Here is Sean giving quite an upbeat speech to the Other Libertarian Alliance on Tuesday 17th March.
Episode four of our Question Time show; the live show where libertarians sit around pontificating on pretty much anything.
Host: Keir Martland (Director of Youth Affairs, Libertarian Alliance)
1) Dr Sean Gabb (Director, Libertarian Alliance)
2) Jock Coats (Mutualist/market anarchist theorist)
3) Matthew Hayden (Libertarian blogger)
4) Ian B (Libertarian theorist and blogger)
As of earlier this evening, the Libertarian Alliance podcast has now gone live. The audio from our ‘Question Time’ online debates has been uploaded to this website, and is now available to subscribe to via the RSS feed.
The URL for our podcast is:
The plan is to further increase the availability of the podcast by releasing it on iTunes, to which it has already been submitted for approval.
The second episode will be made available as soon as possible after it is recorded tomorrow evening.
If you have any recommendations as to how we can improve our podcast, then please comment below.
Shit happens: oh well, we sometimes differ about the means of achieving a libertarial polit, and specially about how to communicte with those still to be persuaded…
[UPDATE: There is a constructive exchange of strategic views about what the Libertarian Alliance blog ought to be for, over here. Do read: specially Patrick’s long and detailed reply to me.]
[OLD STUFF:]You can read what he thinks of my opinions here. It’s a pity that so many libertarians disagree so violently about so many things. This is a sad and inevitable result of lots of intelligent people trying to unsuccessfully reach agreement about important matters: it’s how we lost WW2 for example [ I leave Stalin out of that group for he always knew what he wanted, and got most of it.]
The Libertarian Alliance has existed for so long, and has, apart from being noticed by a few thousand academics, achieved so little reduction in the socialist-megadeaths-per-year count, that one begins in the evening of one’s life to despair of any improvement. Having said that, I do have the pleasure of inviting you all to our conference on 24th/25th October 2009! Only £85, a snip: no increase on last year, unlike what biofuels have done to food.
Perhaps we have not amplified our appeal-base /because/ we are so ideoligically pure, and not despite this.
There is no point in just sitting on one’s arses and talking academically to academics and think tanks and conferences, when real people with real guns are really killing other people who either just want liberty, or are “in the way of programmes”, or just don’t think about politics at all at all ever. (And thus get killed.)
Look here you purists: I’m building a blog – or trying to – and I have not got all the time in the world. People like these might want to know about libertarianism before people like these get to them instead, and make the task of repair impossible.
Or perhaps it’s this that he objects to. I do not know.
I just think that although it is clearly right to be ideoligically pure and consistent, there also remains an ultimate risk to the survival of liberalism at all in any form, as the world darkens. We ought to be sen as serious about defending what we believe in, as well as just being seem as a load of wimpish academics who sit about all day and talk about it.
No possible number of truncated interviews with Sean Gabb on the wireless will alter the course of either this government or the “Taleban”, or the course of Kim Jong-Il before he died. If I am to be now regarded as a hawkish “NeoLibertarian”, then let it be. I am fine with that.
And here’s me been trying to impose a commenting moratorium on myself. Oh well, here I go again.
Sean’s prescription for what to do when power is gained, while perhaps or perhaps not perfect in the detail, is a good one, and is the kind of thought experiment which may bring one temporary cheer. However it does not (nor, one must absolutely acknowledge attempt to) answer the question of how such a position may be gained. As such it is much like discussing which stars to visit in a starship, while ignoring the hard problem, which is how to build a warp drive.
The problem is that by not discussing in the same breath the gaining of that position, we overlook the fundamentally recursive nature of the discussion. If a government of libertarians, or of “the right” (I dispute that label, but let us let it pass for now) or of “real conservatives” (I dispute that even more as I said before) has gained office in our thought experiment, then the war is already won. That which should be done by such government then becomes a trifle, as it will have the authority to do whatever it wishes.
Unless it has gained power by subterfuge, rather than gained office by honest campaigning, this imaginary government has already told the populace that it will slash government to ribbons, immediately leave the EU, abolish the BBC, hound the enemy out of local government, strangle all the quangos and so on. It can only thus gain office if it has the support of the majority of those citizens who care. To achieve that, it must have gained a cultural hegemony and, more significantly a moral hegemony.
It will have become moral to support small government and immoral to support big government. It will have become moral to support tax cuts, to despise the enemy class, and so on.
To achieve the initial conditions for such a libertian cultural revolution, the public morality must have already become libertarian, rather than the current secular evangelical statism.
This is the Hard Problem, and it would seem at this juncture to be entirely intractable, since altering the moral hegemony requires cultural hegemony, while the cultural hegemony is driven by the moral hegemony.
What is oft mistakenly believed is that the statists/Left/whatever invaded the institutions- government, education etc, from outside. This is not true. There were always socialists inside the elite; indeed it is an elite project and always was. We, on the other hand, have no insiders; and the defenders against whom we wish to move are entirely alert to the possibility of any counterhegemonic entryism and are thus able to nullify it before it gains purchase. The Hard Problem is thus profoundly hard.