Nic Elliott

Difficult Questions for Libertarianism

Libertarianism isn’t an endpoint for how society should operate. It’s a beginning. How a libertarian society should operate isn’t known. Indeed, because of its inherent freedom, many competing ways would probably exist.

Because of this, libertarianism has some tough questions to tackle. Whilst we don’t claim to have all the answers, we never shy away from asking the tough questions. In this edition, we ask ourselves about some difficult moral conundrums.

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Labels, Tribalism and Rejecting Definitions

Do you hate being labelled?  Nic certainly does, and in this edition he explains why he rejects being put into categories, and his squeamishness over membership of tribes.

Whether its atheist, liberal or even libertarian – we discuss whether there is any label that fits our outlook on the world, and lament that all the definitions we could associate with have been hijacked, mis-defined or were even invented by the other side.

Does a term get watered down if its over used, as has racism and fascism in recent years?

——
Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.

Web: https://soundingboard.com

Podcast RSS: https://soundingboard.com/feed/podcast

Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg

This edition can be found here: https://youtu.be/uOjOeYGZ8UU

Please reach out to us on Twitter:

Sounding Board: https://twitter.com/soundboardpod
Andrew: https://twitter.com/no_coercion
Nic: https://twitter.com/MrNicElliott

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iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/sounding-board/id1413474037

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Photo by Melinda Martin-Khan on Unsplash

The Differences Between The Left and The Right

There are some fairly fundamental characteristics of being left wing and right wing.  But do people actually know the differences, or would they mis-categorise a lot of the traits of both?
We discuss whether Andrew’s succinct definitions of the left and the right hold water and then go on to attempt to describe the traits of both left wingers and right wingers and whether they overlap.
Regulation and nationalisation quickly become topics of conversation, along with the use of evidence and intention.   But are we missing how class and power are just as important in these definitions?
Find out in the latest edition of Sounding Board.
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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Web: https://soundingboard.com
Podcast RSS: https://soundingboard.com/feed/podcast
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT--UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
This edition can be found here: https://youtu.be/Vr4ZsX2wzlc
Please reach out to us on Twitter:
Sounding Board: https://twitter.com/soundboardpod
Andrew: https://twitter.com/no_coercion
Nic: https://twitter.com/MrNicElliott
You can find us at the following podcast aggregators, and more:
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/sounding-board/id1413474037
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0BfeT7diEqD4S1dIkvWDEH
Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/sounding-board
Player FM: https://player.fm/series/2398529
Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9zb3VuZGluZ2JvYXJkLmNvbS9mZWVkL3BvZGNhc3Q
Please subscribe and leave a review.  We don't want your money - just share, listen, subscribe and watch!
 
Photo by Adri Tormo on Unsplash

Socialism: What If The Labour Party Had Won?

Even though the Conservative Party won a comfortable majority in the December 2019 UK General Election, it’s still worth talking about what life would have been like under Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist Labour Party.

What would happen when the economic policies of nationalisation, massive spending and capital controls started yielding truly negative results? Would the Labour Party move towards the centre ground of politics again, or double down on more state ownership?

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
This edition can be found here: https://youtu.be/2AAIoeDHNKo
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Steel Manning Steel, Supermarket Nukes and Chlorinated Chickens

This week, we try to steel man the arguments against freeing up the steel industry. Steel is always sold as a strategic industry. We’re often told that we cannot free the market, that we must have tariffs on foreign steel, and that we must protect (subsidise or nationalise) our own steel industry. We conduct a thought experiment on what would actually happen if the steel market was given a little (and a lot)more freedom before moving on to freeing up other industries like nuclear power. And chicken.

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

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Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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The Castor Semenya Controversy: Is it time for competition in competitions?

This week, we discuss Castor Semenya and the controversy surrounding intersex & transgender athletes. We talk about the definition of intersex, the rules around competing against females and if there’s a way forward that can please everyone.

Where should the line be drawn when deciding who can compete in the female category in sport?

Is this even the right question? Should there only be one set of rules?

Is there a way to treat all people fairly?

Are the media telling people everything about this particular, significant case?

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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Is regulating the internet a direct threat to freedom?

Politicians are rushing to regulate the internet with the EU copyright directive, age verification on porn sites and now a new regulator of social media platforms to police so called online harms.

In this edition we look across the globe to Vietnam, who at the turn of the year passed a law banning any criticism of the government online and ask if here in the west we are heading down that same authoritarian path.

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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Could The Current Constitutional Crisis Have Any Benefits?

This week we discuss whether Britain’s current constitutional crisis is actually a good thing. As Classical Liberals & Libertarians, should we delight in people realising that the current system of government isn’t working and cannot cope with incompetent or even sinister Members of Parliament?

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
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Why Is It OK To Laugh At Communism?

This week we discuss why we find buying each other communist memorabilia amusing but would not feel the same about fascist merchandise. We also question the rules around humour and what makes one ideology an acceptable target, but another not? Will Nic stop using his treasured Soviet tea set?

Photo by Kirill Sharkovski on Unsplash

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
Please reach out to us on Twitter:
You can find us at the following podcast aggregators, and more:
Please subscribe and leave a review.  We don’t want your money – just share, listen, subscribe and watch!

Facebook wants regulation because it wants to strangle new ideas

There are many motivations for starting a company, but most of them involve having an idea.

It might not be an original one, but that idea is what fuels the company.

That idea is a way of providing a service or a product that will be successful and have demand.

You might have an idea that you know will only make a quick buck. You might have a game changing product that ultimately will influence an entire sector or culture.

You might just think you can do something everyone else is doing, just cheaper, or better.

But while you’re doing it, while your setting up the company and as you start to trade and continue to grow, you aren’t looking for the hardest and most expensive way of doing it.

You maintain your idea, but in the most efficient and value intensive way.

If it costs more than you can sell it for, then you might as well shut up shop, unless you can see a way to reduce those costs through scale, investment and technology.

What you don’t do, is embrace or encourage burdens on your business.

Yet that’s what regulation is.

Regulations are what a start up business has to find a way to fund. They are a direct cost to the business.

You might have raw materials, labour cost and the cost of manufacturing, shipping, marketing etc.

But you also have the regulatory cost. The cost of compliance.

And this is where regulation favours the large business, with its economies of scale and deeper pockets than the plucky start up.

It’s why you’ll never see a small business ask the government to regulate them.

It’s why the founder of Facebook just asked for the government to regulate it.

Look at us, we’re on your side, we are actually asking for rules to play by. We can’t possibly be evil.

Yet if Facebook wanted to protect its users, it could. If it wanted to invest in technology to filter content, it could pump billions of dollars into it.

The plucky little start up social media company can’t afford to do that.

And that’s why Facebook wants it.

They get to “work with governments” and governments get to say they “worked with industry” to set regulation and “protect” us. From whom, who knows.

But the sad irony, the counter intuitive fact of the matter, is that if government regulates Facebook (or rather the entire social media industry) then it has unwittingly done Facebook’s job for it.

It’s put a massive extra cost on being a social media platform, and thus instantly made it billions of dollars more difficult to become one.

Who do we want to challenge the Facebooks of this world? Only other global business leviathans with the means to navigate and pay the costs generated by regulation?

Or do we want real competition.  From new businesses of any size. From those that want to change and pivot quickly.

Facebook just asked to be regulated. Governments will now clamour to do so, when all they are doing is helping sustain and augment a monopoly.

Yet we should want those with new ideas to be able to disrupt.

To challenge.

To innovate.

The best way of coming up with something better than Facebook is to unleash the potential of those new ideas.

Free from constraints.  Free from burdensome regulation that only the large incumbents will push for in order to create barriers for those to challenge them.

Of course Mark Zuckerberg wants new regulation.

The problem is that no one else asks why.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash