Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Blair has gone. In comes Brown and more large government...

Blair resigned today and Brown is now the PM. In a sense, I shouldn't really care. Brown would simply maintain large government just as his immediate predecessors as PM have. My life, and those of other libertarians in the UK, wouldn't drastically improve as a consequence.

Still, I'm not sorry to see Blair go. His decision to invade Iraq has tainted my perception of him. He truly has blood on his hands, as far as I am concerned. Granted all politicians lie, but the ramifications of these lies (no weapons of mass destruction were discovered, remember..) are great. I sincerely hope that they affect his conscience. On top of that, Iraq wasn't even a threat to the UK. If Saddam wanted to bomb us, then it would be retaliation of the sanctions and constant air strikes which harmed his people. Innocent Iraqis did not deserve to suffer in such a fashion.

When analysing Blair's ten years as PM, little strikes me as pleasing, from a voluntaryist perspective. OK to be fair, devolution in Scotland and Wales has worked well. The Human Rights Act at least enabled the government to respect the rights of the individual. But these are the few positive things he did, IMO. He bloated the size of government by increasing funding to the NHS. He imposed tuition fees on students, even though the government should get out of education completely. He didn't have the balls to complete House of Lords reform. He stated that New Labour would be "whiter than white", but his government succumbed to sleaze.

My major beef with him, apart from the Iraq war, was his insistence to partake in US President Bush's "war on terror". I'm not convinced that Islamists "hate our freedom" or "hate our way of life". Think about it. Why have Al Qaeda only attacked few liberal democracies thus far? Why haven't France or Germany been attacked? Also, no one just clicks and starts to believe that they hate Western freedom. Human psychology doesn't work like that. There must be some pressures in Islamic societies which cause such feelings. And the UK was more free in the 19th century than it is now. For example, you could walk into a store and buy heroin even. So why wasn't the UK subject to terrorism then? I feel that an alteration in our foreign policy would lessen the likelihood of Islamist attacks.

As stated previously, I won't miss him. And I don't expect much better from Brown either. Still, education is the key to a free society. Despite the continuance of big, intrusive government under Brown, if we as voluntaryists can educate others into personal and political liberty, then we have a chance of one day achieving the free society.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Some thoughts on Ron Paul

Ron Paul seems to be making a stir in the USA. I have some reservations though.

1- Is it acceptable to lessen violence/the initiation of force by participating in party politics? I agree with Stefan Molyneux in this sense.

2 - Where has party politics ever got libertarianism? Party politics has been a futile end, if we must be honest. The only successful libertarian party has been in Costa Rica. No major Western country has ever had a successful libertarian party.

3 - Isn't it hypocritical to oppose the state, yet participate in it to achieve our ends?

Granted, Ron Paul may have opened the eyes of uninitiated people to liberty. Nonetheless, basic outreach and activism is more than satisfactory in spreading the word of libertarianism.

Even if Paul wins the White House, would he remain principled? When Ronald Reagan was running for President, he often used a lot of freedom-oriented rhetoric. But when he was in office he actually increased the size and scope of government. Think about the national debt and ballooning defence expenditure.

Can Paul actually win? Maybe. But that still doesn't validate the cause of libertarian party politics.
Ramblers and the "right to roam"

This was in the news today.

I don't understand the ramblers objections and, really, they need education on the principles of basic property rights. If a piece of land is privately owned, then you have no specific "right" to enter that property. Ramblers have the option of pitching together and buying their own land to walk on.

Is this unfair to ramblers? Some may believe so. Nevertheless, property rights are intrinsically linked to one's self-ownership. One's fundamental rights are rights to life, liberty and property and NO human being should have the power to violate them.