Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Libertarianism and solutions

Now, some of you might have gathered that your humble Devil is a somewhat radical libertarian; he dislikes this govermment in particular and thinks that the state does a fucking appalling job in general.

My views have developed quite a lot in the few years in which I have been blogging, of course. The way that such views might be developed are articulated by Mr Eugenides' spendid article on Libertarianism. This is particularly pertinent...
Yep, I’d say there’s a tension between my conservatism and my libertarianism; I'm not too proud to say that it’s a work in progress, with all the contradictions and missteps that may entail.

Of course my views are still developing; it would show a remarkable lack of self-knowledge to maintain my railing against dogma whilst being similarly inflexible. It should also be pointed out that my natural leanings are reinforced by the situation of a year or so ago when—despite having paid fat wads of taxes and NICs for seven years—when I was actually doing very badly, about to lose his home, being taken to court for Council Tax arrears and quite literally starving, the state refused to help him.

However, I have always tried, not only to rage against the soft-socialism which all the mainstream parties seemed to have embraced, but also to suggest viable, libertarian alternatives. Which is why reading the kind of fucking shit spouted in this Never Trust A Hippy post makes me what to knaw through my own arm.
I fear that Chris [Dillow, in a response to a post of mine] is too patient in his defence of the term liberal left. He could, far more easily, gone on the offensive against the notion of a liberal right.

Not really. Yes, he could go on the offensive against the right, but the libertarian right...?

No, I shall control myself and see what this nitwit has to say.
You can see the problem with it by revisiting Mr Eugenedes' point. Bloggertarians, as he points out, will always gravitate towards something pragmatic, right-wing and populist like the Conservative Party or possibly UKIP, because they don't have any positions of their own that could be sold to a sceptical public.

What the fuck? That motive might be true of Eugenides but it is not true of many. The pragmantism comes from the likelihood of getting a party into power that might be more orientated towards your sort of area; it's the argument that Jackart constantly makes.

I have plenty of positions of my own that could be "sold to a sceptical public" but, unfortunately, from a practical point of view that simply won't work: our political system demands big, reasonably centrist parties.
They have a critique, of course - and the bloggertarian position is absolutely stupendous as a standpoint from which to oppose something.

Quite. Personally, I loathe all of the big three parties and pretty much all of the others too.
But if you ask a right-wing libertarian to explain what they would actually do on any given subject (with an audience consisting of some members of the general public, as opposed to wonks from the Adam Smith Institute) ... well, don't hold your breath waiting for anything coherent.

And this is where my shit has been mercilessly gripped. I have always put forward solutions to problems based on libertarian ideals. A number of times, commenters or other bloggers have disagreed with my solution and I have revised the idea; but to say that people like myself never put forward solutions is either rank ignorance or simply a lie.

Once again, we find ourselves faced with the Polly conundrum...
Here's what I mean. Have a quick look around a few bloggertarian sites. It's easy enough to find out what they are against. In the example of 'law and order', generally it's...
  • CCTV

  • ID Cards

  • DNA databases

  • Police powers in general (though the distinction between bloggertarians and libertarians is that they only oppose police powers where they are endorsed by a Labour PM).

Jesus, but you are a fuckwitted little tit, aren't you? That last point is particularly stupid: we have had a Labour government for the last decade and a fucking wet Opposition for most of that time: who else has endorsed and implemented increased police powers in that timeframe?

For some people, you might be right, Hippy; but to point to Longrider (an ex-Labour Party member) and I (given my voluble criticism of the Tories) is just fucking stupid.
Yet, if any of the bloggertarians were to break the habit of a lifetime and provide us with a libertarian - or right-liberal - prescription, you can bet your arse that it would not increase the liberty that we enjoy in any way.

Really? I beg to fucking differ.
For example, let's look at what a more libertarian alternative to a publicly funded and accountable police force would look like.

Sorry: an alternative? How, exactly, is our police force accountable to anyone but central government? Our point is that the police force is not accountable, in any meaningful way, to those whom they are supposed to serve.
How will it be funded, in whose interests will it operate as a consequence?

There are two basic funding options which are generally advocated.
  1. Privately funded. In which case they, like any other business, are accoutable to those who pay them directly, i.e. their customers. If this force does not do a good job, another is hired.

  2. The police remain publically funded—preferably at local level but that leads on to a number of other issues—but their Chief Constables are locally elected and thus answerable to the local electorate for their jobs. In this way, they have a real incentive to respond to the needs of those people whom they are supposed to serve.

What powers will this atomised entity be provided with?

Ah, this "atomised" entity, eh? This is what I love about socialists: they will bitch and moan about how supermarkets are conspiring, i.e. working together, to fuck everyone over, but the idea that localised public services might do the same thing is obviously lunacy, eh?

And what powers would they have? Well, that depends on the laws that the government passes, doesn't it. Fucktard.
How would the end of socially-funded policing impact upon the environment that we live in?

Well, hello, Mr Strawman—how are you today?

Look, strong property rights are absolutely essential to libertarian thought; as such, law and order is vitally important. Law and order is, in fact, one of those few things which needs to be handled by the state as it is one of those areas (the other being defence) where most libertarians can agree that we need to avail ourselves of the unique power of force that we endow to the state.
Would there be less CCTV?

With a libertarian government, yes, one would think so. Why? Because CCTV impinges on personal freedoms whilst simultaneously being almost entirely useless for its intended purpose.
CCTV makes people feel safer but has no impact on actual crime levels [PDF] or crime clear up rates. This is an overconfidence that has lead to real miscarrages of justice, luckily this is rarer than it might be because even with high quality systems it is hard to identify people from CCTV that you are not already familar with, and CCTV is very rarely of high quality.

But, actually, once again, this is partially up to any government.
Less by way of gated communities and general obstructions in the way of the free individual walking about where they please?

Well, yes, hopefully. Isn't that the whole point? People don't really want to live in "gated communities"; after all, they still have to walk around the streets. But that is the point of making the police more accountable to the people they serve.

One of the single most consistent replies to any survey is that everyone—rich or poor—wants to see more police on the beat. However, there is no real incentive for the police to do this plus, of course, they have to spend so much of their time filling in forms that most policemen are out and about for very little time.

Remove central government's petty form-filling, and let the local people decide what the priorities should be (that'll be "bobbies on the beat" then).
I don't think so.

Well, that is because you have set up a load of straw men and you haven't even bothered knocking them down, for fuck's sake. You have simply asked a load of questions and then stated your opinion without even explaining yourself. Or, indeed, articulating what the libertarian position is.
Would commercial risk aversion demand that we have more robust means of proving our identity?

Er, well, does it now? Are banks demanding DNA samples? No.

Is the state? Yes.
Will well-heeled lawyers be able to demand access to any information held by organisations that verify our identity, should such organisations exist?

What about the not-so-well-heeled lawyers? Or do we have nothing to fear from them? But the answer to your question is, "no". I am really not sure what Paulie thinks libertarianism is about, really. He seems to be assuming that it is the same as anarchism, in which case he's a fucking idiot.
Will we wish to provide these atomised entities that we pay to look after our personal security some kind of legal leeway to make mistakes?

Oh, look chaps! It's those pesky atomised entities again! Again, as for the question, it depends doesn't it?

But let's clear something up here: we pay the police to look after our personal security right now. They don't come for free, you know.
Or will every standard of the law apply to them even though we expect them to constantly place themselves in situations that demand the use of force or coercion in our interests?

It rather depends, Paulie: would you like them to get away with shooting an innocent man seven times in the head with no one being held accountable, or not? Because that is, by the look of it, the system that we currently have in place.
Will we be a more, or less regulated society? Will we be more or less intruded upon? Will life generally be fairer? Will our initial choice of womb be any less of a future-defining decision than it is now?

I don't know, Paulie: what is the point of these questions, precisely? And when are you going to answer any of them? And what the fuck has the choice of womb got to do with anything?

Some people are born into more difficult circumstances than others: I'm afraid that that is always going to be the case. After all, despite ten years of your lot attempting to do something about it, social mobility has not progressed at all.
In this case, I'm pretty sure that market liberalism would result in less of what most people would call liberty.

Really? I am pretty sure that you are utterly wrong.

Let us take your ludicrous womb analogy and run with it, shall we. Let us assume that the reason that you referred to it was because you feel that liberty is partly the liuberty to move social class: to not be irrevocably doomed to have a shitty, unproductive live and bring your children up the same way, shall we?

And let's assume that Willetts is right when he asserts that schools are the key to social mobility—and I think that we can assume that. And NuLabour have comprehensively failed on this front, despite their "education, education, education" mantra.

So, what should we do? Well, libertarians try to look for the nearest to the free-market solution; the solution that allows the customer the most choice. Competition works. So, I, like Timmy and others, propose a voucher system much like Sweden has. Does it work? Yes.
The strongest evidence against this criticism comes from Sweden, where parents are freer than those in almost any other country to spend as they wish the money the government allocates to educating their children. Sweeping education reforms in 1992 not only relaxed enrolment rules in the state sector, allowing students to attend schools outside their own municipality, but also let them take their state funding to private schools, including religious ones and those operating for profit. The only real restrictions imposed on private schools were that they must run their admissions on a first-come-first-served basis and promise not to charge top-up fees (most American voucher schemes impose similar conditions).

The result has been burgeoning variety and a breakneck expansion of the private sector. At the time of the reforms only around 1% of Swedish students were educated privately; now 10% are, and growth in private schooling continues unabated.

Anders Hultin of Kunskapsskolan, a chain of 26 Swedish schools founded by a venture capitalist in 1999 and now running at a profit, says its schools only rarely have to invoke the first-come-first-served rule—the chain has responded to demand by expanding so fast that parents keen to send their children to its schools usually get a place. So the private sector, by increasing the total number of places available, can ease the mad scramble for the best schools in the state sector (bureaucrats, by contrast, dislike paying for extra places in popular schools if there are vacancies in bad ones).

More evidence that choice can raise standards for all comes from Caroline Hoxby, an economist at Harvard University, who has shown that when American public schools must compete for their students with schools that accept vouchers, their performance improves. Swedish researchers say the same. It seems that those who work in state schools are just like everybody else: they do better when confronted by a bit of competition.

Good, that's that sorted, then. On to the next thing.
In the meantime, any examples of bloggertarians not simply being negativists would be greatly appreciated.

Well, I have some 3,200 posts on this blog and I would say that a good 50% of them propose positive measures of some sort. Also, why not give Worstall a shot?

Of course, if you prefer, you could just keep asking questions that you don't answer, carry on avoiding defining your terms, and just trog on supporting your lovely Labour lot. Or, of course, you could try reading a few more of these bloggertarians before you just wade in with the sweeping generalisations.

You could even grow a brain and start telling us what your solutions might be (given that the traditional statist ones have been a massive failure over the last 10 years).

UPDATE: Strange Stuff also replies to this, articulating some of the libertarian policing strategies rather better than I. I should start adding these to your folder of non-negativist plans...


Roger Thornhill said...

Who on earth was that? Talk about a re-framing exercise by the Left-Fibbernazis.

Socialists so think they are right all the time. They love monopolies, but the one they will never have is the monopoly on the truth, no matter how many times they try and destroy the competition.

Prodicus said...

Gnaw through your arm if you must, but don't knaw through it for God's sake.

Paulie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paulie said...

Heh, I remember you now. The last time you thought that swearing was a good substitute for an argument, you got your arse served up to you on a platter didn't you?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Is that what you call it, Paulie? I suppose that someone like you would perceiveit like that. The trouble is with people like you, Pootergeek and Hundal is that you think that because I swear, I can neither argue nor reason.

This is a silly thing to think; my swearing is a style of writing, nothing more. Remove the swearwords and you will, in the vast majority of posts, find a perfectly coherent set of arguments. More important, you will find a coherent and positive libertarian manifesto; this was something that you were complaining didn't exist.

But then, why should I be surprised? You are -- as Justin pointed out to Pootergeek in that post -- perfectly happy to make assumptions about people's views and output when you have, quite patently, read very little (if any) of the material that you are commenting on.

Here are some very simple facts, Paulie. First, you complained that there is no comprehensive libertarian manifesto: you were wrong -- you just hadn't bothered to look.

Second, you complained that libertarian bloggers do not advance positive arguments: you were wrong -- you just hadn't bothered to look. Again.

Third, you tried to point out, using the police as an example, how libertarian thought does not make people more free -- and you just got your arse, as you so charmingly put it, served up to you on a platter.

Rather like Pootergeek did in the comments of the post you referenced in fact.


Mark Wadsworth said...

The fewer rules the better. Vouchers, universal benefits are a fine semi-free market solution to most issues. Lock up violent criminals for life. Let the people and the markets decide. End of.

Paulie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paulie said...

In that case, I suppose you won't mind me conducting this argument with you on your own terms, you politically illiterate half-wit?

Your objection to my comment about bloggertarians opposing police powers was a direct response to Eugenides comment about the SAS and the IRA. Perhaps you were too busy swearing to notice it?

You say that you have "plenty of positions of my own that could be "sold to a sceptical public" but, unfortunately, from a practical point of view that simply won't work: our political system demands big, reasonably centrist parties."

Aw, diddums. If only our political system was different, everyone would agree that privatising everything and abolishing democratic institutions (sacking the public employees who work there) would be a great idea. Is that it, knobcheese? Could you give me one example of a political system that even a knuckledragging UKIP simpleton would recognise as a 'democracy' in which a set of right-wing libertarian prescriptions wouldn't get pissed upon from the top of the highest springboard?

You say "I have always put forward solutions to problems based on libertarian ideals. A number of times, commenters or other bloggers have disagreed with my solution and I have revised the idea; but to say that people like myself never put forward solutions is either rank ignorance or simply a lie."

OK, you jackmanape's scourings of a lock-hospital piss-pot, you are writing in a medium that allows you to create hyperlinks. Ever heard of them, shithead? Why don't you link to these manifold marvellous workable libertarian solutions that you've presented to us? I've spent as long as I can bear on your adolescent wank-rag without finding anything that would get past voters - however they are configured, so maybe you can show me the little white pearly globules of wisdom that I've missed?

And I really need a lecture from the sort of fucknut that thinks that all socialists are obsessed with centralisation, don't I? Well, you can disabuse yourself (for a change, eh?) of that one just by revisiting the blog that brought this bullshit on, and clicking on one of those tags that are under most mosts. See one of the most common ones? Decentralisation? Click on it, you twat.

I really need a lecture of decentralisation from the sort of cretin who thinks that elected coppers would lead to anything other than illiberal demagoguery, don't I? I suppose I could have included that in the orignal post, but most libertarians that I know - even at the height of their negativism - are a bit reluctant to advocate that one. I figured that shooting fish like that in the sort of barrel that you obviously have here would be a bit disproportionate.

Obviously not!

And, on the question of CCTV, if it really has no confidence from private interests, why don't you go and look at any reasonably expensive building that is owned privately? See those boxes - a bit to high to reach? The ones that look a bit like cameras? Well, they look like cameras because they are cameras, you arsehole. CCTV cameras. Why don't you get your crayons and go and draw one? Then you'll be able to compare them to the ones that will crop up on thousands of new homes and offices when people have a choice between using it as a shortcut as an alternative to paying taxes and having a police force that looks after everyone - not just those who can affort the insurance policy of private security?

Oh dear. I've run out of energy now. All of that swearing - how do you manage it every day, you tedious little dweeb?

I enjoyed your payoff in which you assert that you really aren't negativist, and that your blog is really full of sensible workable solutions that could realistically be implemented in any version of the future that is vaguely possible, but without any hyperlinks (remember them, you clagg-nut?), I really can't be bothered to trawl through yours.

But you asked for some examples of mine? Well, here they are, you hemorrhoid. All of them are, I hope, couched in the kind of conversational tone that is intended to interest people who've been elected to shape public policy, because - *that's democracy*!. Let's start with an argument for a more politicised civil service? Or a ten-point proposal for decentralisation? (That last one has nine-and-a-half serious policy proposals, by the way). Or a call for a change in the BBC's approach to impartiality? Or a call for a more positive attitude to the established fact of cultural protectionism? Or a call for revealled-preferencing (crucially, including pedestrians) in setting road-taxation levels? And .... Oh, shit, I can't be bothered with this any more.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"In that case, I suppose you won't mind me conducting this argument with you on your own terms, you politically illiterate half-wit?"

It is ironic that you should do so in reply to a comment that contained not one single swearword (unless you count "arse" but I was, after all, quoting you there) but, sure, on you go.

"All of that swearing - how do you manage it every day, you tedious little dweeb?"

It comes naturally because, you see, I enjoy it -- which is why my swearing sounds good. Whereas you just sound like a bit of a try-hard.

That's probably why I have over ten times the visitors that you do. But, hey! everyone has their own natural style.

I have had a look at some of your posts and there are some reasonable proposals there. However, a good many of them fail to address crucial issues (mainly surrounding funding). I'll try and address your nine and a half points when I get a second: I'm stupidly busy at present.

As for solutions that I have written about... well... again, I cannot be bothered to trawl through right now. However, one of my (roughly) yearly manifestos is due: it'll sum up my most recent thoughts -- taking in what I've learned this year -- on most areas.

These tend to be pretty much devoid of swearing, so I'll let you know when I've done that, OK?


Paulie said...

Ooooh! Wassup DK? Lost your mojo?

From your original post: " ... this fucking shit" (my post) .... " this nitwit" (me) ... "Jesus, but you (me) are a fuckwitted little tit, aren't you?" ... " Fucktard" (me) .... "I am really not sure what Paulie thinks libertarianism is about, really. He seems to be assuming that it is the same as anarchism, in which case he's a fucking idiot" .... "You (me) could even grow a brain"....

And as for this point:

"It comes naturally because, you see, I enjoy it -- which is why my swearing sounds good. Whereas you just sound like a bit of a try-hard.

That's probably why I have over ten times the visitors that you do. But, hey! everyone has their own natural style."

Here's someone linking to a comment on my blog earlier today - just to show that any claim that low numbers is a virtue on my part isn't a bit of post-hoc rationalisation.

Your style of arguing may bring you visitors, but it makes you look even more childish than your unrealistic and sulky brand of politics does. Most of your many millions of readers know this, and I suspect that - deep down - you know it too. One of the better insights on nineteenth-century individualist anarchists was that they detested authority mainly because they assumed everyone in authority was as misanthropic as they were.

That's you, that is. A misanthrope.

Why don't you grow up?

Devil's Kitchen said...


A misanthrope? Maybe. Or, rather, shall I say that I am under no illusions that people are any more inclined to altruism than I am. I would say that history bears me out in that one.

"Your style of arguing may bring you visitors, but it makes you look even more childish than your unrealistic and sulky brand of politics does."

What a terrible world we live in, eh? You with your big, grown-up politics and few readers and me with readers but childish politics. Such a pity.

Oh well, never mind.

"Ooooh! Wassup DK? Lost your mojo?"

Not really. I'm just not as angry at present. And no, your playground attempts to rile me have had no effect. I mean, how many people over the age of 14 actually use the phrase "why don't you grow up" seriously?

The trouble with people like you is that you assume that I write my this blog for the benefit of other people. I don't: I write it for my enjoyment.

I swear because I am often very angry and I find the whole exercise cathartic. So, I'll repeat: I write this for me, not for anyone else. That others read it is gratifying, for sure, but it is very far from being the main point of the exercise.

Which is why I shall take my time over your requests. Fundamentally, writing what I want in the style that I want is pleasurable: answering you is a chore.

When I do proper policy work and writing, I don't swear. I tend to temper my views towards what is more practical, rather than sitting on the extremes.

You might find it difficult to comprehend this (although most people seem to grasp it without having to be told) but DK is a persona, an aspect of me. The most... well... misanthropic, childish aspect, if you like.

Anyway, have fun. I know I will.


Budgie said...

Socialists like Paulie are still coming to terms with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Socialism was finally exposed as the evil, bankrupt totalitarian thought system it always was. Hence Blair's ditching of Clause 4. The reason the left despair of New Labour is that without Lenin or Trotsky to prop up their ideology, all that's left is a husk of lust for power and bossiness.

Blognor Regis said...

I'm sure it was Stefan Molyneux I heard warning against getting drawn into "yea but what about this that and the other" type arguments with these people. They like to plan out every last detail, "and what about this" - and then bitch and moan and blame everybody else when it inevitably doesn't work - whereas we're big picture guys. At least I am.

Paulie said...

You don’t get it, do you?

You may think that it’s fair enough for you to chuck obscene insults at people just because they have views that you don’t like – because you need to write for your own enjoyment – but I don’t agree.

My response isn’t a ‘playground attempt to rile.’ It’s an objection to having someone who claims to have thousands of readers a day calling my arguments ‘fucking shit’, calling me a ‘nitwit’, a ‘fuckwitted little tit’, a ‘fucktard’ (whatever that is), a ‘fucking idiot’ and telling me that I need to ‘grow a brain’.

If you can’t understand why someone would object to that, then maybe you are as autistic as you appear to be. It is not very pleasant to read someone describing you in those terms.

You say that you do this because you find it ‘cathartic’. Do you suffer from some mental illness that makes you behave like this to minor stimuli like seeing someone writing something that you disagree with? Do you think that – when someone who has been elected to legislate does or says something that you disagree with – it is alright to constantly call your political adversaries ‘cunts’?

If this is due to some condition that you suffer from, perhaps you could have a little note at the top of your comment box requesting pity rather than scorn in such circumstances? Whoops! I forgot! You’re against ‘voluntary codes of conduct’, aren’t you?

The irony of all of this, of course, is that you accuse me of not knowing anything about libertarianism. There are plenty of decent libertarian bloggers around who have studied it and understand what it is. You are plainly not one of them. You’re just like dozens of other sweary incoherent self-styled libertarians. You’re a misanthropic right-winger who likes to accuse others of infringing your liberties without having a clue what the constitutional standing of a ‘liberty’ is in a democracy, or having any ideas on how ‘liberties’ can really be improved. You’re just a tedious negativist.

You should get some sort of help. Going off on these tantrums can’t be doing you any good. I know that you think it’s entertaining for others to read, but has it ever occurred to you that freak-shows used to draw massive crowds before us nanny-staters banned them?

If you are suffering from a long emotional car-crash, surely you’d be better for you if you could have it private?

Oh, and MMMM! I’m really looking forward to reading your ‘proper policy work and writing.’

Budgie said...

My, what a lot of synthetic indignation from Paulie. Just enough, in fact, to almost cover his (her) tracks. The issue is the authoritarian control freakery of the left/socialist/fake-liberal (eg his "strong" regional assemblies) where power remains in the hands of statist politicians, versus power directly in the hands of citizens via voucher systems, direct democracy (obviously ex-EU), making national politicians accountable directly to us (again, obviously ex-EU), etc.

Paulie said...


I'm such a fool Budgie.

I notice all of the instances of 'etc' and 'obviously'.

Everyone agrees with you. Well done.

Peter Horne said...

He! He! You bring it on yourself DK.
Misanthropic eh? Merely because libertarians question the motives of socialists/statists who under the guise of 'fairness' and 'social justice' seek only to further their own interests and to criminalise ordinary people by inventing new thought crimes and offences against the prevailing demented marxist ideology.
Honestly, the sheer snobbery of claiming that making the police more accountable to the people would lead to 'illiberal demagoguery' is breathtaking. Still,
I suppose making the police concentrate on real crimes would take them away from investigating imaginary 'hate crimes' and that just wouldn't do. After all, we all know that crime is caused by 'poverty and inequality', and the perpetrators must be protected and the victims persecuted for having the bloody cheek to defend themselves and their property. Shows how much socialists care about the man in the street.
It would be interesting to know exactly what these 'democratic institutions' are. When the state has become as big as it is in this country, the fact that there may be elections at the top is irrelevant and that is why fewer and fewer bother to vote. People are not stupid,despite what socialists think. They know that the real power lies with the bloated state bureaucracies and their lazy, greedy and malignant employees. They are accountable to no-one and they know it. Statism is a malignant cult of power and its absurd pretensions and increasingly vicious authoritarianism need to be exposed.

Budgie said...

Paulie said
"I'm such a fool Budgie."

Well if you insist.

Paulie said
"I notice all of the instances of 'etc' and 'obviously'."

Mm, yes - all of them. All one 'etc' and all two 'obviouslys'.
The 'etc was to denote a long list. Since I am not producing a manifesto (see below) why go on (and on, and on, like, well, Paulie). The 'obviously' denotes a logical requirement: power must be returned from the EU to the UK for both direct democracy and accountability to work here, and not be shams.

Paulie said
"Everyone agrees with you. Well done."

Goody - does that mean I can run for Emperor, then?

Roger Thornhill said...

paulie: If only our political system was different, everyone would agree that privatising everything and abolishing democratic institutions (sacking the public employees who work there) would be a great idea.

I'd be interested to know of one "democratic institution" that a Libertarian wishes to abolish that would actually cause a problem for peoples' freedoms (and no, "rights" do not count).

Peter Horne said...

You seem to have upset him.

see this

Anonymous said...

"democratic institution" that a Libertarian wishes to abolish?

Blowing up parliament?

Call for the raper and murder of political opponents?

Roger Thornhill said...

Blowing up parliament is an anarchistic thought, not Libertarian. Libertarians are very much in favour of Rule of Law and due process.

As for rape and murder of political opponents, I refer you to my answer above.

If a Libertarian ever vents such wishes, it is out of utter frustration and is rarely if ever intended to be carried out. For example blowing up parliament would only be suggested if those inside were abusing and dismantling democracy and freedoms - i.e. parliament had ceased to be a democratic institution.

IIRC, a politician is not a democratic institution, but a representative. If there are any calls to have their heads on spikes, this is likely to be the result of the proposer coming to the conclusion that the said "representative" was no longer a "representative" and as such not a politician at all - and likely a traitor to the nation. Sticking traitors' heads on spikes or swinging them from lamp posts is an old tradition, I hear, not that I go around suggesting such things.

Are those two sorry examples all you can come up with? Any more attempts?

Longrider said...

I've commented somewhat belatedly on my blog. Paulie clearly has reading problem if he thinks that I am either right wing or a tory. Quite part from misrepresenting my position, he cannot be bothered to research before pouring out his incoherent, ignorant blathering. He manages to make Neil Harding appear rational and reasonable in comparison.

His playground tactics here are, frankly, risible.