Sean Gabb on Scottish Liberty Podcast, 18th June 2019
Sean Gabb, former director of the Libertarian Alliance, Honorary Vice-President of the Ludwig von Mises Centre UK, and Director of the Centre for Ancient Studies joins us on episode 131 of the Scottish Liberty Podcast brought to you by Antony Sammeroff and Tom Laird.
Back in January 2008, I took a verbal snapshot of the many bad things the UK government was doing to us at the time. Today, I’ll carry this forward to the present. My purpose is to gain a better understanding of the troubles we suffer under today – and not just in the UK. And thus, to try to fathom what is going on underneath. Read more
Online Harms – A Bill of Rights for the Censor
8th April 2019
Perhaps the most overlooked effect of the Brexit Crisis is that new legislation of any kind in Britain has dwindled from a flood to a trickle. Since new laws and bad laws amount to much the same, this is to be celebrated. For this reason alone, I might hope for the crisis to continue at full tilt until at least 2022. It will not, but the respite has been welcome.
Something particularly nasty that will now have to wait its turn in a long queue is any Bill inspired by the Online Harms White Paper published on the 8th April 2019. This proposes that Internet sites should be fined or blocked if they fail to tackle “online harms,” such as terrorist propaganda and child abuse. To achieve this end, here are the suggested means: Read more
If a private security company closed down an airport for 24 hours and cancelled hundreds of flights because of a ‘drone’ threat, and then later discovered that its own drones were providing that threat, it would quite rightly be tossed out on its ear and lose its contract. Its CEO would probably be fired, several key employees would probably be fired, and the company would almost certainly face imminent bankruptcy and likely closure as other customers withdrew their custom. If the company was to survive such a self-imposed disaster, it would follow on from the result of a rapid and brutal reorganisation, similar to the punctuated equilibria of Darwinian evolution. (For instance, where fish become amphibians inside a rapid geological timeframe, perhaps because of a catastrophic drying of the planet caused by one of those regular instances of rapid solar heating.)
In this fictional Hoppe-World story, a more dynamic and better organised company would be brought in to provide a better security service, most likely for the same cost or lower. Because this is how the voluntary free market works. Service failure is constantly and often brutally punished, just as Darwinian evolution constantly and brutally punishes evolutionary dead ends. Spontaneous market evolution drives everyone’s businesses to provide better services and better products, as Schumpeter’s creative destruction process weeds out inefficient organisation and talentless bureaucracy and nourishes ever-more-efficient organisation and farsighted entrepreneurialism. Economic resources and people are constantly recycled in an ever-improving system that generates ever-better services and ever-better products for all of society. To assist with this process, technology constantly gets improved to provide better results for less cost. No oversight is required. If left alone, it all just happens. Naturally.
It is a beautiful thing. Just as the creatures generated by evolution are often beautiful.
So what will happen now back on Planet Socialist? What will the politicians do about the incompetent tax-eating police ruining tens of thousands of business trips and Christmas holidays? Alas, to ask the question is to know the answer. Nobody will be fired. Tax-provided resources will also most likely be increased to hopefully plug the gaps of the police’s stupidity. And it won’t work. Because this ‘reward of failure’ system specifically generates increasing failure. The police at Gatwick will become ever-more incompetent and ever-more expensive. We all know this to be true. This is the chaotic nature of coercive socialist organisation.
So what is the free market Hoppeian solution? Because of their utter incompetence, the tax-eating public police should be removed from Gatwick and replaced by a private security organisation that’s driven by internal motivations to provide a service that its customers actually like and want to renew year after year. Competition between private security agencies will keep their blades sharp.
Will this happen? Will the police get kicked out of Gatwick? Will a competent private security agency be brought in to take over from these idiots? Will any police officer get fired for this total utter failure? Be my guest. Guess.
Well, I suppose I always knew that it was logically possible for England to become a tyrannical third world socialist tinpot dictatorship. However, it’s still been emotionally quite a blow to realise that we’ve now officially sunk down to the same ignominious level as North Korea.
When I grew up, we entertained the generally accepted idea that to be born an Englishman was to be handed a life-long Willy Wonka golden ticket in life’s mysteriously complicated lottery.
Yes, it rains here a lot. Yes, our main culinary condiment is ‘Brown Sauce’. And yes, the rapid decline of our Empire took a huge amount of wind out of our previously billowing sails.
But there still remained something about this England, this glorious England, that felt special.
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
Yesterday, Dr Sean Gabb spoke on the Stephen Nolan show, on BBC Radio 5, about a joke made by Michael Gove on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme.
Below, we have excerpted all of Dr Gabb’s comments made in that interview. If you would like to listen to them, please click on the audio file link below.
(The interviewer spent quite some time speaking to another guest, Shelagh Fogarty, both before and after Dr Gabb’s comments. If you would like to listen to the full interview, please click on this link and go to about 1:56:45.)