As Perry de Havilland has just said, there is to be a Stephen Davies talk organised by Libertarian Home next Monday (June 17th), As Perry also said, several Samizdatistas will be attending, definitely including me.
By way of a further teaser, here is an interesting titbit of verbiage that I rather laboriously typed out recently, from an earlier talk that Davies gave, last October, at Essex University. I did Sociology at Essex University in the early 1970s, and I recently learned that there is now an Essex University Liberty League, who organised this Davies talk. We never had that in my day.
The complete talk lasts 46 minutes. Here, at 41:00, is what Davies says about how politics now is currently in a process of realignment. I don’t know if I entirely agree with him about this, but it certainly is an interesting idea:
I think that what we’re seeing at the moment is a major realignment in politics. We’re in the early stages of it, but I think it will be completed within the next decade or less.
For the last thirty or forty years, politics has essentially been about an argument between two large blocks, if you will, of voters and the politicians who represent them. On the one side you have people who combine social conservatism and traditionalism with free markets and support for limited government. Their opponents are typically people who are their mirror image. They are in favour of individual liberty in the social area, but they favour government activism in the economic area. What I think is happening – and this is not only happening in the UK; it’s happening is several other countries, in some it has already been realised, like Poland – what we’re seeing is a shift towards a different polarity underlying our politics, between on the one side more consistent libertarians – people who are consistently pro-liberty in the way that perhaps they were in the early to late nineteenth century, against government intervention in the economy but also in favour of individual liberty in other regards, and opposed also to aggressive state action at the global or international level, and on the other side people who are consistent authoritarians – people who favour large scale government intervention in the economy, and industrial policy for example, protectionism, things of that sort, a heavy degree of economic planning by the state, but who are also nationalistic and strongly socially conservative.
Watch, as they say, the whole thing. If you can’t watch the whole thing, at least watch from 41:00 to the end. Or not, as you please. It is, after all, about liberty.
If I know Simon Gibbs of Libertarian Home, which I do, this Stephen Davies talk next Monday will, like that Essex University Liberty League talk, be videoed. And if I know Stephen Davies, which I do, this talk next Monday will be a fascinating and excellent performance.
I’m guessing that the new talk may be covering similar ground to the one at Essex University, but for me this is a feature not a bug. I generally have to read or listen to things several times in order to absorb them properly. (Which is another reason why I am such a particular fan of repetition.)