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?

Decisions, decisions…

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A reader asks: “What is a stateless society and how are decisions made in this type of society?” As the asking was done anonymously via the search bar, I don’t know if what follows will be satisfactory, but I hope it is at least somewhat helpful. We can kill two birds with one stone if…

How to get eaten by bears

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In the well-known story, Goldilocks, lost in the woods, happens upon a house. Opening the door she finds three bowls of porridge on the dining table, and, being awfully hungry, sits down to eat. The first bowl of porridge is too hot and the second too cold, but the third bowl is just right. Hunger…

The virtuosity of individualism

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Conventional wisdom dictates that individualism is a destructive force which has enraptured and degraded our society. According to leftist orthodoxy it manifested itself in our culture with Thatcherism and rampant consumerism and has infected the self-obsessed millennial generation. Conventional wisdom is, as is so often the case, quite wrong. I do not recognise this warped…

Government: a public good and a problem

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Are there goods that only government can produce? The belief that there are is what distinguishes the classical liberal from the market anarchist. The textbook definition of a public good is one that is “non-excludable” and “non-rivalrous”. Non-excludablity means that the good cannot be provided for some without being provided for all. Non-rivalrous means that…

Speech precedes politics

Free Speech = Reason = Progess

There seems to be a belief that society should get together and create a body that decides what is good speech and what is bad speech. Recent noteworthy examples are Leveson, the gagging law and Mehdi Hassan, but I include the private correspendence of colleagues, in particular one or two colleagues of an Islamic persusion.…

What society does this (does he –) aim at?

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It is the time-honoured tradition to divide libertarians into two more or less broad camps: one that believes in ‘natural rights’ and one that believes in ‘utils’. But which is better? There’s only one way to find out… Just kidding. Say you didn’t care for either, though, and someone came along and held a gun…

Ayn Rand on Individual Rights

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In response to statements referring to rights being based on “magic” or having something to do with faith – this article will try to explain how exactly rights come into fruition. In Ayn Rand’s book, The Virtue of Selfishness, she explains how we epistemologically acquire rights – individual rights. She claims that: ‘Rights’ are a…

One less brick in the wall

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Researchers in the field of Human Biodiversity inform us that Asian babies will remain placid when a cloth is placed over their faces, but European babies will not. Perhaps this explains why suffocating government is typical of the Far East but conspicuous by its absence here in the West. Further scientific experiments are no doubt…

Huzzah for the voluntary sector!

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Hurrah, civil society is not dead! It warms one’s heart to know that there is still a great deal of compassion and get up and go amongst the British public. Just over six years ago an economic catastrophe of the kind not seen since the 1930’s sent us spiralling into a major recession. We are…

Against “libertarian” moralism

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There are those who say they only want free markets if they make the world better and poor people rich. On the face of it, this is bizarre: an unhampered market must lead to both, it can do no other. Markets, therefore – free or not – are perfectly irrelevant to whoever says this. It…