Greening Out Interview #23 – Sean Gabb on Classical Liberalism Reply

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Sean Gabb joins Caity and Dan for a third time for a fascinating conversation around the topic of classical liberalism.

We begin by discussing classical liberal ideas going back to ancient Greece and being hard-wired into western European thought and how this can be shown in fairy and folk tales that are quite unique to western Europe.
We chat about John Locke, the social contract and theories about how governments emerged. How the Victorian age seems like a golden age for libertarians until you look closer, the Whigs, the Liberal Party of the 19th century: how it was formed and how they may have laid the groundwork for the political system we now find ourselves in in the UK.
We also chat about the dangers of governments turning our vices into crimes, the mental deficiency act and other eugenics legislation. We get into social liberalism vs. classical liberalism, socialism in the UK, the NHS and how doctors see themselves in the UK.
We go on to discuss whether the Liberal Party of the 19th century was moved more by utilitarianism or desire for control. If the conservatives were more libertarian in the 19th century than the Liberal Party and why politicians want to control what we do.

Sean is the author of 20 books and about 300 essays. Under the name Richard Blake, he has written six historical novels for Hodder& Stoughton. These have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, Slovak, Hungarian, Chinese and Indonesian. Under his own name, he has written four novels. His other books are mainly about libertarian politics. He has been Director of the Libertarian Alliance since 2006, and his involvement with the organisation stretches back to the last Monday in December 1979.

He lives in Kent with his wife and daughter.

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