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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By Duncan Whitmore

The pervasive issue of human-induced climate change has been hotting up again lately. The recent birth of “Extinction Rebellion”, which pursues the strategy of civil disobedience and economic disruption in order to force governments to “act” on climate change, as well as the creation of a mascot in the form of teenage activist Greta Thunberg, has helped to drive the once fledgling issue back to the forefront of political attention. A “Global Climate Strike” held on September 20th saw children – many of whom have been terrified into the belief that their world is about incinerate – allowed to take the day off from school in order to participate (an unlikely occurrence had they wished to protest against, say, mass immigration). Although Britain has emerged from what has actually been a fairly standard summer in terms of temperature, a handful of record breaking days helped to push climate fear to a high of 85% of the UK population, according to a recent poll.

Fortunately, the latest antics of “Extinction Rebellion” – which have included targeting ordinary East London commuters on their way to work – betray one of the reasons why Murray Rothbard split from his alliance with the left in the early 1970s: that you don’t win any support by attacking, with violent disruption, the very people whose hearts and minds you are trying to convert.1 The fact that these incidents targeted the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway only added to their irredeemable stupidity given that most people accept electrified public transport as a sufficiently green alternative to cars. Nevertheless, the issue itself is a lingering one and government policies committed to tackling climate change remain prominent. Continue reading

Wikipedia, the modern British Nazi-State, and children’s learning

David Davis

The internet helps to create the largest library in the history of the world, and then along comes “OFQUAL”.

We’re the government: let’s find out what people want to know and how, and tell them it’s wrong….tell them to use the Met Office and Hansard instead!”

I am already fed to the back teeth with stories of teachers trumpeting “you musn’t use Wikipedia, because anybody can edit it”. This smells to me of British GramscoFabiaNazis being pissed off at the fact that their neoMarxist bedfellows can’t any longer control the content or flow of knowledge and information.

It’s no use giving essay-writing projects to average British State-(dis)Educated schoolchildren, not to say even University students, in this centuryas things stand. they have not been given, and I say this is on purpose, the thinking and thought-planning skills needed for constructing arguments and explanations in the first place.

For example, the entirety of the British-State-Primary school years are wasted. This is functionally from age 4 or 5 to about 11, when these particular skills, based on rigorous grammar and the meaning of words, should be put in. Designing and colouring posters about “healthy foods” and “slavery”, using keywords and zazzy pictures, is no good at all. they are reading about “Floppy” who is a dog that lives in a multicultural rural village community, and the child-owners of which dog are of indeterminate gender by name and by appearance. The dad wears a polo-neck a lot of the time, (like Carl Sagan in the 70s when this was respectable.)

Here is an illustration of what I think I could achieve…By age 11, and faced with the question /Was Haig the Butcher of the Somme? Use sources C to F to explain your view, in four paragraphs of six lines each/, they should be able to not type in to Google /was haig the butcher of the somme/ but these sample phrases I have crafted instead, in order, and have in fact tried on an intelligent 11-year-old after about two hours in total of instruction in how to think:-

(1) /Somme military “grand strategy” – [ = as in ‘minus’ or excluding the word] butcher/

(2) /Verdun relieve pressure French 1916 – [ as in minus] “General John French”/

(3) /Haig attrition “trench warfare” “modern industrial nation” + artillery/

(4) /New army kitchener “civilian soldiers” Accrington/ (or + “pals” as an additional search)

I ask readers who are old enough to come up with either confirmation or refutation of the idea that averagely bright State-educated children in Britain in the 1950s could have understood what the above engine-strings meant (on being told how Google works for about 5 minutes) and would have been able to effectively craft their own.

The enmity on the part of the State (dis)educationists is IMHO based on their full knowledge of what they themselves have been doing. They have on purpose hollowed out and degraded (and corrupted what was left of) the the body of knowledge which ought to be part of everybody’s folk-inheritance – as Brian Micklethwait often says – “IN A GOOD WAY”. They have replaced it with a set of beliefs which the structure of learning of which they approve compels one to conform to, as there are no other answers allowed. To me, this is Nazism applied to education, as described by William Shirer in “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, in his fairly-early-on chapter about the subversion of the schools and universities there.

Obviously, it would be clumsy and gauche of a student to simply copy and paste a tract from somewhere, without even bothering to format it correctly to his/her document style. Even I am not this bad here on the blog, as that! The poor bastards only do that because, as they explain sorrowfully to me often, they “DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START”…That to me and you says they have not been shown how to think about how to ask for, then to sift, data. Perhpas they even have no data… (and who’s fault is that then?)

Instead of one-dimensionally-punishing untrained pupils (for that is what they are – untrained – and whose fault is that then?) for this, simply explain that it is _/OK/_ to get stuff from other sources, _/IF/_ you (a) say where from, and (b) you understand the content of what you have put up. (Oh, and we will test you on it next week to make sure you do understand it!)

Truancy: and the reason is…

…that the “National Curriculum” totally outdoes even the Daily Mirror in the department of uttermost boring triviality, and unfitness to be termed a “knowledge-delivery-system”. It is a self-amplifying socialist outdoor-relief-system for increasing education bureaucracy and spending.

David Davis

If you remove all semblence of interesting knowledge – along with anything that helps one’s ability to marshall facts and opinions, let alone distinguish one from the other – from what schools teach, then you will get pupils deciding it’s less depressing for them if they just don’t turn up any more. Frankly, I don’t blame most of the poor little buggers. With of course 50 years of hindsight, I’d be turned off dead by most of what they have to “learn” today. It’s all dressed up as “child-centred” and “relevant” and “interactive”. But to pass the exams, you have to use the words in the Vulgate and tick the right boxes.

Sean Gabb had something to say about truancy a few momths ago, here.

Libertarian Alliance British Stalinist Soviet Exam Results week; demolition post No-1: “progress”

David Davis

Here’s Stephen Pollard saying stuff better and more succinctly than I can right now (chores to do).

If I live 1,000 years, Men will still say that we were right, about the deliberate de-civilisation of Britain which had to be accomplished in particular in order to bring about the Endarkenment.

And that the GrasmscoFabiaNazis did what they have done, on purpose.

If you deliberately make exams easier and more rote-learnable, and include Pornography and Perverted Science, then you will create the slaves that you desire.

There is now no practicable help to avoid GramscoStalinist dictatorship in the UK, whatever form the UK will take over the next 30-50 years. We are inside the entrance to the Tunnel of Endarkenment, and being propelled forwards and downwards, for there are now less than 500 people who understand what is going on truly and who can do anything individually – and that is not enough, I fear, to make a difference any more.

We must treasure memories, store them in any permanent way we can, whether in Libraries (vulnerable to mobs sadly CD-ROMs, caches of information and scrolls, whatever. WE must store science, engineering, history, high art (not the “progressive” kind for that is blind and cannot say the future even though it tries) pictures and plans of stuff like Salisbury Cathedral, the Humber Bridge, oil rigs, Apollo-11, the diode, the triode, the triode-ransistor, and so on. This must be so that thhose who come after us, or those from the Stars,= who find our records in the deepnesses of Space, will know that we tried and that we tried hard to be worthy of some place in the Universal Order of Things.

I once fantasised that we ought to send CDs into space on unknown trajectories: perhaps we ought to after all.