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Sunday, 15 January 2012


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"I see libertarianism as an important critique of the Leviathan state"

I tend to see it like that too - let's have a few ideals about freedom even if we can't live up to them in real life.

Spot on, AK.

Wet, wet, wet.

Just like new labour, happy to pretend to be "Anglo-Saxon neo-Liberals" and bask in Libertarianism's reflected glory, while raising the state's percentage of GDP from 34% to 50% in a decade and a bit.

So when it comes to "having a few ideals about freedom even if you can't live up to them", what percentage of GDP should go through the State - leave it at 50%, I take it, from you two old Social Democrats?

SoD (still in his 40's)

See what you get, AK, when you let the wife talk you out of using the cane on a weekly basis - disrespect and disobedience from your children!

Listen, 'SoD', libertarianism taken to extremes is as mad and useless as Marxism. The 'Kraut' is entirely right to suggest that as an ideology it is the equivalent of a litmus test against which government's may be judged but it is not "a governing philosophy" for the simple reason that it is impractical and goes against the grain of human nature. Humans, by and large, like societies because they are a useful way to organise for mutual benefit and security. A non-society based on extreme libertarianism would - and what a delicious irony - have to be enforced!

Right, you will go to bed tonight without any supper or TV . . . oh . . I've just remembered, you're in your 40s!

Spoken like a true Social Democrat politician - totally avoided answering the question!

What percentage of GDP should the state deliver - 34%, or 50%, or something else?

I'll give you my answer first.

If we retain 50% we'll go bust and collapse, then the filth will rise up out of the sewers and destroy us - as in the dress rehearsal last Summer.

If we shrink the percentage of GDP through the state to 34% the schools, hospitals and benefits system will go bust and collapse, then the filth will rise up out of the sewers and destroy us - as in the dress rehearsal last Summer.

And people will wonder why if we return state spending to 34% we can't have the same schools, hospitals and benefits we had when it was 34% in 1997? The answer is because the state ownership of the means of production and distribution (as Arthur Scargill used to call it) reduces its productivity, efficiency and competitiveness and fails inexorably over time, dragging down an economy at a rate of knots in direct proportion to its size.

And people will then realize what they haven't yet taken on board: that Social Democracy is an experiment, not a proven system with a history of longevity to corroborate it. Just like Socialism was an experiment. The Socialist experiment ran 100% of GDP through the state and failed in 40 years. Social Democracy runs 50% of GDP through the state, half as much, so it will fail in twice the time, therefore it will fail in 80 years: we're 64 years after 1948, so Social Democracy is entering its final decade and a half.

And that is what we are witnessing now: the beginning of the end of Social Democracy. An inevitable consequence of the inner contradictions of the state ownership of the means of production and distribution (to mis-quote another Socialist).

And what will follow Social Democracy after the slaughter and mayhem by the filth? As follows: -

All because no-one was prepared to stand by the only sustainable system known to man: Libertarian Democracy. Even if not perfect, it is at least sustainable. The only system that's a victim of its own success, in that it's the only system that affords the luxury of even thinking about state spending. And so you could say: -

"Libertarian Democracy affords state ownership of the means of production and distribution, which will inevitably follow because of mankind's feckless disregard for the gift of Liberty. This will in turn destroy Libertarian Democracy. After a period of chaos mixed with tyranny, Libertarian Democracy will rise anew, only to generate the prosperity required to be thwarted by the Socialist tendency again, and the cycle will repeat itself endlessly. Like a non-linear equation stuck in a loop."

Funny how it always comes back to non-linear dynamics and chaos. Messers Godel, Hofstadter and Lucas were onto something.

So my answer to the question is: it doesn't matter, 34% or 50% or anything else. The loop will not be denied.

Over to you, Social Democrat!


We have a society and and we have a democracy, therefore, we are all 'social democrats' now! The only question is to what degree you allow your government to expand its activities. This is as much a human problem as a political one because politicians (who are human despite appearances) must forever be seen to be doing something. To be fair to them, which I am not usually inclined to be, part of this endless interference comes at the behest of our very own fellow subjects, or at least, the louder members who will forever find more and more 'hard cases' that (they think) can only be cured by government, be they social, military, medical or whatever.

However, if we remain a democracy in which eventually a sort of truth will out, then the pendulum will swing back and an 'Iron Lady' (which I'm going to see tonight but only at your recommendation!) will arise to hack back governmental overgrowth. In a way, that is another example of how capitalism works. An excess of bad behaviour leads eventually to a crisis in which various enterprises go broke but sooner or later new enterprises spring up. (That, of course and as you know well, is why communism never works because there is no room for enterprises which are state/politician-owned to fail.)

Finally, to suppose that it is possible to have a society under pure libertarianism is an oxymoron. The only question is, not whether we should have government but how big do you allow the government to grow?

Now get on with your work!

This just came in as 'quote for the day' from Cafe Hayek:

from page 8 of L. Albert Hahn’s 1949 collection The Economics of Illusion; specifically, it’s from the final paragraph of that collection’s opening essay, “Cycles in Monetary Theory and Policy”:

"As far as government interference itself is concerned, one should never forget that serious economic disturbances are the consequences of basic maladjustments. The effect of correcting or not correcting such maladjustments is infinitely greater than any artificial creation of demand by government in an economy that, in most sectors, is still free. Therefore an economic policy that concentrates on artificially filling up an investment or spending gap rather than on fostering adjustments – and thus creating demand in a natural way – is doomed to fail in any severe crisis".

Still not answered the question, dear oh dear. Is there a seat going on the Sherborne Council you could run for?!

Also, I think you've missed my point.

It doesn't matter what level you set public spending at. In order to deliver the same output you have to increase the input. Or if you hold the input the same, the output will drop. No government has ever bucked that trend. And if you don't keep increasing the input in order to sustain the output, the filth will rise up etc.

During the decade 2000 to 2010 the public sector dropped its productivity by 20% relative to the private sector. Given that the public / private sector split is now 50:50, this means that the growth of the private sector through productivity and efficiency must increase by at least the same, e.g. 20%, to afford the public sector to produce the same output. All the hard work, process and technology improvement in the private sector is lost just to fund the extra for the public sector to produce the same. So the economy as a whole will not grow - it being the netting off of public and private sector.

And that's assuming that private sector growth exists to provide the funding, which isn't going to happen in the next decade. So the public sector will have less inputs and its output will disappear. Then the filth will come.

To say that society, or politics, or anything or anyone else has the will to induce this inevitable consequence by forcing a pendulum swing a la Maggie and then defeating the filth in open battle on the field of honour is delusional. There is no stomach for the fight anywhere of any consequence - politicians, classroom, MSM, police, and now it appears, even D&N.

But let's see how you feel after a trip down memory lane tonight, eh?


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