I was shocked to hear via Guy Herbert and Sky News that there had been an attack by right-wing thugs on a socialist bookshop in London. Socialism is an inaccurate world view and unethical political policy which promises economic utopia without an algorithm for allocating resources. When it is proceeding tolerably it undermines individual autonomy and crushes free expression, when proceeding along it’s inevitable decline it is associated with mass murder, starvation, preventable deaths, and economic collapse.
The fact that socialists advocate such destructive policies does not remove their rights. The books they are selling do not advocate for the terrible consequences of socialism, but for the unobtainable dreams they intend. They are fools, dangerous fools, but not devils.
Socialists are blind advocates of destruction on a scale I find unimaginable, despite several historical and current examples to look to. I cannot think of a worse political policy to advocate, but I still respect the rights of the bookshop owners to trade freely and exercise their free speech. In fact, as a literal marketplace of literary content book shops are places worthy of deep respect.
Who was it that organised this store invasion? Who could go that low? What is a devil, or a fool?
I know that the person leading the group that day was Luke Nash-Jones. I do not yet know if he is a devil, I trust he is a fool.
After a morning defending the free speech rights of Alex Jones, conspiracy theorist, Luke Nash-Jones lead, or perhaps followed, his protest group into the BookMarks bookshop. He says on a video that he met a bloke in a Trump mask in a pub. The guy was refused service. Other “third parties” suggested pranking the nearby book store instead. He says he went in first with a cameraman to challenge the store owner on his political views, already a confrontational course of action. He says that others followed him in and caused the trouble. He does not mention in the video that the people who entered were waving his Foundation’s placards and wearing his Foundation’s hats. The most charitable interpretation here is that he inflamed a store-invasion by mistake, while attempting to act like a prat.
Nash-Jones is leader of a group formerly known as Young Britons for Liberty. I spoke at a Young Britons for Liberty event on the topic of Marketable Ethical Libertarian Policies (an early warning sign was that at that Q&A I was upstaged by excited chatter about Trump) and again under the Young Chartists name at a pro-Brexit rally where I told them Brexit would be defeated, based on electoral arithmetic if they promoted a nasty, racist post-Brexit outcome – because there is no support for that outcome. I went back to tell them again, and warned them that nasty rhetoric would easily drown out voices helping to build a positive Brexit. At the latter of these events I noticed the shift towards Trump related imagery and populism. I have not been back.
Luke Nash-Jones’ video has condemned the things that left-wing media have read from the store invasion – that the right is on the rise and they hate free speech and that they are violent thugs. There is undoubtedly exaggeration of the events in the media (the managers account ring’s truest) but Luke’s error was to imagine himself able to control not-only the mob he gathered, but the way their ignorant impromptu actions are interpreted. Luke must apologise for taking his protest group to BookMarks.
LATER: Luke Nash-Jones apparently uttered the words “The Jihadi Has the Machete Hand Over the Englishman” to a stonily silent audience on 28th July. Devil or Fool? Hmnn…