For a New Libertarian

This is the kind of libertarianism that needs to be encouraged, something that is polyvalent and multi-faceted rather than the universalistic nonsense which pervades many libertarian forms of thought and understanding. This is why libertarianism should move beyond markets and a simple defense of private property to something more integrative and nullificatory, such as by recognising the importance of tribalism and civil society as the author does here. (by the blog author)


by Jeff Deist

https://mises.org/blog/new-libertarian Continue reading

The Libertarian Moment: Libertarianism’s Place in Modern Politics

I did a talk for the Libertarian Alliance where I outline the problems with libertarian political engagement and potential solutions that allow for libertarianism to be relevant and radical.

Here is the talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLmlUylfIOQ

And this is the transcript:

The aim of this talk is to look into the idea of a libertarian moment, whereby there will be a particular turning point in the political environment that will provide a pathway for libertarian policies and forms of governance. This idea is encapsulated in the statement, “many people are libertarians, they just don’t know it yet”. Looking in particular at the UK and its political context, as well as parts of the US political makeup, I hope to show why this moment has probably passed on by, and how libertarianism in its current guise has failed to mobilise on a social, economic or political front. From that, I hope to offer ideas and questions that may push forth newer conceptions of libertarianism that can address these failures. Continue reading

The Lumpenproletariat as Class Vanguard: Why Anarchists Must Attack the Left from the Left

by Keith Preston

The Lumpenproletariat as Class Vanguard: Why Anarchists Must Attack the Left from the Left

The conflicts between myself and the mainstream leftist-anarchist movement are well-known. When I am asked about the source of this conflict by outsiders to the anarchist milieu, my usual response is that what they are observing is a continuation of the historic battle between the anarchists and the Marxists. Fundamental to this conflict is a contending view of the concepts of state and class. For Marxists, the principal target of revolutionary conflict is capital. However, for anarchists it is the state that is the primary enemy. This difference was acknowledged by Friedrich Engels. Continue reading

The Irrelevance of This Election

This election has proved one thing, that radical change will never come through a duopolistic political system that sits on the steps of the state. The false paradigm of left and right may well be dead, but a new fallacious paradigm of social internationalism on the one hand, and paradoxical nationalism on the other, has been birthed. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn represent two faces of the state, both centralising in their tendencies and utopian in their belief in state power. Both fundamentally lie within the centralising axis of politics, and thus have little to say when it comes to revolutionising the concept of work in relation to automation, when it comes to governmental and tax reform, and when it comes to developing alternative production processes. Continue reading

Foreign Policy and the Knowledge Problem

Many try to measure foreign policy by its stated humanitarian aims, seeing the variables of intervention as the best means for securing the livelihoods of particular subaltern populations. However such a view makes a massive assumption, that being the capability of states/militaries to aggregate the levels of on-the-ground social and cultural knowledge. This knowledge problem (generally identified with economic knowledge by Hayek) is not simply overcome by abstract reasoning that is related to things such as human rights or democracy. It can only be overcome by either a huge institutional and demographic shift amongst the effected populations (genocide, displacement, imposed borders, etc.) or by the integration of local populaces into mutualistic mechanisms of governance. Continue reading

Voting isn’t a Civic Duty

With the recent election here in the UK, we see the barrage of comments that regularly follow it. It entails saying something along the lines of “if you don’t vote you can’t complain”. A statement so stupid and banal that it doesn’t deserve the credit it is given. Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t vote. Frankly I don’t care either way, and I’ll only vote if there is a candidate in my constituency worth voting for. But what frustrates me about this statement is the equivocation of voting with some kind of existential meaning, as if voting is the apotheosis of civic or political engagement. Continue reading

Corbyn Sits Firmly Within the Overton Window

While much is made of Jeremy Corbyn’s radical proposals, making him out to be a member of the far-left, the bulk of his policies fit well within the wider the capitalist framework of politico-economic understandings. His support for things like financial passporting, piecemeal nationalisation and some form of freedom of movement are policies well within the Overton window of accepted political opinion, despite the radical rhetoric that surrounds them. The idea that these things are somehow at odds with capitalism is frankly laughable, and usually presented by individuals who view the machinations of socialism or communism as purely connected to the state. Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn is a Victim of Ideology

Since the general election has been called, the turgid slogan of strong and stable has been trotted out by the Conservatives, supposedly contrasting with a ‘coalition of chaos’ represented by Jeremy Corbyn. In this regard, Corbyn is seen as a useless and failed opposition leader. Such a view seems to be widely held by other elements of the political and media classes, as a quick Google search shows. Thus every political proposal in this election, despite their innate popularity, is kept within this narrative of uselessness. Even with internal party disparity, the lack of an electoral infrastructure and a young, inexperienced base, every electoral problem and Labour Party debacle is firmly placed on Corbyn’s shoulders. This seeming uniformity of opinion can cause concern amongst Corbyn’s supporters, posing the question: why is Corbyn consistently portrayed in this manner? Is it a rational perspective, or are there other narratives that belie this view. Continue reading

Contra Musk: There are Other Futures Besides a Governmental UBI

by Nick Ford

http://abolishwork.com/2017/02/10/contra-musk-futures-besides-ubi/

You’ve likely heard of Elon Musk, he’s a huge venture capitalist who helps run companies such as Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity. Being such a huge name in the tech industry and especially Silicon Valley the things he has to say about the future of…well anything, is likely to garner some attention.

Back in November, Musk stated that:

“There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation,” says Musk to CNBC. “Yeah, I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen.”

Continue reading

Degrees of Complexity

This article is a follow on from my previous essay on the false narratives of Brexit and the wider meta-political discourses that it has shrouded. It also looks to add to some of the arguments Chris Dillow presents in his article on plebiscitary politics.

The world as it currently exists, despite the attempts at universalisable discourses and the production of narratives that are black and white in their dichotomies, is extremely complex and full of varying degrees of socio-economic knowledge. A full calculatory system that can aggregate these variable forms of knowledge and processes is practically impossible, as was seen in the failures of state socialism and in the many failures of capitalism (which requires continual subsidy to exist). These are the most important lessons of Hayek and Mises, but also the most ignored. Utopian thinking of a top-down kind continues to exist, with everyone from neoliberals to modern leftists believing that everyone is rational or believers in the universal. Things like parochialism, gaps in knowledge and complexity are tacitly ignored. Continue reading