We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Anton Howes on the Golden Age that never stopped

One of my favourite up-and-coming libertarian intellectuals is Anton Howes, who manages to combine being both a hugely effective libertarian activist and a very promising academic. He, along with a great gaggle of others, runs the very impressive Liberty League, and he is doing some very interesting historical research.

The particularly good Anton Howes news, from the point of view of the sort of people who read Samizdata, is that Anton Howes now has a blog, Capitalism’s Cradle. It reflects Anton’s research interests. He is studying the origins of the British Industrial Revolution by studying the biographies of several dozen
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Anton Howes on the industrial revolution – now available on video

One of the intellectual highlights of my year has been hearing Anton Howes (whom I first noticed while noticing the Liberty League) expound the idea that the British industrial revolution was, at heart, an ideological event. The industrial revolution happened when it did and where it did because certain people in that place and at that time started thinking differently. To put it in Samizdata-speak, the metacontext changed. Particular people changed it, not just with the industrial stuff that they did, but with what they said and wrote.

I first heard Howes give this talk at my last Friday of
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Anton Howes on Michael Gove’s plan to impose a government exam board monopoly

The answer to a market where the participants compete to make things worse by following bad incentives is to ask what is creating those bad incentives and to stop doing that, not to impose a monopoly.

That thought is my response to, and my almost entire agreement with, an ASI blog posting by Anton Howes, which is critical of Education Minister Michael Gove’s plan to replace competing examination boards with a state monopoly examination board. Gove says these are now racing each other to the bottom, racing each other, that is to say, in lowering standards.

But, says Howes:

The
…continue Anton Howes on Michael Gove’s plan to impose a government exam board monopoly

Manoeuvring the Benevolent Laissez Faire conference

Since Brian is busy exploring rooftops and mountains in the south of France, it is my turn to be “nudged” by conference organiser Simon Gibbs whose event is running this Saturday (May 14th).

As Brian predicted Simon has indeed been busy, not least sorting out a new venue – De Morgan House, on Russell Square. Problems with a floor, or something. Make sure you go the right place.

It is also interesting that the event has won over a new speaker – Syed Kamall. Syed has always kept good company by attending the right events and has impeccable free-market credentials.
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Benevolent Laissez Faire conference on May 14th

I am being nudged by Simon Gibbs, who is organising it, to say something here, now, about this Libertarian Home event, about and against taxation.

This event will happen on the afternoon of Saturday May 14th, in Holborn, London. The speakers (see the list here) will include: Yaron Brook; Anton Howes; and a couple of new names to me, “Janina Lowisz, BitNation and Julio Alejandro, Humanitarian Blockchain”. Sounds intriguing, in a twenty first century and good way. I’m guessing that the gist of what they may say will be that the internet makes it possible for things to be crowd-funded
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My year in twelve pictures

If Michael Jennings can roam the world taking photos, then I can roam London and nearby spots, doing the same. Here are twelve photos from my year, one for each month.

They are chosen, I hasten to add, as much to help me say things about what is in them and about digital photography as for their technical quality. Which is… rather variable.

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Deirdre McCloskey’s list of true liberals

Almost a decade ago now, the still much missed Findlay Dunachie did a posting here about the wicked sayings and doings of Communist academics and supporters and subverters in America, some of whom were then trying to expunge from the historical record their long catalogue of blunder and subterfuge and just plain evil. Earlier this year I encountered this posting again, and recycled its particularly eloquent opening sentences as a Samizdata quote of the day.

But this posting contained other things that were perhaps even more memorable than those opening sentences, namely two lists of the bad communists and communist
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The Liberty League Freedom Forum 2013 and the rapidly growing strength of the UK’s pro-liberty student network

Just about now, I had hoped to be writing in some detail about some of the many interesting things said at the Liberty League Freedom Forum 2013, which happened last weekend. I still hope to. Meanwhile, I have already done a quick posting at my personal blog, with lots of photos, about how good, in general, this event was. And here is another posting about LLFF2013 to say, again, that it was very good.

As I said at my own blog, the best thing about this gathering, excellent though the line-up of speakers was, was the audience that it succeeded
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The Liberty League’s upcoming Freedom Forum in Newcastle

I was just about to do a posting here linking to this Anton Howes piece, but I see that Johnathan Pearce has go there first, see below. I strongly agree about the importance in particular of student libertarianism, which the Liberty League is doing so much to encourage.

The only thing I now need to add to that is that earlier this week I promised Anton Howes I would mention here that the Liberty League‘s Freedom Forum 2012 is coming up soon, on the weekend of March 30th/April 1st, in Newcastle.

This is not a convenient place for me, but
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The vibrancy of libertarianism on our campuses

I know Anton Howes, a smart guy who is part of the new generation of 20-somethings making their mark in spreading pro-liberty ideas in our university campuses in the UK.

“In the UK alone, the number of freedom-oriented student groups quadrupled in just a year from 7 to around 30, and the conferences held by the Liberty League, the UK’s network for young libertarians already attract over 100 people. The presence of these groups allows for all sorts of possibilities. Once they start to use their support to make their voice heard around campus, it will no longer appear
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