Hello everyone and welcome to LibertyGibbert. I hope you find my blog informative, entertaining and worthwhile. Together, I am hoping we can pool our brains, shoot the breeze and just possibly generate, amidst the heat, a little light.
I thought I would start off by sketching out a little about where I am coming from, and my reasons for publishing on this forum. First, a couple of questions for you as conversation starters:
In your opinion, is the world a better place now than it was five years ago? Ten? Twenty? How about when you were growing up? If you answered yes to any or all of these, you probably won’t relate to much of what follows; indeed, if things are so much better than ever now, why waste your life blogging? Switch off that computer, walk out your front door and start experiencing that wonderful world out there! Seriously, I’m happy for you.
For the rest of us: well for openers, look at the newspapers. We appear now to be headed for yet another global financial disaster; the governments of nation after nation are being exposed as having lived beyond their means. Banks and car manufacturers in the USA, having built their bloated fortunes and obscene salaries on a financial house of cards – derivatives, collateralized debt obligations, mortgage-backed securities—all falling like dominoes, then go running to the government to bail them out, on the basis that they are too big to fail! Meanwhile in Europe, Greece appears set to default on its foreign loan repayment obligations, and has triggered a euro-bailout even bigger than the 2009 American version—all of one trillion euros! Based on their spiralling debt-to-GDP ratios Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain appear not far behind and similarly in need of stratospheric euro-bailouts, rendering the so-called “PIIGS” nations, the basket case that gives the lie to the chimera of a modern, united Europe.
Next, to get closer to home, look at your own country. Are taxes higher or lower (count all the taxes you pay, not just income tax. This isn’t always immediately obvious and may take you a little while to work out.) If your taxes are higher, do you receive increased service from the government as a result? And did you request this additional service? Does it cost more or less to feed, clothe and house yourself and your family, and provide the other basics of a decent life – education and health care?
Now look out your window, onto your own neighbourhood. Do you see more or less crime, juvenile delinquency, drug use, traffic congestion or pollution where you live? Are you scared, perhaps, to even venture out your own front door?
What about the law? Are there more or less rules governing your life these days? If you are living in a Western democracy, the question is obviously rhetorical. Who got to decide what these new rules would be? And what was their stated purpose? To keep you from harm? To create a “fairer” society? And if so, do you feel society has become safer or fairer as a result?
So if you’re still here reading this, the question becomes: if things are worse, why??? Far too many people tend to either shrug their shoulders at such a question, or respond with such evasions as it’s the way of the world or, worse, it’s just a fact of life. Well, I refuse to accept such facts of life. I don’t claim to be omniscient, but many years pondering why has led me to some firm conclusions.
WE HAVE SURRENDERED OUR AUTONOMY.
It’s hard to put a precise date on it, but from around the first decade of the twentieth century, governments of the West have been offering to take off our shoulders, one after another, the responsibilities we had hitherto taken for granted, or had been met by one or more private institutions. Responsibility towards the poor, for the sick, for the unemployed. Responsibility for administration of local justice, town “planning”, picking up the garbage, even looking out for our own neighbours. Or even ourselves.
Enter the man from the government. Don’t worry he tells us. This is all too much responsibility for you poor folks. It’s society’s job he continues, to take care of all these things. So relax. Hand over responsibility to us. Of course, we’ll have to uhh, tax you to pay for it all, but what a small price to pay for a better, fairer society?
And we believed him. We gave away our responsibility to manage our own affairs. The process wasn’t immediate, it took place over four generations. But it happened nonetheless.
We are now a society in which citizens are not really responsible for any of their own behaviour, aside from the most outrageously antisocial acts – and often not even then.
What was not so immediately apparent however, is that in relinquishing our responsibilities, we also gave away the rights attendent on them. And it’s only now we are starting to wake up to this.
Responsibilities and Rights. You can’t have one without the other. It’s the primary theme of this blog. I’ll be covering example after example of how, under cover of creating a “fairer” society, governments have picked our pockets of the rights our forbears so took for granted, they barely gave them a moment’s thought. And how we, the citizenry, in the process have become infantalized, dependent, irresponsible, and diminished. I’ll be making the case for genuine liberty: that before we can place ourselves in any logical, philosophical or moral position to reclaim our former rights, we must first re-assert and re-claim those corresponding responsibilities, one by one. Then, and only then, can we truly claim to be a free society, in the sense the ancients understood.
I’ll be casting a wide net, pushing the point on a number of fronts: the history of Libertarian and Classical Liberal thought, comparisons of societies, past and present, as to how well they provided the preconditions for liberty, and examples from contemporary society, in government, politics, economics, law, art and science, that enhance or betray the ideal of the Liberated Man. I hope to attract to this blog specialists from all these fields. And I do welcome opposing points of view – indeed, without them, any debate here will inevitably stagnate into a mutual agreement-fest and go nowhere. I don’t intend to moderate any but the most extreme posts (race hate, illegal links—you all know the score on those), and then only reluctantly. So post away!
I’m setting the general direction of the blog. But I don’t want it to be about me—I already know what I think! I want it to be about you. Any suggestions you may have for threads or topics are most welcome.
Share and enjoy!
Yours in Liberty
It seems my comments were to strong for JD and so I repeat them here
Thank you for your support
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June 7, 2010 at 8:41 am
Good morning all
Just been getting an update reading the DT shambles
I have some suggestions for Pointman following our dialogue last night and will post separately.
I offer suggestions and ideas for comment and all are welcome to add their four penneth.
I will assemble my ideas coherently via MS word and report back in less than an hour
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
June 7, 2010 at 9:34 am
@ Pointman and All Others
Following our discussion last night, I am now convinced more than ever James should go it alone, the DT blog today has moved to farce because of deleted comments.
My suggestions for James are as follows:-
I will number them for easy reference and additions and comments can thenbe added as sub references.
I suggest a five minute professional video, with Lord Monkton interviewing James about his contribution to Climategate and his plans for the future. In effect a commercial for his new blog., but within any Youtube rules Thus then to be published on Youtube and we can all reference it on other blogs.
The biggest problem seems to be computing power and bandwidth, The format of the blog is established and carries its own powerful goodwill.
2.1 Why not seek a sponsor like an ISP who have the necessary power and would be interested in advertising access
2.2 There is also an opportunity for a ‘sleeping sponsor’ like the Express whose owner wants to break the mould and would be willing for a period to support James, and subsequently decide a plan for long term stability, funding and promotion.
2.1 People buy shares in racehorses, why should we not buy share in James.
2.1.1 James has our email addresses and could make invitations to sponsor or donate
Basically one horse in a one horse race there we know the winner
2.1.2 10 x 10 pounds for 12 months share investment could be money well used ina good cause, money back after 12 months
2.1.3 The RealityReturns list up to the election contained around 100 dedicated James fans who were prepared to stand up for UKIP principles and subsequent EU nonsense has made their argument more powerful.
Again if these people were to donate money probably via paypal this would provide an income to get started. (Note paypal is an easy worldwide payments system which could be used for a nonexistent product)
2.1.4 UKIP had around a million votes, plus in addition there must exist another million people who are dedicated to the AGW fight and this is just in the UK.
I would not like to think of the numbers world wide
Thus a ONE pound donation via Paypal again would make a real contribution to the ANTI AGW cause.
For tax reasons and other organisational reasons the may be value in James becoming a charity organisation, properly arranged with terms of reference and accounts etc.
5. James Book
We have not heard much about his book and the recent event may affect some of his background material, but also this represents both an opportunity to take stock and publish to date, but with a second book for the new beginning a possibility.
Publishing is changing iPads, ebooks even downloadable .pdf’s are ALL options that need to be considered, again with the option to promote the blog as an up to date dynamic source of information which it has been,
6 My comment
6.1 Time to move on James – You have the support — Grasp the nettle
6.2 This document is a serious intention to move the ANTI AGW campaign forward and once again gain the initiative
6.3 Thank you for taking the time to read this ALL COMMENTS WELCOME
Manonthemoor 7 June 10:32
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June 7, 2010 at 9:48 am
Like Pointman I have just made my exit from DT the blogs
I have made a reply to Pointman here but it/they are awaiting moderation would you believe
Thanks MOTM – you’re most welcome here.
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