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Big Government v Big Business: David McDonagh Replies to Keith Preston

Libertarian Alliance

I do not admire Keith Preston or his friend Kevin Carson. They seem to think in utterly unrealistic Romantic terms, such as class. Maybe the main one that I will criticism below is what seemed to be the most used term in the 80 minute talk that Keith Preston gave, a term I have long since loathed viz. pluralism.

Before giving my objections to the Politically Correct [PC] term of pluralism, I will make a few other criticisms.

My guess is that in the future society that is free of the state there will still be big business. I have nothing against big business, though I do oppose state aid for it; as indeed for anything else. I oppose taxation completely as illiberal proactive coercion that floats liberty for all.

I see no false debate on par with one between Islam and Christianity, to adopt the analogy that Keith Preston uses in his talk, that an atheist could disagree with both sides as equally religious, that, similarly, an anarchist might dismiss as equally statist.

Keith Preston goes on about what will sell today, as if any radical propagandist could care less in the short run. The propagandist thinks more terms of whether there is any truth in the solution to the problems rather than how current common sense is, or what might easily be adopted today. If we have the solution to, say 1) war and 2) mass unemployment with the pristine liberal idea of free trade, then we might think that is good enough to muster the masses to agree with in the long run, no matter how remote it is to their outlook today. Indeed, we might agree with the sociologist, Steven Goldberg, who said: “reality is always willing to give the theorist a lift, as long as he is going her way”.

There is no need for any organisation to defend the economic interests of ordinary people as backward Romantic Tories, like Keith Preston, hold. Nor any need for alternative economic arrangements, or any new organisations to replace the welfare state. A cleared market needs no safety net. Nor is there ever likely to be anything like revolution in the future, just like there is nothing even one whit like it in the past, especially in the France of 1789, which is better called a riot.

Class struggle is imagined by backward Romantic Tories but it is alien to reality. I found little realistic in the 80 minute talk by Keith Preston, no more than there is anything real in daft Leo Tolstoy’s idea to find what was good in all the religions of his day. As the backward diverse religions had no merit in Tolstoy’s day so backward diverse politics today also have no merit. To think of what we need to put in place of the welfare state is on par with worrying what to put in the place of the cancer a sufferer will be suffering from,

Now to the rather stupid idea of pluralism; it first of all suggests to me a pluralism of morals. But basic morals look to be one and common to one and all rather than truly diverse. A diversity of what we say no more indicates diverse morals than it does a diverse chemistry or any other aspect of reality. Many different opinions do not mean diverse facts or that what is right is thereby diverse. Every ten year old knows the basic moral rules even if they feel they know better, so today also reject them. It is a basic set of rules 1) no murder, 2) no stealing, 3) no lying and the like. Kant’s idea seems to be the liberal one; that we treat all persons as an end thus we need to respect their liberty. This is a single moral value of liberty; and it is enough. It is the social mutual liberty of the pristine liberal idea, of course. It is what the Libertarian Alliance wants to add to the basic atomistic liberty that we have in every society but that might lack this ideal of social liberty that respects a similar liberty for all. This is one value, not many. It is singular not plural. i

Keith Preston mentions in his talk the vexed issue of abortion. This is not so much a disagreement on murder but on whether the foetus is a full human person, or not. He suggests that such a difference might lead to break away societies, so that the different people might live in peace without the other side. This may, or may not, come to pass over abortion in the future. But is does not look like a difference as to the basic moral principle of murder being immoral but rather as to what it is to be a person.

I think there are, and there will be, things said to be moral that, in reality, may be moral or not, like whether equality has any moral worth, for example. I think it has exactly none. Thus the whole PC outlook looks more immoral than moral to me. I guess only a minority truly push totalitarian PC today whilst most people feel it went mad as soon as it appeared. Thus gay marriage, that Keith Preston mentions in his talk, will not be of much worth in many years to come but just happens to be part of the current PC fad of the colleges, and their ex-students in the mass media, today.

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