Idiocracy is a documentary.
In his “On the Laws and Customs of England” Henry de Bracton pointed out that even the King is not above the law.
The King, just as much as the most lonely peasant, is bound by the fundamental laws – he may not, murder, rape or rob. And the King can not just pull “law” from his backside and change this fact.
Thomas Hobbes and Legal Positivism (the idea that the will, whims, of the ruler or rulers are the only law) is the opposite of all this. Those who side with Francis Bacon (judges as “lions UNDER the throne” – my stress) and his servant Thomas Hobbes, are the deadly enemies of the Common Law. The deadly enemies of Henry de Bracton – and of Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke and Chief Justice Sir John Holt. Both Coke and Holt warned against both King AND Parliament – the danger of either making “law” according to their whims, and undermining the fundamental principles of law.
One can stand with Francis “The New Atlantis” Bacon, Thomas Hobbes and Jeremy (13 Departments of State controlling just about everything) Bentham (and so on), or one can stand with the principles of the Common Law – but one can NOT stand with both. For they are fundamentally opposed.
Should a King not listen to reason, and after all peaceful ways have been used, to try and bring the King back under the laws of reason (of God) then, alas, men may have to use weapons to make the King accept the law – as with the Great Charter of 1215 (see Geoffrey Hindley’s little book on Magna Carta – rather better than David Starkey’s better known work).
Nor was this a new thing – as far back as 877 King Charles the Bald of France was forced to accept that even a King of France could not take land (by force) from one family and give it another.
Of course modern governments claim such abuses as their right – for example the South African government has just passed a regulation allowing it to steal land from white people and give it to black people (the justification being that the opposite was done in the past – as if two wrongs make a right). However one can get rid of the South African government by election – the ballot box.
In Britain also there is no need to take up arms against the government (as people did in 1215) – as one can remove the government by election.
But one can not get rid of the European Union government (the Commission and so on) by election.
One can be upset (and I am upset) that the warnings of the British Chief Justice (Hewart) in “The New Despotism” (1929) and of the American Supreme Court (in their 9 to 0 judgement in 1935 against General Johnson’s jackbooted “Blue Eagle” thugs of the National Recovery Agency – who made “law” according to their whims) against vague “Enabling Acts” went unheeded.
It is vile for Parliament (or Congress) to “delegate” its power to decide what the law is. Under the old understanding law is not “made” it is found – see Bruno Leoni “Freedom and The Law” (1961) for how the law is about real victims (victims of murder, rape, robbery and so on) not the whims of rulers to “improve the general welfare” or some such utilitarian nonsense.
However, Parliament can still act against officials – or ministers.
And so can Congress (if it is not cowardly – as it is presently) and the courts – who struck down President Truman’s effort to steal the steel industry in 1950.
But no elected body can stand against the magic words “we were ordered to do it by the European Union”.
Parliament is helpless against the magic words “we were ordered to do it by the European Union”.
And the people’s right to remove Parliament and get a new Parliament is made vain.
That is why we must leave the European Union.
Its officials can give their whims the force of law – and there is no practical way to get rid of them.
It may seem odd to write about something that happened months ago (the New Hampshire Primary of 2016), but it has been running in my mind – or in my sorry 18th century excuse for a mind, full of concepts such as Free Will and universal moral right and wrong, so absurd to the followers of Hobbes and co.
We know New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” State – or we think we do.
From Colonel John Stark and his Rangers (“Liver Free or Die”) of the Revolutionary War period (see the New Hampshire Constitution of 1784), to the New Hampshire fifth regiment fighting against slavery in the Civil War (and for those who deny that war was about slavery – how many non Slave States tried to secede?), to plays and films set in New England, such as “Our Town”, “Its A Wonderful Life” and (openly New Hampshire) “White Christmas”.
People who do not talk much about religion or show emotion about it – yet believe. And live their belief (the Calvin Coolidge type – the opposite of the Billy Sunday type). And people who never boast – but are somehow always there when they are most needed, when things are at their darkest.
A broader American type – not just confined to New England.
Think of the actors of a certain sort – the “bad actors” because they were playing themselves. Men such as James Stewart, William Holden, Gary Cooper, Audie Murphy and on and on. People who doubt the existence of Paladins could do worse than study the life of Audie Murphy. And note there is never a boast in a film – the message is NOT “I am wonderful” it is “this is what a person, an ordinary person, should do when facing the forces of evil”.
The struggle against the forces of evil, to protect the weak even if it means one’s own death – not the power seeking struggles of a “Hegemon” and all the morality-free-zone language of the vile.
Men who seem utterly ordinary (even boring) and yet when the Horrors of Hell are driving you into blind terror – they are suddenly there. willing to take your place. To stand between the Horrors of Hell and you.
They pay for that of course – they scream in the night, but they will never scream if someone is in earshot (for they will not upset you). They will wear the face of normality (in front of the innocent and helpless) – in spite of all they have experienced.
The Texans Marcus Luttrell (“Sole Survivor”) and Chris Kyle (“American Sniper”) are modern examples.
As a D Day Veteran once explained of such people – objecting to being called a “hero” he said……
“I am not a hero – but there were heros. When we came to a house the man who was with me could see I was afraid – and he said quietly “it is O.K. – I will go” he is still there, he died so I could live and I have tried to live my life doing what little I could to make his sacrifice worthwhile”.
Even that wild hard drinking Irish American Marion Morrison (“John Wayne”) understood – under his swagger (after all even the distinctive walk was really from American Football injuries in the 1920s). Under the swagger his characters always understood moral right and moral wrong – and the characters knew that a price had to be paid to defend freedom against the powers of evil. Hence the fate of the characters in such films as “The Sands of Iwo Jima” and “The Alamo”.
“But Wayne did not go” – I have already mentioned people who did go, and he was showing a real type (as he once said to such a man “you are the person I was pretending to be in all those films”) .
The Republic – to defend the rightful property of the weak as well as the strong. And the freedom to be “drunk or sober” as drunk as John Wayne or as sober as James Stewart “just as you choose”.
The lazy left who scream “racism” know nothing of such men, for example who John Wayne’s wife was.
Private property – not being filled with envy for those who are better off. but not tugging one’s forelock to them either (not measuring a person by how much stuff they have – but by whether they will do what it is right when the time comes). Hard work and (even among people who had an outward show of bluster) a deep core of moral seriousness.
Moral seriousness – the quiet decision to do what is right, even if it means one’s own death. The point where even the “drunken Irishman” is suddenly stone-cold-sober. And ready to stand in defence of others – against all the Legions of Hell.
“But what has all this to do with the New Hampshire Primary”.
Look at the results…..
On the Democrat side a socialist won.
Remember when I was mocked for pointing out (quite truthfully) that Mr Obama has a socialist (indeed a Marxist) background.
Mr Obama did not go round saying this (and the mainstream media did not report it) so Paul Marks must be having a silly fantasy about Mr Obama having a Red background.
Hard to say that about “Bernie” Sanders – a man who goes around quite openly saying he is a socialist. And whose “Democratic Socialism” is best defined by where he choose to go on Honeymoon – the Soviet Union.
Even the most stupid or lazy voter should know what they are voting for when they vote for “Bernie” – they are voting for the sort of policies that have reduced Brazil and Venezuela to their current condition. We know that because Mr Sanders openly supported these polices, he was full of praise for these democratically elected governments with their unlimited promises of Free Stuff for the voters.
“Yes, but Paul, the Democrats are the Bad Guys – they have rejected the traditional American principles of Limited Government and Individual (Personal) Moral Responsibility since at least the time of Woodrow Wilson if not from the time of 1896 Convention when President Grover Cleveland was rejected by them”.
“The Republicans may often be weak and horribly misguided, such as with Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon and the Bush family – but deep down in their hearts they are still Republicans, they still have some vestige of belief in voluntary (rather than government) aid, in the Rule of Law, the quiet man doing what is right – as with Cato the Younger and Cicero”.
Hard to apply any of that to DONALD TRUMP.
And he also won in New Hampshire – although he got vastly less votes than Senator Sanders got on the Democrat side.
Donald Trump – a man of endless boasts. Mostly about how rich he is – without mentioning that his wealth is inherited from his family of pimps and conmen. And that he has added to his inherited wealth by trickery and deceit.
Mr Trump has never asked God for forgiveness for any sin – not because he does not believe in God. but because he does not believe he has ever done anything wrong. We now that because Mr Trump has openly stated that he has never asked for forgiveness.
A shameless boaster, and a liar who calls other men liars. Whose policies amount to stirring up racial hatred (whist carefully leaving the violence to his followers – never getting his own hands dirty, conduct in accord with his draft dodging in the 1960s) and promising Free Stuff (health care for all – and so on) with 1930s Trade War on top.
I recently listened to Mr Trump deliver a speech to the National Rifle Association.
After a long period of boasting and self praise, Mr Trump got on to policy.
He made various pro 2nd Amendment statement that contradict his past pro “Gun Control” positions (but then he contradicts himself constantly – sometimes within seconds), but he also added something else.
Protectionism again – American companies who try and escape the endless taxes and regulations that make production in America so expensive now, are to have a special tax imposed upon their imports from Mexico (or where ever).
1930s style Trade War (rather than trying to roll back the American government – its spending, taxes and regulations) – and taxes imposed by Presidential Edict (with the consent of Congress). Fascism.
The voters in New Hampshire (and elsewhere) knew exactly what Mr Trump was like – he has been a Reality Television person for many years (just as he has financed Big Government politicians and OPPOSED people working for smaller government, for many years).
So there it is.
A population (not just Democrats – but Republicans also) backing all that is vile.
Endless boasting hiding vile personal conduct. The “National Enquirer” made flesh – and supported by much of the American “right” (the “Drudge Report”, much of “Fox News” and so on).
Wild promises of Free Stuff for all.
Gaudy display – rather than moral substance.
And, in the case of Mr Trump, blaming all problems on people of other races for committing the terrible crime of selling goods to customers.
This is the Republic? The heir to Cato the Younger and Cicero? And remember a Constitutional Monarchy (the aim of Edmund Burke and so on) is also a “Republic” in this sense. The sense of the Rule of Law and respect for private property rights (of both great and small) – limited government.
This is the Shining City on a Hill?
This is the vision that people all over the world (such as Raphael Cruz in his torture cell in Cuba – or even little me in some rather unpleasant places in past years) prized so passionately?
This is it?
Drunken fools voting for “Bernie” Sanders and Donald Trump in New Hampshire – and so many other places?
With Hillary Clinton (Big Government, corrupt, Hillary Clinton) standing as the only real alternative?
This may not just be the end of the Republic – it may be the end of the West as a whole.
For if America falls the West can not stand – make no mistake about that.
It ends not in a tragic last stand – such as the Alamo.
It ends in squalid farce.
Evil can win – and then lose.
A film is coming out soon – “The Free State of Jones”.
About Newton Knight (in modern language a religious “Fundamentalist”) who fought against slavery in Mississippi during the Civil War and against the KKK after it.
On the face of it Colonel Newton Knight and Republican Governor Ames (General Ames from Maine, Congressional Medal of Honour holder – who lived on in New England till 1933) LOST.
A reign of terror won in Mississippi – the White Hoods and the Burning Crosses under men pretending to be Christians but who really served “The Dragon”. And who committed crimes too vile to discuss fully on a public site.
As late as the 1940s the descendants of Colonel Newton Knight were still being persecuted in Mississippi – for the “crime” of inter racial marriage. Especially ironic as Jones County Mississippi was founded by someone who was descended from the Indian Princess Pocahontas – the county seat Ellis is named after the descendant of a mixed marriage.
Slavery did NOT return – people were free to leave Mississippi.
And, eventually even the dream of Colonel Knight and Governor Ames won out – although they died believing they had lost.
Good is not for nothing – even if you seem to lose, even if you DO lose.
A good deed is never “for nothing” – even if it is a brief shining moment in the darkness.
And that is not a religious statement – as even if there is nothing after death the brief moment of honour (even if no will ever know of it) still matters.
It matters more than anything else.
We may be in a sewer and will die in it – but we can still see the stars. And we will die looking at them (and at the Shining City on a Hill in our own minds) even as we choke on our blood, covered in our own urine and excrement.
As for the future – there is still hope (at least for the young).
Keep your eye on the Lone Star in the years to come.
Naz made these comments when there was another brutal Israeli attack on the Palestinians, and there is this one stark fact, that virtually no one in the British media ever reports, in all these conflicts the death toll is usually between 60 to 100 Palestinians killed for every Israeli. Now, any other country doing that would be accused of war crimes.
Hamas, daily, sends badly aimed missiles into civilian areas of Israel. What do we learn from this small summary of Ken Livingstone’s position:
- Israel occasionally getting right pissed off and responding to the constant provocations, and attacks on the Israeli civilian population, by Hamas, from Gaza, is an Israeli attach – seemingly from the context, unprovoked.
- The Israeli government and forces are demonstrably more capable of protecting their fighters and population from Hamas attacks than Hamas are of protecting their fighters and population, and this is ipso facto evidence of Israeli war crimes.
- Israel is accused of war crimes, constantly and without let.
- This disparity, far from not being reported, was repeated constantly by the media, Islamist propagandists and the anti-Israeli left. That Ken can make claims to the contrary shows either, or both, cognitive dissonance or dishonesty.
I’m sorry, but anyone who accepts Kens statement at face value is ignorant, living in a fantasy world, or a bigot.
I was clearing out my shed recently. I ought to have had Baldrick with me for I found “things”.
One was my old spiral-bound pre-publication version of Carl Murray’s “Solar System Dynamics“. I was tempted to include scans to show how fucking nails it is but suffice to say a very condensed version of the disturbing function to fourth order takes up over 30 pages of A4. And that is just for the three body problem*. I got a B.
But this is the front quote…
I was going to do the full Irish Gaelic version but the Hell with that…
But indeed everything red is beautiful,
everything new is bright,
everything unattainable is lovely, everything familiar is bitter
everything absent is perfect, everything known is neglected,
until all knowledge is known.
- Anonymous, C9th, The Sick-bed of Cu Chulainn.
*Comments about English libel law are welcome.
It could not have been many seconds that he stood there, hand held out, but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.
For I had to do it — I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. "If you do not forgive men their trespasses," Jesus says, "neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." …
And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion — I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. "Jesus, help me!" I prayed silently. "I can lift my hand, I can do that much. You supply the feeling."
And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.
"I forgive you, brother!" I cried. "With all my heart!"
For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.
When I was just eleven years of age, I accidentally saw the Beatles live. It changed my life forever. I was completely stunned and have been obsessed with music ever since.
I joined the Beatles Official Fanclub, and for Five Bob, or was it Half a Crown? you got a years membership, and floppy disc acetates from the cheeky chappy Scouser lads at Christmas, plus exclusive posters, and a monthly magazine. All of which I have still got.
In the beginning I had no idea how important the man who signed them to Parlophone records was to the whole phenomena of Beatlemania. But it gradually became apparent.
From the raw Love Me Do and Please Please Me, to Strawberry Fields, I am the Walrus and Yesterday, from 4 track machines to 24 track machines, Sir George Martin was the steady hand on the tiller of their careers, that translated their inarticulate yearnings for different sounds into a reality that literally blew the world away, and changed the face of music forever.
They were chalk and cheese, or so it seemed. He the upper middle class Classically trained man that he was, they the rough and ready Scousers, earthy, witty, and worked as a team and bounced off each other like no other band before them. Yet they loved each other and never will forget the contribution he made to their success.
So go to your deserved rest now Sir George, the real one and only fifth Beatle, and thanks for changing the world, well certainly mine, and everyone else’s too if they have ears to listen and eyes to see.
There may be an unwritten rule about one blog having a post that is critical of another blog – but there we go.
Yesterday I visited the “Libertarian Alliance” blog – the strange land of Dr Sean Gabb and co. The leading posts were about how wonderful Donald Trump (i.e. Juan Peron) is, and there was also stuff on how “Bush lied” about lovely Saddam Hussain, and there was also stuff about “Death to America”.
A couple of weeks ago I also visited the “Libertarian Alliance” blog and the posts were much the same then, so it was not an odd day yesterday, they really are this loony.
There was also a post saying that “Vote Leave” (full disclosure – I am involved in “Vote Leave” just as I am in “GO” whose founding meeting was in Kettering) does not really want to get the United Kingdom out of the E.U. – it-is-all-a-lie. How do the “Libertarian Alliance” know? Why because the Peter Hitchens (the chap who wants government ownership of the railways, although Network Rail is already 100% government owned) told them so.
Think about this. If a young person went searching the internet for libertarian stuff he or she might find the “Libertarian Alliance” blog – which would tell them that Donald Trump (Juan Peron) is a wonderful fellow and fill their heads with a lot of ravings (that might as well be from “Code Pink”) about the Middle East, and deals with “Death to America” in the it-does-not-really-matter way than the determinist David Hume treated the possibility of the “Euthanasia of the Constitution” in 18th century Britain (the possibility that Britain might be transformed into an absolute monarchy – on the French or Prussian model).
Yes Hume did not really care about political liberty any more than he cared about philosophical liberty, Free Will, – although at least he was NOT filled with endless schemes for more statism as Sir Francis Bacon and Jeremy Bentham (both admired by Dr Gabb) were.
Or perhaps a young person is just generally interested in current affairs and comes upon the “Libertarian Alliance” bog. It will tell him or her (for example) that Vote Leave does not “really” want the United Kingdom to come out of the E.U. (it-is-all-a-trick……) and that even if the United Kingdom did come out of the E.U. it would not make much difference anyway (plenty of stuff from Dr Gabb and co implying that) – basically ignoring the works of Christopher Booker, and others, on how the endless E.U. regulations short circuit democratic accountability (meaning that politicians and Civil Servants can simply say “there is nothing we can do to stop this”) and twist almost every aspect of British life.
By the way, on Mr Donald (Juan Peron) Trump……..
Well Donald – you claim that you can not release your tax returns for this year because you are still in an audit.
O.K. My dear Sir – but how about last year?
Or the year before that?
Ted Cruz has released his tax returns for the last nine years – are you, “Donald J. Trump” still-in-audit for your taxes last year, and the year before that, and the year before that……….?
Just how much money have you been giving to leftist politicians and to leftist organisations (such as Planned Parenthood) Mr Trump?
And how deep do your financial links with Mr George Soros (and other lovely individuals and organisations) go?
Stop screaming “privacy” Mr Trump – you have discussed your sexual antics for years (no privacy there). And you want to be President of the United States – or rather you really want HILLARY CLINTON to be President of the United States (which is what would happen if you are the nominee) and Commander in Chief of the Western World. The leader of the defence of the West against our very real enemies (such as the family of Hillary Clinton’s personal assistant).
So, Mr Trump, let ordinary people look at your tax returns please. After all Mr Putin’s FSB and the intelligence service of the People’s Republic of China most likely already know all your “secrets”. So let ordinary people see to.
The last thing I watched by Michael Wood was his absurd “History of England”- which had factual errors all over the place.
For example the Romans were undermined by “climate change” – Dr Wood said this walking past a burned out car and implying some sort of man-made global warming (the Romans did not have the internal combustion engine). “Greedy bankers” (the Romans had no system of fractional reserve banking – “greedy” or otherwise). And “imperial expansion” – the empire had actually been on the defensive (not the offensive) for centuries before it collapsed.
When we got on to the Victorian period we were told about the “Victorian” Act of 1834 (Victoria was not Queen then) which “invented” the Poor Rates and so on – replacing “charity”. In reality the Poor Law in England and Wales went back to the Tudors – the Poor Law REFORM Act of 1834 was not about introducing a new tax, it was about REDUCING the existing Poor Law tax. The local property tax that had greatly increased in the years before 1834 due to the Speenhamland system of paying money to people in work – which had spread after 1795, being allowed by the Act of 1782.
So I was not really expecting high standards from Michael Wood trying to explain the Song Dynasty period in China.
As he is hopeless on the history of his own country (at least outside the Anglo Saxon period – which is where he made his name) – what is one to expect from him about the history of other countries?
Well the programme was NOT all bad. The pictures were nice – if it had been a National Geographic show it would have been fine. And Dr Wood did make the valid point that monarchs of the Song Dynasty got cut off from military reality – they allowed other concerns (mostly cultural) to distract them from the defence of the country.
However Dr Wood missed the central point of the Song period.
The central point about the Song period is that it was a time of relatively free private enterprise – when Chinese farmers, merchants and manufacturers did things themselves rather than have the state tell them what to do all the time.
One would not know this from Dr Wood – instead we got the idea that the state (the Dynasty – the Song) was the the source of all good things. The Dynasty did X, Y, Z, – not private traders and manufacturers doing X, Y, Z (which was the reality).
And the departure from a relatively free market policy near the end of the Northern Song Dynasty, the “New Policies”?
Again Dr Woods managed to turn history on its head.
The New Policies, according to him, were about creating a more open and free society (this must be a very odd definition of “freedom” – as the New Policies were actually about increased state control and state intervention) obstructed by evil “conservatives”. No mention of the famine and general economic mess the “New Policies” caused – that was all caused by climate change or the Klingons (or whatever). It is odd how statism is always hit by bad weather…..
Do we really have to pay a BBC tax (sorry a “license fee”) for rubbish such as Michael Wood “history”?
Frank Fetter (from Lima Indiana – it is not just Cole Porter who came from there) refuted the David Ricardo land economics that the Henry George stuff is really based upon, a century before Murray Rothbard did. There is nothing special or “non distorting” about LVT.
So I will make only one point on the Land Value Tax. Under LVT someone who owned a farm (or even a nature reserve) that covered, say, ten acres would pay exactly the same amount of money in tax as someone who owned a factory complex, a housing estate, or a load of office sky-scrapers that covered ten acres.
Supporters of LVT seem to think that this is a good thing.
Oh good. There seems to be a ten minute pause between this site appearing and crashing again, so I can vent my spleen.
Nick and I had a moan over on Samizdata about how we both wanted to talk about Bowie dying, but the site was down yet a fuckin gain. It is down more often than it is up, and worse than that it is slow as hell to load when it is up.
This was pointed out by Philip Scott Thomas and Laird in their comments on Samizdat about our site, and how they no longer bother to even attempt to come here anymore. They used to be regulars, but I don’t blame them in the slightest… We have no readers left.
Look at the last 7 or 8 articles on this site and you will find that only three comments are made by people who are not writers for the site itself. What the fuck is the point of that?? Why are we here?
Well it should be to attract an audience, but if the platform is so fuckin inconsistent then that audience moves away, and it has in droves. Look at the right hand side bar and see the endorsements we got in our early days, we were good… nay great! I am proud to have been a participant on this site. I love my fellow Kitty Counters, they are magnificent in their breadth and depth of knowledge and diversity, but frankly we are now wasting our time crafting articles that no one can read for long or anybody can be bothered to read or comment on. So I am not about to try anymore.
I have been offered a post on another site and am seriously considering taking it up. I have sweated blood for this site and love it dearly, but enough is enough. Dr Johnson said that anyone who didn’t write for money is a fool. Well he was only half right. I’ve been there, done that and got the silk tour jacket. Good writers want to see their words in print, like any other craftsman like a carpenter or a painter or potter would their efforts. It’s not just the money, I … all of us do this for free. But we are being let down badly by a lousy Server that Cats refuses to do anything about.
Even if Cats suddenly decides to go professional, how long do you think it will be before we get our readership back? Fuck knows! But this is my last post for the foreseeable future.
The roots of the false (supposedly modern) version of “liberalism” go back at least to Sir Francis Bacon.
His doctrine that the law is whatever the state says it is – with judges being “lions UNDER the throne” (no fundamental laws based upon natural justice found and applied by centuries of reasoning) in opposition to Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke and the principles of the Common Law.
And the collectivism under an enlightened and educated elite that the destruction of the old principles of law was meant to lead to – the “New Atlantis” of Sir Francis Bacon, which would be very popular with academics (of the worst sort) and political activists (again of the worst sort) today.
Thomas Hobbes, the great enemy of the principles of “a student of the Common Laws of England”, was a servent of Sir Francis Bacon – and Sir William Petty (with his false, mathematical, economics and his desire to plan Ireland) was a follower of Sir Francis Bacon. The false idea of Sir William Petty that economics is about collecting “data” and then making calculations to see how the elite should control the lives of ordinary people, is at the base of the false versions of economics taught in most universities.
The Petty family later were the patrons of the Jeremy Bentham – with his view that natural rights limiting the state were “nonsense on stilts” and his demands for 13 Departments of State controlling the ordinary lives of the population. It is this creature that John Stuart Mill holds up (in his essay on the matter) as the classic example of a “liberal”. Something that utterly astonished me when I first came upon it – as I still had a positive view of J.S. Mill at the time.
The Bowood circle, of Bentham and co, evolved into the “Westminster Review” group of the Mills, James and John Stewart, and other followers of Bentham – the Westminister Review group also pushed the works of Thomas Hobbes (but carefully ignored the works of Ralph Cudworth and others that refuted the evil of Thomas Hobbes in philosophy).
The Westminster Review people constantly used the words “freedom” and “liberty” whilst pushing for an active state controlled by enlightened and educated intellectuals and civil servants – in the tradtion of Sir Francis Bacon and Jeremy Bentham.
They pushed (under the dishonest slogan of “free trade in land” – as if their only target was entails and so on) David Ricardo’s economics of land (only finally refuted by Frank Fetter – the other personl, along with Cole Porter, from Peru Indiana).
This was really about land nationalisation – or a least the doctrine that the state should decide who got what land and who kept what land. This (false) version or faction of 19th century “liberalism” looked back to Thomas Hobbes – who also had a basically Islamic view of land (i.e. that land “distribution” is a state matter) and rejected the Western tradtion (going back to the Edict of Q in 877 AD – and before) that the state may NOT justly take land from one family and give the land to another family. Of course the determinism and absolutism of Thomas Hobbes is also similar to that of mainstream Islam – his is the philosophy and politics of an Oriental Despot.
The Westminster Review people (the “radicals” who hid under the false name of “liberal”) also pushed the Labour Theory of Value of David Ricardo. J. S. Mill even pretented that writers who opppsed the Labour Theory of Value (such as Professor Richard Whately) did not exist – the “theory of value is settled”.
See also Mill’s pretence that “everyone agrees that…..” this or that form of statism in local government – as he wrote such things he knew perfectly well that everyone did NOT agree. But. as a utilitarian. Mill believed that false statements are justified if they promote the the greatest happiness of the greatest number – rather like the Islamic doctrine that lying is justified IF it is done to infidels for the purpose of making Islam stronger.
The Ricardian view of land is a threat to every large land owner, and the Labour Theory of Value is a potential dagger at the throat of every factory owner – hence J.S. Mills interest in worker coops and so on (no Hayek – it is not just the influence of Mrs Taylor).
So who should pro human agency (moral responsibility) and pro large scale private property AGAINST the desires of the state. liberals (REAL liberals – real supporters of fundamental rights against the state) favour?
In law – the tradition of Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke and Chief Justice Sir John Holt against Sir Francis Bacon and Sir William “Divine Right of Parliament” Blackstone – NOT every detail, the broad tradition.
And in Roman thought -people such as Cicero (see his “On Obligations”) and even that brief paragraph near the start of the “Meditations” of Marcus Aurelius. But also modern Roman thinkers such as Bruno Leoni (of the 1960s) with his opposition to “legislation” in his “Freedom And The Law”.
In the philosophy of morality and moral responsibility – Ralph Cudworth and Thomas Reid, not Thomas Hobbes and David “Euthanasia of the Constitution” Hume. But not forgetting Samuel Johnson either – neither British Dr Johnson or the American Samuel Johnson.
In politics – Edmund Burke rather than Jeremy Bentham. The principles of natural justice against the arbitrary will of the state – whether in Ireland, America, India or France.
In 19th century philosophy Noah Porter and James McCosh – not the Mills with their denial of “We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident” and their Jeremy Bentham agenda of government departments (of enlightened and educated Civil Servants and intellectiuals) controlling ordinary life – and neighter landowners or factory owners having any rights against the will of the state. For normal economic life IS (not “is not”) under the simple MORAL principle of liberty – which Mr J.S. Mill tried to redeifine as being confined to intellectual activities (with normal life, according to Mr Mill being economics – not subject to the same MORAL principle of non aggression against private property rights in the means of production and the moral [yes moral] right to trade freely).
J.S. Mill was wrong – there is no moral difference between the freedom of a baker to sell (or choose not to sell) his products on voluntarly agreed terms of price and quality – and the freedom of a writer such as Mr Mill himself. The idea that business is a “public matter” because a business is “open to the public” is just the twisted and false thinking of the Emperor Diocletian and others.
And turning to modern times?
We should reject the “sociological jurisprudence” of the Harvard Law School and hold that the Bill of Rights means what it says – just as the British Bill of Rights (long forgotten in these evil days) meant what it said.
And in philosophy?
We should stand with those who defend the real existence of moral right and moral evil – and with the existence of the human self (the human “I”) to choose (really choose) between them.
The Aristotelians – both religious and non religious. And Ayn Rand was not the only person to say that the self (the reasoning and chosing “I”) died with the body – Alexander “The Commentator” on Aristotle said much the same almost two thousand years ago.
And also such modern Common Sense thinkers (who also defend the existence of moral right and moral evil – and the existence of the human self, and the ability of the self to really CHOOSE between moral right and moral evil) such as Harold Prichard and Sir William David Ross.
Those people who tried to build a free society on a foundation of Sir Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, Sir William Petty. David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, the Mills, the “New Liberals” who built upon them such as Thomas Hill Green and the American Progressives such as Richard Ely, and such 20th century “liberals” such as Bertrand Russell, E.H. Carr and Harold Laski (the last three really totalitarian socialists, but the logical end point of such “liberalism”, – and still called upon to help with such things as the U.N. Declaration on Rights – when they did not even believe in property rights against the state) builds on quicksand.
What goes by the name “liberalism” in the United States (and sometimes in Britain also) is a disease – and it is a disease that goes back, at least, to Sir Francis Bacon.