Chris Berg: Are Australians ready to embrace libertarianism?

How much influence does libertarianism have on Australian politics? The first thing to know is that the Australian political system has very few libertarians in it.

The only federal member of parliament to self-describe as a libertarian is Senator David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democratic Party. Other candidates – like my former colleagues at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), Senator James Paterson and Tim Wilson – describe themselves as classical liberals.

Ideological classifications can get very tedious very quickly, but generally libertarianism is a variety of classical liberalism. Both philosophies believe that public policy should be designed to maximise free markets and civil liberties. That is, governments should get out of both the wallet and the bedroom. Libertarianism is generally seen as inhabiting the more radical end of the classical liberal spectrum.

A 2007 study published by the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) estimated that 3–6% of the Australian electorate were classical liberals. So it is unsurprising they have little electoral influence on Australian politics.

The reason libertarians and classical liberals exercise some degree of influence is that they make up a disproportionate share of Australia’s policy wonks, think tank staff (especially at the IPA and CIS), and political commentators.

An extremely big tent

Australia’s right-of-centre political community is not so large as to have exclusively libertarian or conservative think tanks, as exist in the United States. Everyone works together. This co-mingling hasn’t generally been an issue because Australian political debate has tended to pivot around economic issues (taxation, regulation, privatisation) or basic shared liberty issues (like freedom of speech) rather than the thorny moral debates that might divide the two camps.

Occasionally there have been polarising issues. Same-sex marriage is one. Conservatives were generally opposed, while libertarians tended to be in favour. But there was also broad agreement that any change to marriage laws should also protect religious freedom.

Immigration – particularly asylum seeker policy – is another. Libertarians are inclined towards freer immigration, whereas conservatives want more control over the borders. Here the tiny number of libertarians have been completely ineffective against the policy stalemate.

For the most part, there is much agreement between conservatives and libertarians about the current state of Australian politics. Both think the Turnbull government is a disappointment, for much the same reasons. It failed on the campaign to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which has become an iconic restriction on free speech. It has also repeatedly raised taxes, and been unable to drive any serious economic reform.

This may sound excessively Pollyanna-ish, as if everything is just swell between Australian conservatives and libertarians. Much has been said (almost all by commentators on the left) about a political split between libertarians and classical liberals on the one side and conservatives on the other. But I don’t really see it.

In the US, the fusion movement of the 1950s and 1960s was a deliberate project to build an alliance between these two distinct systems of political thought. The presidency of George W. Bush pushed that alliance to breaking point, and it seems the Trump administration has broken it.

By contrast, Australian politics has never been large enough to maintain such divergent streams. Every Liberal prime minister has for the most part maintained a sort of centre-right middle ground that kept everyone equally disappointed and dissatisfied. People are leaving the Liberal Party under the Turnbull government, not because it is too conservative or libertarian, but because it is too, well, nothing.

Liberal achievements and libertarian growth

The last quarter of the 20th century saw Australian public policy take major strides in a classical liberal direction. The economic reform movement that substantially liberalised the economy was matched with social reforms such as the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the repeal of obscenity laws.

I’ve argued in the past that Australian economic thought has had a distinct – even occasionally dominant – classical liberal tradition. There is no question that this tradition has driven policy debate and reform at a few key historical moments.

Though classical liberal efforts were often focused on economics rather than social policy, it’s worth pointing out that the IPA was one of the key voices against state overreaches such as the Hawke government’s ill-fated Australia Card, and more recently, mandatory internet data retention.

In recent years, there has been some notable growth of libertarianism as a self-aware and distinct group. A large part of that has been the Friedman Conference – named after Milton Friedman, David Friedman and Patri Friedman, who represent nearly the entire spectrum of classical liberal/libertarian thought in one family – which attracts hundreds of libertarians and fellow travellers to Sydney every year.

The Friedman Conference is in its sixth year, thanks to the organisational efforts of Tim Andrews (of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance) and John Humphreys (of the Australian Libertarian Society). The political success of the Liberal Democrats with David Leyonhjelm in the Senate is another factor in libertarianism’s modest gains.

My hope is that this sort of organisational effort fosters the idea in Australia of libertarianism as a distinct political philosophy, not just a quirky sub-category of the Australian right.

There is a need for this. The challenges we face now are not the same as they were in the over-mythologised 1980s. The combination of growth of the regulatory state, radical technological change, and the crisis of democratic trust require new ideas and new policy solutions. Libertarianism offers a framework to understand how these economic and social questions interact.

Chris Berg is a post-doctoral fellow in the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub. This op-ed first appeared at The Conversation. This article is the third in a five-part series on the battle for conservative hearts and minds in Australian politics. Read part one here and part two here.

This entry was posted in Cross Post, Libertarians don't live by argument alone. Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Chris Berg: Are Australians ready to embrace libertarianism?

  1. Macspee

    Chris
    As one who embraced the libertarian world view back in the late 1950’s, it has been interesting to watch the wax and wane from the Objectivist movement (minuscule) through the liberal reform years to the state of the game today. A problem with libertarians has been the failure to recognise that they live in the real world and that while some principles are sound, they may not work well in societies that face issues that would not, by definition, exist in a libertarian Utopia. Immigration is one such issue. The idea that any country could withstand unrestricted migration is just silly: open borders in Utopia are fine, but when your entire life would be destroyed by people who don’t think like you, don’t live as you do, who have belief systems that call for your eradication but also want you to support them in the manner they have read about in magazines and seen on TV and film, makes no sense.
    Rational libertarians, like rational classical liberals, are aware of the ideal while accepting that moving toward it is a long term, thankless task that calls for sensible policies not wild assertions. And while we might wish that Atlas would shrug, the odds are not good.
    Today while speaking of freedom and liberty, much time has to be spent telling people of the mad ant-human beliefs and practices of Greens and lefties whose only aim is domination at someone else’s expense. IPA and CIS have been doing this for a long time – long may they do so.
    Keep up the good work

  2. Baldrick

    Unfortunately, with almost 50% of Australian’s being leaners and not lifters, all to eager for their next handout from government, I don’t expect this idea to take hold any time soon.

    There’s more votes in having the populace reliant on Big Government.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    True Libertarianism is dying.

    That is because the Left is going far left. The Right initially were pulled leftwards for a while but now are rebounding back to a classic conservative position.

    America’s Extreme Social Fragmentation Exposed In 3 Simple Charts

    The same is going on here in Australia and everywhere else in the world with liberal democracies.

    Libertarian pollies are stuck in the middle like Spike Milligan split between following the shoe or the gourd.

    Unfortunately it appears that the libertarians in this country are so heartfelt in their desire for the social policies they love that when forced to choose they go left. So there has been very little fight for religious protection, very little fight against S18c, very little fight against deficit spending, very little fight against higher taxes, just a sort of ‘oh well, we lost that one must move on’.

    Every time that happens the voters see it and notch up one more reason not to vote for the LDP.

    Unfortunately, as you saw in the above link, there is increasingly no “sort of centre-right middle ground” any more. The Liberal Party is clearly centre left on almost all issues. The ALP is Leninist left with a solid chunk of mystical progressive, and the Greens are off with the fairies in a strange far-lefty place.

    There is now a yawning gap in the middle of the electoral spectrum. That will not change for at least a generation – until empirical and objective truths start to regain favour.

  4. Tel

    Unfortunately it appears that the libertarians in this country are so heartfelt in their desire for the social policies they love that when forced to choose they go left. So there has been very little fight for religious protection, very little fight against S18c, very little fight against deficit spending, very little fight against higher taxes, just a sort of ‘oh well, we lost that one must move on’.

    Up until recently David Leyonhjelm was the ONLY person in Parliament standing up against 18c.

    There was not a single “conservative” willing to move one toe out of line. As for spending, Abbott tried to get people going to the doctor to pay a fiver and his own party sacked him for it. Don’t you start bitching about libertarians.

  5. Marcus

    I was just reading today about Maxime Bernier, the Canadian libertarian who finished second in the Canadian Conservatives’ leadership race who’s writing a book complaining that he was robbed because so-called “fake Tories” joined the party and voted for Andrew Scheer. This is just as the wheels are starting to come off the Justin Trudeau bus and Scheer has a realistic chance of becoming PM next year.

    And Bernier is probably one of the most successful libertarian pollies going around today!

    Basically, it strikes me that libertarianism’s a worthy idea but people will never take to it in large numbers as long as the candidates who advocate for it continue to shoot themselves in the foot.

  6. pbw

    Libertarianism is like Marxism and CAGW in this: one theory fits all. No matter what events occur in what combination of circumstances, the theory answers, and the Correct Line™ will be found and expressed by an appropriate guru.

    (Incidentally, I suspect that the term “politically correct” has a line of descent from the jocular usage, “Correct line, comrade!” that was widely employed in the 60s and 70s.)

  7. 2dogs

    Are Australians ready to embrace libertarianism?

    No.

    Expecting the general public to embrace Libertarianism is the continual mistake that Libertarians make.

    It will not only will it never happen, but it is also completely unnecessary for achieving Libertarian outcomes.

    What Libertarians should be promising, instead, is autonomy. Focus on advocating constitutional reforms that will allow those of each side to be free of the ravages of the other. People do want such solutions: look at the outcome of the events in Malaysia in 1964: now, those on neither side would want to go back to what they had before.

  8. John Brumble

    I’m in the same camp as Bruce on this. Lobertarians seem to be perfectly happy to give up the foundation principles (free speech) if it means they get to grandstand on stretch targets. The problem is that by taking this approach, they only get a facade of libertarianism. What really happens is that they support the growth of government and the erosion of fundamental rights.

    But that’s ok. cos smoking.

  9. JC

    Nice piece, Chris. Hope you post often now.

  10. Macspee

    My first comment seems to have gone awry. The penultimate sentence should read
    IPA and CIS have been talking of freedom and liberty for a long time – long may they continue to do so.

  11. Percy Porcelain

    they support the growth of government and the erosion of fundamental rights

    “same sex marriage”, come on down!

  12. mh

    I had a skim through:

    For the most part, there is much agreement between conservatives and libertarians about the current state of Australian politics. Both think the Turnbull government is a disappointment, for much the same reasons.

    Conservatives managed to get Turnbull dumped from his failed Opposition leadership. Conservatives never wanted Turnbull anywhere near the Liberal Party, so he was never a disappointment.

  13. jupes

    Libertarians are inclined towards freer immigration …

    Fucking idiots.

  14. Egor

    Surely you jest.
    Australians embrace whomever promises most /biggest cheques in the mail.
    The late lamented pretend Libert Dot didn’t mind his fellow travellers living off other people’s work product at all. Apparently I was going to pay for life long care for the neurologically damaged who didn’t want to wear a quality helmet despite the easy avoidance because of their deeply held principles.
    Wankers.

  15. herodotus

    There has been a lot of “libertarianism” since no-fault divorce, and it has not been a good story.

  16. Fat Tony

    Egor
    #2685252, posted on April 12, 2018 at 7:23 pm
    Surely you jest.
    Australians embrace whomever promises most /biggest cheques in the mail.
    The late lamented pretend Libert Dot didn’t mind his fellow travellers living off other people’s work product at all. Apparently I was going to pay for life long care for the neurologically damaged who didn’t want to wear a quality helmet despite the easy avoidance because of their deeply held principles.
    Wankers.

    I hear about this brain damage from riding push bikes a lot.
    I am almost 65 and just about everyone rode bikes when i was a kid.

    I have never known anyone who has suffered said brain damage – so just how common actually was it in the pre-helmet days?

  17. mh

    I have never known anyone who has suffered said brain damage – so just how common actually was it in the pre-helmet days?

    FT, in the pre-helmet days if a child on a bicycle got run over by a cement truck it was bad news.

  18. Fat Tony

    mh
    #2685266, posted on April 12, 2018 at 7:42 pm
    I have never known anyone who has suffered said brain damage – so just how common actually was it in the pre-helmet days?

    FT, in the pre-helmet days if a child on a bicycle got run over by a cement truck it was bad news.

    And, today, if a child on a bicycle was run over by a concrete truck, the said child would be ok if s/he/it/zhe was wearing one of those foam & thin plastic helmets?

    And i was referring to brain damage that would have been avoided by wearing one of these helmets, cos I am well aware of the deaths resulting from being hit by a car/truck/train.

  19. Fleeced

    I’d love to think so, but nah. Most people don’t even want complete freedom for themselves, let alone other people. And as for raising there kids – that’s the teacher’s job (“the problem with teachers, is that they just don’t teach our kids proper values these days!”)

    And don’t get me started on “fairness”.

  20. procrustes

    Chris Berg – good article. Thanks

    Seems like it was a total mindfuck for Paridell and incoherent rambler. “No” – Paridell and Rambler – I say “Yes”

    Jupes – thanks for the well thought ought argument on immigration.

    Herodotus – either buy a dictionary or look one up for free on the internet. The word you are looking for is libertine not libertarian. That’s L.I.B.E.R.T.I.N.E, feller.

    My stab is that there is about 5% of the Australian electorate that are classical liberal / libertarian. Why 5%? Dunno – it’s just lower than the ¼ of Americans who are libertarians but don’t know it – and of whom about 1 in 5 votes libertarian.

    One open message to all you conservative Cats. Stop hating on us classical liberal/libertarians so much. We will be your only friends when some SJW is hauling you before the HRC.

  21. Fleeced

    Libertarians are inclined towards freer immigration …

    Not this one.

  22. Tel

    Egor #2685252,

    You of course do support that people should have the choice to opt-out of our crappy Medicare system.

    Because, you don’t want to be caught out being a hypocrite and all that, right?

  23. max

    So, it is time for a litmus test. Apply it to yourself. See if you are a neocon. Then apply it to those who come in the name of the Republican Party to solicit your money, your votes, your allegiance, and above all, your intellectual subservience.

    PART 1: DOMESTIC POLICY

    Each of the following Cabinet-level Departments has, on the whole, made America a better place to live, and should not be abolished: Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health & Human Services, Housing & Urban Development, Interior, Labor, and Transportation. T F

    The Federal Reserve System has produced net benefits for the American economy, and it deserves its legal status as a privately owned monopoly over money and banking. T F

    Racial or religious discrimination in housing, dining, and other privately owned and privately funded sectors of the economy should be prohibited by federal law. T F

    All governments should lower their top marginal tax rates, but only by enough to increase their revenues. T F

    Education vouchers are the best way to restore the public’s faith in America’s schools. T F

    Tax-funded education deserves our faith. T F

    Compulsory education is a Good Thing. T F

    To save the Social Security system, a portion of the reserves should be turned over to SEC-approved investment trusts. T F

    Social Security is worth saving. T F

    Michael King (a.k.a. Martin Luther King, Jr.) was both a good Christian and a scholar, and should not be judged on the content of his character (i.e., continual adultery). T F

    John F. Kennedy was both a good Roman Catholic and a supply-sider, and should not be judged on the content of his character (i.e., continual adultery). T F

    Robert A. Taft was a right-wing fanatic who fully deserved to be defeated by Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. T F

    PART 2: FOREIGN POLICY

    Having stayed out of all joint military treaties after the French Treaty of 1778 lapsed in 1802, the United States was wise in joining NATO, SEATO, and the other regional alliances after 1947. T F

    There are only two legitimate views of American Foreign policy: Theodore Roosevelt’s and Woodrow Wilson’s. T F

    The phrase “no entangling alliances” in fact means “more entangling alliances.” T F

    World War I was a just war for the United States. T F

    Woodrow Wilson was wise in abandoning neutrality and siding with England, even though he was re-elected in 1916 on the slogan, “He kept us out of war.” T F

    World War II was a just war for the United States. T F

    Franklin Roosevelt did the right thing in placing an oil embargo on Japan in 1941 and then not warning the commanders at Peal Harbor that the Japanese fleet was heading for Pearl in the first week of December, 1941. Had he not done this, Americans would not have been persuaded to go into Europe’s war. T F

    The Korean War was a police action that did not require Congressional approval. T F

    The Vietnam War was a police action that did not require Congressional approval. T F

    The geographical United States is best defended by American troops that are stationed outside the geographical United States. T F

    The Central Intelligence Agency is a bulwark against foreign threats to the United States, and it deserves to be funded. T F

    The United States government should continue its formal relationships with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. T F

    The aircraft carrier is a more vital weapon for America’s defense than the submarine. T F
    SCORE

    You get four points for each answer you identified as “F.”

    91-100: Patriot (as defined by George Washington)
    81-90: Old Rightist (as defined by Robert A. Taft)
    71-80: Fusionist (as defined by Frank Meyer)
    61-70: New Rightist (as defined — and more important, funded — by Richard Viguerie)
    51-60: Southern Partisan (as defined by George Wallace)
    41-50: Conservative (as defined by Russell Kirk and F. A. Hayek, on why he wasn’t one)
    31-40: Buckleyite (pre-1970)
    21-30: Good Old Boy (as defined by Strom Thurmond after 1970)
    11-19: Neoconservative, Type A (as defined by Gertrude Himmelfarb)
    5-10: Neoconservative, Type B (as defined by Himmelfarb’s husband and son)
    0-4: Republican National Committee

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2003/01/gary-north/take-a-neocon-litmus-test/

  24. Deplorable

    Libertarians are inclined towards freer immigration …

    Not this one.

    Nor this one. Some of the comments here make me wonder if I am really a far right conservative😀 or worse.

  25. 3d1k

    No.

    Australians have a love hate relationship with government (mostly myth), a love hate relationship with rules, regulations and handouts. Mostly love.

  26. Entropy

    I have never known anyone who has suffered said brain damage – so just how common actually was it in the pre-helmet days?

    I suspect those helmets people are forced to wear in reality barely make much difference in the kind of incidents that rsult in brain damage.

  27. max

    New Zealand
    Almost from the beginning of the nation, it has clung to the principles of Fabian socialism. It was perhaps the first “laboratory” for the Fabians to point to.

    The country has been dominated by Fabian socialist ideas throughout the twentieth century. The two political parties have forged a working relationship: the conservative National Party has protected the farmers and local businessmen from world competition by means of agricultural marketing boards, direct subsidies to agriculture, and tariffs. The Labor Party has done its best to protect union members from world competition by keeping tariffs high, imposing other import quotas, fixing exchange rates, refusing to allow currency and other futures trading in world markets, and using the taxing power of the federal government to redistribute wealth (which really means keeping the existing distribution of wealth pretty much fixed: if you got there early, you are locked in for life, or close to it).

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/14754.cfm

    ps.
    ditto for australia

  28. Chris M

    It’s a philosophy for the naive.

  29. Rob MW

    Are Australians ready to embrace libertarianism?

    This Australian say – No

    I say this on the grounds that, as it seems to me, the policies of two major parties are pretty much non-differential forming nothing more than a globalist uniparty and only separated by different roads to reach the same destination.

  30. egg_

    Libertarians are inclined towards freer immigration …

    Pass.

  31. C.L.

    Are Australians ready to embrace libertarianism?

    No.
    Next question.

  32. jupes

    Stop hating on us classical liberal/libertarians so much.

    Then stop trying to flood Australia with savages.

    Take your diversity bollards and shove them up your arse.

  33. Since federation in 1901 Australia in Federal Government and all state governments have become more socialist and less democratic. At Federation Australia was with New Zealand the richest and most democratic country in the world. Australia was one of the first country to allow women to vote maybe that was the start of the rot. Switzerland is now the most democratic country. Women there gained the vote only in the 1980’s but direct democracy was already in place. I recall in 1969 (during empolyment there) that in the State of Bern (where is the country’s capital) male citizens voting in the market place on every piece of legislation ( over 50) discussed in their state chamber including budget items both capital and operational. The Swiss have one of the lowest rates of taxation and now rate as one of the richest countries. The states (Kantons) in Switzerland collect the tax as did Australia at Federation. The states and popular vote limit the amount the Federal government can spend and the purpose for expenditure. One of the worst socialist acts in Australia was the take over of taxation (supposedly temporary) during World War 2. Menzies was at fault for restricting export of minerals delaying the development of coal and iron ore. Whitlam was a disaster over everything particularly in industrial relations, education and medical services which should be left to the states. PM Fraser used export provision of the Commonwealth to ban sand mining. Hawke expanded the federal influence in environmental matters (which should be a state function), banned the damming of the Franklin River. Keating gave away land to aborgines. Howard stopped the Northern territory bringing in Euthansia. Gillard introduced the Carbon tax and RET which has taken the country backwards. Etc Etc
    It might take a revolution for the people to take back control from Federal and state parliaments.

  34. John Brumble

    That’s not fair, Chris M. All philosophies, to some extent, have some degree of naivety in some of their followers.

    My main issue is that libertarians seem to place the same importance on, for example, being allowed to not wear bike helmets or being able to smoke as they do on free speech. Sure, it’s all about personal liberty, but at the end of the day, there is a difference. Quibbling over minor battlegrounds at the edges means you lose the war.

  35. A Lurker

    +1 to what Bruce wrote on April 12, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Libertarians are too busy chasing the small stuff (plain packaging/smoking) while the big stuff like Freedom of Speech roars by without a peep from them.
    I’m barely hearing a word on protection of Religious Freedoms from them.
    It’s almost as if they don’t care – perhaps they are all overwhelmingly atheists?

    Which reminds me of a famous poem; however, let’s substitute a few words.

    First they came for the Christians
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Christian
    Then they came for the Conservatives
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Conservative
    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me.

  36. Mater

    That’s not fair, Chris M. All philosophies, to some extent, have some degree of naivety in some of their followers.

    I liked Steve’s post last year…and still do.
    The quote he used in it accurately reflects my issues with some Classical Liberals (especially in regards to immigration).

    If you doubt that such naivety exists, just re-read some of Iampeter’s posts.

    The quote from Steve’s post:

    The differences between the classical-liberal and conservative traditions have immense consequences for policy. Establishing democracy in Egypt or Iraq looks doable to classical liberals because they assume that human reason is everywhere the same, and that a commitment to individual liberties and free markets will arise rapidly once the benefits have been demonstrated and the impediments removed. Conservatives, on the other hand, see foreign civilizations as powerfully motivated—for bad reasons as well as good ones—to fight the dissolution of their way of life and the imposition of American values.

    Integrating millions of immigrants from the Middle East also looks easy to classical liberals, because they believe virtually everyone will quickly see the advantages of American (or European) ways and accept them upon arrival. Conservatives recognize that large-scale assimilation can happen only when both sides are highly motivated to see it through. When that motivation is weak or absent, conservatives see an unassimilated migration, resulting in chronic mutual hatred and violence, as a perfectly plausible outcome.

    Since classical liberals assume reason is everywhere the same, they see no great danger in “depreciating” national independence and outsourcing power to foreign bodies. American and British conservatives see such schemes as destroying the unique political foundation upon which their traditional freedoms are built

    .

  37. None

    I’m barely hearing a word on protection of Religious Freedoms from them.
    It’s almost as if they don’t care – perhaps they are all overwhelmingly atheists?

    It should not matter if they’re all atheists because atheism is a religious view and should be protected under freedom of religion traditions as much as any other religion. The truth of the matter is is many classical liberals and libertarians do not believe in religious freedom. Just listen carefully to the mealy mouth Tim Wilson or the current so cold Freedom Commissioner- another one who uses his $300,000 a year salary to swan around every glbt group known to man. Listen to the left wing of the Liberal Party who pretend they are the true liberals. Not a single one of them actually believes in religious freedom – likes of Julie Bishop think a hijab is a fashion accessory and not a single one of them will dare stand up for Christians. They wouldn’t even know how to define it and let me say this too: religious freedom is even more fundamental than freedom of speech.

  38. Chris M

    Thank you John, well put.

    In essence it seems a quibbling over laws – which are good, which are bad, how many. But we absolutely need laws, good laws protect everyone for the better and prosperity of all.

    Notions like open borders and unrestricted access to psychotropic drugs indicate either an alarming degree of naivete or a complete disregard of the good of our nation. Perhaps it is the atheist worldview where everyone is seen as inherently good and evil doesn’t exist.

  39. None

    Libertarianism is loopy because it ignores one very basic fact of reality full stop that human beings are sinful. It occurred to me recently that classical liberals are in the same camp and that is why liberalism tends to become leftism as has in the United States.

  40. Arky

    Libertarians are more dangerous than socialists.
    They aren’t your friends.
    Thank God most Australians instinctively put them in the same category as the type of freaks who drink their own urine, drive Saabs or farm bio- dynamically.

  41. Adam D

    “The combination of growth of the regulatory state, radical technological change, and the crisis of democratic trust require new ideas and new policy solutions.”

    No. We don’t need new ideas or solutions we need less of them. Just get government out of the f’ing way

  42. Entropy

    Thank God most Australians instinctively put them in the same category as the type of freaks who drink their own urine, drive Saabs or farm bio- dynamically.

    Sounds like the kind of person that would work at the ABC or a university.

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