Mises 2018: Andy Duncan on “Leftism versus Humanity”

Leftism versus Humanity
Speech to the Mises UK Conference
at the Charing Cross Hotel in London
27th January 2018
Andy Duncan

Fall of Rome

We are, I believe, at a turning point in history. I see a glimmer, the tiniest wee glimmer, of the ‘End of Socialism’. So what is socialism? At its core, it’s a religion of theft. And its God is ‘The State’.

Fall of Berlin Wall

So what’s ‘The State’? Well, the state is a murderous organised criminal gang, aided and abetted by its intellectual bodyguards who get their cut by masking this criminality.

Murray Rothbard

My hero, Murray Rothbard; he was pessimistic in the short-term. He thought socialism would dominate the world. But he was equally optimistic for the long-term. When the masses suffer poverty, chaos and misery, that socialism always brings, in places like Venezuela, it eventually gets swept away.

But now we’re here in Rothbard’s long-term. Should we be pessimistic or should we be optimistic? This morning, I want to talk about why I think I can see the possible end of socialism and how we here can help accelerate this process along.

To do it, we need to analyse what makes socialism so appealing despite its utter stupidity. Then we can weaponise these ideas to put our boots onto its neck. 

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The Council House Smoking Ban

The Council House Smoking Ban
by Sean Gabb
(8th May 2017)

I used to do a lot of radio and television. In the past few years, I have largely given up. The BBC no longer pays for appearances, instead expecting its contributors to drive to London or to remote studios for the love of being broadcast. The quality of discussion has dropped through the floor. Until about five years ago, it was still possible to go on air and make one or two comprehensible points. The presenters nowadays tend to be authoritarian hags and girlie-men whose job is to switch off anyone who fails to agree with the ruling class. Internet radio discussions are far more civilised, and may soon get larger audiences. Continue reading

A Reply to Sean Gabb on Drugs

One of the fine things about being an accredited author here is that, when I make a self-contained comment that seems to go beyond the essay I’m commenting on, I’m able to put it up as a separate post. Just that happened when I went to comment on Sean’s post about drugs from yesterday; and here’s what I wrote.

Far be it from me to play devil’s advocate against Sean; but I think the view he expresses in this (long ago) essay is too simplistic.

If an individual takes drugs, and that harms that individual per se, then surely, that’s his or her own look out. However, as Tom Rogers among others has noted, it may cause knock-on effects for other individuals. If a pilot is under the influence of cannabis when he gets in his plane, the passengers (if they get to know) may feel they are being put at unnecessary risk. If a father gets drunk every night, he will at the least put his wife under stress, and may soon default on his duty to bring up and educate his children. Even an accountant or computer programmer, who turns up intoxicated to his work more than very occasionally, is in danger of failing to earn what he is paid.

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A Libertarian View of Cannabis and Drugs

A Libertarian View of Cannabis and Drugs
Sean Gabb
(Written early in the 21st century for a Roger Scruton publication)

The libertarian position on drugs is simply stated. People should have the right to do with themselves as they please. This necessarily includes the right to take any drugs they please – for recreation or for medication. No one else automatically has the right to interfere with such choices, unless they can be shown to involve force or fraud or some attack on the whole community that threatens its dissolution.

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“Not Just Tobacco,” by Chris R. Tame

Not Just Tobacco:
Health Scares, Medical Paternalism, and Individual Liberty
By Chris R. Tame

First published on the 20th April 2016
By the Hampden Press, London
© Chris R. Tame, Sean Gabb (Editor), 2016


The Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (FOREST) was an organisation set up in 1979 by the British tobacco industry for the purpose described in its name. Its first Directors were Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris and Lieutenant-General Sir Geoffrey Charles Evans. Though men of some distinction, neither had experience of dealing with the corporate bureaucrats who funded their activities. Their names remained on the headed notepaper, but they were replaced in 1981 by Stephen Eyres, who had been an effective Campaigns Director at the Freedom Association. Under his leadership, FOREST settled into a well-funded and well-connected opposition to the growing clamour against the tobacco industry and its customers. His genius lay in persuading his funders that his increasingly libertarian campaign for free choice was no danger to their own wish for a compromise with the prohibitionists. Continue reading