A decent caring Tory

Via Samizdata, a video of Steve Baker MP interviewed by Russia Today:

Steve speaks very well and comes across as reasonable and caring, and I agree with almost everything he says. In particular the website he mentions that keeps track of prices, as measured in gold, sounds great. However, I can’t help but take issue with one point though. He says he is not a swivel eyed ideologue, and this is great shame. Why is it that ideology is such a dirty word?

Dear reader: Is it not an affront to your principles and your values to see the damage done by fractional reserve banking and the central planning of money? Is there some niggly semantic difference between “values and principles” on the one hand and “ideology” on the other that I should be aware of? As a proponent of an ideology that talks mostly about getting on non-violently, happily and productively am I mistaken in believing that most other ideologies are similarly well intended? Is it perhaps the case that most other ideologies, if you counted them up, turn out to involve some variation of “Those X, aren’t they just rotters. I hate them and think they should be exterminated” as a central tenet? Mine doesn’t, does yours? Is your typical ideology really anything genuinely unpleasant, or actually nothing very much more exciting than Pythagoras’ theorem?

It frustrates me that people are afraid to be ideologues and to live happy moral lives; if they did I’m sure the world would be a better place. I suppose that the way I think about such things is this: if Pythagoras’ theorem is good and useful and makes life better, then surely the non-aggression principle does too and for similar reasons, for example, that when applied it leads to better outcomes.

I don’t think there is anything to fear from taking a more ideological approach, that is, about talking more explicitly about meta-contextual differences. We all argue with each over detailed issues of policy etc anyway and more often than not our true differences are ideological, why not cut to the chase?

Anyway, by my judgement, ideologically speaking Steve Baker comes across as a thoroughly good chap. I wish him well.


  1. I’ve usually steered away from the terms ‘ideology’ and ‘ideologue’, due to the way Marxists have used them, instead referring to libertarianism as a political philosophy rather than an ideology, which led me into a dispute over semantics on Twitter not long ago, and most recently at Liberal Conspiracy I was labelled an ideologue, and decided to embrace it, at least within the context of that debate.

    Steve Baker is very good – not too much to criticise in that lot!



  2. You are not an ideologue you are an objectivist and what that means is you are influenced by evidence and will adjust your views based on it. An ideologue does not care one jot for evidence or logical argument.



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