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Idiots on parade

I don’t know whether the annual Glastonbury Music Festival is the world’s longest running or the world’s most famous music festival or whatever but it always attracts great heaving mobs of students and twenty-somethings.

For our enemies, this is a target-rich environment:

Bands play above a huge Greenpeace banner on the main stage, there are notices about Third World water supplies inside the toilets and organisers want every single person to sign a petition for fairer international trade laws.

On top of that, Tony Benn got a rock star’s welcome, a Palestinian group has brought an inflatable tank, Columbian trade unionists are planning to stage mock kidnappings of comedian Mark Thomas and singer Billy Bragg, and the Drop the Debt double decker bus is offering its bath to a lucky competition winner.

Depressing, isn’t it. Mind you, there’s always the risk of overkill:

“You notice it a lot but I don’t really take much interest it,” said Lisa Rush, 28, from Colchester.

Come the day we see a ‘Hayek Stall’ at a rock festival, we will truly know that we have turned a corner.

11 comments to Idiots on parade

  • It will have to express something to do with fun, laughter and kindness. Not hard, really.

  • Richard Garner

    The trouble is that this is a constituency that we must appeal to, not least because this constituency represents the future, and if liberty is to be furthered it must have a future.

    To do this, libertarianism must be seen as radical. It must be seen as an alternative. Murray Rothbard, Karl Hess, and others, managed it in the nineteen sixties and seventies to a slight degree, and it was their movement that spawned the US libertarian movement as it is today. Nozick noted that it was a conversation with Rothbard in the 1970 that made him consider libertarianism. It was the burning of a draft card at a national convention of the Young Americans For Freedom where Karl Hess was shut out that lead to the formation what was to become the International Society for Individual Liberty. Lew Rockwell might like digging up articles by Rothbard condemning “pinkos,” calling for closed borders and lamenting the decline of “traditional values,” but it was articles that condemned conservartism as the opposite of the spectrum from libertarianism, that pointed out that big business did make up a large part of a very real ruling class that needed to be disposed of, and that “extremism in defense of liberty is not vice… moderation in the pirsuit of justice is no virtue” that inspired the modern libertarian movement.

    There are clear reasons why young students should support us: We want to completely legalise drugs and sex, complete freedom of expression, abolition of all grants of monopoly privilege and corporate welfare, the demolition of institutionalised racism by putting institutions on a competitive, voluntary basis, etc, etc.

  • Johan

    “You notice it a lot but I don’t really take much interest it,” said Lisa Rush, 28, from Colchester.”

    That is so true; people who don’t care that much. I’m glad she doesn’t take much interest in the Greenpeace, marxist, neo-marxist, socialist, anarchist propaganda, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean she will take much interest in libertarian or conservative ideas either.

    I don’t blame her, though. Listening to music and all other fun things you can do beats “boring” politics…

  • And not taking much notice does not mean they do not influence her.

    Research regularly shows that people dismiss the idea that advertising affects their purchase decisions, but that in fact it does. All that stuff in the background is very opinion-forming.

    I think the freedom-versus-redistributive-‘justice’ is the nettle we need to grasp. In other words – all taxes need to be justified in detail because all taxes are anti-freedom.

  • S. Weasel

    I really had hoped that once the original hippies turned bald and saggy-titted (though, please, not both at once), they and all their works would pass into the uncool. I can’t imagine a teenaged me finding my parents’ – or grandparents’ – worth imitating.

    I suppose it’s that faint whiff of free sex, drugs and glowing unicorn lurv energy.

  • Come the day we see a ‘Hayek Stall’ at a rock festival, we will truly know that we have turned a corner.

    Why don’t you try it then?

  • Toulson Caffrey

    You’d think the stultifying boredom of Billy Bragg’s music would have been enough to have brought socialism into disrepute with festival-goers years ago. But he’s still here, drawing crowds. How depressing.

    Speaking of Rush, I think the closest rock music has ever got to libertarianism was with Canadian prog rockers Rush (no relation presumably), who I think were Rand enthusiasts.

    I don’t think we can look to pop music to help us here…

  • Julian Morrison

    british-brand compromise-everything libertarianism will never be cool. No-compromises anarchocapitalism has a chance.


  • mark holland

    There is this song Toulson. Pop it ain’t, that’s for sure!

  • Simon Austin

    For those of you that don’t know
    Psssst. This festival is & always will be about the money! It gets dressed up annualy to be this wooly fluffy luvvie event…….

    Its bollocks….. Money is all that matters at Glastonbury. I should know, I used to look after a fair whack of the production in the eighties. These days it is far more commercial!

    The whole event is becoming a weekend retreat for whole families in nicely kitted out Winnebagos & designer tents.

    The money generated is quite phenomenal



  • Biased Observer

    Hayek Booth? Selma or Friedrich?

    I say use both (the old bait and switch). It’ll work every time.