Mises UK invites you to its second day conference at the Charing Cross Hotel in central London. A programme of Austrolibertarian and Brexit-themed lectures throughout the day, with time for socialising, and lunch included. Join us on Saturday 30th March, the day after Brexit – or not. Speakers to be confirmed soon.
What Exactly Did the Reformation Reform?
By Frank van Dun
The Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century reformed nothing but it changed everything. It was a crucially important factor in the demise of Medieval Latin Christendom and its rapid transformation in what we now know as Europe or, more generally, the West. Philosophically and religiously it redefined and revolutionized Western civilization, for, what characterizes a civilization is not so much what people do (which is pretty much the same always and everywhere) as what they conscientiously believe they ought to do: its fundamental scheme of justification and rectification — in a word, its conscience. Read more
The Absurdity and Cruelty of Trying to Create Equality
by Rev. Rory McClure
Almost every good thing we enjoy and benefit from comes directly from human inequality and the resulting ability for each person to specialise in what he or she is best at. The decades of training required to master brain surgery or molecular engineering or premier league football would make it impossible for any one individual to rise to the top of all three fields. Yet without human inequality no body would be able to devote a decade of their life to mastering each of these skills. Instead, people would die from brain haemorrhages, complex drugs wouldn’t be created to cure dangerous diseases and millions wouldn’t be entertained. Read more
Libertarianism and the Collective
By Duncan Whitmore
“Liberty means the right to shape your own institutions. It opposes the right of those institutions to shape you simply because of accreted power or gerontological status.”
– Karl Hess1
The libertarian ethic of non-aggression preserves the sovereignty of the individual – that no other person, or group of persons acting in concert, may initiate a physical incursion against your body or against the objects that comprise your property. In this sense you are, permanently, a free and independent being. On the other hand, it is an undeniable aspect of human history that we have grouped ourselves together into various forms of collective – states, nations, communities, congregations, businesses, families and so on – and that these collectives have taken on purposes and characteristics of their own that have served to subordinate the individual to the collective. Indeed, the meanings of these identities – their history, their traditions, their culture, and so on – and the passion that they can arouse suggests that they are far more than the sum of their individual parts. Take, for example, the unique splendour of the Lake District; the stirring words of the hymn “Jerusalem”; the pomp and circumstance of the Trooping of the Colour; or even something as straightforward as sitting in a pub with a pint of beer or munching on fish and chips. All of these things can arouse an overwhelming sense of pride for England and all things English. Surely these things are much greater than and should not be expected to yield to the whims of any one mere individual Englander, particularly when most of them have been around for centuries before him? Read more
Jerome and His Women
Black Quill Press, Sydney, 2015 (pb)
Review by Richard Blake
This novel explores the background to one of the most important events in history. When Constantine established Christianity as the preferred state religion in 313, he was saving Western civilisation. Until then, the religious settlement in the Roman Empire was divided both vertically and horizontally. The vertical division marked off the educated elite. For those at the top, the pagan cults were approaches to the concept of a Supreme Being and a universal moral law. Those at the bottom took these cults at face value, with their alarming or simply scandalous mythologies, and their frequent lack of mutual sympathy.
Christianity was a universal religion. For all its sectarian tendencies, it crossed every boundary of language and race and class. It was a way of life, and it had philosophical content. Once spread beyond the frontiers, it did much to humanise the barbarians, who would otherwise have invaded as pure savages. It also provided a check to misgovernment. The Jews aside, it is hard to think of any religious group that had been able to face down a determined pagan emperor. Once Constantine himself was dead, the clergy could rally the faithful as they pleased – usually for the Empire that they now dominated, but also against any emperor who in their opinion went too far. Read more
The Moral Case Against Equality Before The Law
by Rev. Rory McClure
Feminists do not want the law to treat women equally to men. No sane or compassionate person would want men and women to be treated the equally before the law. Thankfully, our legal system does not practise equality before the law and hopefully it never will.
I know this sounds offensively absurd, but bear with me. You will agree with me. In the 2007 the Labour Peer, Baroness Cortson wrote the Cortson Report which made the case for maintaining and expanding the unequal status of women before the law. In it she recognised that women have “vulnerabilities.. which fall into three categories. First, domestic circumstances and problems such as domestic violence, child-care issues, being a single-parent; second, personal circumstances such as mental illness, low self-esteem, eating disorders, substance misuse; and third, socio-economic factors such as poverty, isolation and unemployment. When women are experiencing a combination of factors from each of these three types of vulnerabilities, it is likely to lead to a crisis point that ultimately results in prison.” She goes on to argue that women must be punished less severely than men for the same crime because, “The biological difference between men and women has different social and personal consequences.” Read more
Enoch Powell: The Man and his Politics
Speech to the Conference
of the Property and Freedom Society
Bodrum, Saturday, 13th September 2014
As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”
I may have fellow countrymen who cannot identify these words. If so, I have yet to meet them. The words are from the speech that Enoch Powell (1912-98) gave on the 20th April 1968 to the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre – a work best known as “The Rivers of Blood Speech.” It is, beyond any doubt, the most notable political speech given in England during my lifetime. It may be the most notable of the twentieth century. It made its author both the most loved and the most hated politician in the country. Shortly after the speech, dockworkers marched in his support through the centre of London. Thirty years later, at his memorial service in Westminster Abbey, the space outside was filled with a great crowd of those who had come to pay their respects. Read more