Given the upcoming snap election I thought it might be appropriate to reflect on the health of the Libertarian movement in the UK.
I am of the opinion that Libertarianism, in the long run, stands a good chance of being a dominant system of ethics and political operations if it exerts cultural pressure as opposed to being a purely political entity. In practice this would mean that Libertarianism would seep into the mainstream through films, artworks, books, presence in academia and through social media.
The problem is that this would be impossible for a small group of people to organise (no matter how talented they were) and require and an endless pit of resources in order to proceed.
In the short run then it would seem sensible to consider galvanising the British Libertarian movement around something more tangible. Perhaps a political party (just putting it out there), annual gathering or literature festival would be appropriate.
We will also need to devise a way of measuring our progress.
The historical benchmark for political significance in the modern world appears to be around the 20,000 mark.
After a long battle against insignificance and humiliation UKIP consolidated its party membership at around 20,000 before increasing rapidly in the mid-2010s. 20,000 seemed to be the point at which it became a credible party that could be a player of the political stage.
On a much grimmer note; at their strongest in 2014 the CIA put a conservative estimate on the number of fighters in ISIS at around 20,000.
If we go back slightly further. On the eve of Hitler’s march to power in 1923 the Nazi party had 20,000 members. The Paris Commune supposedly had about 20,000 active combatants and right before the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Bolshevik party had just over 20,000 members.
I apologise for my reference to all of the loathsome political organisations above who are all horrific in their own way. They were merely the figures that first sprang to mind when I decided to write this piece.
The figure of 20,000 is an arbitrary one. But it does appear to be the dividing line between something significant and relative obscurity.
Clearly, a case could be made that for the Libertarian movement to be an important force in Britain. 20,000 is a good target to aim for.
I do not know what exactly that figure should be comprised of. Party members, attendees at a conference, readers of a certain news periodical etc. But what harm is there in at least having some sort of goal to get us started?