Doesn\’t this just screw Ritchie\’s new book?

Parliament simply does not represent the British people.

Instead, it represents special interests. There is no shortage of groups, from the environmentalists to industrialists, throwing energy and money into lobbying MPs and ministers for new laws, taxes, regulations and monopolies that will either enrich them or force the public to behave as they believe we should. Their noisy demands drown out the views of the public. And each new regulation means a new bureaucracy and a new ministerial responsibility, such that the institution of government grows and grows and grows. As it becomes larger, the opportunities for patronage become greater. As they do, so do the opportunities for corruption – either straight back-pocket corruption or the more subtle corruption of mutual exchanges of favours between interest groups, officials and politicians.

There is no way such a system, dominated by and expanding to serve vested interests rather than the public, can give us honest politics, or journalism, or business, or officialdom. If you want to clean up the press, or politics, the first thing you must do is to reform our government system down to its foundations, limit what government can do, and make government represent the people rather than the political class.

The \”Courageous State\” would be just an increase the spoils that can be plundered by the special interests.

25 thoughts on “Doesn\’t this just screw Ritchie\’s new book?”

  1. No, not really. It just means there’s a long way to go. You would see a hatchet to the whole role of the state, leaving the likes of Murdoch and the banks to rule us. I would rather a trusted state.

    Have you always been so naive?

    Since when has a dominant private sector ever provided for the public? Without state intervention in core infrastructure, society gets left to the sharks.

    Do you live in the real world??

  2. Yeah, but that is from the ASI, a group of nasty, evil, baby-eating, wheelchair tipping, flower-stamping right-wingers. And therefore wrong according to Ritchie logic.

  3. Arnald – go and read some proper history (not just k. marx) and come back when you’ve grown up a bit.

    There’s a good chap.

  4. Arnald,

    ” I would rather a trusted state.”

    And you call the rest of us naive…

    “Since when has a dominant private sector ever provided for the public? ”

    Right, so they don’t provide food, housing, clothing…

    1) the private sector provides what people are prepared and willing to pay for. More often than not that co-incides with what people need.

    2) there is no such thing as a private sector separate from the rest of society. The private sector is run by people employed and owning the companies who are in turn also citizens and consumers

    “Without state intervention in core infrastructure, society gets left to the sharks.”

    No one is complaining about the state providing core infrastructure. What we are complaining about is all the other things “provided” by the state

  5. cb
    Go and live in the real world and come back when you’ve grown up.

    As for the ASI piece. Read what it’s saying. Exactly who is going to decide what limits the state should have? Murdoch? Barclays?

    As far as I was aware the UK is not a dictatorship. In private hands the power would go to the richest. It’s bleeding evident everywhere you go. Are you people so blind not to see it?

    Obviously. It’s like being with wide eyed children who want to believe in Father Christmas.

  6. “As far as I was aware the UK is not a dictatorship. In private hands the power would go to the richest. It’s bleeding evident everywhere you go. Are you people so blind not to see it?”

    So even though we are one of the more socialised (based on state spend as % of GDP) countries in the western world, power still ends up in the hands of the richest.

    In communist states; USSR, China, DPRK, the power is/was even more concentrated in the hands of the richest.

    Rich, influential people use the coercive power of the state to maintain their welth and power and ideally extend it.

    Less state -> less concentrated power.

  7. Well, you have to grasp that people like Murphy and Arnald don’t want “the people” to have power- or rather, don’t want people to be able to rule themselves. The core belief of the anglo-left is that most of us are unfit for self rule and need wise owls like Mr Murphy to run things for us.

    So they actually desire a massive, special-interests run parliament that will be a dictatorship. They’re only bothered about making sure that people they don’t like don’t participate in taht dictatorship, people like Murdoch or whoever. But they really don’t give a damn about freedom or individualism.

    I say this because I used to consider myself “on the left” but I always cared passionatley about freedom. I thought other leftists did too, and it was a genuine shock to me, largely caused by conversing with leftists on the net, who at the tme I thought were on “my side”- that they really did not want freedom and indeed despised the very concept. It was a large part of my shift across to being an evil right wing fascist libertarian baby eating monster.

    Murphy, or Arnald, are terrified by the thought of the rest of us being left alone to live our lives in peaceful, undisturbed coexistence with our fellows. The very thought chills them to the bone.

  8. Ian B
    I can’t equate how you perceive that the state is necessarily bad, and that personal freedom cannot exist within one even if it isn’t.

    It isn’t about restricting personal freedom, it’s about not letting private interest take over that personal freedom. Only in a fully transparent free market can freedom exist anyhow. By taking the line that the state concentrates the rich to do as they please only means that you believe that people are endemically corrupt. If that is the case then your argument for peaceful, undisturbed coexistence is a non-starter.

    Corruption needs to be removed, you don’t need to be a reader of extremist tendencies to understand that, but the system of governance cannot be simply removed. What would it be replaced by? Rich, self-interested companies wanting to screw you to get richer.

    It is a given that our present state of affairs is messy pit, but to hold your hands up in surrender only hands the machinery of government to snakes.

    That will only help those with the means to buy themselves out of trouble. A tiny percentage.

    With diminishing returns.

  9. As for being terrified, quite the opposite. I believe in cooperation. If that doesn’t mean peaceful, undisturbed coexistence then I don’t know what to think.

    A nobel prize has been won for understanding that communities that cooperate and share resources are more likely to thrive, for longer, than those that compete for the spoils.

    That’s far more human.

  10. “It isn’t about restricting personal freedom, it’s about not letting private interest take over that personal freedom.”

    Personal freedom is a very private interest…

    “Only in a fully transparent free market can freedom exist anyhow.”

    Ok, so your solution to this is more government?

    “What would it be replaced by? Rich, self-interested companies wanting to screw you to get richer.”

    1) On a free market there are not only rich companies
    2) The state officials are as self-interested as the rich companies
    3) the rich companies depend on their customers, employees and suppliers, the fact that they want to screw you therefore doesn’t mean that they can

  11. Arnald, corruption can only exist- and inevitably will exist- when there is something available to corrupt. That is the “libertarian” insight. To create a corruptible thing and then try to prevent it being corrupted is inherently naive and hopeless. Whatever body you create to protect you will itself become your oppressor. That is the “libertarian” insight. Take it or leave it.

    Virtually every political movement currently existent- with the absence of libertarianism- is some kind of class struggle movement. A group focusses on some particular class enemy and then tries to use State power to contain it- capitalists (marxism/socialism), or men (feminism), or Jews (nazism), or foreigners (general racism) or landowners (Georgists et al) and so on. The libertarian view recognises that any of these potential oppressors only becomes and oppressor when it has a State apparatus to use for oppression. To be a little blunt- if there had been no German state apparat, Hitler would have died an inconsequential ranting buffoon.

    You can’t have what you want. You can’t have a state apparatus that actually does what you want it to do. It will always, inevitably, fall to special interests who will use it for their ends, not yours. How many disappointments and disasters does it have to take before people get their heads around this?

  12. Arnald.
    What’s your view of private property, do you think that the right to hold and enjoy your own property is the paramount right of any truly free society ? That in my opinion is the acid test of where one strands on the state / private spectrum.

    Ian B.

    Yes that’s been pretty much my experience too, it is shocking how many on the left either don’t value liberty at all or else would hedge it round with so many restrictions, in the public interest of course, that it ceases to be liberty at all.

  13. ” I would rather a trusted state.”

    So would I. But I wouldn’t trust it for a microsecond if you and Ritchie were running it. Or anyone else that couldn’t be removed when we’d all had enough.

  14. “A nobel prize has been won for understanding that communities that cooperate and share resources are more likely to thrive”

    A Nobel Prize has been won for bringing peace to the Middle East, too.

  15. “. It was a large part of my shift across to being an evil right wing fascist libertarian baby eating monster.”

    Snap. I used to consider myself on the left too until I heard too many on the left espousing totalitarian opinions.

  16. “I would rather a trusted state.”

    Oh, Arnald. Have you always been so naive? Does your trust extend to the military and the intelligence services?

    I must say, I am enjoying Arnald’s triumphant return from having his arse handed to him the last time.

  17. Offshore Observer

    Arnald, go and read John Locke’s Two Treatise of Civil Government, then read John Locke’s Leviathan, then read Aristotle’s The Politics and finish off with Karl Marx The Communist Manifesto.

    Once you have read and understood those four seminal works on the role and nature of government and the importance of individual liberty then you can be in a position to talk about individual freedom and the role of the government.

    Be warned though none of them are “neo-liberal”. One of them is the philosophical underpinnings of the Constitution of the US. One of which is the foundation of central banking and market regulation (you will be surprised which one that is – or perhaps not)

    But without understanding those four books you cannot properly understand the system of government which prevails in the western world today.

    good luck!

  18. Offshore > I think you mean Hobbes’ Leviathan

    And you probably want to read Leviathan before Two Treatise because Locke builds on Hobbes’ work.

  19. IanB, ChrisM, (Luis and others?)
    Snap. In spades. One of the reasons I stumbled onto Murph was because I was actively seeking an evidence base to support my leftist upbringing/instinct (and as a counterpoint to blogs like this).

    Clearly Murph was a blowout in that regard; the only other thing I found was Chris Dillow. Are there others I am missing – y’know proper evidence ‘n stuff from the TW of the left? Or are they all authoritarian loons?

  20. Gary
    Murphy uses numbers from cited sources to get to his point. Worstall uses silly words.
    Where’s the comparison?

    “….to support my leftist upbringing/instinct (and as a counterpoint to blogs like this).”

    Therefore this sentence is bunkum. You weren’t looking for anything apart to satisfy your feeling of entitlement.

    If you can’t grasp the bigger, long-term picture then just admit it.

    Disliking a ‘style’ is one thing, but dismissing the idea because of the style of delivery is infantile.

    As a ‘blowout’ he’s doing rather well, isn’t he? After all, he’s called false many of the secrecy jurisdiction myths, and he has the ear of more people than timmykins.

    Timmykins of UKIP fiasco. Bunch of loons.

  21. Arnald,
    There are some lefties who visit this blog and offer considered, insightful, well reasoned and evidence based contributions. I was addressing them by name. Your name was not on that list.

    RM does extremely well on his own terms, and bully for him. The point I was making was simply that I was looking for something else, perhaps in the style of Chris Dillow. You would do well to read Chris at stumblingandmumbling just by way of contrast.

    There are bright people of left leaning, but your Dear Leader Richard is not one of them.

  22. Offshore Observer

    Bobski,

    thanks for the correction and you are absolutely correct. Hobbes and yes read it first. The first treatise is a rebuttal of Locke.

    my bad

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