David Leyonhjelm on libertarianism and optimism

When I became the first overt libertarian to be elected to the Australian Senate in 2013, I thought I would use my maiden speech to try and sum up my world view. In this speech, I outlined why I believe the role of governments should be limited to the protection of life, liberty and private property. I tried to highlight the importance of personal responsibility, the dangers of creeping government interference, and the fundamental right to be left alone so long as we’re not harming anyone else.

If I were to give an elevator spiel to someone who wanted to know more about libertarianism, I’d simply tell them that “a libertarian believes you should be able to keep more of your stuff and be left the hell alone”. It sounds too simple to work, but it does, and that’s what is truly great about it.

When you look at nations that slash government red tape, protect private property rights and safeguard civil liberties, you see societies where opportunity abounds, people escape from poverty, and civil society flourishes.

In fact, these policies have done more to lift people out of poverty than any government program anywhere. Free markets and free trade are responsible for one of the most remarkable achievements in human history: from 35% of the world’s population living on US$1.90 or less in 1990 to 10.7% in 2013, according to the World Bank.

As I see it, those who believe in a limited role for governments and the promotion of personal freedom, aka libertarians, are the great optimists of the world. An optimist would never dream of dictating how and when someone else should do something unless it was to prevent harm to another person. An optimist would never look at someone more successful and seek to grab some of their income or wealth. An optimist would never want to see more restrictions on our everyday lives.

Conversely, people who seek to control others, to take more of their earnings, and to redistribute it according to their values, tend to have a pessimistic view. Only a pessimist could look at society and think, we need more control over the daily lives of others. Only a pessimist would think their better off neighbours should be taxed more heavily or that their hard earned should be used on even more government programs.

A lot of the people who fall on the left side of Australian politics will probably decry the fact that I think they’re pessimists. They’ll say they’re the ones with a true and caring heart, and that redistributing wealth is a lofty goal because it helps those in need. This is demonstrably false, as all the evidence shows, but I will happily admit that such people have a heart, if not brains. The old saying, “if you’re not a socialist at 20 you have no heart, but if you’re still a socialist at 40 you have no brains”, still explains a lot.

The best thing about being an optimist and a libertarian is that it seems to be pretty contagious. In my time as a Senator I’ve seen the Australian liberty movement lift itself to heights I never thought possible. I’ve seen more and more media figures, organisations and individuals come to recognise that we can control our own lives and futures without a big, nanny state government breathing down our neck.

I’ve seen Mark Latham, the former Labor leader who was once at the other end of the political spectrum, recognise the virtues of libertarianism and come to agree with much of it. I’ve also seen my own party grow, with Aaron Stonehouse elected to the WA upper house and active branches and members throughout the country.

At a grassroots level, I’ve seen conferences such as the Australian Libertarian Society Friedman Conference – which is dedicated to spreading the libertarian ideal and advocating for small government – grow from humble beginnings to the biggest pro-liberty event in the Asia Pacific region. I have the privilege of once again being able to attend and speak at this event, along with international special guests such as Tom Palmer, who once smuggled banned books into the Soviet Union, and Australian thought leaders like Warren Mundine, Tom Switzer and Chris Berg discussing topics as diverse as how to boost our economy, the role of cryptocurrency, criminal justice reform, the need for nuclear power, and much more.

This is an event that started out as a small get together of like-minded individuals and now attracts over 350 guests and 80 speakers from all walks of life and age groups, who want to see a better, freer Australia. It is a true festival of dangerous ideas, where people can voice their vision of the future and not find themselves in hot water because someone is offended.

It is a catalyst for younger generations who want something better for Australia, and where Australians and international visitors coalesce over the free exchange of ideas. And it is the place where many of Australia’s great optimists come to meet.

David Leyonhjelm is a Senator for the Liberal Democrats

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53 Responses to David Leyonhjelm on libertarianism and optimism

  1. I’d like to thank Catallaxy for its part in slowly educating me, a non-academic ignoramus about economics and political theories, about the part those determine in my daily life. My thanks includes both the main articles and the comments. Thanks to you all. Is this a part of the educational prospects for computers we read about in the 1980s although it hasn’t happened within institutions like schools.

  2. X2 for me on what Gary said there.

  3. Like Marxism, Libertarianism should work well in theory. But I uneasily watch it siding with the Marxists on far too many occasions.
    When I hold it up to my nose, I smell not Freedom, but Fabianism.

  4. RobK

    Thanks David,
    Hopefully there will be more small goverment types representing us in the future. I thankyou for putting up your views here for discussion… I align with many, though not all of them. I do enjoy hearing what you have to say and reading comments of discussion. There should be more of it. Cheers.

  5. A Lurker

    +1 To what Winston said.

    Words are one thing, actions are another.
    In actions the LDP are just another incarnation of the controlling, freedom-destroying Left.

  6. manalive

    But I uneasily watch it [libertarianism] siding with the Marxists on far too many occasions …

    Do you have any evidence to support that statement?

  7. Tel

    Like Marxism, Libertarianism should work well in theory.

    Can you point me to where the Marxists explained how their society would work, in theory?

  8. Entropy

    And yet you introduce a bill to expand the role of how government controls and orders private arrangements. Property I can understand, but personal arrangements? I would have understood it if the bill killed the marriage Act. And then there was the time you did not vote with the government on a libertarian cause because you were having a giddy fit about something unrelated. Bad. Real bad.

    On a more positive note, I have been thinking of the decay of once great community organisations like rotary, lions, etc. One reason is how government has grown into roles previously performed by them. Why join a community org and expend effort raising funds when you can just get a government grant?
    So I thought, would the LDP branches be interested in taking on that tradition. Show the community how it should be done?

  9. struth

    Actions and words , David.

  10. JohnA

    Tel #2726708, posted on June 3, 2018, at 6:42 am

    Like Marxism, Libertarianism should work well in theory.

    Can you point me to where the Marxists explained how their society would work, in theory?

    It starts with Capital and goes to all those “critical theory” courses and literature.

  11. Tom

    There are only two types of people in the world: libertarians and collectivists. And, for as long as we let collectivists to be our ruling class, fascism will be an ever-present likelihood in the behaviour of the Big Government state. The lessons that George Orwell learned from fascism in real time have not been heeded and the mistakes are being relived. We are eternally indebted to him for signposting our stupidity.

    Without the bloodshed of the 1930s, a type of neo-fascism is still rampant in Europe, encouraged by the confiscation of more and more private wealth by the Big Government wet dream, the European Union. That is also the preferred political model in Australia in 2018: a collectivist nanny state Big Government rules in a centrally planned crony capitalist economy choked by regulation and the opinion polls tell us we will switch to an openly Marxist administration appropriating even more private wealth when we next vote.

    The only moderator of this political backwardness is America, where capitalism’s animal spirits are being reanimated – imperfectly – after a decade-long descent into darkness. Trump’s rollback of regulation is making life more difficult for Australia’s crony capitalist ruling class, but the socialists are still killing the Australian economy.

    Thanks, David, for giving libertarianism a voice in Australian political life. Thanks, Steve Kates, for pointing out to our backward ruling class what actually works economically. Winning the war of ideas against the Big Government nanny state will take years – but it will be won.

    Bring on the collapse of the housing Ponzi.

  12. old bloke

    Bring on the collapse of the housing Ponzi.

    The housing Ponzi is fuelled by mass immigration.

    Migration controls are anti-libertarian, as some here will say.

    Therefore, libertarianism results in a housing Ponzi.

  13. Gilas

    Dear David,

    Highly lofty and commendable aims, but I’ll become optimistic, rather than a realist, about their success only when they result in tangible change ie. reduction/reversal in regulation-banning-law-making, reflections of this in the PS, the overhaul of academia and the destruction of leftard sinecures such as the ABC.

    Working closely with leftards and leftard institutions, I see no evidence whatsoever of any of this.
    The tiny-baby-steps you mention will result in libertarianism becoming mainstream politics hundreds of years from now.

    Currently, given the medio-politico-corporate-academic complex we are enslaved by, libertarians are overwhelmingly preaching to the converted and, just like that incontinent chap in a grey suit, such talk gives them a warm inner feeling, but nobody notices.

    Action (like the collectivists), not talk (like the libertarians), is needed.
    But we already knew this…

  14. Rohan

    Like Marxism, Libertarianism should work well in theory. But I uneasily watch it siding with the Marxists on far too many occasions.
    When I hold it up to my nose, I smell not Freedom, but Fabianism.

    Agreed Winston. Both those political ideologies are not pragmatic in nature. Not once did senator Leyonhjelm mention that libertarianism is brilliant in practice. Nor was he able to give just one specific example. All I read about was unicorns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows.

    Its for dreamers not realists.

  15. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Can you point me to where the Marxists explained how their society would work, in theory?

    Theory of Surplus Value. A complete crock of shit. The fruit the workers was then to be returned and shared equally with all workers, while the evil dispossessed capitalists faded away (ie. were shot at dawn).
    ————-
    I’ve always been a libertarian at heart, going my own way in life and resenting interference, always optimistic too, but captured by Marxism in my twenties. Never religious, I rejected socialism for its dogmatics long before I met Catallaxy, but thank Catallaxy for help in sorting myself out politically and about economics. I realized then that I was actually quite conservative in that I liked nation states and the idea of borders, I admired the culture of the West, I thought marriage only between a man and a woman was a great idea because they raised children the best, I wanted governments out of the way in economics and in social provision, and I hated political correctness for its pretensions and Stasi-like attributes. Conservatism insists that we learn from history. I am not sure that libertarianism does because it can be applied in many strange ways, but the beacon of liberty is always a good thing to hold in high regard and to fight to protect and preserve.

  16. Petros

    Exactly Entropy. By all means remove government from any role in marriage, but to fundamentally change its definition is hardly libertarian. That’s a big government manoeuvre if anything.

  17. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Thanks David,
    Hopefully there will be more small goverment types representing us in the future. I thankyou for putting up your views here for discussion… I align with many, though not all of them. I do enjoy hearing what you have to say and reading comments of discussion. There should be more of it. Cheers.

    Yep. Don’t go away DL. And thank you from me, too.

  18. Egor

    Open borders Liberts.
    Bye, bye David.

  19. Tel;

    Can you point me to where the Marxists explained how their society would work, in theory?

    I’d have thought that Das Kapital was a good enough reference point, Tel.
    Manalive;

    Do you have any evidence to support that statement?

    What sort of evidence would sway you? Because I am utterly over the presentation of evidence that is immediately shot down in the “Nothing you say will ever be good enough stakes.”
    Tom;

    There are only two types of people in the world: libertarians and collectivists.

    No Tom. There are individuals or collectivists.

    Words are one thing, actions are another.

    – said some famous bloke…
    I won’t even bother getting into the truth of this, because I see it time and time again as an argument about collectivism and individualism slowly descend into a mutual intellectual masturbation party.
    In the end there is no decision made or plan formulated to actually achieve anything, just a repositioning for the next round of egotistical bloodletting.

  20. Elizabeth;

    I realized then that I was actually quite conservative in that I liked nation states and the idea of borders,

    When there are no borders, the reach of the State is never ending.
    When there are borders, those who seek freedom can go to the freer country.

  21. Howard Hill

    When there’s small government, libertarians will lobby their right to extract money from government.
    When you already have big government, libertarians will lobby their right to fill its roles.

    Hypocrites the lot of them.

  22. manalive

    By all means remove government from any role in marriage, but to fundamentally change its definition is hardly libertarian …

    Agreed, the government has no business in private relationships but as long as there is a Marriage Act which is simply a register of free consenting adult relationships in which many people see a benefit, as a matter of equity, a libertarian principle, it should not exclude some.
    The issue has been dealt with, it’s history, frankly it’s a mystery why 30% of registered voters wanted to exclude a minority — out of pure contempt as far as I can judge.

  23. Death Giraffe

    Libertarians aren’t.
    That is all.

  24. Tom

    Open borders Liberts.

    Libertarianism’s dirty secret.

    I’d like to read a treatise from David Lleyonhjelm on the subject now that we’ve seen what open borders have done to Australia, Europe and America.

  25. Entropy

    Agreed, the government has no business in private relationships but as long as there is a Marriage Act……

    As long as there is a marriage Act…There’s your problem, you have already capitulated to big government’s role in private relationships. So not libertarian. How do you ever think to reduce the role of excessive government if you accept expansion and addons from the start?

  26. stackja

    Entropy
    #2726931, posted on June 3, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Today children need protection, reason for Marriage Act. Can we revert to a previous morality of family childcare? I doubt it.

  27. manalive

    Open borders … Libertarianism’s dirty secret … I’d like to read a treatise from David Lleyonhjelm on the subject now …

    Twenty seconds googling should get you there.

  28. Dr Fred Lenin

    The senator has served more than one term he is past his use by date ,he has become a part of the aparat,stand down , give someone younger a go ,who is not set in their ways as an old guy like yourself .
    A point ,the workers bible das kapital was written by a guy who had never worked in his life ,and is now proposed by parties led by people who have never worked in a productive job in their miserable lives !
    To wit , shortass turnbull. Clinton obama etc etc and so on ad funitim .
    Spellcheck hates Latin as well as French plurry yanks .

  29. Jannie

    Liberty, freedom from authoritarian control freaks, is a beautiful idea, to me anyway. Most of the control of thought and physical freedom comes from the Left, so I also have a tendency to support conservatives. But when the conservatives were in the ascendancy, they were the controllers.

    But to have liberty, it is necessary to be protected from those who would subvert freedom and subject others to their overarching ideologies. Those ideologies are in the main Marxism and Islamism, who exist in a kind of unholy alliance reminiscent of the Soviet/Nasi pact of 1939.

    Both of those ideologies have as a central plank, the idea of open borders, knowing it will destroy Western Civilisation and expecting that they will emerge from the ruins to take control.

    I voted for Aaron Stonehouse, and support the LDs because there is nobody else so far, though Cory Bernardi may be the other option. But if its clear that the LDs are going to do this open border thing you can count me out.

    David, is in not obvious that open borders will allow a flood of hostile ideology and people which will actual drown the few freedoms we have left to us? Firstly they will vote for Labor, and when they have the numbers they will form their own political and paramilitary forces to make it total.

  30. struth

    If a bloke is too dumb to understand the reason for sovereign nations and their borders, he is too dumb to vote for.
    And more importantly, too dangerous.

  31. Egor

    ” if its clear that the LDs are going to do this open border thing”
    That’s old news, past tense, the Liberts have been for open borders with camo from day 1.
    It’s not an “if”

  32. The Mongrel

    “Now, there,” boomed Gussie, continuing to point, “is an instance of what I mean. Boys and ladies and gentlemen, take a good look at that object standing up there at the back–morning coat, trousers as worn, quiet grey tie, and carnation in buttonhole–you can’t miss him. Bertie Wooster, that is, and as foul a pessimist as ever bit a tiger. I tell you I despise that man. And why do I despise him? Because, boys and ladies and gentlemen, he is a pessimist. His attitude is defeatist. When I told him I was going to address you this afternoon, he tried to dissuade me. And do you know why he tried to dissuade me? Because he said my trousers would split up the back.”

  33. Tator

    Manalive,
    Thanks for that, I hadn’t seen that before and it actually makes sense and is workable. Just need to get the bleeding hearts out of government before they destroy the place.

  34. Roger

    …discussing topics as diverse as how to boost our economy, the role of cryptocurrency, criminal justice reform, the need for nuclear power…

    Yeah, but what about the really important libertarian issues…like bicycle helmets & jaywalking?

  35. yarpos

    I used to participate in what most would consider a dangerous sport. It was rife with sayings and rules but one I liked , as it seemed to apply to life in general was simply “Have fun! dont hurt anyone else!”

  36. Egor

    “people who seek to control others, to take more of their earnings, and to redistribute it according to their values,”
    Foot shot. Liberts claim the right not to take sensible or any precautions that might greatly reduce their chances of being seriously injured if that is not their choice. Like seatbelts. Ok, fine. Their argument collapses when they want to force me to pay for decades of neurological incapacitation that could be easily avoided by common sense with a well known fix. Compulsory seat belts reduce that to a minimum vs the alternative. A genuine Libert would say “I agree and I’ll pay the massive increase in my private health insurance so you aren’t forced to subsidise my wanton stupidity”.
    Good, no problems with that Libert, he doesn’t want to redistribute my earnings according to his values.

  37. Tel

    Their argument collapses when they want to force me to pay for decades of neurological incapacitation that could be easily avoided by common sense with a well known fix.

    Sure, offer people a chance to opt out. Should be great for you, since you feel put upon to pay for other people, and anyone who chooses to opt out would also presumably be happy with the deal.

    You would be happy with that, right? A simple opt-out is all any libertarian would ask for.

  38. Egor

    Liberts want to opt out of the public health system?
    Beaut, “no problems with that Libert, he doesn’t want to redistribute my earnings according to his values”.
    The charitable poor houses can be reintroduced by the Salvos to house them without treatment, somewhere.
    Go for your life.

  39. Fisky

    Like Marxism, Libertarianism should work well in theory. But I uneasily watch it siding with the Marxists on far too many occasions.
    When I hold it up to my nose, I smell not Freedom, but Fabianism.

    Libertarian theory is one thing, but the organised libertarian movement is a strategic auxiliary of the Left, designed to run interference on the Left’s behalf within Right-wing ranks. The libertarian movement must be ostracised and pilloried without mercy, so that the weirdo Leftist radicals who run it are no longer in a position to influence the broader Right-wing. The genuine non-Marxists who remain should then redefine themselves as “small government” types so that they cannot be affected by Leftist trojan tactics again.

  40. max

    Immigration Control: Federal Social Engineering
    Gary North – December 22, 2014

    Central planning by the federal government is officially opposed by conservatives until you show them a marker that says “United States” on one side, and “Mexico” on the other. Then: “Congress needs to build a fence!”
    The believers in fences offer many arguments. Some of them say this: “Those people want to get free government welfare. We cannot afford it.”
    The defender of liberty replies in two ways: “First, these programs should be abolished. They are based on government planning and coercive wealth redistribution. They are the main problem, not any immigrants who may sign up. Second, the sooner they go bankrupt, the better. Let immigrants sign up.” The problem is this: most conservatives approve of these welfare programs in theory and practice. The big ones are Social Security, Medicare, and tax-funded education. Conservatives do not want these programs de-funded. They see them as part of the American way of life.
    Second, the conservative says this: “These immigrants will undermine our social way of life. They’re just too different. The American way of life cannot survive open immigration. Change will overwhelm the American way of life.”
    The defender of liberty responds: “The free market changes America every day. Innovations undermine our way of life, moment by moment. Innovation makes our lives better.” Second, he replies: “Why do you think Congress can pass a law restricting freedom of travel and freedom of contract, and thereby preserve the good parts of our way of life? Why do you trust the federal government’s good judgment in matters social and economic? Why have you become an apologist for central planning? Why have you become an advocate of social engineering by federal politicians and bureaucrats?” Conservatives remain silent. They have never thought of this, and they don’t want to have to re-think what they say they believe in, namely, that Congress cannot safely be trusted on matters economic. They are saying that Congress can provide a Goldilocks solution: not too much social change, but not too little. The defender of liberty asks: “When has Congress ever legislated a Goldilocks solution? When has the federal bureaucracy ever enforced it as written, let alone as justified by members of the voting bloc in Congress that passed it?”
    Third, the conservative says this: “Immigrants will get jobs here. They will take jobs away from Americans.”
    I want to focus on this argument, for it is the most common one. It invokes nationalism over liberty. It equates nationalism with restrictions on the freedom of contract. It says: “Not everyone should have the legal right to bid on jobs inside our borders. Only those who are legally inside our borders already, or who will be born to those already inside our borders, should possess this right.” It says: “Our ancestors got here before there were any immigration laws. We deserve the right to bid. Outsiders don’t. It’s first come, first served.”

    The fundamental economic principle of immigration control is that service must be made illegal in order to protect the above-market incomes of producers inside a nation’s borders, thereby reducing the availability of services to customers inside the borders. The job holders form a cartel with a goal: to keep out competitors, thereby keeping their wages above market. The job holders prevail on Congress to post this sign facing outward on the border: “No help wanted.” Not wanted by whom? By members of the job holders’ cartel. It is now illegal for customers to post this sign: “Help wanted.”
    The earliest manifestaion of this mindset in America was the retailers’ hostility to Chinese immigrants in California. It started with the gold rush of 1849, the year after the federal government completed President Polk’s theft of one-third of Mexico, which included California. Chinese workers worked long hours at far lower wages. They were price competitive. This hostility by retailers got worse over the next quarter century. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first example of a federal law excluding specific nationals. It was not repealed until 1943, when China was an ally in the Pacific war. The President who signed the 1882 bill into law was by far the most appropriate President in American history to have done so: Chester Arthur. Before becoming Vice President, and then President after the assassination of Garfield, Arthur had the been the head of the Port of New York, the government’s most lucrative customs house. It was known at the time as being a major source of political kickbacks to the Republican Party. The stink got so bad that President Hayes removed Arthur from the position.
    We are not taught the following in history courses. Not until 1948 was it legal in California for whites or blacks to marry Asians. The California State Supreme Court overturned the law. The vote was 4 to 3. That was the first state to overturn laws against inter-racial marriage: by one vote. We look back, and we are amazed. Why would anyone have believed that state politicians had the wisdom to assess accurately the collective social benefits and liabilities of inter-racial marriages? This was social engineering by state politicians. Most conservatives today — but not in 1947 — reject such a suggestion. Yet most conservatives believe today that federal bureaucrats can be trusted with this same power with respect to immigration.
    Conservatives quote Ronald Reagan. “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” Conclusion: from 1788 to 1882, the United States was not a nation. Silly, isn’t it? Then why do conservatives quote it?
    “Your papers, please!” World War I brought us that grim phrase.
    The conservative tradition in America, 1788-1882, was open borders. So was the liberal tradition. The Constitutional tradition in America was open borders. Only in 1882 did this begin to change. It escalated in 1924.
    If you listen to the proponents of immigration restriction today, you would think the George Washington and James Madison in 1787 persuaded the Constitutional Convention to authorize congressional restrictions on immigration. You would think that this was part of the American constitutional tradition. But the U.S. Constitution has no reference to any such restrictions.
    Anytime somebody says that there have to be some sort of social criteria beyond non-criminal judicial status, in order to gain residence in the United States, he is saying that politicians in Congress, and permanent tenured bureaucrats in the executive, are competent in understanding what America needs today, and what America will need in the future.
    Conservatives don’t believe this in many areas of life, but with respect to two things — imported goods and imported people — they believe that Congress knows better, and the tenured executive bureaucracy knows best. This is the default mode of thinking for most conservatives. They believe with all their hearts that Congress can be trusted, and tenured executive bureaucrats protected by Civil-Service laws are in effect a kind of priesthood. “These people know what America needs.”
    Why should anyone believe this?

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/13246.cfm

  41. Egor

    Liberts are frauds.
    The only genuine Libert is the independently wealthy Libert.
    Otherwise they ALWAYS rely on socialising the cost of their risks and behaviour.
    You’re right….. socialists in mufti.

  42. Tel

    First, these programs should be abolished. They are based on government planning and coercive wealth redistribution.

    Great idea, but FIRST get rid of the handout programs, and then afterwards we can talk about the whole open borders deal. I’m happy to support you on gradually dialing back the “welfare” state, but that absolutely must come before anything else.

    They are the main problem, not any immigrants who may sign up. Second, the sooner they go bankrupt, the better. Let immigrants sign up.

    That’s the Venezuela solution, where you have gangs of kids streetfighting with baseball bats and machetes in a grim territory war, deciding over who gets the best garbage to pick through. Although the fresh air and exercise might do me good, I’m just worried that I don’t heal up as fast as I used to (especially without food) and my eyes are losing their acuity… garbage picking is going to be darn tough for someone with my skill set.

    If you really want to see us go bankrupt, just be a little bit patient, most likely a bit more than ten years should take Australia to 100% debt/GDP ratio which is sovereign debt crisis territory for a small floating currency like the AUD. Both parties are heading the same way and there’s one Libertarian in Parliament. Just one. If the Australian Conservatives do moderately well they might get a handful of genuine fiscal conservatives in there too. It’s not going to be enough to see any reduction in spending. The Venezuela solution isn’t as far off as you think, and it’s gonna hurt, and if you think it would be fun to have it hurt even more, then I say you are a flipping idiot.

  43. max

    For my detailed study of immigration theory, see “The Sanctuary Society and Its Enemies,” Journal of Libertarian Studies (1998).

    At least two fundamental principles of Western law had their origin in Mosaic Israel. The first principle was the rule of law itself: every resident was to be protected equally by the civil law. The second principle was open immigration. The nation’s treatment of the immigrant served as a touchstone in Israel of the nation’s faithfulness to the first principle.

    Open immigration was an important means of evangelism. Strangers could come to Israel, settle there, buy houses in walled cities, become productive, and live in peace. They could obtain security of ownership for their property even though they were not citizens or members of the religious congregation. They even had access to the temple if they were willing to be circumcised, which was a unique openness in the ancient world. This was also part of the rule of law.

    In short, where the welfare state is deeply entrenched, a nation will no longer be willing to serve as a sanctuary. It costs too much. If the welfare state ever becomes universal, locked-in populations will also become universal. There will be no escape from tyranny because of the border guards who keep would-be refugees from crossing the border into greater freedom.

    When civil covenants become covenants of plunder, then the threat to the right of voluntary contract escalates. When a war against property begins, those who command the plundering troops seek new recruits. Immigrants who are struggling hard just to get by economically make very good potential recruits.

    https://mises.org/library/sanctuary-society-and-its-enemies-0

  44. max

    Suffrage Debate, N.Y. Constitutional Convention of 1821
    Source: Peterson, ed., Democracy, Liberty, and Property, 190-207

    Chancellor James Kent.

    Who should be allowed to vote?
    Should all people have the right to vote?
    voting rights should be limited to those citizens who had a stake in government
    representative democracy was considered a privilege of the few, rather than a right of the many

    The tendency of universal suffrage, is to jeopardize the rights of property, and the principles of liberty. There is a constant tendency in human society, and the history of every age proves it; there is a tendency in the poor to covet and to share the plunder of the rich; in the debtor to relax or avoid the obligation of contracts; in the majority to tyrannize over the minority, and trample down their rights; in the indolent and the profligate, to cast the whole burthens of society upon the industrious and the virtuous; and there is a tendency in ambitious and wicked men, to inftame these combustible materials. It requires a vigilant government, and a firm administration of justice, to counteract that tendency. Thou shalt not covet; thou shalt not steal; are divine injunctions induced by this miserable depravity of our nature.

    The notion that every man that works a day on the road, or serves an idle hour in the militia, is entitled as of right to an equal participation in the whole power of the government, is most unreasonable, and has no foundation in justice. We had better at once discard from the report such a nominal test of merit. If such persons have an equal share in one branch of the legislature, it is surely as much as they can in justice or policy demand. Society is an association for the protection of property as well as of life, and the individual who contributes only one cent to the common stock, ought not to have the same power and influence in directing the property concerns of the partnership, as he who contributes his thousands. He will not have the same inducements to care, and diligence, and fidelity. His inducements and his temptation would be to divide the whole capital upon the principles of an agrarian law.
    Liberty, rightly understood, is an inestimable blessing, but liberty without wisdom, and without justice, is no better than wild and savage licentiousness. The danger which we have hereafter to apprehend, is not the want, but the abuse, of liberty.

    http://eweb.furman.edu/~benson/docs/nysuffrage.htm

  45. Egor

    Hee, hee….. maxy, Tel…. look over there a unicorn…

    Put this on a card, carry it, read it when you think you’re a genuine Libert…..

    “Liberts are frauds.
    The only genuine Libert is the independently wealthy Libert.
    Otherwise they ALWAYS rely on socialising the cost of their risks and behaviour.
    You’re right….. socialists in mufti.”

    The Truth shall set you free….

  46. Chris M

    sounds too simple to work, but it does, and that’s what is truly great about it.

    OK I’ll bite. Which countries are Libertarian so we can see how it works?

  47. max

    best ever example was:

    North America before 1775
    USA from 1870 – 1913
    Switzerland from 1815 – 1907
    United Kingdom until 1914

    none today.

  48. Tel

    Egor, you have already demonstrated you are a fuckwit, and everyone is attempting to ignore you.

    Just pointing that out.

  49. Tel

    Which countries are Libertarian so we can see how it works?

    I would say that early America (before the Civil War) was fairly close to Libertarian, not perfect of course but tax was low, government didn’t interfere too much, and each community could largely determine for themselves how they wanted to run their affairs (and yes, a town could get together and decide whether any newcomers were allowed to live there, or whether they would be asked to move on, that’s an inherent part of property rights).

    They did have slavery, which was a mark against them, but then many other parts of the world also had slavery, going back to antiquity. After the civil war slavery was ended, but government steadily got bigger so they had exchanged one evil for a different evil. At any rate, in terms of economic growth and technological achievement, the whole Western world was doing a lot better in the 18th and 19th centuries before Socialism and big government became the norm.

    And I’ll point out, plenty of so called “Conservative” political parties very happily pitched in and helped big government take over society, all while muttering out the corner of their mouths about freedom, not believing a word of their own speeches. A “Conservative” is nothing more than someone who lets the “Progressive” left go and implement social change, then turns up 30 years late to the party and agrees with has been done but shakes a finger at any further change. The “Progressives” of course ignore the shaking finger, go their merry way and once again 30 years later the supposed “Conservatives” finally get around to agreeing with them once again. Rinse and repeat, that’s how we got where we are today.

    Voting “Conservative” is simply a more gradual way of voting “Progressive”. Don’t kid yourself otherwise.

  50. Egor

    ” you have already demonstrated you are a fuckwit,”

    And yet….the Truth burns, don’t it.

  51. max

    wars and revolutions concentrate power.
    they cost money which people are not willing to pay.
    to pay for wars you need fiat money, central bank and debt.

    all of that, concentrate more power in the hands of government

    and presto country become socialist over time.

    England was most riches and powerful country in the world 1850.

    look them now.

    3th world basket case.

    miss Thatcher just postpone arrival of socialism in UK.

    Sir Winston and his generation did it — bring socialism in UK

    In my opinion only way to stop march to socialism is to abolish fiat money, to reintroduce honest money: gold and silver.

    

and it will happen sooner or later, because fiat money self destruct, always.

  52. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    I prefer Hayek to Freidman, because you can come up with better slogans to put on Tshirts- ‘Tell Keynesians to go to Hayek!’, etc.

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