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Blair’s legacy

By reading Samizdata for several years, I am one of the Americans that has received a major enlightenment regarding Tony Blair. I recently received this link from regular commenter RAB and decided to post it for the benefit of other Americans on the site.

Tony Blair, who was swept into office in 1997 amid higher hopes and greater goodwill than any incoming British Prime Minister in modern times, will leave it a few weeks hence with his reputation in ruins.

An opinion poll earlier this month showed that only 11 per cent of voters still like him; 51per cent think that “he manages to convince himself that whatever he has decided to do must be morally right”.

Some 57 per cent say he has stayed in Downing Street too long, and only five per cent agree that he is “in touch with ordinary people”.

Just 27 per cent think Britain is a more successful society than it was in 1997, and 61 per cent believe that it is a much less pleasant one.

Tony Blair has shown himself the most accomplished political actor ever to occupy the premiership.

He is an orator of near-genius, a performer who has for years dominated party conference platforms, TV studios, Parliament, White House press conferences, even the U.S. Congress.

Put him before an audience in his heyday, whether of three people or 3,000, and he could weave a spell worthy of Gandalf.

But now let us step over the camera and lighting cables, walk past the brilliantly painted frontage of whichever modern temple of glitz he is patronising – the Millennium Dome would be appropriate – and venture backstage.

Examine the real Britain after ten years of Blair.

35 comments to Blair’s legacy

  • RAB

    Bugger!
    I meant that comment to be on the thread below!!
    I went to the loo before posting. When I came back you’d bunged up another thread Mid! Sorry!!!
    But nevermind it is indicative nevertheless of how my country has been subverted by this statist socialist NuLab. And we are the guinea pigs.

  • Midwesterner

    Actually, RAB, it fits this thread so perfectly I thought it belonged here. I would ask where you find these stories, but I am afraid the answer would be that they are all too frequent.

    Incidently, my outbound email is down. I was going to give you a heads up that I was using your link. Incoming email works so it must be something to do with a server change my ISP is doing.

  • dearieme

    I hope that Laban Tall will forgive me if I repeat a comment I made on his blog. “Try Blair. We tried and executed Charles stuart, we should do the same to antony Charles lynton blair. The former’s troubles started with rebellion in Scotland; perhaps the latter’s will too. Try Blair.” Now there’s an eye-catching initiative with which he can be personally associated.

  • Novus

    Similar stuff here from Simon Heffer, albeit better written and slightly less hysterical. ;)

  • RAB

    I think it’s high time we got hysterical
    Dont you All !!!???

  • Novus

    Absolutely, RAB, but it never works very well as opinion-forming journalism; it’s makes what you’re saying too easy to dismiss.

  • RAB

    Well Novus, The dismissing is usually done between consenting adult opinion forming journalists…Usually columnists, who are all hysterical in many ways. Polly Toynbee for example.Yet has she not been annointed by the future king of fatuousness, Dave?
    Meanwhile the public have read the words
    and if they are not completely gaga
    Taken note.

  • Nick M

    Ten years ago Blair told us to vote Labour because we had “24hrs to save the NHS”. The NHS is more in crisis than it was then despite a decade and countless billions of extra cash.

    Ten years ago he promised to be “tough on crime and the causes of crime”. He has been neither. I think he’s been even weaker on the causes. A decade’s worth of countless billions poured into “community projects” has only decreased the social mobility of the populace and re-inforced an underclass going nowhere.

    Ten years ago he promised “Education, Education, Education”. A decade’s worth of countless extra billions has (progressively) resulted in “Edukation, Ejukastion, Ejukashon”.

    In that decade Blair has overseen the proportion of GDP going to the state rise from the high 30s% to the high 40s% despite moderate but steady economic growth (which can only really be attributed to the wit and enterprise of the British people – not Blair, not Brown, not Labour). And in that time of an ever expanding government pot it has been squandered on plans which have been counter-productive, doomed, incompetently executed or quixotic.

    Perhaps Blair wanted to permanently re-mould the UK in the form of a Scandinavian-style, high tax, high quality services welfare state*?

    Whatever! He failed by his own standards. I could have written much the same as I have here on a centre-left “progressive” blog because I am not judging Blair by my standards or what I perceive Samizdata standards to approximate to. I’m judging Blair by his own standards and his own promises. He has been a failure by those and is therefore an absolute failure because it is a rum state of affairs when a statist leader can’t even please himself with what he has wrought.

    Well, at least he wasn’t as bad as Harold-bloody-Wilson.

    *A model which by 1997 was thoroughly discredited but that’s not my point.

  • jk

    Okay, I’ll dissent.

    I can’t find anything to like in PM Blair’s economic policies. But his stalwart support of the war is a true profile in courage. He has chosen what is right against what is popular.

    And, he gave the struggle an eloquent voice that my President, shall we say, lacks.

    Unlikely that a socialist advanced freedom, but Mr. Blair did. Cheers!

  • Jack Maturin

    There is the question, if Blair is so bad, then why was he elected three times in a row? You might say that we deserve socialism in Britain, and its leaders such as Blair, because socialism is what we desire, that is, the ability to rob others more successful than ourselves, and bring them down to our own mediocre level through the easy sanction of the state. Blair isn’t the problem, he is merely the symptom. The problem is the stupidity of British people. But why are we so stupid? At the heart of it all is the simple truth that dares not speak its own name. Democracy, fed by the cancer of state education, is the true God that has failed, not Antony Lynton Blair.

    And until we all wake up and realise that, it makes no difference who controls the train set, whether it be Brown, Blair, Cameron, or anyone else whose surname starts from the psychologically self-important front half of the alphabet. Democracy is socialism and socialism is democracy. Until we destroy democracy, we will be ruled by these socialist clowns forever, whatever colour rosette they wear.

  • n

    jk,
    Yes it was right that he supported the US in our war (and it as much ours as the US’s but it’s a shame that his record on practically supporting the UK military is shameful (though not uniquely). He has undermined them with ridiculous rules of engagement, dismal logistics and his government has (again, not uniquely) made an absolute mess of procurement resulting in such farces as the deeply bowdlerised Type-45 destroyers. They could carry, but will not be fitted with: Spearfish torpedos, Harpoon/ Tomahawk/ Stormshadow missiles and the flight deck is not being made compatible with Merlin Helicopters. Rather they’ll carry the geriatric Lynx. The US soldiers in Afghanistan call our lot “The Flintstones”. In Iraq they called us “The Borrowers”. We are fighting this war really half-assed. It’s a Children’s Crusade.

  • Nick M

    again that should be “Nick M”, not “n”

  • nick g.

    How about ‘The Blairs; which Legacy?

  • manuel II paleologos

    Do you think over half of people spontaneously came up with that one?
    Q. “What’s your opinion of Tony Blair”
    A. Well, actually, you know, I think he manages to convince himself that whatever he has decided to do must be morally right, like”
    Or was some kind of leading question involved?
    What’s more, I’d suggest that that statement could be applied to practically anyone.

    I don’t like his taxation tendencies and general tendency to meddle, but
    - my childrens’ school is a better place for the changes they have introduced (with admittedly a fair bit of help from the Major government)
    - he was right when it mattered most about Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, even though it would have been much easier for him to duck out (see Jacques Chirac)
    - he is (usually) pleasingly noncommittal towards the global warming fascists
    - he has made it fashionable to take most of August off on holiday.

  • APL

    attributed to RAB: [Blair]“is an orator of near-genius,..”

    echoed by JK: [Blair] ” gave the struggle an eloquent voice”

    Eloquent, shades of genius, orator! Tony Blair? Those words have sure changed their meaning since I was in school.

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    Jack,

    I don’t think democracy itself is the problem, I think the constitution governing the democratically elected government needs ot be reinforced to severely limit parliament’s powers.

    The parliament should pass no law to raise taxation other than to provide for the nation’s defence and the provision of law and order. All other government programmes should be strictly voluntarily funded, reducing the government’s welfare, education and health programs to the status of charity. If the state can’t convince taxpayers to voluntarily donate to these causes, they obviously are not at the forefront of people’s requirements or desires, or they would prefer to choose another provider of these services. I prefer the democracy of the market than the democracy of the pollbooth.

    Government should simply be a sideshow to the main game of people getting on with their lives. The state is not front and centre, my self, my family, my friends, the people I work and live with and share city or town areas with, these are the people that count. Not Tony Blair or George Bush or John Howard. To a certain extent that is true already, if you examine voter turnout in US and UK elections, unfortunately in Australia, we have compulsory voting, as did Saddam Hussein. Australia’s politicians need absolute reinforment that they are somehow legitimised by the democratic process in thieving our wealth for their purposes.

    Take away the state’s ability to fund it’s programs, and you destroy its control over us. let us have national debates and elections over defence and law and order, but not on welfare, education and health.

  • John K

    I can’t find anything to like in PM Blair’s economic policies. But his stalwart support of the war is a true profile in courage. He has chosen what is right against what is popular.

    Blair’s problem, and the root of his moral cowardice, is that he could not bear to do what was right without making it popular.

    This is why the Iraq War is so damned unpopular. I do not buy the line that it is an illegal war, but I have no doubt we were lied to by Blair and his coterie to drum up support for the war.

    Alistair Campbell lifted one dossier from a student’s thesis on the internet, tarted it up a bit, and presented it as evidence for war. This is now called the “dodgy dossier”, but in fact that two faced piece of slime should be in prison for what he did.

    The same man, acting as his master’s voice, then, without doubt, “sexed up” the second dossier to make it appear that Saddam could launch chemical weapons within 45 minutes, which could reach Cyprus. These lies lead directly to the hounding to death of Dr Kelly, and the war with the BBC. I think anyone who followed the Hutton Inquiry will have been amazed at the volume of evidence it produced, proving the lies and deceit this government undertook to sell the war to the public, and the only shock was that the old fool reached the perverse verdict that the government was innocent and the BBC guilty.

    There was ample evidence to show that Saddam Hussein was our enemy, would always be our enemy, that he had never accepted the terms of the ceasefire at the end of the 1991 war, and that he had to be removed from power. But that was not good enough for ACL Blair. He had to have a better, scarier story to tell, and he lied and twisted and deceived the British people. If the war in Iraq had been over quickly and our troops were now back home he would have got away with it. I’m sure that was his plan. Instead, this lying, spinning scoundrel has seen his term in office collapse in the ruins of his own deceit. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer man.

  • RAB

    APL. Not attributed to me but to Max Hastings, who wrote the article.
    I merely emailed it to Midwesterner.

  • John_R in WA

    Slightly OT, I know, but I must contradict Brendan Halfweeg above: in Australia we do NOT have compulsory voting. We have compulsory attendance at the polling station. What you do with your ballot paper once it is issued is up to you. My preference is always to leave it blank. These “informal votes” (as they are called) ARE counted and are part of the official stats of each state and federal election.

    OK, now we return you to the studio …

  • nicholas gray

    Just to totally contradict John R., on my recent form at the NSW State Election, it said VOTING was compulsory. This may simply be a state matter, but I did think the wording was ominous.

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    I’m not sure you are contradicting me John_R, an informal vote are still considered votes. The compulsion is to turn up at the booth as you say. I got caught out when I lived in Victoria, where the council elections were compulsory and could only be submitted by post (this was 1999). I failed to vote because in WA, council elections are not compulsory, and I was in the process of returning to Perth. I got the $50 fine in the post forwarded to my new address, and got out of it claiming that I’d moved before the election was held. I am now completely disnefranchised as I have been out the country for the last 5 years.

    I find it bizarre that in Britain they don’t compel you to vote, but will fine you for not being registered. I also find it bizarre that as a citizen of the Commonwealth and as a resident of the UK, I am eligible to vote in the UK. I may well register just so I can vote UKIP.

  • Regarding Blair’s speaking ability, he is facile and clever. He is not a great speaker, precisely because he has trouble conveying real substance. When he speaks together with George Bush he seems eloquent, but that is merely by comparison. However, if you recall the 7/7 press conference after the London Undergound bombings, he seemed weak and uncertain compared to John Howard, who happened to be meeting with him, and who gave a much more straightforward and substantive impromptu speech.

  • RAB

    Blair is an actor.
    He trained as a Barrister, and acting is the main attribute you must possess for that profession.
    Any fool can get a Law Degree.
    He has managed to fake sincerity and as George Burns said “If you can fake that, you got it made!”
    Well he had it made for 10 years. But finally the rest of the population are finally seeing what I saw the day I laid eyes on him-
    A big eager to please puppy who will tell you anything you want to hear, whilst doing a big widdle on on the carpet of Great Britain because he is too imature to think through the consequences of his actions.

  • Sam Duncan

    I recall reading just over 10 years ago that every PM since they started polling about these things has been both the most popular and the least popular ever at some point in their career. (Hard to believe Major once had the highest approval rating of all-time, but he did.) It gave me some hope at the time (some of us saw through the NewLabour scam straight away) and although it’s taken longer than I expected for Blair’s stock to fall so low, sure as guns, it has.

    It’s ironic that he lost most of his support over the one thing he got right: going to war in Iraq. Although, having said that, the prosecution of the war has been lamentable, and most of the criticism he receives on that is deserved.

    I think there’s something else about this phenomenon worth noting: surely it happens because each new government benefits from the relief that it isn’t the last lot, then, once it’s actually had a chance to show its hand, suffers from the public’s frustration that it’s no better – or even worse. I wonder how long this can go on. And no, I don’t think it’s always been the case: I suspect it’s a peculiarity of the combination of universal suffrage and professional politics.

  • Jack Maturin

    …I think the constitution governing the democratically elected government needs ot be reinforced to severely limit parliament’s powers…

    Well Brendan…, they tried that in the US, and look where it got them! Perhaps the closest we have to a world-girdling fascist state, with troops stationed in virtually every country of the world, the client-state “western world” in virtual thralldom to the inflation-powered paper dollar monolith, and a metastasing imperial army invading anyone they like, under any pretext they like, to further the dictatorship of Washington DC and its parasitic elite.

    The parliament should pass no law to raise taxation other than to provide for the nation’s defence and the provision of law and order.

    But the problem comes with “Who decides what constitutes adequate provision of law and order?” and “Who decides what is an adequate level of taxation?” to pay for this – in Lenin’s immortal words, who shall guard the guards?

    If taxation funds an army, and then this army goes off marching around the world fomenting trouble, what do you expect but yet more trouble? If you think the answer to this is higher taxes to raise an ever larger army, which immediately causes even more trouble around the world, welcome to the modern world of ever-increasing death, destruction, and destabilisation. Welcome to the bloody ongoing horror of Iraq, the forthcoming wars against Iran and Korea, and the eventual world war with the Chinese and/or the Russians.

    The problem is that through taxation the “King” or the “President” or the “Prime Minister” can push all of their costs off on to the rest of us. With their intrinsic desire to increase the “inland” area under their control, to increase their tax revenues, and with all of their costs pushed onto everyone else, the inevitable result is a never-ending expansive process of destabilising empire building.

    The very worst form of security we can have is a tax-funded military. With no fiscal control to prevent them from going on military rampages (eg: the Roman Empire, the Spanish Empire, the British Empire, the American Empire, etc) and because this tax-funded military force can make the rest of us to pay for their bombastic excesses and incompetence, if we continue to pay for these clowns and their urges to blow everyone else up in their urge to increase their inland taxation range, eventually the bombs will come our
    way too – either in self-defence from invaded nations or tax-greedy offence from like-minded world states (eg: the old Soviet Union).

    And just look at what a waste of money these tax-funded militaries are, too. The Pentagon spends approximately $1 billion dollars a year on the US military.

    And they couldn’t even defend New York from 19 nut-jobs in thin-skinned commercial airliners. They couldn’t even defend their own headquarters from five nut-jobs and one commercial airliner. It’s simply pathetic.

    All other government programmes should be strictly voluntarily funded…I prefer the democracy of the market than the democracy of the pollbooth.

    Well here I think we can agree. That gets rid of 95% of the state.

    All you and I have to argue about is the other 5%.

    Take away the state’s ability to fund it’s programs, and you destroy its control over us.

    But if you leave them with the fig-leaf of control over the law, taxation, and the military, what exactly is stopping them from abusing this to get to the awful position we are in now? Jefferson et al tried to control evil men such as Hamilton with flimsy pieces of paper, and yet we still ended up with the US military monster, slaughtering all in its wake and causing endess war in its quest for peace. Jefferson et al blew it. Yes, he could perhaps have written “Life, Liberty, and Property”, rather than “the Pursuit of Happiness”, but in the end it would have made no difference.

    If you leave control and judgement of the law in the hands of a self-interested monopolistic elite, funded through taxation, you will always end up with death, destruction, and state socialism. The only way to prevent this is to remove the state entirely, down to the last rat in the “land property registration office”. Until we remove the last head of the Hydra, we will remain in a state of greater or lesser slavery, but slaves we will remain.

  • Jack Maturin

    …I think the constitution governing the democratically elected government needs ot be reinforced to severely limit parliament’s powers…

    Well Brendan…, they tried that in the US, and look where it got them! Perhaps the closest we have to a world-girdling fascist state, with troops stationed in virtually every country of the world, the client-state “western world” in virtual thralldom to the inflation-powered paper dollar monolith, and a metastasing imperial army invading anyone they like, under any pretext they like, to further the dictatorship of Washington DC and its parasitic elite.

    The parliament should pass no law to raise taxation other than to provide for the nation’s defence and the provision of law and order.

    But the problem comes with “Who decides what constitutes adequate provision of law and order?” and “Who decides what is an adequate level of taxation?” to pay for this – in Lenin’s immortal words, who shall guard the guards?

    If taxation funds an army, and then this army goes off marching around the world fomenting trouble, what do you expect but yet more trouble? If you think the answer to this is higher taxes to raise an ever larger army, which immediately causes even more trouble around the world, welcome to the modern world of ever-increasing death, destruction, and destabilisation. Welcome to the bloody ongoing horror of Iraq, the forthcoming wars against Iran and Korea, and the eventual world war with the Chinese and/or the Russians.

    The problem is that through taxation the “King” or the “President” or the “Prime Minister” can push all of their costs off on to the rest of us. With their intrinsic desire to increase the “inland” area under their control, to increase their tax revenues, and with all of their costs pushed onto everyone else, the inevitable result is a never-ending expansive process of destabilising empire building.

    The very worst form of security we can have is a tax-funded military. With no fiscal control to prevent them from going on military rampages (eg: the Roman Empire, the Spanish Empire, the British Empire, the American Empire, etc) and because this tax-funded military force can make the rest of us to pay for their bombastic excesses and incompetence, if we continue to pay for these clowns and their urges to blow everyone else up in their urge to increase their inland taxation range, eventually the bombs will come our
    way too – either in self-defence from invaded nations or tax-greedy offence from like-minded world states (eg: the old Soviet Union).

    And just look at what a waste of money these tax-funded militaries are, too. The Pentagon spends approximately $1 billion dollars a year on the US military.

    And they couldn’t even defend New York from 19 nut-jobs in thin-skinned commercial airliners. They couldn’t even defend their own headquarters from five nut-jobs and one commercial airliner. It’s simply pathetic.

    All other government programmes should be strictly voluntarily funded…I prefer the democracy of the market than the democracy of the pollbooth.

    Well here I think we can agree. That gets rid of 95% of the state.

    All you and I have to argue about is the other 5%.

    Take away the state’s ability to fund it’s programs, and you destroy its control over us.

    But if you leave them with the fig-leaf of control over the law, taxation, and the military, what exactly is stopping them from abusing this to get to the awful position we are in now? Jefferson et al tried to control evil men such as Hamilton with flimsy pieces of paper, and yet we still ended up with the US military monster, slaughtering all in its wake and causing endess war in its quest for peace. Jefferson et al blew it. Yes, he could perhaps have written “Life, Liberty, and Property”, rather than “the Pursuit of Happiness”, but in the end it would have made no difference.

    If you leave control and judgement of the law in the hands of a self-interested monopolistic elite, funded through taxation, you will always end up with death, destruction, and state socialism. The only way to prevent this is to remove the state entirely, down to the last rat in the “land property registration office”. Until we remove the last head of the Hydra, we will remain in a state of greater or lesser slavery, but slaves we will remain.

  • magnetic north

    “If you leave control and judgement of the law in the hands of a self-interested monopolistic elite, funded through taxation, you will always end up with death, destruction, and state socialism. The only way to prevent this is to remove the state entirely”

    Like Pakistan(Link), perhaps?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6587129.stm

  • Jack Maturin

    Apologies for double-posting.

  • Jack Maturin

    LOL this end, magnetic north. By Gad, just love those BBC stories on freedom. Also apologies for saying $1 billion, when it should of course have been $1 trillion. But what’s $999 billion dollars between friends? $-)

    Oh, and spelling metastasizing wrong too. That’ll serve me right for getting carried away, again.

  • Blair has alway struck me as a seedy actOR manager who found a regular job in a soap opera,Number 10 Downing Street,playing Prime Minister.

    “he was right when it mattered most about Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq,”

    Meanwhile he has enacted the most draconian measures and enslaved the British.We don’t pay him to play a White Knight and spread our armed forces across the Globe,the job Blair was elected to do,he has failed at miserably.
    His legacy should be to F-ck Off as soon as possible.

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    OK Jack, so how are you going to do it? Hope do you propose to abolish the nation state you live in, meanwhile preventing neighbouring nations from taking advatage of you defencelessness?

    I can’t see any need for any other type of law other than Common Law, so I would advocate limiting the state’s ability to make new law and repeal all such statutes.

    The US was a noble experiment for its first 60 odd years, then the Civil War happened, and the bohemeth was born out of that bloody episode.

  • Aristophanes Wasp

    I recall that it was the evil Saruman who could weave a spell over people while talking to them. Gandalf used reason and was immune to Saruman’s devices. Saruman’s fate was appropriate, hopefully so will Blair’s.

  • Jack Maturin

    Morning Brendan,

    OK Jack, so how are you going to do it?

    What? Liccle me? Personally? Well, where do I begin to help slaughtering the Leviathan? Crikey, that’s a tall order to overcome 5,000 years of greed and stupidity.

    Well, for the first bite by doing what little I can to help trap one socialist at a time, in a web of argument, and turn them away from their stupid religion and help them come over to the light side; either face-to-face, or through the medium of the interweb. I’ve done it a few times, and hopefully I can do it a few more, though yes, they do usually have to be turning our way first anyway. All we can do is help them complete the journey, as it’s virtually impossible to turn an adult fully committed to socialism, though if you can (as Von Mises did with Hayek), the results can be spectacular.

    Secondly, help push the work of all the Austrian and pre-Austrian masters (Bastiat, Say, Hazlitt, Menger, Von Mises, Uncle Murray, et al), to first of all enable those seeking for the truth that there is another way of thinking and helping them find it.

    Thirdly, simply just keep pushing the message whenever I can personally, that the only long-term solution to crush socialism is for the following meme to triumph, to whit, the basis of a “Totally Voluntary” society, as Professor Ralph Raico might put it:

    “Each person may do whatever they voluntarily wish to do so long as it avoids conflicting with the private property rights of any other individual.”

    This immediately leads to a sub-meme:

    “Each transfer of property between two individuals must be voluntary on both sides.”

    It also leads to a second sub-meme:

    “If anyone should try to transfer your property away from you, without your voluntary permission, you may defend yourself and your property.”

    Ok, so it’s a sad attempt to create a little triumvirate of linked memes, but what can you expect from an Asimov fan? :-)

    The second meme does of course completely exclude any form of taxation, which naturally leads us to your second question:

    … do you propose to abolish the nation state you live in, meanwhile preventing neighbouring nations from taking advatage of you defencelessness?

    Obviously, that ain’t going to be easy. First of all, we have to do what we can to get the state out of education, while at the same time increasing the numbers of those educated in the Austrian tradition – a sort of double-whammy, if you will. The Von Mises Institute is doing a fine job of populating the world with philosophers, historians, and economists educated in the Austrian tradition, especially in the US, and as Ms Rand said, once you control these key university departments, all else will flow from there.

    While these fine men and women of the Austrian tradition cleanse the world’s higher education establishments from the top down, the rest of us can do whatever we can to get the state out of education at a lower level. Again, not easy, but we can only do what we can.

    Eventually, so my hazy chaotic plan goes, enough people will come to realize what a state of thralldom socialism has got them in, and shake off the destructive and parasitic meme of Leviathan.

    Until the people wake up and decide to throw Leviathan off, it won’t happen, so this is the only route through to freedom that I can currently envisage.

    I think this pathway will also be smoothed if we serfs can see freedom in action; so the micro-states of Andorra, Singapore, Hong Kong, Monaco, etc, etc, will play an important catalytic role. What would be truly marvellous would be to see an American state going independent, and throwing off the shackles of Washington DC, though as Professor Hoppe has said, a state may be too large to do this, and a single settlement or county may be a more likely secessionary route to a free North America, with a snowball effect as each free area demonstrates its ability to prosper under unilateral independence.

    Though, of course, as we witnessed at Waco, the Washington monster may make such a thing very difficult. BTW, I think the New Hampshire libertarian project may have been better choosing a small southern state, and then tapping in to its old secessionary feelings, but I digress. (Though it would be nice if Alabama was the first US state to declare its independence from Washington.)

    As for how such states defend themselves from aggressors (such as the Washington DC federal army), I would turn to the Molinarian movement, including the works of Professor Hoppe, particularly the appallingly spelled:

    The Myth of National Defense

    and:

    The Economics and Ethics of Private Property

    though not of course forgetting:

    Democracy: The God That Failed

    I won’t bore you with what’s in those books, if you haven’t yet read them. But I would urge you to buy them and take a look.

    I can’t see any need for any other type of law other than Common Law, so I would advocate limiting the state’s ability to make new law and repeal all such statutes.

    Well, I can’t see any need for any other type of law other than Common law (governed by the three memes above), so I would advocate the complete introduction of a private legal system as advocated by Bruce Benson, in:

    The Enterprise of Law: Justice without the State

    The US was a noble experiment for its first 60 odd years, then the Civil War happened, and the bohemeth was born out of that bloody episode.

    Which of course, if you haven’t read it already, means you need to rush out and buy another fabulous book:

    The Real Lincoln

    Enjoy, as I believe North Americans of the MTV generation tend to say.

    And so to the grindstone of labour once more…

  • Nicely said!(Jack Maturin)