Monday, October 26, 2009

At the Adam Smith Institute

Your humble Devil is... ah... humbled to have been asked to speak at the Adam Smith Institute's Next Generation event on Tuesday 3rd November.

I have been given a free rein, pretty much, as to the topic although they did express the wish that it involved "something libertarian" and, possibly, an introduction to the UK Libertarian Party.

Having just done such a presentation at the Libertarian Alliance Conference—which was, by the way, immensely good fun—I do rather fancy doing something a little different.

I have been developing some ideas about how a Libertarian government might both encourage charitable giving, enable people to make provision for misfortune, reduce welfare fraud and stimulate voluntary collectivism and community cohesion.

As such, I have been looking into a number of options and, most particularly, examining whether Friendly Societies (or variants thereof) might hold the answer.

So I am, at present, tempted to present a quick examination of whether these might work, and talk about a few ideas that I have had for stimulating such entities.

Alternatively, I might just have a bit of a rant. Who knows, or dares to dream?

Anyway, I look forward to seeing some of you there...

UPDATE: you can register on Facebook through the TNG group...

15 comments:

MatGB said...

When I've next got a secure income, I plan to join our local Oddfellows, they're based around the corner and the more I read about them the more impressed I am. I do think that the way they've been forced out over the course of the last century has been a great mistake--that that was started by the Liberal led National Govt in WW1 was absolutely disgraceful.

As you might not have seen it, Sara Scarlett was having similar thoughts on LDV a few weeks back, inspired by a discussion we had at conference post the FOREST/Liberal Vision smoking event. Where I had a quick look through Velvet Glove, was a very nice design, kudos. Shame I'm too skint to buy a copy.

There's definitely traction to be made in the old mutual movement, but you'd expect that from me, right?

Jock Coats said...

A jolly good idea for a subject. If you need some inspiration, particularly information about the demise of the same movement in the US at the hands of government and vested interest, there's a good podcast at the FEEby Sheldon Richman on Mutual Aid Societies and an essay here.

FlipC said...

Please take this as the joking suggestion in which I make it, but how about "Web standards compliance and Libertarianism: How being the biggest doesn't also make you right".

Libertarian conundrums and a rant against IE - score! ;-)

Kevin Monk said...

In lieu of a welfare state, I'd like to see a group of competing charitable funds that I could make donations to. They'd have a description of the charities that they donate to and how my charitable donations were spread and to whom. This way I could pick funds that matched my own concerns.

I certainly wouldn't want to micro-manage my donations but I also wouldn't want to have central government dictate my priorities.

From what I understand of how friendly societies have historically operated, It seems that they become a social hub and a way of life. e.g The Round table, Free Masons. etc..

I'm a busy man! I'd rather just chuck a percentage of my income into a trust fund and be done with it.

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting what a friendly society actually is.

Charitable Trust Funds would be my ideal of how a benevolent libertarian society might operate.

In fact, I dream of a day when - instead of paying 25% to the government - I could put 25% of my income in to a group of charities that included things such as efficiently managed medical care for the poor and child protection (rather than chucking money into the expensive government child chaperone schemes that currently exist). Although I suspect that 25% might be too generous given the current inefficiency of government funded benevolence.

Anonymous said...

Can recommend "The Welfare State we're in" by James Bartholomew - he's got quite a bit of research on welfare at the turn of last century and the role of friendly societies

Bob said...

Sounds intriguing.

Kevin Boatang said...

They have obviously gone mad. More so seeing as you no doubt consider Adam Smith (and even more so the ASI) a social democrat.

I wonder how many fo the ASI you went to Eton with.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Kevin,

"I wonder how many fo the ASI you went to Eton with."

I wonder why you thought that comment would do anything other than make you look like the idiot bigot that you obviously are.

Seriously, Kev, why don't you stop trolling blog comments and work, instead, on ensuring that your own writing is less crashingly dull? You know, 'cos then I might actually bother to read your witterings.

Oh, the answer to your question is "none".

DK

Gandhi said...

You old lefty, you.

Thomas said...

"I have been developing some ideas about how a Libertarian government might both encourage charitable giving, enable people to make provision for misfortune, reduce welfare fraud and stimulate voluntary collectivism and community cohesion."

I might be being a tad naive here but it sounds an awful lot like Confucianism. Am I wide of the mark?

Mike Rouse said...

I'll try and get along, but what with it being a school night and all...

Dick Puddlecote said...

Will there be canapés? That's the clincher, really. Canapés.

Jenny S-T said...

More talk about Libertarians encouraging charities would be good. I'm a big fan of microfinance.

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

By the by, Friendly Societies have wider powers to transact financial business than either insurance companies or asset managers. They have the possibility to offer really innovative savings and insurance products. Sadly, most of them are run by extremely sleepy boards who seem to believe that the time for Friendly Societies is over.