by Alan Bickley
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Ibid you welcome to this, the newest incarnation of Free Life. Those of you old enough may recall its last incarnation, when, between 1991 and 2003, what began as the house journal of the Libertarian Alliance became and remained a vehicle for the bleak and cynical semi-libertarianism of Sean Gabb. Now prematurely aged and broken down in body and soul, Dr Gabb has withdrawn to other activities. His legacy, however, remains, and remains worth continuing—his legacy, that is, of a bleak and cynical semi-libertarianism.
If you go to any of the libertarian policy institutes in this country, you will hear that our rulers do bad things only because they believe in bad ideas, and that we need to keep or to open lines of communication for persuading them into better ideas. This is a comforting, and indeed a profitable, belief. The truth, though, is that our rulers are bad people, and they choose between sets of bad ideas according to how these work at any one time as legitimising ideologies for the bad things they are already inclined to do.
Set aside the regular lies. Look only at the concentrated fraud of the past two years. First we were told a virus dangerous only to those already dying was somewhere between the Spanish Flu and the Black Death. Then we were told our only hope lay in a set of vaccines possibly more dangerous than the virus. Those who doubted the virus in public were denounced as heretics and sometimes forced from their jobs. Those who declined the vaccines were abused as plague-spreaders and threatened with various modes of compulsion.
Now, as we emerge from these two years of police state curfews and bribe-taking and endless moral posturing, we are on the edge of war. Our rulers have provoked one post-Soviet mafia state to invade another. This is probably not an accident. The further bribes and moral posturing this has allowed are pushing ordinary incomes nearer to collapse, and may, given no more than average incompetence, take us into a nuclear exchange.
There is no value in arguing with these people, but only about them—how they can be pulled down, and how they can be punished as an example or a comfort to others. An answer to the first question needs more thought than has so far been given, or perhaps much luck. The second is easily answered. Those elected politicians guilty of identifiable crimes should be punished according to law. The rest should, as a group and without exception, be declared accomplices to treason and made ineligible for any public office or employment. Their great army of clients and parasites and other accomplices must be deprived of employment. That means shutting down the Home Office and the Foreign Office and the Department for Education and half a dozen other ministries. It means shutting down those dependencies of the State such as English Heritage and OFCOM and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. It means shutting down the BBC and defunding the universities. It means at least a halving of local government activities. It means a Public Sector Pension Tax, to match the incomes of those already retired to the mode pension paid to those retired from the private sector.
All of this can be justified on the grounds of cutting our taxes and reducing the burdens on enterprise. More important, we need it to end a system of rule that is turning us into a nation of terrified sheep, or is even destroying us as a nation.
Then we have those enemies in the formally private sector. The Companies Acts must be repealed and replaced with a law that explicitly makes the directors and shareholders of companies jointly and severally liable for the debts of their companies. Incorporation is a device for sucking wealth upwards from the hands of those who create into the hands of those who manage or simply take their ease. Its main beneficiaries are the economic wing of the ruling class. Some of their illegitimate wealth is used to monitor and bully those employed to create, some to work with the State for building a system of social credit inspired by China, but probably more intrusive in its working and more malign in its ends. In short, limited liability has become a menace and must be brought to an end.
The same applies to intellectual property of all kinds. Patents are a further source of corporate privilege. Copyrights enrich publishers and production companies that are so many hostile Ministries of Propaganda. Let these two be ended—not, again, because they are inconsistent with some reading of the non-aggression principle, though they are, but because they are not presently in the interests of the English people.
Should I move to a discussion of welfare policy? Or of foreign and military policy? Or of those civil liberties not already secured by the sacking of nearly everyone employed to infringe them? Best not. Though not wholly one nor the other, this is more an editorial than a manifesto. As it ever was in the past, so the purpose now of Free Life is to put a case for freedom. We do not put this case as a veil behind which to lobby for corporate privilege, but from a desire that ordinary people may live as the free citizens of an independent country—an independent country governed in their interests.
If this is what you want of a libertarian blog, please stand by for further postings.