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]

Samizdata quote of the day

The post-Brexit, post-Trump political battle lines seem to have been drawn up between “globalism” (a dysphemism for “free trade”) and protectionism (the second most stupid idea in history, but still dangerously powerful among the economically illiterate). So it looks like we are heading back toward the old Conservative/TruLib™ or Tory/Whig divide. The realignment will take some time to work its way through though. Firstly, for example, the Labour Party (which still commands some tribal loyalty) needs to finish committing suicide. The new players, UKIP and the Greens, need to submit to the discipline of the electoral market and form consistent political and economic stances.

In many ways I am as politically homeless in this new alignment as I was in the old. UKIP is a strong candidate to replace the Labour Party, but I don’t fit in its mercantilist ranks. The only thing I have in common with the Trumps, Farages and LePens of this world is that I believe when someone does move to another culture they should assimilate. I see NO obligation on a host country to modify any legal, ethical, religious, social or political norms to make new arrivals feel at home.

I don’t feel comfortable in the Conservative Party either. It’s more inclined towards free markets than the other contenders but it’s socially illiberal and inclined to build a scarily powerful state. Yes, it’s a successful fighting force with a lot of internal cohesion and has been much strengthened as an electoral machine now that Brexit has removed the only threat to its unity. There is no doubt it will be one of the potential parties of government in the new order and in the likes of Dan Hannan it has some sound thinkers but I hunger for a home that is more authentically TruLib™

Tom Paine

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

55 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • John Galt III

    “Dan Hannan a sound thinker……”

    Hmm, ok.

    Who said this, “I can think of only two parties that, while having an Islamic foundation, uncomplicatedly support secular, liberal democracy. They are at opposite ends of the region, one in Morocco and the other in Turkey. Both are called Justice and Development (PJD in Morocco, AK in Turkey), and both are running successful governments.”

    Turkey? Are you kidding me?

    Then this:

    “You can be certain that the comment thread which follows will be filled with furious screeds to the effect that there is no such thing as democratic Islam, and that I want to bring the Janissaries back to the gates of Vienna. A surprising number of people spend their days searching the web for articles containing the word ‘Muslim’ so that they can start trolling.

    “Paradoxically, those who take the line that Islam is incompatible with pluralist democracy are reinforcing the arguments of the jihadi loons. Nothing is more likely to push some Muslims towards extremism than being repeatedly told that they want to overthrow society. These statements, as I say, have a tendency to be partly self-fulfilling.”

    Poor UK, when this lunatic is your shining example of wisdom. Emigrate now, stay in Europe and go to Hungary, Poland etc. like many fed up Germans and French are doing. At least these Eastern European nations are willing to fight back. Of course you can remain Eloi and get eaten by the Morlocks all the while praising the likes of Hannan.

  • John Galt III writes of Hannan:

    Poor UK, when this lunatic is your shining example of wisdom.

    No two peole agree on everything, not even in a sub-sphere of interest; and this is especially true in the sub-sphere of politics in a democracy.

    Given a list of electorial candidates, every one of whom one disagrees with on several things, what is one supposed to do?

    An example I would not recommend following is that exercised by the USA in the primaries relating to their recent presidential election. Failing to support moderately agreeable candidates for reasons minor to irrelevant is going to leave candidates with ‘dedicated’ supporters as the beneficiaries. Then you get an election where the majority of voters are wondering what the hell went wrong with their democractic process.

    If JG3 wants to advise the UK on how to vote (and IIRC he has no vote here), he should give us an opinion on whom to vote for in preference to those he disparages. And why too for preference – though on the whole range of issues that are currently politically important to us.

    Best regards

  • Laird

    I don’t know the source of those two quotes posted by JG3 or how old they are, but even accepting them at face value everyone is entitled to have a blind spot somewhere. And surely you can’t deny that Dan Hannan is generally a sound thinker. Indeed, from my perspective (as someone who is not immersed in the day-to-day minutia of British politics) he seems to be the brightest light you have.

    But if you really don’t want him please send him over to the US.

    America hath need of thee: she is a fen
    Of stagnant waters

    (Apologies to Wordsworth)

  • I think Hannan is, on balance, a Good Thing.

  • Lee Moore

    I see NO obligation on a host country to modify any legal, ethical, religious, social or political norms to make new arrivals feel at home.

    And there in a beautiful little nutshell, is the problem with a libertarian approach to immigration (and indeed a libertarian approach to anything.) Just as the host has no obligation to adapt itself to newcomers – how could it in a liberal society ? – the newcomers have no obligation to adapt themselves to the host. But once they are here, they become part of the host. The host is changed by their presence. The old hosts no longer rule themselves, they are ruled by the new host = {old host plus immigrants}. Legal, ethical, religious, social and political norms WILL be modified, for the new rulers are different from the old rulers. If the immigrants do not assimilate to a reasonable extent, there will be conflict, and the old hosts may be usurped.

    In practice, if immigration is slow and steady, and new immigrants find that they must assimilate to a reasonable extent in order to get by in their new society, then the old hosts will absorb the immigrants comfortably, with their norms evolving slowly.

    But this process cannot be squared with mass and rapid immigration, or as Mrs T correctly put it forty years or so ago – “swamping.” A libertarian approach to immigration is not reconcilable with reality. Just as a libertarian approach to all sorts of things is not reconcilable with reality. Certainly, libertarian prejudices are perfectly fine, and scepticism about the benefits of government interference is very definitely reconcilable with reality.

    Libertarian prejudices need to be diluted with several pints of common sense before they can be exposed to the sort of rough and tumble that real political parties trying to govern real countries have to put up with. That is why no actual political party, beyond the size of a Trotskyite groupuscle, will ever be acceptable to a true-believer libertarian.

  • Cal Ford

    “The post-Brexit, post-Trump political battle lines seem to have been drawn up between “globalism” (a dysphemism for “free trade”) and protectionism”

    I think this is wrong. This is one battle-line, but not the only one. (Immigration, for example, is a bigger one.) And even this is drawn too crudely. Most of the people opposing Trump, for instance, are hardly full-blown free-traders. Those defending the EU aren’t either, the EU is a protectionist bloc. Farage is much more free trade than any of them. The situation is much more vague and chaotic than this Tom Paine seems to think.

  • And there in a beautiful little nutshell, is the problem with a libertarian approach to immigration (and indeed a libertarian approach to anything.)

    That old canard? Er, no, that in a beautiful little nutshell is how poorly the libertarian approach is understood.

    Legal, ethical, religious, social and political norms WILL be modified, for the new rulers are different from the old rulers. If the immigrants do not assimilate to a reasonable extent, there will be conflict, and the old hosts may be usurped.

    But that applies to ANY political system. Do you think the upheavals of the 1960s & 1970s were caused by immigration? They were not. The ‘libertarian approach’ that you invoke is not what you think it is: it is ENTIRELY about reducing the role of the state so the state’s ability to fuck up civil society is minimised. Not only does the ‘libertarian approach’ make [insure your boogieman of choice here such as “Muslim Immigrants”] far less scary if there are less ways the state can be turned against non-Muslims, the ‘libertarian approach’ does not cripple the assimilation process with ‘hate speech’ laws and ‘anti-discrimination’ laws (i.e abridging freedom of speech and freedom of association). And the ‘libertarian approach’ does not subsidise immigrants with welfare either. THAT is the ‘libertarian approach’.

    I grew up in the 1970’s and if you think Muslim immigration has altered the legal and political norms recently more that the waves of nationalisation in the 1970s by pasty faced Brits, you would be quite wrong. The whole balance between state and several ownership shifted dramatically as owners of land and capital were disposed by the state via punitive taxation or compulsory purchase.

    What you appear to me to think is there was some pristine pre-mass immigration state of stability that is now at risk. That is a illusion because it never existed in the first place.

  • I think this is wrong. This is one battle-line, but not the only one. (Immigration, for example, is a bigger one.)

    That might (or might not) be true in the USA regarding Trump, but it is not true in the UK regarding Brexit, even if that is indeed the Guardian/BBC/Remain narrative (that this is really all about immigration). However the Ashcroft Poll after Brexit indicated immigration a distant second as the main reason people voted for Brexit. For most people it was British laws should be make in Britain.

    Also poll after poll suggests widespread support in the UK post-Brexit for free trade agreements, not protectionism. There is some overlap in the social forces involved on both sides of the Atlantic, but UK ≠ USA and Brexit ≠ Trump.

  • Paul Marks

    “Tom Paine” has missed the point.

    “Globalism” is about a lot more than “Free Trade” – is about world GOVERNMENT (in fact if not in name).

    Someone who thinks that globalism is about “Free Trade” most likely thinks that the European Union is a trading club.

    And Paul makes his standard point about disliking the London word “Brexit”.

    If someone means independence – that is what they should say.

    And British independence had got nothing to do with “Protectionism”.

  • Lee Moore

    Royally missing the point, Perry.

    Which is – precisely because the world is not pristine, any policy about anything needs to reconcile political philosophy and ideals with the non-pristineness of reality.

    In the context of immigration, therefore, the ideal that people should be free to move about and settle as they please has to be reconciled with reality – which is what happens if lots of people who think X suddenly decide to move to a place where the aboriginals mostly think not X ? We have seen this movie before. Many many times.

    It is of course true that a land where the inhabitants mostly think not X, will face similar troubles if half the inhabitants suddenly start thinking X. That land’s future may be rocky. That’s a good reason to think about how to avoid such a situation arising. It’s not a good reason to generate the same problem by inviting a load of foreign X thinkers in.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Libertarianism is a movement away from Centralism, so Lee Moore is wrong to believe that we all have the same end-goal. I favour minarchism, the belief that local counties should be the strongest of the tiers of government, and I can point to Switzerland as proof that such decentralised systems can work. Such counties should be able to defend themselves, and control immigration, etc., as they decide.

  • Lee Moore

    Actually, I agree with you entirely Nicholas. Libertarianism is a movement, a direction of travel, not an implementable political programme. So no actual political party could ever be reliably libertarian. The best that you can hope for is that a political party generally approves of travel in a libertarian direction, and so will adopt policies that give a high priority to liberty, and/or which demonstrate proper scepticism about the efficacy of government intervention.

  • Cal Ford

    >However the Ashcroft Poll after Brexit indicated immigration a distant second as the main reason people voted for Brexit. For most people it was British laws should be make in Britain.

    I said immigration is a bigger issue than free trade vs protectionism. So a poll saying that the biggest issue for Brexiters was making our own laws, and the second biggest issue was immigration, seems to support my view that immigration is a bigger issue than protectionism.

    >Also poll after poll suggests widespread support in the UK post-Brexit for free trade agreements, not protectionism.

    Well, that’s sort of what I’m saying. The only people who want some form of protectionism in Britain are the Remainers, but even many of them don’t really understand that, they don’t realize that staying in the UK commits them to staying as part of a protectionist bloc.

    I’ve said quite a few times here that one of the good side-effects of Brexit was that it has forced the left to talk as though they’re free-traders. It’s rare to hear anybody in the UK now talking about putting a direct tariff on imports.

  • Cristina

    I favour minarchism, the belief that local counties should be the strongest of the tiers of government […]

    Beautiful. Me too. 😉

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Don”t tell Perry! He’s an Anarcho-capitalist! No borders or governments!

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    This might be the ideal time to start a Pro-Localist Society! “Locals, Rule!”, or “Share Power!”, since the tactic of most authoritarians is to concentrate power into their own hands, and libertarians like to disperse power. We can fight the centralist campaign, usually about sharing the wealth, with our own dogma about sharing power. Then other tiers of government become conventions and conferences, where useful ideas could be discussed, but not imposed.

  • Don”t tell Perry! He’s an Anarcho-capitalist! No borders or governments!

    Depends which Perry you are talking about. This one is a minarchist. 😎

  • Michael Taylor

    I think a useful start would be for people (like myself) who learned their Ricardo on their mother’s knee that the theory of comparative advantage depends on various assumptions which actually do not operate in a ‘globalized’ world in which capital (and to an extent labour) can move freely across borders. I may wish that were not so, but it really is, and we see the results in the destruction of local communities and the genuine impoverishment of the ‘working class’ in the UK today. (PS. If you’re living in London and don’t get round the country much, you probably don’t see this.)

    In these circumstances, you can be for globalism as is currently engineered, or you can be for free trade. But, very sadly, you can’t really be both.

  • Mr Ecks

    The piece is tripe.

    Yes protectionism is a bad idea.

    But since when have Cultural Marxist scum been Whigs. Some of the bastards might wear wigs but that is as near as it gets.

    And a libertarian society in the UK –or anywhere–(not that we have one anyway)–can not withstand the mass import and tax-assisted breeding programmes of those who don’t give a shit about liberty.

  • Lee Moore: Royally missing the point, Perry.

    Nah. You think it is about immigration policy, but a ‘libertarian approach’ would be to focus on private property rights, free speech and free association and not tax funding immigration.

    Mr Ecks: The piece is tripe (…) But since when have Cultural Marxist scum been Whigs (

    The piece makes perfect sense to me, and the meaning of ‘whig’ depends on when and where you peg the term.

    And a libertarian society in the UK –or anywhere–(not that we have one anyway)–can not withstand the mass import and tax-assisted breeding programmes of those who don’t give a shit about liberty.

    Doh. If a society is moving in a libertarian direction, there is no tax-assisted anything.

  • Tom

    Thanks for providing a wider platform for my modest musings. I am enjoying the feedback. We can at least agree, I hope, that the political battle lines are being redrawn? That presents both opportunities and dangers. I am interested to read others views on that, here or over at my site.

  • Kevin B

    I think we might have a problem with the definition of terms.

    To some people, globalisation means free trade, free movement of people and free movement of capital around the globe.

    To Joe Punter it means a bunch of ‘elite’ tossers getting together at Davos and deciding to which cheap labour third-world hell-hole to move Joe’s job. And it means the EU corruptly deciding which light bulbs he can use and what shape his cucumbers should be. And the UN corruptly pretending to control the weather by wrecking the energy infrastructure in Joe’s country. And his neighborhood becoming more diverse and colourful and his local health and education infrastructure collapsing from all the extra pressure. And George Soros sending a bunch of blackshirts round to beat him up if he complains.

    So in order to praise globalisation we need to separate it from the perceptions of Joe and those like him who see only downsides.

  • Paul Marks

    At the risk of making myself unpopular with the owner the site – Mr Ecks is correct and Perry is wrong.

    The left may have taken the word “liberal” – but they are not having the word “Whig” as well.

    The socialist Bertrand Russell called himself a “Whig” = but that was a joke (a rip at his family – who he past centuries had been Whigs).

    A Whig is someone who stands with the big landowners against the Crown – as John Jay (first Chief Justice of the United State Supreme Court and the Governor of New York who freed more slaves than anyone had in history up to his time) put it “those who own the land should also rule the land” = that the interests of private property should take precedence over other things (such as religion or the dignity of the Crown) in state policy, AS LONG AS the private property was just (there was always a strong moral element to the Whig view) hence John Jay turning against slavery – including his own slave owning.

    In an American context (not the British) Whigism could lead to government intervention as large scale manufacturers (not just large scale landowners) came to support the American Whig Party (and later the Republican Party that, mainly, grew out of it) – if the manufacturers believed that their interests were best served by government “infrastructure” polices or by Protectionism, they would support that.

    I think they were mistaken about their long term interests (unlike Karl Marx I believe that a “class” can be mistaken about their long term interests) – but they were certainly sincere and thought that such policies would also benefit the nation as a whole (not just themselves).

    In this President Calvin Coolidge is a classic Whig – he supported Protectionism not out of any corrupt benefit that would go to him (he would have rejected any such benefit – just as his successor Herbert Hoover would have, both men were totally honest) – but because he (MISTAKENLY) thought that tariffs were for the benefit of America business and (here he was CORRECT) that America was business – “the business of America is business”. A classic statement of the Whig objective – as with the lords who believed that James II might be a threat to private property rights, just as his master Louis XIV was in France (hence 1688 and all that).

    Of course DONALD TRUMP is also a Whig – he believes in promoting the interests of business (large scale private property owners), although he may sometimes be mistaken about what policies are really in their long benefit. And he REJECTS the “Class War” politics of the radicals (with their doctrine that the interests of the poor are at war with the interests of the rich). It is the core of the Whig position that the long term interests of the poor are the same as the long term interests of the rich (which they are – in this the Whigs are CORRECT).

    Those fools who denounce Donald Trump as a Confederate have got things exactly WRONG – as he is as Whig as President Abraham Lincoln, both in what he gets right and what he gets WRONG (such as Protectionism). Contrary to what the left think if Lincoln had been alive to hear President Calvin Coolidge say that the business of America is business he would have strongly SUPPORTED the sentiment (and that Lincoln was poor would not have changed that – Calvin Coolidge came from a humble home as well), and Lincoln would see nothing wrong with the policies of Donald Trump, supporting him in his mistakes as well as what he gets right.

    British Whigs avoided the error of Protectionism – but were destroyed by the rise of anti large scale landowner sentiment in what became the “Liberal Party”.

    Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, John Stuart Mill (and the rest of the Westminster Review crowd) were not really interested in the sacred rights of big landowners. The philosophy of the new “radicals (ANTI Whig to the core of their being) was utilitarian and depended on a Strong State (for example the 13 Departments of State pushed for by Jeremy Bentham – the idol of James and J.S. Mill), the “freedom” they supported was really the freedom from religion (hence their hatred of the Church of England Tory folk) and freedom from the landowners (hence their hatred of Whig as well as Tory), they wanted a new “enlightened” state (in the tradition of Sir Francis Bacon and so on) that would “free mankind” in the way the state of Frederick the Great had, from the “superstition” of religion and the “selfish” landowners and big businessmen.

    The 19th Radicals were NOT socialists (in spite of their support of land nationalisation and ever more “positive” government) – but they were on their way to socialism (which makes me amused, in a bitter, way when I find libertarians quoting them – without understanding where the Radicals were really “coming from”).

    Whigs they were not – any more than one could call Sir Francis “New Atlantis” Bacon a Whig – they wanted rule by an enlightened (educated) administrative class (people like THEMSELVES) NOT rule by big landowners and businessmen, or in the interests of these people. After J.S. Mill believed in the “distribution” problem – i.e. that wealth generated by industry was not being “distributed” correctly (if anyone thinks that is a Whig view – I have a nice bridge to sell you).

    “But they were in favour of freedom” = EVERYONE is in favour of “freedom” (including Karl Marx), one has to examine their specific policies to know what they mean by the terms “freedom” or “liberty”.

  • Mr Ecks is correct and Perry is wrong.

    Inconceivable 😛

  • Alisa

    In the context of immigration, therefore, the ideal that people should be free to move about and settle as they please has to be reconciled with reality

    Only that is not the libertarian ideal, and your formulation puts the carriage before the horse. The ideal is private-property rights, under which condition free movement can only be possible when and where not in contradiction to said property rights. I am only free to move into your home (even for coffee, let alone to stay for good) if you allow me to do so, and the same should apply to national borders.

  • Paul Marks

    As for the Tory folk – what defined them was not economic policy, but their view of government.

    To Tory folk the big landowners (and so on) could not be trusted to rule – the King and the Church were likely to be less selfish in their interests and think of the community as a whole.

    It was not economic policy (such as Free Trade) that was the divide between the Whig Edmund Burke and the Tory Dr Johnson (if “Thomas Paine” thinks their disagreement was over economic policy he is deeply in error) – it was over who should rule.

    Clue Edmund Burke would have agreed with John Jay (those who own the land should rule the land) and Dr Johnson would have disagreed. But it is a matter of stress – Burke did NOT want to give the big landowners ALL power, and Dr Johnson did NOT want the Church and King to have ABSOLUTE power. It was a matter of where one put the STRESS (the leading role) in a “balanced constitution”.

    As for Free Trade – many of the leading Free Trade thinkers were actually Tory people.

    Sir Dudley North (the first great Free Trade thinker) was a Tory, as was Tucker Dean of Gloucester Cathedral (the main Free Trade thinker in England in the 18th century).

    These men argued that the Whigs were selfish – and that they supported tariffs that helped some big landowners and businessmen at the expense of the wider community. And although I have said that the British Whigs were largely free of the error American Whigs (and Republicans) made – there WAS ACTUALLY a bit of truth in the charges made.

    Even in the 19th century – the “Tory” Party split on Free Trade in 1846, with the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Peel) and his supporters (such as young Mr Gladstone) being in support of it.

    As for Disraeli – I do not think he really was a Tory (or a Whig either). But I am not going to write on Disraeli – as that would take a full essay. Alas my life has been wasted – I should have written books on these people and matters decades ago (as usual – anyone kind enough to send me a cyanide capsule well have my heart felt thanks).

    Still enough self pity.

    The bottom line is that “Thomas Paine” is wrong – as one would expect after someone who names himself after a BIG GOVERNMENT thinker.

    Again it amuses me (in a bitter way) that so many libertarians think that Thomas Paine was a small government man. They take a few words from Paine (that sound nice) and do not bother to find our what POLICIES the man supported. Read the second part of “Rights of Man” (all sorts of government spending promises – coupled with the lie that they could be paid for by getting rid of the King and so on) and also read his “Agrarian Justice” – the claim that lots of nice stuff for everyone (paid for by government) could be financed by getting rid of the King is dropped here (as the claims made in “Rights of Man” has been shown to be FALSE by many critics of “Tom Paine”) – so instead Mr Paine proposes a new land tax going up to 100% (yes total confiscation) on large estates. Today it would be large manufacturers and traders (not just landowners) as that-is-where-the-money-is.

    So let us have no more of Mr Thomas Paine – at least not the one active a couple of centuries ago (who was awful).

    Lastly……

    The European Union is NOT about Free Trade and opposing it is NOT about Protectionism.

    I am used to these silly lies (that the E.U. is about Free Trade and opposing it is about Protectionism) in the Economist magazine – I do not expect to find them in Samizdata.

    Just (as Mr Ecks says) I do not expect to see Frankfurt School types being treated as “Whigs” – they are not Whigs, indeed they would have the Whigs executed.

    To those people who are still confused – I suggest you read Edmund Burke’s “Letter to a Noble Lord”.

    The ancestor of Bertrand Russell (the Duke of Bedford) was in support of the French Revolution – because the French Revolutionaries used the words “freedom” and “liberty” a lot (what Tom Wolfe was to call in the 1960s “Radical Chic”).

    Mr Burke in his “Letter to a Noble Lord” carefully tries to explain to the Duke of Bedford that the French Revolutionaries are NOT Whigs – indeed that they would rob Whigs (such as His Grace the Duke of Bedford) and also murder them and murder their families.

    It really is not a difficult point that not everyone who screams “reform” or “freedom and liberty” is a Whig – that some people who use these words may be the opposite of Whigs. Not a “different sort of Whig” – the opposite of a Whig.

    After two hundred years it really should not need to be endlessly explained.

    How difficult is the point “they are not on your side – in fact that want to rob and murder you, and to murder your family” to understand?

  • Paul Marks

    Perry took things in good heart – I feel humbled by his ability to keep in a good humour. I wish I did not keep looking on the gloomy side of things – it can make me unjust at times, as I naturally try to find what is WRONG in the work of a thinker (which can lead to an unbalanced presentation – my great error).

    Alisa makes a good point – immigration is about private property rights.

    Let us imagine a different world.

    In this world the illegal immigrants from Latin America to California in the 1980s and 1990s (and so on) would have marched in SUPPORT of the Proposition denying illegal immigrants welfare benefits and pubic services.

    The illegal immigrants would have denounced, as enemies of private property, the “judges” who struck down the laws denying illegal immigrants government welfare benefits and “public services”.

    And the illegal immigrants (not just in California but in Texas also) would denounce (rather than support) the “Social Justice” doctrine that large privately owned farms and ranches should be confiscated.

    They would say “this was a terrible crime when done in Mexico after the Revolution of 1910 – we totally oppose such a thing being done in Texas, just as we oppose our children being given free education and so on at the expense of the taxpayers”. Instead they demanded free education – which was granted (against the will of the taxpayers) by the United States Supreme Court in 1982 – as usual Progressive “judges” were enforcing an invisible Constitution that only they can see.

    If this, the illegals being in favour of private property rights, was the case then I would love the illegal immigrants – as my friend the late Mr Edmund Burke would have said, it all depends on the “circumstances”. If the “circumstances” indicate that the immigrants are in support of private property then I like them, if they are opposed to private property (for example burning and smashing farm buildings in Texas – and using “Civil Rights” laws against landowners who try and defend their property by shooting illegal immigrants) then I do not like them. Indeed I want a big defensive wall (and so on) to keep them out.

    Turning to the Islamist question.

    Do the forces of Islam support the private property rights of infidels? Well Muhammed/Mohammed did not – and I do not know a way that Islamic Law (which is supposedly from God Himself) can be changed.

    It seems very unlikely that mass Islamist immigration into European lands would be for the good of the infidel population – if one regards being robbed and enslaved as (generally) being a bad thing.

    Therefore the “liberal” (Tim Farron Economist magazine) “free migration” migration position is in error.

    I think that Thomas Paine (the one around now) would agree with me on this point.

    “Assimilate”? What does that mean?

    One either believes that Muhammed/Mohammed was correct or that he was wrong.

    Going to see Manchester United Association Football Club, and wearing Nike trainers has got nothing to do with the matter.

    It is a matter of core BELIEFS (and humans have core beliefs – even us “common scum”, Economist magazine please note). If “assimilation” is just about how people dress and so on, then it is not relevant.

    The Islamists who launched the 7/7 attack in London were totally assimilated. It just made it easy for the to blend in – speaking with British accents and going white-water-rafting (as a “team building exercise”) did not prevent them killing. And there is no reason why it should.

    By the way – this is why I am far more wary of converts than native born Muslims.

    Being born into a Muslim family is not some sort of crime – one can be a very nice person who just happens to be a Muslim (i.e. born into a Muslim family).

    But why would someone CONVERT to Islam?

    Unless one AGREED with what Muhammed/Mohammed taught – and what he did.

    And yes Mr Keith Ellison – I do mean you.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course the response of “liberals”, such as Mr Tim Farron M.P. and the Economist magzine, to what I have written would be “you are a RACIST”.

    I know, by experience, that this (calling me a “racist”) is the response of “liberals”.

    But I am utterly baffled as to what could lead them to this conclusion.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Agree 100 per cent with the original post.

  • John B

    “The post-Brexit, post-Trump political battle lines seem to have been drawn up between “globalism” (a dysphemism for “free trade”) and protectionism…”

    That is an incomplete analysis: globalism refers to a ‘globalist confederation’ who want global governance via international institutions, such as EU, UN, IMF, vested interest, such as environmentalist groups, large corporations, intellectual elites, and entrenched national political and bureaucratic classes.

    It is not a matter of economic illiteracy that has set people against free trade, but political indoctrination.

    Whole generations have been indoctrinated, to justify loss of sovereignty to the EU, that ‘Free trade’ and ‘immigration’ is a package deal… you can’t have one without the other. This is not true. Even now Globalist Confederates preach Soft-Brexit, ‘having’ to accept immigration to ensure free trade.

    This explains the ‘populist’ rejection of free trade, because of its association with cultural erosion that immigration brings.

    The political class in order to bribe the electorate has used ‘keeping jobs’ and ‘creating jobs’ by promising protectionism – and the EU is a protectionist racket if nothing else. Protectionism in fact benefits the vested interests not the citizenry. Global governance will ensure the global market can be carved up among the big vested interests – Global Corporate Governance – ‘corporate’ meaning the institutions, unions, NGOs, etc not just big business.

    Corporate Government is a cosy arrangement between those in Government and crony vested interests, for their benefit and which excludes the consumer/taxpayer… the ordinary citizen.

    Rejecting ‘globalisation’ is the rejection of that – The People have noticed they are not allowed in the Club.

    The libertarian position towards immigration is that whilst open borders is a desirable libertarian thing, it is not practical whilst rich Countries have welfare systems because they attract low/no skilled labour which is not worth the cost that is imposed on employers by minimum wages and payroll/welfare taxes, and said immigrants end up trapped on welfare. That makes no economic or social sense.

    So if the term ‘globalisation’ is to be discussed, all its aspects need to be considered.

  • Runcie Balspune

    I agree with past comments that the definition of globalism is incorrect.

    Globalism is “free trade” in the sense that once you’ve forced nations to discard any trade barriers then indeed trade becomes free. But the classical sense of free trade is a negotiated agreement between independent states.

    As far as assimilation is concerned, the concept of libertarianism is on a sort of suum cuique basis, this does not square with a supremacist doctrine, so you can’t really mix the two. If assimilation demands you give up a supremacist position, and that happens to be a core belief, then you have a problem.

  • Flubber

    There’s one small problem with the proposition in localism. Here in the UK, we would end up with a load of local caliphates – Luton, Birmingham, Bradford spring to mind.

  • Flubber does have a good point. I think libertarians arguing for localism as a route to disengaging the state from their lives might not have thought this though to its conclusion 😆

    Localising state power does not change much if there is still too much state power, and in some ways it actually makes it worse.

  • Runcie Balspune

    “Too much state power”.

    Shouldn’t there be a delineation between the depth and breadth of such power. You need a powerful libertarian state to ensure individual rights are respected, you just don’t want that power extending into areas it is not needed.

    Would “monopolization of violence” be too much power? Only if it forced people to purchase a TV license perhaps, but not necessarily when use to shut down a local caliphate and instigate UDHR Article 18.

  • William Newman

    “Localising state power does not change much if there is still too much state power, and in some ways it actually makes it worse.”

    Agreed that in some ways it actually makes it worse, but I think “does not change much” is wrong, unless your standards for “change much” are awfully high. Competition between independent units can naturally bring rather large effects, both very tangible competitive effects like trade and capital and labor being redirected to a competitor, and at least one important intangible effect, too, the embarrassment when rivals succeed with their less-insane policies while your jurisdiction experiences bad luck. Even with lots of state power, it seems to me that those competition effects remain very significant, not just in theory but in my reading of the history of European history since the Renaissance and world history since at least the second World War.

    (Probably before WW2, too, but effects of various other currents like the explosion of modern transportation and communication and agriculture and sanitation, and like decline and breakup of old megastates, seem to’ve made international comparisons back then more confusing for people to disentangle. Since WW2 we have enjoyed a number of decisively argument-ending international comparisons like the communist-noncommunist borders in Germany, Korea, and China, and like the many rich countries who have screamingly obviously become rich neither by acquiring resource-rich territory nor by exploiting other countries in any ordinary meaningful sense of the word. Off the top of my head, it seems to me that in the first half of the 20th century such d. a.-e. i.c.’s were rarer, or at least less widely recognized.)

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Perry, and others- I have thought about that, but it would be easy to leave a small, authoritarian, county, but not so easy to escape the clutches of a large state. One Swiss canton took its’ own sweet time in allowing women to vote, for instance, but any women who were really angry about that could, and I presume did, leave for better cantons.

  • Eric

    The ‘libertarian approach’ that you invoke is not what you think it is: it is ENTIRELY about reducing the role of the state so the state’s ability to fuck up civil society is minimised. Not only does the ‘libertarian approach’ make [insure your boogieman of choice here such as “Muslim Immigrants”] far less scary if there are less ways the state can be turned against non-Muslims…

    If there are enough Muslims (or whoever) to do that, there are enough Muslims to change the nature of the state. The state follows the culture, and if you control the culture you control the state. If your goal is a smaller and less intrusive state you can hardly do worse than to let in a bunch of people who have a culturally less restrictive view of the state and its role in society.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    If there are enough Muslims (or whoever) to do that, there are enough Muslims to change the nature of the state. The state follows the culture, and if you control the culture you control the state. If your goal is a smaller and less intrusive state you can hardly do worse than to let in a bunch of people who have a culturally less restrictive view of the state and its role in society.

    Winner

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Paul, re Islam. I read a book recently that showed why islam is finding it so easy to convert prisoners- because a lot of the activities that got the men imprisoned are not crimes under Islam! You go in for domestic violence? Chiding your wife is not a sin! You want to rent your wife out to other men? Your wife is your field- you can plow your field any way you choose! i don’t know why a woman would convert to Mohammedism, but some men might like some features of the creed.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    i don’t know why a woman would convert to Mohammedism

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifty_Shades_of_Grey

  • bloke in spain

    Another one of these threads degenerates into how many libertarians can dance on the head of a pin with added irrelevant C18th history lessons.
    D’you ever stop to consider that property ownership is as much a curse as a boon? That ownership of property, of whatever nature, as much binds the owner to the property as the property to the owner?
    If division of labour maximises endeavour then universal access to property must maximise utility. As we move away from a world of limited prosperity to one of general prosperity, isn’t it time to rethink how we view ownership? Why reserve this or that for oneself, even when one’s making no use of it? When another could benefit from it. And when one, oneself, could benefit from something one could not own. Because one’s resources were committed to owning the first thing.
    I’m in no way championing socialism here. Which depends on compulsion & redistribution. But certainly cooperation. Freely entered into. Property rights belong to a world of scarcity. But we’re steadily moving away from that world.
    Any thoughts?

  • D’you ever stop to consider that property ownership is as much a curse as a boon?

    Or you could just be completely wrong about that 😀 But no, it is not a stupid question.

    Why reserve this or that for oneself, even when one’s making no use of it?

    AirBnB is an example of utilising something (a home) when not otherwise using it, but that does require me to own it first.

    When another could benefit from it.

    Because I might not give a damn, at least not unless there is something in it for me, and possibly not even then if I just want the option to use something occasionally without any fuss or forward planning.

    And when one, oneself, could benefit from something one could not own

    AirBnB again. Or a restaurant I eat in, I don’t own that either. Not sure why ownership needs to be rethought.

    Property rights belong to a world of scarcity. But we’re steadily moving away from that world.

    Yes and no. I do agree that certain kinds of property start to approach zero marginal value at some point as abundance increases, making ownership trivial even if not entirely moot. But unless we are immortal, time is scarce. And useful locations are scarce, so if I want to live (spent finite time) in a certain place, I may want to own that place in some way and not share it with anyone else. And I am scarce, there is only one of me, so I really want ownership of me (which is ultimately what all notions of property rights spring from).

  • The comments here do seem to be moving far from the quote from ‘Tom Paine’s’ blog.

    His point was that no political party comes near his desire (and mine and that of many others) for a party in the UK that is closer to classical liberal or Gladstonian liberal values.

    IMHO the Liberal Democrats are too social democrat; UKIP are (rightly given their history) a single issue party that is unlikely to take a wider political stance; the ‘Greens’ are a single issue party that has no coherent wider policies (perhaps except those driven by green extremists) and are generally too statist in such economic policies as they actually have.

    The discussion on the meaning of globalism (and why it is wrong) is very interesting – but separate from the UK’s lack of a party that drives for much less government.

    The question is important, as to whether the UK can do better on getting a partly that is more classical liberal.

    When such things are difficult, many say “follow the money”. Here I think we should look to favour the party that “sets the money”: no more than one third of GDP by all government, within 10 years!

    Best regards

  • If there are enough Muslims (or whoever) to do that, there are enough Muslims to change the nature of the state. The state follows the culture, and if you control the culture you control the state. If your goal is a smaller and less intrusive state you can hardly do worse than to let in a bunch of people who have a culturally less restrictive view of the state and its role in society.

    You have that all back to front. It is not a matter of ‘letting people in’, it is a matter of the state providing pretty much all the wrong incentives at every level. The state is what is subsidising immigration, and preventing assimilation with various laws. Without a welfare state and active measures prohibiting the social pressures that drive integration, there is not much of a problem. Do you think the waves of people arriving in Germany and Sweden would have made that journey without the prospect of a house at taxpayer expense to live in? The core of the problem is not THEM, it is the mostly white people who actually dominate the modern welfare states of the First World.

  • Gareth

    I echo the comments questioning the framing of globalism. What we have enjoyed since at least the creation of the World Trade Organisation in 1995 (building on almost 50 years of regulation under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) is a managed global economy, not a free one.

    If Tom Paine is politically homeless they should look around for groups who want to leave the WTO.(I’ve no idea if there are any) The current situation with Brexit ought to be fertile ground for this. Even after the UK leaves the EU, if we also remain as member of WTO the UK is restricted in the trade deals it might make with other nations, most critically with the Most Favoured Nation rule. With a few exceptions, MFN requires that a deal offered to one WTO member must be be offered to all other WTO members. The WTO rules also allow trading blocs to be protectionist but not individual nations. I get the impression this is intentional and political rather than trade related. Fewer but larger units of authority make international gatherings easier to manage.

  • Paul Marks

    “I agree 100% with the original post” – J.P.

    The original post starts off by claiming that the word “Globalism” means Free Trade – it does not, it means de facto world GOVERNMENT.

    The original post goes down hill from there.

  • RayGun was my Main Man

    The original post starts off by claiming that the word “Globalism” means Free Trade

    I have used it to mean exactly that for years as well, so he is hardly alone on that score. If the meaning has changed completely, well that is that, but many pukka free traders do mean Free Trae when they use the word, even i you and some others do not.

  • JohnW

    How about a race war in the US and WW3 with Russia – how do you fancy them fancy them bananas?

  • bobby b

    “How about a race war in the US and WW3 with Russia . . . “

    Michael Walsh at PJ Media says Michael Flynn sees Russia “ . . . not as an enemy but a geopolitical adversary with whom we could make common cause against Islam . . . ” I suspect that Trump shares this view. So, I think our chances of WW3 with Russia has only decreased since the election.

    A race war? How would we tell the difference?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    You have that all back to front. It is not a matter of ‘letting people in’, it is a matter of the state providing pretty much all the wrong incentives at every level. The state is what is subsidising immigration, and preventing assimilation with various laws. Without a welfare state and active measures prohibiting the social pressures that drive integration, there is not much of a problem. Do you think the waves of people arriving in Germany and Sweden would have made that journey without the prospect of a house at taxpayer expense to live in?

    If you think people wouldn’t try to get from Syria/Iraq/Libya/Yemen and even relatively more stable countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan etc etc to the West if most of the welfare state wasn’t there then you are living in a dream world.

    The core of the problem is not THEM, it is the mostly white people who actually dominate the modern welfare states of the First World.

    Yeah thank gawd there are so many Muslims among the refugees & immigrants who have been flooding Germany the past few years; they could have been yet more white Christians, which would be so much worse for Germany’s culture and economy obviously.

  • Lee Moore

    His point was that no political party comes near his desire (and mine and that of many others) for a party in the UK that is closer to classical liberal or Gladstonian liberal values.

    But such a party :

    (a) will always be supported by a small minority – even when the old Liberal Party was in power, it often veered from classical liberalism, and it thrived in a period when the working class, and women, didn’t have the vote. If you restrict the franchise to property owning men, then sure a classical liberal party may do well, but
    (b) absent that a classical liberal party will simply take votes from a larger more imperfectly classical liberal party that has some chance of winning

    Hence the search for a more ideologically pure party simply results in an ideologically pure groupuscle, and a slightly weaker electable anti-socialist party. In the real world, classically liberal folk either write books and articles and stay out of electoral politics, or they join the electable anti-socialist party and try to influence it to take more classically liberal positions. In the course of this, they make COMPROMISES with false gods and necessity and become APOSTATES !

  • JohnW

    The original post starts off by claiming that the word “Globalism” means Free Trade – it does not, it means de facto world GOVERNMENT.

    The original post goes down hill from there.

    I have a growing suspicion we have been siding with the bad guys ever since the Balkan Civil War and Paddy Pantsdown’s insane commentary on it.

  • bobby b

    “In the course of this, they make COMPROMISES with false gods and necessity and become APOSTATES !”

    It’s always easy to tell an apostate when you see one.

    They have the happy look of someone who has actually accomplished something.

  • Julie near Chicago

    “Globalism.” Perhaps 15 years ago, now, I read something very confusing about that. I thought that, as a fairly libertarian libertarian of a conservative (read “evilextremerightwingnut” for the “c” word), we (my gang that is) were supposed to be in favor of free trade, and the right to git up & go visiting should the desire and the means happen to occur simultaneously in our circumstances. Thus, that we were all in favor of Globalism. That is, the Whole Globe is made of up of Human Beans, no?

    Errr… Well, but according to the Libruls and the Left, “we” are all against Globalism, and They are all for it.

    It took me a fair while to work out that the one word means absolutely contradictory things. Yes, Our Crowd more or less believes in the right to trade and travel wherever, for fun and profit. Globalists all!

    But Their Crowd more or less believes that There Ought to Be One World Government. Which is the exact opposite.

    I will admit, honestly and sorrowfully, that there was a spell when I was a late-teen and early-twenty-something during which I thought a World Government would be vuhndufuhl, if it were possible to achieve. Then everybody would be playing by the same rules, see. And of course, it would be America, the wonders of which political unit would apply to every “country” on earth. But this I took for granted, without thinking about it.

    Well … as one goes along, one realizes with considerable sorrow that there are worms in the woodpiles that a good many of us call our Ideas. In this case, it dawned on me eventually that I had the idea that this Paradisiacal world would have the laws that the good ol’ US was in fact straining to find and articulate and establish for itself. Freedom of self-determination … freedom of property … freedom to be left alone … to choose one’s own trade and trading partners and hobbies and friends … and on and on and on….

    What can I say? I was young yit. At this stage I’d be happy if just my country and Mother Britain could achieve something even a teensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy bit closer to that.

  • Lee Moore responds at February 15, 2017 at 9:23 pm to my earlier call for a UK political party along classical liberal lines. He reckons it will always be a minority party, missing obtaining power and diluting the chances of any parties that are a bit classical liberal; also that classical liberal was never ‘pure’ – always a compromise. Lastly he says the main classical liberal period (second half of the 19th century) was only classical liberal because of the property and male qualifications for the franchise. These are all points that must be considered from both fundamentals and from practicality.

    On compromise, yes – all politics is that way. It is nothing to be ashamed about, but the very stuff of politics.

    I understand Samizdata to be a strongly libertarian blog. Lee of its the commentariat therefore presumably has libertarian leanings. From my experience here and elsewhere, I have seen libertarianism as a mix of 3 main parts: classical liberal, minarchist and anarcho-libertarian. This with classical liberal being the more left (statist) wing of that triumvirate. If Lee is correct that classical libertarianism is a lost cause, what hope for the rest? Also what of Samizdata’s female contributors?

    More importantly, I see concerns with the classical liberalism of old being in an era where government expenditure was around 10% of GDP and that measure has struggled to touch as low as 35% since WW2 (and only briefly if at all). Are we at risk of being forever locked into a leftist welfare state? Can the best we hope for be only social liberalism (which strikes me as barely distinguishable from social democracy) or the compromise neo-liberalism?

    Whatever is the answer, we will be better off IMHO with getting down to an ongoing normalcy of government expenditure being not more than 33% of GDP.

    Best regards