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.