Upcoming meetings

I’ve been busily organising the speaker schedule for the next few months, and am keen to share the details of an exciting programme.

Minimum Wage with Sam Bowman

Sam Bowman

Sam Bowman is a well-known figure at the Adam Smith Institute and recently appeared as the “right-leaning think tank” bogeyman on a somewhat biased BBC World Service programme to debate the minimum wage with “principal of Hertford College in Oxford” Will Hutton. Despite the anchor woman’s best efforts Sam made it clear that the empirical evidence is stronger than some believe and that imposing a minimum is also a moral problem. This will be a great opportunity to hear his arguments in full.

March 6th at the Rose and Crown

Political Marketing on Social Media with Rob Waller

Rob Waller

Rob is the social media entrepreneur who invented the “Fakers App” which embarrassed Barack Obama (and host of other well-known figures) who all seemed to have a larger twitter following than they rightly should. His particular thing is making interesting use of data to produce better business outcomes. He’ll be explaining some of the basic (and not so basic) ways to use social media marketing and how they apply to the field of politics.

Rob also founded this Meetup, obviously, so remember to buy him a drink!

April 3rd at the Rose and Crown.

The Libertarians of the English Revolution 1647-1649 with Richard Carey

Richard Carey © Brian Micklethwait

Richard Carey © Brian Micklethwait

Richard Carey is a regular at the Rose and Crown, a Libertarian Home author, a passionate historian and a very smart guy. This talk has been trialed at Brian’s Fridays and I found it to be a fascinating and detailed account of the time, it’s epistemological fancies, the political debate and a fateful regicide.

May 1st at the Rose and Crown.

Summer Social

No speaker, but an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine in the beer garden with like-minded company. If you have any unused books or other literature that you are done with and wish to pass on, then bring them along to the Rose and Crown on June 5th.

 

As usual, all the speaker events will be video recorded and made available here, where the discussion can continue. I am also working on ways to make Q&As available. These are considerably more work to edit and it may involve changes to how the Q&As are run. I don’t like to mess with a winning formula but people have made it quite clear that the Q&As are interesting to them so a bit of experimenting will be going on.

Libertarian Book Project

Friends of liberty, I humbly request your help!

I have decided to embark upon the exciting new challenge of writing a book on libertarianism, introducing the ideas of liberty and the errors of collectivism to a British audience through the medium of Austrian economics, conceptual explanation and historical illustration.

An extract from my proposed introduction reads:

The book’s approach is to take a topic of popular debate, make the case for freedom in that particular area before going on to address the most common objections. The format was inspired by my legal background and belief that it is only by overcoming objections in the popular mind can libertarians ever hope to affect real change in the political arena.

To set me on my way, I seek your collective wisdom in the matter of some important preliminary questions:

1. Who should the book be addressed to?

2. What topics most need addressing? (Money and banking is already high on the list!)

3. What should be left out?

These and other questions will be posed on Facebook all next week. Please take the time (if it can be spared) to visit the Libertarian Home Facebook page to vote and contribute suggestions. Questions about how to sell libertarianism in a book are also questions about how to sell libertarianism, so I hope you’ll find this discussion useful.

Should you wish to send me an e-mail, please do so at samswann@hotmail.com.

Thank you very much.

Sam

 

 

Memetastic!

I didn’t build this blog post, Richard Dawkin’s, Barrack Obama, Mitt Romney (maybe), and a few thousand people on the internet (definitely) built it. I take no credit.

Of course, that’s bullshit. As was Obama’s accidental confession deliberate and considered opinion that he has no respect whatsoever for the sweat and toil of business people. According to Obama, because you walked on a road paid for by the state you don’t deserve any credit and don’t deserve an absolute right of property.

Just as this blog post would not have been written but for my discovering and synthesising its contents, people use the ideas and infrastructure around them to plan and run businesses but make an essential contribution. At a very least, people must absorb some knowledge about the state of the world to know that there is a problem for their business to solve, but at the very least a successful business requires a novel strategy and the irreplaceable hours of its owners life. In undermining the importance of that contribution Barrack Obama wishes to undermine the spiritual property of millions of entrepreneurs, to spiritually rob them of a part of their life, and justify the theft and control of their physical property.

I feel I’m late to spotting this one, but the memes that grew up in reaction to this are awesome. Take this example:

Steve Jobs clearly did shepherd iPhone into existence. Juxtaposing Barrack Obama is a straightforward rebellion against Obama’s claim that society owns Steve Jobs and everyone like him and they they owe one to “society”. Obviously Jobs didn’t do it alone, but he did it by building and guiding a team that could. He built it through honest trade. He traded with the proprietors and agents of component manufacturers, he traded cash for the talents of top designers and engineers, he made mistakes and took responsibility for them. He set out a vision of what he wanted and fought to make it happen.

I’m also reminded of what Rob Waller said about the importance of discovering slogans and memes. He argued that the slogans used by the left sound harmlessly nonsensical but they carry broader more abstract concepts with them that are perceived wordlessly by the consumer. This wordless perceptions allows them to sneak into a mind without thorough criticism. Strategically then, this is a Good Meme. It carries with it the concept of proprietorial pride and rebellion against claims on your life.

I didn’t build this one, but libertarians need many more like it.