Anyone who has taken the time to study in depth the wealth of scholarly literature of Austro-libertarianism cannot help but be enthralled by the intellectual treasures provided by our school of thought.
This is the last of a set of seven essays, in which I have been trying to understand and to diagnose the political, economic and ethical ills of our times.
I was called this morning by the BBC. It wanted me to comment on the claims that Sports direct, a chain of sports clothing shops, mistreats its workers – keeping them on zero-hours contracts, sometimes not paying them even the minimum wage, scaring them out of going sick, generally treating them like dirt. Would I care to go on air to defend the right of employers to behave in this way? I am increasingly turning down invitations to go on radio and television, and this was an invitation I declined. I suggested the researcher should call the Adam Smith Institute. This would almost certainly provide a young man to rhapsodise about the wonders of the free market. My own answer would be too complex for the average BBC presenter to understand, and I might be cut off in mid-sentence.
Today, I’m going to compare and contrast the two sides in the big battle of our times. I call them Convivials and Politicals. Much of what I say today, I’ve already said in earlier essays. What is new, though, is how I choose to organize it.
When the 2016 Referendum went unexpectedly to the Leavers, the Conservative Party was handed a golden opportunity. It had only to manage a reasonable withdrawal, and it could look forward to a generation of electoral hegemony.
Every political philosopher worth his salt has written a book, or a chapter, or at least an essay, on the subject of the state. What is the state intended to be? What is the state, in reality? And where is it going?
It’s confession time …