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]

Louw on principles

Alex Singleton of Liberty Log links to a Sunday Telegraph piece by Leon Louw of the South African Free Market Foundation. Louw is an actual live delegate at the Johannesburg eco-imperialist fest (eco-imperialism being Louw’s verbal coinage, not mine), and supplies first hand reportage from that deeply dangerous event. Recommended. (By the way, the above link to the FMF will now get you to another Johannesburg piece by Roger Bate.)

Louw has been one of my favourite libertarians every since he spoke at the 1984 Libertarian International gathering held here in London (far outskirts of). I loved the talk he gave then, which the Libertarian Alliance published.

I especially treasure his insight that all legal principles without exception have potential grey areas associated with them in certain cases. Property rights are often hard to clarify in particular cases, “reasonable” self defence can often be hard to agree about, when is pollution pollution?, and so on. Hence the ubiquitous need for law courts to settle hard cases.

So, never disagree with your opponent’s principles merely because it can sometimes be hard to apply them, for that will be true of your principles also. Disagree with them because they are bad principles, all the more dangerous when easily applied.

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