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]

Might we actually be winning?

In his ‘Seen Elsewhere’ section, top right, Guido is today linking to a piece entitled An Anarcho-Capitalist Defence of the Royal Family. Sounds like fun, and it is.

For me, the most amazing bit is not any bit in this piece, but the bit at the bottom where it says who wrote it:

Christina Annesley is a 21 year old anarcho-capitalist and the founder of Leeds Liberty League. She has a BA in History from the University of Leeds and is currently writing a dystopian fantasy novel.

There are just so many things that are great about that.

21 comments to Might we actually be winning?

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    I like the sound of this young woman.

  • Start reading the BB more, it is Libertarian (Minarchist) but also hosts some ancap stuff

  • We’ve had the pleasure of Christina’s company at the Rose and Crown. She is part of a new set of young and extremely enthusiastic libertarians, who frankly make me feel old. I think most of them (including Christina) got kicked out of UKIP or left of their own accord, over gay marriage and a lack of respect internally.

    They are socially able, outgoing, and might even be popular.

  • Well, Simon, if it makes you feel better, you make me feel old.

  • Eric Tavenner

    I don’t mind feeling old. It took lots of work to get here.

  • Paul Marks

    Someone who uses the term “capitalism” as a good term (as in “anarchocapitlism”) is likely to be O.K.

    I suspect the old Leeds Mercury crowd (the Voluntarists) would be happy – they would not even care about the Gay Marriage stuff, as they would not understand what the young lady was talking about – and would assume that she meant that newly wed husbands and wives should be gay.

    “Quite right Miss Annesley – the young are only young once, young married couples should be indeed by gay!”. Wesleylian Methodists (as opposed to Calvinist Methodists) never had a problem with joyful conduct (as long as it was innocent joy) – and Leeds was a Wesleylian Methodist town.

    As for a dystopian fantasy novel – material is not hard to find, one need only draw a line from modern trends to their logical conclusions.

    Of course if things really were going well one would not be able to do that (at least not straightforwardly).

    What would be nice would be if the author could be convinced to write a novel about how things go well…..

    It is actually possible.

    Winning is possible.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Bravo, Paul. *Loud applause*

  • Paul Marks

    Turning to the possibilities for victory.

    Victories for liberty are SUDDEN.

    Massive selling off of government owned companies, the scrapping of wage and price controls. Welfare reform (in the sense of welfare roll back)

    These things have to happen suddenly (before vested interests can fight back) or they do not happen at all. If delayed they get perverted (often horribly so). Liberty does not prosper in committee rooms. It prospers in the open – not behind closed doors.

    Contra Hayek – if something political (in the broad sense) is happening gradually over time (“evolving” or whatever), then it is likely to be something bad. And (again contra Hayek) if people do not have a clear understanding of political principles – then they are likely to be on the “Road to Serfdom”. People (at least some people) must have a clear understanding of what liberty is – and make a CHOICE to support liberty. If humans are not beings (do not make real choices – can not do otherwise than they do) then their liberty (being an “illusion”) is of no moral importance and its loss need cause no grief.

    Do not accept the philosophy of the collectivists and then quibble over the consequences – the consequence of collectivist philosophy will be collectivism (till this falls into chaos – for tyranny leads to breakdown and chaos eventually). Reject their philosophy (their view of what humans are) or stop wasting time talking about “freedom” (or hoping for it). If the only freedom is Hobbesian freedom (if there is no difference between free humans and free water – water “made free” by a dam being blown up, “freedom” without CHOICE) then it is of no importance anyway (once one accepts the antihuman philosophy of such writers as Thomas Hobbes – their politics naturally follows from it – contra Hobbes humans are moral AGENTS, water exploding from a fallen dam is not an example of agency, free water and free people are not the same thing).

    The price of liberty is indeed eternal vigilance – humans (who are beings – their moral responsibility is not an illusion) must clearly understand the principles of liberty and be prepared to make sacrifices for liberty (although always remembering General Patton’s point “I do not want men who are going to die for their country – I want men who are going to make the other …… die for his country”).

    Have a clear idea of what you want to do (your objective) – and then do it.

    A crises does not have to play out for the advantage of the collectivists.

    Not if their foes are ready – and do what needs to be done.

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    Here’s a little-explored dystopian theme; a future Britain which is virulently anti-muslim (or where the powers that be use islamophobia as a pretext for central control over everything, trying to root out hidden muslim tendencies.) everyone’s against Islam right now, so try something different.

  • Mr Ed

    As Paul says, liberty comes suddenly. Adenauer, I believe, scrapped a lot of regulations on a Sunday, hoping that the Allied Control Commissioners who might have vetoed him, were at leisure and would not be reacting until the Monday, he was right, his reforms stood.

    If a libertarian minded party won power, it should perform ‘stunts’ to set the mood, like closing down whole government departments in a day, without warning, in a manner like Bomber Harris in this drama documentary at 6’ 57“ with John Thaw from 1989, but saying ‘Right, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, let’s wipe it out!’. Then have peaceful crowds go in to ‘liberate’ the Ministry property as bona vacantia and let them tip vast piles of paperwork out the windows like confetti, a bit like the scene in Downfall where an entire street is full of paper as files are destroyed before the Soviets arrive.

    Then get the RAF’s last Lancaster to drop Tallboys on subsidised windfarms (with notice, after an evacuation) and you would get crowds of aviation enthusiasts cheering the spectacle, and energy bills falling. It would make the mood positive and the bulk of people might be interested in the spectacle and pleasant consequences.

  • Mr. Ed, that was visionary, no less!

  • In all seriousness though, I actually used to subscribe to the gradualist approach – but I do see Paul’s point and yours, and it makes me rethink. Still, the sudden-attack approach may not do with state institutions on which too many people depend for their livelihood – such as welfare dependents, especially the sick and the elderly etc.

  • Mr Ed

    Alisa, welfare would have to be gradualist, but we could abolish, in the UK’s political establishment.


    Business, Innovation and Skills
    Communities and Local Government
    Environmemnt, Food and Rural Affairs
    International Development
    Energy and Climate Change

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    The best approach would be to settle in Antarctica, learn to cook seaweed, and squat there until we had too many people for other countries to pretend we didn’t exist. If we arrived in nuclear-powered ships, they could give us the energy we’d need to get started!
    Who’s up for it- a new nation from scratch?

  • Paul Marks

    The key point about “evolution” of things is whether the trail and error stuff is voluntary or by state power.

    If it is voluntary then people really do learn better customs over the generations (if only by watching what happens to those who make the wrong choices), but if it is the state no progress can be expected (quite the reverse).

    If the use of state power is by a trial and error process then it is “error” that will prosper.

    There must be clear principles – clearly understood.

    Even such things as the end of slavery do not “evolve” – slavery must be understood to be wrong (the use of force – a series of crimes, false imprisonment, assault, and so on) and its end must be campaigned for (as a matter of PRINCPLE).

    Hard for someone who does not believe in principles of natural justice – and does not believe that humans are beings (who can make choices on the basis of their principles).

    No one can not, correctly, say that Hans Kelson and Carl Schmitt were right in their philosophy – but wrong in their conclusions.

    There conclusions (whether National Socialist or international socialist) flow naturally from their philosophy – because the philosophy is wrong.

    If that means that people like Woodrow Wilson call you a “reactionary” then rejoice in the “insult” – after all collectivists have been attacking people on those lines that since Plato sneered at the (common sense) definition of justice.

  • Paul Marks

    That should read “One can not, correctly, say that….

  • Paul Marks

    Alisa – on the Welfare State I am a reformist also. The cultural institutions of civil society have been undermined (partly deliberately, party simply as a side effect of the growth of the state).

    But I have seen plan after plan fail – indeed worse than fail (make the situation worse). Partly because the plans get put through the meat grinder of the political process – but mostly because they (the plans) started from false principles in the first place.

    Even basic questions such as “what is your objective – where are you trying to get to?” are neglected.

  • Very true, Paul. I guess there’s no general approach that would fit all cases – rather, it should be modified on a case-by-case basis.

  • Tedd

    Mr Ed: I have a vivid image in my mind of Lancasters bombing wind farms, and it’s glorious! Thank you. (I use the plural because we have one flying over here in the colony, too, whose owners might be convinced to go along with the plan.)

    Regarding gradualism versus revolution, I suspect they’re two sides of the same coin. I’m no historian, but I would bet that revolution has most often been the end point of a long period of gradual change in memes. Chance events might be the seed crystal around which the revolution forms, but without the right preconditions the revolution also won’t happen.

    That’s why I suspect that those who envision a great financial collapse being the event that finally leads us to give up on the mega state will be disappointed. There’s still a lot of work to do before the right preconditions to a different future are in place.

    However, the existence of people such as Christina Annesley gives me hope that we’re getting closer.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Alisa – for example the sale of public lands (to make sure that the old, who have been told for decades that they do not need to save for their old age, at least get something) might work in the United States – but it would not work in Britain (where there are no vast government owned lands to sell).

    However, regardless of where one is – one must still have an objective, and this is often not the case with free market reformers.

    For example Milton Friedman was strongly in favour of the government paying poor people for being poor (the negative income tax) – he seemed blissfully unaware that this would increase poverty (his mistake was partly to fail to understand the massive disutili8ty of work for most people – saying “you will get a few Dollars more if you work” is not good enough to overcome that disutility).

    The welfare underclass if very real – even in countries were some free market reform has taken place (such as New Zealand), indeed “targeting welfare on the poor” makes the underclass of dependants bigger and bigger.

    The objective should be to find ways to roll back this sort of thing – not make it permanent.

    Still bankruptcy (de facto bankruptcy) may take the matter beyond choice.