Author Archives: Poor Old Rafe

George Orwell on socialism, capitalism and totalitarianism

This is a regrettably slow-paced talk by David Ramsay Steele, now a libertarian, who was once a Marxist but such a serious and critical scholar that he saw through the whole socialist/collectivist thing and turned against it. The talk is … Continue reading

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Rafe’s Roundup 31 August

Not much good news around at present. Tasmania made it to the international news in Britain with the Big Sheep. Some light relief: crashing wind turbines and a problem with demolition. The history of Europe in maps, note especially the … Continue reading

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Pedro Schwartz at the University of Buckingham

Off to Buckingham today to hear Pedro Schwartz talk about “Coase on China: Property rights and transaction costs revisited”. Schwartz is a Spanish economist and libertarian, connected with the Cato Institute and the Mont Pelerin Society. He writes an essay … Continue reading

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David Leyonhjelm’s guest post “An UnhealthyApproach to Health”

Published as an op ed in The Fin Review. Popular thinking about the role of government is all over the place. Nothing exemplifies the muddle more than the widespread support for massively increased government spending on medical research, and the … Continue reading

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Lauren Bacall 1924-2014


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The importance of folk songs in the Baltic states

Our tour guides in Tallinn (Estonia) and Riga (Latvia) both made a point of the vital importance of folk songs and public singing in the cultural and political life of these small and much invaded and tyrannized states. Riga can … Continue reading

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When David met Joe

“My morning with Joe” David’s Fin Review column from last Friday. There seems to be more interest in Joe Hockey’s meetings with the cross-benchers than Blake Garvey’s dates with the ladies on Channel 10’s reality TV show the Bachelor. So … Continue reading

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A strange way to promote “free trade”: follow Greenpeace?

Richard Goyer CEO Westfarmers and Chair of the B20 group pushes for free-trade. This looks like George Orwellian “newspeak”, where white is black and black is white. B20 Australia chairman and Wesfarmers boss Richard Goyder warned a failure by any … Continue reading

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Another booknote from Michael James: On the rise of the nazis

Introduction On reading Andrew Bolt’s piece on why Germany had to lose the First World War I pressed Michael to provide a booknote on a book that he told me about on the canal between Ellesmere and Chirk. The book … Continue reading

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Ongoing research for Catallaxy

The sacrifices that I make to serve the readership of the Cat! Friday 25, we docked at Wrenbury after a week on the water and unloaded our gear from the narrowboat into the car for the trip back to base, … Continue reading

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