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Brian Micklethwait interviewed on the subject of the history of libertarianism in London

I have updated the Brian Micklethwait Archive with a recording of an interview kindly given to me by Mal McDermott.

On 25th January 2020 Mal interviewed Brian on the subject of the history of the libertarian movement in Britain.

The interview of course contains much insight into libertarianism in London. From Brian finding a copy of The Machinery of Freedom in a bookshop in Staines, to the Alternative Bookshop and the Libertarian Alliance, to Samizdata and Libertarian Home.

Being a conversation with Brian, there is much digression. Discussed are the USSR, the NHS, the importance of being understood, the influence of getting people to give talks, the left wing pivoting from the working class to the environment, the creation of wealth, optimism and the freedom of children. There is much Micklethwaitian wisdom to enjoy.

The interview can be listened to on YouTube.

On the left, once you’re persuaded, you’re also persuaded of a political model for how to do it … we must elect a socialist government or topple the government and replace it with a socialist regime, and then we will make everyone socialist. … By its nature it’s a highly cooperative enterprise … A perfectly reasonable reaction to becoming a libertarian is to do what I’ve done for the last fifteen years … which is to write lots of blog postings about kittens. Because I like it. … One of my reactions to believing in freedom is that I’m free to go off and do that.


4 comments to Brian Micklethwait interviewed on the subject of the history of libertarianism in London

  • Paul Marks

    Brian was a good man – and he had a lot of interesting ideas.

    Even when one disagreed with something he said – it was always interesting to hear him (it was always a lot to think about), because he had reasons for what he had said – he had thought about it, even if it sounded casual it never really was casual.

  • Gene

    I normally shy away from 2-hour interviews but this sounds like a good 2:09 spent.

  • Patrick Crozier

    It was great to hear this.

  • I miss Brian.
    A timely reminder to get on with things and not be one of the people doing fuck all.
    Thank you Mal and Rob.