"Why I am not a Conservative" or in the Australian context a liberal but not a Liberal -
I’m joining friends who like to talk politics this weekend at the ALS Friedman conference as well as the CIS’s Liberty and Society conference so it’s a weekend where too much freedom is barely enough.
The only downside is the inevitable hectoring to join a new party. Truthfully no party has a monopoly on the freedom vote in this country and I think even those which make the claim most aggressively could re-read the paragraphs in this essay from Hayek quoting Acton as to the risks of making common cause with anyone and everyone to further what you hope will remain the cause of freedom.
Still the young libertarians are always thought provoking and I look forward to the weekend with much pleasure : )
I’m starting to think that for a small government party to be big enough to have influence becomes a bit of a contradiction in terms. That which characterises our political class isn’t a question of whether government action has a role, it’s a question of to what degree and to advance the causes of which groups of people. All parties are fundamentally paternalistic in this manner, though a more negative way of putting it would be to say that they’re all equally drunk on power. It’s all social engineering, just in different guises.
And then there is the question of whether democracy or liberty is more important. Australians like to bluster about how we don’t need government in our lives and we can do things ourselves, but the data shows that when it comes to specific questions about funding this or that program, everyone will agree that more money is needed. As for where it comes from - anybody but them. Would a libertarian party in government reject democratic, populist policy in favour of a technocratic solution so long as the former was big government and the latter was not? Does that not simply entrench political power in the hands of a legislature and/or executive and develop a culture of alienating the public?
Man, I’ve become so negative about this all.
Somebody disagreeing with you, or telling you that you are wrong, is not a violation of your right to free speech.
(Source: reklaimer, via ldp-australia)
Roderick Long on Capitalism and The Conflation Trap:
Thus we tend to wince when libertarians (or many of them, to varying degrees) rush to the defense of elite corporations and prevailing business models and practices as though these were free-market phenomena. First, we think this is factually inaccurate; and second, we think it’s strategically suicidal. Ordinary people generally know firsthand the petty tyranny and bureaucratic incompetence that all too often characterise the world of business; libertarians who try to glamourise that world as an arena of economic rationality and managerial heroism risk coming across as clueless at best, and shills for the ruling class at worse.
This is also why we tend to be less than enthusiastic about the word “capitalism” as the term for free-market society; as Friedrich Hayek notes, the term is “misleading,” since it “suggests a system which mainly benefits the capitalists,” whereas a genuine free market is “a system which imposes upon enterprise a discipline under which the managers chafe and which each endeavours to escape.” (Law, Legislation, and Liberty, vol.1, p. 62.)
But it is not only mainstream libertarians (and of course, to a far greater extent, conservatives) that tend to conflate the results of crony corporatism with those of free markets; such conflationism is all too common on the traditional left as well. The difference is that the evaluations are reversed; where the right-wing version of conflationism treats the virtues of free markets as reason to defend the fruits of corporatism , the left-wing version of conflationism treats the objectionable fruits of corporatism as reason to condemn free markets.
I *just* tweeted this and was about to post this to tumblr.
THIS THIS THIS
Sidenote: Roderick Long switches between UK English (glamourise) and US English (defense)?
“What are you going to do with your gun?" - Huey Newton to a police officer -
The Secret History of Guns
Don Mulford, a conservative Republican state assemblyman from Alameda County, which includes Oakland, was determined to end the Panthers’ police patrols. To disarm the Panthers, he proposed a law that would prohibit the carrying of a loaded weapon in any California city. When Newton found out about this, he told Seale, “You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to the Capitol.” Seale was incredulous. “The Capitol?” Newton explained: “Mulford’s there, and they’re trying to pass a law against our guns, and we’re going to the Capitol steps.” Newton’s plan was to take a select group of Panthers “loaded down to the gills,” to send a message to California lawmakers about the group’s opposition to any new gun control.
THAT TIME WHITE CONSERVATIVE DUDEBROS TRIED TO TAKE AWAY THE GUNS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Anonymous asked: I don't understand how you can go from that long piece on free speech, with you saying you support it, to thinking the Aboriginal Meme page should be removed as it is "offensive"? Doesn't that piece rant on about the importance of free speech even if it's offensive?
OH MY GOD WHY ARE PEOPLE SO FUCKING DUMB.
The only real threat to free speech is coercion. If you don’t understand what that means, think of it like this: every law at every level of government in this country is, when it comes down to it, backed by a government gun. That means that any government action to stop you from saying something, or punishing you for saying something, is a violation of free speech. This is because we are born into a government whose legitimacy cannot be challenged on any fundamental level.
That is not the same with a private company, such as Facebook. When utilising Facebook’s services (which you don’t pay for, by the way, but the same would apply if you did) you sign a contract - in a much more literal way than you do when being born, because you agree to abide by the terms of service. Now, to the best of my knowledge, Facebook’s TOS includes a warning against offensive or bigoted language. They exercise this right to censorship in other ways too, like banning photos of mothers breastfeeding their children.
So if Facebook decided that white people weren’t allowed to use it, or that people over the age of 30 weren’t allowed (they wouldn’t do it because it’s bad business sense) they would be fully within their rights to do that. Because using Facebook is choice. I happen to be one of Facebook’s consumers. So saying that I think that page is offensive and should be shut down is no different to be walking up to Woolies and saying they should ban their Woolies-brand products, or me going to Target and saying I don’t like their slutty underwear for kids and I won’t patronise them anymore.
More importantly, it is not a violation of free speech, it doesn’t even come *close* to being a free speech issue when you have voluntarily contracted away your right to say and do whatever you want when you choose to utilise a product or service.
Edit: okay I’m sorry I’m angry but I really hate people who ask questions under Anonymous without a good reason.
There is danger in the confused condition which brings the defenders of liberty and the true conservatives together in common opposition to developments which threaten their different ideals equally… The difference between liberalism and conservatism must not be obscured by the fact that… it is still possible to defend individual liberty by defending long-established institutions. To the liberal they are valuable not mainly because they are long established… but because they correspond to the ideals which he cherishes. — F.A Hayek
The Metres Gained: NSW Secretariat asked for my party resignation letter -
So I kind of went all out and added a bunch of stuff because the last ‘letter’ I wrote to that effect was quite a while ago.
It’s difficult because there’s no way to separate oneself from the Federal level whilst still remaining part of the NSW Division - like it or not, my money goes to people…
Anonymous asked: liberal view on the 'Aboriginal meme' Facebook issue?
It’s a violation of Facebook’s terms of service, as well as being grossly inappropriate and offensive. It should be removed.
edit: okay so really who gives a shit, Facebook makes the decision, beople are free to protest the way a company runs their shit, they’re free to not use Facebook, whatever, whatever. I say it should be removed because I think it’s offensive, and normalises racism against Indigenous Australians, but let’s face it, getting rid of one page isn’t going to make the asshats go away.