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?

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…

The parable of the lures and fishes

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Strolling along the riverside one summer’s day, I happened upon a fisherman looking mighty pleased with himself. “I’m fixed up now, I am,” he announced. “Oh? How’s that?” I said. “Well, I’ve got one of them ‘lures’, haven’t I?” “You’ve lost me, mate” “Not a fisherman, I see. No matter. Here, look at this.” He…

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…