libertarianism

Covid-19 State Expansion, Everyone’s a Right Winger and Panic Buying Baileys

Our last recording before the lockdown, we explore Commander Sunak’s budget-busting spending pledges in reaction to the Coronavirus, and whether no one is a Libertarian in a pandemic, or conversely everyone is.

With the lockdown rules about to be announced, we explain how the government’s response is an entirely right wing one, and why the left wing opposition waved through the budget – no questions asked.

We explore the politics of post-Covid-19, and how Boris can become the Ultimate Centrist off the back of all this spending.

How important is democracy? Should you be panic buying Baileys? And don’t you just wish we were all talking about Brexit again?

Coronavirus Shows Our Reliance On The ‘Precautionary Principle’ Has Ruined Our Ability To Manage Risk https://science20.org/david-zaruk/20200320/coronavirus-shows-our-reliance-precautionary-principle-has-ruined-our-ability

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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This edition can be found here: https://youtu.be/CHTFtqdw27o

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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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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/7QdpIwLZ1hA

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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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

You can find us at the following podcast aggregators, and more:

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

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Photo by Melinda Martin-Khan on Unsplash

Cherán, Mexico – How One Town Expelled The State

In 2011 the residents of a small municipality in Mexico rose up against politicians, the police and illegal loggers associated with the drug cartel La Familia Michoacana. Expelling the corruption and driving those responsible from the town, the crime rate in Cherán has dropped off a cliff.

What can we learn from their unique example? Do you really need the state?

Is centralised control really the best way of achieving any kind of good outcomes?

Or is decentralisation and self control the way forward?

The Libertarian Manifesto by Murray Rothbard can be downloaded for free, here: https://mises.org/library/new-liberty-libertarian-manifesto

The Machinery Of Freedom by David D. Friedman can be downloaded for free, here: http://www.daviddfriedman.com/The_Machinery_of_Freedom_.pdf

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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/QwUCI-duCjU
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Democracy, Libertarianism and the Trouble with Voting

Recorded straight after the last edition, we follow on with a discussion on the problems of our democratic system and whether we only have a choice of the “least worst” from here on in.

We talk about whether voting matters in a “safe seat”, and whether we have been unwittingly encouraging others to vote on twitter by pointing out how dangerous the Labour Party policies are.

Should Nic hold his nose and vote Tory to stop the Communists? Where do you draw the line with Socialism? Should you always vote for the least Socialist party?

We discuss all of this, and a hypothetical Libertarian Party that would have the power to dismantle all of it…if only they were voted in.

——
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/TUBof8fsMBY
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!

Thought Experiment: Privatising the Public Sector

What if everything the government does was privatised? Not the law making, but all of the other functions and agencies and quangos.

Could it be done quickly? What would be the consequences, and should we start with something small first… like the NHS.

As we discuss going the whole hog, we realise we never started the podcast wanting to talk about any of this, but ended up having what we think is an interesting discussion.

But were we always on the same page? We also analyse our thought processes around the conversation, and how we constructed our arguments in order to communicate with each other effectively. We are always interested in improving how we think critically, so this was a revealing retrospective on the conversation, that wouldn’t normally be aired.

——
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!

Negative Rights And Moral Relativism

This week, we’re interested in rights. Specifically, the difference between negative & positive rights and what they mean.

We also discuss the difference between moral absolutism & relativism and how the left use the difficulties in defining boundaries for nefarious means when they talk about the greater good.

——
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!

Why people call themselves centrists

Centrism is one of those terms that people put a lot of effort into claiming. It doesn’t seem to matter where the political Overton Window is, people (and parties) always try to insist that they have the centre ground.

People tweet about how centrism is the best way. That being a centrist means realising your side doesn’t have all the answers. That centrism is somehow synonymous with reason, with the sensible middle ground. The non extreme view.

Here in the UK, there’s lots of talk about how Britain is crying out for a new centrist party.

Why is this?

I believe it is firmly routed in the way politics is taught in the West. Think about it, for a minute. What is everybody taught from a young age? Communism is on the far left and Fascism is on the far right. Most people, understandably, want to be as far away from those two abhorrent ideologies as possible. Certainly anyone who has any grasp at all of 20th century history. And where is the furthest away from both of those on the standard, left/right political spectrum? The very centre.

I believe this is the reason why so many people claim the centrist position, even when they all disagree where it is. They want to believe that their position is reasonable. That their views are what normal people should have (if only they had the same information as them, as if often the case). Stray from the very centre? That’s a slippery slope to extremism, my friend!

One of the problems here is, of course, that Communism, Socialism and Fascism are all so similar. The idea that they are somehow on opposite ends of the spectrum falls down with minimal scrutiny. One of the reasons for this is that the political spectrum is not just left/right. The political compass, with its four quadrants, isn’t perfect but is a lot better.

The additional axes on the spectrum detail the difference between authoritarianism and libertarianism, whether you believe in force or freedom. A fan of state regulation? Top half. Tariffs on external goods? Top half. Nationalisation? Top of the top half. Believe in free markets? Bottom half. Free speech? Bottom half. Think everyone should be able to run their own lives? Bottom half.

It’s that authoritarian/libertarian axis that’s far more important to me. It doesn’t bother me if you’re on the left or the right, as long as you don’t want to run everybody else’s life. If you want to live in a commune, feel free? As long as you don’t expect me to subsidise you. If you want to control my life, however, I don’t care which side you’re on.

The standard left/right paradigm doesn’t really have anywhere for classical liberals or libertarians, either. Where am I supposed to go? Liberals are usually branded right wing simply for being ‘not left wing’, but nobody can ever explain to me the connection between small government, freedom loving Austrian economists and totalitarian, big state fascists.

Ask a random person now where they’d put people who want small government & low taxes on the standard scale and I bet 99% of them would place them on the right – regardless of whether they attribute those things as positive or negative in political or social terms.  The same applies these days to freedom is speech.  Safe spaces, no-platforming, thought crime – these are features of the current left.  If you advocate true freedom of speech with no exceptions then you are automatically considered far right.

Ask those same people how those stances can lead to fascism and you’ll just hear crickets.

Maybe they’ll argue that by defending people who share (in their minds at least) abhorrent views, it somehow encourages and promotes those views and makes them spread.  Heaven forbid that the light of day would allow intelligent people to challenge and refute what is necessary, and present evidence to counter the negativity.

But what they miss entirely is that fascism was about not being allowed a voice, by having to adhere to the party line or be “disappeared” by the secret police.  Doesn’t sound like free speech to me.

And the idea that by thinking you may pay too much tax is somehow a route to racial superiority is as laughable as it is sad.  Fascism and the right wing have been wrongly equated for too long.  If anything left and right have now lost all meaning in political and social terms.

It’s no wonder people and their politicians have grabbed onto centrism with both hands as a way of distinguishing themselves from the extremists.  The trouble is though, freedom now seems to be an extreme ideology.  When did that happen?