Anyone who has taken the time to study in depth the wealth of scholarly literature of Austro-libertarianism cannot help but be enthralled by the intellectual treasures provided by our school of thought. Not only have we uncovered a body of knowledge which – especially in comparison to mainstream social science – is rigorous, scientific, coherent and interdisciplinary, but, as the true successors of classical liberalism, we have an inspiring vision of the future that can sweep away war, conflict, strife and poverty while propelling the human race to unheard of heights of peace and prosperity. Indeed, for many of us Austro-libertarianism has been the most joyous and rewarding discovery of our lives, providing a sheltered harbour in a world which would otherwise leave us adrift in a sea of chaos.
Unfortunately, we are forced to admit that the intellectual accomplishments of Austro-libertarians are disproportionate to our achievements in effecting real world change which, by comparison, are almost miniscule. Although most forms of direct socialism have been discredited by the disaster that was the Soviet Union, we are today living in a world of unprecedented state power which the majority of the population, buoyed by a sense of control instilled by their occasional visits to the ballot box, views as entirely legitimate. It is bad enough that the modern nation state has accreted to itself power and functions that ancient kings and emperors could only dream of; but we are confronted also by a pervasive attitude that any difficulty, problem, error, injustice or whatever that life may choose to throw at us – including our own personal foibles and failings – is always the state’s responsibility to solve. The problems of paper money, the welfare state, boom and bust, public “education”, crippling regulation, disastrous overseas wars and all of the other ills bred by the state are not going to be vanquished when the majority of the public regards this institution as the magic carpet that will whisk us all away to the land of milk and honey. Read more
Church, King and State – Decentralisation and Liberty
By Duncan Whitmore
It scarcely needs to be said that life as a libertarian theorist and political activist is an often isolated and lonely existence. Even though we often have the evidence to illustrate that we are correct, our ideas are ridiculed, if they are ever listened to in the first place. While “free-marketism” from the point of view of generating “economic efficiency” enjoys a seat at the table of the mainstream and may, depending upon the circumstances, disseminate views which are taken seriously by the highest echelons of government, radical libertarianism does not. We are a bare minority of extremist nutcases, deluded by the romantic fairytale vision of the industrial greatness of the nineteenth century, the reality of which, we are told, meant spoils for the rich and destitution for the masses. Our intellectual heroes are derided as dogmatic crackpots who would do away with all of the civilising achievements of our social democratic world order and consign us all instead to a vigilante society reminiscent of the “wild west”.
Having said of all of this, the endeavour to justify libertarian principles is only a small part of the battle. In fact, the biggest difficulty in such justification is not in crafting high quality arguments that will consign statism and socialism to the intellectual rubbish heap. Rather, it is the fact that the die is so heavily weighted in favour of statism, and that the willingness to accept any kind of confirmation bias, however minute, for the status quo is so eager, that even if one was armed with a fortress of insurmountable libertarian arguments the debate could still be lost. No doubt many libertarian has been in the position of having taken a horse to water only to find that he will not drink – and that, sadly, we must be prepared to wait for him to realise that he is dying of thirst. Read more
I’ve brought in the free range pigs for the umpteemth time, its too cold for te poor buggers and we only have now about 20 of this sort. Some are actually in the house, in the scullery, the smaller ones and one sow was actually shivering when we brought her in. The others are in the outside enclosed lobby with some bubble wrap and lots of old newspspers. They will cope till the morning.
The socialists won’t learn. Or perhaps they will, and deliberately as the Bosss says, don’t want to play. Copenhagen has been truly rained on as a parade for them, with this what I’d have called “normal” weather for the time of year. they’ve just had it easy with all the mild winters since 1980 while all they Green-protesters was growin up.
Perhaps theye didn’t intend to close it really, and perhaps it just was a publicityy stunt. But I don’t know. KNowing some of these people colsely as I do, I fear them now. Maybe my friemf David Davis is right, we will have to kill and eat the bastards after the lights are all out and all other the people are frozen to death. I am going to do a poll, I hope it woks.
Dr Sean Gabb’s phrase “The Enemy Class” says it all too.
But there is always another strategy. Libertarians, heavily disguised as pork-barrel-opening, largesse-distributing statists, could stage an election-led dawn raid on the legislature. Having got elected, hopefully looking vaguely like compassionate conservatives who “love the NHS” – but specifically after some particularly spectacular failure and cock-up by the ordinary stalinists of the day, such as affects us now – they could strip off their statists’ clothes revealing the lithe muscular form and leotarded bewinged saviour….
Immediately, they could get to work sacking most departments of State (and Councils people’s Soviets), malleting the hard disks, shredding and burning the records, and turning the bemused “staff” onto the street. Within about two days the country could resemble a somewhat chaotic Hong Kong, only without any bureaucrats at all.
But I don’t think David Cameron has any such plans – do you? Ah well, never mind, it’s fun to dream.