Sunday, 30 April 2006

Leftist Hollywood celebrities

Angelina Jolie has praised the Chancellor for donating £8.5 billion to fund education in Africa.

She said Brown's commitment had given "so much momentum" to the campaign for universal free education in Africa.

This doesn't truly surprise me. For as long as I can remember, Hollywood celebrities have been leftist in their political views. I'd say that liberalism (in the American context) is a very popular ideology amongst the Hollywood crowd. I often think that celebrities ally themselves with such causes because it appears that they possess a social conscience and care about the world around them. It's essentially a PR stunt.

That's not to say there are no libertarian celebrities. For one, Clint Eastwood is, supposedly, a libertarian. The presenters of Free Talk Live were discussing this issue in their Friday edition. I believe that as more people gain knowledge of libertarianism, eventually more celebrities would embrace the ideology. I'd imagine that libertarianism must be one of the fastest growing political ideologies in the Western world.

Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Blair and his "illiberal" agenda

The PM has hit out at critics, who have rebuked his government for its illiberal policices, especially in regards to crime and anti-terrorism measures.

Blair has cited the Human Rights Act as an example of New Labour's liberal credentials. But Mr. Blair, the European Convention on Human Rights is simply full of positive rights! No one really should have a right to education, or health care. These are positive rights, which have no basis in logic.

Blair also claims that protecting individuals' rights to safety and security justifies these harsh measures. Do they really? Why can't the market protect people who fear crime? If there is a demand for something, then someone guided by self-interest would provide the supply to meet that demand. Stefan Molyneux (see links on the right) has advocated the existence of DRO's (Dispute Resolution Organisations), which would provide the same services in a free society that the state maintains today. This is just one solution regarding the tackling of crime in a free society.

Tuesday, 18 April 2006

25% of voters "may vote for BNP"

According to a survey conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, approximately 25% of British voters would be prepared to vote for the British National Party. Naturally, this has caused alarm to the major parties, who denounce the BNP as racist.

The UK is a liberal democracy, and thus relies on the pluralism of political opinion. This means that the BNP possess a right to air their views and run for office. Any move to ban them would be undemocratic and contrary to the principles of liberal democracy.

There also is the issue of freedom of expression. Libertarians would value few (if any) limits to freedom of expression. If people find the views of the BNP objectionable then they can ignore or shun the party.

The BNP's popularity is rising because white working class people are feeling excluded and marginalised by immigrant populations. Libertarians, in general, have few problems concerning immigration. Nevertheless, government is at fault here. It's the state who gives preferential treatment to asylum seekers and economic migrants.

If anything, the market should handle any problem that arises from immigration. In a libertarian society, private companies and organisations would provide support to immigrants. This is preferable from government acting as the carer, since support would be voluntary and not coerced.

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

Gordon Brown in Africa

The Chancellor has visited Africa and pledged £8.5 billion to fund education in African countries.

What I find interesting though is the below from the International Development Secretary:

"Education is a basic human right, and to get every child into school we need more investment."

Excuse me? Education, like all positive rights, are clearly false in nature. If one demands education as a "right" then someone is forced to teach you. A person has no real "right" to the time, effort, energy and liberty of another person. Human interaction should be voluntary and not forced.

Still, I naturally don't approve of coerced tax money being used to fund education in Africa. Aid should be left to private companies and organisations, not the state.

Monday, 3 April 2006

British views on immigration

A survey has shown that over 75% of British people favour limits on immigration. The survey also stated that most people felt immigration undermined good community relations. Others believed that Britain was already overcrowded and British society was increasingly becoming racially segregated.

Some of these claims seem reasonable. The United Kingdom is a rather densely populated country, in comparison with other EU and first world nations. As for undermining community relations, well I don't concur with this argument. It probably would be best if immigrants were encouraged to follow British mores and culture, once they arrived in the country. Is such a belief "unlibertarian"? I wouldn't think so. I see no general correlation between multiculturalism and libertarian thought.

Evidently, the "classic" libertarian line on immigration is for "open borders". Some libertarians have questioned this approach though, since they feel an open borders policy would allow people with no attachment to liberty to gain access to the country. They believe this would undermine the libertarian ethos of a free society.

Freedom of movement clearly is a human right. Is it "unlibertarian" to have controls on immigration? Maybe. However, I feel that immigration will be an issue of debate amongst libertarians for some time to come.

Blair launches an agency to tackle "brutal crime"

Earlier today, the PM launched "SOCA", a government agency designed to tackle organised crime and criminal gangs. Blair said that the government "had to do things differently" because criminal gangs were working with increased sophistication.

So Blair is simply increasing the size of government by creating this new "British FBI". Effort would be better spent by ceasing the war on drugs, hence making criminal gangs obsolete in regards to supplying drugs.

If people wanted drugs in a climate of decriminalisation, they wouldn't have to associate with criminals whilst acquiring them. Going to a local chemist store to purchase drugs doesn't initiate force or fraud against the person or property of anybody else.