We are Caity and Dan Greene, a married couple from Glasgow, Scotland.
We started the Greening Out podcast in 2014 as an outlet for what some have called our "libertarian rambling". But since we started it has grown to more than just said rambling. We look at a variety of different subjects from modern day pop culture to alternative spirituality through our libertarian lens. We also interview a wide range of people from all over the world on a range of different topics that interest us. We don't always agree with our guests but we never censor them.
Greening Out is not always libertarian theory or political analysis but it is always fun and varied.
Caity and Dan welcome back Antony Sammeroff for a second time to the show.
Antony begins by explaining the difference between ‘libertarianism’ and ‘voluntaryism’ and moral philosophies versus political philosophies. We talk about labels and how they are used in society. We get into terms like ‘anarchist’ and ‘anarcho-capitalist’ and the baggage that comes with them and the importance of living your values.
We chat about political debates and how to conduct them with others, government cuts and the current anti-cuts movement in the UK, if Hitler was charismatic or not and being perceived to be a Tory.
We go on to point out the problems with the Conservatives, Labour and the Scottish National Party, pro-state attitudes that are so common in Scotland, the expansion of libertarianism world-wide and the internet as a tool for political and philosophical debate and Caity tells us what anarchy means to her in a philosophical context.
As we wrap up Antony tells us of his plans for the future, we talk about consequential and de-ontological libertarianism, the nonsense of lifeboat situations and Peter Hitchens and the drug war that he supports.
For many decades now, the UK’s nuclear weapons have been housed at Faslane Naval base in Scotland. The Trident programme has been a divisive issue in the UK as a whole for some time, but this week Able Seaman William McNeilly, 25 (who according to Wikileaks has been in contact with them since the beginning of May) released a dossier online detailing his concerns that the Trident programme was a “disaster waiting to happen” and then promptly went on the run before being apprehended at Edinburgh airport although many mainstream media outlets are reporting that he “handed himself in to Royal Navy police”. I don’t know what actually happened but if I was on the run and in an airport I would probably not be there to hand myself in, I’d probably do that a police station. But that’s just conjecture on my part.
So what is the Trident programme? It comes from the US actually. From scraptrident.org:
“The UK’s nuclear arsenal is a version of the US Trident. The missiles used in the system are so accurate that they can be used as a “first-strike” weapon. This means they can be used to attack enemy installations in the hope of preventing a counter strike. This makes the system more dangerous since it – theoretically – could be used without the absolute guarantee of destructive retaliation, so gaining – theoretically – a strategic advantage.
Each warhead is around 8 times as powerful as the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima and each missile can deliver a number of these warheads. They are designed to attack cities and cause enormous loss of life and hideous suffering for survivors.”
That sounds just great for someone like me who lives quite near this facility.
Caity and Dan are back chatting about a new approach to politics (caring even less), we thank the Labour Party for being such a disaster and entertaining us, having fun and not being a downer about politicians, what we found funny and bizarre about the recent UK general election, laughing instead of ranting, why we don’t argue online, still liking artists even if they are arseholes, if fame stops you from being a real person, Russell Brand and his endorsement of the Labour party.
We discuss surreal podcasting, where we stand on the five dimensional political compass, why Dan isn’t fancy, if Scotland will creep to independence slowly, not being part of politics, our refusal to get into petty arguments anymore and personality politics. We wonder why some people assume that politicians are paragons of virtue, why we’re going to have more fun than complain and Nicola Sturgeons similarity to teachers.
We finish with talking about political personality cults and how we hope to expand the website in the future.
I don’t vote anymore. I did for many years with a sincere belief that democracy was the best way for human civilisations to organize themselves. I even looked down on – and argued with – non-voters with derivations of the old “People fought for your right to vote” drivel that people now say to me. I now describe myself as a libertarian and a market anarchist.
So you can imagine how uninterested I was when the UK government called a general election on May 7th of this year. However, while talking to a minarchist friend of mine in the US he asked me the question “If you had to vote in this election then who would it be for?” I was kind of struck dumb for a second because while the Libertarian Party in the US may be a big party (although it seems to make absolutely no real impact as far as I understand it) there is nothing comparable to said party in this country.
So instead of picking a party I found myself beginning to explain how a libertarian political option just simply cannot exist right now in the UK. Yes, there is a libertarian party here but they are small, stand no candidates and many libertarians I know in the UK have more of an anarchist leaning and simply aren’t interested in them. So why can’t a strong libertarian party exist in the UK right now?
One of the first problems in the UK is that while the Labour Party pretend to be ‘centre-left’ and the Conservative Party pretend to be ‘centre-right’ the fact is that neither party has a strong ideology anymore and in reality there isn’t one on the left and one on the right, they’re bang in the middle practically embracing each other in this mixed economic mess where we have a sort of freeish market where business is taxed and regulated by government on one hand and massive state programs like our socialised health care system (the NHS) exist on the other (that would be the left hand presumably).
Caity and Dan welcome MK Lords to the show. We begin by chatting about Tumblr (and how scary it can be) and the crazy feminists that Caity and MK found there, feminism, anarcha-feminists, Emma Goldman, prostitution, South Park, female quotas and how to get women in the military so they can kill people with drones too!
We talk about ‘white guilt’ and the nonsense of why people should have to bear the sins of their ancestors. MK tells us what ‘micro aggressions’ and ‘man spreading’ are and putting women’s rights in the west in context in regards to some other countries.
Caity tells us about her time working with women in Sri Lanka, how the media tells us of what they have “done for women” in countries like Afghanistan but women’s rights in other places such as Saudi Arabia are ignored. Dan can’t help himself and brings in strong women characters in old European folk and fairy tales and theories of matriarchal society in ancient Egypt and what matriarchal societies may have existed.
Caity and Dan shift their gaze towards the Scottish National Party (SNP) and their scary authoritarian policies. We chat about the Named Person legislation and the dangers of the state getting involved in family life, the rise in armed police and stop-and-search powers in Scotland.
We move on to the mainstream media scaring the shit out of people, all the ‘free’ shit that politicians try to peddle, how podcasting is not therapy, the infuriating the vagueness of manifesto pledges and the complete nonsense of having nuclear weapons in Scotland.
Don’t worry, we also mention the sinking ship that is the Scottish Labour party and their negative campaigning tactics (which have left them in the state they now find themselves) plus a look at their ten pledges, cheap boob jobs in Prague and zero hour contracts.
We figure out the best and most artistic way to spoil a ballot paper, how social media desensitises people to government surveillance, getting finger printed at Disney Land, why nothing is free and we finish on the liberating feeling when you realise that all political parties are the same and voting is bullshit.
Caity and Dan finally acknowledge that there is a general election looming in the UK and start to attempt some political analysis (which inevitably goes off on strange tangents).
Caity starts by explaining why she feels like a voyeur when she looks at sociopathic politicians screwing the people and each other. We bash the Green Party heavily, largely because of their crazy policies and the fact that they are a fast-growing party but no-one within the party seems to have cracked open a serious book on economics.
We also wonder why so much effort is made to demonize UKIP (who we don’t support) but not the Green Party despite their larger membership and more ‘radical’ policies. We get into Natalie Bennett’s terrible interviews, the decline of the Scottish Labour Party, how many ‘shat it’ at the Scottish independence referendum and the unpopularity of being someone with a basic understanding of economics. We also express our alarm at so many so-called ‘Scottish secessionists’ drifting towards the Greens, the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Socialist party.
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.
We chat about the propaganda ‘docudrama’ UKIP – The First 100 Days and what an absurd vision it promotes. We talk about UKIP generally and their policies and why we’re not UKIP supporters, the EU, the Scottish independence referendum and how the UK mainstream media try to shut down any form of radicalism with unfounded fear-mongering.
We go on to talk about secession as a left-wing phenomenon in Scotland, how the media like to throw left and right terms about, the errors of conflating UKIP with the EDL or the BNP, how the mainstream media loves to shut down debate about immigration and how movement of people would be different in a stateless world.
We also chat about how propaganda pieces like this one can give the general public the wrong impression of what libertarianism is, how a lot of the dystopian elements in the show are actually happening now, monarchy worship, the surreal news and how the free market gives people more choice.
We then move on to talking about the 2012 documentary “Please Subscribe” about people who make their money from YouTube, drunken cookery shows (and why Caity doesn’t want Dan to start one), the culture of instant gratification, the great Massive Attack song/video “Live With Me”, the coming One Direction breakup, who really owns Channel 4 and why they may be hostile to UKIP, Chris Atkins, why mainstream TV stations sometimes surprise us, what the Labour party are actually for anymore (nobody knows).
We end by talking about how the mainstream media will crush any form of radicalism, how conservatism is very different in the UK compared with the US and how when things are getting on top of you you should “have a wee word with yerself”
Caity and Dan have a very interesting conversation with Keir Martland. Keir is Director of Youth Affairs for the Libertarian Alliance is an A-level student in the north west of England studying History, Philosophy, Economics, and Maths, who has been a member of the Committee since August 2014.
He has been writing for various libertarian blogs since 2012 and his writings appear on sites including The Libertarian Enterprise, Mises Hispano, and Attack the System. Keir is a former Conservative Future Secretary and for much of 2013, he was an Editor of the webzine The Libertarian. He is a keen public speaker and debater and in 2014 he addressed the annual conference of the Traditional Britain Group. Keir is also the driving force behind the fortnightly Libertarian Question Time and other YouTube activities. He is to be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. .
We chat about the current state of libertarianism in the UK, if individualism is making a comeback with younger people, the illusion of living under capitalism, the differences between libertarianism in the UK and the US, Milton Friedman, the misconceptions of the state, libertarian infighting and if it is organic or otherwise, establishment libertarianism vs. radical libertarianism, cultural marxism, the notion of left-wing bias in the media and how the mainstream media lives on fear.
Join Caity and Dan as we start by complaining about their internet going down for a few days in the Greening Out household then get on to how bad customer service can be very frustrating and can lead to some people thinking that certain industries would work better if they were nationalised.
We talk about why nationalisation doesn’t work, how the government has no incentive to give any kind of customer service, people talking romantically about the 1970’s in the UK, some modern examples of political parties who are pushing for certain industries to be nationalised, government taking ‘payment holidays’ from pension funds and why government departments and industries don’t care how much you complain.
Caity and Dan welcome Brett Veinotte from the School Sucks Project to the show or a very fun and interesting conversation about history in academia, public school and movie.
We begin by talking about historical research and the great man theory and the problems with it, we also discuss the trends and forces theory, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, World War Two and how it is taught in schools, historical context, Adam Curtis and his great three-part documentary “The Power of Nightmares” and his new film “Bitter Lake”, US and UK support for Saudi Arabia, Norwegian black metal and what we’re ‘allowed’ to know about history.
We go on to talk about George Orwell and how history is taught in public schools, Emma Goldman and how she features very little in feminist literature, why Braveheart and the Patriot are wildly inaccurate. We talk about history in movies in general and if there is a certain narrative being pushed by the filmmakers intentionally or if they simply sacrifice fact for a more interesting story.
We speculate about how history may be examined in the future given the technological age that we are living in and how, despite more sources than ever could still be misunderstood. Brett begins to wrap up by talking about how it is getting easier (and cheaper) to make movies, the horror the YouTube comments section and we reveal the surprising number one most historically inaccurate film of all time.
So Morrissey has cancelled a gig in Iceland because the venue refused to comply with his demand that all meat be removed from the building (he’s done this before also) and it seems that he demands this from all the venues where he performs. Now I liked The Smiths and some of Morrissey’s solo stuff but as soon as I heard about these insane demands he makes, it immediately made me think of those statists on the left and the right who just love having things banned that they disagree with – without realising how dangerous this really is.
How many times have you heard “There should be a law against that type of thing!” or “If I was in charge that would be banned!” or something similar? I don’t care whether you are on the left demanding that certain words and smoking in public be banned or are on the right screaming for drugs or gay marriage to be made (or remain depending on where you are) illegal. We should not be asking governments to ban things just because we don’t like them, that is very dangerous.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that people should just do whatever they want. There are things like murder, rape and theft (in all it’s forms) that must have some kind of consequences for the perpetrator. However, if I use marijuana at home for recreational purposes who am I harming? You might say that I am the victim, well so what? If my smoking marijuana were to lead to some form of physical ailment then it’s only myself that I am hurting – that is my choice and mine alone. Or you could take the case of smoking cigarettes in public places, you might say that the victims are all the people who inhale the second hand smoke. Well then don’t go to those places, there is a market for establishments for all smoking, all non-smoking and sections for both. More…
Caity and Dan present their ideas as to why so many people in Scotland have socialist tendencies, we chat about Margaret Thatcher, the poll tax (why Murray Rothbard thought that Thatcher had missed the point of a flat tax) and how future Scottish socialist politicians got their start during the poll tax riots, the bedroom tax, Red Clydeside, Jimmy Reid and his communist party education and of course Dan’s weird Alan Partridge ring-tones.
We go on to explore how these ideas from the past continue to be mainstream in younger people because of indoctrination by their parents, the high number of state employees in Scotland compared to England, the privatisation of Royal Mail, the more state spending per-head in Scotland in comparison with England, our definition of socialism, the problems with debating and why Dan can’t be arsed with it, Scottish movies and TV shows and why a lot of them show very poor and gritty conditions.
Caity and Dan welcome Keith Preston back to the show for a very interesting conversation about anarchist activist and writer Emma Goldman. We begin by chatting about Emma’s life and ideas and why they are still relevant today, the Haymarket affair, Alexander Berkman, if anarchists are born and not made, the difference between activists and theorists, the type of person who can popularize unpopular ideas, feminism and the suffragette movement, why the state is the real problem, working conditions in the early 20th century and the differences between relative and absolute poverty and the expansion of the nanny state.
We move on to what one has to give up to be a full time activist and why many of the anarchist women of Emma’s time gave up the norms of marriage and motherhood to be full time activists, Emma’s opposition to war, the assassination of president William McKinley, genuine anarchist terrorism and police infiltration in the radical political movements and how they love to divide rival factions.
We go on to talk about free speech, how it was under threat then as it is now and what Emma may have made of the modern world.