Posted by: graemebird | December 22, 2008

Sovereignty And Libertarianism: Time To Harden Our Act.

“The left put their team before their beliefs. But hey, plenty on the right do so as well. Contra CL, libertarians tend not to be team loyalists in that sense. Notwithstanding his obsession about shitty victorian abortion laws, CL entirely fails to make the case that libertarians have surrendered to the left.”

My goodness. Did you fail CL? I would have thought that this case could be made and it would be like shooting ducks being dumped out of a helicopter after having their wings clipped.

Pedro I doubt that he failed. I think you probably need to go back and read it over and over and over until you get it. Or it might be that you won’t recognise it for lack of historical perspective. I could be wrong. I was wrong just this year. I COULD be wrong. But I doubt it.

You bet the libertarians are piss-weak in the face of leftists. Its like they are still desperately trying to get laid with dumb-left undergraduate chicks, such toadies are they to the left. Always looking over their shoulder. 

Nixon asked William F Buckley Junior about the strange Californian rising in the Republican party. The one that everyone knew of, but that no-one ever knew. Nixon asked him “Bill…” he said.  ” What do you make of this Reagan character ” he said (or words to that effect.) And Buckley said that Reagan was the only politician he’d met that really, truly, did not care what the NEW YORK TIMES was saying about him.


“DO I BOB?…..” he said. 

Most libertarians are piss-weak under the leftist gaze and conservatives aren’t much better and thats just the way it is. Thats why we have to go for sovereignty up-front and libertarianism every day.

Libertarians fall like corset-strapped maidens, into the hairy hands of the patient leftists, in that libertarians always want to co-operate in leftist daydreams to atomize our culture, and thereby hand the left a tabula rasa, upon which to paint in blood and lives.


We don’t surrender strategic ground on sovereignty in order to gain tactical ground on libertarianism. Not now or ever.

Rather we go for sovereignty and yet package every step forward in such a way as to reduce governmental depredation with each new move.

So if we need to boost retirees incomes by a billion, out of decency, and out of the fact that with the old guys we have so little time to keep faith with them, then we can do that, but we will package in 2 billion of mass-sackings of public servants in ORDER to righteously do that. 

So if we need to enhance the family farm as a pillar of our culture…. we can do that but only with tax-exempt agriculture and land tax thresholds. Never trade barriers. Never outright subsidies. Sovereignty and cultural strength through righteousness and libertarianism. And military strength when it comes to it. All aspects of which cannot merely be purchased off-the-shelf, or viewed in tangible form, with two good yet unlearned eyes. 

We have to harden our act up and make our cultural foundations more robust. Setting forth to repair and strengthen our wounded culture, is not in contradiction with libertarianism. Because reducing the governments footprint with each move is the METHOD….. by which we enhance sovereignty and clean up our wounded society by recourse to bringing out the best things about our western heritage.



  1. Why deny the reality of all this man has to say?

    Its not paranoid and implausible conspiracy theory. Its just the reality of the situation.

  2. Piss weak in the face of the left?
    I thought they were pissweak in the face of Tories and fundamentalists. But hey. That’s just me.
    Auld lang syne Graeme.

  3. There is certainly a tendency among libertarians to be pro-global government, pro-amnesty and so on – all of which add up to much more repressive government in the medium term.

    Hey Bird, have you read Hoppe? He has a lot to say about the modern “libertarian” movement.

    • If you have any specific link to anything you think is particularly worthy go right ahead and link it.

  4. There is certainly a tendency among libertarians to be pro-global government

    You reckon? I can’t think of a single libertarian that calls for global governance. Internationalism? Sure. Open borders? Sure. But that isn’t the same as a World Government.

    Most libertarians are hostile to the UN because it’s a proto world government.

  5. I listen to Hoppe any chance I can.

  6. “Its like they are still desperately trying to get laid with dumb-left undergraduate chicks”

    Heh heh heh… hanging out at the student union, looking to get some. Those were the days. But then you find out what they believe in. And it’s so off putting. Maybe the clue was in the word union.
    I get what you’re saying, both metorphorically and literally, about the current, direction the libertarianism movement seems to be heading. But I think the days are young, education will improve and the Libs might even start reforming towards the small government ideal.

  7. Most libertarians are pro-NAFTA, pro-WTO, pro-North American Union and anti US sovereignty. These are all transnational government agencies that take power away from local authorities.

    • “Most libertarians are pro-NAFTA, pro-WTO, pro-North American Union and anti US sovereignty. These are all transnational government agencies that take power away from local authorities.”

      I couldn’t feel more strongly about this now. I”m not saying that I wasn’t in favour of this sort of thing at first. I was. But we cannot tolerate it. We’ve got to be furiously home-focused. It is not within the power or the inclination of our taxeaters to secure control over the policies of other regimes. Our negotiators ought to be using all their powers, all their training, all their alleged diplomatic skill, to get us the Raptors when we need them.

      Instead if we have alleged negotiating talent, we are asked to believe that its productive to piss it away haggling over blocking these goods if the other guys block our goods and we promise not to block this if you don’t block that. But then again if my starting point is that I’m blocking all your gear then my negotiation position is better. Which really highlights the unsoundness of this nonsense IN PRINCIPLE.

      No screw that.

      That sort of bullshit may make some gains early on but its doomed even in its own terms. Plus these people aren’t angels and totally pure. This is not a negotiation that exists in a vacuum. These guys now become paid taxeaters, dealing with other taxeaters from overseas. Networking. Thieves networking with thieves. Thats building an whole new infrastructure of depredation and plotting against the interests of the taxpayer.

      And of course in these processes there is big business lobbying to get their perogatives through. So the negotiators right there and then will become part of a big business and international taxeater lobby and you will get assholes in and out of appointments in business and government like Garnaut and that British prick doing the same gear. The next step is to think of any local public-service job as a stepping stone to international taxeating.

      This is all a disaster. I would think about having people who go on the public tit for us having to sign something that stops them from taking their parasitism international. We want them working for us without any prospect that they can serve two masters.

      I don’t really get the point of the deal. Instead of furiously enhancing your own peoples options using what you are in a position to effect change about…. you go over there in a cocktail drinking forum and browbeat foreigners to let your big business concerns have access. You nag them. Nag them and threaten to block THEIR access. How is THAT ever going to work.

      No the idea is to make our country the business startup capital of the world. In Manhattan they say that if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. But its the case that you wouldn’t want to go there unless you’d made it elsewhere. Whereas if we furiously concentrate on getting our own act righteous, and people are going to know that this is the place you start your first, second and third business. And when its all sorted and kicking ass then you open up a branch in Manhattan. Thats my idea of free trade. Not the Chinese quickly sussing out all our hydrocarbon paternity and getting a controlling interest in both our politicians and our strategic assets. Thats not free trade to me.

  8. Are they?

    Seems to me that the first three are extensions of US sovereignty (arguably) but they are not government agencies unless you mean the US govt. A lot of libertarians are opposed to the WTO as well. They see it as anti-free trade.

  9. Er, no they aren’t. They are transnational proto-EU style agencies that are on the exact some trajectory of the EU.

    Only the Mises libertarians are solid on sovereignty issues – the CATO crowd love the Federal Reserve and they practically drool over the UN.

  10. Yeah, well, contra Pedro, I wasn’t really saying libertarians “surrendered” to the left. But I have argued that Australian libertarians dress left on social policy regardless of how antagonistic to liberty certain leftist social initiatives often are. America has a more diverse libertarian buffet on offer in this respect. Australian libertarianism is very utilitarian, accountancy-based and even somewhat gormless in comparison. See maxim on knowing the price of everything, the value of nothing etc. This is a significant criticism but not one that imperils my own suspicion of economic statism.

  11. Australian libertarians dress left on social policy regardless of how antagonistic to liberty certain leftist social initiatives often are

    Libertarians and leftists tend to agree on a lot of social issues in certain ways. Libertarians don’t think there should be laws against drugs for example because the government shouldn’t decide what you can and can’t put into your body. The closest the left get to this are the Greens who still advocate criminal penalties for drug dealers but mandate harm minimization and therapy for drug users. There’s a distinction there.

    For example libertarians are pro-gay in the sense that they don’t object to homosexuality but they don’t endorse it either. You can for example decide not to hire someone because they’re gay as far as libertarians are concerned, the left support legislation that prevents you from doing this. The legislation that compels Catholic hospitals to recommend abortion services would likewise not be approved by libertarians.

    I’m not sure where the libertarian social agenda is antagonistic to liberty. What exactly are you getting at?

  12. They are transnational proto-EU style agencies that are on the exact some trajectory of the EU.

    Good point.

    NAFTA more corporatist than free trade. That said it seems to me that national sovereignty and free trade may be in conflict in places. If NAFTA were a totally free trade agreement you could simply go over the border into Texas and get a job no problem. Those concerned with sovereignty may not like this too well.

    But still I think all of these things you mention are built on the assumption US dominance. Perhaps they’ll eventually contribute to the erosion of this however.

  13. “(I also like the point about interest rate targetting. the interest rate is a significant real variable and not just a nominal one like money supply. Although money supply does have real effects!)”

    What the hell is THIS all about. Its like the first half is all Keynes crazy-talk. And then the second-half is trying to have a bet both ways.

    “Apparently paying interest on reserves has sucked money out of the system and into the federal reserve, if this is a significant deflationary effect it would be very very bad. We would be doomed to repeat the mistake of the great depression!”

    Its not just some technical mistake. Its an act of great theft. The pattern here is one of ubiquitous stealing. For example our Reserve bank could retire debt and that would increase the money supply directly. Instead what they do is cut interest rates and its the banks that get the loan money at wholesale, which is a subsidy.

  14. Leftists are completely opposed to free speech (except for a few on the fringe) and freedom of association. That covers some pretty fundamental “non-economic freedoms” that only leftists are meant to care about.

  15. CL has a good point – whenever Leftists and libertarians agree on a particular policy, with Leftists claiming the policy will be conducive to Desirable Leftist Outcome A and libertarians insisting the measure will be a boon to Desirable Libertarian Outcome B, you can be guaranteed with almost 100% certainty that the Leftists will get their way, or that things will eventually turn out in the manner they predicted as opposed to whatever the libertarians said at the time.

    • A small example might be congestion taxes in New South Wales. And London for that matter. Theoretically a good idea in some circumstances. Mostly in the circumstance where a bit of thought to do with rostering means you don’t have to pay them. But in NSW they just whacked up the fee for crossing the bridge to $4 during peak-time and they said it was to “send a price signal” to commuters. Its a gyp because outside those times you still pay $3 and in the quietist times imaginable you pay $2.50. Hence there is virtually no price incentive its just stealing. As I suggested it would be. Jason doesn’t give a toss. So it was a victory of evil over stupid. And there was no reduction in diesel excise or registration costs.

      Or how about Humphreys and carbon tax. Well thats a stupid idea for starters. But the lunatic talks as if promoting the carbon tax ISN’T promoting the cap-and-kill. So he promotes the carbon-tax, we get the cap-and-kill, and no apologies at all for this outrage. Or how about their attitude generally. Whereas they might argue that an excise on petroleum will neutralize various externalities. Like Arab oil revenues leading to terrorism. So they go ahead and promote this tax, feebly talking about tax cuts elsewhere. And on balance you can say they might have a case. A single lunatic then walks in the room. Talks some idiocy about global warming. The compensated petrol excise becomes an uncompensated cap-and-kill. And absolutely not a protest from the allegedly free enterprise economist after the bait and switch to something that makes us more and not less dependent on the Middle East.

      I saw this last scenario happen with Mankiw in exactly this way. And on his blog. He put up a fine argument for higher gasoline taxes. Next thing its a carbon tax and he hasn’t reworked the logic. Then of course the left have their cap-and-kill. I used to think well of Mankiw since he appeared to understand monetary economics and for some reason few people seem to. But I can never be OK with this fellow again after that performance.

  16. Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to a dear friend downunder! Hope your holiday is filled with joy graeme!

  17. whenever Leftists and libertarians agree on a particular policy, with Leftists claiming the policy will be conducive to Desirable Leftist Outcome A and libertarians insisting the measure will be a boon to Desirable Libertarian Outcome B, you can be guaranteed with almost 100% certainty that the Leftists will get their way, or that things will eventually turn out in the manner they predicted as opposed to whatever the libertarians said at the time.

    Interesting assertion. Can you give an example?

    • I gave you one. The congestion tax in both London and New South Wales. Also the contention that promoting a carbon tax would save us from a cap-and-kill. Exactly the opposite of the truth. Then there is the idea that less defense spending means more freedom. Which is an idea that might just fly in the US. But cannot fly here. Then there are the trade deals we are talking about. Ludicrously described as free trade deals.

  18. “Interesting assertion. Can you give an example?”

    The most obvious example lies in the policy of granting amnesty to illegal aliens, which is supported by both leftists and most libertarians. Putting tens of millions of very low-skilled, uneducated people on a “path to citizenship” and thus voting rights will under no stretch of the imagination lead to limited government, lower taxes, less welfare spending, or whatever it is “libertarians” say they believe in. There’s just no chance at all – it’s not even a matter for debate. The Left clearly realises that amnesty is a massive opportunity to expand the state like never before – after all, it will be a bonanza for the government-welfare complex, affirmative action hucksters, anti-discrimination commissars and hate-speech censors – but are quite happy to let their useful idiots in the “libertarian” movement pretend otherwise.

    • Right. Thats a good example. The open borders crowd on the American situation for example. Like Mark Hill and Jason were right in favour of not taking the law seriously. Like not bringing the American situation into a state of legality. And they were suggesting that this illegality is the libertarian position. Just bizzare. Since we cannot have totally open immigration under current circumstances the libertarian position is to be generous but picky with the people we allow in here. Picky but generous. Which means we would let a lot of people in. But we would select the ones that were in the best interests of the incumbents to be here. The incumbents being the Australian taxpayer.

  19. That is a good example, Wayne.

    Liberarians support ‘x’ on principle and ‘x’ exacerbates ‘a’,’b’ and ‘c’ to which they’re opposed. I don’t think libertarians are very good at political strategy.

  20. Then there is the idea that less defense spending means more freedom. Which is an idea that might just fly in the US.

    That’s not true Graeme. If Australians cut defense spending and nix the ANZUS pact there will be more freedom…

    More freedom for a nearby 3rd world general with a 100 000 troops and no place to be king of. 🙂

  21. Adrien, libertarianism isn’t a serious political movement at all, so listening to anything they have to say about day-to-day politics, strategy, etc, is a waste of time.

  22. @Graeme.

    The problem is that one minute you would hear libertarians conceding that having up to 20 million people completely disregard your laws is a “problem” and that the “solution” is therefore amnesty, yet once being confronted with the fiscal and legal implications of their position immediately revert back to supporting illegality as the financially safer option for 20 million trespassers (as if there were something “safe” about having 20 million people who completely disregard your laws even being considered as “model citizens” with voting rights).

    • Yeah they often put themselves in the useful idiot sheeple class don’t they. I didn’t like the way that many alleged libertarians adopted a lot of the leftist lies about the Iraq war and terrorism in order to conveniently justify the doctrine of non-intervention. Because this bias towards non-intervention can stand on its own two feet and it doesn’t need leftist lies to support it. This wasn’t helpful. So I don’t think the strategic goal is libertarianism anymore. I think its sovereignty, with libertarianism as the short run method and long run goal of this sovereignty.

      The dual error of disbelieving peak oil and being in favour of a carbon tax is another thing where they play into the hands of the left. Also with this lying claim that nuclear needs a carbon tax to justify it. What a horrible lie that is. It must be based on 10 year construction with red tape built into the costings. Whereas property rights would give you a three or four year construction time. Either that or it could be based on the laws which don’t allow reprocessing. Or on regional-monopoly pricing or some such thing. I just think they make it up myself.

      I was just scandalized that some of these alleged libertarians black-balled Ron Paul. One can disagree on his foreign policy. But in practice that would wind up an ambit claim and a more sensible compromise would be a likely result. Ron would want to close down 760 bases but they wouldn’t let him close them all down. It would put a high standard up that the base would need to meet. If it isn’t pinning down the Chinese, Russians or Middle East then it really ought not be justified at all.

  23. Sovereignty is fine, but it should go even further to the goal of secession.

    • Yeah it is hard to avoid that conclusion. Still I’m very conflicted about this where Australia is concerned. Because of our moat. I have the feeling that we ought to hold together to expel any foreign invaders. But thats an hard issue to resolve. Since when you look at the terrible policy we see all the time, its hard not to imagine that its somehow inherent in centralization. And that it will be impossible to fight these tendencies. Perhaps pushing for secession might lead to more grants of statehood to any territory that might want it. We ought to be able to have any town effectively declare itself a state at the very least. Any contiguous area. I’m about as conflicted in this area as I am on guns. With guns its really about getting the detail right. But thats not something that you could trust our bureaucracy to ever get right. One certainly ought trust upright citizens with firearms and devoutly hope that they will purchase them. On the other hand I don’t know whether I’d want to trust a lot of these young blokes with them at all.

  24. One project that I’ve often wanted to work on was writing the “Encyclopaedia of Leftist Reversals”, as it has occured to me that there are so many different kinds of Leftist Reversals that only formal publication can do justice to them all.

    The most obvious examples include: spending the best part of 30 years denouncing religion, attacking families as “patriarchal”, opposing the Protestant work ethic…and then supporting the mass immigration of “devout”, “hard-working” and “family-oriented” Muslims, deploying these adjectives as propaganda-agitation fodder. You can add to that the risible libertarian behaviour over amnesty, with the qualifier that it is caused by stupidity rather than the strategic/dialectical shiftings of the Left.

  25. Wayne – Adrien, libertarianism isn’t a serious political movement at all, so listening to anything they have to say about day-to-day politics, strategy, etc, is a waste of time.

    I guess that depends where you are. In the United States it seems half-serious. It’s difficult to take a party seriously when the Sumerian Libertaraian is running as a presidentital candidate. (He’s the one with the bone thru his nose).

    On the other hand contemporary politics is under a miasma of coercive social policy designed either to create an idealized world or ressurect a glorified past. The core principles of the modern liberal state are, I think, threatened by this. Libertarians at their best are endeavouring to reassert these. I think its central problem is that the principles originated in a time when the moral assumptions of an almost universally Christian culture obtained. Even JS Mill tended to assume universal and eternal Christian values altho’ he worked hard to rearticulate these in a modern, secular form. (I think that’s why Nietzsche called him a flathead).

    On this side of the 20th century moral consensus is a challenged idea. The existence and desirability of it are not something there’s much agreement on.

    That all said libertraians tend to be idealistic and Utopian. They make certain errors reminiscent of the Marxists (believing their political opinions to be entirely based on science for example). And they will endorse any policy compatible with their views even tho’ it might, as you say, head society in the total opposite direction.

    Still I can see the union of economic and social liberty, a pro-market, non-traditionalist approach appealing to the 21st century middle class so I’m not sure I’d say it was useless to listen to them.

  26. The “Encyclopaedia of Leftist Reversals”,

    You should. It’ll be Graeme’s favourite book. 🙂

  27. Wayne I should note that this:

    On the other hand contemporary politics is under a miasma of coercive social policy designed either to create an idealized world or ressurect a glorified past.

    Is an intentionally simplistic caricature of the political spectrum. But in Australia the urge of conservatives to use public policy to create new nuclear families or of social democrats to create equality by, say, buying kids laptops, still pretty much obtains.

  28. I should qualify the statement – libertarianism is not a particularly serious political movement in Australia or the US, but there are serious intellectual strains within or related to libertarianism. Obviously, “Reason” is a ridiculous, pre-pubescent rag, but there are some classical liberal organisations and publications worth taking seriously – eg the CIS, Mises Foundation. And there are some successful minor parties, such as ACT in New Zealand, the German Free Democrats, and others, that broadly share classical liberal principles.

  29. So what Graeme, we can have secession but not open borders? What if Jason and I control a strip of land from Piper’s Point to Bathurst? Are all other micro nations going to do a border security check? How so? You have to accept they lose efficiencies that the Commonwealth has.

    Sorry but this is a little nuts.

    Sensible restrictions on welfare and strict enforcement against violent crimes dulls the immigration issue. I’ll remind you Australia had our greatest periods of economic growth and the correct enforcement of law during our colonial years – which were fairly close to “open borders”.

    Australia got better, not worse because of this policy. The world had terrorism and ethnic clashes back then. They were sporadic (Fenians and Lambing Flat) and we got over them. We were better off we had so much immigration.

    (Yes I am aware of the shameful causes of the Eureka stockade , but Indonesian fishing boats are a matter of property rights – not littoral or blue-water security for our full time military Naval forces).

    Immigration is a style of confrontation. When countries lose their labourers and knowledge workers, they get punished for oppressive civil liberties and economic legislation[if only we’d take the lesson home about our income tax rates, labour costs, a fleeing manufacturing base and our “brain drain”].


    You are wrong. We don’t have the money to get anywhere. That doesn’t make us frivolous, it is a corollary of our the summation of our personal poverty. I didn’t know you had to be particularly wealthy to be serious. Perhaps you should look at the donors to the Australian Greens and Democrats then?

    You should visit the LDP’s National conference. A lot of serious people there ( a lot of pissed off ex Liberals in the mix as well as some ex lefty humanists along with the usual dregs of youth and the economics profession) who have never seen the internet or actually use it to do productive work, not read blogs and facebook.

  30. Well look you are all over the place Mark. Letting one issue bleed into another. We cannot have open borders under current conditions. That ought to be obvious. Why would you think otherwise?

    If you focus on that and RESOLVE it. Without being an idiot. Then you have a chance that you can move onto the next thing.

    So you see I don’t know how you’ve managed to let it bleed into the secession issue, and before you have thought anything about that you are bleeding into some other area. And then on it goes in a shitrain of other sloppiness where you aren’t going to get a handle on any issue at all.

  31. So what I’m saying Mark. You don’t know how to think. You are not capable of it. But stick laserlike to the open borders issue. Which clearly we cannot have under current conditions. And resolve that.

    You’ve got to know your limitations Mark.

    So are we in agreement that open borders are not desirable under current conditions?

    Surely you don’t believe you’ve made the contrary case do you?

  32. Obviously, Australia was not a democracy during colonial times – comparing that to now and attempting to draw any policy conclusions is even worse than useless.

  33. As for the LDP – the only way I can envisage it coming close to having any impact would be if it were a movement dedicated to infiltrating the army and other security forces so that it will be well-placed to launch an undemocratic coup, and perhaps salvage some territory during the coming crisis and collapse.

  34. You see the thing is this Mark. Imagine the entire world is capitalist. And no matter what government forms we have in that situation its all capitalist. And imagine we don’t have to worry about the loss of property rights coming in as a side-effect from the immigration of millions of not particularly wealthy or westernised people.

    Would open borders be desirable under those conditions.

    Yes I think it would.

    Does it therefore follow that open borders would be desirable under current conditions?

    Not on your nelly. Its not logical to think that it would. So its very clear that the libertarian translation under current conditions is generous in terms of numbers…… picky in terms of who we let come here.

    Generous but picky.

    You ought to disabuse yourself of the notion that you’ve successfully made the contrary case. If indeed thats the notion you are running with.

  35. Graeme,

    First show me I got the history wrong.

  36. What unbelievable idiocy is this? I’m not aware of me acusing you of getting history wrong. But of course you could never get it right. Because YOU CANNOT THINK at all. So while I wouldn’t know what you are talking about the fact that you cannot think at all would preclude you getting history right.

    One thing at a time.

    Are you in fact advocating open borders UNDER CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES.

    I assure you you haven’t made that case. Nor are you ever likely to. Nor are you ever likely to make any case whatsoever without first learning to think.

  37. I can see a typical dumbass Mark filibuster is right on its way. It is this sort of idiocy of yours Mark, that has helped create threads of doom for the last two years. In that time you have never learnt monetary economics, nor have you so much as sorted out what peak oil was all about.

    Imagine being so incapable of thinking that you were unable, in two years, to figure out what the peak oil paradigm was all about?

    This mental disorganization that you show is fucking serious mate. Soon you will be out there talking nonsense about economics and you’ll have a PHD. Even the other economists will not take you seriously man. Stupid and ignorant as they are they won’t take you seriously if you are all over the place like a dogs breakfast the whole time.

  38. Here’s an example of the thinking of the gay, CO2-bedwetting wing of the LDP as opposed to the ever-tolerant older guys who put up with these changelings:

    “Love; Barack Obama

    During eight dismal years of ever increasing spending, more commitments to foreign soil and dreary rhetoric, the USA had lost its friends and its confidence. Yet the world needs a confident and respected USA.

    The passion Obama has aroused in ordinary, normally apolitical people has been both astounding and a joy to watch. Yes – expectations are ludicrously high and disappointment will set in, but Obama is exactly what the world and America needs. If nothing else, he will force the lazy band of Bush-haters to think about policies they actually stand for.”

    Pommy really is full of shit. He hasn’t cut free from his CO2-bedwetting. And he goes on to say that he hates Bailoutistan. Yet is was he, along with JC. who came out strongly in favour of bailouts and con-man Paulson.

    Its these phoney libertarians that hold sway over on their blog over there. Whereas I’m constantly blocked and flamed. So while thats the case obviously this is not a party I could really get behind. The main problem is Humphreys. Its Humphreys who is part of, and always sides with, the gay irrational side of the party.

  39. That proves my understanding of Australian economic history is wrong, how?

  40. You cannot understand Australian History because you cannot think. I wasn’t commenting on your view of Australian History because its not worth commenting on because you cannot think.

    Rather I was trying to get you to learn to think.

    So one thing at a time.

    Are you in fact advocating open borders under current circumstances?

  41. Cambria is really such a dumb shit. I got onto a cached vesion of the Club Troppo thread which had David Evans on it.

    So there is Tim Lambert making an idiot of himself as usual. And David Evans had shown that the expected hotspot that would have given away a CO2 warming signal wasn’t there.

    So here stumbles on fucking Cambria. And he starts babbling on about the cap and kill not being justified on the grounds that some dumb prick says that global warming will hurt the economy by 20% but the cap and kill could be worse thinks Cambria.

    Well of course the stupid woppy has dropped the context of the thread. Which is that there is no warming coming from industrial-CO2. Because if there was we would have expected the hotspot.

    Undeterred Cambria comes straight back with the idea that if the carbon tax isn’t all that expensive (IT IS!!!!! EXPENSIVE CAMBRIA YOU DOPE) then there is not much point in opposing it in Cambria’s view.

    But Cambria hasn’t fucking shown that there is any harmful warming from industrial CO2, neither has Lambert, and Evans is there because the news is that the expected hotspot wasn’t there. Which it wasn’t.

    Cambria can you pull yourself together mate? You have been an idiot on this issue every step of the way along.

    Here you are, the null evidence is in, and you are still going with the advice of your dwarf-master Lambert.

  42. “Obama is exactly what the world and America needs. If nothing else, he will force the lazy band of Bush-haters to think about policies they actually stand for.”

    What? This was written by a libertarian?

    Oh my God, the “movement” is in worse shape than I thought.

  43. Right. Imagine what a tough gig I had trying to debate against a carbon tax with CO2-bedwetters like that around. Actually pommy after awhile went silent on that side of things. But thats the psychology of Humphreys and some of those young guys as well. Totally emotional when it comes to gear like this. After the election the younger blokes were shocked that they weren’t all elected all of a sudden and the first thing they wanted to do is to jettison the firearms policy and just go generally weakass all the way around. Which of course would make the whole enterprise futile. Its actually one of the worst tragedies for this country that it was the triangulator and piss-weak evidence-hating Martian Humphreys who started the libertarian party here. Were it someone made of slightly sterner stuff the whole enterprise might be on a sounder footing.

  44. “Sensible restrictions on welfare and strict enforcement against violent crimes dulls the immigration issue.”

    I thinks that’s a fair comment. But what are the right adjustments to welfare that are to be made, a negitive income tax for staters? And what is the likelihood of getting such policy in place? And then there’s strict the law inforcement issue? These two changes should be in place before the open border ideal is implemented.

  45. The idea of a “libertarian” party with a 30% income tax policy must be very disturbing to the late Murray Rothbard, if he’s watching this somehow.

  46. “And then there’s strict the law inforcement issue? These two changes should be in place before the open border ideal is implemented.”

    Here’s the problem, you see. All of the people who give lip-service to these “anti-welfare” “pro-law enforcement” ideas, which they are forced to admit are a precondition of mass-immigration (not a consequence nor afterthought), were also in favour of the Amnesty bill. But did the 2007 Amnesty bill itself (which both Jason and apparently Mark supported, the former saying that McCain’s immigration policies, meaning Amnesty, were “enlightened”) have any provisions for abolishing the welfare state? Was an obscure clause slipped in that bill, overlooked by the media and even the bill-drafters themselves, to actually cancel Social Security, abolish Medicare, and so on as a condition of Amnesty? No, of course there wasn’t – it wasn’t, isn’t, and never will be, under any stretch of the imagination, on offer. It’s not even a matter for serious debate.*

    Which means that all the above parties were objectively supporting BOTH mass immigration AND, consequently, an expansion of the welfare state. Incredibly, virtually the entire libertarian movement (Reason, Cato, the Party itself) were objectively in favour of admitting 20 million new citizens from the lowest rungs of Mexican society, into the United States as present and future voters…and net welfare recipients. That’s what was ACTUALLY on offer in the Amnesty bill, no matter what libertarians pretend that they were “really in favour of”. And that’s what virtually the entire libertarian movement objectively supports.

    In other words, “libertarianism” believes that you can drastically reduce the human capital of a country, while simultaneously increasing the quality of political outcomes and reducing the size of government! It’s no less absurd than “from each according to his ability…”.

    *Which isn’t to say it won’t be a matter for frivolous debate – which actually accounts for most “libertarian” output.

  47. I think there would have to be both electoral and welfare changes before you could implement an open borders policy. I don’t think it could seriously be on the horizon in our lifetimes. Not under our welfare system and our ideology of more or less unlimited democray.

    Supposing you started lifting the retirement age for benefits up one day in two as a way of weaning off the retirement benefit. It would still be 40 or 60 years before you were quits with it entirely. Well I think that sort of weaning would have to precede any such open borders. But there would likely have to be more pre-requisites then just that.

  48. Graeme,

    If I can’t think, then why are you asking me questions?

    As to your question: No. Firstly we should make welfare more parsimonious. There is nothing however revolutionary that we need do to open up the borders which will have huge benefits for us. Secondly, I don’t think our criminal justice system punishes serious crimes dealt with at the local and district level harshly enough. As colonies, crimes against persons and property were severely punished (along with the imposition unfortunately with a lot of unnecessary and unjust laws).

    Nevertheless we should increase immigration.


    Rothbard said things about money that would make any other economist, particularly Austrians cringe. He isn’t the font of all truth. What he says about money is quackery – (he would include Greenslips as money). 30% is a good start when people pay well over 50% over their income after all taxes are paid.

    The LDP is looking to make the tax policy more radical. You are right, it needs to be and circumstances have changed. Don’t get caught up with percentages. Payroll tax is only levied at 5-6% but it is simply terrible. The total costs of tax and spending matter more as well. Cutting total spending back to 25 or 20% of GDP with a long term goal of 10% or less would be a good start for a reformist Government.

    Finally…show us that the amnesty bill had a net cost and it reduced the human capital of the USA.

  49. I’m trying to help you focus.

    So you are saying that open borders will be OK if we cut welfare and get on top of crime?

    Well. Maybe. What about political changes? At least AT LAST you appear to have thought about things a little bit.

    If one house was dollar votes, another house was 35+ taxpayer votes alone. And if there were 100 states then I think I’d feel a lot happier about it. Plus if you had to have been paying taxes for 15 straight years before you can vote that would be good.

    Now I’ll tell you something we can do RIGHT NOW that gets us closer to the ideal. We ought to be able to have pretty much open borders for young unattached women. That would be a good start. And then we make these changes you speak of, and only later we think about open borders more generally.

  50. Consider the situation of meeting Henry George one quarter of the way. Where more people will wind up increasing the landowners net wealth but also his tax bill. Where land tax is the only tax but not nearly as high as George would have it. Where political voting is on dollar votes. On the basis of how many dollars the voter has to pay.

    Now in this system there are many states in Australia. None less than 40000 people none more than 200 000 people the upper limit having been set by Aristotle.

    The central government looked after air force and navy alone and its leverage in this matter was just enough to prevent a war between individual states and more than enough to prevent an invasion but ground forces were under local political control.

    Now in this situation you can see that its in the interests of any state to attract as many people as it can. The voters like it since they are the landowners. The taxeaters like it since they get more money. Its not bad for the people since it is 100% backed commodity money so the land prices will lead to taller buildings rather than developing bubbles.

    Now something like thats what we ought to aim for. And we can put a massive dent on world poverty, be militarily strong beyond assailability by anyone and his momma. Be politically stable. Be free. And all that other jive.

    So I’m not saying that open borders isn’t a magnificent ideal. Its just that we want the political and economic realities that would make it in our interests.

  51. “Finally…show us that the amnesty bill had a net cost and it reduced the human capital of the USA.”

    The amnesty bill was entirely about legalising about 20 million Mexican day labourers – i.e. people who couldn’t get jobs in Mexico. If you DON’T immediately see that it is going to reduce the human capital of the US (and increase transfer payments – people in the lower quintiles are net consumers, remember?), then you quite simply have no place discussing any matters of the public interest.

  52. Which brings me back to my original point – if the entire population of Mexico moved to the United States illegally, there is nothing within libertarian philosophy that would oppose granting them immediate citizenship and voting rights. Of course, this would also mean the destruction of anything resembling liberty in the US itself. Which means that libertarianism is a philosophy that cannot actually defend itself on its own terms – it logically leads to its own destruction. I think it was Ayn Rand who said it best.

  53. Graeme,

    Fair enough. We disagree about how to get there. I like more decentralisation, voluntary voting, separation of the legislature and executive and CIR that can strike down bad laws. That’s my take on political institutions.

    The social security issues can be dealt with by a change in ownership rather than a fortress mentality. Privatising social security may have a more lasting impact than anything else and may be easier to do. I wish you had a more positive view on funding this through privatisation to throw off this unsustainable Ponzi scheme.

    On the other hand, I think unattached single women are the most likely to ultimately claim transfer payments.


    Why is it more beneficial to make capital move to Mexico rather than labour to go to the US? Your quip can be reversed as “businesses who cannot make money in Mexico”.

    I see your point about amnesty – it should have been handled differently. If you look at how much tax the day labourers pay and what they get as transfer payments before amnesty, it is a good reason for exclusion from social security and welfare for non citizens and long application periods but allowing permanent resident status fairly easily.

    The rest of what you say about Mexico is confused. Mexican immigration does not lower the US stock of human capital. Nor do Mexican immigrants make bankers, scientists or any other knowledge workers dumber because an average measure has been lowered. The average measure of per capita human capital probably dropped off in Australia during the gold rushes. It is quite possible that during our mining boom the same thing has happened.

    Tian and Shan (1998, Australian Economic History Review) found that migrants create net employment and lower total housing costs.

    Your final remark is incorrect. Jason, Graeme and I broadly agree and most libertarians take a positions between the three of us. Such a position is not what you suppose it to be.

    To an extent you are both right about current realities and past realities. If I were an Israeli, I would welcome uncapped Palestinian workers but certainly not open borders.

  54. “The rest of what you say about Mexico is confused. Mexican immigration does not lower the US stock of human capital.”

    Importing people with no skills or qualifications into your country by definition lowers average human capital (while adding very little or nothing to the “stock of human capital”). And it leads to an expansion in government once they are given the vote. This isn’t particularly controversial.

    “Tian and Shan (1998, Australian Economic History Review) found that migrants create net employment and lower total housing costs.”

    That’s nice, but their study has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion at hand – should the United States legalise 20 million Mexicans? That is a particular subsection of immigration that has to be analysed on its own.

    “The average measure of per capita human capital probably dropped off in Australia during the gold rushes. ”

    Ok, so an Australia that had yet to be fully homesteaded and have its land utilised is comparable to the United States right now. Next.

    “I see your point about amnesty – it should have been handled differently.”

    And yet you still support Actually Existing Amnesty, leading to the logical conclusion of granting voting rights to a Mexican underclass!

    Once again – libertarianism, like communism, is a completely non-viable philosophy. Unlike communism, which is physically impossible, libertarianism is possible…for about 5 minutes before it self destructs.

  55. Mark. If you read over what you said it represents a relentless shitrain of putting make-believe stuff I didn’t say in my mouth. Always I have to wipe you when you do that. Its rude. Attempt to not do it again. You implied that I was against centralization amongst other lying accusations. What is wrong with you man?

    Here are the pre-requisites where we can expect that even the importation of low-skilled people ought to be a net gain for the incumbents. I think you will find that we have some ways to go to get to this circumstance:


    Intuitively it might seem that bringing more people into the economy is diluting the capital/goods per person ratio. And that it would lead to lower real wages for the incumbents. In the theoretical world this need not be the case. We have some pre-requisites where the insertion of many migrants into the scene would be to the benefit of pretty much all incumbents in the economy. Even quite apart from filling specific skill needs that are in short supply. The theoretical situation is where nominal average wages are lowered by the migrants but consumer goods and services prices are lowered even faster. What pre-requisites might be required for such a good outcome?

    1. Downward flexibility in nominal salaries and wages. If this is not possible the new migrants may dislodge incumbents from their jobs.

    2. The economy used to a glacial increase in GDR. Since if this is not the case the injection of the new migrants would lead to increasing asset prices rather than falling goods prices. Which would be fine for some. But the benefits would not be distributed widely. It is often supposed that the increase in the workforce requires new money creation to accommodate the new participants. This may be the case if salaries and wages are not downwardly mobile in nominal terms. But this combination will likely exacerbate the distribution of wealth and income in favour of greater inequality.

    3. We assume no welfare overhead. In the real world in 2008 the extra migrants would likely mean greater welfare overhead.

    4. The real estate market would have to be more functional. Greater demand for living and working space would have to spill over into more high-rise development as opposed to spilling over into higher land prices and rents.

    5. The problems to do with the private production of infrastructure would have to be solved. So that the greater demand on infrastructure would simply lead to the improvement and expansion of these goods. That is to say infrastructure would have to function in as calibrated and productive a way as private consumer goods typically do.

    6. We assume no cultural/political overhead with the migrants. Problems with young male gangs, spillovers into legal aid and imprisonment costs. Spillovers into the political realm with new migrants being stooged on leftist policies. This sort of thing.

    7. The extreme position where even fairly low-skilled immigration is benefiting everyone EVERYONE via the mechanism of price reductions requires a high ratio of Productive Expenditure/Gross Domestic Revenue. That is to say that a very high degree of spending in the economy is being funneled back into private business. Less proportionately into consumer and government spending.

    8. Further to the above in the case of new investment the migrants can reduce the cost of such projects. Reducing the cost and increasing the rate of capital update. Which brings with it a greater degree of technological ability since technological progress is imbedded in new capital update.

    9. BUT THINGS CAN GO THE OTHER WAY. Supposing the ratio of Productive Expenditure/GDR was not high enough. Supposing that the migrants were chattel slaves. Supposing the tax rules for depreciation of capital investment were not favourable enough of the corporate tax rate were too high. Or that there was all this welfare state overhead. Well then the introduction of a great deal of new migrants could dull the incentive for rapid capital goods update. The business firms would benefit from the cheap labour and procrastinate on new capital updates and new technology. This would be the nightmare of the “race to the bottom” that people talk about. Sometimes with some validity. Often with far less validity.”

  56. Graeme – all of this is akin to debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Almost every assumption in your list that is a precondition of open borders is simply not on offer in the real world, and in fact never will be, at least in the next few centuries. The only way that libertarianism can continue to support open borders in the Actually Existing present is by downplaying these preconditions, or pretending that they don’t apply. Which means that we are back to affirming that importing 20 million people from the Mexican underclass and giving them political rights will be good for liberty. What we are looking at is a political movement that strongly represents the ideological fossilization and disconnect-from-reality of the late Soviet Union…without actually having ever enjoyed the trappings of holding power!*

    The fact is, most debates that occur within the orbit of libertarianism are based on entirely false premises, and therefore reach no meaningful conclusions (at least nothing worth mentioning that corresponds with reality). Libertarianism is basically grounded in the same assumptions of universal human dignity and equality as communism, social democracy and liberalism (and even modern conservativism). And if these assumptions mean that a libertarian country has no right to exclude 10 million prospective male migrants from, say, Saudi Arabia (which is in fact the logical application of libertarianism, indeed all liberal philosophy), then that’s fine regardless of the fact that it will lead directly to the extinction of liberty. The only way that the consequences of this can be dealt with is by pretending that all people are essentially the same, interchangable, and that any 10 million Saudi males basically aspire to the same kind of society that we do.

    Thus, whatever happens in the interim, the consistent application of libertarianism will ultimately lead to a violent form of collectivism as there is nothing WITHIN libertarianism that can proactively avoid this denouement. For practical purposes, most debates that occur between libertarians should be filed under “theology” – as if it were a Lutheran debating transubstantiation with a Catholic.

    *I will grant the exception that the early Republic of the United States is the closest thing to a libertarian system that has ever existed – but even this fledgling Republic embodied many non-liberal features, and the Founding Fathers themselves, in how they saw the world, had close to zero in common with modern libertarians.

  57. “Graeme – all of this is akin to debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Almost every assumption in your list that is a precondition of open borders is simply not on offer in the real world…..”

    Right precisely. I went on to argue that pumping our now non-working population for manhours contained none of the downsides implied in the explanations as to the peculiar conditions that would be needed to make unskilled migrants a good deal for the rest of us. So my idea was consolidate our position with our own people first.

    This appears to be a running problem with logic with these people. They all went into mental meltdown when I would insist that part of unilateral free trade was for us to set a goal such that we were virtually always running surpluses.

    So the failed logic went like this:

    1. Under idealised capitalist conditions trade deficits don’t matter.

    2. Ergo under current conditions trade deficits don’t matter.

    Well obviously that doesn’t hold under logic right? And these people revealed a bias towards us losing our manufacturing and agriculture. Crazy. They had misused and misunderstood theory of comparative advantage. That bad fiscal and monetary policy were gutting our economy and putting us into constant debt unmoved them because of this ubiquitous failure of logic of the sort illustrated above.

    I would get onto talk radio and talk about this problem with our economists. The academy was actually engineered to gut us. Any talk of mass-sackings in the public sector to rescue our manufacturing with the appropriate monetary and fiscal policy and energy renaiisance was thought to be Stalinist, anti-economic, so unsound were the economists and Catallaxians on this score.

    What I’m about is massive REINDUSTRIALISATION. And we can beat all comers in this if only we decide we want to.

  58. “So the failed logic went like this:

    1. Under idealised capitalist conditions trade deficits don’t matter.

    2. Ergo under current conditions trade deficits don’t matter.”

    That’s fairly standard for “libertarian” “reasoning”. You can apply that logical form (“If scenario A – ergo prescription B premised on scenario C”) to practically every single human problem and produce an accurate characterisation of the corresponding “libertarian” position.

  59. PS – I forgot to mention one thing:

    If I were an Israeli, I would welcome uncapped Palestinian workers but certainly not open borders.

    There is no libertarian principle that you can point to which permits anything less than for Israel to completely open its borders to all Palestinians. None. You cannot be a consistent libertarian while opposing the right of any peaceful Palestinian (and this accounts for easily the vast majority of Palestinians) to live within the borders of Israel in perpetuity, even if this means the disintegration of Israel. What are we going to do – erect entry barriers on the basis of race, religion or assumed political belief? Unfortunately for libertarians, this is completely forbidden on first principles under any form of liberalism, including libertarianism – there is no moral basis, under liberalism, for any such form of discrimination, for any reason.*

    The only way that any libertarian can oppose the destruction of Israel is by taking a non-liberal position, an unprincipled exception to their liberalism, which of course they have no moral right to hold by virtue of being liberals! Only by rejecting liberalism at its foundations can we begin to envisage a moral order that doesn’t lead to the self-immolation of liberty.

    *Or are libertarians going to argue that allowing the completely free entry of Arabs into Israel is just too risky, and that any and all Arabs are potential savages, barbarians, that will overwhelm and destroy Israel at any opportunity? Unfortunately, once you assent to any form of group characterisation of this kind, you’ve already rejected liberalism, and libertarianism, at its moral foundations and thus have no right to advocate any such philosophy under any guise until you have decisively renounced this non-liberal position.

  60. “That’s fairly standard for “libertarian” “reasoning”. You can apply that logical form (”If scenario A – ergo prescription B premised on scenario C”) to practically every single human problem and produce an accurate characterisation of the corresponding “libertarian” position.”

    Right thats it there. We might call that the faux-libertarian sequence. It amounted to Jason orchestrating a form of persecution the entire time I was at catallaxy with the faux-libertarian sequence.

    So this is how it would work. I’d give an example saying how mass-sackings would help our trade deficit. Then Jason or someone would say “DEBT DOESN’T MATTER (faux-libertarian sequence) ho ho you’re a Stalinist. Here’s a great piece from Kirchner.”

    Built on top of the faux-libertarian sequence the treasury has caught the notion that we don’t need agriculture. And all the economists have a sort of half-notion that its not serious when we lose our manufacturing. They don’t see us as reindustrialising. They think all that work is going to China then on to Africa. Its a bizzare sort of anti-economics. And there isn’t but one of these guys who doesn’t buy into this at least halfway.

    So having built this second step on the faux-libertarian-sequence Humphreys will show up and say “Australia doesn’t have a debt problem. We don’t need manufacturing”

    You see under 100% backed commodity, no company tax, no tax on interest…… well we wouldn’t have a debt problem. So thats the faux-libertarian-sequence right there. Almost everyone has been armtwisted into a debt problem through decades of soft money. And where an interest deduction applies thats like a debt subsidy. Well for some decision-making it acts like that. So the default model would be you don’t have a company tax. Hence nothing to deduct interest against. And if you also had no inflation than the premise behind the faux-libertarian-sequence would hold. And we would not have participated in the debt problem.

    Its not merely a passive sellout and gutting of our economy that they appear to be after. Its a really active thing. Supposing I hear that we are losing our car industry. I’ll want to have mass-sackings in the public sector so we can get rid of the company tax, so we can convince them to stay. But for these guys the secondary argument becomes the driving force. Yes its better that we don’t prop these guys up subsidies and trade barriers. But the secondary argument was that if they couldn’t compete let them go. That gets shortened to let them go. Which winds up “we don’t need manufacturing”.

    We are supposedly going to get by, in accordance with our dumbass economists wrong view of “comparative advantage” on the basis of mining and services alone.

    The services economy is a dangerous delusion. Its a misunderstanding of the structure of production. When you look closely at things services tend to be outsourced from manufacturing. And those that aren’t tend to be heavily dependent on local manufacturing expertise. Or maintenance expertise which amounts to the same sorts of skills.

    We have a mountain of debts to pay off and these guys don’t really want to buy our haircuts and our insurance, our interior decorating and so forth. But awhile back over at Catallaxy it was a main shared delusion that getting rid of your manufacturing was a sign of success.

    So our economists were amongst the most irresponsible people around. Since there idea was to propagandize to the public that we don’t need manufacturing. Rather then use their training to show the public how we can reindustrialise without trade barriers. You see none of them want to come out in favour of mass-sackings and the dissolving of government bureaucracies by the bakers dozen. Which is the beginning of the process of handling any economic problem.

    Here’s that bloke from cheers whose come out against this madness. But thanks to the uselessness of our economists he’s thinking in terms of trade barriers no doubt. Not realising its more a problem with fiscal and monetary policy.

    Here is also the answer to the mystery of how our economists could have been so weak on the global warming racket. And so incredibly piss-poor on energy policy. Manufacturing is all energy. Its all heavy metal. “Heavy Metal Don’t Mean Rock And Roll To Me.” So useless are they at their day job they think it will be just fine for us to have to adapt to less energy per unit GDP.

    But not through massive investment in efficient capital goods. Rather they want to do it via deprivation and expense.

  61. There is this idea that we can keep hold of the design and innovation side of things. Well for one thing we cannot get foreigners to respect our patents and its somewhat unjust to expect them to.

    But the other thing is while we ought to avail ourselves of the comparative advantage of other nations via unilateral free trade…… well it remains the case that being the design and innovation centre of the world would mean us establishing and enhancing our ABSOLUTE ADVANTAGE in manufacturing. Its the area that has the absolute advantage that gets to do all the clever stuff.

    I swear that our economists just don’t understand economics. They have a warped and wrong view of comparative advantage and they’ve forgotten about absolute advantage.

  62. I must say Humphreys is being rather sound on this Israel-Hamas deal. Pommy too. I suppose its only fair to catch these people out doing the right thing for a change.

    I cannot say if Israel is being callous or not in its strategy. This is not for me to ascertain from my position. Obviously one wishes them well. And urges them to look after their civilians, their soldiers, and the opponents civilians in that order. And to slaughter Hamas leadership without mercy. One does not know if they are being careful enough of civilians. Partly that goes back to ruthlessly slashing non-defense spending years prior to military action being taken.

  63. I wonder how the Great and the Good would react if Indonesia were lobbing rockets into Darwin on a daily basis. Would we have the right to retaliate?

  64. Deposting this one here just in case Humphreys doesn’t let it through. He seems to have let the last one through as essentially I’m backing up his position.

    For our own defense, since the onward rush of technology will soon put us in a similar position to Israel, it must be understood that mass-sackings of non-defense public servants and slashing of non-defense spending is every bit as important for our long-term survival as what we actually spend our defense money on.

    We want, and we can have, an economy so large as to make our warmaking power so good as to render us unassailable. This sounds roundabout but there you are.

    The Americans will soon be unwilling or unable to help us out or at least we cannot plan with them in mind. Slashing non-defense spending NOW is the best way then to be able to spend what we need in defense later.

    Ultimately we too must be willing and able to make our actions BIG AND SHORT. And our problems are by no means insurmountable. Since countries who may attack or intimidate us have other aspects of their own defense to worry about, all we have to do is be strong enough such that they dare not encourage us into the fighting, and can be forced into a fast truce by our ability to switch an enourmous amount of kickass on, from a standing start.

    We need for that a huge civilian economy and a massive reservist fighting force. I think we can get by on a fairly small full-time fighting force so long as they have the best training and weaponry that there is, no exceptions.

    We want to be internally focused. Focused on getting our own country free and properous. We don’t want to be thinking about the problems of foreigners or having to cut deals with them. And for this we need to be so strong as to be able to launch against anyone who distracts us from our blinkered domestic concerns, so heavily that we can quickly get back to a situation of peace and never again be involved in these long wars.

    Who wants to opt out of long wars for all time? Can we vote on it? I’m casting my vote right now and early and the first step is to go ahead with the mass-sackings in the public sector and the dissolving of government departments by the bakers dozen.

  65. Actually its better than that. Humphreys is more than sound in this matter. He’s eloquent and righteous. Sometimes these people actually surprise you.

    Still I make no comment on whether or not Israeli strategy is callous or furiously directed. Thats too hard for me to assess.

  66. does that mean Humphreys doesn’t have to go back to Zimbabwe now? 🙂

  67. I wonder how the Great and the Good would react if Indonesia were lobbing rockets into Darwin on a daily basis. Would we have the right to retaliate?

    Of course we’d have a right to retaliate. But we wouldn’t. Darwin’s a hole and we’d thank them. 🙂

  68. “does that mean Humphreys doesn’t have to go back to Zimbabwe now?”

    He needs to show some consistency. When he’s good he’s very very good. When he’s bad he’s horrid.

  69. Someone who is consistent and horrid is Mark Bahnisch. He’s taken to outright lying. Humphreys assails him with the known truth. And he responds with outright lying.

    Dec 31st, 2008 at 12:53 pm
    The Israeli peace terms are “stop trying to kill us” and the Hamas peace terms are “stop existing”. Clearly the Israeli peace terms are more reasonable. Hamas (the aggressor) should accept the peace terms.

    No, John, those are not the Hamas peace terms.”

    Didn’t I tell you that Bahnisch was a fascist? Didn’t I tell you that this fellow is not up to teaching daycare?

  70. Whenever there is a conflagration in that part of the world, virtually every fascist comes crawling out from under their rock to king hit Israel.

  71. They must actually get physically excited at the idea of a second holocaust and then another side of them suppress it. I go on the working assumption that leftists lack the introspection gene.

    I wonder if the Israelis think through their strategy enough to be harsher on leadership and less harsh on civilians. I mean they are a government the same as anyone else. They let Arafat die in a bed. Some of the leadership are bigtime terrorists who ought to have been killed a long time ago even if they are a little bit less open about their attitude now. Being merciful with these guys is a bit of the flipside to adopting strategy that may be too harsh on the civilians.

    But still I’m not making a specific condemnation. I don’t feel I know enough to do so.

  72. Get a load of Spain’s Leftist PM, the totalitarian Jew-hating scumbag Jose Zapatero.

    It’s sickening that people like this are even allowed to vote, let alone run for office.

  73. Isn’t this a perceptive comment:

    “Pew, in a politically correct sleight-of-hand, says the blame lies with “those who place themselves near the right end of the political spectrum.” But most professional observers of contemporary Spanish politics lay the blame squarely with Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who took office in 2004, and since then has managed to drive Spanish-Israeli relations to their worst point since bilateral diplomatic ties were established in 1986.”

    I personally reserve the right to be as bigoted as I want to be on a colloquial level. But there is this death-worshipping cliche about the place which says that you can be pro-Jewish yet anti-Israel. Well all states are only justified provisionally one supposes. Yet all these objections to the Jewish State in 2008 appear to be on the basis that Jewish kids are covered with green slime and killing them is kind of OK.

    My only tentative criticisms of Israel are identical to my criticisms of our own history in war. In all cases is the strategy designed to preserve OUR SOLDIERS AND THEIR CIVILIANS. Is it designed in this way sufficiently. Have the prior investments been made to effect this outcome. Is there bombing without ground-forces? Are the ground-forces hardened enough with the absolute best materiel available?

    There we have Dresdon and Operation Keelhaul. Outrages by our own side. Contrasted against the earlier busting out of Patton for slapping a kid for Christsakes. Slapping a kid was the excuse of these communists in Washington to stop him.

    And prior to that his undersupply. All those bombs dropping on German civilians when they could have been used in support of ground troops to make the craters overlap.

    And then there is the failure to slaughter culpable leadership of the opposition whenever the opportunity presents itself. The flipside of being callous about civilians.

    If they call the fighting off now it will be a crying shame. The civilians will have died in vain. Hamas militants need to be thinned out but most of all the leadership has to be pulled out of their hiding places and strung up on the spot just as fast as the knots can be tied. Hopefully on Arab TV live. That ought to be the war aims and it needs to be a very good proportion of the Hamas leadership, because all others need to be given the feeling that they are on borrowed time. If they do not do this their entire strategy was in error and they ought to have hit Damascus materiel and regime leadership property directly. Instead of taking action that might have been calculated to kill too many civilians.

  74. Leftists seem to think that the definition of an anti-semite is somebody who doesn’t particularly like Jews WHILE AT THE SAME TIME leaving the definition neutral on those who want to destroy Israel. That’s really weird. If I met somebody who just didn’t get along with Australians personally but would be happy to leave them in peace, I’d have no problem with that. But if some foreign leftist creep was saying how much they “cherished” us and “valued our culture” or whatever, yet ended up calling for Australia’s destruction, then everything they said up to that point was obviously disingenuous – they are by definition “anti-Australian”. The same is true for anti-semitism and Israel. All the “happy talk” in the world is worth nothing if it means you have to get murdered on the way to work while your womenfolk are strangled and raped in their homes.

  75. Exactly. Notice how treacly a lot of the talk is. About BOTH SIDES not getting along and so forth. When by 2009 even the drooling handicapped seats ought to have worked out that one side wants the other side exterminated.

  76. Wayne said “I wonder how the Great and the Good would react if Indonesia were lobbing rockets into Darwin on a daily basis. Would we have the right to retaliate?”

    Hmmm, I wonder. 20 million of us versus 220 million of them, they have fanatics and we do not, and according to you, they would have heaps of missiles that can reach us from Bali…

    Yeah, I reckon we should take them on! Send in the troops! REALLY get back at them! 😉

  77. So this is how it would work. I’d give an example saying how mass-sackings would help our trade deficit. Then Jason or someone would say “DEBT DOESN’T MATTER (faux-libertarian sequence) ho ho you’re a Stalinist. Here’s a great piece from Kirchner.”

    By the way Graeme, do you know of any issue which Kirchner has called correctly in the last few years? So far as I can see, he’s been wrong about everything.

    • No I know of no such issue. But he represents the standard thief-economics view masquerading as free enterprise.

      Its just a real disgrace you know. You would not know the extent of it. But take the current resurgence of “stimulus packages”. None of our faux-libertarian economists have come out squarely against this rort. Not one. Its like they are all trying to nuance any disagreement away. You might have Sinclair or Henry Ergas bring some doubt onto the spending package. But none of them will come out clearly saying that Keynesianism is economic fallacies, that you save your way out of a recession. That the way to get out of recession is by asking people to save, by getting business to retain earnings, and by finding whatever government cost-cutting that can be had. And also by trying to use moral suasion to get wages, salaries and prices down.

      We don’t expect Joe Public to have resolved this issue. But its the economists job to have resolved this issue and to come out decisively on the side of economic science. Yet you won’t see it. You won’t see it from Soon, Kirchner, Sinclair, or anyone else claiming to be on the right. Not that dummy Mark Hill either. Its like Hayek just wasted all his time writing for the good that it did anyone.

      You save your way out of a recession. You do not spend your way out of it.

      • Lets put it this way. The effect of creating money via fractional reserve is pretty much the same as with printed money. Except for the slight difference that it is a form of money-creation that creates more instability then printing notes alone would. So thats one form of parasitism that is the cause of recessions.

        And the other thing, other than fractional reserve banking that causes the recession is other forms of parasitism. That is to say parasitism that draws resources away from spending within businesses, and from savings.

        So given those two causes of the recession you would think that the answer was to reduce the parasitism. To take all your resources away from everything else BUT business-to-business spending. But oh no. The pull of parasitism is just too strong. So even though Keynesian is proven wrong, was fallacies writ large right from the start, and was known even by the mainstream to be dead from the neck up once stagflation developed…. but still we have the reality that both sides of the alleged right-left divide in economics in this country will not buck the pull of parasitism. So they will not come out against fiscal stimulus IN PRINCIPLE.

        Think of how many economists there are that drop in over at catallaxy. You won’t have seen one of them come out in a unambiguous terms against consumer or fiscal stimulus. Not one. Its all half-hearted and not wanting to rock the parasitical boat. I want to tell them what I told Barry Brook over at Unleashed with his tepid support for nuclear. I told him go hard or go home. And its like that with our alleged right-wing economists. They are doing more harm then good. They ought to get serious or quit.

        Nothing can explain the resurgence of this world of error in economics BUT for the sheer number of parasites in the world. It was done. It was beaten and now its back with no knew argument but just with the strength of numbers.

        Parasitism caused the recession. But we need more parasitism to end it, simply because it is in the short-term interests of the parasites that we believe such rubbish.

        And there is just no answer to it that I can think of. The social fucking faux pass that stops Soon and the others from resolving this matter and speaking out didn’t get there through reasoned argument. The idea that yet more parasitism is the cure for the disease which the parasitism caused was never a thing that made a case for itself. It has never made a case at all. So how can we be expected to win and triumph over this unreason?

        If the bad effects of parasitism only leads to another round of strengthened parasitism, even in the midst of real hardship there is no answer for it but total collapse. Total collapse during the transition between primary energy sources could bring mass-death at a level that we have never even speculated about before. Because when does the cycle get broken?

        Since the cause was parasitism and the irrational cure of more parasitism has been offered as the answer, almost uncontested, then how on earth do we expect that the vicious cycle can be broken? And if it was ever going to be broken why hasn’t it been broken already.

        Over at thoughts on freedom they asked if anyone had predicted this collapse. I told them that I had been saying for three years that our financial system was an elephant balancing on its trunk. I hoped they would remember the often-repeated phrase and realize that I had been in effect talking about how bad our financial system was in each and every thread of doom. But its likely that this post was blocked.

        So this time around how bad will the carnage be? The great depression killed an indeterminate number of people. And it helped bring about World War II.

        It has really just occurred to me that the number of parasites in the world may mean that there really might not be any circuit-breaker this time around. That they will simply continue to follow suicidal policies and will not be deflected from these policies no matter what the consequences.

  78. Keynesianism is total voodoo economics – true magic pudding stuff.

  79. By the way Bird, remember what we were talking about before, how anti-semites often try to “compensate” for their genocidal hatred of Israel and desire to see it overwhelmed by Islamic hordes, by means of worthless platitudes about their love of “Jewish culture”? Here’s a perfect example:

    Backman said he had a deep interest in, and respect for, Jewish culture, to the point where he named his son Shimon after Israeli President Shimon Peres.

    “The accusation of anti-Semitism is itself hurtful and offensive,” Mr Backman said.

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