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).
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.
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 email@example.com. .
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.
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.
As you can tell, I’m in the process of creating a whole new look for AttacktheSystem.Com. This new blog format will include many of the features of the old site such as the essays by myself and others and a comprehensive links page. I’m also hoping for this blog to be much more interactive, allowing for greater participation from ATS readers and ARV supporters. Hopefully, fresh news articles will appear much more regularly as well. Please bear with me while I work out all the kinks.