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Today: Tue, September 27 2016  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Politics
29 September 2016
 
 
A Tale of Two Unions
by Get Britain Out
 sub-topic» General

The last fortnight has provided a fantastic illustration of the two different paths open to European nations. On one side we had the EU, with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker delivering his ‘State of the Union’ address, in which he attempted to ignore the main challenges facing the EU. Following this was the meeting of the 27 other EU leaders in Bratislava for a summit. Rather than following the script and presenting a unified front, almost immediately the EU’s leadership started disagreeing over the future of the bloc. The summit itself might best be represented by the leader’s river cruise, which as a result of low water levels, saw the large craft going around and around in circles for two hours! A fitting metaphor for the EU.

 more» 
16 September 2016
 
 
Shoving us at gunpoint towards the cashless society
by Claire Wolfe
 sub-topic» General

Talk of forcing us into a cashless society has been around for decades. It’s very easy to tune it out as old news, something that’s going to remain a statist pipe dream forever.

But it’s time to take this very, very seriously. The stage has been set. We’ve got central-bank desperation. Negative interest-rate policies. A police/surveillance state in which cash is more important to the authorities than any actual crimes committed. And the increasing ruthlessness of first-world states everywhere. We’ve got an atmosphere in which the desire for privacy is itself considered a sign of criminal intent.

 more» 
14 September 2016
 
 
The Real Reason Why Some Nations Are Rich and Others Poor
by José Azel
 sub-topic» General

Political and economic institutions shape the incentives of individuals, politicians and businesses. And whereas economic institutions shape economic incentives, it is the political institutions that determine what economic institutions people will labor under.

That is, the political process determines what economic institutions a country will have. Plainly put, poor countries are poor because those that have power make choices that create poverty. The new paradigm for the success or failure of nations centers on the inclusiveness of political and economic institutions and their interactions.

 more» 
10 September 2016
 
 
Should States Control their Borders?
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

Given the decades-long, ongoing controversy over immigration, a question must naturally be asked: Should the states of the United States be given the authority to control their respective borders? That is, should they have the same power to control their borders that the federal government has to control the nation’s borders.

To clarify, I’m not asking whether state borders should be abolished. I’m asking whether state governments should be empowered to control the free movements of goods and people from other states into their states.

 more» 
08 September 2016
 
 
Alt-Right: A Reply to Jakub Jankowski
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

So, do the Alt-Right denigrate the use of reason? Do they oppose the use of the scientific method? Are they intolerant, religiously or otherwise? Do they put something they call “society” above the individual? Do they think human beings are naturally bad? Do they want to constrain or destroy our freedoms? Do they respect the rights and dignity, which are natural to us? Do they think government should be for the benefit of the governed, or of the rulers? Do they think people should be morally equal, or otherwise said, equal before the law? That is, what is right for one to do, is right for another to do in similar circumstances, and vice versa? Do they want us human beings to move forward and upward?

Some of these questions, I can’t answer on the bare evidence of Jankowski’s essay. But others, I think I can. And the answers I reach are not good for Alt-Right.

 more» 
06 September 2016
 
 
The Election Has Been Hacked – Part 2
by John W. Whitehead
 sub-topic» General

The game is rigged, and “we the people” keep getting dealt the same losing hand. The people dealing the cards—the politicians, the corporations, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, the bureaucrats, the military, the media, etc.—have only one prevailing concern, and that is to maintain their power and control over the citizenry, while milking us of our money and possessions.

It really doesn’t matter what you call them—Republicans, Democrats, the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that while they are dealing the cards, the deck will always be stacked in their favor.

 more» 
05 September 2016
 
 
The Election Has Been Hacked – Part 1
by John W. Whitehead
 sub-topic» General

Politics is a game, a joke, a hustle, a con, a distraction, a spectacle, a sport, and for many devout Americans, a religion. It is a political illusion aimed at persuading the citizenry that we are free, that our vote counts, and that we actually have some control over the government when in fact, we are prisoners of a police state.

In other words, it’s a sophisticated ruse aimed at keeping us divided and fighting over two parties whose priorities are exactly the same so that we don’t join forces and do what the Declaration of Independence suggests, which is to throw the whole lot out and start over

 more» 
01 September 2016
 
 
How do you solve a problem like the proletariat?
by Keir Martland
 sub-topic» General

The solutions to the problem, however, are most certainly not more bureaucracy or more plutocracy or corporatocracy. Freedom, and therefore either genuine independence of means or some measure of dignity, has been threatened since the 19th century in particular by two increasingly powerful and illiberal forces. One of these is the mob and its democratic socialism. The other threat comes from plutocratic elites hostile to the nation and all singing from the same state capitalist and globalist hymn sheet. In their diagnosis and analysis of the basic problem, the distributists are certainly spot on: both state socialism and state capitalism have centralising tendencies, the former by overtly political means and the latter by more subtle economic means, which rob the family unit of dignity, security, and purpose.

 more» 
25 August 2016
 
 
Our Selfless Public “Servants”
by Paul Jacob
 sub-topic» General

One cannot serve two masters. If our representatives are in it for their own benefits, as opposed to making a sacrifice for the greater good . . . well, we wind up with government like we have now.

 more» 
17 August 2016
 
 
Principled Non-Voting: The Missing Element
by Thomas L. Knapp
 sub-topic» General

In order for not voting to be an effectual statement, or to be or become the tactic of a movement, the people who don't vote have to say why they're not voting, and some non-trivial portion of them have to agree, at least roughly, on why that is.

 more» 
04 August 2016
 
 
Io, Saturnalia!
by Sean Corrigan
 sub-topic» General

All those barracadista micro-celebrities who so recently threatened to quit Albion’s shores should a Tory government ever be elected are again out crying, Wolf!, in declaring they will seek exile in the tender bosom of the EU any minute now, just as soon as their latest appearance on Big Brother has aired or their last Bush Tucker Trial is completed. Meanwhile, the reptile-brain revolutionaries, amygdalas in overdrive, have been hurling the usual smear list of -isms and –ists at those shrewd enough to get out and vote while they were still queueing for benefits and mindlessly tweeting their self-reinforcing sense of moral superiority to one another.

 more» 
26 July 2016
 
 
Does it really matter?
by Nathan Barton
 sub-topic» General

But change WILL come: it will come through the daily actions of everyday people: buying and selling, teaching and learning, speaking and listening, inventing and using those new inventions. Whether their actions (OUR actions!) are wise or foolish, silly or serious, self-serving or altruistic.

So it behooves us to spend a lot more time thinking about what we need to do – and then doing the things – to make our own lives and those of our families and friends and customers and employees and neighbors – but especially OUR lives – better. Working around the system, pushing back against the system, and changing the system a little bit every day, just in our own sphere, for the better.

 more» 
23 July 2016
 
 
The EU: Economically and Morally Perverse
by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
 sub-topic» General

The EU and the ECB are a moral and economic monstrosity, in violation of natural law and the laws of economics. You cannot continuously punish productivity and success and reward idleness and failure without bringing about the disaster. The EU will slide from one economic crisis to the next and ultimately break apart. The Brexit, that we have just experienced, is only the first step in this inevitable process of devolution and political decentralization.

 more» 
20 July 2016
 
 
Young people: We’ve stolen their future
by Roger Helmer MEP
 sub-topic» General

I believe I have solid grounds for my opinion of the EU – and an infinitely better grasp of the issues than I had at seventeen. And I believe that far from “stealing the future” of the young, we have given them a future – a future of freedom, and self-determination, and global opportunities. I also believe that we have lit a flame that will eventually liberate Europe as surely as we liberated it in the 1940s.

 more» 
13 July 2016
 
 
Brexit and our Long Term Goals
by Billy Christmas
 sub-topic» General

We can help make sure an independent UK (and any other European state that leaves the Union) uses its new position to liberalise trade and migration with the entire world. Those that were in favour of Brexit must distance themselves more than ever from xenophobia and protectionism and reiterate the humanitarian case for leaving the EU – not to separate from the world, but to join it through the bonds of voluntary exchange and free movement. If the anarchists and classical liberals among the Leave voters do not take pains to emphasise the connection between leaving the EU and joining the world, we will be stuck between blue collar fascists, and the privileged, politically correct left – much as we are now, only this time there’s a power vacuum at stake.

 more» 
12 July 2016
 
 
A Cry of Rage and Pain
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

So on the Remain side, the picture looks quite simple. The city slickers and big businessmen that benefit financially from the current set-up, and the supporters of big government and the green agenda, also support the EU. The latte-sipping, Grauniad-reading, political-correctness-loving, humanity-hating classes that think they’re the only people educated enough to be allowed to have opinions on anything, are Remainers to the core.

On the other side, it’s much more complicated. The areas with the strongest Leave votes were mostly in a few parts of the country – Essex, Lincolnshire and the industrial Midlands and North. But the reasons for that support seem to vary from place to place.

 more» 
10 July 2016
 
 
Trump and Libertarians in the Political Arena – Part 2
by David S. D’Amato
 sub-topic» General

Economists have effectively refuted Trump’s protectionist arguments (if even they deserve the name) for hundreds of years, showing that in a free market trade benefits everyone involved. Granted, few would seriously deny that we are today a long way from the eidolon of a perfectly free market; but while, as imperfect human beings, we may never reach that ideal, the furtherance of international trade nevertheless means an increase of wealth on both sides of a given deal. In any voluntary exchange, the subject parties both want what the other has, valuing it more highly than what they already possess and therefore hoping to benefit from the swap. The great libertarian economist Murray Rothbard called this the “double inequality of subjective valuations.” Absent the introduction of coercive force, neither party is being exploited, even while they do not judge the exchanged items to be of equal value in any absolute sense. Trade-bashing populists like Donald Trump apparently believe that everything (or close) should be made here in the United States, specialization and comparative advantage be damned.

 more» 
09 July 2016
 
 
Trump and Libertarians in the Political Arena – Part 1
by David S. D’Amato
 sub-topic» General

For a large segment of the liberty movement, a libertarian political party has always seemed to be a contradiction in terms. Libertarians are, after all, devoted to and focused on principles, and the political process itself regrettably seems to be antithetical to many of those that we hold most dear—for example, the idea that each individual is sovereign, that his property is his to manage, that trade and other associations should be strictly free and voluntary. Arguably, participation in electoral politics seems to aggrandize political power, acquiescing to it where we could resist it. But regardless of what we libertarians think of the existing state of affairs, campaigns and elections, presidential elections most of all, present a golden educational opportunity for liberty lovers. Most Americans, for better or worse, interact with the world of political ideas as they come filtered through candidates and elections, sorted by the often arbitrary dictates of partisan divides.

 more» 
07 July 2016
 
 
Revolt of the Others
Britain is effectively Two Nations, and one has just risen up
by Frank Furedi
 sub-topic» General

Until now, the division of British society into two nations has had limited political significance. Why? Because, except in rare circumstances, the views and attitudes of the common people could be easily ignored. In most disputes and elections, ‘the others’ could be relied upon either to stay passive or simply to follow the guidance of the Labour Party, the movement that historically represented them. With the disintegration of Labour, paralleled by the rise of UKIP, it was only a matter of time before the others would cease to play the passive role assigned to them. It was only a matter of time before they rebelled and insisted that their views be taken seriously. The referendum provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the others to revolt.

 more» 
06 July 2016
 
 
EU referendum result - Defend democracy
by The People's Pledge
 sub-topic» General

The vote on 23 June was the result of our hugely successful campaign for an in/out EU referendum.

However, the response by many to the outcome has been startlingly anti-democratic.

Despite a big turnout and 52% of people voting for Britain to leave the EU, growing voices are demanding that the people's verdict be over-turned.

Some MPs, celebrities and organisations are even saying that parliament should block Brexit or hold a repeat referendum.

 more» 
04 July 2016
 
 
After the EU Referendum - Part 2
The battle has been won but not the war
by Robert Henderson
 sub-topic» General

But if an early election is not called it is not inconceivable that the negotiation period could stretch deep into this Parliament or even past the 2020 date prescribed by the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. Implausible? Well, the first two years are almost certainly accounted for if Article 50 is activated and it would not be that difficult to envisage Europhile British politicians colluding with EU politicians to string the matter out in the hope that time would change the political atmosphere in Britain sufficiently to allow another referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU to be held and won by the Europhile side.

 more» 
03 July 2016
 
 
After the EU Referendum - Part 1
The battle has been won but not the war
by Robert Henderson
 sub-topic» General

It says much for the strength of character of the British that they refused to be cowed by this onslaught of propaganda and threats. The Remain camp started with Project Lie, moved to Project Fear and ended with Project Slander as their accusations of racism became ever more shrill as polling day approached. None of it worked. Their prophecies of doom were so frequent and so overblown that their hysterical warnings ended up looking like caricatures produced by the Leave side . The only thing which stopped the Leave campaign’s momentum was the death of Jo Cox which stopped campaigning for three days just as the polls were consistently showing increasing support for Leave. This break in momentum probably cost Leave several percentage points in the final poll as for a few days the polls swung back towards Remain.

 more» 
02 July 2016
 
 
After “Brexit”, Can We Exit a Few Things Too?
by Ron Paul
 sub-topic» General

What is happening in the UK, in Europe, and in the US, is nothing less than a breakdown of the entire system. The EU was meant to be a customs union where post-World War II Western Europe could rebuild itself through free trade and a reduction in bureaucracy. Through corruption and political ambition it became an unelected bully government in Brussels, where the well-connected were well compensated and insulated from the votes of mere citizens.

 more» 
01 July 2016
 
 
Brexit, Sexit, Texit
by Randall Holcombe
 sub-topic» General

If the possibility were there for states to leave the US as they can in the EU, it is easy to envision Texans agitating for Texit. And the possibility of Texit would go at least some distance toward taming the federal Leviathan.

 more» 
30 June 2016
 
 
Brexit is Britain’s Rosa Parks Moment
by Peter Foster
 sub-topic» General

One knowledgeable friend to whom I spoke about Brexit when I was in Britain recently said that he knew that the EU was doomed, but that he was going to vote to stay. Why? Because if Britain left, it would be blamed for the EU’s inevitable collapse.

That’s why it is important to refute the idea that Britain’s vote to leave the EU has endangered, or doomed, a fundamentally viable entity. The EU is a failed project because, to turn one of the favourite mantras of Eurocrats back on them, it is “unsustainable.”

 more» 
29 June 2016
 
 
Europe: The Age of Globalism, 1989-2016 (?)
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» General

I would like, before I am eligible to collect such pension as I may receive, to see a Europe of three interlocking zones. There will be Britain, with Ireland, Holland and Denmark as its allies or soft dependencies. There will be Germany, leading the Austrians and Western Slavs. There will be France, with its ties to the other Latin nations. These three zones will form a trading bloc, based on multilateral treaties and mutual respect. They will cooperate in areas of common interest. They will establish a friendly relationship with Russia and its dependencies. They will keep a cautious distance from the United States. In time, these zones may progress, though a process of organic growth – and based on a perception of common external threats – to something like the confederations of the Greek city states. There will be no Maastricht Convergence Criteria, or Common Agricultural Policy, or Europol – no centralised attempt at “ever closer union.” But Europe is a common civilisation, and it is worth our looking out for each other.

 more» 
25 June 2016
 
 
So, what now following the Brexit vote?
by Keir Martland
 sub-topic» General

I don’t like to gloat. Well, that’s a blasted lie for a start.

Since February, I have been predicting a leave vote in yesterday’s EU Referendum. I predicted this for various reasons, but mainly differential turnout of old people and Eurosceptics. I also sensed that both urban and rural areas would vote to leave, and that there would be a last minute swing from women to leave. However, when I rubbed the sleep from my eyes this morning, I was surprised. I was surprised that the leave vote was just 51.9%. Let’s be honest: this is disappointing.

 more» 
20 June 2016
 
 
On Brexit
by Leo Smith
 sub-topic» General

What is happening in the UK is FAR more important to the future of the world than which of two people with very bad hair wins a US election.

This is a political event that is being driven by the whole perception of Big Centralised Government as uniquely dysfunctional and unable to react effectively in the 21st century. Climate Change the political agenda is all about Big Centralised Government.

 more» 
18 June 2016
 
 
What happens after the EU referendum?
by Keir Martland
 sub-topic» General

What many are asking themselves now is “What will happen after 23rd June?” The palpable sense of uncertainty is damaging the markets and the exchange rate, since neither side of the referendum has given any serious arguments, instead talking in sound-bites and vacuous inanities. Still, in this late stage in the campaign, perhaps 20% of the electorate remain “undecided.”

 more» 
13 June 2016
 
 
Cameron is Spooked: Project Fear becomes Project Smear
by Get Britain Out
 sub-topic» General

It’s clear Number 10 is worried about the success of the Leave campaign so far, and is increasingly resorting to dirty tactics. This week saw them extending the voter registration period by 48 hours - after the website crashed for under 2 hours! It seems this might be a deliberate attempt to sign up straggling Remain supporters, but this could backfire. It has confused many people, as lots of the late sign-ups may already be on the electoral register. This also begs the question of whether there is sufficient time for adequate background checks on these late applicants. We have already seen EU nationals - not entitled to vote in this referendum - already (and incorrectly) being sent postal votes, raising the prospect of the Referendum result being corrupted by electoral fraud. Our Director, Jayne Adye, commented about the deadline extension in the Daily Express, remarking how: "It is clear David Cameron has been spooked by the recent successes of the Leave campaign and is now resorting to dirty tactics to encourage the last straggle of Remain supporters to register to vote.” She went on to observe: "It is deeply worrying the PM is willing to tear up our laws and conventions in order to rig the referendum." (Outrage at bid to 'rig' EU vote: Row as Cameron backs extending voters' deadline)

 more» 
09 June 2016
 
 
Trump’s secret? Saying things about global warming, vaccines and Israel that no one else will
by Lawrence Solomon
 sub-topic» General

The Trump coalition isn’t based on any single ideology or any consistent set of rational policies — it is a populist assemblage of largely disparate groups whose common bond is their exclusion from the orthodoxy. These are passionate voters, for whom voting is very personal.

 more» 
07 June 2016
 
 
Autopsy on a Lost Referendum
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» General

We need to form closer bonds with each other than the commonalities of outlook that have brought us together. Because state and corporate employments are increasingly closed to us, we are forced to consider self-employment. This gives us the moral advantage of independence. This being said, the self-employed flourish best not as isolated individuals, competing in some anonymous market, but as members of tight networks. We need to do business with each other, and to help each other. In every respect where it can be given, we must give regular preference to each other. We should employ builders and window cleaners who share our outlook. We should expect preference in the sale of our own talents from those who share our outlook. We need our own schools and institutions of learning and research, our own orders of distinction and merit. We need standards by which to discipline the unworthy, or purge them from our communities, and to prevent infiltration. We need to show indifference to smears from the ruling class media, and discretion and flexibility enough to shelter us from its direct invasions.

 more» 
24 May 2016
 
 
Trump Fans and 'Social Justice Warriors,' Two Sides of the Same Authoritarian Coin
by Elizabeth Nolan Brown
 sub-topic» General

Consider: both the social-justice left and the so-called "alt-right" view the world primarily through identity politics. Whether it's in the service of white nationalism or multicultural flourishing, they encourage individuals to be ever-cognizant of their own race, sex, sexual orientation, etc., and that of those with whom they're interacting. While you might argue that the social-justice left is less dehumanizing or on ethically higher ground in their assignation of everyone to identity categories—their stated goal, after all, is overcoming disparities in relative privilege, not perpetuating them—the effect has still been an increasing collectivism and tendency to reduce people and cultures to socially agreed-upon roles and attributes.

 more» 
21 May 2016
 
 
Lord Carey Comes Out for Brexit: “It is the Refrain of Freedom”
by Archbishop Cranmer
 sub-topic» General

“Poor George,” they’ll sigh in the House of Bishops. “He’s finally…” They won’t bother to finish the sentence; just make little circular motions with their forefingers pointing to the temple. Carey, Carey, quite contrary has finally gone doolally. Islam, immigration, Christian refugees, same-sex marriage, assisted dying… Oh, he changed his mind on that, didn’t he? Poor soul. He’s really lost it now. How could a bishop – a former Archbishop of Canterbury no less – possibly support leaving the European Union; God’s empire on earth for peace, prosperity, reconciliation and the mutual flourishing of European fellowship?

 more» 
17 May 2016
 
 
Why Wealth Seems Bad
by James Leroy Wilson
 sub-topic» General

Even in cultures with a long history of markets, the perception persists, with good reason, that the system is rigged. Whether it's intellectual property law, the choice of where to build a road, or government regulations and subsidies, it seems that the well-connected, who are often the already-wealthy, have special advantages.

Or, the government creates incentives that may misdirect resources. Home-building may be encouraged. Or bailouts of bankrupt companies. Or the building of unnecessary infrastructure or production of unnecessary war weapons. In these ways, some will get rich not just off the backs of their fellow taxpayers, but off of future generations living in a harmed environment.

 more» 
16 May 2016
 
 
Why the Left Seems Insane
(Mostly, Because They Are)
by L. Neil Smith
 sub-topic» General

Although they'll seldom admit it, even to themselves, Progressives know by now that they are wrong. You might say their wrongness has stood the test of time. So what is it they really want? Their theories and values having failed them embarrassingly—a good example of that is the minimum wage, which destroys employment for entry-level and minority youth—rather than seeking new theories and values that might serve them better, they have turned to a kind of bitter, if unconscious nihilism. They hate and fear the culture that has refused to bend to their wills, so it must die. Every policy recommendation that they make—like the $15 minimum wage—is directed to that purpose.

 more» 
14 May 2016
 
 
A Surveillance Society, NOT a Surveillance State
by James Leroy Wilson
 sub-topic» General

I am totally against the Surveillance State. The government shouldn't have access to our gadgets, be able to track us, or monitor public spaces in search of possible wrongdoing. The country shouldn't be a POW camp. To be constantly "watched" by armed guards, in public or private, is undesirable to say the least.

But I'm not opposed to the Surveillance Society, in which individuals use cameras and recording devices for the protection of themselves and their property..

 more» 
12 May 2016
 
 
Politics and Psychopathy - Part 3
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

Here, in a nutshell, is the problem we face. Psychopaths want power. Current political systems, including democracy, tend to favour psychopaths over non-psychopaths for positions of power. While this tendency acts quite slowly, over more than a century it has relentlessly increased the incidence of psychopathy or near psychopathy among politicians. And so, today too many of those in power – arguably, including all UK prime ministers and US presidents since the millennium or some decades before – are selfish, callous and remorseless in their treatment of people. A government run by psychopaths isn’t exactly a recipe for a free, just, honest society, is it?

 more» 
11 May 2016
 
 
Politics and Psychopathy - Part 2
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

Now consider. If so called “democracy” means anything at all, if government really is for the benefit of the governed, then how can psychopaths or potential psychopaths possibly be allowed political power? If government really is supposed to “protect” us from ills, then shouldn’t one of its very first responsibilities be to protect us from psychopaths that want power over us?

 more» 
10 May 2016
 
 
Politics and Psychopathy - Part 1
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

A meme, which has drawn itself to my attention recently, is that politicians – or many of them, at least – have psychopathic tendencies.

In this essay, I’ll seek to make a case that there’s more than a grain of truth in this idea. And that not only do psychopaths seek power, but today’s political systems, including democracy, give them an advantage over non-psychopaths in terms of getting power. With negative consequences for us all.

To ameliorate this problem, I’ll suggest a test, based on the work of psychologist Robert D. Hare, to screen for psychopathic tendencies among those in or seeking positions of power, and politicians in particular.

 more» 
07 May 2016
 
 
My Political Endorsement, as it Were
by Robert Higgs
 sub-topic» General

I will not endorse any of the candidates seeking the Republican or Democratic Party nominations for election to the presidency nor any of those seeking a nomination by the minor parties nor any of those seeking nomination for election to lesser offices. Indeed, I will not endorse the election itself. Finally, I will not endorse the continued existence of the nation-state over which these aspirants seek to preside. Enough is enough. I will not give my endorsement to politics as usual, a process by which competing parties seek to gain control of the state’s powers in order to plunder and bully the people at large for the sake of their principal supporters.

 more» 
06 May 2016
 
 
Millennials hate Capitalism Almost as Much as they Hate Socialism
by Elizabeth Nolan Brown
 sub-topic» General

When pollsters probe young people further about socialism and capitalism, they tend to find that respondents don't have clear concepts of these economic philosophies. To many millennials, "socialism" doesn't mean a government-managed economy but something like what we have now, only with more subsidized health care, student-loan forgiveness, and mandatory paid parental leave. Millennials were small children, if they were even born yet, when the Soviet Union dissolved. "Socialism" isn't Romania and Yugoslavia but Scandinavia, not Karl Marx and union halls but Bernie Sanders and Twitter.

"Capitalism," meanwhile, doesn't simply mean private, for-profit enterprise. It isn't a category that has anything to do with the family-owned bodega on their corner or their friend's new artisanal cupcake business or the proliferation of legal weed shops, with Tom's shoes or their local grocery or that Uber they took last night. Capitalism is Big Banks, Wall Street, "income inequality," greed. It's wealthy sociopaths screwing over the little guy, Bernie Madoff, and horrifying sweatshops in China. It's Walmart putting mom-and-pop stores out of business, McDonald's making people fat, BP oil spills, banks pushing sub-prime mortgages, and Pfizer driving up drug prices while cancer patients die. However incomplete or caricatured, these are the narratives of capitalism that millennials have grown up with.

 more» 
04 May 2016
 
 
What if the Left Doesn’t Really Want to Achieve its Policy Goals?
by John C. Goodman
 sub-topic» General

Here is something I bet you haven’t thought about. We naturally assume that that public policy advocates actually want to achieve the things they advocate. But there are a lot of people both on the right and the left—but especially on the left—for whom that probably isn’t true.

Suppose you could wave a magic wand and eliminate global warming forever. You might think that all the environmental organizations and all the environmental scientists and would get out the champagne and cerebrate. More likely their offices would look like a wake.

Causes are vehicles to money and power. They generate millions of dollars in donations. They create high paying jobs. They motivate millions in research grants and millions in campaign contributions. If the cause goes away, money and power go away with it.

 more» 
02 May 2016
 
 
How Do You Tell If A Politician Is Lying?
by Norm Singleton
 sub-topic» General

While many people may want politicians to lie to them, the liberty movement that sprung up in the wake of Ron Paul's 2008 and 2012 campaigns shows that there are many individuals hungry for the truth about economics, foreign policy, and the proper role of government in a free society. In fact, one of the biggest advantages our movement has is that as the failures of the welfare-warfare-regulatory state, as well as the fiat money system that prop it up, become clearer, more Americans will realize they have been lied to and will seek out the truth,

 more» 
29 April 2016
 
 
Making laws much like littering
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

If you make up a law that must be enforced, you can be sure it isn’t a real law. No law is necessary to give you the right to defend yourself or others from attackers or thieves, nor to demand restitution. But, without a law backing them, few would get away with stopping travelers for going a little faster than some arbitrary rule allows, and taking money from them.

There are only two kinds of laws — the harmful and the unnecessary. Which of those do you pollute our world with?

 more» 
25 April 2016
 
 
The Military-Evangelical Complex
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

There are evangelical Christians whom I love and respect. Nonetheless, it’s time to face this: The military-evangelical complex is not just politically dangerous; it’s a corruption of the Judeo-Christian tradition and thus of Western Civilization itself.

 more» 
22 April 2016
 
 
Why are the middle class so angry?
by Iain Murray and Ryan Young
 sub-topic» General

The middle class is angry. Feeling left out of sharing in the nation’s prosperity the way they used to, they are increasingly turning to populist demagogues who appeal to their emotions and peddle collectivist solutions while blaming some group — from immigrants in America to workers in China. Yet, it is individuals, not groups, who drive economic growth. And individuals are best helped by giving them the freedom to succeed. An agenda to help the middle class must be based on that freedom.

 more» 
21 April 2016
 
 
All have identical, equal rights
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

The mainstream parties are out for their own best interests, willing to use whoever they can dupe, as long as they find them convenient. As soon as the favors are due, they get amnesia about who gave them their power. And their supporters forgive and forget.

 more» 
16 April 2016
 
 
Do As We Say, Not As We Do
by Christopher Burg
 sub-topic» General

What we should decry are thieves and these politicians are not only thieves but their dishonest thieves. In public these politicians espouse the merits of taxes and viciously criticize tax evaders. In private they are whisking their wealth away to the exact same places using the exact same tactics as private tax evaders. I believe the only fair thing to do in this case is treat these politicians the exact same way they treat private tax evaders. Make examples of them in the media. Hold a show trial. Then lock them in a cage for the rest of their lives. And do this not because they’re tax evaders but because they’ve gleefully inflicted such harm on tax evaders themselves.

 more» 
09 April 2016
 
 
Ideas Have Consequences
by Wayland Hunter
 sub-topic» General

But the most remarkable fact is that all the problems that are used to justify the literally insane campaigns now being waged were the direct results of unlimited government. If the American people had voted to increase income inequality, strangle the middle class, create racial tensions, ship jobs overseas, enlarge the permanent underclass, and grant a permanent veto power to an unelected class of well-paid parasites, they couldn’t have gotten better results from their decades of votes for people who wished to expand the government.

Now people of common sense and what used to be common knowledge are seeing (the cliché is unavoidable) the chickens coming home to roost. Are you happy? I’m not.

 more» 
08 April 2016
 
 
On Scientific Impostors
by Willis Eschenbach
 sub-topic» General

The scientific impostors are wrong because they are not practicing transparent, honest science—they hide their methods and their code and their data.

The impostors are wrong because they want to change the basic scientific rules, like reversing the null hypothesis.

They are wrong because when their errors are discovered, they either deny that they exist or they claim that they make no difference, regardless of the importance of their errors.

 more» 
07 April 2016
 
 
Minimum Wage Ignorance
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

If there were no minimum-wage laws, everyone who wanted to work would be able to find it. That’s the way the laws of supply and demand work in an unhampered market economy. Unfortunately, there are still to many people in the world who honestly believe that public officials can repeal the laws of supply and demand. And the people who pay the biggest price for that myth are the poor — those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

 more» 
25 March 2016
 
 
Despite Appearances, These are Great Times for Human Liberty
by Jeffrey A. Tucker
 sub-topic» General

Yes, the state is still growing and will continue to do so. But remember that this time the resistance has powerful tools at its disposal. We have social media. We have access to a gigantic digital publishing system. We have the most efficient communications system in history. Combine that with a presumption of moral outrage at the “commander-in-chief” of the country, and you have the makings of a serious opposition that cannot be ignored.

And who will be the resistance? Think of everyone who has been criticizing Trump and/or Hilary in the last six months. We are talking about the whole of the educated opinion classes: left, right, and center. At long last, a large majority of the population of the United States, ruled by a deeply unpopular and constantly doubted figurehead, might be in the position to discover that all the things we love in life come to us only when we are free.

 more» 
24 March 2016
 
 
Libertarians Need to Embrace their Radical Goal
by Christopher Burg
 sub-topic» General

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, libertarians are bad at politics. It’s not our fault. Politics is the art of aggression and libertarianism is a philosophy built on non-aggression. But many libertarians refuse to accept this fact so they end up doing stupid shit like starting Libertarians for Trump.

 more» 
20 March 2016
 
 
On Suicide
by Concerned Briton
 sub-topic» General

Speaking for myself, I just don’t think that humans are supposed to live like we are living today. Multiculturalism, endless TV propaganda, gadgets, commutes, pressure for consumerism, ties to debt, threats of losing your job/being undercut or replaced.

Thanks to the advent of feminism and the breakdown of family traditions, marriage, etc…. men, particularly white men I think, feel they have no role or unique place in the order of society. They are under assault at all times…….they are the sexists, the misogynists, the racists, the ones to blame for all the world’s problems.

They are regarded as poor fathers, easily suspected as paedophiles if doing community work, an optional extra to a woman and child. Many indeed are – but I don’t think life was always this way. Something is going seriously wrong, something is jarring and alienating about the way things are heading.

 more» 
19 March 2016
 
 
On Killer Bipartisanship
by Lucy Steigerwald
 sub-topic» General

One grim party game for election 2016 involves the question, which candidate will be the least bloodthirsty? There is no answer to be found, just educated guesses. Sen. Bernie Sanders and wildcard Donald Trump might be the least overtly, specifically hawkish candidates left, but neither of them can be trusted not to continue the warmonger status quo.

 more» 
15 March 2016
 
 
Another Open Letter to Bernie Sanders
by Don Boudreaux
 sub-topic» General

I’m told that you’re a principled man who sincerely cares about the poor and that you object to rigging the economy in favor of the rich. If what I’m told is true, then surely you misspoke – grievously so – last night. Surely your principled compassion for the poor leads you to support, rather than oppose, greater economic opportunity for destitute Mexicans even if that opportunity means more intense competition for some American workers. The poorest American workers, after all, are far wealthier than are the Mexicans against whom they compete. Therefore, given your principles and compassion, you cannot possibly really support what your (no doubt carelessly worded) claim suggests you support – namely, government-imposed tariffs and other trade barriers that rig the economic system to benefit the ‘haves’ (that is, American workers) at the expense of the ‘have nots’ (that is, Mexican workers).

 more» 
14 March 2016
 
 
The worthless, lazy uncle – Uncle Sam
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

How do you like supporting that worthless, lazy uncle- Uncle Sam?

 more» 
06 March 2016
 
 
A 600 Year old truth
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

Every president is worse than the ones before- each builds upon the abuses and violations of their predecessors and make up their own. If they claim to be reducing government, you can bet they are lying and building bigger government behind you back while you are distracted. When any president leaves office your liberty will be damaged a bit more than it was when he took office.

Because liberty NEVER comes from politics. You have to make it yourself. And TAKE it yourself. You can't exercise your liberty while obeying "laws"- liberty is the province of the outlaw.

 more» 
04 March 2016
 
 
Brexit wil be a Leap into Freedom
by Get Britain Out
 sub-topic» General

You may have also heard, the Prime Minister has banned all the Brexit government ministers from accessing vital briefings and documents which relate to the European Union. He has also banned civil servants from working with them - even if it’s necessary for their ministerial work.

 more» 
01 March 2016
 
 
Once more into the breach on prostitution
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

The correct form of the law is therefore very simple indeed. We do indeed say that any consenting adult may have sex with any other consenting adult as they wish. We do not regard the addition of cash payment to the process as changing this. Similarly, anyone may offer a massage to another for payment or not for payment. We do not regard the addition of erotic to this process as changing the basic liberty either. Thus the law should be that both the selling and purchase of sex should be, must be, legal, with whatever limitations necessary to protect those who are not adult and or who do not consent.

 more» 
27 February 2016
 
 
Reclaiming Our Sovereignty
by British Constitution Group
 sub-topic» General

A political elite has for some time manipulated the electoral system to deprive the people of true democratic representation by constructing a party political system that has allowed, indeed encouraged, acts of treason to have been committed.

As a direct consequence of the betrayal of the British people by the collective political establishment, and others, the British Constitution Group is calling for Lawful Rebellion, as is our right under article 61 Magna Carta 1215.

Too many politicians pay lip-service to the principles of democracy whilst serving the interests of self and party, which has allowed patronage, greed and corruption to infect our system of governance to levels beyond anything that could be imagined or accepted by the British people. Whereas the British people have expected that the good elements within our system of governance would control and rein in the bad, it is now perfectly clear that rather than expose corruption and greed, the good elements have themselves become infected and corrupt.

 more» 
23 February 2016
 
 
Big Government Creates Political Polarization
by Randall Holcombe
 sub-topic» General

Big government creates political polarization because government expands beyond activities that meet with general agreement into activities that set the interests of some citizens against the interests of others.

 more» 
22 February 2016
 
 
Life after Scalia
by Paul Jacob
 sub-topic» General

Now, our Democratic president could negotiate with the Republican Senate majority, come up with a consensus (yeah, right) or compromise choice (watch out).

But don’t hold your breath.

You may also want to plug your ears. There will be shouting. The media will overwhelmingly take Obama’s side — surprise, surprise — and berate Republicans for obstructing.

 more» 
06 February 2016
 
 
Real Conservatism
by Laurence M. Vance
 sub-topic» General

Here are forty things that real conservatives do, think, believe, and support which show that they and Trump are merely peas in the same pod:

 more» 
30 January 2016
 
 
A New President Won’t Change Anything
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

The life of the lie is the mindset of the American people that tells them that the welfare-state, warfare-state way of life is “freedom and free enterprise.”

The reality is that the welfare state is the opposite of freedom and free enterprise. It is a political-economic system in which people are using the force of government to take money and income from everyone else, even while doing their best to protect their own income and wealth from being plundered. It is a system of coerced, mandatory charity, one that involves everyone warring against everyone else.

 more» 
25 January 2016
 
 
Major victory for the Human Rights Act
by Liberty
 sub-topic» General

The Court of Appeal ruled (using the HRA) that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act is incompatible with journalists' right to freedom of expression, because it allows the state to pry into journalists' work without any proper safeguards. This judgment is a major victory for the free press.

 more» 
10 January 2016
 
 
Reforming the Libertarian Party
by L. Neil Smith
 sub-topic» General

My experience as a candidate taught me that the more openly frank libertarians are about what they stand for, the more enthusiastic the audience and the higher the vote totals. Don't let anybody tell you differently. People sought me out after the election to tell me that they disagreed with me about a lot, but voted for me because I spoke the truth. These are not times for timidity, or for censoring ourselves.

 more» 
30 December 2015
 
 
Hold on to your butts...
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

V*ters will get the president they deserve- unfortunately, they force the stupid bugger on the rest of us.

 more» 
29 December 2015
 
 
Our future has been commandeered
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

In the end, it comes down to the issue of will: Do we believe that we have a right to live and act according to our own minds? Or do we simply evade such considerations?

The usual unexamined slogans (“We have to work through our democratic institutions.”) merely lock us into place as will-less cogs in a hierarchy that hasn’t changed in any of our lifetimes. Truthfully, it’s just obscured slavery: “Pay attention to the flashing lights and keep doing as we say.”

There are answers to all our problems, and we are more than capable of reclaiming our future. But that will never happen if we keep surrendering our wills to the same elites who took it from us.

 more» 
30 November 2015
 
 
Dear Progressives
by Aniruddha Ravisankar
 sub-topic» General

I consider myself a citizen of the world and I care for the welfare of the entire human species. I know you do, too. It is never too late to embrace classical liberalism, the philosophy that has always cared about the world beyond borders and about the interests of people, irrespective of their gender, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

 more» 
29 November 2015
 
 
Dear Conservatives
by Bill Wirtz
 sub-topic» General

The choice lies between governing someone’s everyday life — just as socialists want to govern others’ business opening hours and spending while oversubsidizing and overregulating — or trusting your neighbor to run his life just as he trusts you to run yours.

And that choice is yours now.

 more» 
11 November 2015
 
 
A Federal Britain?
by Diego Zuluaga
 sub-topic» General

Many of the problems the UK faces today – from an acute shortage of housing to an inefficient health service and underperforming schools – are made worse by centralisation. Just imagine how much easier it would be to arrive at optimal policy if local communities had the ability to reform and experiment with new ways of delivering services based on local needs. We might see school vouchers in Lincolnshire, greater competition between hospitals in Devon, planning liberalisation in Norwich and an end to the smoking ban in Newport. Crucially, decentralisation would enable us to try new ways of doing things without having to implement them in the UK as a whole. This would dramatically reduce the costs of potential failure, and also allow for different reforms in different places. After all, not all of us share the same vision of the good life – why would we all want the same sort of government policies?

 more» 
07 November 2015
 
 
How the Federal Minimum Wage Helped Bankrupt Puerto Rico
by Joseph Hammond
 sub-topic» General

A significant contributing factor to Puerto Rico’s situation is the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage. Speaking to the PanAm Post, Juan Carlos Hidalgo, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, noted: “Puerto Rico’s per capita GDP is 60 percent of Mississippi’s, the poorest state on the mainland. As we have seen elsewhere, high minimum-wage levels harm low-skilled workers and minorities. It keeps the unskilled from improving their situation. Puerto Rico has one of the lowest labor-participation rates in the Western Hemisphere.”

 more» 
04 November 2015
 
 
Abolish All DUI Laws!
by Marc J. Victor
 sub-topic» General

We don’t need DUI laws to deal with any of this tragic, irresponsible, and serious criminal conduct. Indeed, although these people could be charged with DUI, many prosecutors don’t bother charging these people with DUI. People who drive drunk and kill other people are charged with either murder or manslaughter. I don’t propose repealing these criminal laws. When drunk drivers cause accidents resulting in serious injuries to other people, they get charged with aggravated felony assault. I don’t propose repealing these laws either. In short, we don’t need DUI laws to either deter or punish people who cause harm to others as a result of their irresponsible drunk driving.

 more» 
02 November 2015
 
 
The War on Cars is a War on Workers and the Poor
by Gary Galles
 sub-topic» General

Why is automobile use so desirable:

  • Automobiles have far greater and more flexible passenger and cargo-carrying capacities.
  • They allow direct, point-to-point service.
  • They allow self-scheduling rather than requiring advance planning.
  • They save time.
  • They have far better multi-stop trip capability (this is why restrictions on auto use punish working mothers most).
  • They offer a safer, more comfortable, more controllable environment, from the seats to the temperature to the music to the company.

 more» 
25 October 2015
 
 
Save Freedom of Information
by The TaxPayers' Alliance
 sub-topic» General

There are currently calls to limit FOI. We think that is deeply troubling – if anything, it should be extended, perhaps even to private sector organisations carrying out public projects on the taxpayers’ pound.

 more» 
23 October 2015
 
 
The Mandatory Voting Panacea
by James Bovard
 sub-topic» General

Most citizens do not believe that the government has “the consent of the governed” because the rulers brazenly disdain the values and preferences of the citizenry. Polls show that not since 1964 have a majority of Americans favored increasing the size and power of the federal government. But politicians have perennially scorned voters’ preference and continually enlarged the arsenal of penalties and prohibitions bureaucrats deploy against private citizens. Presidents and congressmen prattle that their actions embody the “will of the people” — even though no citizen asked to be fettered with an $18 trillion national debt.

 more» 
07 October 2015
 
 
The Outsiders
by Heather Madden
 sub-topic» General

This frustration with the direction of the country and disdain for establishment politics has opened the door for outsider candidates to dominate the playing field like never before. It seems that even governors have been spurned for not being far enough removed from Washington influence. Accordingly, we’ve recently witnessed a wealthy former reality TV star, a neurosurgeon with no political experience, a former tech CEO, and a quirky Senator who openly embraces the label of socialist outperform the establishment favorites.

 more» 
06 September 2015
 
 
A Reply to Robert Henderson about Jeremy Corbyn
by David McDonagh
 sub-topic» General

Corbyn is only popular with fools who love the Lenin-Hitler outlook. Politics, including democracy, is worship of the jackboot and a sheer hatred of liberty. Fascist politics is a pleonasm; be it red fascism or brown. The vote is even more totalitarian. Maybe we ought to vote to see if you can use the toilet.

 more» 
03 September 2015
 
 
More unelected politicians filling the lords
by Unlock Democracy
 sub-topic» General

45 new unelected politicians are heading to the House of Lords today after David Cameron finally announced the names of the new peers. The list of appointments includes the usual suspects, from big party donors like multi-millionaire investment banker James Lupton, lobbyists, a host of special advisers, and MPs who were kicked out by the voters. They’ve even found a peerage for former MP Douglas Hogg, who claimed expenses to clean his moat.

 more» 
18 July 2015
 
 
Politics is Destroying Your Soul
by Aaron Ross Powell
 sub-topic» General

But politics doesn’t just make the world around us worse. It makes us worse, as well. When we participate in politics—by seeking office, by voting—we take part in a system where we attempt to decide for others while they attempt to decide for us, and where those decisions, whoever makes them, are backed by violence or, at the very least, the threat of violence. It’s a system where the participants say to each other, “I know what’s best for you, you need to do what I say, and if you don’t, these men with guns will threaten you or take your money or lock you in a cage or kill you.” Such a system encourages us to deal with each other in ways beneath the standards of behavior we ought to reach for, and it encourages us to see each other not as friends and companions and fellow seekers of the good life, but as enemies and rivals and obstacles in the way of finding happiness.

 more» 
28 June 2015
 
 
UKIP and the Gay Pride March
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» General

However, part of the right of association is the right not to associate. Two men should certainly have the right to live together in matrimony. But no one should be forced to bake their wedding cake. If you are running a business, you are risking your money and your time. If you do not wish to do business with people, for whatever reason, that should be your unquestioned right. It may be unwise of you to turn away paying business. It may be small-minded of you. But that should be your right. It is a right of exactly the same kind as the right of two men to have sex with each other.

 more» 
21 June 2015
 
 
Five Reasons the MI6 Story is a Lie
by Craig Murray
 sub-topic» General

5) The paper publishing the story is owned by Rupert Murdoch. It is sourced to the people who brought you the dossier on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, every single “fact” in which proved to be a fabrication. Why would you believe the liars now?

 more» 
08 June 2015
 
 
Presidential Politics: They’re All Conservatives
by Thomas L. Knapp
 sub-topic» General

As reliably as seconds ticking by on an expensive wristwatch, Republican presidential candidates loudly and vehemently identify themselves as “conservatives.” We’re used to hearing politicians lie, but these politicians are telling the truth for once. They ARE all conservatives.

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, lie constantly about their political orientations. They label themselves “liberals” or even “progressives.” But they are conservatives, too.

 more» 
26 May 2015
 
 
No, Cameron, you can never have ‘too much’ tolerance
by Frank Furedi
 sub-topic» General

One possible reason why Cameron feels he can associate tolerance with passivity is because, in recent decades, tolerance has been redefined as a polite gesture of non-judgementalism. In official documents and school texts, tolerance is presented as a polite character trait, rather than as a way of responding to beliefs and views with which one disagrees. Indeed, school texts on tolerance frequently treat it as synonymous with non-judgementalism. Non-judgementalism is indeed a passive act, as it involves a refusal to criticise and engage with conflicting views. But non-judgementalism is alien to the principle of tolerance. Being tolerant involves the act of judgement because we can only be tolerant towards beliefs and views with which we disagree. According to the classical-liberal outlook, tolerance involves an act of judgement and discrimination. Nevertheless, this act of judgement should not serve as a prelude to censoring another person’s wrong opinion, because tolerance demands respect for people’s right to hold beliefs in accordance with their consciences.

 more» 
21 May 2015
 
 
No, we don’t want to bring back National Service
For the extremely simple reason that it is slavery to the State
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

But hugely more important than any of those practical reasons is the moral one. National Service is slavery to the State. For 18 months, whatever the service period is, they must put aside their lives to become a cog in the designs of the politicians. This is not something that a civilised society does, impose such loss of liberty upon all.

That military service benefits those who volunteer is just dandy. But the important word there is “volunteer”. The imposition of conscription upon all, whether military or the various “compulsory community service” options being bandied about is an abhorrence.

 more» 
18 May 2015
 
 
It’s time to make an even more radical offer to the old coalfields
by David Davis
 sub-topic» General

If we did what I say, then the Tories would clean up, and LabourNazi parties of all shades from red to orange to green would wither and die in minutes. England would never have to suffer socialism again.

Will that do for starters?

 more» 
17 May 2015
 
 
It’s time to make a radical offer to the old coalfields
by Mark Wallace
 sub-topic» General

It is undeniable that despite our recent victory many people doubt or actively fear Conservative motives. There has been detailed analysis of some of these groups – younger voters, ethnic minority voters, urban voters, public sector voters – but little attention has been paid to the old mining communities, one of the most pronounced strongholds of anti-Conservative feeling.

 more» 
14 May 2015
 
 
At A Local Election Count: A Report From The Frontline Of GramscoFabiaNazism
by Mustela nivalis
 sub-topic» General

The Greens’ influence on policies will increase at an even faster pace than the number of their council seats. Because, like the labourites, they really, really, believe. And they have, in the BBC and in the educational blob, huge propagandistic foghorns. Their creed is slightly different from the reds in that they don’t want to remodel man in their image but instead adjust him to the needs of nature according to their supposedly enlightened views. Meaning they want to subordinate man to Gaia. But the overarching goal is essentially the same: “equality” (everyone wearing a green shirt …?). I didn’t see any Greens at the count with an obvious labourite-like force field, but they do exist. Caroline Lucas is one such specimen. Even if I didn’t see any in my local patch yesterday there are certainly many more of them. Give them time, and there definitely will be.

 more» 
13 May 2015
 
 
Trademark Terrorism: Hotel Chain Sends Cease and Desist Letter to 1,000-Year-Old Village for Using its Own Name
by Michael Krieger
 sub-topic» General

This isn’t about free trade, it is about protecting multi-national corporations from changes made down the road by governments after the plebs realize how completely sold out they have been. Moreover, you know something is truly evil when there is a complete media blackout on the topic.

 more» 
11 May 2015
 
 
Save Our Human Rights Act
by Liberty
 sub-topic» General

As the dust settles on an election campaign that has been described as both ‘boring and stage-managed’ and ‘a recipe for mayhem’, it’s clear that the result has confounded politicians and polling experts alike. But - as we know all too well at Liberty - whoever you vote for, the Government always gets in.

 more» 
10 May 2015
 
 
Voting Reform Now
by Unlock Democracy
 sub-topic» General

Like you, we’re still waiting for the final numbers. But it’s already clear that our voting system is breaking down before our eyes. The new Parliament simply doesn’t match the way we voted.

 more» 
05 May 2015
 
 
Speech to the Swinton Circle, April 2015
by Godfrey Bloom
 sub-topic» General

So what, exactly has been missed? what will eventually have to be addressed forced by circumstances? A complete reform of welfarism, the deathwatch beetle in the soul of the western industrial democracies. Reform of the electoral system, generally accepted to have failed, and an overdue national examination of the system on the model of the 1830s Reform Acts. An unequivocal return to the principles of English Law, starting with liberty of contract and the abandonment of Enabling Acts, and a return to the House of Lords as the supreme arbiter of law. The abandonment of fractional reserve banking, tax payer funded banking guarantees. The disestablishment of central banks and legal tender laws. The return to a non-progressive tax regime a Marxist concept, adoption of Adam Smith ideas, ‘each according to his means’ and a constitutional cap on government spending as a % of GDP. A complete rejection of state education and a system of primary education free from politics. A complete review of failed crime and punishment policy starting with the disastrous drug prohibition policy. A society where freedom under the law is paramount and the total disestablishment of government enforcement agencies. The courts are the arbiters and enforcement institutions in a fair society. The resurrection of the 1688/9 Bill of Rights.

 more» 
02 May 2015
 
 
Why Political Libertarianism Doesn’t Stand A Chance In the UK
by Dan Greene
 sub-topic» General

So what would be needed would be a full-on cultural change that involves a large section of the public and at least a portion of the mainstream media – especially the mainstream media because despite all the great alternative media that is now available old school mainstream media scare tactics still work here and they work well. The mainstream media in the UK always try to shut down any kind of radical change, that’s why the ‘yes’ side was demonized by almost every newspaper and TV station (with the notable exception of the Glasgow Herald) during the Scottish independence referendum that is also why they are going so hard after UKIP right now. So this kind of extreme change could take a generation or two to come along would, in my opinion have to occur before we could see fertile ground for political libertarianism to take root in the UK.

 more» 
30 April 2015
 
 
Grand Coalition of Folly
by Alex Rantwell
 sub-topic» General

The very idea of it seems the stuff of nightmares - the two parties who have presided over a century of often farcical decline teaming up to accelerate their programme of ruin. From the Tories' misadventure in Suez to Labour's humiliating panhandling to the IMF, by way of botched nationlisations, botched privatisations, a mountain of debt and and an ill judged foray into continental politics which has been an expensive disaster, to the near break up of the United Kingdom. The two main parties have little to recommend them besides keeping the other lot out. And indeed when you speak to people intending to vote for either of the two main parties, that's the reason that seems to come up most often.

 more» 
14 April 2015
 
 
The Law Is Not What It Says
by Timothy J. Taylor
 sub-topic» General

In the final analysis then the law is what the Supreme Court of the United States says, except for the fact that it can change its interpretation of the law anytime it likes; the vote tally can, and often does, change from case to case. So the law still is not necessarily what it says. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The law is a crapshoot. Lawyers can argue and courts can decide that white is black and black is white.

 more» 
12 April 2015
 
 
Miliband vs. Democracy
by The People's Pledge
 sub-topic» General

2. Why is it “playing political games” to vote in a referendum on how Britain is governed by the EU, yet you don’t seem to take the same view about voting in an election on which party governs Britain - a contradiction, surely?

3. Couldn’t your entire case against holding an EU referendum, based as it is on opposition to one particular outcome, also be made against holding a general election – and where does that leave your commitment to democracy?

 more» 
06 April 2015
 
 
People are Wising Up
by Christopher Burg
 sub-topic» General

Your masters want you to vote because that gives them legitimacy. The fewer people who vote the less legitimate their rule appears to be. This is why wonderful bastions of democracy like Australia and North Korea make voting mandatory.

 more» 
31 March 2015
 
 
A puzzling policy commitment from Scottish Labour
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

So, it is not that the benefits system is worse today than it was: it’s that we’ve a new technology, those food banks, to deal with an already extant problem. That is, it’s a supply shock, not a demand one.

At which point we come to something of a logical puzzle. The little platoons have worked out a way, a very effective way, to deal with the inefficiencies of the State. The response is thus to nationalise by that very State the thing that alleviates the State’s inefficiencies?

Umm, why not just leave the little platoons to get on with the job they are doing so effectively?

 more» 
17 March 2015
 
 
The Delusions of the Left
by Jeffrey Tucker
 sub-topic» General

Dear naive leftists: A century of evidence is in. Your policies help the ruling class at the expense of everyone else. It’s never been otherwise. Wake up, open your eyes, and see the truth for what it is. The state helps itself and not the people you claim to favor. Every policy that expands the power of government actually intensifies the means of oppressing the people you claim to champion.

 more» 
12 March 2015
 
 
Thatcherism: What went wrong?
by Mustela nivalis
 sub-topic» General

It seems that Thatcher understood the religious nature of the life-and-death conflict with socialism (the current form of power religion) we are in – at least, basically. She failed because she didn’t, or couldn’t, apply this creed with the necessary consistency in monetary, educational and cultural policy. But leftists, in love as they are with power, i.e. worshippers of the power religion, will not even begin to look at this cause. Instead, they want to say: ‘Look, Thatcher tried to create a “giving society” by cutting taxes. She failed. Therefore it is wrong to cut taxes. And it is right to leave the “giving” to the state. “Saving”? What’s that?’ That seems to be the essence of Eliza Filby’s article.

Thatcher was right to want to ‘change the soul’. She was right to think that economics is the proper vehicle. But it is not the only one, and even it will get you nowhere if you read the wrong instructions.

 more» 
03 March 2015
 
 
Social Conservatives are the Worst Thing to Happen to Libertarianism
by Christopher Burg
 sub-topic» General

Now that I’ve bitched publicly about the damage I believe social conservatives have done to libertarianism I want to make a proposal. Since I’m a libertarian this proposal is made with the understanding that individuals are free to ignore it without consequence. But I would like to see libertarians utilize voluntary association to disassociate with people who express bigoted ideals and loudly shout them down when they start spewing their ignorant bullshit. In other words make it well known that they’re not welcome in libertarian circles. This is the only way I see libertarianism being able to divorce itself from the filth that social conservative have infested it with.

 more» 
27 February 2015
 
 
Down with the Presidency - Part 4
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
 sub-topic» General

In fact, it is the obligation of every patriot not only denounce a president’s actions at home, but to question, harass, and seek to rein in the presidency when it has sent troops abroad. That is when the watchful eye of the citizenry is most important. If we hold our tongues under some mistaken notion of patriotism, we surrender what remains of our freedoms. Yet during the Gulf War, even those who had courageously opposed this intervention in advance mouthed the old cliches about politics and the water’s edge and “supporting our the troops” when the presidency started massacring Iraqis. Will the same happen when the troops are sent to China, a country without a single aircraft carrier, in retaliation for some trumped-up incident in the tradition of the Maine, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, and the Gulf of Tonkin?

 more» 
25 February 2015
 
 
Down with the Presidency - Part 3
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
 sub-topic» General

What the neocon logic comes down to is this. The U.S. has a moral responsibility to run the world. But the citizens are too stupid to understand this. That’s why we can’t use democratic institutions like Congress in this ambition. We must use the executive power of the presidency. It must have total control over foreign affairs, and never bow to Congressional carping.

Once this point is conceded, the game is over. The demands of a centralized and all-powerful presidency and its interventionist foreign policy are ideologically reinforcing. One needs the other. If the presidency is supreme in global affairs, it will be supreme in domestic affairs. If it is supreme at home, there will be no states rights, no absolute property rights, no true liberty from government oppression. The continued centralization of government in the presidency represents the end of America and its civilization.

 more» 
23 February 2015
 
 
Down with the Presidency - Part 2
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
 sub-topic» General

The presidency is seemingly bound by law, but in practice it can do just about anything it pleases. It can order up troops anywhere in the world, just as Clinton bragged in his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention. It can plow up a religious community in Texas and bury its members because they got on somebody’s nerves at the Justice Department. It can tap our phones, read our mail, watch our bank accounts, and tell us what we can and cannot eat, drink, and smoke.

 more» 
21 February 2015
 
 
Down with the Presidency - Part 1
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
 sub-topic» General

The presidency must be destroyed. It is the primary evil we face, and the cause of nearly all our woes. It squanders the national wealth and starts unjust wars against foreign peoples that have never done us any harm. It wrecks our families, tramples on our rights, invades our communities, and spies on our bank accounts. It skews the culture towards decadence and trash. It tells lie after lie. Teachers used to tell schools kids that anyone can be president. This is like saying anyone can go to Hell. It’s not an inspiration; it’s a threat.

 more» 
11 February 2015
 
 
Left, Right, Liberal, Tyrannical
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

So, I took away my version of the Nolan chart from the left side of Figure 4, leaving only the Liberty/Tyranny Axis on the right side. I then drew a new horizontal axis at the bottom on the left side, with a scale of plus 100% (extreme progressive) to minus 100% (extreme conservative). The middle of the scale – those perfectly balanced people who can take progress, or lack of it, with equanimity – is represented by 0%.

Lastly, I divided the new chart into six boxes, according to the labels on the two axes. Liberal, Confused and Tyrannical on the vertical axis, and Progressive and Conservative on the horizontal. The result was Figure 6:

 more» 
30 January 2015
 
 
Rising From the Bottom to the Top Has Got to Stop - According to the Green Party
by Harry Saville
 sub-topic» General

There are many, many people in the UK who live in relative poverty. There are millions more throughout the world who live in absolute poverty. The way to lift people out of poverty in the UK is through creating sustainable jobs, boosting incomes and improving peoples' lives. The way to lift people out of poverty globally is through developing and supporting economies overseas through trade, investment and targeted aid, in turn creating sustainable jobs, boosting incomes and improving lives. All these require economic growth, in the UK and abroad. When the Economist's journalist therefore suggested the Green's opposition to consumption and economic growth might be problematic for the poorest in the world, Ms. Bennett is alleged to have replied that being poor in India wasn't so bad as to be on benefits in Britain, "because at least everyone else there is poor too." Promoting global economic growth is clearly not on the Green agenda, and clearly they're quite content with the notion that this might mean that people rising from the bottom to the top might have to stop.

 more» 
14 January 2015
 
 
Why not vote?
by Davi Barker
 sub-topic» General

People usually assume that people don’t vote because they are apathetic, and I’m sure some are, but for me the opposite was true. When I made a conscious decision not to vote I immediately felt a desperate fire to find some action or strategy that might actually affect change. I explored civil disobedience, and tax resistance. I became self employed, both to maximize my personal freedom, and to take control of what causes I support and avoid. I wrote letters and engaged in boycotts. I signed up for the Free State Project, and got involved in Bitcoin. It was as if voting had acted as a pressure valve, and disabusing myself of the illusion that it made a difference forced me to find some direct action that did.

 more» 
26 December 2014
 
 
The greatest Constitutional document of all
by Rob Natelson
 sub-topic» General

King John (reigned 1199-1216) could be charming and efficient, but he was ruthless and utterly untrustworthy, and several times he drove his subjects to the point of rebellion. Out of one of those rebellions emerged the most influential constitutional document in Anglo-American history—perhaps the most influential of all time.

 more» 
23 December 2014
 
 
Don't mention immigration!
by Roger Helmer MEP
 sub-topic» General

But broadly the document, catchily titled “Campaigning Against UKIP”, is right. Immigration is a vote-loser for Labour, which virtually invented mass immigration as a deliberate policy. As they used to say, “Tony Blair hated the British working class, so he decided to import a new one of his own”. So in an outburst of positive cooperation, I’d like to offer some further helpful advice, in a fraternal spirit, to Labour candidates.

 more» 
18 December 2014
 
 
Anti-Government Movements
by Randall Holcombe
 sub-topic» General

The common element in all four of these movements is that they object to the scope and power of government, and the way government power is arbitrarily used for the benefit of the elite and to the detriment of the masses. Currently, these anti-government movements are separate entities, and the main players in each have not appeared to recognize the objections they share in common to the scope and power of government.

 more» 
02 December 2014
 
 
A Martian's assessment of earth
by Godfrey Bloom
 sub-topic» General

Every economic or social mores is government inspired. Sadly, as things get worse there is a call for more not less state interference. Let journalists and academics start learning a new question, “Is this the role of government?” The answer 99% of the time is a resounding no.

 more» 
22 November 2014
 
 
Mr. Cameron and Mrs. May
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer
 sub-topic» General

Mr. Cameron and Mrs. May
Have both become a little fey.
“Extremism,” or so they say,
Should get adherents put away.

Yet, as so many times before,
They choose, unwisely, to ignore
Their premise’s big, fatal flaw;
It contradicts the rule of law.

 more» 
19 November 2014
 
 
Liar, Fantasist or Fool?
Cameron can not reform the EU. The only question is why he's telling us he can
by Alex Rantwell
 sub-topic» General

It makes me wonder if Cameron is less of a manipulator or fantasist and instead genuinely misunderstands the whole nature of the project. Perhaps he genuinely believes the line trotted out by generations of Tory leaders, that Europe is a trade agreement that got a little out of hand. This would actually mean he was worse than a deluded fantasist or a liar, which we expect of our politicians, and in fact a blithering idiot who has somehow managed to get himself to the position of Prime Minister without even a basic grasp of the nature of the European Union. Hardly a strong position for someone hoping to lead Britain to a better position in our most important foreign relationship.

 more» 
18 November 2014
 
 
Burn the F****ing System to the Ground
by Clark
 sub-topic» General

The system is not fixable because it is not broken. It is working, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to give the insiders their royal prerogatives, and to shove the regulations, the laws, and the debt up the asses of everyone else.

 more» 
15 November 2014
 
 
Relax - Both Parties are Going Extinct
by The Daily Beast
 sub-topic» General

What’s going on? The short version is that political, cultural, and even economic power has been decentralizing and unraveling for a long time. Whether you like it or not, The Libertarian Moment is here, a technologically driven individualization of experience and a breakdown of the large institutions—governments, corporations, churches, you name it—that used to govern and structure our lives. The result is that top-down systems, whether public or private, right wing or left wing, have less and less ability to organize our lives. That’s true whether you’re talking about the workplace, the bedroom, or the bar down the street (that may now be serving legal pot). This is mostly good, though it’s also profoundly disruptive too.

 more» 
14 November 2014
 
 
Why you shouldn't vote for politicians
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

There are at least three very good reasons why you shouldn’t vote for any politician. First and most obviously, there is all but zero chance that one individual’s vote can ever make a difference, even in which politician gets elected. And a far smaller chance that one individual’s vote can ever influence any policy, even in the slightest.

Second, there’s not much difference between the main parties anyway. In the UK, choosing between the Hoary Gories, the Slaver Party and the Slob Dims is like choosing between being hung, being shot, or being beheaded with an axe. In the USA, the choice between Repressive Reptiles and Depressive Demons doesn’t look much more appealing.

And third, there’s a very strong moral reason why you should never vote for any mainstream political party. For to vote for a political party is to underwrite both that party, and the system within which it exists. It will be taken as an expression of satisfaction with the party’s previous policies, however evil. It enables the next political government, whether or not you voted for it and however badly it behaves, to claim that you gave it an endorsement of legitimacy. It also violates the Law of No Aiding or Abetting, by showing support for the party’s agenda – which, for all the mainstream parties today, is to harm innocent people, to violate rights and to restrict or destroy freedom.

 more» 
13 November 2014
 
 
The General Challenge to People Who Believe There's a Duty to Vote
by Jason Brennan
 sub-topic» General

Most Americans believe there’s a duty to vote; at least, they’ll say they believe in such a duty when answering surveys.

 more» 
01 November 2014
 
 
Supreme Court Shirks Responsibility in Avoiding Sixth Amendment Case
by Ilya Shapiro
 sub-topic» General

The situation that Scalia feared became manifest in Jones for three criminal defendants who were convicted of selling small quantities of drugs but acquitted of conspiracy charges relating to larger quantities. Despite the acquittals, all three received sentences four times greater than any other defendant convicted of the same crimes in the post-Booker era using the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s guidelines.

 more» 
23 October 2014
 
 
Liberty doesn't require you to vote
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

It’s odd that the only choices I see offered concern who you’ll have violating your life, liberty, and property in the near future, depending on which “side” you vote for. Rightful liberty, empowered by self-ownership and self-responsibility, free of official violation, is never offered as an option. It’s antimatter to politics.

 more» 
22 October 2014
 
 
Mandated Charity is Evil, Immoral and Destructive
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

It’s that mindset of governmental dependency that the welfare state has inculcated into the American people. In the process, the traits that characterized our American ancestors, such as can-do, self-reliance, and independence, have fallen by the wayside.

With their embrace of mandated charity, conservatives and liberals have led out nation down the wrong road — the road to moral debauchery, envy, covetousness, looting, plunder, dependency, economic chaos, and financial crises.

 more» 
15 October 2014
 
 
Defections and By-Elections
by Get Britain Out
 sub-topic» General

In many ways, the Scottish referendum can be seen as a test-run of the arguments we Brexiters will be using in our own independence – though our arguments will be markedly different because our currency certainly does not depend on retaining EU membership. What have we learned from it? Big businesses will use every scare-tactic in the book to frighten the public into sticking with the status-quo.

Rest assured - our campaign will be prepared to challenge any and all scaremongering in the event of an In/Out referendum.

 more» 
09 October 2014
 
 
The Danger We Face Is From Within
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

No matter how bad things continue to get, Americans just won’t let go of their welfare-warfare state way of life. Indeed, they don’t even see that their many political and economic woes are rooted in the welfare-warfare state way of life.

Meanwhile, the internal rot grows larger by the day. It’s that internal rot that poses the real danger to America. The same thing happened under the Roman Empire.

 more» 
02 October 2014
 
 
Honesty, Common Sense and a Sound Mind
by Patricia L. Dickson
 sub-topic» General

The only explanation for an individual to not to see what is obvious is for him or her to chooses to ignore facts or deny reality. Ignoring and denying facts involves work. Accepting facts does not require work. In fact, it is easy and less stressful to accept the obvious. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. Two plus two equals four. Liberals will twist themselves into a pretzel in order to ignore facts, deny reality and explain away failure. It depends on the definition of IS. How else can one explain defending President Obama and the Democrat Party’s failed policies?

 more» 
30 September 2014
 
 
Reflections on Politics
by Godfrey Bloom
 sub-topic» General

But I wanted to dig deeper, none of this is new. Any horny handed son of the soil at my local pub is on to the wind scam, yet now they see landowners add to their monstrous single farm payment rent for pipelines to carry CO2 out to sea whilst their neighbours growing tomatoes and cucumbers buy machines to manufacture it to assist production. The local power station, Drax, burns wood chippings from Canada and local grass which takes thousands of acres out of food production. Old age pensioners struggle by on a pittance in the local towns and the greenies claim the moral high ground!

 more» 
13 September 2014
 
 
Another reason the Home Secretary can go hang
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

Imagine if someone suggested that at some future date a Labour Party Minister should have the ability to sack the duly elected Member of Parliament for Maidenhead? Theresa May would be first upon the barricades protesting this vile intrusion into the democratic process. Which is a useful point for all to remember. When in power never try to claim powers that you really wouldn’t want your opponents to have next time around.

 more» 
11 September 2014
 
 
Thoughts on Scottish Independence
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» General

Take Scotland out of our electoral politics, and Labour would become largely the party of the ethnic minorities and the public sector. These interest groups are unlikely yet to secure it victory in a general election. We could, then, for the first time, think seriously about voting for a party we actually liked. I repeat that England has its own authoritarian radicals. But I also repeat that, without the Scottish political class and its client vote in the Scottish cities, the native enemies of our ways would lose much of their hold.

 more» 
22 August 2014
 
 
Patent Examiners Regularly Engaged In Fraud And Abuse Via Telework Program
by the and-lied-about-it dept
 sub-topic» General

For quite some time now, we've discussed how the USPTO had a massive backlog, and that former boss David Kappos solved this "problem" by getting examiners to approve more patents faster, mainly by lowering their standards and granting more patents. Whenever we write about this, we hear about overworked patent examiners who are really trying their best. Except, it appears that the system is actually rife with abuse and fraud by patent examiners:

 more» 
03 August 2014
 
 
Freedom is Neither 'Left'nor 'Right'
by Richard Ebeling
 sub-topic» General

Society is not some giant chessboard, to use a metaphor of Adam Smith's, on which the social engineer moves us about to suit his political pleasure. Rather, the civil society of free men is one in which we form patterns of association with one another as we find them good, desirable and beneficial.

The great political dichotomy, therefore, is between those who advocate force (often and perversely in the name of "good intentions" and "noble causes") and those who value freedom (for the flowering of the individual and the fostering of a just and prosperous society).

For this reason, the cause of liberty continues to transcend the erroneous distinction between "left" and right."

 more» 
31 July 2014
 
 
Labor Unions are Anti-Labor
by George Reisman
 sub-topic» General

To anyone who understands the role of the productivity of labor in raising real wages, it should be obvious that the unions’ policy of combating the rise in the productivity of labor renders them in fact a leading enemy of the rise in real wages. However radical this conclusion may seem, however much at odds it is with the prevailing view of the unions as the leading source of the rise in real wages over the last hundred and fifty years or more, the fact is that in combating the rise in the productivity of labor, the unions actively combat the rise in real wages!

 more» 
18 July 2014
 
 
The Question Is, Why Should ANYONE Trust the Government?
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» General

So why should anyone trust the US government? It’s been the tool of one economic ruling class or another ever since the big merchants, bond holders, land barons and slave owners at Philadelphia created it. At the most delusional height of confidence in government, it was promoting torture, murder, terror and tyranny to defend a neocolonial world order — and it never stopped doing that. Indeed, the state takes advantage of every increase in public trust to ramp up its criminal activities.

So maybe popular distrust of government isn’t such a bad thing.

 more» 
12 July 2014
 
 
Well-meaning thieves
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

I have had people argue that they aren't thieves because they work for their money... they don't believe it is work to mug people in the park, or to break into houses and carry out all the valuables? Not only is it "work", it is dangerous "work". Do they believe those thieves should be compensated for the hard work they do?

Well, a mugger's "job" isn't wanted by me – and neither is the government school teacher's position, nor the cop's, nor the bureaucrat's. I willingly pay for what I want, but when I am forced to pay for what I don't want and would prefer to do without, I am being robbed. And so are you.

 more» 
11 July 2014
 
 
Legal action: Christian bakers in gay campaign cake row
by The Christian Institute
 sub-topic» General

“All the McArthurs want is to run their bakery according to their Christian beliefs. There won’t be many situations where they need to turn down an order but this is obviously one of them. No one should be forced to use their creative skills to promote a cause which goes against their consciences. Imbalanced equality laws are making it increasingly hard for people, especially Christians.

 more» 
06 July 2014
 
 
British Politics for Beginners: Lesson One
by Without Prejudice
 sub-topic» General

 more» 
28 June 2014
 
 
Would You Push the Button?
by Jeffrey Tucker
 sub-topic» General

It strikes me as rather obvious that the state today is declining in its perceived social merit, relevance for the good life, and functioning even at the most basic level. It is being bested at every turn by technology, social organizing, globalization, and private enterprise. In many respects, it is more vicious than ever; in more profound respects, it is more useless than ever.

We need to start thinking about what life would be like without the state. This is why button pushing is such a fun thought experiment, and so much better than wallowing in the bloody childhood fantasies of public-school civics texts.

 more» 
14 June 2014
 
 
Total Recall?
by Alexandra Runswick
 sub-topic» General

Last week’s Queens Speech finally saw the Government announce their intention to bring forward a Recall Bill for debate in Parliament. Good news you would think. But it was yet another tick box exercise rather than real reform.

Why? Because instead of empowering voters with the right to recall an errant MP, government want to give the power of recall to a parliamentary committee. And the grounds for recall would be limited to serious financial offences or if an MP was sentenced to 12 months in jail. This is unacceptable.

 more» 
10 June 2014
 
 
Recall stitch-up: The coalition doesn't trust voters to discipline their MPs
by Andy Silvester
 sub-topic» General

Yesterday’s fudge will do the opposite of what it was intended to do; it won’t restore the trust lost in Westminster after the expenses scandal. By offering something that looks like recall, sounds like recall, but very definitely isn’t recall, the coalition is only likely to have widened the gap between the electorate and their representatives.

 more» 
09 June 2014
 
 
Comment re Sean Gabb on UKIP
by Vabadus
 sub-topic» General

It is the Conservative Party, not Labour, that we need to attack. Voting for them is counter-productive, pointless, and inexcusable.

 more» 
08 June 2014
 
 
Earthquake Europe
European election results point to a different road for the continent
by Iain Murray
 sub-topic» General

An earthquake, they called it. The European political establishment looked on helplessly over Memorial Day weekend as elections for representatives to the European Parliament showed populist parties of right and left making large gains—from Britain to Greece, from Spain to Finland. Yet, some already are saying that things won’t change much. A reprise of “Small earthquake in Chile, not many dead”? No, the reality is that European politics have> shifted. And while there are reasons for worry, the future may look brighter for the momentarily dark continent.

 more» 
26 May 2014
 
 
Paramilitary Tactics Learned Abroad, Used at Home
by Ted Baumann
 sub-topic» General

The paramilitaries are from the U.S. government. The objects of their reign of terror are U.S. citizens, living peacefully in their homes on U.S. soil. There is a foreign angle to this, however — the weapons, clothing, tactics and even language these thugs use are all taken straight from U.S. combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 more» 
20 May 2014
 
 
What UKIP Must Learn from the American Liberty Movement
by Robin Koerner
 sub-topic» General

Throughout history, political movements that have captured the young – and thereby secured their longevity – have inspired and impassioned, leaving no doubt about the intention to build something bigger and better than exists today.

Positive vision inspires; policies alone do not. To win in the long-run takes both.

 more» 
13 May 2014
 
 
Politics Makes Life Ugly
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

Politics is ugly by nature. Think about what a political process really involves.

Once a political process is completed, people have a binary choice: either obey or be punished.

At the end of every political process are armed men, violently enforcing it. That’s barbaric, and it’s ugly.

The truth is that we really don’t need those embittering ideologies. And if we ever really did need them, we’ve outgrown them.

 more» 
03 May 2014
 
 
The Sun: False and defamatory
by Roger Helmer MEP
 sub-topic» General

I was deeply shocked today by today’s report, and editorial piece, in the Sun. It claimed that I had said “It’s fine to despise gay people”, that “being gay is a mental health issue”, and that I had suggested that “homophobia is OK”. None of these propositions is true, or remotely relates to my views.

 more» 
02 April 2014
 
 
The "Progressive" Welfare State Fantasy - Part 2
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» General

So the actual dynamic we have here is: 1) the state set up a whole system of artificial scarcities, artificial property rights, monopolies, cartels and entry barriers, which enable an economic ruling class to extract rents of various sorts from the working population; and 2) the welfare state takes a tiny fraction of this surplus (previously extracted with the help of the state) and gives the most destitute of the working class just enough to prevent the disparities of wealth from undermining the levels of aggregate demand needed to keep the system running, and to prevent outright homelessness and starvation leading to political destabilization.

 more» 
01 April 2014
 
 
REVEALED: Government underestimates public sector pension liability by £610 billion
by The TaxPayers' Alliance
 sub-topic» General

The official National Debt is around £1.2 trillion. But that doesn’t include liabilities for public sector pensions, which are kept off the books. Unlike private sector and local government pension plans, no funds are saved to meet the expected pension payments when they become due. The bill is simply left for future taxpayers to pay.

 more» 
31 March 2014
 
 
The "Progressive" Welfare State Fantasy - Part 1
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» General

More recently, as described by Colin Ward, the emerging welfare state bureaucracy in Britain actively suppressed working class mutuals, seeing them as atavistic relics of an outdated era. Then when the welfare state came under attack from the Right, the alternatives it proposed all involved “privatization” of state agencies by selling them off to the highest corporate bidder. So in fact the state itself played a central role in reducing the alternatives to a choice between the bureaucratic centralized welfare state and neoliberal “privatization.”

 more» 
14 March 2014
 
 
A 21st Century Magna Carta?
by Unlock Democracy
 sub-topic» General

The Magna Carta is admired around the world as a symbol of liberty – the first occasion the people of England were granted rights against an absolute king. It will be fitting that we celebrate this important moment in our history, but we must not lose sight of how far we still have to go. We want to hear what you think a Magna Carta for today should contain:

 more» 
10 March 2014
 
 
Head of Dutch Libertarian Party Arrested Just Weeks Before Election
by Peter Beukelman
 sub-topic» General

The Netherlands has become a country where violent criminals can be free to go the next day, while others are locked away in a psychiatric ward for a year (after having already endured a year in jail) for throwing a tealight holder in frustration at the Queen enroute to a presentation about how taxes were going to be wasted the following year. It has become a country in which Toine Manders, who advocates the non-aggression principle, is at risk of missing the first birthday of his son because he is held in a cage by a monopoly of violence that saw their revenue stream threatened.

 more» 
01 March 2014
 
 
Defining the Enemy
by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
 sub-topic» General

One crucial factor in creating a cohesive group is to define who is excluded from membership. Nazi propagandists contributed to the regime's policies by publicly identifying groups for exclusion, inciting hatred or cultivating indifference, and justifying their pariah status to the populace. Nazi propaganda played a crucial role in selling the myth of the “national community” to Germans who longed for unity, national pride and greatness, and a break with the rigid social stratification of the past. But a second, more sinister aspect of the Nazi myth was that not all Germans were welcome in the new community. Propaganda helped to define who would be excluded from the new society and justified measures against the “outsiders”: Jews, Sinti and Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, political dissidents, and Germans viewed as genetically inferior and harmful to “national health” (people with mental illness and intellectual or physical disabilities, epileptics, congenitally deaf and blind persons, chronic alcoholics, drug users, and others).

 more» 
17 February 2014
 
 
What the British people want from their politicians... and what they get
by Robert Henderson
 sub-topic» General

The manifesto described above would not appeal in every respect to ever member of the “disenfranchised majority”. But its general political slant would be palatable to that majority and there would be sufficient within the detail to allow any individual who is currently disenchanted with politics to feel that there were a decent number of important policies for which he or she could happily vote. That is the best any voter can expect in a representative democracy. People could again believe that voting might actually change things.

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14 February 2014
 
 
Courage, mon vieux!
by Roger Helmer MEP
 sub-topic» General

I think that there may be two practical options for a referendum. First, while Miliband is dead set against it, there is significant and increasing pressure on Labour to offer a referendum. It may become a political necessity. Second, the EU machine is pursuing substantial internal changes which will require a new Treaty, and therefore a UK referendum.

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12 February 2014
 
 
William Roache Should Never Have Been Put on Trial
by The Libertarian Alliance
 sub-topic» General

We further suggest that whoever in the Crown Prosecution Service authorised the charges against Mr Roache to go to trial should be named and sacked and deprived of his or her pension.

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30 January 2014
 
 
America's Bipartisan Political Class
by Doug Bandow
 sub-topic» General

Inequality is inevitable in any free society. However, the rule of law can limit political inequality. The starting point should be to make those in government to live by the same laws as the rest of us.

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15 January 2014
 
 
Nothing but Failure for Welfare-Warfare Statists
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

Despite the manifest failure of their most beloved programs, welfare statists and warfare statists just won’t let go. They plead, “We’re not responsible for this. Things just happened that were beyond our control. Judge us by our good intentions, not by the actual results of our statist programs. Please give us 10 more years to turn things around.”

They’re not entitled to another day. They’ve done enough damage. Their statist programs need to be dismantled, not reformed, along with the welfare-warfare departments and agencies that operate them. The time has come to let libertarian principles lead us to peace, prosperity, harmony, and freedom.

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08 January 2014
 
 
Marching Toward Smaller Government
by Jeff D. Opdyke
 sub-topic» General

Why should the 29,200 residents of those five counties pay taxes to and align themselves with a state that does not represent their values and interests — in fact, a state that forces upon them values they find abhorrent and which threaten their local economy? And don’t say they have the freedom to uproot and find somewhere more conducive to their beliefs. While that might be true, it’s just as true that they have the freedom to breakaway and form North Colorado if that best fits their needs.

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07 January 2014
 
 
ode to parasites
by Ted
 sub-topic» General

A tiny bit of research showed me that I could have every bit as much money in my pocket if I moved to the other side. Since the management I was working under was, to be polite, HORRID, I took my leave and moved over to the parasite class.

A parasite on a wholesome host is a bad thing. I’m not so sure how to classify a parasite on an evil beast. Are you?

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04 January 2014
 
 
From the annals of standard bureaucratic behaviour we bring you the RSPCA
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

But the real point comes from what this suggestion tells us about those inside the RSPCA. They're a bureaucracy just doing what bureaucracies do. Which is, as Parkinson pointed out to us, simply exist for the sake of existing. Once established, once past that first flush of success in addressing whatever it is, the point and purpose of a bureaucracy is simply to maintain its own existence and, if possible, expand the budget and size of it. And that's it.

Which is precisely what the RSPCA is doing here. There is no point or purpose to licencing all of the nations pets other than to give the RSPCA something to do. Which is why they have suggested it.

And, of course, why we should tell them where they can get off and the horse they rode in on.

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28 December 2013
 
 
The Criminal ATF
by James Wilson and Jim Babka
 sub-topic» General

If it is wrong for citizens to initiate criminal conspiracies, then it is doubly wrong for "public servants" to do so. Agents of The State are supposed to "serve and protect," not "entrap and sting."

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21 December 2013
 
 
What Divide Between Liberals and Conservatives?
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

But when one deals with principle, it is easy to see that there really isn’t any divide at all. The argument between conservatives and liberals is not over such issues as the role of government in a free society or the meaning of liberty. They both agree that it’s the role of government to take care of people and that that is what freedom is all about. Their differences are over the extent to which they want government taking care of people.

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11 December 2013
 
 
Freedom is the Cure for the Homelessness Problem (and Everything Else!) in America
by Scott Lazarowitz
 sub-topic» General

Alas, to some people the thought of such freedom is so overwhelming and frightening, they fear that it would cause rampant criminality by the masses who presumably need government restrictions on activities to control them.

But we already HAVE rampant criminality being committed against us, by corrupt and covetous, greedy politicians and bureaucrats, banksters and other corporatists, police, prosecutors and judges. Let’s take away their legislative and weaponized means of committing such criminality, frauds and extortions, and such violence against so many millions of innocent people, I say.

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27 November 2013
 
 
"The Commies, the Terrorists, the Uh, Er, Bogeymen are Coming!"
by Butler Shaffer
 sub-topic» General

Should the threat of the “terrorist” ever wear thin – or should Boobus become bored by it – rest assured that the corporate-state forces are resilient enough to fathom the depths of our inner fears of ourselves to find a substitute for the unpleasant task of self-examination. For all that we know, aliens from the planet Xaniptikon – in the galaxy of Andromeda – may already be on their way to destroy us. In that case, we may enlist the “terrorist” forces as allies against the “dreaded Xans.” The post-World War II transformations of Germany, Italy, and Japan from “enemies” to “friends” served the political establishment quite well. There is little doubt that such trickery – bolstered by well-trained and obedient media and academic hacks – will continue to be energized on behalf of keeping the Lemuel Gullibles of society huddled at the feet of those who presume to be their masters.

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23 November 2013
 
 
A More Unequal America
by Hans Bader
 sub-topic» General

Inequality grows hand-in-hand with the growth of the regulatory state. The proliferation of regulations increases economic inequality, since powerful people and politically connected companies know how to shape and manipulate the regulatory process to harm their rivals and enrich themselves at the expense of the public. As the Roman senator and historian Tacitus observed, ‘The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” Moreover, regulations disproportionately increase the cost of consumer staples that are a larger part of middle class people’s budgets than of rich people’s budgets.

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18 November 2013
 
 
Politicians as Interchangeable Units
by Wendy McElroy
 sub-topic» General

The double standards within Obamacare have received little attention compared to the act’s disastrous roll out. For one thing, only comedians (not the mainstream media) seem to discuss the exemptions, all of which have been granted oh so quietly. And the politicians themselves have been unusually mute, especially about their own elite health care.

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