Free Choices or Forced Choices?

The “nanny state” is one of the most irritating traits of statism affecting people’s daily lives directly, and one that has been growing ever more matronly over the past generation or so. In fact, if you think it is bad today, The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (which, apparently, presents a “united front” of the medical profession) was complaining nearly ten years ago that doctors were seeing the consequences of unhealthy diets. Needless to say they recommended whole raft of interventionist measures to curb this apparent problem:

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Spying and Security

It almost goes without saying that the spying and security state has metastasised over the past twenty years or so, and is only likely to get worse as states look to exploit digital technology to further their regimentation and control of society.

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Politicians and Entrepreneurs

When perusing much public discourse concerning those in government and those who, say, are businessmen and entrepreneurs, one of the more striking aspects is how their economic roles and motivations are viewed as the complete opposite for what they really are.

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Altruism, Freedom and Prosperity

The virtue of altruism is held in immeasurably high esteem in our society today. Selfless benevolence is regarded as the pinnacle of human endeavours, with societies and cultures often reserving their most coveted honours and elevations for people who have apparently demonstrated a level of unparalleled generosity.

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Saving, Investment and Prosperity

In a recent article for Free Life, I noted that, for me, the urge to pen a rebuttal to the work of others come not from trawling through the drivel of a statist, leftist or mainstream pundit. Rather, it comes in response to a libertarian who has spouted some piece of nonsense in spite of being in a position to know better. Today, we will address something similar of this ilk in the realm of economics from Alistair MacLeod, Head of Research at Goldmoney.

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Freedom – the Law of the Jungle?

It is often asserted that a system of free market capitalism reduces everyone to the level of animals, subject to the “law of the jungle”. Similar emotive epithets accuse capitalism of being little more than a “dog eat dog” or “winner takes all” economic system. However, as we shall see now, nothing could be farther from the truth.

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Money – The Root of all (Government) Evil

In addressing the parasitic nature of the state, libertarians focus on many of the state’s specific characteristics in order to demonstrate its destructive effects upon civilisation. Whether it is nationalised industries, market interference, the minimum wage, anti-discrimination and egalitarian pursuits, the business cycle, or whatever, there is a treasure trove of libertarian literature available that explains and elaborates the deleterious effects of these particular state endeavours. However, a more difficult question is which of these areas, if any, are the most important? Which of them amount to mere nuisances that can be circumvented (or otherwise put up with) and which, if any, of them amount to a significant transfer of wealth and power to the state with seemingly permanent effects? Furthermore, is there any one issue that libertarians should stress above all others if we are to deliver a real and significant puncture to the state’s ever-inflating balloon?

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Freedom – The Real Third Way

The economic history of the twentieth century is often summarised as some kind of big battle between unfettered capitalism on the one hand (as supposedly demonstrated by the United States) and full blown socialism/communism on the other (as the Soviet Union was supposed to have been).

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The Cost of Government Crisis

Government Spending Must be Cut

In response to the state-induced cost of living crisis, there have been prominent calls to cut the rate of various taxes that the state imposes upon its working citizenry. One such area where this has been most pronounced in the UK is the rising cost of petrol, in which fuel duty and VAT can amount to up to 40% of the price paid at the pumps.

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