Libertarian Ideas

Practical action is needed, but action must stem from ideas. If we don’t have the ideas we cannot succeed. So what is libertarianism? What are the challenges and what are the benefits?

Quote of the week

Two quotes from the same article by Toby Young: My political philosophy can be summed up in the words of Grover Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform. “I don’t want to abolish government,” he said. “I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it in to the bathroom…

Discussion Point: Animal Rights

Two recent news stories inspired this one, first Mark Prichard’s private members bill to ban wild animals in circuses, second the Dutch parliament voting to ban ritual slaughter of animals. The logic behind these acts of legislation is that we should treat lesser,non sentient creatures in a humane way regardless of religious belief. Now this may sound callous,…

Putting theory into practice

The mandate to govern is notionally based on democracy – they have the right to oppress us because we voted for them to do so, by why would people ever vote to leave the relative safety of the UK state? There are, after all, many more statists than libertarians. There is a simple answer. It could happen if the voters in a region could be shown, clearly and unequivocally, that to vote to secede from the UK was indisputably and massively in their personal economic interest.

Idiocy as Standard

I swear reading the Evening Standard is bad for my digestion. Case in point, a piece in Friday’s business section by Anthony Hilton entitled ‘What Banks is need is Nationalisation” which caused my jaw to hit the floor. the public interest demands that someone performs the basic banking function. That requires capital and if it is…

Discussion point: Abortion

Last week while at the IEA I somehow wandering into a conversation on abortion and ended up chatting to a a pro-life Christian Libertarian. He asserted confidently that his position (that abortion should be illegal) was the only one consistent with the key ‘do no harm to others’ principle, and that if we are to…

Quote of the Week

More government means less community. The horizontal ties, which bind people to each other, have slowly been replaced with vertical ties, which seek to bind individuals to the state. Society is weakened by this, because the government does a very bad job. And high taxes undermine philanthropic intention, and community action. The sheet vanity of…

The Fear of Freedom

Having libertarian views and living according to libertarian principles are two quite different things. The first is relatively easy, the second, much less so. There are many people who object to others exercising power over them and interfering with how they wish to live their lives, but it is much more difficult to allow others freedom and to refuse to take power over them. Yet, in my view, the latter is as necessary as the former for a libertarian.