A Stateless Solution for Catholic Critiques of the Free Market


In the following interview, I was joined by Prof. William T. Cavanaugh. Perhaps most famous for his work on the Myth of Religious Violence, Cavanaugh believes that modernity, with its liberalism and secular statism, is not only a system of religion but is also consuming us. Yes, we are being consumed by consumerism; our disposable society reflects on us.

Cavanaugh discusses his understanding of the false corporations of modernity which consume us and compares this with the personalistic corporation of Christendom — both consume us, but the manner in which are consume and are consumed by the body of Christ, is one of mutual love and unity, solidarity even. (This is nothing new, of course — Catholic distributists have been criticising laissez-faire market practices since the 1800s, at least.)

How then, might Christian communities and the era of Christendom now celebrated by Hans Hermann-Hoppe, be retained in a “post-Christian” West? I challenge Cavanaugh to present his market-oriented solution:

https://youtu.be/WMEl5arPmM0

Liberty and Truth – Why Statists should Bear the Burden of Proof


Liberty and Truth – Why Statists should Bear the Burden of Proof

By Duncan Whitmore

During the admittedly few years in which I have been writing on Austro-libertarian topics, one matter on which I have not put pen to paper is the justification for liberty as a fundamental political principle. I have spent much time pointing out the effects and implications of liberty (and of alternative orders) on a wide range of issues from free trade to sound money, from law to culture, and from immigration to the NHS; for many readers, these will, I hope, be persuasive. But what is the one, big reason that elevates liberty head and shoulders above all forms of statism and socialism as the just cause towards which we should strive? Which argument would blow out of the water any attempt to establish tyranny and despotism? Why have I never attempted anything of this magnitude?

One reason for this apparent omission is that I am yet to think of something that I could say on the topic that has not been said elsewhere, and better. Rather than wasting the reader’s time by repeating what has been written before, I prefer to confine my own writing to matters on which I feel as though I am making at least some kind of new contribution, however small.

To be frank, though, the overriding reason derives from an intuitive sense of repulsion triggered by interfering do-gooders and busybodies: that is, if I am getting on with my life peacefully and quietly, my instinctive reaction to the appearance of some prying meddler is that he should mind his own business. Moreover, I do not see this as a one sided obligation: I am quite willing to return the favour by minding my own business when it comes to the affairs of other people. In fact, I couldn’t care less about what other people are doing with their own lives so long as it isn’t bothering me. Such an instinctive “live and let live” attitude is, no doubt, the initial impetus that drives most libertarians towards the philosophy of liberty.

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How to Fight for Liberty, Part Four – Radicalism


How to Fight for Liberty, Part Four – Radicalism

By Duncan Whitmore

In the previous instalments of this continuing series on how to fight for liberty, we have been emphasising the fact that our political strategy needs to focus on motivating people away from sustaining social structures which rely on physical enforcement (such as the state) and towards those which are generated instead by voluntary co-operation.

Based upon what we learnt in Part Three, the essence of this task is captured in a quotation attributed to G K Chesterton:

We do not need good laws to restrain bad men. We need good men to restrain bad laws.

In Part One, we drew a distinction between libertarian theory on the one hand and libertarian political action on the other. We determined that the province of libertarian theory is to define and justify liberty. For instance, a private property order defines a polity in which liberty is the overriding principle of justice; the non-aggression principle determines which acts do and do not infringe upon liberty; and “free market capitalism” defines the economic condition of liberty. However, neither repeating these definitions nor delineating the institutions that could form a free society – the latter of which we explored in Part Three – is enough to make them a reality. For this, the purpose of libertarian political action is to achieve this critical aspect of motivation.

Applying this distinction to Chesterton’s words, we might say that the purpose of libertarian theory is to determine good laws; the purpose of libertarian political action, on the other hand, is to encourage good men. By this, we do not mean the creation of some kind of idealised, libertarian “new man” as the equal opposite of the socialist “new man” envisaged by the kinds of statist philosophy we discussed in Part Two. Rather, it simply means that liberty, and the sustenance of just laws, is ultimately dependent upon the fervour of the people to preserve their freedom.

Continue reading

What Future is There for a Politicised Monarchy?


D.J. Webb

We have had a lot of Royal news in recent weeks, whether it be the antics of Prince Harry, or the death of Prince Philip. It seems a suitable moment to take stock, given that the Royal family appears to be evolving rapidly, and not in a healthy direction. But maybe I should begin with a brief statement of why the Monarchy would be important to libertarians. Libertarianism is not just an economic doctrine, one of wanting to be left alone by the state—although that is largely admirable as a reflex; it also rests on cultural underpinnings. If we become Pakistan or Somali, or, more likely, a hodgepodge of those and many other countries, the desire for a certain relationship between state and society, one based on traditional English values such as free speech and freedom of expression, will become obsolete. Why would incomers share the views that have traditionally been associated with the Anglo-Saxon peoples? There is no future for a free society without a recognition that this is our country, and that our way of life will not survive mass immigration and the imposition of political correctness.

From that perspective, the Queen’s role is, not just to make anodyne statements, but to defend our customs—and, logically, that means defending our nation too. It’s written clearly in the Coronation Oath: the Queen should govern us “by our laws and customs”. It is argued by many, desperately clutching at straws, that the Queen spurns the Coronation Oath because she is advised to do so (by people who did not take the Coronation Oath, and who may not legally advise the Queen to violate her Oath). I would like to feel that, behind the scenes, she objected to our entry into the European Union (or its predecessors), and strongly objected to mass immigration, political correctness, hate speech laws, and even things like the elimination of double jeopardy and the weakening of jury trials. But you would be misguided if you thought the Queen had done any of those things.

The Queen and Prince Philip

Instead, we have the spectacle of a Royal house that is seeking to ingratiate itself with ethnic minorities to ensure its own survival, even when we, the British people, are becoming a minority in our own country (currently slated for 2066 according to the best demographic projections). Prince Philip, in some way, appeared to give a degree of hope to British people that there was someone close to the Throne who did not follow all the latest fashionable views on race and speech codes, and so was a surprisingly popular figure. This is simply because he was prepared to crack the odd joke that had a racial theme in what was actually a fairly good-natured way, however maliciously portrayed in the media. However, I think his role is largely misunderstood. He was portrayed as a gaffer, someone who would always put his foot in it, and the Royal family passed this off as “Philip being Philip”. This largely conceded the Left’s argument that the humorous comments he made were offensive and unacceptable from anyone other than an uncontrollable old man. In its own way, the Philip phenomenon cemented the politically correct speech codes, because the Palace never once argued that the comments he made were free speech and free expression that everyone should engage in.

The Queen herself has been much more in tune with the political elite. Her Christmas Day broadcast 2004 celebrated the fact that English people have become a minority in London. She said: “I particularly enjoyed a story I heard the other day about an overseas visitor to Britain who said the best part of his visit had been travelling from Heathrow into Central London on the Tube…. At each stop children were getting on and off—they were of every ethnic and religious background, some with scarves or turbans, some talking quietly, others playing and occasionally misbehaving together—completely at ease and trusting one another. How lucky you are, said the visitor, to live in a country where your children can grow up this way”.

This is a direct intervention in politics in support of our national dispossession. John Stuart Mill in Chapter XVI of his Considerations on Representative Government took the opposite view to the Queen, arguing that free institutions were possible only in a country not riven by inter-ethnic and multicultural strife. By intervening in this way, the Queen showed that she believes English people should become a minority in this country, and thus it was a political statement of the type we were always told the Queen could not engage in.

In May 2011, the Queen made even more jarring comments in a visit to the Republic of Ireland, a visit it was reported the Queen had been angling to make for many years. Did she condemn the involvement of the Irish state in funding and training terrorists in Northern Ireland? No, she didn’t. What she did say was:

“Indeed so much of this visit reminds us of the complexity of our history, its many layers and traditions, but also the importance of forbearance and conciliation, of being able to bow to the past but not be bound by it. Of course the relationship has not always been straightforward; nor has the record over the centuries been entirely benign. It is a sad and regrettable reality that through history our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache, turbulence and loss. These events have touched us all, many of us personally, and are a painful legacy. We can never forget those who have died or been injured or their families. To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past I extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy. With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all”.

This was all couched in careful language. The Queen did not state directly that Britain was the source of the “not entirely benign record”, and neither did she say what it was that Britain should have done differently or not at all. These comments were interpreted in Ireland as an apology for the Irish Famine—as if a potato blight is something Britain should apologise for. In fact, Britain did extend assistance to the starving in Ireland at a time when there was no welfare state, and did more than, for example, Finland did in the 1866-68 famine there, when one-twelfth of the population were allowed to die because the Finnish government worried that borrowing money for famine relief would raise interest rates. Whatever the rights and wrongs, Irish history should be seen in nuanced historical context, as with all historical events, and not used to perform morality plays in the present in the way the Irish government uses the Famine. In previous historical periods, Britain behaved much as was expected of governments of the time, and the issue is just history. Are we to extract an apology from the Italian government for the mistreatment of Boadicea and her daughters in the first century AD?

I would like to ask the Queen to clarify whether she was accusing Queen Victoria of genocide in Ireland. Under no circumstances should the Queen mouth IRA propaganda during a visit to Ireland, particularly as in the most recent period, 1969 to the present day, it is the Republic of Ireland that has behaved badly. They have funded terrorism in a neighbouring country, while becoming rich on the back of our money, cycled to them through the EU, and are currently engaged in international diplomacy to ensure that our Brexit is a flop. They may even be seeking a resumption of communal violence in Ulster. The balance of fault since 1969 is skewed against the Irish government. Why should we apologise to them?

For these reasons, I cannot agree that the Queen “hasn’t put a foot wrong”. She has not angered the political/media elite, granted, but has moved towards distinctly anti-British public positions, and has been more than happy to enact our national dispossession via the European Communities Act and various immigration acts. One has to ask whether the Queen has always been an anti-imperialist. Surely, as the daughter of the King-Emperor she once has different views?

Prince Charles and Princess Diana

Overlooking the failed marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, one that means that the current Royal family bears no relation to Queen Victoria’s attempt to portray domestic bliss, for example, in the famous portrait of her family by Franz Winterhalter. Diana, as a member of the aristocracy, was expected to know her place and conduct herself with decorum, but she played to the media gallery, not just in her accounts of her private life, but also in her pursuit of political causes. These included kissing AIDS patients in order to propagate the view that AIDS could not be transmitted easily and her campaign against landmines in African countries. Both were issues that placed her on the NGO left of the political debate. Neither was anything the wife of the heir to the throne should have engaged in. It is easy to see how the shenanigans of the Sussexes derive in part from Prince Harry’s attempts to be like his mother.

Prince Charles has in certain ways been a conservative public figure. He speaks impeccable English, supports the Prayer Book, and also opposes modern architecture, although, in keeping with his position, admiring our architectural heritage should be as far as he allows himself to go, without entering into public debates on what is a political/cultural issue. His desire to become Defender of Faith, and not Defender of the Faith, is a much more objectional stance. He signals that he will perjure himself by taking the Coronation Oath, and thereby openly supports the influx of Muslims into our country. He apparently believes that a religion based on the mores of 7th century Arabia is an equal path to God as the Christian religion—a view that has traditionally been regarded in this country as heretical. I would like to ask him if he supported Mohamed’s ruling that the rape of women and girls in warfare by his Muslim soldiers was OK (this ruling was handed down by the “prophet” during warfare with a tribe called the Banu Al-Mustaliq). Such multicultural views seem designed to facilitate the survival of Prince Charles’ Royal house even while ensuring that the British nation itself does not survive.

Prince Charles’ nakedly political intervention into the climate change debate is also foolish. Not only has there been only a fraction of the warming predicted by climate change models 20 years ago, despite the fact that much more carbon dioxide has been emitted, the ultimate role of human agency in this remains disputed. The planet has gone through many warming and cooling cycles over millennia. Most of the alarmist claims made by the environmentalists have been disproven. The polar ice cap was said to be due to melt long ago, as was snow cover on the Himalayas. Claims that Australia’s bush fires were due to global warming sit ill with maps showing that the coastal areas where the fires took place were cooler than normal, and only the interior of the continent actually hotter. In the end, no-one would object to new energy sources including hydrogen as long as they could be utilised in a way that was as cheap or cheaper than fossil fuels, and as long as they provided a reliable source of heating that did not require us to adjust to indoor temperatures much lower than we are used to. The rush to Net Zero by 2050 will cost hundreds of billions. It would be much better to explore new techologies and adopt them only when they can be done cheaply.

Prince Harry and his US wife

It may be better to discuss Prince Harry first, as this will allow me to contrast Prince William with him. Harry and Meghan have openly adopted woke religion in a way that has severed their connection with the English people. Laughably false claims of racial prejudice that Meghan claims to have experienced have done serious damage to our country’s international reputation. The way they use the mental health issue to claim moral authority for their decision to flounce off to California is also contemptible. The wider cultural context is that such claims are deemed to be automatically true. Anyone denying that Meghan felt suicidal is told he is bullying the mentally ill. In some ways, Harry is a disappointment, as his record in the Armed Forces, and previous reports of his high jinks and comments he has made similar to those made by Prince Philip (including referring to the Pakistani origin of one his military friends) suggested that he was less caught up at one stage in the virtue signalling.

An unpleasant consequence of the Harry and Meghan saga is that the Queen is considering appointing a race co-ordinator at the Palace, a development likely to racialise the whole Palace operation. Such people are employed to find offence, and hunt it out, and so we are likely to be regaled with a constant stream of nonsensical stories about “racist ladies in waiting” and the like. This sort of thing just adds to the oppressive cultural environment, whereby words are deemed offensive, and people are not expected to brush off insults, and yet insults made to English people are regarded as harmless all the same.

Any hope in Prince William and Kate?

It would be nice to believe the Royal family will settle down with William and Kate. However, there are signs that this is not the case. While William has not flounced off to California, he does speak the woke lingo of his brother. William was reported as denouncing racism in football—a ludicrous concept, given that this is the most multiracial area of public life in the UK. More to the point, this is our country, and so, although black people are well represented in football, there is no reason why this has to be the case. If you go to China, most football players are Chinese for some reason that Prince William can’t quite put his finger on, but I can (because it’s China).

William may have also made a major mistake calling for more racial diversity in Britain’s BAFTA film awards, resulting in an award being made the next year to a black actor now accused of sexual harassment. I don’t think such claims should be given the credence they are, without stronger proof, but it does show that calling for a tickbox racialised culture could backfire on the monarchy. William should not be getting into these political causes.

Kate made a show of visiting a memorial, or flower display, for a woman raped and murdered by a (white) policeman in London, an extraordinarily rare occurrence, if you think about it. She sent little signals that she was on the side of the feminists. But she has never intervened in this way where the perpetrators were black, and has never said a word about the gang-rape of tens of thousands of underage English girls by Pakistani rape gangs.

The Future of the Windsors

The departure of Harry has led Charles and William to consider the family’s future. This discussion is being held in-house, without any public input or direct input by politicians. However, it is clear that the Windsors are responding to the Harry and Meghan affair by Meghanising or Oprahising the monarchy. One wonders why Harry has left if William has decided to pursue the same list of fashionable causes Harry and Meghan are pursuing in America. The family appears to be chasing good press headlines, given that the media elite are heavily invested in a list of causes including anti-racism, anti-sexism, gay rights, transgender identity and climate change.

However, these causes are much more patchily supported in the population at large. Where most people do, for example, oppose racial hatred and harassment, the definition given to such concepts can often veer to the extremes in a way that the public do not support. If you oppose the gang rape of English girls by Muslim gangs, that is said to be “racism”. If you believe that adults who wish to have sex-change operations should be allowed to, then the campaign groups who are driving social change argue that you should accept puberty blocking drugs given to children and the replacement of women by men in women’s sports. But worse than these things is the fact that the boundaries of public discussion are narrowing by the nanosecond, where views that the majority of the public hold are suddenly being declared unacceptable with an alarming frequency. The Royals are doing everything they can to drive this agenda, in a way that appears to lend moral authority to the woke causes they patronise.

The result of this WWW (the Woke-Washing of the Windsors) is to give further encouragement to the politicians and media in their determination to criminalise speech, and to use state power, including the police, to harass those who don’t share the allegedly correct views the Windsors hold. From being a family that represented the best of Britain and a symbol of the whole nation, the Royals are becoming just another representative of the new sneering Blairites who staff all other public institutions. I can’t see any place for the Windsors in a future free Britain, because they have now firmly allied themselves against our nation. If we end up a minority in this country by 2066, the Queen will have done her bit to make that happen. She is fluent in French, so she must understand the phrase après moi, le déluge!

What Future is There for a Politicised Monarchy?

We have had a lot of Royal news in recent weeks, whether it be the antics of Prince Harry, or the death of Prince Philip. It seems a suitable moment to take stock, given that the Royal family appears to be evolving rapidly, and not in a healthy direction. But maybe I should begin with a brief statement of why the Monarchy would be important to libertarians. Libertarianism is not just an economic doctrine, one of wanting to be left alone by the state—although that is largely admirable as a reflex; it also rests on cultural underpinnings. If we become Pakistan or Somali, or, more likely, a hodgepodge of those and many other countries, the desire for a certain relationship between state and society, one based on traditional English values such as free speech and freedom of expression, will become obsolete. Why would incomers share the views that have traditionally been associated with the Anglo-Saxon peoples? There is no future for a free society without a recognition that this is our country, and that our way of life will not survive mass immigration and the imposition of political correctness.

From that perspective, the Queen’s role is, not just to make anodyne statements, but to defend our customs—and, logically, that means defending our nation too. It’s written clearly in the Coronation Oath: the Queen should govern us “by our laws and customs”. It is argued by many, desperately clutching at straws, that the Queen spurns the Coronation Oath because she is advised to do so (by people who did not take the Coronation Oath, and who may not legally advise the Queen to violate her Oath). I would like to feel that, behind the scenes, she objected to our entry into the European Union (or its predecessors), and strongly objected to mass immigration, political correctness, hate speech laws, and even things like the elimination of double jeopardy and the weakening of jury trials. But you would be misguided if you thought the Queen had done any of those things.

The Queen and Prince Philip

Instead, we have the spectacle of a Royal house that is seeking to ingratiate itself with ethnic minorities to ensure its own survival, even when we, the British people, are becoming a minority in our own country (currently slated for 2066 according to the best demographic projections). Prince Philip, in some way, appeared to give a degree of hope to British people that there was someone close to the Throne who did not follow all the latest fashionable views on race and speech codes, and so was a surprisingly popular figure. This is simply because he was prepared to crack the odd joke that had a racial theme in what was actually a fairly good-natured way, however maliciously portrayed in the media. However, I think his role is largely misunderstood. He was portrayed as a gaffer, someone who would always put his foot in it, and the Royal family passed this off as “Philip being Philip”. This largely conceded the Left’s argument that the humorous comments he made were offensive and unacceptable from anyone other than an uncontrollable old man. In its own way, the Philip phenomenon cemented the politically correct speech codes, because the Palace never once argued that the comments he made were free speech and free expression that everyone should engage in.

The Queen herself has been much more in tune with the political elite. Her Christmas Day broadcast 2004 celebrated the fact that English people have become a minority in London. She said: “I particularly enjoyed a story I heard the other day about an overseas visitor to Britain who said the best part of his visit had been travelling from Heathrow into Central London on the Tube…. At each stop children were getting on and off—they were of every ethnic and religious background, some with scarves or turbans, some talking quietly, others playing and occasionally misbehaving together—completely at ease and trusting one another. How lucky you are, said the visitor, to live in a country where your children can grow up this way”.

This is a direct intervention in politics in support of our national dispossession. John Stuart Mill in Chapter XVI of his Considerations on Representative Government took the opposite view to the Queen, arguing that free institutions were possible only in a country not riven by inter-ethnic and multicultural strife. By intervening in this way, the Queen showed that she believes English people should become a minority in this country, and thus it was a political statement of the type we were always told the Queen could not engage in.

In May 2011, the Queen made even more jarring comments in a visit to the Republic of Ireland, a visit it was reported the Queen had been angling to make for many years. Did she condemn the involvement of the Irish state in funding and training terrorists in Northern Ireland? No, she didn’t. What she did say was:

“Indeed so much of this visit reminds us of the complexity of our history, its many layers and traditions, but also the importance of forbearance and conciliation, of being able to bow to the past but not be bound by it. Of course the relationship has not always been straightforward; nor has the record over the centuries been entirely benign. It is a sad and regrettable reality that through history our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache, turbulence and loss. These events have touched us all, many of us personally, and are a painful legacy. We can never forget those who have died or been injured or their families. To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past I extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy. With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all”.

This was all couched in careful language. The Queen did not state directly that Britain was the source of the “not entirely benign record”, and neither did she say what it was that Britain should have done differently or not at all. These comments were interpreted in Ireland as an apology for the Irish Famine—as if a potato blight is something Britain should apologise for. In fact, Britain did extend assistance to the starving in Ireland at a time when there was no welfare state, and did more than, for example, Finland did in the 1866-68 famine there, when one-twelfth of the population were allowed to die because the Finnish government worried that borrowing money for famine relief would raise interest rates. Whatever the rights and wrongs, Irish history should be seen in nuanced historical context, as with all historical events, and not used to perform morality plays in the present in the way the Irish government uses the Famine. In previous historical periods, Britain behaved much as was expected of governments of the time, and the issue is just history. Are we to extract an apology from the Italian government for the mistreatment of Boadicea and her daughters in the first century AD?

I would like to ask the Queen to clarify whether she was accusing Queen Victoria of genocide in Ireland. Under no circumstances should the Queen mouth IRA propaganda during a visit to Ireland, particularly as in the most recent period, 1969 to the present day, it is the Republic of Ireland that has behaved badly. They have funded terrorism in a neighbouring country, while becoming rich on the back of our money, cycled to them through the EU, and are currently engaged in international diplomacy to ensure that our Brexit is a flop. They may even be seeking a resumption of communal violence in Ulster. The balance of fault since 1969 is skewed against the Irish government. Why should we apologise to them?

For these reasons, I cannot agree that the Queen “hasn’t put a foot wrong”. She has not angered the political/media elite, granted, but has moved towards distinctly anti-British public positions, and has been more than happy to enact our national dispossession via the European Communities Act and various immigration acts. One has to ask whether the Queen has always been an anti-imperialist. Surely, as the daughter of the King-Emperor she once has different views?

Prince Charles and Princess Diana

Overlooking the failed marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, one that means that the current Royal family bears no relation to Queen Victoria’s attempt to portray domestic bliss, for example, in the famous portrait of her family by Franz Winterhalter. Diana, as a member of the aristocracy, was expected to know her place and conduct herself with decorum, but she played to the media gallery, not just in her accounts of her private life, but also in her pursuit of political causes. These included kissing AIDS patients in order to propagate the view that AIDS could not be transmitted easily and her campaign against landmines in African countries. Both were issues that placed her on the NGO left of the political debate. Neither was anything the wife of the heir to the throne should have engaged in. It is easy to see how the shenanigans of the Sussexes derive in part from Prince Harry’s attempts to be like his mother.

Prince Charles has in certain ways been a conservative public figure. He speaks impeccable English, supports the Prayer Book, and also opposes modern architecture, although, in keeping with his position, admiring our architectural heritage should be as far as he allows himself to go, without entering into public debates on what is a political/cultural issue. His desire to become Defender of Faith, and not Defender of the Faith, is a much more objectional stance. He signals that he will perjure himself by taking the Coronation Oath, and thereby openly supports the influx of Muslims into our country. He apparently believes that a religion based on the mores of 7th century Arabia is an equal path to God as the Christian religion—a view that has traditionally been regarded in this country as heretical. I would like to ask him if he supported Mohamed’s ruling that the rape of women and girls in warfare by his Muslim soldiers was OK (this ruling was handed down by the “prophet” during warfare with a tribe called the Banu Al-Mustaliq). Such multicultural views seem designed to facilitate the survival of Prince Charles’ Royal house even while ensuring that the British nation itself does not survive.

Prince Charles’ nakedly political intervention into the climate change debate is also foolish. Not only has there been only a fraction of the warming predicted by climate change models 20 years ago, despite the fact that much more carbon dioxide has been emitted, the ultimate role of human agency in this remains disputed. The planet has gone through many warming and cooling cycles over millennia. Most of the alarmist claims made by the environmentalists have been disproven. The polar ice cap was said to be due to melt long ago, as was snow cover on the Himalayas. Claims that Australia’s bush fires were due to global warming sit ill with maps showing that the coastal areas where the fires took place were cooler than normal, and only the interior of the continent actually hotter. In the end, no-one would object to new energy sources including hydrogen as long as they could be utilised in a way that was as cheap or cheaper than fossil fuels, and as long as they provided a reliable source of heating that did not require us to adjust to indoor temperatures much lower than we are used to. The rush to Net Zero by 2050 will cost hundreds of billions. It would be much better to explore new techologies and adopt them only when they can be done cheaply.

Prince Harry and his US wife

It may be better to discuss Prince Harry first, as this will allow me to contrast Prince William with him. Harry and Meghan have openly adopted woke religion in a way that has severed their connection with the English people. Laughably false claims of racial prejudice that Meghan claims to have experienced have done serious damage to our country’s international reputation. The way they use the mental health issue to claim moral authority for their decision to flounce off to California is also contemptible. The wider cultural context is that such claims are deemed to be automatically true. Anyone denying that Meghan felt suicidal is told he is bullying the mentally ill. In some ways, Harry is a disappointment, as his record in the Armed Forces, and previous reports of his high jinks and comments he has made similar to those made by Prince Philip (including referring to the Pakistani origin of one his military friends) suggested that he was less caught up at one stage in the virtue signalling.

An unpleasant consequence of the Harry and Meghan saga is that the Queen is considering appointing a race co-ordinator at the Palace, a development likely to racialise the whole Palace operation. Such people are employed to find offence, and hunt it out, and so we are likely to be regaled with a constant stream of nonsensical stories about “racist ladies in waiting” and the like. This sort of thing just adds to the oppressive cultural environment, whereby words are deemed offensive, and people are not expected to brush off insults, and yet insults made to English people are regarded as harmless all the same.

Any hope in Prince William and Kate?

It would be nice to believe the Royal family will settle down with William and Kate. However, there are signs that this is not the case. While William has not flounced off to California, he does speak the woke lingo of his brother. William was reported as denouncing racism in football—a ludicrous concept, given that this is the most multiracial area of public life in the UK. More to the point, this is our country, and so, although black people are well represented in football, there is no reason why this has to be the case. If you go to China, most football players are Chinese for some reason that Prince William can’t quite put his finger on, but I can (because it’s China).

William may have also made a major mistake calling for more racial diversity in Britain’s BAFTA film awards, resulting in an award being made the next year to a black actor now accused of sexual harassment. I don’t think such claims should be given the credence they are, without stronger proof, but it does show that calling for a tickbox racialised culture could backfire on the monarchy. William should not be getting into these political causes.

Kate made a show of visiting a memorial, or flower display, for a woman raped and murdered by a (white) policeman in London, an extraordinarily rare occurrence, if you think about it. She sent little signals that she was on the side of the feminists. But she has never intervened in this way where the perpetrators were black, and has never said a word about the gang-rape of tens of thousands of underage English girls by Pakistani rape gangs.

The Future of the Windsors

The departure of Harry has led Charles and William to consider the family’s future. This discussion is being held in-house, without any public input or direct input by politicians. However, it is clear that the Windsors are responding to the Harry and Meghan affair by Meghanising or Oprahising the monarchy. One wonders why Harry has left if William has decided to pursue the same list of fashionable causes Harry and Meghan are pursuing in America. The family appears to be chasing good press headlines, given that the media elite are heavily invested in a list of causes including anti-racism, anti-sexism, gay rights, transgender identity and climate change.

However, these causes are much more patchily supported in the population at large. Where most people do, for example, oppose racial hatred and harassment, the definition given to such concepts can often veer to the extremes in a way that the public do not support. If you oppose the gang rape of English girls by Muslim gangs, that is said to be “racism”. If you believe that adults who wish to have sex-change operations should be allowed to, then the campaign groups who are driving social change argue that you should accept puberty blocking drugs given to children and the replacement of women by men in women’s sports. But worse than these things is the fact that the boundaries of public discussion are narrowing by the nanosecond, where views that the majority of the public hold are suddenly being declared unacceptable with an alarming frequency. The Royals are doing everything they can to drive this agenda, in a way that appears to lend moral authority to the woke causes they patronise.

The result of this WWW (the Woke-Washing of the Windsors) is to give further encouragement to the politicians and media in their determination to criminalise speech, and to use state power, including the police, to harass those who don’t share the allegedly correct views the Windsors hold. From being a family that represented the best of Britain and a symbol of the whole nation, the Royals are becoming just another representative of the new sneering Blairites who staff all other public institutions. I can’t see any place for the Windsors in a future free Britain, because they have now firmly allied themselves against our nation. If we end up a minority in this country by 2066, the Queen will have done her bit to make that happen. She is fluent in French, so she must understand the phrase après moi, le déluge!

In Defence of the Bright Line – Aggression and Harm in the Digital Age


In Defence of the Bright Line – Aggression and Harm in the Digital Age

By Duncan Whitmore

In a recent discussion concerning the regulation of so-called “Big Tech”, Jeff Deist has raised the question of whether the proliferation of digital technology requires us to reconsider the traditional, libertarian conception of unlawfulness:

The larger question for libertarians is whether their existing conceptions of property rights, harms, torts, and free speech still work in a thoroughly digital era. Principles may not change, but facts and circumstances certainly do. Rothbard’s strict paradigm for what ought to constitute actionable force, especially as discussed in part II of The Ethics of Liberty, requires some kind of physical invasion of person or property. In doing so, Rothbard necessarily distinguishes between aggression (legally actionable) and the broader idea of “harm.” The former gives rise to tort liability in Rothbardian/libertarian law; the latter is part of the vicissitudes of life and must be endured. Theorists like Professor Walter Block and Stephan Kinsella have expanded on this “physical invasion” rule, applying it to everything from blackmail to defamation to (so-called) intellectual property. Aggression against physical persons or property creates a legally actionable claim, mere harm does not.

But Rothbard’s bright-line rule seems unsatisfying in our digital age. If anything, the complexity of modern information technology and the pace of innovation make the case against bright-line tests. For one thing, the sheer scale of instantaneous information ought to inform our view of aggression vs. harm. A single (false) tweet stating “famous person X is a pedophile” could reach hundreds of millions of people in a day, ruining X’s life forever. This is a bit worse than a punch to X’s nose in a bar fight, to put it mildly.

To avoid taking these remarks out of context, it should be noted that the main purpose of Deist’s article is to reject the option of a “sclerotic federal bureaucracy” resolving problems created by digital technology, in favour of evolutionary regulation arising from the adjudication of real cases. As such, one suspects that Deist is thinking out loud so as to raise possible issues rather than constructing a carefully considered argument regarding the scope of actionable harm. Nevertheless, he does reach an unqualified conclusion:

Libertarians and conservatives should broaden their conceptions of tort and contract remedies, and support the evolution of what constitutes harm in a digital era.

Given such certainty, a detailed examination of the matters that Deist raises is warranted.

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Scholarship Recipient Interview



George Tracey, 23, MA PPE and Austrian Economics student at the Cevro Institute and recipient of the Mises UK scholarship.

What does CEVRO offer that most masters courses do not?
CEVRO’s small class sizes completely change the nature of study in such a fundamental way. They allow students the scope to debate and develop our own ideas that wouldn’t be possible in a larger institution. One of my favourite ways to learn, which CEVRO manages to embody frequently in its teaching, is a much more Socratic approach to study. We use lecture time to debate and discuss our understanding and insights on various papers with world leading academics to help steer the conversation and share their knowledge as well. At CEVRO learning is an active pursuit, not passive absorption of PowerPoints.

Does CEVRO’s size and youth as an institution affect how you learn?
Absolutely, CEVRO treats its students as adults, with the privileges and obligations that come with that. Professor Šíma encourages us to take on as much as we can and is always willing to make things work for students that ask (this semester I am auditing 4 classes beyond my original 5). I have already mentioned how the small class sizes affect the teaching, but they also of course affect student-lecturer dynamics. CEVRO has a great tradition of continuing the debate after class, where students and lecturers get together and drink fine Czech beer. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been possible so far this year due to COVID restrictions. One of CEVRO’s greatest strengths is its connection with other institutions on a global scale, Professor Šíma introduced me to the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) after a discussion we had, and since I have applied to go there as a Junior Research Fellow this fall. The personal connections you make with the members of CEVRO really helps to enable this individually focussed development and advice from fellow students and lecturers.

How has your study been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
I think the most obvious thing that you miss out on is living and studying in Prague. I was there for 6 weeks before I had to return to the UK in November 2020, it is an amazing city (and the beer is unimaginably cheap) and it has been a real shame having to study online from the UK instead of in the Czech Republic. Naturally, the move to online learning had some teething problems, not least getting used to tracking two different time zones to live in UK time and study in Czech time. The end of my undergraduate degree was also taught online due to COVID but the problem I found with traditional lectures online is that the passive nature of watching them lead to me getting distracted and losing focus easily. Luckily most of CEVRO’s lectures are much more interactive and discursive and this helps negate some of the drawbacks of online learning.

Can you say a little bit more about what topics you’ve studied?
CEVRO’s MA syllabus really is diverse, as any good PPE course ought to be. Naturally, there is a compulsory course on Economics in the first semester to make sure everyone is on the same level. Due to our diverse academic history this was really helpful- I myself studied Philosophy as an undergraduate and despite being familiar with economic principles, I benefited greatly from a more solid grounding. Most of our topics are quite difficult to clearly delineate into any specific school, for example one of my favourite modules so far has been ‘Law and Economics of Property Rights’ taught by Dr. Katerina Zajc (Ljubljana, Slovenia) and Dr. Boudewijn Boukaert (Ghent, Belgium). This topic really pushed home the interplay between legal systems and economics, but also history and political philosophy (for example having a common law or civil law tradition). Another Brilliant module I’m currently studying is ‘Advanced topics in Austrian Price Theory’ taught by Mateusz Machaj (Assistant Professor at Wroclaw, Poland), in it we delve into a specific issue within Austrian Price Theory (as the name suggests), I’ve especially enjoyed the discussions about whether market socialism can address the calculation and knowledge problems Mises and Hayek posed against socialism almost a century ago.

Most importantly, would you recommend CEVRO to a friend?
I would definitely recommend CEVRO’s MA in PPE to anyone who has an interest in the overlap between the disciplines. The interplay between politics, philosophy and economics truly is fascinating, and CEVRO’s approach to economics isn’t just the dry mainstream of econometrics or statistics a layman assumes when he hears economics. CEVRO teaches the much richer world of mainline economics, this tradition heralds from Adam Smith, and takes economics proper as the study of how we interact with and within the world and so includes institutions like laws and religions within their scope of economics. Some of my most interesting lectures have been discussions about how self-governance systems in prisons changes from ‘convict’s code’ to prison gangs as the population in a prison increases and reputation tracking of individuals becomes unfeasible. Cevro has opened my eyes to how much of the world can be understood through an economic lens, properly focussed, and it’s an experience I recommend to anyone. There are of course drawbacks to CEVRO, like with everything. One example is dealing with the Nostification process which is required by Czech law to check the validity of your previous studies, the hassle has been exasperated by the COVID restrictions. In my opinion however, it is an inconvenience well worth putting up with.