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?

Fear of Immigration is Socialism’s fault

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Something set Andy Bolton off on an epic Twitter rant: The persistence of the 'all our problems are due to immigration' meme has blighted our society for generations. EDL/BNP/BF/UKIP are not new. — Andy Bolton (@andybolton) November 13, 2014 Even the rise of the National Front in the 1970s wasn't new: it was an echo…

I should be so lucky?

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Because I am anything but “perfectly comfortable with arguments that differences in endowments (basically upbringing and inborn talent),” – or what we might call luck – “mean that there is a case for redistribution between individuals”, it is extremely unlikely that I will be offered a job at a leading free market think-tank any time…

Libertarian policies by measurement ommission

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Simon, you are using the words ” measurement omission” in a headline. You had better explain. Ayn Rand made several important philosophical contributions. One of those was the epistemological idea that “concepts”, primary ones at least, are identical with sets of real things. She called them “existents” (things that exist) or “referents” (things referred to…

Anarchy and the Underpants Gnomes

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I have made a number of comments on the thread of fellow writer Rocco’s post “Too Unlimited; Adventures in Constitutional Scepticism”, which, in the bloody ongoing feud between anarchists and minarchists, takes the side of the former. Much of the argument I can accept, as it is certainly the case that a constitutionally-guaranteed right does…

The Levellers, falsely so called 2.0 part 1

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Some weeks ago I gave a speech to Libertarian Home on a subject of great interest to me, the Leveller movement from the time of the English Civil Wars and Revolution. For those who attended and for those who watch the video, I hope I managed to impart something of value, although, having watched it…

Borders and their Enemies

Wisbech Market: just around the corner from a row of Polish shops

The program of liberalism, therefore, if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property, that is, private ownership of the means of production… All the other demands of liberalism result from this fundamental demand. Ludwig von Mises Libertarianism alone among political philosophies holds that private property is inviolable; this commitment to private property…

Morals and Markets

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There is, of course, more than one path that can lead us to a passion for liberty. The two most well-worn are the moral and the economic. Talk of the ‘spiritual’ and ‘materialism’ can obscure how incredibly close these paths are to one another. Indeed for great stretches they overlap. A morality is a restraint…

Politicians, Problems and Politics

© Graeme Maclean

Here’s a popular argument: Politicians nowadays are to a man non-entities, totally unable to capture the public’s imagination. To compensate for this they’re doing lots of trivial, silly things. Unfortunately this is only alienating voters further, and fewer and fewer are bothering to vote at all. What is needed – if our democracy is not…