Instead, nod your head along with this rather good comment below today's CiF article on the libertarian blogosphere. Nestled, as it was, amongst the usual (deliberate?) misdefinitions of the concept - and the ubiquitous lazy and unimaginative Somalia references, natch - it came as a pleasant surprise.
OK, there are definitely bits I'd disagree with, and I'm really not sure libertarianism can properly square itself with traditional right and left labelling, but there's still a lot to like about his viewpoint.
2 November 2010 4:13PM
Of all the different pigeon holes, I'm definitely a left-wing Libertarian. There should be just enough state to protect people, because we are social creatures, but no more.
The problem now is that we have too much state, and none of it is protecting our interests. The banks get bailed out with my money, whilst I lose my job. The MPs and the Lords get to trough away hundreds of thousands of pounds of my money, whilst I struggle to make ends meet. The police get to shoot people dead and then make jokes about it during testimony in the inquest, and nothing happens to them.
Extortion is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. I was given a choice: pay £16,000 to RBS or go to prison. Hand over your money to the Export Credit Guarantee Department, and to the thieving MPs, and to the bloody traffic wardens, or go to prison for a very long time. So was each and every one of you. How is that acceptable in any way, shape or form?
And then think of all the new criminal laws brought in under New Labour. It's illegal for me to do the wiring in my kitchen and bathroom. It's illegal for me to change my own windows in my house. It's illegal for me to have large quantities of cash on my person. It's illegal for me to watch TV without paying the TV Tax. It's illegal for me to look after a friend's child without a looking-after-children licence from a bureaucrat in Darlington. Why are you lot not angry about this too?
The Libertarian blogs have been angry about all that, very very angry indeed. And quite right too. I don't agree with the economic views they hold, but anyone who demands a small a state as possible is worth reading. I won't miss the bloggers like Old Holborn, who focused too much on the economic, but people like Constantly Furious I will miss. Someone needs to be questioning the need for such a massive state, and the only regret is that they're being quieter now the Tories are in. The Tories aren't cutting the state back at all, they're just massaging it so that more money goes from my pocket into the pocket of their fat cat banker friends. Nothing at all has changed, and the need for Libertarian anger has not changed either.