The General Election: A Clarificatory Statement


Sean Gabb

For the avoidance of doubt, I will remind our readers that the Libertarian Alliance is a charity, and takes no corporate view on the General Election. One of our officers may vote Labour, another Liberal Democrat. The rest of us who bother will probably vote Conservative or UKIP. But the Libertarian Alliance itself will remain indifferent to the results.

We will only call on the various candidates to pledge themselves to restoring our matchless Ancient Constitution – the full rights of freedom of speech and association, the rights to trial by jury for all criminal offences, plus other Common Law protections, and a state that lives within its proper bounds and means. Let these pledges be given and kept, and it matters not at all which party may win a majority of the seats.

Helen Szamuely RIP


I have just learned that Dr Helen Szamuely, erstwhile Head of Research for the Bruges Group, organiser of the Rally for Freedom, a founding member of UKIP, and longtime star of the Eurosceptic movement has passed away. On behalf of the Libertarian Alliance, I should like to express my condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time. Requiescat in pace. 

Rudd Re-Declares Governments’ Lost War on Strong Encryption


Thomas Knapp

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd is upset. She considers it “unacceptable” that she can’t read your private chat messages and wants that fixed. Naturally, she publicly ties her demand that you surrender your privacy to the fight against terrorism. Fortunately, Rudd won’t get her way. That’s not because her demand is evil and wrong-headed, although it is. It’s because her demand is impossible to implement. Continue reading

Terrorism: Is Christianity to Blame?


Tormod

It has become quite a widely-held position amongst the Alt-Right that fault for the loss of identity and in-group loyalty and even the self-sabotage of Western societies is the result (the inevitable result, as some would even have it) of Christianity. Some of those who hold this viewpoint even go so far as to attempt to resurrect or at least extract certain elements of the pre-Christian religions of Europe. However, I find this view to be mistaken and is based upon an historical horizon that stretches scarcely more than a single century into the past. Continue reading

Thoughts on healthcare


By D. J. Webb

I am sorry to have disappointed Dr Gabb by not posting for some time. Here is my explanation and some thoughts.

I went to the Ukraine in early December to stay for three months with a friend in a city called Dnepropretrovsk (renamed Dnepr). Apart from the weather, it was a very pleasant holiday. I particularly enjoyed learning how to make the dish, compulsory for New Year’s Eve, herring “under a fur coat” (herring under layers of potato, egg, carrots, beetroot, all mixed up with mayonnaise). It sounds terrible, but is very delicious. And I got to practise my Russian. I’m not impressed that a first-class degree in Russian, such as I was awarded by Leeds University in 1995, is given in this country to people with far from fluent Russian. Parliament ought to look into it. But my Russian is better than ever before. Continue reading

Terrorism and the Ethics of Collective Punishment


Terrorism and the Ethics of Collective Punishment
by Sean Gabb
(23rd March 2017)

Outraged by yesterday’s terrorist attack in London, one of my Facebook friends has posted this:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The way to deal with Islamic terrorism is mercilessly. You must not be squeamish about liberal use of the death penalty for those who commit or attempt acts of terror, or their associates. You must not be squeamish about retaliatory acts against their friends and families. Every attendee at their mosque should be deported if a dual of foreign national, then no stone of the building should be left standing and the soil soaked in pigs blood.

If you don’t do these things, or attack those who do, you are enabling terror. You yourself have some blood on your hands. This is not me being angry, for I am not angry at all. I’ve just read some history, and this is how it is. Not taking necessary dissuasive action is profoundly harmful. It is evil.

Continue reading

What Rep. Steve King’s ‘Racist’ Statements Teach


By ilana mercer

Rep. Steve King walked back his remarks with ease. King had told Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” The Republican congressman quickly reframed the comments. It was not race he was alluding to, but “our stock, our country, our culture, our civilization.” Those sound like proxies for race.

Nice try, congressman. Continue reading

Good Governance – Part 2: The Area of Good Governance


This is the second part of a two part essay on good governance. You can find the first part at [4].

For brevity, I’m going to invent an acronym: “AGG” for Area of Good Governance. An AGG is a jurisdiction which has acquired, or is in the process of acquiring, good governance. That is to say, a region of the world, in which the political state has been or is being dismantled. And in which that state has been, or is being, replaced by governance which maintains peace, defends the rights of civilized people, justly resolves disputes, and does no more.

Some may dismiss the ideas I put forward here as Utopian. To them, I say: No radical idea can be realized, until it has been communicated to those who stand to benefit from it. And no vision can be passed on to anyone, unless it has first been articulated. That is my purpose today; to offer, as best I can, my vision of how an AGG might be constructed. Continue reading

Good Governance – Part 1: The functions of good governance


A few months ago, I published an essay titled “Rights and Obligations” [1]. There, I sought to develop a list of obligations of civilized people towards others of their kind, and the rights which flow from them. More recently, in “Conviviality” [2] I tried, building on the ideas of Frank van Dun and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, to sketch how it might be possible for civilized people to live together, and to resolve their disputes, without any need for a state or a “sovereign.”

This is the third essay in the series. It’s in two parts, published separately. Part 1 looks at what such a system of minimal government ought to do, and gives a list of things it must not do. And in part 2, I’ll try to suggest some ingredients, and perhaps even some recipes, for better government. “The Minarchist’s Cookbook,” if you will. Continue reading

Land and Value


By D. J. Webb

Writing on land is, for me, unfinished business. I found a year or two ago that supporting John Stuart Mill’s views on land was controversial in “libertarian” circles. I could presume that many of those who oppose a land value tax have large houses and have benefited from government policies that have fuelled capital appreciation of properties, particularly in the south of England. But imputing a motive to the commenters does not answer their queries as such. Part of my reluctance to write on land stems from a desire not to unduly distress Dr Gabb. Continue reading

WHY LIBERTARIANS SHOULD SUPPORT A LAND VALUE TAX


by D.J. Webb

Libertarians support low taxation on principle, in order to free people and the economy from the burden of the state. If the writings of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill are anything to go by, however, there is an important exception: land taxation. Land taxation is not just a necessary evil that affords the state some revenues with which to perform the very few necessary functions of government; it is a positive good, in that it tackles monopoly and speculation, and should ensure efficient use of land. If land taxation had remained the key source of government revenue in the UK, the current economic crisis would not have taken place. Continue reading

What Would Libertarian Gun Policy Look Like?


Elijah J. Henry

A libertarian gun policy would involve strict application of the zero aggression principle, and little to no government involvement. How would these concepts affect current gun laws, if properly implemented? Let’s take a look. Continue reading

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Ivanka The Terrible?


BY ILANA MERCER

“Donald Trump must get those kids out of the White House,” a blunt South African observer of our politics barked at me, weeks back. “You’re looking more and more like us.” She was alluding to the nepotism on display in the Trump White House.

Since the president started strafing Syria, it has become evident that Trump’s favorite offspring needs to be booted from the People’s House. The British press, more irreverent than ours, seconded the broad consensus that Ivanka had nagged daddy into doing it. For The Kids: The First Daughter was, purportedly, devastated by the (unauthenticated) images of a suspected gas attack in Syria. Continue reading

No Daniel in Trump’s Inner-Circle


Tormod's Blog

Since Donald Trump’s ill-considered attack on Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria, many of those who hoped his presidency would be different from previous ones, ardent and luke-warm supporters alike, have come out in opposition to the sudden change of course in Trump’s foreign policy. They cite legitimate concerns over the seeming lack of U.S. national security interests in Syria, the possible assistance this military action has rendered to ISIS and other Islamist forces in Syria, and how this may very well have squandered whatever chance there might have been for rapprochement with Russia. All of these disadvantages and with very little if anything to show for it in return. These are all good points. Indeed, they are not wrong. However, it is unfortunately the case that those elements of the American leadership which have maneuvered Trump into this mess are looking at a very different set of considerations and performing their cost-benefit analyses of potential courses…

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