The “I” Dimensions


By Neil Lock

This is the fourth part of a six-part re-formulation of my philosophical system. In this essay and the next, I aim to put a little more “flesh” on the five dimensions of my system.

Today, I’ll cover the first three dimensions, corresponding to Metaphysics, Epistemology and Ethics respectively in classical philosophy. I call these three the “I” dimensions. For the questions about humanity, which must be answered in these dimensions, are phrased in the first person singular. “What am I?” “How do I know what I know?” And “How should I behave?”

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Two World Systems


By Neil Lock

This is the third part of a six-part re-formulation of my philosophical ideas. Today, I’ll give an overview of my updated framework, which I am calling “Honest Common Sense 2.0.”

My title alludes to Galileo’s famous work, the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Now, he compared his heliocentric model of the universe to the prevailing geocentric model. But I shall instead compare my bottom-up model of humanity and human interactions with the top-down model, that prevails among the political classes, their hangers-on, and other enemies of humanity today. This top-down model I call Downerism, and its practitioners I dub Downers – short for “top-downers.”

Further, I’ll introduce and discuss three common-sense ethical and political principles, which I have built in to the foundations of my system. I call them: ethical equality, voluntary society, and common-sense justice. You may be surprised at how radical these simple, common-sense ideas turn out to be, when contrasted with today’s received wisdom!

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Six Thinkers


by Neil Lock

Back in 2014, I wrote and self-published a short book called “Honest Common Sense.” In it, I sought to explicate “a brief, radical Philosophy, starting from first principles and aimed at non-academic people.” I diagnosed what I saw as the root of the problems we good people face today: “that we are in a war of the political means versus the economic, the dishonest versus the honest, the state versus Civilization.” And I made some suggestions as to how we might set ourselves to win that war.

But as a friendly thinker, who calls himself Jason Alexander, has told us: “Ideas that are alive, grow and change.” And my ideas are certainly no exception to that rule. Ten months ago, I determined to re-visit my philosophical thinking, and to put it in context with the ideas of others from whom I have drawn material; including Jason Alexander himself. The task has been long and hard. So much so, that this essay introduces a set of no less than six. And all six are long; representing, as they do, the product of ten whole months of hard mental labour.

But I have found the work worthwhile; for in the process, I have found several new insights. New to me, at least. And I’ve gained a clearer grasp of some areas I had thought I already understood. The major new and clarified ideas are all in the areas of ethics and politics; and particularly around the dividing line between them. Happily, these are good areas for thinking people to be looking into in the current, parlous state of human civilization. I hope that these ideas may, perhaps, help to suggest some fresh possibilities for how we humans might go about re-claiming our rights and freedoms, and bringing to the enemies of humanity the justice they deserve.

One observation before I begin. We are living in a strange time, in which virtually the entire intellectual class in Western countries has become corrupted. The reason is not far to seek. Academics and other intellectuals are, with only a few exceptions (and most of those are in their 70s or older), all bought and paid for by the state. So, we cannot expect today’s professional thinkers to do anything to help human civilization or human freedom; for they cannot, or will not, go against their paymasters. That means that amateurs like me have to step up to the plate.

Six parts

In this, the first essay of the set, I’ll review some of the ideas of six thinkers who have influenced me. In chronological order of their births: Aristotle, John Locke, Franz Oppenheimer, Ayn Rand, Jason Alexander and Frank van Dun. In the second part, I’ll seek to put our situation today into historical context, and to draw out some rhythms of human history. I shall be making particular use of the ideas of Jason Alexander in that exercise.

In the third part, I’ll give a broad outline of my updated philosophical framework, which I’m provisionally labelling “Honest Common Sense 2.0.” I’ll also compare and contrast my approach with the philosophy of our enemies; the political classes and their hangers-on, that collectively I label the “Downers.”

In the fourth and fifth parts, I’ll describe my system in more detail. And I’ll sketch out a possible future system of minimal government. I call it “just governance,” and I describe its remit as: “to enable people to live together in an environment of peace and tranquillity, common-sense justice, and maximum rights and freedom for every individual.” Finally, in the sixth part, I’ll offer some thoughts on how we might seek to move from where we are today towards a better world.

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Against Lockdown – The Libertarian Case


Against Lockdown – The Libertarian Case

By Duncan Whitmore

Although I have written on the topic of how libertarian property rights can be applied to the situation of viruses in two, previous essays, it is useful to summarise this again for a clearer picture. Such an endeavour seems necessary now more than ever, for in spite of increased opposition compared to the first round of lockdowns earlier this year, the various nations of the UK are again heading into some from of lockdown mode as the winter draws near.

Most sceptics of lockdown and restrictive policies designed to “curb” the onset of COVID-19 approach the matter from a utilitarian or technocractic angle – i.e. whether the measures that states are pursuing are an effective and/or proportionate response to the spread of the virus. While this is an invaluable exercise, it does not challenge the principle that the state has the prerogative to obliterate rights and freedoms in the manner that it has. In other words, the notion that, ultimately, our rights could be infringed on a future occasion when someone deems that it is “effective” and “proportionate” to do so is left untouched. Equally intact, therefore, is the notion that our rights are not immovably tied to our status as individual human beings, but are little more than privileges enjoyed at the sufferance of the state. This is not to imply that the principle of liberty has been ignored – former Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption has been a notable high profile critic of the government in this regard. But the general opposition to lockdowns and other restrictions seems to assume that their only problem is that COVID-19 is simply not a big enough crisis to justify the present level of state intrusion. Thus, there is still a need to emphasise the fact that our rights exist not only in fair weather but in storms and hurricanes also – in fact, it is precisely in exceptional circumstances when rights need the most protection for it is always on these occasions that the state exploits fear and anxiety of unknown dangers so as to achieve greater incursions upon our liberty. Continue reading

Meet The Kushners: First Couple In-Waiting


By ilana mercer

In itself, criminal justice reform for non-violent offenders is not anathema to Trump’s libertarian supporters (check).

For what it symbolizes in the broader political context, however, the passing of the First Step Act—as the criminal justice reform bill is called—is a bit of an abomination.

Good or bad, the First Step Act is Jared Kushner’s baby. And Kushner, Trump’s liberal son-in-law, should not be having legislative coups!

Yes, Jared and Ivanka are on a tear. The midterm congressional elections of President Trump’s first-term have culminated in a legislative victory for an anemic man, who provides a perfect peg on which to hang the ambitions of the forceful first daughter.

In no time at all have Jared and Ivanka Trump moved to consolidate power. This, as intellects like Steven Bannon and Stephen Miller were either fired, or confined to the basement, so to speak.

Today, Bannon is just a flinty glint in Ivanka’s eyes. But by January, 2017, the president’s former White House chief strategist had already “assembled a list of more than 200 executive orders to issue in the first 100 days. The very first EO, in his view, had to be a crackdown on immigration. After all, it was one of Trump’s core campaign promises.” So said Bannon to Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

Many a pundit has suggested that Trump give a kick-ass rah-rah address to explain immigration to the nation.

Nonsense on stilts. The Make America Great Again (S.O.S.) agenda needed to be explained daily and repetitively by someone with a brain. It should have been MAGA every morning with Miller, or Gen. John Kelly or Kirstjen Nielsen. Instead, we got stumblebum Sarah Huckabee issuing a meek, meandering daily apologia.

About that promise to put in place only “the best of people”: Ice princess Kirstjen Nielsen is super smart with a cool temperament and looks to match. Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen had been brought into the Trump Administration by retired United States Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, formerly White House chief of staff. Nielsen might not be optimal in her current position. But she would’ve made a great MAGA mouthpiece.

It’s quite clear that President Trump’s promise to hire only “the best” ought to have begun with firing The Family. Instead, Mr. Kushner‘s national security portfolio has expanded in a manner incommensurate with his skills. It now includes, I believe, China, Mexico, Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The same can be said of Ivanka, who was soon briefing the South Korean president on sanctions against North Korea. That Ivanka lacked a permanent security clearance was the least of the country’s worries, given Steve Bannon’s assessment  of her cerebral acuity: “as dumb as a brick.”

Alas, political connections ensured that two branding experts beat Braveheart Bannon of the mighty Breitbart.com! “’The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” he lamented, in August of 2017.

If Breitbart.com is to be believed—and it should—Ivanka was the one to give Bannon the boot (or, rather, the Choo): “Trump’s daughter Ivanka pushed Bannon out because of his ‘far-right views’ clashing with her [recently acquired] Jewish faith.” (Funny that, because my own rightist views clash not at all with my Jewish faith.)

“Jarvanka” (the Jared-Ivanka organism) were also said to have orchestrated the ousting of the last of the old MAGA Guard, John Kelly, aforementioned, a most excellent man. Kelly took his role as chief of staff seriously. He was a hardliner who limited Ivanka’s access to Pater.

One of Trump’s superb personnel choices, Kelly’s fate, however, was sealed when he stated how sick-and-tired he was of the first daughter “playing government.” The Goldman-Sachs wing of the White House, commandeered by the Kushners, had always wished him away. So, Kelly got the Choo, too.

Of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, archconservative Heather Mac Donald observed the following: Sessions was “the only member of the Trump administration who was absolutely staunch in speaking up for the right of Americans to determine what the character of their country should be.”

It takes a strong woman (Mac Donald) to recognize a scheming one. Mac Donald has recently expressed “‘no confidence’ that the president will stop being advised by his daughter, Ivanka Trump, on the issue of immigration.”

Following the midterms, the not-so-sleepy sleeper cell of leftist social climbers in the Trump administration moved to pack the court. It was out with the old (Kelly and Sessions), and in with the Nauert, the reference being to the “nomination [to the UN] of former Fox anchor and State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.”

Again, the reason for selecting Ms. Nauert, a former “Fox & Friends” host, was that she is “telegenic.” The order came from “Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner [ who declared Nauert] ‘a favorite and pushed for her selection.’”

Telegenic, too, is 36-year-old Nick Ayers. He was slated to replace Gen. Kelly. Why? Because he “had the endorsements of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.”

It so happened that Ayers chose not to play. A trial balloon was quickly floated, but was punctured just as fast. The idea that Jared would be chief of staff was just too preposterous. But oh, the audacity of that fleeting experiment!

So, here we are. The promised land (America) is without the promised Wall. But, liberal legislation in hand, the “Honorable” Kushners (so listed) are off to hobnob at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in January of 2019.

First Lady Melania has been shoved aside, or ceremonially shivved, to use prison parlance. The first couple in-waiting will get to press flesh with local and global elites, while flashing their liberal credentials: criminal justice reform.

Oh how fun it is to schmooze the gilded globalists, rather than to woo Trump voters.

 

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Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube

 

 

 

 

Why Libertarians Should Read Mises – Part Three


Why Libertarians Should Read Mises 

Part Three 

By Duncan Whitmore

In this final part of three essays exploring the importance of Ludwig von Mises’ for libertarian thought, we will examine Mises’ views on the fundamental importance of economics in society, and the meaning of this for understanding the particular nature of the state and statism in our own time. We will then conclude (in a separate post) with an annotated bibliography of Mises’ major works.

 The Fundamental Importance of Economics in Society

Mises had a particularly insightful understanding of the special, foundational status of economics and the influence of economic theory in human society. In his own words:

Economics […] is the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything. It is the pith of civilization and of man’s human existence.

[…]

Economics deals with society’s fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen.

[…]

The body of economic knowledge is an essential element in the structure of human civilization; it is the foundation upon which modern industrialism and all the moral, intellectual, technological, and therapeutical achievements of the last centuries have been built. It rests with men whether they will make the proper use of the rich treasure with which this knowledge provides them or whether they will leave it unused. But if they fail to take the best advantage of it and disregard its teachings and warnings, they will not annul economics; they will stamp out society and the human race.1

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Godfrey Bloom vs. Socialist ‘Worker’


This morning, on the JVS Show, on BBC Three Counties Radio, Godfrey Bloom tangled with Tomáš Tengely-Evans, a socialist ‘worker’, while discussing the recent welfare story concerning Claire Young. This lady recently spent £2,000 pounds on Christmas presents for her children whilst living entirely on state welfare benefits.

If you’d like to listen to this debate, please click on the audio link below.

Mr Bloom actually stops speaking at 12:15, but if you would like to hear Mr Tengely-Evans being handsomely shredded by Jonathan Vernon-Smith, please keep listening: