This is the second part of a two part essay on good governance. You can find the first part at .
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
A few months ago, I published an essay titled “Rights and Obligations” . 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”  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
Neoliberalism and its Intellectual Forebears: Friend or Foe? An Insight into Critics of the Modern Neoliberal State vs. its Ideological Roots
Joey Simnett (2016)
The political economy of classical liberalism, or libertarianism, as personified by thinkers such as Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, is seen as the bedrock of neoliberalism. Their philosophy of an impartial state and the use of markets as social institutions to direct economic activity has strong parallels with the rhetoric of political movements that initiated the transition away from the post-war consensus. This has generated much controversy, with political critics from both left and right commenting on the effects of this allegedly free market consensus. However, the relationship between neoliberalism and its ideological roots is not so clear. This paper argues that, far from the free market picture of society that critics paint, the state of contemporary affairs deviates considerably from the vision of its intellectual predecessors, and thus the criticisms levelled at neoliberalism as endemic of a failure in free market theory are misguided. This is achieved by strictly defining the ideological vision of Hayek, Friedman et al. and comparing it with heavily criticised ‘crises of neoliberalism’ to highlight a fundamental departure from the principles that they value, and show neoliberalism to be fundamentally of a different character that its critics portray it to be. Continue reading
On the 17th May 2016, Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, gave a lecture in London on John Stuart Mill. Topics covered: defence of freedom of speech; dangers of government intervention in society; no “tyranny of the majority;” problems with “harm principle;” in praise of aristocratic government.
By D. J. Webb
Something interesting is afoot. We appear to be witnessing the re-emergence of the nation-state. Although it is true that the Western powers have for decades followed anti-national policies, ones that have unpicked much of the cultural fabric of a historic nation-state, geopolitical realities are gradually forcing change.
An example of this can be seen in Angela Merkel’s policies. She may personally be the product of earlier decades that laid stress on geopolitical co-operation, the co-ordination of policy internationally, multi-culturalism and similar globalizing causes. This suggests that she would prefer the uncomplicated spirit of international co-operation of earlier decades. However, she operates against a background of US relative decline and the failure of the euro project. Germany has been pushed to the fore, willy-nilly, to manage the Greek debt crisis, the Syrian migrant problem and relations with Russia and the Ukraine. Continue reading
To the extent the Constitution comports with the natural law—upholding the sanctity of life, liberty, privacy, property and due process—it is good; to the extent it doesn’t, it is bad. The manner in which the courts have interpreted the U.S. Constitution makes the Articles of Confederation, which were usurped in favor of the Constitution at the Philadelphia convention, a much better founding document than the Constitution. Continue reading
We need to grapple with the theory of microaggressions. It’s all very well confining our opposition to the state’s political propaganda. But the fact is that in British (and American, and Australian, etc, etc) society the basic cultural precondition for freedom does not exist: that is, an acceptance that other people have the right to free speech and freedom of expression. Although this “taking offence” agenda receives strong support from the state, more often than not in everyday life we will be confronted by people who are not functionaries of the state and who claim the right to take offence—often shrieking hysterically in a way that I would regard deserving of a slap—in order to bring us into line linguistically and, ultimately, mentally. Continue reading