The Iniquity of the British Trade Union Movement (Ron Olden)
I’m not sure whether it’s correct that Statism is ‘not the only mechanism by which leftist seek to advance their ideology‘. I think it is. They dress it all up as something else but ‘Statism’ is what they mean. The only question lies, in what is and what isn’t, a ‘State. Wherever the Left fail to take control of the National State, they seek to subvert it with one of their own. Thus Arthur Scargill in 1984 deemed it was acceptable to place mobs outside Coke Depots stopping coal and coke moving. He regarded his authority as superior to the law of the UK State. He was challenging the UK State with his own alternative ‘State’ and shock troops.
These variations on the ‘State’ which leftists promote, are supposed to be more ‘democratic’. They are however still expected to wield exclusive power in their sphere of influence. The great favourite for this alternative social order is ‘workers’ control’. What the Left means is Trade Union control. Employee ‘Democracy’ etc is always couched in terms which really mean the Trade Union taking control of the activities of the company without actually investing in it. The Trade Union concerned invests its own cash reserves where it can make the most profit elsewhere.
Thus we hear that this or that company is making vast profits, or some contractor is making profits out of the NHS. But we never hear of the Trade Union going to a bank and attempting to borrow the money at rock bottom interest rates to buy the company and sharing the profits out amongst its members, or bidding for the NHS contract itself. I put a Comment on a ‘SAVE OUR NHS’ Page recently in response to one which claimed the cleaning contractor was profiting at the expense of the NHS and refusing to pay the ‘Living Wage’. Needless to say they were ‘fighting and campaigning’ (by which they meant going on Demos, sending each other ‘Tweets’, putting Posts of Facebook, and periodically refusing to clean the hospital), in the hope of overthrow this stain on society. I suggested an alternative more effective solution. The Trade Union should bid for the contract, and share the profits out amongst the workers, or rebate it back to the Hospital. Little capital is required to perform a hospital cleaning contract, and the Trade Union had its’ own members available as employees. My comment was deleted in less than five minutes, and I was banned from the Page.
I’m not sure if the Left are even in ‘revolt against nature’. Their activities are no more than the latest manifestation of man’s naturally motivation to dominate other men. Many Trade Union activists see Trade Unions as the instrument they themselves employ to dominate others (for our own good of course). In other contexts the instrument pf control is organised Religion, or ‘community organisations’ of various descriptions. The common feature is always controlling people under the guise of doing something for them.
It’s inevitable that Libertarians have little to say beyond the limitations of the use of force in society, Beyond that specific philosophy, Libertarianism ceases to have any direct relevance. ‘Hacking at the robust trunk of ‘Statism” is exactly what Libertarians should be doing. Not least because we can show that Statism fails, even, to solve the challenges which it identifies as greater evils than itself.
I’m not sure either, that all Libertarians have failed to root ‘Libertarianism’ in a conservative foundation. I regard my own Libertarianism as primarily rooted in a conservative foundation. I accept an element of Statism. Community legitimacy has to vest somewhere.
Something I find horrifying however is the way in which some people who hang around on the fringes of ‘Libertarianism’ are the most Statist people of all. But they want to use the State to promote their own particular prejudices. Thus I’ve read people advocate immigration controls as a means to preserve ‘cultural identity’. You even see ‘Libertarians’ (sic) complaining about the sale to foreigners of what they call ‘National Assets’. The assets concerned however, turn out to be private assets or assets owned by the State. What these so called ‘Libertarians’ are really complaining about is that the ownership of the assets has either fallen out of the hands of the State, or out of the hands of some private individual they identify with, and into the hands of a foreign private individual whom they don’t.
You even hear some ‘Libertarians; (sic) complaining about ‘Gay Marriage’. The conditions for legal recognition of ‘marriage’ are the preserve the State, and these people like the idea of controlling who can and cannot participate in it.
Distributism is a much more attractive proposition than Socialism or Capitalism, but it is still nevertheless an ideology which requires positive action to achieve it and to create the legal environment in which it can prosper. Such positive action will have to be promoted by the State and underpinned by laws enforced by the State, otherwise Human Nature will prevail and some power centre or other, driven by the most activist individuals will will dominate. That unfortunately is the ‘Natural Law.
So ‘Libertarians’ can only point out the limitations of what can be achieved, or what it is proper to attempt to achieve by coercion. And where coercion is necessary, Libertarians can emphasise the importance of achieving the objectives with as light and indirect a touch as possible.
Market solutions, are both light and indirect and are nearly always the most effective solutions. But markets still have to be regulated to ensure that no individual or group gets the upper hand or that the markets do not produce a perverse outcome. By way of an example, in the hope of mitigating the harm they cause to the environment we have, until recently, endured a decade of campaigns and pontification to persuade us to reduce plastic carrier bag use. Some wanted a complete ban on he use of plastic carrier bags.
The State has finally introduced the blindingly obvious market solution which was available all along. They have required the shops to charge 5p for the bag. Result? Bag use has dropped by 80%. The stated objective has been achieved, with little or no cost to anyone, shops’ bag costs have dropped, and the proceeds of the bag sales go to local charities.