. But we also understand that parents must have the right and the power to choose how they bring up and educate their children. It isn’t a valid function of government to interfere with family life, unless a real crime is being committed.
  3. We’re for peace. We recognize that, for any large nation, under the present system the possession of military force is vital. But we recognize also that it must only be used defensively, or in retaliation for an attack against us or our allies. It isn’t a valid function of government to aggressively interfere in other countries’ affairs, short of forestalling an actual attack or halting a genocide.
  4. We’re for justice. Not for “social justice,” or “environmental justice,” or any of the other drivel that today passes for “justice.” We stand for objective, individual justice for all. Under justice, no-one deserves to be treated, over the long run and in the round, worse than he or she treats others. And it isn’t a valid function of government to go against such justice.
  5. We’re for human rights. We recognize that every human being, without exception, has certain rights and freedoms. They include life (in the sense of not being murdered), security of person, property, privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of thought and action, and many more. These rights are conditional only on respecting the equal rights and freedoms of others. If you respect others’ rights, your own rights must not be violated.
  6. We’re for the rule of law. We believe that what is legally right, and what is considered wrong, in a jurisdiction at a particular time must be clearly stated, and made known to the public. And that it must be exactly the same for everyone; High Court judge or bricklayer.
  7. We’re for the rule of minimal law. We believe that laws should represent only the absolute minimum of constraint, which is necessary to enable people to live together in peace and justice. And we support the traditional safeguards of public trials, presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and protection against double jeopardy.
  8. We’re for the precautionary principle in its original, unperverted form. We believe that the Hippocratic oath for doctors, “First, do no harm,” should also apply to government. Government should never seek to harm anyone, without first weighing up the justice of the situation, its rights and its wrongs, the costs and the benefits to those concerned. And the burden of proof must always be on those who are proposing harmful change.
  9. We’re for small, unintrusive, de-centralized government. Just as we believe the code of law should be minimal, so we believe that government itself should be minimal. Further, it should avoid intruding on our lives, unless that is evidently necessary. And as far as possible, government should be de-centralized; its services should be delivered within the communities in which its subscribers live.
  10. We’re for the free market and for laissez-faire. We believe that, absent criminal acts, no-one should be denied the right to offer goods or services to others in return for payment. Further, we believe that those, who satisfy their customers, have the right to enjoy the rewards they receive as a result.
  11. We’re for small business. We believe that the one- and two-man band, the family firm, and small companies in general are a vital part of our economic way forward to the future. We believe that government should never harm the interests of such businesses. Nor should government ever give favours to big-business cronies.
  12. We’re for tolerance. We believe that no-one deserves to be pre-judged on the basis of what they are (for example, by skin colour, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation). In contrast, we believe that individuals should be judged only on what they do. We recognize that there will always exist some prejudiced individuals, and that little can be done to change them. But government itself must never act on the basis of such prejudices.
  13. We’re for honesty, impartiality, transparency and accountability. We believe that all officials of government should be held to very much higher standards of honesty and impartiality than they are today. Further, there should be a far higher level of transparency, including a general presumption of public access to government records. And where policies are shown to have been wrong, officials at all levels should be held accountable for their share of the bad effects of these policies.
  14. We’re for de-politicization of services, such as education and health, that are currently provided by the state. We favour the provision of such services through smaller, independent units, in which those who actually deliver the services have a considerable stake.
  15. We’re for free, unbiased choice. We believe that, where competing means are available to achieve a particular goal (for example, cars versus public transport), then individuals should be free to choose whichever is best for them. We believe that government should not attempt to bias these choices.
  16. We’re for international trade. We believe in “Economics global, politics local.” We favour international trade, and the facilities – such as ports and airports – which are necessary to support that trade.

    What we’re against

  17. We oppose social engineering. We believe that government must be for the benefit of the governed. And it must, over the long run, be a nett benefit to every individual among those governed; criminals and political hacks excepted. Therefore we oppose all social engineering, and any attempts to mould people into obedient serfs or cogs in a machine; such as anti-smoking or anti-alcohol policies.
  18. We oppose economic meddling. We oppose artificially low interest rates, which help the state but penalize savers. We oppose the creation by government of economic winners and losers, cronies and victims. We oppose “quantitative easing,” because it stokes up future inflation. And we see the function of government in the economic sphere as being hands off; no more than to establish the conditions under which the market can operate most effectively.
  19. We oppose the green agenda. We are skeptical of the meme that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will cause, catastrophic warming on a global scale. We oppose the perversion of science, and the inversion of the precautionary principle and thus of the burden of proof, that have been done in the name of this meme. We oppose, also, those in the media that have persistently lied to us about this issue for more than 25 years. We are skeptical of the idea of “sustainable development,” which itself is already beginning to look unsustainable. We believe that the Earth is our planet, the human planet; and the UK, also known as Britain, is our land. This land and its resources are there for us to use wisely. They are our bootstrap to a better world. As to pollution, we support the principle of “polluter pays.” But, where pollution does not result from criminal activity or irresponsibility, and cannot be cost-effectively abated, we believe that the polluter should pay only the actual social cost of the pollution they cause. And this should be distributed to the victims, in proportion to the risks they suffer as a result.
  20. We oppose the imposition of political ideologies. No-one should be forced to live under any political ideology with which they are not comfortable. Socialists, for example, have no right to force people to live under socialism if those people don’t wish to. But they do have the right to form their own communes of like minded people, and run them how they please. The same applies to other ideologies, such as religious or social conservatism.
  21. We oppose re-distributory and confiscatory taxation. We believe that, over the long run, what people pay for government should be in proportion to the benefit they receive from government. And this benefit is, broadly speaking, in proportion to their total wealth. Therefore, the contribution to government by individuals at a particular time should be, as far as possible, in direct proportion to the individuals’ wealth at that time.
  22. We oppose the surveillance state. We oppose the proliferation of spy cameras, and the routine interception of our communications. These are serious violations of our fundamental human right to privacy. More generally, we oppose the tendency of the state to treat us as guilty until we prove ourselves innocent.
  23. We oppose political intolerance. We judge individuals by what they do, not who they are. But we oppose all political movements that seek to enforce some skewed kind of “tolerance” on others. Thus, we oppose political correctness in all its forms. We oppose persecution of the adherents of any religion, or none. And we oppose feminism and affirmative action, both of which are far worse than the intolerances they claim to solve.
  24. We oppose the idea of sovereign immunity. We oppose any claim, by any government official, of any right to do something which an ordinary person would not have the right to do in a similar situation.
  25. We oppose the European Union. We consider the formation of the EU in 1993 to have been a giant step in the wrong direction. And we consider that the European project was imposed on the people of the UK under false pretences. Following Brexit, we will seek friendly relations with individual EU member countries where in our interests, but we will have nothing to do with the EU as a whole.
  26. We oppose the United Nations. Over the course of its existence, the UN has morphed from an organization with the potential to secure world peace and human rights, into one well on the way to becoming a world-wide, unaccountable political government. We will withdraw from all UN circles, except those concerned with its primary function of world peace.
    Specific policies

    Here are some specific policies, which we will seek to carry out. As a general rule, where similar or somewhat similar ideas have been tried elsewhere (for example, pensions systems in Chile or Singapore, or privatizations in the Czech Republic) we will fully study those examples before detailing our proposals.Some of these may well take longer than a single parliamentary term.

  27. Borders. We will fully grant the right of EU citizens, who were already living in the UK at some suitably chosen cut-off date, to remain in the UK indefinitely. We will institute a points based immigration system, which will select both for cultural compatibility with those already here, and for economic prowess.
  28. Economic Policies. We will cancel all wasteful, politicized projects such as HS2. And as we inexorably reduce the size of the state, we will gut its bureaucracy. We will seek to balance the government’s books as soon as we reasonably can. We will simplify and cut taxes as soon and as much as we can. Further, we will stop government meddling with the economy for its own ends. And we will set in motion, for the longer term, a plan to compensate those, whose lives have been unjustly damaged by bad taxation policies.
  29. Human Rights Policies. We will not only retain the Human Rights Act, but we will strengthen it where necessary. We will remove the spy cameras, disband the snooping agencies and sack the snoopers.
  30. Environmental Policies. We will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. We will repeal the climate change bill. We will ditch Agenda 21 and all other elements of the green agenda. We will establish a general principle of “polluter pays compensation” in environmental matters.
  31. Energy Policies. We recognize that abundant, cheap energy is a necessity for a modern economy. We will, therefore, set sane and sensible policies for energy generation. For electricity, we will seek to mix gas fired plants, coal fired plants with scrubbers, and nuclear plants. We will use solar power only in those places, such as off grid applications, where it is warranted. We will halt construction of all new wind turbines, and cancel all subsidies to existing ones.
  32. Bonfire of Bad Laws. We will seek to simplify the legal system and laws. We will identify, and repeal, all bad or unnecessary laws, including but not restricted to EU ones. And we will restore the principle of protection against double jeopardy.
  33. Education Policies. We will de-fund all politicized departments in all universities. We will stop funding those universities which fail to measure up to the very highest standards. We will encourage schools to become independent of government, and to compete with private schools, church schools, family co-operative schools and home-schooling. We will allow schools to use alternative curricula of their choice, in place of the national curriculum, which will not be developed further.
  34. Health Policies. We will encourage doctors’ practices and hospitals to move towards becoming independent of government. We will change the financial arrangements for health care, to ensure that older and seriously ill patients do not suffer. In the longer term, we will seek to legalize euthanasia for anyone who wishes it.
  35. Welfare Policies. We will encourage a change away from government provision, to a mix of insurance, mutual aid and savings, with charity as a final back-stop. We will ensure that those who have already paid for anticipated future benefits are not denied them.
  36. Pensions Policies. Through our economic policies, we will make it possible in the future for most people to save enough for their old age. And we will encourage those, with both the desire and the ability, to continue to work and to do business past the normal retirement age.
  37. Transport Policies. We will remove the current biases for and against particular means of transport. We will allow people in individual regions and local areas to choose the forms of transport best suited to them. And over longer distances, road, rail and air transport options should all be available.
  38. Housing Policies. We will examine the possibilities for selling off council houses to their tenants. And we will end anti-car policies in the planning of new developments.
  39. The BBC. We will de-politicize the BBC, and sack those responsible for politicizing it.
  40. Foreign policy. We will withdraw from all conflicts in places like the Middle East and North Africa. We will leave NATO. We will maintain UK military resources at approximately their current levels. We will set a general policy of “friendly but watchful.” We will withdraw from all international agreements, except those for mutual defence and genuine free trade. We will end all unilateral foreign aid payments.
  41. Quality control. We will seek to achieve better honesty, impartiality, transparency and accountability in government through imposing quality control procedures. Parliament will be responsible for setting and monitoring these procedures.
  42. The monarchy. We will establish a suitable and popular successor, among the younger Royals; so that, when the Queen dies or retires, the successor will be ready and able to take over.
Advertisements

60 comments

  • Very good. I take it this would, more or less, be the platform of a libertarian party, should it be formed today in the UK? What specific segments of the population do you think this programme would appeal to?

    What I would also like to see is an agreement on some general principles. I agree with your preamble, but three ‘no-compromise’ points I think should stand out:

    (i). There must be no general expansion of state power.
    (ii). There must be no further infringements on the liberties of individuals.
    (iii). There must be no further confiscation of wealth, except where an independent court orders it.

    [I’ll pause before continuing, in case you or anybody else has comments].

    • Tom,

      Your three points are very good. I’ll have to see if I can find any more along the same lines.

      As to who it might appeal to: Anyone who feels disempowered. Anyone who has come to have contempt for the political system, and for those that are wedded to it. Anyone who feels Brexit isn’t happening fast enough or hard enough. Anyone who feels threatened by arbitrary state power (including millions of diesel drivers). Anyone concerned about ever worsening violations of civil liberties (e.g. the snoopers’ charter). Anyone who wants to say “bugger off” to a party they used to support, but has let them down. …

      • …working people who have been unable to save for a decent pension, and face poverty in their old age, while the politicians and bureaucrats that did these things to them get cushy pensions…

        ..anyone who is sick and tired of being lied to and misled…

  • 12) Religion, I contend, is not something you “are”; it is something you “do”.

    • You’re right, Hugo. What I meant was “the religion they were brought up in.” I’ll insert the word “received” before “religion” next time I do an edit.

  • Of the ‘Things We Stand For’, I would add or comment on the following (using same enumeration):

    Interventions and market distortions such as the national minimum wage, discrimination laws and employment tribunals should be abolished. Money itself would need to be reformed. There are different approaches to this. Personally, I think the best start would be to enact policies that discourage consumer debt and end the speculative aspect of the housing market. I would also favour a universal income (UI), that would be paid to everybody aged 18 or over as a further means to reduce consumer debt and reform banking and finance from the demand side. In point 21 below [not posted yet], I propose a fiscal arrangement based on a fixed budget that is agreed every year by plebiscite. As part of that, I would also propose that the level of the UI is agreed in that annual referendum and that the UI is funded out of the same budget.

    Thus, the UI would not be ‘borrowed’ money or inflationary (and in so far as the money is being borrowed, if that’s what taxpayers decide in a referendum, it’s ultimately just taxpayers borrowing from themselves, as the distribution is universal). This would have the effect of discouraging consumer debt and also re-distributing tax receipts to poorer members of the population, who will then stimulate the economy through spending. I would envisage that the head tax mentioned in 21 below would be about half the UI.

    [Pause for any comment…]

    • The above was regarding your point 10.

    • Tom,

      Your “universal income” chimera might seem a wonderful idea to you. But who pays for it? Someone has to.

      You made three really good points in your “no-compromise” list. Don’t you see the contradiction between those points and your “universal income” idea?

      • I’ll think about that. As I see it, the UI is supported by annual referenda and it basically comes out of money that the state prints, so it’s a debt that the public owe to themselves and repay to themselves. It’s not greatly inflationary because it’s part of a fixed budget that the state collects from the taxpayer. It’s just a form of cash re-distribution to stimulate the economy and minimise the circulation of debt-based money.

        I suppose your objection is that it seems to amount to wealth confiscation, but remember everybody receives the same monthly UI payment, just as (in point 21 below) everybody pays the same monthly amount of tax in their age category.

        I am linking point 10 to point 21, so to put all this in context, I’ll also include here my comments on your point 21:

        (21). I disagree that tax should reflect income. I think that link needs to be broken, because it’s part of the problem. Instead, I would like to propose here a fundamentally different fiscal structure, which we might call a Fiscal Democracy. I would abolish completely personal and corporate taxation at the national level and abolish HM Revenue & Customs too. These would be replaced with a tiered head tax, which I’ll call the Single Charge. Each year, an electronic referendum would be held to decide what the national budget will be – including, among other things, how much will be spent on the universal income (which in effect is a re-distribution of the tax receipts to the poorest) – also any other major decisions that need to be made.

        The Single Charge will be the national budget divided by the number of taxpayers in three classes: those aged 18 to 21, those aged 22 to 59, and those aged between 60 and 65. The Single Charge in the first and last categories shall be 50% of the middle category. Those aged under 18 or over 65 shall pay nothing. One or more private debt collection agencies can be contracted to pursue defaulters in the normal way. As a pragmatic measure, and to avoid some of the objections that were raised about the Community Charge, adjustments could be made for families, couples and cohabitees to make the tax seem ‘fairer’, but these should be allowed only for an interim period, as a way to gradually introduce the new fiscal system.

        • This Universal Income idea sounds like something Gordon Brown might have dreamed up. The whole concept of money is ridiculously complicated – all money is debt-based if you think about it; a five pound note is merely an I.O.U. from the Bank of England (“I promise to pay the bearer on demand” etc). When we buy things, we merely pass around these I.O.U.s. If I were to give you an I.O.U. for five pounds, if you knew me, I hope you would value it at five Pounds. But if it came from a stranger, how would you value it? Something less than five Pounds presumably? Given that most of the money being traded is on credit, presumably the value of the money circulating around is less than the notional value. I have no idea where I’m going with this – as I said, it is all ridiculously complicated and I don’t understand the half of it.
          As for plebiscites, this is something that happens regularly in Florida; we have public meetings to decide the level of expenditure and the rate of taxation to pay for it.

          • Universal income or basic income is a common enough idea, and not exclusive to the Left. In fact, I’ve just done a quick web search and found it’s even been discussed on here in a piece by – of all people – Doctor Doolittle: https://thelibertarianalliance.com/2016/12/09/thoughts-on-universal-basic-income/ He even discusses some of the same points that I do above, which goes to show: great minds think alike. There’s certainly nothing new under the sun, that’s for sure.

            Regarding money, what I am proposing is a universal income payment that is paid for directly out of tax receipts, or the promise of tax receipts, and is repaid from tax receipts. Thus, the public are paying the Universal Income to themselves, from a currency-issuing authority that would be convened democratically for the purpose. As such, I don’t accept this would be debt-based money: there is no private bank money involved, no borrowing, no usury (though that point is technical and not necessarily of great importance in and of itself – within the terms of the system, I don’t object to commercial usury, provided it is a proper and proportionate recompense to the lender for lost economic opportunity).

            On a wider point, I also don’t accept that money is axiomatically ‘debt-based’. You mention ‘IOUs’ and the notion that all money is a kind of promise to pay from a central bank, but I believe this confuses the concept of ‘payment’ with ‘redemption’. As I see it, a bank note is a coupon that records a notional promise to redeem at value. This promise is notional only because the bank note has been issued under executive fiat and there is nothing of value to take possession of on redemption of it. This reflects common sense. The bank note you hold in your hand is nothing but a fancy piece of paper. If you turned up at the Bank of England and demanded your gram of gold in return for the note, you would be declined because its ‘value’ rests on a nugatory promise by a central banking authority, underwritten by the state, and therefore a bank note can only be exchanged by the currency authority for other bank notes. However, it does not follow that the currency itself is worthless. Although a single bank note is just a worthless piece of paper, it retains value as a means of exchange, which in turn rests on political confidence in the economic and fiscal framework within which the currency operates, and various market and economic factors, such as how the currency is traded around the world.

            The expression ‘debt-based money’, used earlier, is my term of art, denoting money created by private banks, but I do not mean this in the sense of fractional reserve theory or other ex nihilo theories of money creation. In fact, I reject fractional reserve theory almost entirely and I am sceptical of other ex nihilo explanations – see for instance my response to a comment by Alexander Baron in a discussion on distributism and social credit from a few months ago: https://thelibertarianalliance.com/2016/11/14/major-douglas-and-the-social-credit-cult/

            To put this in simple terms (which is as well, since the whole topic is confusing for everybody, me included, and even the experts can’t decide what ‘money’ is), if money is based on debt, then presumably as we pay the debt down the amount of money in circulation shrinks. Sure enough, that is what appears to happen, and most people who support ex nihilo theories of monetary creation make the mistake of thinking that is exactly what they are observing, but that is not what is actually happening. In reality, what they are observing are value-for-value exchanges between different actors in the monetary system, based on a chain of promises to repay and securities. At the point of liquidation, the deposit or cash I hold in my hands is money drawn from bank deposits received by the bank and from loans that the bank has obtained within its permitted liquidity ratios, which are in turn based on capitalisation. The money may be created by banks, but it is not created ‘from nothing’.

            • I once came across an animation entitled “The Goldsmith’s Tale”, which gave a potted history of what money is and how it came about. I stayed with it about half way before it lost me. Well worth watching if you can find it.

        • Tom,

          I think there are two things to consider here. First, payment for the core functions of government – courts, police, the military and so on. And second, a welfare system. I see these as completely separate issues.

          As far as payment for governance goes, my view is that it should be in proportion to total wealth. Just as the amount you pay for home contents insurance is in proportion to the value of the contents that you insure for. (At least, within a geographical area where the risk of crime is roughly constant). So indeed, I agree with you that taxing income is wrong. In fact, it’s very socially regressive, because it penalizes people with no or low capital and high economic productivity, and favours those with lots of capital and zero or low economic productivity. Taxes on income hamper upward social mobility.

          As to welfare, as I indicated above I see three ways to achieve the goal. Insurance works best against low probability, high impact issues like serious injury or long term illness. Mutual aid can deal with higher probability, lower impact issues, such as a spell of illness or unemployment. And saving, provided of course it is not discouraged by bad economic policies, can provide a buffer to be used in old age, or to invest in other projects.

          That’s basically how welfare used to work, before the state got involved. But today, saving is all but impossible due to low interest rates. Furthermore, the predatory state is always on the look-out for anyone with a stash of money that it can tap into or steal outright. (Or inflate away, as Old Labour did in the 1970s). Insurance has been perverted into “national insurance” – just another tax on income, with no relation between what is paid and the benefits to be received. And mutual aid has all but disappeared, as too many people have come to believe that the state will provide for everything.

          As to your scheme, my first problem with it is that it isn’t voluntary. It isn’t part of the philosophy of “live and let live” to force people to take part in such schemes. Worse, it’s collectivist; it doesn’t take account of the fact that different people are different, and have different abilities, needs and desires.

          And I’m very dubious about its workability. For instance, you say it is “not greatly inflationary,” but I don’t see how that can be. More money chasing the same amount of wealth will eventually always lead to higher prices. And you yourself call it “a form of cash re-distribution.” So I re-iterate my earlier question: who will pay? Whose cash will be taken from them? And how much of it? Wouldn’t tax rates in your system have to be close to, if not actually above, 100%?

          Oh, and some further questions. Who, exactly, is this “public” that is paying vast sums to itself? How do you prevent leakage of resources into the pockets of the powerful and their cronies? In such a system, what incentive would productive people have to keep working? What is to stop them simply giving up? How long do you think the system would last before it collapsed?

          • Neil,

            This is in the context of reforming the existing system, so it is not and cannot be ideal. I don’t believe you can jump from the existing system which is statist and in which people are extensively taxed and co-pay for things into a new system in which all payments are voluntary for services rendered. There has to be an intermediary stage where freedoms are still compromised but which is moving in the right direction of travel and so adheres to the libertarian precepts given above.

            There would be a single, flat tax levied on everybody so that services are covered. That is no different from the existing system, but would be freer because it’s just one single tax at the national level, is not proportionate to income and everybody knows what the tax is and can vote on the budget and so help decide it each year. The whole superstructure of tax administration and enforcement would disappear, which would also contribute to greater freedom.

            I believe such a situation would encourage a move towards a fuller libertarianism, because people would have a much clearer understanding of what they pay for and what it costs, and will not want to carry others who are unwilling to bear the responsibilities of liberty. There would probably be a strong movement for lowering the tax each year and restricting services, with people expected to contract with private providers as much as possible.

            Also, as the state is gradually minimised and withers, it should be possible to reform the tax into a voluntary payment system. So, over a period of time, you would move from a situation where people must pay, to a situation where everybody has a choice about the services they wish to pay for, perhaps organising at a community level or whatever.

            Universal Income would not involve the creation of new money. It would simply be the re-distribution of tax receipts, including promised tax receipts. (I could add in any case that increases in the supply of money don’t necessarily cause or lead to inflation, but that’s a different point). The UI would be paid to everybody, and in effect would act as a agreed deduction on the tax, lowering the burden for people on low incomes and also ensuring a minimal standard of living for everybody, which in turn I believe would help eliminate consumer debt (which is the first step towards a sounder monetary system). That, in turn, would contribute to the libertarian agenda. The whole fiscal system could be administered very simply and easily, at low cost, using a minimal bureaucracy, since everybody receives the same UI payment, and everybody in each age class owes the same tax.

            The word ‘public’ is used simply to mean any collective of people – be they a community or a nation. These ideas could be made to work in lots of scenarios. I don’t believe you can entirely avoid collectivism, as that is just an extension of human nature, but it’s not a point that I am inclined to get bogged-down in here as we’re talking about reforming the existing statist system rather than how a pristine liberal society would work.

            • Tom,

              I don’t think there has to be an intermediate period of slow, piece by piece dissolution of an evil system. That will depend on the general level of awareness, frustration and anger among the good people in the population. In fact, if the situation was right, I think a quick, hard cut would be the best way. Simply abolish the public sector, apart from core functions of governance; cut taxes to just the level necessary to support those core functions; and leave people to get on with it. Even if something like that isn’t feasible, once we get movement in the right direction we need to move it forward as fast as we possibly can. Life’s too short for good people to suffer even another couple of decades of this crap.

              I didn’t realize before that you were advocating a tax that is flat rate in the sense that it is the same per year for every individual (within certain age bands). Such taxes haven’t been very effective in the past – remember Thatcher’s poll tax? I can foresee riots resulting from such a scheme. Not to mention suicides of people who simply cannot pay the tax. For, in order to support anything like the current size of government, won’t your tax levels have to be way above 100% of your putative “universal basic income?” If so, people with nothing will have nothing to pay with. (Hell, I’m sounding like a leftist!) But if you put up the basic income enormously, say to the median income, then you will end up like now, but worse; with an oppressed, and forever shrinking, minority of productive people being forced to support vast numbers of those that have no incentive to be anything but lazy. That’s a recipe for social disintegration, too.

              As to what is the “public,” the devil is (as usual) in the detail. Would non-resident UK citizens be compelled to join in your scheme? Resident non-citizens? Immigrants? Visitors? Asylum seekers? Those who object on grounds of religion? Non-voters? Etc. etc. etc.? Besides which, it isn’t “live and let live” to force anyone to join such a scheme.

              Anyway, I stand by my ideas of (1) payment for governance being in proportion to total wealth. And (2) welfare being a totally separate matter, to be dealt with through honest, non-politicized systems more like those which operated in the 19th century.

              • “Such taxes haven’t been very effective in the past – remember Thatcher’s poll tax? I can foresee riots resulting from such a scheme.”
                These riots were of course orchestrated by rent-a-mob crowds as a means of bringing down the Thatcher government.
                I always felt that the core argument was never addressed; the Duke and the dustman pay exactly the same for a tin of beans, so should why should they not pay the same for public services? I believe they should – others may disagree, but the fundamental principle has never been discussed.
                I have often wondered about the relative merits of two hypothetical taxation systems; one where all tax on incomes is abolished and VAT increased to 50%; the other where VAT is abolished and income is taxed at 50%. Assuming the effects were cost-neutral, I can see that one would produce a high-wage and high-cost society, whereas the other would produce a low-wage low-cost society. I have often wondered about the relative merits of the two systems.
                Huey Long, governor of Louisiana until somebody helpfully put a bullet in him, won great public support on the following platform; “Nobody should be allowed to have too little money, and nobody should be allowed to have too much”. I am frankly baffled why anybody would support such an idea. What does it mean in practice? Somebody (i.e. the government) will have to decide who has ‘too much’ money, and who has ‘too little’. In order to do that they will have to scrutinise everybody’s finances to decide which side of the line they fall. Then they have to steal some of the money belonging to those who they have decided have ‘too much money’, and give it to those who have ‘too little’ (no doubt creaming off a bit for themselves and their pet projects along the way). Are people really so stupid that they would vote for such a policy? The answer would seem to be ‘yes’. Long enjoyed fantastic support for his ideas, but also tremendous opposition. If you think Trump is divisive, check out Huey Long’s story – there was even a para-military organisation established to take him out.
                Fortunately, Governor Long got involved in a fracas with a Jewish doctor, and in the ensuing melee was shot by one of his own bodyguards. That didn’t stop them pinning the murder on Dr Weiss however. The good doctor could not challenge the verdict of public opinion, since he too was gunned down by Long’s goons, taking no fewer than 61 bullets.

                • Hugo,

                  You’re right, the duke and the dustman should pay the same for the same public services. But if the duke has orders of magnitude more wealth than the dustman, he gets orders of magnitude more benefit from some of those public services – most notably police, courts and the military, i.e. the core functions of governance. That’s why he should pay the same number of orders of magnitude more for them than the dustman does.

                  • How does a Duke place a bigger burden on government services than the dustman? You cited police, the courts and the military. I don’t entirely understand that. In fact, now that half the country seems to be in receipt of some kind of government hand-out, one would hope the Duke would be ineligible.

                    • A good question, Hugo. Of course, the “right” answer would be that in a free market, both duke and dustman would pay whatever they are willing to pay; and if what is offered doesn’t meet their needs, they will go elsewhere. But government as it exists today is the antithesis of a free market.

                      Certainly it would cost more to patrol the boundaries of the duke’s estate than the dustman’s. Maybe not quite as much as the ratio between their respective wealths, but well more. And in a private governmental system, which includes the recovery of crime proceeds, it would cost more to recover a bigger theft from the duke than a smaller one from the dustman. So I think there is a case that the duke should pay more for the protection and justice aspects of government than the dustman. But as you suggest, there is no reason for the duke to take any part in a hand-out system; he doesn’t need any hand-outs, so why should he pay for others to have them?

              • Neil,

                I completely agree that the programme should be radical and should amount to a revolutionary change in society. And that is what I am proposing here. It is not the full measure, because reality also has to enter the picture, but it goes some way and sets up a framework for further radical reforms.

                At the moment [these are just rough figures], the UK government has a total annual budget of around £750 billion. In order for my proposal to be feasible, this would have to shrink to around £150 billion, and that’s just for starters. I would fully expect that in the annual referendums, there would be massive campaigns to bring that down further.

                So I hope you can see my logic – I’m trying to create a position where we effectively abolish the state using the tax/fiscal system. With an annual budget of £150 billion and a working population of, let’s say, 30 million people, the monthly tax payment would be around £490.00. Of that, a Universal Income might be agreed at £100.00 a month, which means people who would struggle have some relief. They would still need to find almost £400.00 every month, but why is that wrong? Unless they medically cannot work, why would any of us see this as objectionable? Surely the whole point is to ask people to take responsibility.

                There would be no need for anybody to be worried or alarmed or commit suicide. If somebody cannot pay, then it’s treated as a debt in the same way as any other debt. The courts would not impose any criminal punishment, but would have wide discretion depending on the circumstances, including debt forgiveness orders, payment plans (where somebody has found work) and so on.

                To put this into context, this would be an environment where much of the economy would be free of the shackles of the state and jobs would be easier to come by. So payment of the tax would not be a difficulty for the overwhelming majority of people.

                I was always confused about why the Community Charge (Poll Tax) was seen as such a bad idea. To my mind, it’s perfectly logical: everybody uses the same services, and if the tax is high, then that drums home the financial realities to the taxpaying electorate and they then have a strong incentive to sort out their own lives and not rely on other people. They also have a strong incentive to vote in to office legislators and decision-makers who don’t waste public money.

                Isn’t all this in accordance with what yourself and others on this blog advocate, in the practical sense? To my mind, the Poll Tax was a disguised libertarian measure. You might not see it that way because of the compulsion element, but with respect, we have to work from a starting point in the real world, which is imperfect and demands compromise.

                • Well, I guess your scheme might be a financially bit more workable with a number like the £100 a month you talk of. But whenever I hear people talk of “universal basic income” (UBI), the kinds of sums they have at the back of their minds seem to be way bigger than that. Well bigger than the state pension, for sure. I don’t think such a payment can reasonably be called a UBI if it isn’t possible for an individual, or a family for whom the individual is the only breadwinner, to survive on it. And if it’s that high, I’m not convinced your scheme can work at all.

                  And how would your system work for unemployed people?

                  • OK, we could remove the Universal Income idea from it, and just have the head tax – but I assume you won’t go along with the head tax either because of the compulsion, but isn’t your tax proposal also based on compulsion? Your point 21 does amount to a confiscatory and re-distributive tax. You’re taxing wealth on the assumption that it is acquired from government, but that might not be the case. What if a wealthy person has acquired wealth entirely honestly?

                    The only pristine answer is to abolish tax completely and make all payments voluntary, but then you have the problem that voluntary payments for essential services are just a disguised tax. I don’t think there are any easy answers to this, but I still think a head tax in the context of a minimal state is the way to go, albeit in a humane form that doesn’t criminalise or harass non-payers and that allows reliefs for families and sabbaticals from payment, etc.

                    Local communities or special interest group, even individuals, could also be given the option of withdrawing, partially or wholly, from the head tax system and funding their own services. For instance, if the head tax funds a minimum state pension, some people could get together and decide to start their own retirement scheme, maybe based on shared investments, and on that basis they could vote themselves out of funding a hypothecated part of the national budget. This could continue as people gradually become more self-reliant and rely on private contract arrangements to meet their needs rather than compulsion. Thus, the mandatory system would gradually wither away, but would continue maybe for a few decades in order to meet the needs of people who are less self-reliant.

                    Regarding the unemployed, I assume we’ll be abolishing state benefits, so there won’t be any unemployed people. Unemployment is a myth, even in present society. Other than in a narrow few cases, the vast majority of people who are ‘unemployed’ are perfectly capable of finding work, and there is work available for them, it’s just that they don’t want it. I think that’s the case even in the current economy. I would say 99% of the unemployed are that way wilfully, it’s just not politically-correct (or very nice) to say so, and employers find it easier to fill the roles with immigrants who are willing because they are more motivated. I don’t see that as a slight on the native population – and I accept that employers may also take advantage of the situation because immigrants will be more exploitable – but it’s just an observation of prevailing circumstances. Abolish state benefits and the problem resolves itself quickly.

                    In my view, the most important step (within the framework of the existing system) is to sort out the fiscal/financial system by introducing simplicity and transparency, starting with a head tax; and, abolish all welfare benefits and market distortions and insist that people work for a living or find some other way to support themselves.

  • This is a reply to Tom Rogers’ comment of Monday 8th May.

    Yes, let’s decouple the two. Welfare is a quite separate subject from paying for core governance services.

    What I’m trying to do is, as I said in point 21, make it so that “what people pay for government should be in proportion to the benefit they receive from government.” I’m not sure that a flat rate head tax would achieve this; particularly if many people are unable to pay it. Having considered Hugo’s comments above, maybe the rate should be somewhere in between a flat rate and a proportion of total wealth. Or maybe it should simply be collected in the most painless way; if you allow government to inflate the currency by 1% a year to pay for its entire service, that could bring in something like 5% of GDP per year. Not sure whether that’s enough to run courts, police and the military; but it would be a lot less painful than the current system, and wouldn’t require any bureaucracy at all.

    All that said, I very much agree with the thrust of your proposals. Getting rid of state benefits is very important – in my terms, that is de-politicizing welfare. Although there still will be unemployment – particularly where people have become unemployed for medical reasons. That is why insurance has to be part of the welfare mix. As to insisting that people work for a living if they are able, I agree entirely; but there is a quid pro quo, that government must not put any obstacle at all in the way of people who want to work or to run their own businesses. No business licensing, no forced compliance with arbitrary standards, no discriminatory tax regimes, etc. etc. etc.

  • OK, I’ll move on to the next points, which are your points 27 and 29:

    (27). I disagree with a points-based system or any kind of economic criteria. Whether immigration and migration are economically-beneficial should be for the market and individuals to decide. That’s not because I venerate the market, rather it’s because that’s the only sensible dispensation for a society with libertarian aspirations. In my view, the role of government should be to set the parameters that ensure national and cultural identities are maintained and social solidarity is not threatened, as these provide the essential ‘hardware’ for freedom to work. In that regard, the criteria should be ethnic and racial and the aim should be to encourage (or at least, not discourage) organic, evolutionary migration between similar countries and discourage disruptive, revolutionary mass immigration from dissimilar countries.

    I suppose this means I am also disagreeing with you somewhat on points 12 and 16. I think freedom and tolerance can only exist within a secure perimeter that acts smartly (not necessarily freely) towards outsiders.

    (29). I disagree. Human rights don’t exist in any natural sense and, in my view, are inimical to freedom. They should be abolished and we should work to restore and resume the traditional English notion of liberty (i.e. ‘negative rights’, which are restrictions on the rights of our rulers to interfere in our lives). The Human Rights Act should be repealed and replaced with a Bill of Rights that circumscribes and limits the role of the state. Having said all that, I would not object if it were decided that the UK should remain within the ECHR treaty, but to be consistent with what I have just mentioned, any continuing relationship would have to include an agreement to widen the UK’s ‘margin of appreciation’ with the treaty principles, so that the enactment of Europe-wide ‘human rights’ measures must be consistent with UK socio-legal norms. If this caveat can be agreed, then my proposed Bill of Rights could include a clause that recognises the ECHR, without incorporating it into domestic law.

    • Tom,

      Let’s be clear that in this essay I am seeking to put forward, as you asked for in your original comment on the other thread, plausible and realistic ideas that can be put into action. I am, therefore, putting forward a far more conventional and “moderate” set of ideas than I would have done if I had had my liberty philosopher’s hat on.

      On point 27, if I had my philosopher hat on, I’d be saying that borders would be abolished altogether, so immigration would become a non-problem. If all land is privately owned (as I, and most here, believe it should be) then there can be no national borders. I made this argument in an essay “Community? What Community?” published on this site back in November 2015; you can look it up if you want. The reason why in this essay I take a different line is that, as everyone can see, recent immigration into the UK has had many negative effects, particularly for those of us who live in or near the “green belt” around London. (These problems are caused by the volume of immigration, independently of the question of who the immigrants are. They would have occurred whether the immigrants had been Poles, Pakistanis or Zulus). So, I put forward the points based idea as, in my opinion, the fairest way to limit the influx in order to avoid such problems.

      I’m certainly receptive to your idea that the market should decide who is to be allowed in. I think you probably have, at the back of your mind, something like the system in Germany in the early 19th century. If I recall correctly, to go to live in a particular town, you needed a sponsor from that town – for example, an employer. And he would need to give guarantees about your conduct when you arrive. But that isn’t necessarily consistent with your other stated principle of maintaining national and cultural identities. Would you allow, for example, a Hindu or Sikh employer to bring in large numbers of Hindus or Sikhs to work at his company? I think that, unfortunately for those who seek an ethnic, racially and culturally homogeneous society, the genie is already out of the bottle. The best we can do from here is seek to set up a system whereby individuals, who only want the company of certain races, religions or cultural tendencies, can do so; while others can choose criteria other than race or culture (for example, honesty or economic productivity) for deciding with whom they wish to interact.

      On point 29, I agree that human rights are often misunderstood. There are too many trying to push the bounds, trying to make out that certain things – such as social security – are “rights,” when they’re clearly not (because implementing them necessarily violates others’ rights). I tried to address this issue back in April of last year, in one of my giant screeds called “Rights and Obligations.” But the ECHR is still valuable; as is clear from Ronald Olden’s comment on the recent smoking in council houses thread. It is also, in theory at least, a bulwark against indiscriminate surveillance of our communications – in fact, if I remember right, the European courts have already declared the “snoopers’ charter” to be illegal. That is why, despite its imperfections, I still support the ECHR, and would want any future “bill of rights” to include everything in there – and lots more, too.

      • I did have some further points, but it might be best if I leave it there. For instance, I was going to explain how I want to abolish the Monarchy and the BBC and that I don’t agree with euthanasia, but we have gone on long enough with this now. Anyway, it’s a useful starting-point, and I thank you for taking the time and trouble.

        Unfortunately, I think there is a fundamental (and probably unbridgeable) gap between our beliefs, in that I believe in racially- (and where possible, ethnically-) homogeneous societies as a good in and of itself, and I also think some degree of compulsion is necessary in healthy, civilised societies. I will now explain the reason why I believe this is of significance to your ideas.

        I am a convinced libertarian to an extent. I support the goal of a minimal state, and ideally no state, but I don’t accept that that can work in a mixed-racial society. The issue is human nature. People are tribal and organise in social groups to promote interests and causes. I do take the view that political ideas should reflect all common human factors, and I am finding it very difficult to see how you could build a society without accommodating that aspect to our nature.

        A private contract society would rely on the institution of shared socio-legal norms and, to an extent, a shared moral climate. This is necessary, if only so that everybody can be reasonably sure that contracts will be respected, performed and upheld, but these norms would not just be contractual in nature, they would also have to take on a sort of customary quality if they are to be obeyed from generation-to-generation. That’s fine (and I think, fairly obvious) so far as it goes. But what if a society or civilisation elsewhere, with a wholly different culture, decides to eradicate this peaceful and free private contract society? What is to stop them just taking territory by force? I imagine you will be able to come up with a very neatly-argued and logically-consistent academic response, but what I am talking about here is what happens in reality, which is messy.

        In reality, there are, I think, only two solutions to this problem:

        (i). Your convivial order is made global, allowing for cultural differences from place-to-place that will affect how the system is implemented normatively. This would mean there are no nation-states, just illordial property owners, though ‘countries’ might naturally form among people who share the same or similar cultural interpretation of conviviality. In this scenario, we would ask outsiders to respect our property rights, just as we respect theirs, and assuming they live under the same conditions of liberty and conviviality, it seems there would be no incentive for acquisitive attacks by them on us or by us on them as there would be no states in existence to distort human relations and priorities.
        OR
        (ii). There has to be a strong societal/civilisational perimeter that allows freedom to spore and flourish within ‘free’ territories, with property owners giving up some of their income to shared defence services in order to deter and repel hostile outsiders.

        I think solution (i) is the more consistent with your beliefs, but I think (ii) is the more realistic.

        Does (i) above reflect a correct understanding of the solution offered by a convivial order?

        If so, do you think this also accommodates human quirks such as religions and doctrines and other things that arise from our drives and which pre-date the existence of modern states and seem to be innate to us? The market would still exist in your system, albeit without the state, so there would be economic inequality both within regions and between different parts of the world.

        Can we blame things such as militant Islam and white flight on the state or statism? You have argued that states force unlike people to accept an artificial common identity, but that seems to me to be a rather tautological argument that denies the realities of socialisation. In general, people have to live together in order to live their lives as individuals. Obviously a lot of shared living is forced, artificial and insincere, but at some point an efficient level of social organisation has to be formed – and in our society, it’s the nation-state.

        I do realise that a convivial order does provide some answer to all this in theory, in that people would be allowed to choose to live in communities of their liking, but you must know that what would happen in practice is that people would attempt to move, and if they are organised, they would not respect property rights. If need be, they would just overrun the ‘better’ areas and kill the property owners in the process.

        • I see the problem as cultural and religious rather than racial. Sikhs and Hindus are more British than the British themselves. I can’t think of any values they hold which are inimical to British values. We could be invaded by Aussies and Kiwis and barely notice their presence, since their cutlure is pretty much identical to ours. But when we have large numbers of people who follow a completely alien culture and a religion which is wholly anatagonistic to our own way of life, we are obviously going to have problems, exacerbated by the belief which has been instilled in them that they are un-touchable by the law and can try to impose their culture on us with impunity. That is what is happening, and the take-over (for that is what it is) is well advanced. If we carry on as we are, this country – and the whole of Western Europe, will be part of an Islamic state before too long. This is not something that MIGHT happen, it is something that WILL happen unless something changes. Religious tolerance is a highly desirable thing, but if I follow a religion which commanded me to kill you, would you be wise to invite me into your house?

          • Where does culture come from?

            • Where does culture come from? Assuming this is not a rhetorical question, I would say it is simply a description of how things are done, and what things are valued as important, among a group of people. Different nationalities have different cultures. For instance, I would sooner go into a business venture with a Swiss than a Somali. Does the Muslim flocciaucinihilipilification of women (I’ve been waiting all my life to use that word – it means estimating something as worthless, as I’m sure you know) stem from their religion? I don’t know, but it is part of their ‘culture’. There is certainly an Anglo-Saxon culture, much despised by the EU, and which holds throughout the Anglosphere, so Australians, Kiwis, Canadians etc fit seamlessly into British culture, as do the Hindu and Sikh Indians, Israelis, Americans and a number of others. Nigerian culture does not – I am told their biggest ‘export’ is the ‘419 scam’ so named after section 419 of Nigeria’s penal code. Muslim culture most emphatically does not blend with Anglo-Saxon culture, which values honesty and fair play, although I suppose I should qualify that assertion by making a distinction between, say, shopkeepers who happen to be Muslim and Muslims who happen to be shopkeepers, if you see what I mean. I was personally dismayed that we were so reluctant to absorb the Ugandan Indians when Amin kicked them out – they would have been – and indeed many are – a tremendous asset to this country because of the business ethics which form part of their ‘culture’. Anyway I’m just rambling, but you get my drift I’m sure.

              • In your answer, you seem to accept that culture comes from people.

                If so, then do you also accept that if the people are changed, then the culture will change with it?

                • Well, yes, I suppose so. Culture in my view is just the habits and customs of a group of people. Christian missionaries changed African culture if you like. I would say the BBC and other ‘dumbing-down’ influences have changed the British culture – that is why I suggested earlier that the Hindu Indians – the older generations at least, are more British than the British. The birth-control pill has changed western culture no end, as has ‘social media’. I’m sure I could express this better, but in my defence I am suffering from terminal jet-lag.

                  • That being the case, would you also accept therefore that this is not just about culture, it is also about race, since people (i.e. race) are the common determinant factor?

                    • Not really. My father was an ethnic German from Romania. His people had been there for a thousand years – sent to defend the Eastern borders against invading Muslims. He hated the Romanians. The Germans had nothing to do with them – they regarded them as scum. When the Germans were effectively kicked out when Stalin got the country, the Romanians took over the beautiful estates that the Germans had created and just trashed everything. Yet they were each Caucasians.
                      I need hardly state that this is a gross generalisation, and I have met some wonderful Romanians here in England. I object to the term ‘East Europeans’ for the same reason – the culture in Poland is very different from that in, say, Albania. Among the Negro races, Nigerians and Somalis are egregious in their criminal behaviour. When I was a teenager, I had a friend who was a bricklayer. He told me of his experiences with other workers on building sites – he described the Indians as clever and hard working, and the Pakistanis as “thick and lazy”. The distinction in the Semitic races between Jews and Arabs is too obvious to need stating. All this seems to be leading me in the direction that religion is the main driver here, but I am sort of making this up as I’m going along.

                  • @4.01 p.m.

                    I didn’t say that there are no distinctions within races. Race is also a very malleable term, with major and minor classifications and complex manifestations. You can say there is a ‘British race’ or a ‘German race’. You can also refer to broader racial groups, such as Caucasians, as you mention. In the case of black Africans, there are in fact at least three different major racial groups. As I think I have mentioned on here previously, to describe all black Africans as belonging to the same race is rather like saying that white Europeans and Japanese are of the same race because we all look pale.

                    But Caucasian, which is used in America (where I think you live), is a very misleading term, because in practice it is often treated as a synonym with ‘white’, which it isn’t. All white Europeans are Caucasian, but not all Caucasians are white Europeans.

                    In reference to white Europeans in particular, there is (broadly-speaking) a common culture and civilisation. I understand there are different nationalities within Europe, and so on, but nothing you have said about your experiences or anecdotal knowledge disproves the point, that ultimately culture escheats to race. Jews and Arabs are Semitic and have very similar cultures, even allowing for the major religious differences. Indians and Pakistanis have very similar cultures, again even allowing for important religious differences. Black Africans of different ethnicities are similar, which is why they are clumsily lumped together. Everybody can see and observe the differences and similarities. I shouldn’t need to labour the point.

                    There is a gradation, so that for instance between north-western Europeans – i.e. people broadly known as British, Germans, the Benelux ethnies, Danish, Scandinavians, northern French – the cultural differences are relatively small, whereas between north-western Europeans and, say, eastern Europeans, the gap is a bit wider, but with some blurring at the edges. Of course, these are generalisations. I accept, for instance, there are significant differences between eastern Europeans – for example, West Slavs and East Slavs, or the fact that some Poles are more Germanic than Slavic (and in truth, Slavic is more of a cultural designation anyway) – but the inaccuracy of a generalisation in a specific situation is not a reason to object to the generalisation itself.

                    The distinction I make in regard to immigration is between, on the one hand, organic, evolutionary migration between similar cultures, and on the other hand, revolutionary mass immigration of peoples from dissimilar cultures. The former is just the result of normal inter-personal relations between connected countries, and sometimes more distant cultures as well. For instance, an Englishman might marry a German woman (maybe an ethnic German from Romania, you never know), or a Danish woman might marry a Scotsman, or whatever. Occasionally, an Englishman might marry a Nigerian. None of these, but especially the closely-similar relations between ethno-Europeans, affect in any way the host meta-culture or contribute to social instability.

                    Then we have mass immigration. If you were to propose that we should have, say, 100,000 Afrikaners migrate here and settle, that’s mass immigration and it will have serious implications.
                    Even though they’re white and assimiliable, I would want there to be a serious justification for it.

                    If you were then to propose that 100,000 Hindu Indians should settle here, that’s the point when I would put my foot down. I have nothing against Hindu Indians, or black Africans, or Moslems, or anybody else really. Good luck to them. But I don’t want to live alongside them in my mother country. And I don’t need to provide you with a lengthy intellectual justification for this. I don’t need to type out a lengthy and considered dissertation, quoting all the facts and figures, with a convincing critical synthesis to round things off. I am allowed to just say, ‘No!’, without citing rhyme or reason.

                    That should be the right of every people – and it is. Of course, when I refer to my own ‘people’, I refer to a meta-group, the British, who are a cosmos in their own right – there are at least seven sub-nationalities I can think of: English, Scots, Welsh, Ulster-Scots, Irish, Cornish and Manx. But we are also British. And I think that’s quite enough diversity, thank you.

                    Can I explain what ‘British’ is? No, of course not. Not in any intellectual sense. But I know. You know. And you know that Hindus are not British, no matter how polite they are, and no matter how well they can affect to be British (according to you, writing from Florida), and no matter how aptly they ape quintessential British (or English) mores.

                    If it were proposed tomorrow that we should allow 10 million Hindus to enter the country (Britain), would you find that objectionable, hypothetically-speaking? We’ll assume that you are British and live in Britain, not Florida. You might well answer ‘Yes’, but I strongly suspect that for the majority of white British people, especially the working class ones, the answer would be a firm ‘No!’ –
                    that is, provided they could give their answer in private, otherwise the answer in most cases would be a joyful and enthusiastic ‘Yes!’, for fear of losing that job or featuring in the local newspaper next to the latest sex offenders.

                    • 1) Racial classification; as far as I know there are Caucasians, Negroes and Mongoloids. I know you can sub-divide ad lib but I’m trying to keep it simple! 2) FYI, I divide my time between Florida and Sussex, the county of my birth, where I have just landed – hence the jet-lag! 3) Race vs culture; I have to disagree with you on this, especially your assertion that Jews and Arabs have similar cultures. In my experience they are polar opposites. I find Jews to be highly moral people, whereas Arabs do not know the meaning of the word. Ditto Indians and Pakistanis. 4) Immigration; I agree with you about the difference between ‘organic’ immigration and (politically driven) mass immigration. 100,000 Afrikaaners? I don’t see a problem with that – they are culturally, linguistically and relgiously similar to the indigenous Plebian population of these islands. Same goes for 100,000 Hindu Indians. It is of course largely a matter of personal preference, but I would welcome them – they are very ‘British’ for obvious reasons, and the Hindu philosophy of tolerance and non-violence would make them a good fit anywhere. I don’t believe they are ‘aping’ British mores – I think they are deeply ingrained after centuries of contact. If you don’t like them, fine – that’s your prerogative. I find your following comments slightly defensive, however – no, indeed you don’t need to provide an intellectual justification, or a ‘lengthy and considered dissertation’ as to your reasons. Purely out of curiosity, however, I would be interested to know why. 5) 10 million Hindus? I think you are tripping over your double-negatives in this passage, and what you meant to say was that the White working class would object, if only in private, were they allowed to. I too think it might be a problem, but purely a problem of scale.
                      I think it is fair to deduce that I am more partial to Hindu Indians than are you. I find them utterly charming, at least the older generations, and possessed of a courtesy that has all but vanished from the native population. This is purely a matter of personal taste and preference – it is not something that can be settled by debate, since there are no right or wrong answers. If you do not wish to live next door to them, that is your absolute right as far as I’m concerned, and it is your right to say so publicly. Personally I have no love for the Latin ‘races’, but that is not something I can really defend on an intellectual level. I just don’t like them.
                      During the course of these scribblings it has become clear to me that the main driver of all this, from my perspective at least, is religion. Practically all the races / nationalities I find objectionable seem to be Muslim, and that is no co-incidence. Some religions are proselytising, some are not. Some would regard the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a nuisance when they come a-preaching. Personally I regard them as part of life’s rich tapestry. But when you are dealing with a religion that demands not only that I convert, but that will kill me if I don’t, then I have a problem with that religion. Not only do I find the religion itself highly unpleasant, but it is my view that any country that has been under Islamic rule has found itself benighted by that fact. So it is not merely the religion per se, but the way the religion has demeaned the culture of its practitioners. Therefore I conclude that religion trumps culture.
                      I forgot to mention that what divides Britain from the rest of Europe is also religion. For example, the Catholic attitude toward money is that ‘filthy lucre’ is already tainted, so a bit more corruption along the way won’t hurt. The Protestant, Anglo-Saxon attitude is that money itself is not tainted, as long as fairly earned. It is not a dirty word, and the Anglosphere consists of the least corrupt corners of the world.

                  • I have replied below.

  • I want to say “thank you” to both Tom and Hugo for their many, varied and most useful comments. This has been a fine discussion, and shows how blogs like this one can act as modern equivalents of the coffee houses of Enlightenment times.

    As it happens, I’m planning to address many of the issues in my next large scale essay. Globalism – which Tom raises in his latest comment – is, indeed, part of the mix we need to consider. And yes, a planet-wide convivial order is indeed my long term goal.

    I’ll re-issue an updated Manifesto at some point in the future, to take into account some of the excellent comments you have both made.

    • I actually wrote a long reply to one of your previous posts which began with the words “This is in the best British tradition of amateur scientific investigation” and went on to compare it to the various ‘coffee house’ meetings you mention such as the Lunar Society (who met on the full moon so they could find their way home again on unlit streets). Unfortunately my entire post evaporated in a cloud of cyber-dust and was never seen again.

    • That’s very nice of you to say so, Neil, though quite honestly I do not believe I am of your calibre intellectually and it is for that reason that I genuinely regard it as a privilege to be allowed to post here and interact with yourself, Dr. Gabb and other members of the Libertarian Alliance. I am only grateful you found the time to reply at all, and again, I thank you for your replies.

  • @10.09 p.m.

    Hugo,

    First and foremost, you are conceding that culture is the result of people, so the basic principle of my argument is established and your ‘culturalist’ argument is a dead duck. It’s now just a case of what we define as a ‘people’, how we enter into the classifications, and whether you want outsiders to be allowed in who you think can imitate our culture in some sense.

    Moslems and Jews do have very similar cultures, but we are not officially allowed to discuss Jews here, so I can’t explain the point fully. What I will say is look closely at a Jew (ideally in the flesh) – practically any Jewish ethnicity will do, whether Ashkenzi, Sephardic or Italian or whatever – and more often than not you will see an Arab staring back at you. I’m not saying Jews and Arabs are the same, we’re talking about similarities. There are obviously important differences.

    I don’t see the relevance of the other differences among Europeans that you mention – for example, Catholicism versus Protestantism. Obviously in a given context, this is a great difference, but from a racial perspective, it’s no difference at all.

    Who should we allow in (and how many)? 1,000 Afrikans is fine. I won’t bat an eyelid. 100,000 Afrikaners is (probably) too much. It’s a matter of scale. All sensible arguments must take account of practicalities. Your attitude seems to be that, in theory, we can let an infinite number of people in, as long as they meet certain criteria. I don’t see how that can be considered sensible, and I actually think it’s dangerous. Alas, yours unfortunately is the dominant/elite attitude, and it’s leading us into serious trouble. Ordinary people have had enough. The point is compounded of course when dealing with any significant number of non-whites: Hindu Indians, blacks or whatever.

    What you say about Hindu Indians is of course your subjective impression based on anecdotal experience and an understanding of ‘Britishness’, which remains unexplained. Let us, for the moment, accept all this. We can still say that just because Hindu Indians appear to find it easier to adapt as a low-key ethnic minority, this doesn’t change the simple fact that they are not white Europeans and if allowed to remain here in large enough numbers, they would change the nature of our society fundamentally, in conjunction with other alien minorities.

    A society made up of a plurality of whites, alongside Moslems and Hindus, as well as blacks, would not look the same socio-culturally as even current Britain. For one thing, Hindu Indians come from a caste-based society and their social attitudes are not always in sync with ours. Hindu Indians also have a lot in common with Pakistani Moslems, more so than is commonly acknowledged, and the attributes of these groups don’t always work well in Britain, a small island, made up of people with a shared ethnicity and without a history of mass immigration.

    I accept that Hindus are generally nice and unassuming people on the surface, but even if they were the nicest people in the world, I still wouldn’t want them here. They may have kedgeree (appropriately) and devilled eggs for breakfast, then later a Ploughman’s Lunch, then cucumber sandwiches in the afternoon, washed down with Darjeeling tea, all on a Union Jack tablecloth, and in the evening they might toast the Queen’s health. So what? I still don’t want them here. They all must go! Every single one (barring compassionate exceptions).

    There is, in my view, an important difference between what is quintessential and what is real/authentic. Your shopworn axiom that Hindu Indians are “more British than the British themselves” just serves to prove the point. Outsiders normally are often quintessential than the natives, simply because they have a need to fit in. The same can be observed about lots of West Indians (the Winston MacKenzie type) and even some Moslems as well. So what? I accept that in its own way, it’s admirable, but it can’t change biological facts. A Hindu Indian is not really British.

    My other point, to reiterate, is that I don’t need to justify myself when talking about the preservation of my own people and culture – a sentiment that is perfectly natural. I don’t care for your Hindu Indians, and I want them gone. Even if I loved them, I’d still want them gone. I also want blacks, Jews, other Asians and other non-whites gone. All of them.

    If I was living among Hindus in India and an Indian man told me I shouldn’t be in his country, I wouldn’t run to the police and tell tales. I wouldn’t like it, but I would understand that it’s his country and the sentiment is perfectly understandable. I could dress up as an Indian, fake an Indian accent, eat Indian food in whatever is the Indian way, obey all their laws, take up Hinduism – but I’ll never be an Indian. Never. Likewise, a Hindu can fake it all he likes, he will never be one of us, nor should he wish to be. He should be proud of who he is.

    Besides, we can also make some generic sociological observations. The result of multi-racialism is always a less caring, less safe and less united society. It’s not a society I wish to live in. We can already see changes taking place, in which things that are familiarly European are giving way to things that belong in far-away places, to the extent that parts of Britain now resemble the Third World. That includes areas inhabited by Hindu Indians, who after all are from India. On what basis can this be considered to be an improvement? Not that I am against change: I am not a conservative in any sense of the word, and I am all in favour of change when it involves progress. I certainly don’t want to preserve our culture in aspic just for its own sake, but here arises an important question: Why is it necessary to destroy a culture so radically and so quickly and in such an obnoxious manner, and destroy its people too?

    Back in the 15th. century, when Europe came under the influence of science and engineering from the Far East, nobody suggested that we should bring millions of Chinese people (assuming that there were that many spare) to Europe, and let them breed us out and completely change our culture in line with the East so as to create a sort of Sino-European civilisation. We preserved the essence of Europe, which was the flesh and bone of our ancestors, adding the necessary influences judiciously. That is what I regard as genuine ‘enrichment’. The idea that we would transpose China and its culture to Europe lock, stock and barrel would never have been entertained. The very notion most likely would have been laughed at.

    I think the onus here is on you to tell me why this approach to things is wrong and why we should instead invite the world here, including Hindu Indians, and give up our distinctive civilisation – a complete departure from what has been the mode of operation for past successful civilisations. Explain again how the Romans benefited from race-mixing and what the end result was, etc.

    • Oh dear, I don’t seem to have done a very good job of explaining myself! I didn’t know I was making a ‘culturalist’ argument, or any argument for that matter – nor do I understand how my non-argument is now a ‘dead duck’. I was merely making some observations and stating my own preferences. My definition of ‘culture’ in a sentence, is merely the habits, customs and values of a particular group of people, whether they be a tribe, a nation or indeed a race. I don’t have any ingrained views on this subject – I am, as I said earlier, making it up as I go along. If we are ‘not officially allowed’ to discuss Jews here, can we try and do it unofficially? Not that I have anything much to add, except to repeat my previous assertion that I have found the opposite to be the case (i.e. that Jews and Arabs are culturally opposites). .
      I must also disagree with you on the question of European differences. It is a fact that we have never ‘fitted in’ with the plan to politically unify the countries of Europe. We have always been the ‘nigger in the woodpile’ as it were, as far as the European Union is concerned. I believe this to be largely religiously driven. Europeans are accustomed to taking orders from the Pope, and to being subservient to the Church. European laws have always been handed down to the Plebs from on high, so they adapt more easily to taking orders from the European Commission. We Anglo Saxons have become accustomed to making our own laws, which of course is what the whole American experiment was all about, (and which is considered heretical by Muslims who live in our [sort of] democracy).
      How on Earth did you manage to infer that I beleve that we can let unlimited numbers of people into the country, and that my views represent the ‘dominant / Elite’ attitude. This is a complete inversion of the truth with knobs on. I have no idea how I have managed to give that impression, but let me correct it at once. You will recall, if you’ve been paying attention, that I said that an influx of 10 million Hindus would present a problem, if only one of scale. Ordinary people have, as you say, had enough. So have I.
      I simply cannot agree with you that Hindu Indians have a lot in common with Pakistani Muslims. Well, ok, they have a similar number of limbs etc, but culturally they are quite incompatible. Why do you think they keep killing each other?
      You are correct – you do not need to justify your views about Indians and others, but I would be interested to know why you feel the way you do – just out of curiosity. I believe the ‘Britishness’ of the Hindus is as genuine as can be, absorbed over centuries of British rule, and is not ‘faked’ at all. I believe we each reap benefits from each other’s culture. In short they, like the Chinese, are an asset to this country. I would not want to be without Chinese or Indian food, for one thing – indeed, I believe Chicken Tikka Masalla is now Britain’s National Dish, and even though it is Muslim, that fact bothers me far less than that Mohammed is now the most popular boys’ name in the country – that I find truly terrifying.
      I agree with you about the changes we can already see taking place – compare the country today with the country Queen Elizabeth inherited. Considering how things have gone downhill on her watch, I am amazed she is so popular. Muslims are embarked on a take-over of this country, and it is well underway. They are out-breeding us and they openly boast about that fact. Their goal is to “reclaim the country for Allah” – ‘reclaim’ please note. The name ‘Mohammed’ was off the radar a few short years ago – it wasn’t in the top 35 boys’ names (and I doubt whether I could even list 35 boys’ names). Today it is number one. The Mayor of London has openly called for a Muslim Prime Minister. It is a statement of mathematical fact that if we carry on as we are, this country will become an Islamic state in a few short years (maybe by the middle of this century). If we are to prevent this happening, we must change course. It may already be too late – there is a tipping point, and we may already have passed it.

      • Hugo,

        I know you didn’t actually in so many words say we could let an infinite number of people in, which you could not say anyway in any literal sense, but what you did say is that you would have no objection to 100,000 Afrikaners, and so you can perhaps see why I took an inference from that as to your views.

        I acknowledge everything else you say. I could give you a further response point-by-point, but I think we’ve both said what we want to, and it’s probably best we leave it there. It’s in my nature that I tend to take definite and sometimes highly principled positions on things, and so I tend to read the same into what others say. I do realise that nobody has a monopoly on wisdom in these matters, but I do stand by my point that the commonality when discussing culture is people. You can say that Hindus emulate British culture well and can fit in to some extent, but they are still Indians, not Europeans, and they come from a completely different culture, which they would impose here if they could populate this country in significant numbers. I’m sure if I emigrated to India, I could learn to fit in and be successful, if I put my mind to it, but that doesn’t mean that Europeans should impose themselves on Indian society and contribute to its disintegration.

        I don’t want to say too much more about specific ethnic or racial groups (Hindus, Jews, etc.) because it might get us into trouble and it’s not worthwhile. What I would say is that my experience of Hindu Indians is probably different to yours. I’m from the north of England. I do get the slight impression (though I realise it may be unfair, as I don’t know your experiences, so don’t take this the wrong way) that your experience in Surrey could have been with the better among the immigrants. I like to look below the surface of things and I think the ‘niceness’, unassuming manner and compatibility of Hindu Indians is superficial.

        Regarding Pakistani Moslem-Hindu Indian relations, I’ve known lots of Moslems in my time and quite a few Hindus as well, and most (though not all) tell me that outside certain isolated incidents (for example, the inter-community riots in northern England in 1999), there is hardly any enmity, and any that apparently does exist is largely just a political and media exaggeration. One Moslem I used to know in Bradford used to always tell me (I often talked with him about this specifically): “It’s the Indian and Pakistani governments that hate each other, not the Indian and Pakistani people. It’s important to make that distinction.”

        It’s very similar to the Anglo-Irish rivalry (which also has a religious undercurrent). Anybody looking at the English and Irish from the outside world would, at times, think we are at each other’s throats and hate each other, whereas in reality there is one place in our country, Northern Ireland, where violence and strife is concentrated, and everywhere else inter-personal relationships carry on normally and any enmity there may be is invented or exaggerated by the media and certain politicians. For ‘Northern Ireland’, read Kashmir in this respect. If there is any hate or dislike between the two peoples, it is surely at the mass or collective level, rather than on any personal level.

        None of which is to say there are no problems or that the communities are the same. I’m not suggesting those things. I’m just saying that from the perspective of this discussion, the similarities are apparent and relevant.

        Likewise with Britain and the rest of Europe – sure, there are differences, including very important and fundamental ones in our understanding of law, our social ideas, our visions for the future, our ethnic identity, our global role and so on; but, the similarities include that we are part of the same racial civilisation and culture. To highlight a difference, however important it may be, and suggest that is racially important is to get things out of perspective. From the point-of-view of the average Pakistani, an Englishman and a German look the same, talk the same (the languages sound similar, because they are closely similar), dress the same, eat similar things, in the same way, and if they’re religious, they seem to worship in more or less the same way (to a Pakistani, a Bavarian Catholic seems liturgically the same as an English High Church Anglican, even if they are in no way similar to our eyes).

        That is all I wish to say.

        • Just a couple of sentences – 1) Sussex, not Surrey! 2) There is a large Hindu community in Crawley just up the road from me. The mostly came from Amin’s Uganda, and headed to Preston to work in the textile industry. When that died off, they migrated south to work at Gatwick airport. The younger ones are now heading for Florida! 3) 100,000 Afrikaaners is a far cry from ‘unlimited immigration’! 4) Go to ‘Little India’ (Ealing Road Wembley) and you will see Hindu and Muslim shops happily trading side-by-side, as you will in Melton Rd Leicester.

          • I’m a northerner and most southern counties seem a bit non-descript and blur into each other. Am I in Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire or Hampshire? I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
            100,000 is a huge amount of people. It’s a mass migration. If you say that 100,000 of any ethnicity (white or not) is not an issue, then to me, that looks like you have quite a lax attitude to immigration, to say the least. (Whether my perception is fair or not, that is how I see it).
            Exactly. I would argue that, from a European viewpoint, they share a very similar culture, in much the same way (though not quite the same way) that we would with, for example, Germans.

            But I think we’ve gone off track. We agree that people shape culture, don’t we, so the only disagreement is over which specific ‘people’ should be allowed in and how to decide this. I take a racial view, on civilisational grounds because I don’t want Europe to disintegrate; you seem to take a more ad hoc view and want to judge things on a case-by-case basis.

            Well, I’m happy to leave the discussion there.

            • There is no real disagreement – we each have our own preferences, certainly, but I’m not really disagreeing with much that you say, except that I would put the emphasis on religion rather than race. I was talking in mathematical terms – 100,000 is not the same as ‘unlimited; it is about a 0.15% increase. Here is a useful bit of mathematics; if you want to calculate the ‘doubling rate’ of a given annual percentage increase, divide it into 70. So if you are told that the population is increasing by ‘only’ 5% p.a., divide that into 70 and you find that the population will double in 14 years. Something to do with the square root of 2 I think.

              • Yes, but if you say that importing 100,000 of any group (irrespective of that group’s merits or otherwise) does not cause you difficulty, that implies that the numbers aren’t of importance to you as long as it’s the right sort of people. So if we said we were going to import 1 million Indian Sikhs in 2018, direct from the subcontinent, would that trouble you at all?

                • Ah, but I did NOT say that. You cited Afrikaaners. Leaving aside the issue that these islands are desperately over-crowded, increasing the population by 0.16 per cent by inviting 100,000 Afrikaaners would not cause me any difficulty. !00,000 Islamists, on the other hand, would. It boils down to this; when the United States were formed, the Jews wrote to George Washington to ask whether they had the right to practice their religion. They were already tolerated, of course, but they wanted to know whether they had that RIGHT, as opposed to being merely tolerated. General Washington replied in the affirmative; “All that we require is that you conduct yourselves as good citizens”. That is pretty much my position. Some races, most religions, can be relied upon to conduct themselves as good citizens; some cannot. So yes, if it’s the “right sort of people” I don’t have a problem, apart from the lack of physical space of course.
                  A million Sikh Indians? No problem, apart from where to put them, and frankly this lack of available space would have to trump any personal desires.
                  A million Muslims? That, to me, would be a very big problem. I know that the probability of being injured or killed in a terrorist attack is infinitesimally small, but I’m sure I don’t need to tell you just look around, at the way we have to live our lives today because we are constantly under threat of such attack. Now that they have started using cars as missiles in order to “harvest the un-believers” as they put it, we’re not even safe walking along the pavement. If the Sikhs started blowing people up, I would say exactly the same about them. But they don’t (neither do Hindus, Jews or Afrikaaners), and to say that this is an important distinction is to grossly under-state it.
                  A million, or even a hundred thousand, Albanians, Romanians, Nigerians, Somalis, whatever – you can keep them.
                  I’m sure this is where we are going to diverge, and you are going to say you don’t want any Sikh Indians, Hindu Indians Muslim Indians or even Catholic Indians in our country. I would love to know what your objection is – just out of curiosity.
                  Ideally, if we could get rid of the world’s flotsam and jetsam so beloved by our political class, and replace at least some of them with decent citizens, I think that would be a good deal.

                  • The salient point I take from your latest post is this:

                    [quote]”Leaving aside the issue that these islands are desperately over-crowded…”[/quote]

                    This renders the rest of your post redundant, since it is evident you are not thinking practically. We can’t put aside practicalities if we are to consider the matter sensibly. Strictly-speaking, the problem is not one of “over-crowding”, but of what can be sustainably imposed on the country’s infrastructure, which in turn takes up space, money and other resources. And even when we have that reckoning, there is a further policy decision to make, which is whether we should permit large-scale permanent immigration at all. I would say we shouldn’t. I simply don’t see the social or economic justification, in which regard the burden of proof is with you, not me.

                    You keep asking me why I don’t like Hindus, but I never said I dislike them. I said I don’t care for them and don’t want them settling in my own country. I don’t need to explain myself in my own country, and I will not explain further, since the burden of proof is still with you. I still haven’t seen any convincing justification from you. Do you have one?

                    Where is your limit? You now tell me one million Sikhs would be no problem. That being the case, I can’t take these exchanges seriously. I suspect I am having my plonker pulled, but if not, then it may just be that you are keen not to appear ‘racialist’, the sort of intellectual timidity that is typically middle-class and to be expected from a denizen of Surrey, Sussex or Suffolk, or wherever you’re from. It’s not peculiar to you. There is an almost-ubiquitous belief among the ‘educated’ (I use the term advisedly) English middle-class that racialism is déclassé, when in reality the matter is the other way round, if anything. At least one esteemed official of the Libertarian Alliance, whom I will concede comfortably outguns me intellectually and academically, sees fit to talk of our “common humanity” and that racism should be disparaged because it is “unkind”. There is no intellectual content in these wisps of conformity. To wish for the racial destruction of your own civilisation is, surely, the true déclassé position. Just look around.

                    • Good grief – I don’t know how you do it, but you always seem to infer from my texts the exact opposite of what I am trying to say! I did say that lack of physical space trumps personal preferences. I am not advocating large-scale permanent immigration. You asked some specific questions to which I tried to give clear and honest answers, as I always do. What would drive you to believe I am ‘pulling your plonker’ is simply beyond me.
                      You say this; “You keep asking me why I don’t like Hindus, but I never said I dislike them. I said I don’t care for them and don’t want them settling in my own country. I don’t need to explain myself in my own country, and I will not explain further, since the burden of proof is still with you. I still haven’t seen any convincing justification from you. Do you have one?”
                      Burden of proof of what? “Don’t like Indians” Don’t care for Indians” What’s the difference? I am just curious to learn why you say that. No, of course you don’t need to explain yourself in your own country. But why be so defensive about it? It’s not a trick question!
                      I have absolutely no idea how I have managed to convey to you the impression that I am part of the ‘intellectually timid’ ‘educated middle class’ who is ‘keen not to appear racialist’, or suggest that I “wish for the racial destruction of our own civilisation”. That is just beyond baffling. I despise such people every bit as much as you do. As I said at the beginning of this article, you have managed to completely mis-construe everything I have tried to say, or at the very least you have inferred things which I never sought to imply. That’s quite an achievement.

    • Sorry, Tom, I accidentally gave you a thumbs down when I meant to give you a thumbs up (although that does seem to have been corrected). Yours is the most sensible post I’ve seen here for a long time.

  • Tom and Hugo,

    An advertisement, not particularly related to this thread.

    If either of you are near Central London tomorrow evening (Tuesday May 16th), you might be interested in a meeting of the “other Libertarian Alliance.” (David McDonagh’s group). Christian Michel, someone I respect a lot, is speaking on the subject:

    Who is “the people”?

    Venue: The Institute of Education
    Room S13 (next to the student bar, lower floor)
    Thornhaugh Street
    (off Russell Square)
    WC1B 5EA

    I suspect that Christian, as always, will put forward some interesting ideas; and they may well touch upon the dispute you both have been working through on this thread.

    I’m planning to be there…

    • Oh, and I forgot to copy and paste the time: 7:30pm.

    • Unfortunately I will not be able to attend as I am in the North.

  • Hi. This all sounds great but the manifesto is essentially identical to that of the Libertarian party of the UK. Wouldn’t you do well to work together as one large party to avoid diluting the libertarian vote.

    • Chris,

      I wrote this article as a result of a prompt from Tom Rogers for some plausible and realistic libertarian ideas that might appeal to ordinary people. I put it in the form of a manifesto, because I thought that would be quite a clear way to make my points.

      In fact, for years I’ve taken the view that a “libertarian party” is a waste of time and effort, and we should devote our efforts more towards changing the climate of thought and seeking to win hearts and minds. Though it’s possible that may be changing now, as the mainstream parties get worse and worse and closer and closer together in their contempt for the people they are supposed to represent. There may come a point where injecting radical ideas of liberty into an election discourse may become worth while; but I don’t think we’re there yet.

  • I was leaning towards libertarianism for a long time, but the more I see lengthy articles setting out the minutiae of how a theoretically perfect libertarian society would work, the more delusional I tend to see the concepts being.

    Perhaps, like Tom Rogers, I am torn between not wanting state intrusion into all facets of our lives and being horrified at what is already going on with this kind of thing, yet, at the same time, not believing that a libertarian society such as that being proposed can exist – because it appears to be somewhat detached from reality when it comes to group dynamics, identity, agendas and other factors that transcend the ‘individualism’ it seems to rely upon.

    Unless everybody is forced to share the same principles, I can just foresee that libertarians are going to be pushed aside by those who are less interested in individualism and more interested in group identity, group power, group influence. Or indeed those who prefer large state, large welfare, less self-responsibility and so on.

    The blunt truth, as I see it, is this: Libertarianism is largely a product of Caucasians and Jews. To my knowledge, no other people in the world are that interested in it and have never, to my knowledge, upheld or sustained such value principles anywhere near as well as what Caucasians have done.

    Even if this is only partially true, libertarianism is already in a bit of a dilemma. As a ’cause’, what is the success rate over the last 40 to 50 years to achieve any of its major objectives? Over the last 40 to 50 years, what is the measurable rise in adherents to this philosophy and political principle?

    Talk of parties and manifesto’s, whilst people write reams about ‘property rights’ and it being okay for people to “do what they want” as long as they do not harm others, is in my view getting ever more crazy. The damage that other people’s actions can do to a society as a whole through their ‘individualism’ can potentially be massive.

    What could be a reasonable suggestion of following, recruitment, steadfast support of such intricate policy positions of libertarian groups and parties? Could we say, to be generous, 1 Million converts in the last 40 years? Perhaps even 2 Million?

    In this time, we have seen 10 times that amount of people arrive in this country who are of a religion that cannot subscribe to libertarianism and people from countries who think socialism, welfare, large state, looking after them from cradle to grave is wonderful and something to be championed.

    Out of the approximate 6 Million people that have arrived since the advent of Tony Blair, how many are realistically, via race, religion, needs, attitudes, intelligence, or otherwise, going to be potential recruits and upholders of Libertarianism? (Never mind the millions that have arrived since the 1960s!).

    Libertarianism is losing me as a supporter, for I am getting too tired and jaded to conceive of how any of it could either work in “real life” or ever be actually implemented….especially ‘in time’ to even matter a jot (before this country tips irreversibly into being another country entirely).

    In the meantime, we are still being heavily surveilled, people continue to be arrested for speaking and writing, we have threats against our liberties via things like “cashless society” transactions, we have secret courts, smoking bans, bans on this, bans on that, taxes to fund socialist policies…..

    I cannot help but feel that Rome is burning whilst people dream of a perfect “live and let live” order of things. That the Libertarian cause is not currently achieving notable gains upon the “system” around us now, and that future prospects are massively diminished the more non-whites and Muslims are present here and the more our homogeneity is smashed on the anvil of this and the polarisation within our own people over these issues.

    • Dear British Activist,

      Let me begin by re-iterating what I said to Chris, above. This essay was never intended as an exhaustive description of how a libertarian society might work; merely as a brief list of things that might be done to start some kind of effective movement towards freedom. For my sins, I’ve also published a number of more substantial (and substantive) essays at this forum. If you study those, you will see that my ideas as a whole are far wider than the simple “political” facet I put forward here.

      You think that libertarians are “going to be” pushed aside? No; we, along with all other good people, have decades ago been pushed aside (and down) by those that, in your words, are “interested in group identity, group power, group influence.” That, in a nutshell, is the problem we face. Even you yourself seem to think that individualism damages societies. But that isn’t so. For individualism isn’t a philosophy of “anything goes,” as many seem to think; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Individualism is no more (or less) than a focus on the individual, and his or her relationships with others. Individualism focuses on personal responsibility just as much as it focuses on personal freedom.

      As to the freedom idea being largely a product of Caucasians and Jews, I actually agree. The individual freedom ideal is part of the Enlightenment ideal. And the Enlightenment happened in Europe, and in societies derived from Europe. Isn’t that a good reason to seek to spread this ideal to others? And, in particular, to Muslims? Can we have planet wide peace until Muslims have been through the Enlightenment?

      As to our success rate over 40 or 50 years, consider that Christianity took more than 200 years to be accepted in the corridors of power. Even Marxism took almost 70 years to make its first conquest; and they started from a situation where ideas like theirs were already in the ascendant.

      Lastly, I note that your comment is entirely critical; it doesn’t make any positive suggestions. Your moniker links to a blog, but that blog is not publicly accessible. If you want to influence me and people like me, you need to become more transparent. Do you propose solutions to the problems we face? Then please tell us what they are.

      • Neil, unfortunately I logged in under an old WordPress account from what must be about a decade old. The blog was never really formulated, it was made when I was learning to construct sites and, at that point, wanted to create a cleanly cut ‘British Nationalist’ website full of policy positions and so on, a bit like the current British Democratic Party run by Andrew Brons.

        My comment is not intended to be critical of yourself, personally – or the article. It was aimed much more roundly at what seems to transpire on and within libertarian sites and between libertarian enthusiasts. I.e, walls and walls of text laying out the particulars of a desired form of interaction with others, within some final destination of a libertarian success – where society already believes in and adheres to the same rules and values.

        In reality, I see libertarians losing a battle quicker than one can ever be fought. This is for the reasons I explained above. Quite simply, like with ethno-nationalists, you are being drowned out quicker than you can recruit – via people who are just not going to be inclined to subscribe to the libertarian world view.

        By being pushed aside, I am not talking particularly about the present oligarchy of interests. I am talking demographically and religiously pushed aside, in the here and now and in the future, both in terms of races who simply will not appreciate aspects of libertarianism and by religious doctrines in which the application of libertarianism is virtually impossible.

        The idea that Muslims could integrate libertarianism into their faith is pretty bizarre to me, if one understands what the religion actually is and what makes it different to the others. Their religion is like no other and in my view it offers next to no flexibility when it comes to what they are duty bound to practise and promote.

        When I speak of how individualism can damage society, one easy example is that of drugs. Libertarians would tend to state, or believe, that drugs should be legalised and that it is up to individuals what they do and do not do with their own bodies, in the privacy of their own homes.

        Yet, if drugs were to become widespread (due to their addictive nature) and vast swathes of the country or local community were addicted to drugs or were lethargic space-cadets, their actions influence and affect the very kinds of societies and world the rest of us have to live in.

        The same goes for many other choices that could be deemed ‘harmless’ and the remit of individual choice. Without some degree of what is courtesy and conducive to a common good, born from homogeneous societies with very close common goals, interests, aptitudes, attitude and beliefs, I can foresee there being a terrible time having the kind of harmony and orderliness that may be being expected.

        The point I made about the success rate is important, because if there is no trajectory it will never reach over the bar required to win a gold, bronze or silver medal in the societal stakes. If an ingredient is being added to society which makes the trajectory flat-line or even decline, then I can only see this as being a disaster for those who promote libertarianism.

        I am an ethno-nationalist, and that does position me to see things through a particular lens. A lens which those only interested in libertarianism are uncaring of.

        For example, you suggest that it would be 200 years before anything substantial exists that is libertarian. That the Muslims may need to have (a near impossible) “enlightenment” to happen before they can come aboard. The implication that the multitudes of races and peoples around the world who find themselves here (as well as those in their originating countries) could eventually shake off ALL the trends of libertarian adherents and proponents and come to support libertarian ideals.

        I’m sorry, and I suspect we will disagree on this – but I couldn’t give much of a fig what happens to the future of this country (and the wider world) when there are no longer any of my own people in this country (and no longer any of my own people in the wider world). They can do whatever they want, it no longer matters to me.

        Steve Sailor’s graph of demographic trends is one of the most important graphs in the world, in my view. It affects all kinds of things, and I truly believe that the concepts and adherence to libertarianism is one of them.

        In terms of setting the stall out of how things ought to be, I do not tend to see much being done in the real world to roll-back freedoms that have already been lost or much in place to prevent threats which are formulating as we speak.

        Like with nationalism, I do not know what all the answers are – but I do tend to think that too much time is spent theorising instead of ‘doing’…..and like with nationalism again, if “doing” largely revolves around articles, messages, meetings, recruitment of individuals, etc, that effort is going to be stymied if society shifts in ways which drift further away from those that mean change could be possible.

        • Dear British Activist,

          I’m sympathetic, and I think I understand the way you feel.

          But for me, it is what you call “the present oligarchy of interests” which must be fought right now. And that fight must call into question the whole system under which we live today. The idea of a geographical nation. The idea of the state, that allows a ruling class to lord it over everyone else. The fake and failed system called “democracy,” that gives apparent legitimacy to whatever the state does. These are reasons why, as you say, freedoms have been lost and more threats are forming.

          In my view, we need to get through that battle first, and only then can we consider what happens next. Personally, I don’t consider Muslims in general to be a threat to me. For back in 1983, I spent two and a half months working in Indonesia. And during that time, I found no difficulty getting on with Indonesian people, whether they were Muslim, Christian or Chinese. Islamists, of course – those that want to force their religion on to others – are another matter.

          For me, individuals like Tony Blair and the great majority of today’s politicians – of all parties – are a far greater threat to me, and to everything and everyone I care about, than are ordinary Muslims. (I’ll grant you, there do exist evil, political Muslims in this country – the mayor of London being one of the most obvious. But Sadiq Khan would be just as evil if he wasn’t a Muslim).

          My own opinion is that we need to take both a long-view position and a short-view one. In the short view, the job of libertarians is to move hearts and minds, to bring down the current system and replace it by something better. (And where we can, to raise up from the floor friends and potential friends who have lost their confidence – such as yourself). On that view we are, in a sense, Reformers. On the long view, we are Enlighteners; we seek to visualize and to lay the foundations for a better way of organizing human societies, in which peace and justice are the norm, rather than war and politics.

      • For further reference, in terms of the graph see – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTSBEc4JJSQ

        This wave is going to be coming, unless something totally extraordinary happens. What are libertarians going to do about it?

        Is it just hoped that this scenario will be conducive to building libertarian societies?

        Is it expected that, eventually, these people and the kinds of societies they will form (along with mixtures of our own) will be winnable to the positions of libertarianism?

        What are the governments going to do to facilitate this transformation in the meantime, and how does such a future environment (put in place by governments) make it easier to bring about libertarianism?

        The very ground, as I see it, is shifting irreversibly away from what would be necessary to have the kinds of society we’d desire.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s