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“You’re not going that way, fascist”

By Alex Chatham
May 27th, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Comments Off on “You’re not going that way, fascist” | Posted in The Human Condition

The UKIP MP and libertarian, Douglas Carswell got caught up in an anti-austerity demonstration earlier this evening. The mob, and that is the only way to describe the deal marathons, were verbally violent and threatened physical violence. The police had to rescue Carswell from their clutches.

When Police officers tried to take Carswell through St James’s Park tube station, one demonstrator is filmed saying, “you’re not going that way fascist”.

For decades those on the  centre right have been labelled as fascists by the Left. What the proponents of State control, and at times violent destruction of their opponents, have forgotten is that fascism had its origins in socialism. It is about time that the Left admitted the connection. It is wrong to call someone a fascist whose beliefs are the exact opposite. It is worse to use the term when you are adopting the very tactics that fascists would happily embrace.

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Of God And Socialism

By Leslie Clark
November 2nd, 2011 at 6:21 pm | 6 Comments | Posted in Economics, The Human Condition

In the spirit of Christian harmony, the Archbishop of Canterbury has joined the Pope in publicly stating his support for a ‘Robin Hood Tax’. This is perhaps a curious development given the plush residence and sartorial garments of the latter whilst the former leads an organisation once described as ‘the Tory Party at prayer’. I digress.

The Archbishop’s intervention is very much in response to the continued presence of those incoherent trustafarians outside St. Paul’s and the upcoming G20 summit in Cannes.

In his FT (£) article he claims that “many people are frustrated beyond measure at what they see as the disastrous effects of global capitalism…” Of course, I acknowledge that the Archbishop isn’t calling for the downfall of capitalism a la Karl Marx but the notion that an ethical and moral interest in the financial world stipulates greater government intervention or taxation is wide of the mark.

Indeed, one shares the sentiments of those who bemoan the privatisation of profits and the nationalisation of losses (crony capitalism if you like) but the idea behind the financial transaction tax – “Robin Hood Taxes would take from the richest in society and give it to those who need it” – is economically illiterate. It is built on shaky foundations as the wealth of the rich in society is not derived by exploiting the poor.  Although capitalism may not leave individuals perfectly equal, it is perfectly moral. Indeed, some may say that it is the most impressive anti-poverty device ever created – despite what Oxfam contend.

Supporters of the Robin Hood Tax must understand the absurdity of George Osborne declaring Unilateral Financial Disarmament in the absence of a global agreement. All that would do is place the UK banking sector at a competitive disadvantage for the sake of indulging in populist attacks on bankers. And anyway, such a tax will simply be transferred to the consumer.

In a period of entrenched hostility towards capitalism, only the foolish would neglect the tremendous amount of good generated by capitalism. It is the only economic system that maintains individual liberty whilst at the same time raising living standards. The system may be driven by self-interest but as Adam Smith says in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, that does not negate the empathetic qualities of the individual:

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.

Maybe those Christians who believe in the morality of capitalism can take comfort in that as well as the old saying, ‘there are only two places on Earth where socialism can work; in Heaven where they don’t need it and in Hell where they already have it’.

Leslie Clark is an atheist.

Why are people who oppose capitalism so obsessed with money?

By Tom Papworth
September 29th, 2011 at 11:31 am | Comments Off on Why are people who oppose capitalism so obsessed with money? | Posted in Libertarians, Political theory, The Human Condition

Capitalists are frequently accused of being mercenary, in the sense that they are fixated on accumulating the greatest amount of wealth at the expense of other important issues. Their critics like to present themselves, in comparison, as focused on less tawdry, more important matters: happiness; social justice; public welfare.

Yet if once looks at the writings of anti-capitalists, they do seem to spend a lot of time talking about money.

My latest post on the ASI blog explores why egalitarians are wrong to seek to equalise wealth across society. According to one commentator, it’s “one of the best AS blog entries so far. A clear and graphic example of the flaw in pushing for income/wealth equality.” Thank you, Jonathan Giddy.

If you want to join the discussion, I suggest that you comment on the ASI site.

"You think equalising this match will be hard. Try equalling my score with women!"

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Men lie to get laid shock…

By Sara Scarlett
January 23rd, 2011 at 8:47 pm | 5 Comments | Posted in Crime, The Human Condition

So what’s new about that?! You may ask… Well, what we didn’t know until now is that it is allegedly the official policy of the Metropolitan Police. Undercover police have permission to bed activists upon whom they are spying!!.

Or so say some of their ‘victims‘, who now appear to be demanding officers should require warrants to enter their premises…

“Undercover police officers routinely adopted a tactic of “promiscuity” with the blessing of senior commanders, according to a former agent who worked in a secretive unit of the Metropolitan police for four years… with women in very, very, very promiscuous groups such as the eco-wing, environmental movement, leftwing, or the Animal Liberation Front…

Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence. His comments contradict claims last week from the Association of Chief Police Officers that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists…

He said undercover officers, particularly those infiltrating environmental and leftwing groups, viewed having sex with a large number of partners “as part of the job”….

You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups. Otherwise you’ll stand out straightaway…

Female activists converge on Scotland Yard tomorrow to demand that the Met disclose the true extent of undercover policing. The demonstration is also, according to organisers, designed to express “solidarity with all the women who have been exploited by men they thought they could trust”…

The part of me that would normally be unsurprised in these circumstances is cancelled out by the part of me that projectile vomits at the thought of fornication involving two of my least favourite sub-groups. All those un-washed, hemp-wearing, deeply misinformed hippie activists and people who work for the state.

*shudders*

The long term consequence of this expose is likely to be a large number of desperate men attempting to join left-wing groups, and not just Guardian journalists. For now, a second protest outside MI6 was cancelled when it was explained that James Bond is a fictional character and tends to aim a little more upmarket.

Officer Mark Kennedy – aka what passes for *hot* in your average ‘left-wing activist’ group…


Scrumptious…

Socialist pundit ‘cannot afford’ living wage

By Andy Mayer
January 18th, 2011 at 2:10 pm | 2 Comments | Posted in Labour, The Human Condition

Whilst we rarely comment on the minutiae of blog wars, the latest Guido Fawkes (libertarian) versus Laurie Penny (socialist) bust up over whether she’s breached her own principles by advertising an intern job marginally under the minimum wage, and well below the ‘living wage‘ she supports imposing on businesses, has yielded the following unintentional insight 

PennyRed Laurie Penny @OllyDeed because I don’t make much more than minimum wage myself. If I could pay the living wage without bankrupting myself, I would.”

Well yes… that’s the point isn’t it… the problem with the Living Wage… is that if applied coercively to internships and other jobs on the margins of the employment sector… it that those opportunities cease to exist. This helps neither employer or wanabe employee.

Where the minimum wage is set too high the impact similarly is to reduce the number of jobs available below minimum wage. This is quite a problem in France where the long term consequences, along with other labour market  interventions, have been high rates of youth unemployment.

Better surely to let supply and demand determine wages and tackle genuine exploitation by exposing bad employers to publicity. Something Miss Penny appears not to be enjoying today.