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]

“A tiny sect of libertarian provocateurs”

No, not us at Samizdata. While I can say with pride that I am a libertarian, with sorrow that my sect is tiny, and with one of those sorrynotsorry voices that I have been known to be a provocateur, neither I nor anyone else at Samizdata has ever reached a position where the Guardian could credibly accuse us of secretly controlling the Conservative Party. The Revolutionary Communist Party has.

Andy Beckett’s Guardian article, “Why Boris Johnson’s Tories fell for a tiny sect of libertarian provocateurs”, is a genuinely interesting account of this strange tale of political transformation. My goodness, though, those commenters are cross.

The progress to sanity* of former RCP/Living Marxism stalwarts such as Munira Mirza, Claire Fox, Frank Furedi, Mick Hume and Brendan O’Neill was observed at an earlier stage by Brian Micklewthwait in this post from 2003.

*Well, most of the way to sanity. Best not to mention Serbia.

11 comments to “A tiny sect of libertarian provocateurs”

  • Itellyounothing

    Guardian readers buy anything…..

  • John B

    Based on what evidence? The BoJo Bunch are the least libertarian Government since, well, since Oliver Cromwell.

  • Jacob

    “libertarian provocateurs” ?
    That’s the least that we have ever been called.
    It’s usually “racist, fascist, greedy, uncaring pig”.
    Here in another “the cult of selfishness”.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The writer of that article is just jealous.

  • Except enough copies to keep it afloat!


  • Paul Marks

    John B. beat me to the punch.

    The Johnson government is not about reducing the size and scope of government (let alone being libertarian) it is about EXPANDING the size and scope of government.

    Even before Covid 19 it was clear that the government had no commitment to Freedom of Speech (I have personal experience of “Conservative” Central Office – when they stabbed me in the back they openly used Frankfurt School of Marxism “Diversity and Inclusion” agenda language, whether or not they know where the language comes from is NO DEFENCE), and GOVERNMENT SPENDING was already out of control – again BEFORE the virus.

    The Guardian is, therefore, lying. This is not exactly Earth shattering – as the left lie most of the time.

    The real question is how were some libertarians (such as MYSELF) so foolish as to believe Mr Johnson and co had pro freedom instincts? Why, in he name of reason, did we ever support someone now responsible for the “lockdown” insanity which has done such terrible harm to this country.

    I think the answer to that question is that we were so desperate for some reduction in the vast size and scope of the state, which is utterly crushing society, that we mistook a libertine for libertarian (very different things).

    Mr Johnson did not fool people such as myself – we FOOLED OURSELVES.

    Politics is simple now – supporters of the “lockdown” and the various other restrictions are OPEN enemies, it is impossible to mistake them for anything else but enemies.

    It was not so clear cut – only last year.

  • Paul Marks

    Strictly speaking this is not really about “libertarians” ad “libertarianism”.

    It is about whether there should be any limit to either government spending or government regulation power – AT ALL.

    Both Mr Johnson and the Guardian newspaper say (if one translates their ravings into English) that there be no limit at all to government spending or to government power to order people about (for “health” reasons – or for any other excuse).

    The idea that they are opposing sides of a conflict of ideas is false.

    Their dispute is over WHO the rulers should be – not over what powers the rulers should have.

    This form of politics does not just exclude libertarians – it excludes anyone who believes their should be any limit to the size and scope of the state.

  • Itellyounothing

    The issue is no politician wants to actually deliver.

    Brexit proved enough people can force the Political classes to behave on one issue if they all threaten to quit their party and start another.

    Until liberty is understood in the same way across a large segment of the electorate and like Brexit, like the failure of project fear, refuse to be cowed by propaganda, there will be no liberty from government growing into slaver.

    I wonder if the failure of Brexit project fear led the establishment to overestimate how much terror was needed for Covid-tyrant. Instead of an intransigent populace, they met an exhausted leaderless rable. Brexit was 20 plus years in the making…..

  • The real question is how were some libertarians (such as MYSELF) so foolish as to believe Mr Johnson and co had pro freedom instincts?

    Surely that delusion should have died when, as Mayor of London, he banned alcohol on the underground. His fine words up to that point were proved worthless.

  • bobby b

    Interesting (related) article in American Conservative setting out how the new conservatism must make a break from those wacky libertarians.

    The quote that stood out for me:

    “Ours is obviously a non-libertarian Right. The common enemy that justified an alliance with the free market fundamentalists is long gone. Today, libertarians actively side with our enemies: they promote open borders and empty prisons, and strengthen China’s hand through their consumer-focused economic policies. Ours is primarily a conservatism of countries and borders, citizens and families, none of which can take root in the barren libertarian soil of atomized individuals and global markets.”


    This comes from a rising set of voices in the American right. It’s not a good look.

  • neonsnake

    “…Ours is primarily a conservatism of countries and borders, citizens and families, none of which can take root in the barren libertarian soil of atomized individuals and global markets.”

    “In my next article, Blood And Soil, I will explain why we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

    Don’t think I’ve ever been called a “fundamentalist” before 😆 😆

    It’s one of those insidious articles where I think you could read almost whatever you wanted into it. My first thought was I’ve seen similar from the worst of the Blue Labour lot. Then later there’s quite a telling comment: ” A fascist would agree with this article, but I don’t think this article wants to promote fascism.”