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Patrick Crozier talking about life in Britain in 1913

Tomorrow evening I have another of my last Friday of the month meetings at my home in London SW1. Recent Samizdata acquisition, and a friend of mine from way back, Patrick Crozier, will be the speaker. Regular readers of Samizdata will not be surprised to learn that Patrick will be talking about what life was like in Britain one hundred years ago, this being a regular theme of his postings on this blog.

In my email to Patrick about about what I hoped he might be talking about, I wrote this:

What I have in mind is: Were They Libertarians? Any more than now? At all? Or had Germanism by then done its stuff and turned everyone into rabid statists? That kind of thing.

Patrick’s reply:

In addition to attempting to answer your question I am going to try to give a picture of what life was like: unemployment, inflation, transport etc., as well as how people viewed the prospect of war.

Which is hardly a change of subject away from the libertarianism that is the ongoing agenda of all these evenings. Opinions are opinions, but events and existing arrangements and experiences shape opinions. Unemployment, inflation, transport and war are all regular objects of libertarian contemplation. So: excellent. I look forward to it all.

I am particularly looking forward to learning more about that last bit, about how people viewed the possibility of war. Did the sort of people whose opinions were reported by or published in The Times realise what they were about to unleash, or what was about to hit them? If they did think war was coming, what sort of war did they think it would be? And did they realise what a shot in the arm the Great War would be for the power of the state?

This time next year, Patrick’s postings here about events exactly a century ago will surely get very dramatic.

If you want to be told more about this and/or subsequent Last Friday of the Month meetings, email me, by going here and clicking where it says “Contact” (top left).

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