Thursday, April 02, 2009

And then he goes and spoils it...

Generally, Letters From A Tory writes some good stuff, even if he is a bit slavishly Cameroon. However, this latest post is just a massive pile of shite which deals with libertarian thought and a particularly nasty bunch of neo-Nazi turds called the HDJ.

Here is the crux of his argument. See if you can spot the massive, gaping fucking flaw in this shameful piece of rhetoric.
So, assuming that if libertarians had their way then these laws would not exist and the HDJ were therefore not breaking the law, I figured that libertarians would have no problem in the HDJ pushing their views on children.

What.

The.

Fuck?

Let me put that argument another way—in fact, let me translate it into a simple syllogism in plain, fucking English.
  1. Libertarians believe in actual free speech.

  2. Actual free speech means that neo-Nazis can spout their views in public.

  3. Therefore, libertarians support—and, thus, possibly are—neo-Nazis.

Um...

No. No, you see, we libertarians do believe in free speech and we do not believe that anyone should be banned from speaking their mind. We do not believe that anyone should fear being imprisoned by the state for something that they say (unlike, for instance, Chris fucking Huhne).

But that doesn't mean that we support neo-Nazis. It just means that we support their right to espouse their unpleasant views, so that society can confront and rebut their idiotic opinions. If society cannot be fucking arsed even to do that, then society deserves everything that it gets, frankly.

But it is good to see this a tribal Conservative spell out just what he believes in.
Libertarians can argue for a small state as much as they want, but when it comes to protecting vulnerable individuals, Conservatives seem much better placed to do somethiing about it than someone who doesn’t really believe government has a mandate to intervene.

Yup: Letters From A Tory believes that if you say something that he or his Conservative buddies don't like, you should be put in prison. LFAT doesn't explain for how long you should be imprisoned but it should, presumably, be until you are "cured" of your dangerously conservative non-conformist views.

Tell you what, guys—after you win the next election, why don't you just put all socialists in prison and rule happily ever after?

P.S. I know that LFAT is wibbling on about imprisoning people for the sake of the chiiiiiiiiiildren, but if he cannot be bothered to make a half-decent argument, then I cannot be arsed to answer it. Why not go and read The Nameless Libertarian's rather more rational reply...?

UPDATE: LFAT has left a reply in the comments, asserting that I have distorted his actual question.
I was discussing the issue of how libertarians deal with protecting 'vulnerable people' in society, which I think is a fascinating debate.
...

... suffice to say that you extrapolated a long way from what I actually proposed in my post!

Um, I don't think that I did, actually. However, to answer your question about who protects the vulnerable in society—it is the responsibility of their parents or other legal guardian.

And what if children's parents have nasty ideas?
Free speech is indeed the way forward because you can rebut views, discuss them, debate them etc. However, children are not capable of acting as rational agents so I was asking my readers to discuss whether a different approach is needed if children are being filled with views that genuinely threaten a cohesive society.

First, if you constrain free speech, then you don't have free speech: so, if you think that free speech is "the way forward" then you have already answered your own question.

Second, although children may not be "capable of acting as rational agents", the adults that they become are capable of doing so.

Third, it actually does not matter whether or not the children hold nasty views, or whether they grow up into adults who hold nasty views. As long as they do not negatively impact on anyone else's life, liberty or property, it is absolutely no business of the state's to try to change their minds.

Apart from anything else, if you decide that the state should intervene to condition people to a state of mind amenable to a "cohesive society", then you are explicitly acknowledging that the state's vision of said society is utterly correct and that it should attempt to compel people not only to act in the state's interest, but to totally believe in its rectitude.

There are considerable problems with this, and any Tory living under a Labour government should realise that. After all, if you do not believe in the state's vision of society, then why do you seek to change the state's administration?

Further, if people do not believe in your—or your state's—vision of a cohesive society, then the only way is persuasion or brain-washing. Because to hold views that are in opposition to the state is to be guilty of Thought-Crime, and Thought-Crime must be eradicated.

And then we will all truly love Big Brother, will we not?

35 comments:

Northern Spazmong said...

I think what he was getting at was this:

Do you allow neo-Nazis to open schools / summer camps / whatever where they would perfectly legally be able to indoctrinate children?

It's an interesting question. Can libertarians answer it?

Martin said...

Do you honestly believe there's enough neo-nazis to make such things a viable business venture?

A neo nazi summer camp would consist of 5 skin head nutjobs with swastika tatoos in the forest with their kids, toasting marshmallows and talking about how horrible black people are.

Not much room for indoctrinating innocent chiiiiiiiiildren there.

Northern Spazmong said...

Neo-Nazis? Apart from the odd nutter off Stormfront, probably not.

Extremist Islamism is something different though. But that's already largely going on under our noses anyway.

Letters From A Tory said...

Actually, I wasn't talking about throwing people in prison at all.

I was discussing the issue of how libertarians deal with protecting 'vulnerable people' in society, which I think is a fascinating debate.

Free speech is indeed the way forward because you can rebut views, discuss them, debate them etc. However, children are not capable of acting as rational agents so I was asking my readers to discuss whether a different approach is needed if children are being filled with views that genuinely threaten a cohesive society.

Seems like a perfectly sensible debate to have, some commentors agreed with me, some didn't - suffice to say that you extrapolated a long way from what I actually proposed in my post!

Guthrum said...

I read the piece by LFAT, and it just confirms to me A) Libertarianism is just not understood by Authoritarian Tories. The State just cannot close down/lockup those with whom it disagrees.

When people like LFAT understand that Liberty and Responsibility are two faces of the same coin, we can make progress.

Anonymous said...

LFAT, the devil has raised a valid concern, but your question is legitimate and needs answered.
most Libertarians would probably answer that a parent can and should have the undisputed right to fill the heads of their own children with shite, or conversely wisdom and enlightenment, if they want. enlightenment will prevail eventually, and is likely to do so more speedily without strong State interference on what people can or cannot do, say, teach or think.
in fact parents already have a free hand to indoctrinate their children and do so anyway, often with the State's consent and connivance if the ruling party think it'll result in votes. eg state "faith-based" schools.
Northern Spazmong's question began "Do you allow...." but in a Libertarian society, unless harm is being ditectly caused to other people or their property, it would be hateful to even consider asking that very question. "allowing" or not is the New Labour and EU credo; everything from smoking in a public house to getting a fair trial.
if unpleasant groups such as HJD emerge, it's a healthy sign that the right of free speech and assembly exists. such groups only flourish under a percieved threat, a "so what?" doesn't suit them as much as a "thou shalt not"
also, if you don't "allow" these groups to teach their children offensive racial theories, you have to realise that the minds of their children, and by default your own, belong to the State.
the banning of this group is a symptom of oppression; the party leader is in court for asking why African players are in an Anglo-saxon football team, as he percieves the case to be. so not only is it now illegal to belong to a silly party, or teach your own children silly things, you can't even ask a very stupid question.
- Richard

Francis said...

My response.

Stu said...

I thought you misunderstood, DK - you took 'presumably libertarians would have no problem with HJD espousing their views to children' and read 'presumably libertarians agree with HJD'.

I didn't think LFaT implied, as you seem to suggest in your post, that libertarians were Neo-Nazis, just that he thinks there's a potential difficulty with libertarian ideologies as they relate to extreme groups and children. I think it's a fair and interesting point. The debate would work just as well for fundamental Christians (cf. Jesus Camp) as it does for fascists.

TomC said...

The concern of the statists is that of the indoctrination of children in racism. While it would be a fair guess that much of this goes on in thousands of households across the world, Britain included; it is unlikely that many of the indoctrinators are neo-Nazis.

Had the concern been indoctrination in extreme forms of collectivism, of which Nazism is just one example which just happens to have an ideological connection with racism, I very much doubt this would have generated any interest at all. 6-year-olds do not have much of a grasp of alternative forms of totalitarian dictatorship in society. All children were indoctrinated in collectivism in Soviet Russia, but that didn't stop them, as adults, from throwing off the shackles of slavery.

It is historicism and national guilt that put this group in court in Germany, not some imagined threat of world indoctrination in racist ideology.

The real problem here is that statists are attempting to use the very kind of propaganda beloved of all forms of totalitarianism to create an excuse to curtail liberty and take us one step further down the road to serfdom. Their aim is the very thing from which they are pretending to try and save us. Talk about shameless. No wonder libertarians are perceived as a threat.

Anonymous said...

I rather think that debate over the philosophical questions of libertarianism and free speech distract from a slightly more pressing aspect of this issue.

While LFAT talks about Neo-Nazis this and Neo-Nazis that, the simple fact of the matter is that Neo-Nazis barely exist so the whole idea of Protecting Children Rom The Neo-Nazi Threat is pointless, erroneous and a distraction.

The real question is this: right now, this country is chock-full of centres that quite openly indoctrinate children in a violent, racist, supremacist and authoritarian ideology that is not only contrary to western mores but actually has, as its core aim, the destruction of all western society, culture, more and liberties. These centres arrange for British children to be sent abroad to be trained in terrorism; they actively recruit British citizens to commit acts of treason against this country, her laws and her people; and they raise money to fund terrorism against this country and her allies.

These centres are called "mosques". The question I have, as a past Tory voter who is now leaning LPUK, is: how would libertarian philosophy, as advanced by LPUK, deal with these mosques? Libertarians places great focus on the family and the parents' rights and responsibilities in the raising of their children, and this is wholly laudable but for the fact that the brainwashing and terrorist-recruiting that I described above are taking place with the explicit consent of Muslim parents. How does libertarianism handle it when a parent is acting in such a detrimental fashion?

Letters From A Tory said...

Indeed. Thanks Anonymous for your thoughts. Thank you Stu for correcting a misunderstanding about my post.

I have no problem with parents telling their children a hell of a lot of strange things about 'God living in the sky' and whatever - doesn't bother me at all. I might disagree with them but that is irrelevant.

However, forcing information upon children that literally threatens other people in society (e.g. telling them that gays should be killed, telling them that Jews should be blown up) really brings libertarianism into the spotlight. If libertarians are fine with this, good luck with that, but when it comes to putting violent ideas in children's head I think there is a serious issue to discuss.

Yes, I agree that arguments against brainwashing and dogma have been abused by our authoritarian Labour government, but conflating my arguments with their behaviour deliberately sidesteps the real issue that I was discussing in my post.

Anonymous said...

yes, Mosques; a Mosque is, to English society, an enemy installation, part of a slow invasion of Christendom. Muslims are taking advantage of weak Britain which seems to bend over backwards to accomodate the rights of people who are hostile, who at best regard Islam as the one true Way.
how does a Libertarian deal with the fact that the State is importing the seeds of it's own destruction, nurturing them via tax-payers' money, and making it reprehensible if not illegal to point out that at least some enraged Muslims have been militarised in their Mosques by imported, foreign Imams?
firstly, the right of Muslims to believe in drivel is the same as the adherents of any religion. secondly, they have the right to buy property and build Mosques. Thirdly, they have the right to hate the West, English culture, and to work for it's downfall by political, peaceful means. Fourthly, libertarians allow for free movement of people, so they have the right to live in the West.
the counter-attack would consist of a secular, philosophical and scientific education as a sine qua non of UK residency; the closure of all non-english-speaking schools unless paid for by the foreign-speakers themselves in toto, and absolutely no tax-payers money for anything to do with foreign languages, religion, education, translation services, cultural awareness, associations of professionail bodies based on race, or any of that namby-pamby bollocks. the Muslims can live here as friends and welcome, but we won't kiss their arses, give them money, pay for their houses, or tolerate breaches of common law.
the violent individuals themselves, plus anyone who exhorts violence, must be detected, arrested, tried, imprisoned and deported (if they were born abroad) following their completion of sentence.
however, there are more of us than there are of them, and they can be absorbed and changed. if they force a fight they will lose, owing to their inferior numbers.
if, however, they were right all along about the will of Allah, then Islam will prevail. we'll get big beards and interest-free bank-loans to help pay for the extra wives. there's worse things can happen to a chap, such as having your country illegally invaded courtesy of T. Blair, and becoming enraged at Britain. they have a right to be angry, and really they do have a point.
-richard

John Stuart Mill said...

Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner, if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race, posterity as well as the existing generation - those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth produced by its collision with error.

Oh, and if children just believed what their parents told them, we would still be chucking people in peat bogs to appease the angry gods.

Ian B said...

how does a Libertarian deal with the fact that the State is importing the seeds of it's own destruction, nurturing them via tax-payers' money, and making it reprehensible if not illegal to point out that at least some enraged Muslims have been militarised in their Mosques by imported, foreign Imams?

You've answered you own question. The problem with militant Islam is that it is being actively promoted and funded by the State. That's the only problem there is. The mass immigration is a deliberate state policy. The welfare is a deliberate state policy. The invitation of islamist groups into our governance network is a deliberate state policy. The funding of numerous islamist and islamic groups is a state policy. The suppression of criticism of Islam is a state policy.

If you took all those things away, as libertarians would, the problem would start to subside. Had those things not been done by the State, the problem would never have arisen. Islam is on the march in Europe entirely because the EU and national governments are actively collaborating with it. To ask how libertarians would deal with a problem created by the State misses the point; had the State not deliberately created the problem, we would not have the problem to deal with.

Once anglosocialism adopted post-marxist anti-hegemonic ideology, it began actively dismantling the west. Had we been governed by libertarians/classical liberals the problem would never have arisen. If we were to elect libertarians at the next election, the problem would at least cease to get any worse and gradually subside since the policies worsening it would be abandoned. We would have to accept a sizable minority if completely batshit religious ultra-conservatives for a long while to come, but it's too late to prevent that, and it would be tolerable. But the real mistake is already made.

We should also note that if my answer seems inadequate, labour and the tories and the lib dems flatly refuse the problem even exists, and indeed accuse those stating it of being, well, nazis.

Anonymous said...

To add to anonymous 12.38: having your country illegally invaded courtesy of T. Blair...

Half of the world was illegally invaded courtesy of the reigning British monarch at that time. Is it such a surprise that Britain is now being counter-invaded by the descendants of the conquered?

TomC said...

Commenters are using “Daily Mail” issues of perceived threats to empower our “Culture of Fear”, as a justification for the curtailment of the right of free speech.

Just as the German group were held up on the scandalous authoritarian charge of holding racist views, many commenters here would have it that since Islam has declared its aim of the destruction of the West and its values, all opinions and private views and teachings of potential infiltrators and terrorists should be similarly censored. One so-called libertarian even suggests using the full force of state violence in support, thereby enabling the state with the very powers that he as a libertarian would presumably deplore.

Terrorists should of course be prosecuted for the practice of violent acts on others. And tax money should obviously not go to causes such as these, but then it shouldn't go to most other causes either.

You cannot and should not force people to believe what you think they should believe, or what you think is good for them, or for “society”. For this reason, people should be free to tell their children what they wish. It is nobody's business but theirs.

The state, of course, strongly desires this curtailment of free speech. And every time it has succeeded, it has been with the help of its own citizens either through the use of the ideas stated here, or from basic apathy. In each case, people have helped deliver themselves and their fellows into the most evil and murderous collective slavery it is possible to imagine. Let's start learning from our past errors.

Make no mistake about the true nature of Islamic terrorism. It is the coercive arm of a collectivist ideology that cannot survive in the presence of freedom and capitalism. That is why “we” are its enemy. To avoid facilitating them, we need to prevent their philosophy from gaining any credibility. The curtailment of free speech is the first target of collectivist ideology, since it allows objectivity to be replaced by doctrine and the rule of the weak by the strong. This truly is the thin end of the wedge.

Anonymous said...

For this reason, people should be free to tell their children what they wish. It is nobody's business but theirs.

But if they're teaching their children to engage in violence, then it is everyone else's business.

What I'm asking - and, I have to say, I'm not getting many useful answers - is where the line is drawn between your fundamental liberty to teach your children what your like and your children's liberty not to be brainwashed into a cult and society's liberty not to be subjected to violence by Manchurian candidates.

For you, Tom, to say that even raising the question is a Nazi-like act merely proves that you don't have an informed or developed political ideology. You're simply resorting to the very same kneejerk name-calling that you accuse others of.

moi said...

Third, it actually does not matter whether or not the children hold nasty views, or whether they grow up into adults who hold nasty views. As long as they do not negatively impact on anyone else's life, liberty or property, it is absolutely no business of the state's to try to change their minds.

Seems to me that this covers all the bases.

TomC said...

I'm not aware of resorting to any “knee-jerk name-calling that I accuse others of.” Most bizarre.

“But if they're teaching their children to engage in violence, then it is everyone else's business.”

No it's not. They are not initiating violence against another person. If the child, as a minor, consequently does so as a result of this education, then the parent or guardian should be considered responsible, but only for the consequences of the act, not the ideology that led to it. Ideas do not cause injury in this sense. People wielding weapons do.

The point is that who are you or anyone else to decide what people should or should not think, and consequently teach their children? Who gets to decide and why? On what subjective basis, for it cannot be objective? Some men might agree with the ideas you hate. Thinking it does not harm. Killing or injuring another man does, regardless of why he did it.

Once you have a situation where some men are coerced into believing what another group deems appropriate you have the makings of a dictatorship. Which is more dangerous? Have you read “1984”? You are not giving humans any credit for potentially knowing the difference between right and wrong, and as a consequence believe the state should legislate for it.

You raise several questions, as to where the line should be drawn between:

1. your fundamental liberty to teach your children what you like.
2. your children's liberty not to be brainwashed...
3. society's liberty not to be subjected to violence...

Liberty and rights is a misunderstood issue. Under the circumstances it's a bit rich you accusing me of “not having an informed or developed political ideology.”

Freedom in a political sense means “freedom from the coercion of the state.”

Therefore I do not have a “liberty to teach my children what I like”, only the right not to be forbidden or interfered with by the state from teaching them what I like. You and others have the right to persuade me from so doing, as long as you do not resort to violence.

Children do not have a “liberty not to be brainwashed”. However their status as minors requires that their family or guardians protect them from violent acts, since they cannot protect themselves. If some violate this, and it goes unseen by others, then there is little that can be done. However, if you have proof that violence has been committed on a minor, you can bring the law to bear. Giving out ideas and opinions is not a violent act in itself. Causing a child physical or mental harm, is.

Society does not have a “liberty not to be subjected to violence”. Individual people do, as they have individual rights, not “society” which is a meaningless word. Meaningless concepts can have no rights.

It is also worth pointing out that men do not have a “right” not to be insulted or outraged. This means they cannot be forbidden from insulting or outraging others.

Letters From A Tory said...

@DK

Sorry, should have worded that better - by "a cohesive society" I meant one where people didn't want to hurt others, not one where everyone hugs each other.

As discussed in the comments above, I am happy to let parents tell their kids whatever they want UNLESS they tell their kids to be violent or threatening towards another group. Telling children to threaten or act against others is surely a deliberate attempt to rob someone else of their liberty, and waiting until the child grows up and then actually acts on this is playing with fire.

It seems that this is the point of disagreement between me and libertarians, who would wait until a law is broken before stepping in. I can see both sides of the argument but I'm happy sitting where I am.

People saying that my opinion is some covert attempt to outlaw free speech and take over society Big-Brother style fails to answer this question and is certainly not my intention.

Devil's Kitchen said...

LFaT,

"People saying that my opinion is some covert attempt to outlaw free speech and take over society Big-Brother style fails to answer this question and is certainly not my intention."

*sigh*

Can't you see? Your opinion leads -- inevitably -- to an outlawing of free speech and a Big Brother society. Surely you can see this?

Surely you can see that any opinion of a "cohesive society" is totally subjective, and thus pervertable?

"It seems that this is the point of disagreement between me and libertarians, who would wait until a law is broken before stepping in."

Yes, isn't that weird, eh? We would like to wait until someone breaks the law before we interfere in their lives. Tut tut, how naughty we are...

I simply cannot believe that you cannot make these connections.

DK

Anonyno said...

@LFAT

"It seems that this is the point of disagreement between me and libertarians, who would wait until a law is broken before stepping in. I can see both sides of the argument but I'm happy sitting where I am."

But what other criteria is there? One can only be arrested for a crime one has committed; I cannot be detained for thinking about smashing someone's fat, stupid face with a spanner. A friend - someone who knows me - might recognize that I'm about to hurt someone with a spanner, intervene and tell me it's a bad idea, physically restrain me from doing physical harm if I actually attempt to go through with it, etc.

But how can any authority perform this function? Can we say with absolute confidence that reading racist rhetoric can only lead to violence? Can we say that authority can predict behaviour by studying belief? I don't believe we can. I've read Mein Kampf; it does not follow that I sympathize. I've read Islamist works; it does not follow that I will kill or die for Islam. I read DK; it does not follow that I will lynch anyone. By the same token, my beliefs do not automatically lead to activity - I dislike the city of London immensely, but do not wish or intend to destroy it.

Sorry - I hope you don't mind me going over this in such length, but I believe it bears examination. Can I intervene to stop a friend making a decision I feel is a bad one? I believe so. I can infer from my personal experience with said friend that he is in a strange mood, I can speak to him and attempt to dissuade him from doing what's on his mind and - if I cannot dissuade him, the spanner is in his hand and his fat, stupid target is cowering before him - I can restrain him.

How can authority do this? A policeman can disarm an attacker, but how can a state ask what's on someone's mind? How can a state infer action from belief without generalizing? Because it would require a specific approach to bear any resemblance to our tableau of friend, spanner and fat, stupid idiot up there. When one generalizes in this case, one penalizes people who had no intention of harming anyone - it is inevitable.


"Sorry, should have worded that better - by "a cohesive society" I meant one where people didn't want to hurt others, not one where everyone hugs each other."

If I can, I'd like to ask why you find this desirable? Yes, it would be nice if nobody bore ill-will to any other; but it would always be nice if everything was nice. Taken to its conclusion, this sentiment is essentially that in that utterly-without-merit song, Imagine, by John Lennon. That is, it is a fine sentiment, but useless from a policy standpoint.

Thanks.

TheFatBigot said...

"I cannot be detained for thinking about smashing someone's fat, stupid face with a spanner."

Don't drag me into this.

Bishop Brennan said...

I find DK's arguments more convincing than those of LFAT, perhaps not surprising as I switched from being a libertarian Tory to a LPUK member.

Having said that, I think we as a country may need to take more, ahem, fundamental action to protect ourselves from fundamentalists, largely of the Islamic persuasion.

- As a temporary measure, I think I would ban all immigration from Muslim countries until we have better ways to ascertain whether potential immigrants are a threat.

- At the same time, I would introduce a stronger visa regime for all people from Muslim countries (or those with a substantial Muslim population - as I suspect will happen to the UK in due course).

I don't see anything inconsistent between this and libertarianism - it is Utopian to believe that we can have complete freedom of movement, other than with other libertarian states.

- Getting rid of welfare and other state funding (or most of it) will help tackle the fundamentalist problem - the fuckers will have to work :-) And if they resort to crime, they can be thrown in jail (and non-citizens can be expelled - I don't care if criminals are worried about torture in their home countries. If they're genuinely worried about that, then they won't commit serious crimes - I'm not talking about dropping litter here!)

- An end to pro-Muslim laws will also deal with some of the problems, as will proper policing, bringing to trial and, if convicted, proper sentencing of nutters.

- I do think there is some merit in preventing school funding vouchers being used to fund Islamist schools. A requirement that x% of pupils must come from outside the faith for schools to be eligible is probably the simplest solution.

- In the longer-run, I think we have to consider requirements for migration to the UK that focus on agreement on fundamental values. Negative liberty is probably most of it, plus a promise not to (plan to) act violently or commit a (serious) crime, backed by an undertaking that you will agree to lose your right to stay here if you breach this.

- Dealing with extremists (which probably means about 1/2 of the Muslim population) already here is more difficult. Some may leave under a more libertarian rule of law. Others may try violence to overthrow it. We will probably just have to stick it out. Things like banning the hijab - as much as I dislike it - will probably just have negative consequences for the women involved, although I don't have a problem e.g. with individuals saying that they won't deal with others unless they can see their face - that is their right in a free country.

And don't forget - immigrants here have to have been sponsored by someone else, who can be held to account for their costs of living, and - if they knew about extreme views - possibly their actions. This might lead to more of an exodus than otherwise might be expected...

_Felix said...

Children are indeed rational agents and not empty vessels that become filled with their parents' views. Why won't you, A Tory, think of the children (as people)?

Children have the capacity to be kept in the dark, because they are dependent on one main source of advice, their parents, a source which may arbitrarily ban access to other sources such as unsuitable books, films and friends, and instead advise attending a neo-nazi camp, as you observed in your post. In other words, the problem is that the parents are interfering with freedom of speech, or of association.

You then say:
While I believe that free speech is crucial, children do not have the same ability to distinguish between different viewpoints that free speech fosters

Which is entirely false. Do they latch onto a viewpoint at random, rather than attempting to make sense of the world? Do they latch onto the parents' viewpoint unquestioningly in the manner of imprinted chickens? No, their vulnerability consists of having nobody apart from their parents who they can trust for assistance, and so by habit placing particular trust in their parents advice, as well. This is an effect which can certainly wane over time, hence the common phrase "teenage rebellion".

There is a crime of false imprisonment taking place when a parent tries to indoctrinate a child; not a crime of incitement to violence. Foster parents, who the child can willingly choose to stay with or not, are a solution; not banning the neo-nazi organisation, which doesn't stop the parents from being neo-nazis.

_Felix said...

Of course, banning the neo-nazi organisation, while not preventing its members from having their opinions, will successfully interfere with their activities; and that's almost certainly a good thing, but this depends on our being right that the exchange of ideas that takes place in such an organisation is evil and worthless. It's a fair bet, but to think of it as anything more than a fair bet, and make a law out of it, is arrogant and, in fact, anti-rational.

John's New Blog said...

Anonymous Northern Spazmong said...

I think what he was getting at was this:

Do you allow neo-Nazis to open schools / summer camps / whatever where they would perfectly legally be able to indoctrinate children?


ER......We allow Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and the rest of the Nazi Party to do it; So why not?

George said...

off topic

Obama the great orator

this is just embarassing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oltA6z93lqA&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fatlasshrugs2000.typepad.com%2Fatlas_shrugs%2F&feature=player_embedded

Cheeky Boy said...

neo-nazi's are such a small minority what's the point of banning them.But then i've never heard of them so can't comment on what they believe,If your against immigration your a nazi to some these days.
Fucking meaningless term really,i called two coppers nazis a few months back for stopping me while i was on the mobile phone in the car.

As for immigration control?forget it.England's finished.1Miilion(legal)every 2 1/2 years..added to those already here..in 40 years i'm gonna be a minority

As for racism i can honestly i about as racist as your average Chinese/Japanese/high caste Hindu

Newmania said...

Can't you see? Your opinion leads -- inevitably -- to an outlawing of free speech and a Big Brother society. Surely you can see this?


And yours leads inevitably to the break down of order and no freedom for anyone not armed and mob handed . The Dark ages in fact which , you will note are not called the golden age or even the half decent age but the "Dark Age"
The point about setting up schools teaching anti British values is spot on , there are limits to 'freedom' for its own sake .As for children being rational agents , well mine are going to school and being smacked when they do not shape up.
We`ll discuss it when they are older over Dinner ( Served no doubt by an illiterate serf who was brought up in a Libertarian manner)

Anonymous said...

illiteracy in England is at 20% - courtesy of state schools. the right to smack your children seems a bit, well "libertarian" - let's see how how you prefer Statism when the council take the poor things into care, and foster them out to gays.
as for law and order breaking down, what do you think's happening now, as the state gets ever stronger? have 3000+ new laws made the streets safer? or the increased surveillance? no, mate, have another think. you'll have a long wait for a serf in a libertarian society, but Labour's stamping 'em out a-plenty, illiterate and innumerate non-thinkers paid for by our taxes, so you might be in luck if that's your thing.....
oh, and how strange that you say "no freedom for anyone not armed" well, historically, slaves are never allowed to bear arms. many a true word spoken in irony, eh?
-richard

TomC said...

Some people need to develop their political philosophy and stop buying into the Culture of Fear.

DK is correct. That is to say, “your opinion... (that of the faux libertarians who commented here) ...lead -- inevitably -- to an outlawing of free speech and a Big Brother society.” Here's why:

Man lives and prospers by his own effort. His survival is not automatic, like other organisms. He therefore requires to benefit from the values resulting from his own efforts, and by extension, the multilateral respect of property rights.

The subversion of these values occurs when men decide that there can exist a “common good” which over-rides individual rights. This means that some men get to decide what is good for other men.

This entails the practice of a system by which “power is wielded” by the strongest gang or gangs at the expense of the weakest. The result is a permanent “civil war” in which everyone attempts to live at the expense of everyone else, each group appealing to the politicians in order to steal unearned values from the others in order to benefit themselves. It is called statism, government, democracy, taxation etc. Its ultimate, natural, inevitable form is a dictatorship.

Some might be indignant at the idea that libertarians (real ones) desire a “utopian” society, but philosophically this is the only one possible as the result of an objective, consistent analysis. What makes it utopian is that too many of the state's slaves (by which I mean all of us), unwittingly enforce the state's power to enslave us, believing that in fact they are in favour of freeing us.

If you were real libertarians you would be saying to the state - “leave me the fuck alone.” But you all come on these blogs, introduce yourselves as “libertarians” and then proceed to describe how you desire to use the full force of state violence (because that is the true nature of the state) to solve your own pet statist concerns, that will only end up reinforcing the power of the state. I agree with DK's question - ”...how can you not make these connections?”

“And yours leads inevitably to the break down of order and no freedom for anyone not armed and mob handed ”, said one commenter here.

The fact that this description is clearly the natural result of the violence of a collectivist state, or maybe of anarchic collectivism, as opposed to the individual freedom of the citizens, should demonstrate how half-baked is such an idea.

_Felix said...

this description is clearly the natural result of the violence of a collectivist state, or maybe of anarchic collectivism, as opposed to the individual freedom of the citizens,

Yes, but it could also be a description of any old chaotic anarchy. Collectivism needn't come into it. The assumptions are 1) that we're all one step away from going round and knifing our neighbours and taking all their possessions, prevented only by the threat of the police, and 2) that there would be no kind of security force(s) to stop people doing this in a libertarian society. Both of those notions are mistakes; but making a success of it does depend on us all staying as nice as we already are, and on having the enthusiasm and imagination needed to replace various state institutions that perform useful tasks with our stolen money.

A libertarian society is made up of libertarians, and one important quality they have is that they aren't statists, which stops them from simply creating a replacement government. Another important quality, though, is that they aren't on the whole feckless and unable to organize or civilly defend themselves, and also that they aren't all complete bastards. In either of those cases, things would also go awry. If one internally translates "libertarian society" as "sudden absence of government", then one will imagine it leading rapidly to violent anarchy. Particularly if one already takes the (manifestly incorrect) view that the country is mainly composed of a mixture of remorseless criminals and feeble victims. Of course we aren't like that; we are sturdy, sensible, resourceful and largely moral (and if we weren't, the police force would be massively inadequate to prevent disaster), but it's easy to fear otherwise.

TomC said...

Yes, OK, the reason I mention collectivism here is in the sense of a failure to uphold individual property rights. An anarchy that upholds property rights could theoretically exist, but would require private security forces, private prosecution and court services, private prisons etc.

Basically, as you imply, people are scared - of immigrants, poverty, responsibility - life, in fact; and the state works tirelessly to continue the illusion that it alone is keeping the sheep safe, sheltered and fed.

neil craig said...

"Do you allow neo-Nazis to open schools / summer camps / whatever where they would perfectly legally be able to indoctrinate children?"

Problem is once you allow somebody to set that rule you find the people telling kids what to believe are the sort of people who bomb hospitals, send police out to carry out genocide & dissect living people for their body organs.

As proof - all these are what our government did in Yugoslavia & all of them are things our allegedly non-Nazi government made sure didn't got censored by our equally "non-Nazi" media.

So yes I'd rather have the BNP free to summer camps than Labour opening up the bodies of living Untermensch & our media so unfree they don't report it.