Notre-Dame Burns – a Tragic Symbol of our Civilisation?


Notre-Dame Burns – a Tragic Symbol of our Civilisation?

By Duncan Whitmore

As most readers will have heard, the famed Notre-Dame de Paris, one of the most splendid examples of French gothic architecture and an icon of European religious and cultural heritage, was severely damaged by fire on Monday of this week. Such was the dominance of the building that has owned the Paris skyline for centuries before the Eiffel Tower, the sight of huge flames and thick smoke billowing out as they consumed the irreplaceable edifice was captured first-hand by much of the city’s population.

The fact that this terrible event should happen now to such a splendorous achievement of Western civilisation – and in the very city which is currently experiencing the most explicit degree of discontentment with globalising policies – is a symbol of tragic irony. This cathedral managed to survive the calamities of the French Revolution and two world wars – yet it has had to cling on to life by the very tips of its fingernails in the era of twenty-first century leftism. All of those politicians and pundits who took to Twitter to express their grief at the loss of a cultural icon – among them Macron, Merkel, Clinton, Obama, as well as the EU clowns of the Juncker/Verhofstadt variety – are the very people we can see are doing their level best to destroy the civilisation and cultural heritage that this cathedral represented. Continue reading

Immigration – An Austro-Libertarian Analysis


Immigration – An Austro-Libertarian Analysis

By Duncan Whitmore

Both the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as the US President have elevated the topic of immigration to the top of the political agenda. Leftist, liberal elites – previously so sure they would arrive easily at their vision of an open, borderless world – have been scalded now that the lid has been lifted from the bubbling cauldron of the needs of ordinary, everyday citizens seeking to preserve their jobs and the culture of their homelands.

It is high time that this vitriolic, divisive and – frankly – often quite tiresome issue is put to rest. That, alas, is unlikely to happen, particularly as the political globalists seem content to plough on with their vision of open borders through the looming UN Global Compact for Migration. Listening to the mainstream arguments (or at least to how the leftist/liberal media chooses to portray them), one would be forgiven for thinking that the immigration question needs to be met by an all or nothing answer – i.e. that it is either an unqualified good or an unqualified bad. We are led to believe that it is a contest between liberals, or self-styled “progressives”, clamouring for fully porous borders on the one hand, versus elderly, conservative, racist bigots who supposedly want to keep everyone out and preserve England’s green and pleasant land for white faces.

The falsehood of this dichotomy is obvious to almost anyone who is not of the liberal-left, and, in fact, a “sensible” view on immigration is quite prevalent – that it is possible to be in favour of permitted, but regulated immigration, allowing some people to cross the border as immigrants to come and live and work in the territory of the state while denying that privilege to others. It is also recognised that immigration is economically beneficial in some situations, but not in others – i.e. when immigrants are highly skilled and productive instead of welfare consumers.

The task of this essay is to sharpen this “sensible” view with Austro-libertarian theory. We will begin by outlining the core libertarian theory concerning immigration before examining a key area for contention among libertarians – whether, in a world populated by states, any particular state should restrict or otherwise control movements across the border by persons who are not considered to be citizens of that particular state and whether this is in accordance with libertarian theory. We will then move on to exploring the economic and cultural implications of immigration policies. Continue reading

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

Continue reading

The Useful Idiocy of the Left


The Useful Idiocy of the Left

By Duncan Whitmore

The typical libertarian is unlikely to open his YouTube account or Twitter feed without encountering a cascade of material in which a) the left is drawing attention to itself in a loud and obnoxious manner; and b) libertarians, conservatives and their fellow travellers are castigating the left for whatever it is doing. Given all of this attention paid to the left one would have thought that they must have something important to say. Let us look at a few recent examples to see if this is true.

On August 11th it was reported in the news that around a hundred or so protestors had appeared in the constituency of Conservative MP Andrew Griffiths to demand his resignation. No doubt the motivation of a small crowd of Mr Griffiths’ constituents to give up their afternoon and don placards calling for his head owed itself to something extremely serious. After all, surely we would only bother to march through the streets to protest if the matter was as grave as an illegal war, right?

Actually, the flames of fury were ignited by something altogether less serious. Mr Griffiths, who is married, had been sending a considerable volume of lewd text messages to two barmaids, the contents of which were published by the Sunday Mirror. The high crime which had fuelled the protestors’ rage was that Mr Griffiths is a “misogynist”, the protest calling for nothing more than a rejection of his “behaviour and attitudes”. Continue reading

Friday Night is Music Night: tomorrow, Dresden…


And “now”, as that not-very-nice-man John Cleese always used to say… “for something completely different.” Tomorrow if I am not mistaken is the 65th anniversary of the raids by RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF on Dresden, for which the poor Western Allies (unlike Stalin who demanded them) got to carry the can, and got to be made to feel really shitty and ruthless and cruel, for six decades and more. We can by now probably all agree that this actual raid was not strictly necessary:  the war was effectively over, apart from clearing up the already-ample rubble, burying the corpses, trying and sentencing the villains, re-connecting up the Mains Services across Europe, and getting a functioning Market Economy running again.

But Stalin, bless the evil little bugger, wanted and demanded a show of “shock and awe”, loosely coupled to a less-than-needful wish of his Armies to have all enemy comms in front of them obliterated. He couldn’t range artillery that far  – be there ever so many Soviet “Artillery Divisions” (which there were) –  and his air force never quite had the heavy-lifting capacity ours did. So he got what he wanted: Roosevelt the scoundrel loved him anyway, and nobody was listening to poor old Churchill by then. The ally that bought the time in the first place, to form a coalition of allies, was by then regarded as the least important, and moribund, with a crumbling Empire to boot.

The result was the consigning down-the-memory-hole of chaps like this one in the video below. There has never even been a campaign medal for RAF Bomber Command, which suffered about 48% fatal casualties, around 56,000 men – a higher percentage even than the Merchant Navy.

The whole sorry episode should be a real object lesson to peoples who have some vestigial abillity to appoint and dismiss their governments.

You people all around and around, including us here, ought to be bloody careful who you vote for – you might get tyrannical psychotic murdering messianinc megalomaniacs, masquerading as caring liberal social democrats. I’m not saying quite out loud that Obama is one of that crowd, but you Americans who come and watch this page should tell your compatriots that they were not really thinking straight when you/they voted for him en masse, now, were you. He’s never been anything in his life except a gauleiter, after all – and look what a society surveilled by gauleiters brought to its people…

There’s not much time left here for us to avoid it.