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Deploy the Rubber Nuclear Weapons!

Cuban Missile Covers - Lubricated

 Jeremy Corbyn has suggested that Britain should keep its fleet of nuclear submarines but have them patrol the globe without nuclear weapons.

The Labour leader suggested Britain could keep Trident submarines without the nuclear warheads, in a move that will placate the unions who fear abandoning the deterrent could lead to job losses in shipyards in Cumbria and Scotland.

With Labour in the process of reviewing its defence policy, Mr Corbyn’s comments raise the prospect that deploying British nuclear submarines armed with only conventional weapons could become the party’s official position.

Mr Corbyn also said that he would never “press the button” to launch nuclear weapons, adding that he didn’t think “David Cameron would either”. Number 10 firmly denied the accusation.

Jeremy Corbyn says he would keep submarines patrolling the world without any nuclear weapons

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is worthwhile reviewing whether Trident is an appropriate solution given the restrictions and limitations placed upon its use by the US Government, but nevertheless, disarming them whilst retaining the rather expensive technical platforms they are reliant upon is an exercise in futility, all so that Jezza can keep in with the unions. It’s like a rerun of the 1970′s, something Tony Benn would have come out with.

Mr Corbyn floated the idea during a wide-ranging interview BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show in which he also suggested opening up a line of communication with so-called Islamic State and called for a “sensible dialogue” with Argentina over the British-controlled Falkland Islands.

As for his comments about simply ignoring the wishes of the Falkland Islanders and doing a dodgy deal with the Argentinians over sovereignty, “Go fuck yourself, Jeremy”. If self-determination means anything it is the Falkland Islanders that get to choose, not some moron in London.

He also pledged to repeal Conservative trade union laws banning sympathy strikes and did not rule out allowing the return of flying pickets.

Christ on a moped, so we’re going to return full circle to the bullshit of the 1970′s, with wildcat strikes and violent thugs roaming the country in minivans to destroy the economy like it did last time? Remember when Labour had to go begging for money to the IMF?

No, No, No, No, No!

Keep pushing the rhetoric Jeremy, because it will ensure that you never get elected and it makes the collapse of Labour even more likely every day you remain as leader, but everything that comes out of your mouth I find absolutely repellent, as will many who remember the dying days of the Wilson/Callaghan regime.

Sir Francis Bacon and the roots of, false, modern “liberalism”.

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.

Taxman begs “Please don’t pay tax early”

Negative Interest Rates

Zug, the small but affluent canton outside Zürich, has announced it is ending discounts for early payment of tax bills. The reason? The longer it has cash on its books, the more likely it will incur costs as a result of negative interest rates charged by Swiss banks. The canton calculates that the move will save SFr 2.5m ($2.5m) a year.

Swiss canton tells taxpayers to delay settling bills

As discussed with Paul Marks here the consequences of negative interest rates are only really hitting us at the margins at the moment, but these rates are indicative of the sorts of problems that we can expect to encounter in mainstream Western countries as the monetarist plate spinning finally begins to spin out of control.

Unless you are in the commodities trading business (as I am in between sojourning in sunny Penang here), you’ll probably have never heard of Zug, which is a tiny Swiss canton just outside Zürich alongside the beautiful lake Zug, but also home to 30 of the worlds top commodities trading houses, primarily because of the advantageous taxes that may be negotiated with the Zug tax authorities.

However, I would argue that what happens in Zug is an important bellwether for what will happen in other Western countries as negative interest rates become more widespread and if the Swiss can’t get their financial shit together, what hope is their for anybody else?

Why else do you think your governments are trying to make holding large amounts of cash illegal? Because if enough people withdraw from the banking system then it will collapse as Northern Rock showed at the beginning of the current crisis.

Next stop – cars being weighed between journeys in and out of Switzerland to pick up those using the strong Swiss Franc against the weak Euro to avoid paying Swiss prices on their shopping.

What do Constitutions LOOK like according to Aristotle?

Yes – look like.

Not the documents, written on parchment or carved on stone, but the sort of society that physically shows a certain sort of Constitution.

Aristotle has some ideas on this – as one can see from “The Politics” (whether it was an actual formal work of Aristotle – or lecture notes taken by students).

A polity (a state) that is a democracy will have nothing particularly dramatic in it. The people have no need of a stronghold against themselves – and defences will be constructed to defend the whole city (or rural area – for a polity can include rural areas). As for a government – the people will just assembly in the open (say in the Greek theatre) and debate and vote on policy – hence Aristotle’s idea that a democracy can only have a fairly small population. Even a democracy of the better sort – there are good and bad sorts of democracy to Aristotle, he calls the better sort a polity where the free citizens rule with respect for the law, reserving the actual word “democracy” for the worse sort of democracy – mob rule.

Yes the people can elect generals, judges an so on (as long as the people can also remove them at least after a set period of time) – but if the people do not even decide who the generals and judges are (and these positions are not chosen by lot) then whoever does decide who fills these positions is the real power – and the system is not a democracy at all, of the good sort or the bad sort.

Aristotle would react to the idea that, for example, the idea that “independent experts” should select the judges and senior administrators by saying that such an idea may be good or bad – but a polity that is arranged that way is certainly not a democracy (neither of the bad sort or the good sort – neither a wild example of mob rule, or a sober New England Township). As for the demonstrations in modern Poland with a minority of people demanding that the bureaucracy rule in the name of “democracy” and the E.U. demanding the “independence” of the bureaucracy (the judges, the state herald – media, and so on) in the name of “democracy”. Well ?????????????????? is all that can really be said.

So that brings us to two other sorts of Constitution – Monarchy and Oligarchy.

What do they look like?

Oddly enough they look very similar. Both good monarchies (that rule according to the law) and evil monarchies (“tyrnannies” who can change the law on whims) look the same – a central stronghold, or hall. Obviously more important than any other building in the polity.

And “Oligarchy” – rule by a unified group? It looks the same – a central stronghold or hall. Again obviously more important than any other building or hall.

The last form of government is “aristocracy” – this is also rule by a group, but it is not a unified group. It is a group of people who do not rule for their own narrow interet – because they do not even see themselves as having a narrow united interest.

This can be physically seen in the polity. Each major family of the aristocracy has its own great house or stronghold – not a single unified one. And they rule according to the law because each family is worred that other families will aggress them if the law is not maintained – including for the ordinary folk. For in a aristocracy the aristocrats are the leaders of the ordinary folk, they do not see them as enemies. They see them as part of the same polity – but a polity where familes have wide latitude in governing their own affairs, as long as they do not aggress against others.

Let us take Aristotle ahead in time – thousands of years to 18th century Britain.

Is it a monarchy? Formally (according to the written laws) it is. But Aristotle would point out that the King lives in a house much smaller than the houses of some of his subjects (not the great palaces we associate with monarchy – look where George III actually lived).

Is it an oligarchy? No that does not look right – the Parliament is actually a rather ramshackle place in the 18th century (not the Victorian building we are used to ) and it is not used much. It is not yet a “legislation factory”.

So Aritotle would carry on searching – and he would notice great houses in London belonging to certain families.

Then he would learn that these families had great landed estates and great houses attached to them. More impressive than anything the King had.

Then Aristotle (famous for his harsh manner and temper) might even smile – for all the strangeness of the terrible cold land, thousands of years from his home, he would know what Contitution this place was.

It was, whatever it called itself, really an aristocracy – not an oligarchy, as ignorant 19th century people such as Disraeli were to call it, but not really a monarchy or democracy either.

Take Aristotle further forward in time still – to 1920s Deleware.

Yes he would be astonished by the trains and cars and factories…. but he was tough minded man (as well as rather harsh), he would soon get to work “what sort of Constitution is this”.

And he would find a small house – this was the only government in Deleware till 1932. Clearly not a stronghold – not a monarchy or an oligarchy.

So is it a democracy or an aristocracy?

People would tell him that it was a mixed Polity – a constitutional res-publica (Romans? a sort of cross between a primitive Latin tribe and the civilised Etruscans?).

But then he would see the great estates of the Du Ponts and other families – and suspect that he was in an aristocracy. Although Aristotle would not regard that as automatically a bad thing – on the contrary aristocracies (unlike oligarchies) are not unified – they are not a conspiracy against the public, they rule according to the traditional laws because they believe it is in their rightly understood long term interests to do so. That their children and childrens children (aristocracies think in terms of generations – oligarchies think in terms of themselves alone) will benefit if justice is upheld for all.

Remember to Aristole (rightly or wrongly) there is no contradiction between the self interest of a family (rightly understood and in the long term) and justice – to an Ancient Greek moral thinker, the good life in moral terms was also the best life for people to choose to lead.

And the United States as a whole?

Well in the 1920s Aritotle would note the absurd ban on booze – but there were many absurd Greek laws in city states, and he would also note that the law was falling into contempt.

Aristotle would also note that slavery had been abolished – he freed his own slaves in his will (yes the author of the “natural slave” argument did not really hold to his own argument). But Aristotle would also note that the Americans did not regard the “negros” (as they were then called) to be their equals. Rather shockingly to modern sensibilities this would not upset Aristotle at all.

After all Aristotle was familiar with the concept of “resident alien” or “metic” – he had been one at Athens for years. No right to own property or to sue in court. He would also understand ethnic feelings – we should regard all people as our brothers and sisters, but most people tend to favour other people who look like them. Or sound like them – to the Greek the division was between people who spoke Greek and those who did not. The Americans of the 1920s insisted (or at least put great moral pressure on people to…) that everyone spoke the same language (in their case English) and adopted much the same culture – perhaps a bad thing, but an Ancient Greek would see nothing odd in this. And an Ancient Greek would be filled with foreboding about an influx of people who spoke a different language (and refused to change), had a different culture, and had different political loyalties. New people were fine – but not if they refused to become part (a real part) of the polity.

What would interest Aristotle more was the fact that Washington D.C. was tiny – and that even the buildings in many State Capitals (such as Austin Texa) were larger than in Washington.

Clearly this was a League or Alliance (inspite of the bitter war between the States of some 60 years before) – not an Empire like the Persions.

Something an Ancient Greek could support.

And now?

Does power lay with the States now?

Errr – no.

Modern Washington D.C. has spread into Maryland and Virginia – large areas are part of Washington in fact if not in theory.

And buildings such as the Pentagon (but, ever more, the Federal government offices all over the country – in the smalletc cities there is a welfare office….), shows where power really lays.

The Great Break was NOT the Civil War – Washington D.C. was a minor matter decades AFTER the Civil War.

Even under Calvin Coolidge the Federal government was just that – Federal with most spending and taxation being a State and local matter (yes local – for example in Vermont poverty was a local “overseer of the poor” matter till 1969).

The Great Break was the 1930s – then it would have been obvious to Aristotle (and anyone else) that the United State of America was no longer a League or Alliance, it had become a Centralied State. Where the “Federal” government was more important (taxed, spent and made law) more than the States.

If 18th century Britain was a “Federation of Country Houses” and 1920s America was still a “Federation of States” – modern Britain and America are very different.

The written Constitution of the United States may be much the same – but the physical reality, what the polity looks like, is utterly transformed.

Lying Academics – and I do not “link” to such stuff.

Angus Deaton was asked on Mr Putin’s “RT” television station, by Sophie S. on her show, why there was so much poverty in America – in spite of the American government spending so much money on its various entitlements.

That is not true said Professor Deaton – the American government actually spends “very little”.

The audience would have just taken this on trust (and certainly the lady, Sophie S. was knocked back) – after all Angus Deaton is a Professor of Economics at Princeton and a “Nobel Prize” winner (never mind that Alfred Nobel never set up a prize for economic thought).

Of course Angus Deaton was lying.

The American government might have spent “very little” in the 1950s (if one chooses to ignore old age pensions and unemployment pay – both justified as anti poverty measures).

But in the 1960s government health, education and welfare spending (all justified as helping the poor) exploded.

Such spending continued to explode in the 1970s and in the 1980s (so much for President Reagan), and in the 1990s. and in the 2000s….

Remember Professor Deaton was not saying that the United States government (Federal, State and local) did not spend much on the poor in the 1950s (and even that would have been a FALSE claim – if one counts, as one should, old age pensions, unemployment pay, state education and all the other things justified in the name of the poor) – he was saying that the American government does not spend much on the entitlement schemes and so on NOW in 2016. As if all the 1960s schemes (Food Stamps, Medicaid……. and on and on), and their explosive growth over the last half century, did not exist.

As if the Welfare State (the entitlement state) was not bankrupting the United States – de facto, if not in law. Not is civil society (the cultural institution of the family and so on) being undermined by massive government spending interventions. All is well – the government actually spends “very little”.

It can not possibly have been an innocent error – it was a lie, a spectacular and blatant lie.

How can one debate with such a man? How can one “examine his work”? If he is just prepared to lie (not a small lie – but a vast, incredible, lie) then any “evidence” he might present, in relation to anything, might well be a tissue of lies also.

Turning from television to newspapers……..

Professor Tribe of the Harvard Law School declared in the “Boston Globe” that Senator Ted Cruz claims to be an American because he has been naturalised – but this does not make him a “Natural Born Citizen”. Then the vile Professor goes on to attack Constitutional originalism (i.e. the idea that the Constitution can not just be turned on its head by every leftist – such as Professor Tribe) and so on.

However, Senator Cruz has never claimed to be a naturalised American – his claim (right or wrong) has always been that he was born to an American citizen (contrary to the claims in the comments under the Boston Globe article that the mother of Ted Cruz was American) – that he was literally a “naturally born citizen”.

That he came out (physically came out of – was born) to an American citizen

Otherwise “naturally born citizen” can not apply to the child of any American woman who happens to be outside the United States (say on a ship) at the time of birth.

“Naturally born” means “born to an American citizen” crawling out of the body of an American woman.

Now Senator Cruz may be quite WRONG – but that is his argument.

And Professor Tribe’s account of it (claiming that Ted Cruz is no longer an originalist and so on) is a lie.

What is the point of “linking” to such a lie?

One can not reason with such people. And it just gives them more “clicks”.

Two Evil Principles.

Two evil principles have bedevilled humanity over the centuries.

One of these evil principles is that we can not work out moral good from moral evil – that we must depend on a higher authority, the state or a religious text, to tell us what is morally right and what is morally evil.

For example if the state, or a religious text, says that slavery is morally right – then it is, because the authority says so. Ditto slaughtering whole towns down to, and including, the babies. Human sacrifice, cannibalism – and so on.

The other evil principle is that even if we could work out moral good from moral evil we could not CHOOSE to do what is morally right against our desire to do evil – as all our actions are predetermined. Even if we follow God or not is, according to this sort of “philosopher” or “theologian”, predetermined. This is called the “bondage of the will” (Martin Will – in his war of words against Erasmus) which holds that humans are like those who suffer from advanced rabies – that there is no way we can choose moral right, that we are totally rabid and can do nothing but evil (unless God, who alone has agency – Free Will, intervenes).

So, for example, if we protested to Mr Luther about his writings against the Jews, in which Mr Luther advocates violent aggression, theft and destruction – Mr Luther could reply, with perfect consistency – that his writings were predetermined (by a series of causes and effects) from the start of the universe and so he is no way morally responsible for his writings. Ditto if Mr Luther personally stole, raped, murdered and so on – again this was all predetermined (by a series of causes and effects) from the start of the universe.

How this doctrine is different from that of mainstream Islam Mr Luther, as far as I know, does not explain. However, as reason is just a “whore” to Mr Luther (to Mr David Hume reason was a “slave” – he was making much the same point), Mr Luther does not need to justify his positions in rational terms. Although he does make one great valid point against the Roman Catholic Erasmus – this point being that no compromise on this matter is logical.

As Mr Luther points out – once one has accepted the doctrine of Predestination of Saint Augustine (and others) determinism naturally follows from it. Later theologians (such as James McCosh) are just mistaken on this point. God knowns, in advance, who will do evil things – because everything was determined (predetermined) at the start of the universe (written into the great book at the start) – so God knows who will live a life of evil (knowns in advance) and knowns in advance who will be saved (as good can ONLY come from God – so any good deed by a human must have been willed by God NOT by the human).

Therefore the centuries of effort by the Roman Catholic Church (and many others) to reconcile Predestination (Augustine) with moral responsibility are vain, according to Mr Luther, and determinism (the “bondage of the will”) is triumphant.

Mr Luther has the same contempt for those who try and reconcile predestination with moral choice, as Kant and William James had for those (such as David Hume) who tried to reconcile determinism with moral responsbilty. And, on this at least, Kant and William James were CORRECT – “compatiblism” is a “wretched subtifuge” (Kant) leading to a “quagmire of evasion” (William James). Logically, if one accepts his starting principles Mr Luther is correct – determinism utterly exterminates moral choice (that is the point of it – and it is why Mr Luther pushed determinism).

Mr Luther’s argument for determinism (for the total inability of humans to choose to do anything other than evil) is entirely logical – if one accepts his starting principles. Although it is hard to see how the “God” Mr Luther presents is not, in fact, Satan.

After all it is Satan (the Devil – if this being exists) who holds that we can not (no matter how hard we struggle) do anything else but submit to our darkest desires – so “give in – just do it……” (rape, murder and so on). And it is also Satan (the Devil – if this being exists) who dismisses moral opposition by mocking the very idea of universal principles of moral right and moral wrong – that we can find.

“Whatever I TELL you to do is morally right – there is no other definition of the term” is the position of Satan – of the Devil. This is where “theological voluntarism” (the doctrine that moral right and moral wrong are just the arbitrary will of God) leads us.

One might as well end such a position by rasing one’s arm and hand straight and shouting “Hail Satan” or “Heil Hitler”.

This is the first evil principle – that we can not even know what moral right and moral evil are and (therefore) must submit to whatever the state, or a holy text, says……..

Mr Luther does NOT wholly go along with this evil principle – as he does not accept the authority of a holy text, when this text contradicts his (Mr Luther’s) own opinions.

For example when it was pointed out to Mr Luther that some of his positions were contradicted by the Epistle of James – Mr Luther replied that it was an “Epistle of Straw”.

In short if the Bible contradicted Mr Luther – so much the worse for the Bible. Whole Books of the Bible were simply removed by Mr Luther using the excuse that these Books were about the period before the incarnation of Jesus, but the Jews did not include them in their scriptures – an odd excuse considering Mr Luther’s savage hatred of Jews. And Books of the Bible that he could not dismiss in this way – he overturned if they contradicted his doctrines.

Therefore it is actually mistaken to claim that Mr Luther held the authority of scripture to be final (to claim that it trumped human reason in matters of moral right and moral evil) – Mr Luther did argue from authority, but the authority was actually himself. If Mr Luther had a desire to violate Natural Law (Natural Justice) – for example by plundering and attacking the Jews then Natural Law (Natural Justice) did not exist, or that “whore” reason could not find it. And people could not choose moral good anyway – only God can choose moral right, and God decides what “moral right” is anyway, humans can neither work it out or choose it. And if Mr Luther did not like some piece of scripture he could either throw it away (whole Books of the Bible) or disregard it – as with the Epistle of James.

Of course Mr Luther was NOT the first person to do this – as he himself pointed out, Augustine had done much the same (Predestination and picking and choosing scripture) . Indeed Augustine had been unable to read scripture in the oringial Hebrew or Greek – and yet had set himself up as the great authority on the scriptures he was unable to read in the languages they were written in.

And, as Mr Luther pointed out to Erasmus, the Roman Catholic Church had ACCEPTED this.

And the Roman Catholic Church had desperately needed to accept the claims of Augustine.

After all where in the New Testament is there any justification for the persecution of heretics?

Where in reason (in natural justice) is there the principle “I disagree with your opinions – therefore I am going to torture you and then burn-you-alive!”

The Roman Catholic Church had not got this from the New Testament and they had not got it from natural law (natural justice) – so where had it come from?

It has come from Augustine and thinkers like him – all Mr Luther (and, later, Mr Calvin) was doing was taking Augustine to his logical conclusions. Surely people who supported “that whore” reason – could not object to this, if they accepted Augustine as an authority.

As for trying to reconcile Augustine with reason, morality, and scripture……… well you have been using his work (and the work of others like him) to “justify” your tortures and murders for centuries – it is a bit late to backtrack now, now that your own weapon (Augustine) is being used against you. That is what Mr Luther is really saying to the Roman Catholics of his historical period. And it is why they could not refute him by dismissing Augustine as having written nonsense – because the Roman Catholic Church had been praising Augustine for centuries. To reject Augustine now would have raised nasty questions about what all those centuries of religious persecution (including executions) were based upon.

Good luck trying to base the executions (tortue and execution for having certain OPINIONS) on natual justice (natural law) or on the New Testament.

“This is all a very long time ago Paul”.

No it is not – universities are teaching determinism and so on right now.

“But what are the practical consequences…..”

Well it is supposed to break some unwritten rule of the internet to refer to the National Socialists – but the denial of principles of universal natural law (natural justice) by the National Socialists had very practical consequences not that long ago. The “Racial morality” of the National Socialists, like “Class morality” of the Marxists, is the rejection of the idea of universal principles of moral right and moral evil – it is to take up the position that Edmund Burke (rightly or wrongly) accused Warren Hastings of holding, the position of “geographical morality” – relativism, historicism (and so on).

Mainsteam Islam (not all Islamic factions) also holds that the only way tell moral right from moral evil is what God commands and what God forbids – with the only guide to this being scripture. That human reason can not find moral right and moral wrong – and that humans could not choose moal right even if we could find it. That the only agent, the only free will being, is God.

So if Holy Scripture says that slavery is O.K. is slavery O.K.? Of course says the “voluntarist” (the person who holds that they only definition of “moral right” and “moral wong” is the WILL of God) – ditto murderering everyone in a town down to, and includuing, the babies.

What does one need a vast Jewish “Talmud” (commentary of the thinkers on the scriptures) for? Or the Roman Catholic scholasitics? Or the Anglian thinkers such as Richard Hooker?

All these people appeal to reason and to the ability of humans to not only find what is morally right, but to choose it (against the desire to do evil) – what a lot of nonsense says the determininst and moral relativist or voluntarist – i.e. someone who holds that moral right and wrong to be just a matter of the arbitrary WILL of God.

We are back with our old “friend” George Whitfield – or Whitefield (most people in the 18th century did not obsess over spelling).

Slavery forbidden by natual justice (natural law) – no such thing says Georgie.

Anyway we can not choose moral right over moral evil – because everything is predetermined.

“So why do you spend your time preaching if predestination is true”.

Well (Mr Whitfield could reply – just like the determinist philosopher J. Edwards of his time) – my preaching is also predetermined fom the start of the universe. He could even say “here I stand – I can do no other” (not a statement of moral conscience – a statement of determinism. Mr M.L. was saying he had no choice over his actions).

I, Mr Whitfield, want slaves – so I shall have slaves. After all people in the Bible had slaves so it must be O.K.

That is the subsitute for reasoning that the “Great Awakening” , George Whitfield, man offers the world.

So after a corrupt court case the founding documents of the colony of Georgia (which forbad slavery) were disregarded and slavery introduced to Georgia by Mr Whitfield and his friends.

And thus the “Slave Power” was created – a solid area of “Slave States” that would curse American history. Without Georgia this power could not have emerged – it would have had a great big hole in it.

What they did was not morally wrong – as there is no moral wrong that the human mind can find. And even if there was – humans could not choose moral good over moral evil anyway as everything is predetmined.

Evil ravings? Actually stuff like this (but in much evasive language) is being taught in most universities right now.

Opposition?

Well Mr Whitfield had his answer to opposition on slavey.

You, the opponent of slavery, are just a tool of the greedy industrialist Joshua Wedgewood (who opposed slavery – and financed opposition to it) – it is his Wedgewood china (not slavery and so on) that is the real evil! As is all luxury produced by greedy industrialists.

The modern version of this “agument” is “tool of the Koch Brothers”.

Update: Mathematics Education

Standard mathematics has recently been rendered obsolete by the discovery that for years we have been writing the numeral five backward. This has led to reevaluation of counting as a method of getting from one to ten. Students are taught advanced concepts of Boolean algebra, and formerly unsolvable equations are dealt with by threats of reprisals.

–Woody Allen
In Howard Eves’ Return to Mathematical Circles, Boston: Prindle, Weber, and Schmidt, 1988.

Mark Woodard, Furman University

Dear Troll: “America Doesn’t Have a Gun Problem, It Has a Democrat Problem”

A few weeks back, some Ignorant Person saw fit to put up on Samizdata a short comment implying, snarkily, that the U.S. is the worst of all possible worlds when it comes to the gun-murder rate.

A few of us took issue with that; I rather think the rest thought the remark not worth dignifying with a response.

However, “Sultan Knish,” a.k.a. Daniel Greenfield, who writes columns for various anti-Left online mags and has his own website at sultanknish.com, put up a doozy on the subject today; although I wish he’d found some other adjective than “Democrat,” because not all Dems are Dim on the issue. In fact some of the “gun-rights” activist-scholars are, or were, themselves Democrats*; and the excerpt below makes the point that not all cities of Obama-voters have these appalling murder rates.

But the fact remains that the worst cities certainly are run by lefty and/or race-baiting Democrats. So here is a mere excerpt (but note: YrsTrly has not verified the stats for herself). Suggest reading the whole thing….

[SNIP ...]
Any serious conversation about gun violence and gun culture has to begin at home; in Chicago, in Baltimore, in New York City, in Los Angeles and in Washington, D.C.

Voting for Obama does not make people innately homicidal. Just look at Seattle. So what is happening in Chicago to drive it to the gates of hell?

A breakdown of the Chicago killing fields shows that 83% of those murdered in Chicago in one year had criminal records. In Philly, it’s 75%. In Milwaukee it’s 77% percent. In New Orleans, it’s 64%. In Baltimore, it’s 91%. Many were felons who had served time. And as many as 80% of the homicides were gang related.

Chicago’s problem isn’t guns; it’s gangs. Gun control efforts in Chicago or any other major city are doomed because gangs represent organized crime networks which stretch down to Mexico. And Democrats pander to those gangs because it helps them get elected. That’s why Federal gun prosecutions in Chicago dropped sharply under Obama. It’s why he has set free drug dealers and gang members to deal and kill while convening town halls on gun violence.

America’s murder rate isn’t the work of the suburban and rural homeowners who shop for guns at sporting goods stores and at gun shows, and whom the media profiles after every shooting, but by the gangs embedded in urban areas controlled by Democrats. The gangs who drive up America’s murder rate look nothing like the occasional mentally ill suburban white kid who goes off his medication and decides to shoot up a school. Lanza, like most serial killers, is a media aberration, not the norm.

[SNIP]

*For instance, Eric Raymond has an interesting page, Eric’s Gun Nut Page, that describes criminologist Gary Kleck’s work and political stance. More good stuff for those who think guns might be part of the solution, with links, too.

I hope the late Enoch Powell did not really say this.

The late John Enoch Powell is supposed to have said that even if the United Kingdom had a Communist government he would still fight for “the country” – meaning the government, not a resistance movement against the government.

I do not know whether Mr Powell really said this or not, but if one substitutes the word “Nazi” for the word “Communist” it should be obvious, even to establishment types, just how stupid (and plain evil) such a statement would be.

A patriot does not confuse the totalitarian government that has taken over their nation with the nation itself, and a nation is not some lines on a map, or a “race” – as nice Mr Herder and nasty Mr Fichte believed. A nation is a historical tradition based on certain ideas. For example the United States is not whoever happens to control an area of land between Canada and Mexico – the United States is a set of ideas, summed up in such things as the Bill of Rights (the 1st Amendment, the 2nd Amendment and so on). People who oppose these ideas may be as white as snow and have ancestors who came over in the Mayflower – but they are NOT Americans. And someone may be brown or black and only just have sworn loyalty to the Constitution – but if they are sincere, then they are Americans. Race and place of birth has nothing to do with the matter.

Even England, let alone the United Kingdom, was never a race (as a man with an obviously Welsh name “Powell” would know). For example the county of Devon has, perhaps, produced more famous English people than any other county.

Saint Boniface, Sir John Hawkins, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, General Monk, the first Duke of Marlborough – Mr Churchill, Thomas Newcomen of the industrial revolution, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Sir Charles Kingsley, William Temple, Dame Agatha Christie – and on and on…….

Yet the DNA of the people of Devon is mostly “Celtic” not “Anglo Saxon” – so are we to say that the people of Devon are not English? Or that Mr Powell (that Welsh name) was not English?

So clearly the racial definition of a nation will not work. The spirit of a nation is about ideas – not race. For example, contrary to what Guardian readers and BBC watchers think, Jews who live between the Jordan river and the sea and Muslims who live between the Jordan river and the sea are often physically identical – dark eyes, brown skin and so on (many Jews in the area are indeed “Arab” looking). Does being physically the same mean that are both the same “nation”? Of course it does not.

So to confuse a Communist government or a Nazi government with “the country” is absurd. A nation is not a set of physical things (brown skin, dark eyes – whatever) it is a matter of ideas.

If is the duty of a patriot to fight AGAINST a totalitarian government, not to fight for such a government.

Beyond the Hammonds – what is this “Federal land” thing anyway.

There has been a lot of heated discussion about the Hammond family of Oregon recently.

How much Federal harassment did the family suffer since they bought their ranch in 1964? Why was government reserve set up near by in 1909 when the birds that the reserve was supposedly protecting only stopped in the area because they were attracted to the irrigation system created by local farmers anyway? Why has the government been seeking to expand its land holdings in the area? How much were strong arm tactics used by the Feds? How neglected were the Federal lands – in the Gaia obsession of the Feds that “nature will look after itself” (the false assumption that they were taking over an “natural environment” – rather than a human created one). Was it necessary for the Hammond family to create a “back fire” to save their ranch from wild fires on the neglected (oversgrown) government land?

And on and on – going into long discussions about how it is necessary to clear brush, and how the government no longer does this.

And, yes, juries must be told that it is their duty to judge THE LAW (not just the “facts of the case”) – even Alexander Hamilton (the most statist Founder) accepted this. A judge who does not allow a jury to be informed of this is not an honest judge. We need not go into the details of the “Blackstone Heresy” by which Sir William Blackstone declared (thus ripping up the Common Law of Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke and Chief Justice Sir John Holt) that the legislature could pass any “law” it liked – and everyone must submit to this destruction of natural justice. Contrary to the twistings of the reference works, the Founders despised Blackstone and the doctrine of the “Divine Right of Parliament”.

However, what is this Federal government land idea anyway?

I do not remember reading anything in the United States Constitution about Federal “Bird Reserves” or anything like that – there is no bar to private reserves, or even local or State government ones. But there is nothing about Federal ones.

What does the United States Constitution actually say about Federal land holding?

Well the Constitution does mention Federal land holding – in Article One, Section Eight.

The Congress (not the Executive branch) is to exercise its authority over the capital area “not exceeding ten miles square” and over land “purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazine, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful buildings”.

That is it – no bird reserves. And certainly no “Bureau of Land Mangement” and so on covering one third of the nation.

“Ah but Paul – just because the Constitution does not mention it does not mean the Congress is not allowed to do it”.

Actually it does mean exactly that – hence the Tenth Amendment “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”.

As for “general welfare” – the “common defence and general welfare” is the PURPOSE of the specific powers granted to the Congress by Article One, Section Eight. Contrary to corrupt courts (with government appointed judges) there is no catch-all “general welfare power”.

So there it is – no honest reading of the Constitution can give a third of the country (and increasing) to the Federal government. When an area becomes a State land in it either becomes State (not Federal) land – or private land. It is reserved to the State concerned or to the people – not to the Feds.

Is this area of the State of Oregon part of the ten miles square Washington D.C. capital area?

No it is not.

Is this area of the State of Oregon needed for “needful” military buildings?

No it is not.

Well it can not be Federal land then.

Indeed if the courts had not become intellectually corrupt (government appointed judges) this would be obvious and accepted.

But the idea that the land belongs to the Federal government must come from somewhere.

“Perhaps it comes from Feudal law Paul”.

Well NO – as “ownership” of the land by the King was notional under “Feudal” (contractual) law. In reality private land holders were better protected under “Feudal” law than they had been under Roman law.

For example it was ruled by the Edict of Q. in 877 (as an “old right”) that even a King of France could not take land from one family and give it to another.

Looking for a source of the present madness (the “Bureau of Land Management” and so on) in “Feudal” law will not work.

Nor can it be found in the philosophy of John Locke and so on – the philosophers the Founders of the United States looked to.

The Hammond family bought the land in 1964 and have been “mixing their labour” with it ever since. The Feds have not “mixed their labour” with anything – and John Locke did not support a situation where a third (and growing) of all the country was Royal Estates.

One can not find a justification for this situation in the philosophy of the philosophers the Founders supported.

Cicero and Cato the Younger from Ancient Rome, Ralph Cudworth and John Locke from England, Thomas Reid and Edmund Burke from the 18th century, Samuel Johnson from America itself – and so on.

So what is the source of the idea that the very land itself belongs to the government and they may “distribute” it and “redistribute” it at will?

The idea comes from Thomas Hobbes (detested by the Founders) and his perversion of the Bible (which he cites to the following effect in his “Leviathan”) to claim for the ruler (or rulers) absolute power to distribute and redistribute the land. Essentially Thomas Hobbes had an ISLAMIC view of the state and land (indeed he had many Islamic type opinions – for example his determinism).

This idea was accepted by the utilitarians from Jeremy Bentham onwards – to them it was up to the government to decide who got the land and whether they kept it. No “old right” could stand against government utility calculations.

Such early 19th century thinkers as James and John Stuart Mill took the philosophy of Hobbes and Bentham, and the false economics of David Ricardo (refuted by the American Frank Fetter at the end of the 19th century) – and under the dishonest slogan of “free trade in land” (as if they were only trying to abolish entails and so on) worked for ever greater government power over land. By the end of the 19th ce3ntury “advanced” liberals were openly calling of land nationalisation (a sort of “Agenda 21″ situation) without the fig leaf of cover of the early 19th century “philosophical radicals”.

What these “radicals” wanted was a situation such as under the British Raj in India – only more so (contrary to what might be thought, the radicals such as the Mills had great influence over British rule in India) – where “infrastructure” was a government matter and land could be taken (or transferred) on the basis of calculations of utility by wise rulers.

There is nothing “Feudal” (or Common Law – not Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke or Chief Justice Sir John Holt) in this – and nothing that corresponds with the philosophy of John Locke

It is the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes and the politics of his collectivist master Sir Francis “The New Atlantis” Bacon and his dark followers such as Sir William Petty – with his desire to “plan” Ireland according to a mathematical statism.

No doubt there have always been elements in America, just as there have always been elements in Britain, who support such statism.

But they are evil elements.

F. A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” is impressive – but it would have better had he actually believed in its philosophy.

The “Road To Serfdom” was the late F.A. Hayek’s war-work in World War II – his great defence of liberty against the expanding state, and showing how (contrary to European Social Democrats and British and American “new liberals”) economic interventionism (rising government spending, taxation and regulation) must lead to the decline of general freedom – and, in the end, lead to totalitarianism.

“The Road to Serfdom” is a great defence of a different, and opposed, vision to that of the collectivists. A vision of the human person as a moral agent – capable of working out moral right from moral evil and choosing (really choosing) to do what is morally right against the desire to do wrong. The work is full of references to liberty, freedom, natural rights, the Classical Liberal tradition – and so on. The full vision of the possibility of people as moral agents engaged in voluntary cooperation – rather than state imposed serfdom.

Sadly it is clear from Hayek’s later works that he does not actually believe this. No extended argument is necessary – just read the traditional view of what human beings are that Hayek presents in “The Road to Serfdom” and compare it to his other works such as “The Sensory Order” or even to the start of “Constitution of Liberty” – where humans are presented as flesh robots whose choices are really predetermined. Hayek even claims that actions being predetermined (our having no choice over them) means that we are morally responsible for our actions – the reverse of the truth.

As any competent lawyer would tell you (and Hayek was educated in law – but, alas, by people like the socialist Hans Kelson who had ripped law from its moral, natural justice, foundations) if we could not have done otherwise (if our action was not really chosen) then we have committed no crime (although we may be liable for civil damages) – a crime (a real crime) means a choice. a real choice, the ability to have done otherwise.

The determinist (or that “squalid evasion” into a “wretched quagmire” of “compatibism” – Kant and William James were not always wrong) makes the criminal justice system (indeed the very concept of justice itself) an absurdity.

Thus Hayek collapsed into the same philosophy as his socialist opponents – unsurprising as this was the philosophy (of moral relativism and the denial of human agency – indeed of the existence of the human agent) that he had been taught as a young man – to break with it would have required an effort that Hayek choose not to make.

Indeed Hayek spent his life desperately appealing to the socialists (of various sorts) trying to convince them that the philosophy they believed in (the philosophy he shared with them) did not have the political implications they thought it did.

Actually, on this, the socialists were correct and Hayek was wromg – if “freedom” does not mean the capacity for real moral choice, if it just means the absence of external restraints then it is no different from a wall of water gushing out after a dam has been blown up. Water being allowed to gush out of a blown up dam is of no moral importance – indeed it may very much be a “bad thing”. So crushing freedom, if freedom is defined this way, is not a bad thing.

If freedom (in the moral sense) is just an “illusion” (by the way – who is having the illusion if the self, the I, does not really exist) then it is of no moral importance – although the language of “The Road to Serfdom” does not indicate that freedom (agency – moral responsibility – the ability to choose to do other than we do) is an illusion. The Road to Serfdom uses the traditional language of liberty – based upon the philosophy (Ralph Cudworth, Thomas Reid and so on, including American moral philosophers such as Samuel Johnson – the philosophers the “Old Whigs” looked to) that Hayek did not believe in. Hayek claims, in later works, to free freedom from “certain philosophical assumptions” of the Old Whigs – but this is to “free” freedom from freedom (from the ability to make moral choices – to do other than we do).

This is why, good economist though he was, Hayek’s efforts to convince the socialists (and other collectivists) on philosophical grounds did not work.

The only way that freedom can be of moral importance is if it really exists – if it is just old fashioned words we use to convince the ignorant general public, then we have lost the moral argument before we have started.

The totalitarianism that Hayek opposed (that he sincerely and genuinely opposed) is the natural consequence of the establishment elite philosophy that he supported – a philosophy that denies the real existence of the moral self, and reduces human beings to creatures like science fiction zombies or giant, and human shaped, insects – do you really want such creatures to be “free” (i.e. let loose) near you?

“But Paul the alternative is a Substance Theory of the Self”

Yes it is – the self that determines some things, but is NOT itself determined.

“But that is religious”

It can be – for example Alfred Roberts (the father of Mrs Thatcher) standing up and giving talks against “totalitarianism” (he used the word) in the 1930s used the language of “The Road to Serfdom” before the book was written – the only difference being that Mr Roberts, actually meant the language.

As a John Wesley type Methodist someone like Alfred Roberts (Alderman Roberts of Grantham – American readers think Rockford Illinois) would have no problem using language that (in the end) depends on a “Substace Theory of the Self” – because he would call such a thing “the soul”- and he, unlike Hayek, believed in the soul. Believed in something that determines some things but it is NOT itself predetermined.

However, one does NOT have to be religious – for example Alexander the great “Commentator” on Aristotle was not a Christian – and nor did he believe that the soul survived the death of the body.

All one has to believe is that the self (the “I” – the moral agent that can choose to do other than we do) exists – then, the language of “The Road to Serfdom” makes sense – and without this self (this “I”) it does not make sense.

One does NOT have to believe in the survival of the self after death. Just that we exist (as moral agents) here and now.

And there were philosphers alive when Hayek was writing, such as Harold Prichard and Sir William David Ross (Major Ross) who held exactly this – although they also believed in the survival of the self after death (but as a separate belief).

Popular writers who held the same view include the religious C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien – but also the very much not religious (indeed anti religious) Ayn Rand.

All stood for the freedom of the moral self – as opposed to the “freedom not to be free” of the Nazis and Marxists, the “freedom” from the terrible burden of individual moral choice. The “freedom” of collectivism.

We all act “as if” this, individual moral choice, were true – we act as if people had a choice over some of their actions, “as if” they could choose not to commit various crimes.

It is time to drop the “as if”, to drop the “I am only saying this to convince the common people – as a philosopher I do not really believe it myself”.

That is a game, and a squalid game, – moral agency is either true or it is not. And if it is not true we should not write books that imply it is true – in short we should use “The Road To Serfdom” as toilet paper and submit to the totalitarianism of the establishment elite.

Banking and Money. And bust in 2016?

To write something in an account book or on a computer screen is not to “create money” – the most it can do is create a Credit Bubble and bubbles burst. Eventually the Credit Money Bubble shrinks back down to the “monetary base”.

People who say that banks do not create Credit Bubbles have to answer the question “what is Broad Money?” – the so called “Broad Money” is bank credit (from “crediting to the account” and a thousand other book keeping tricks) – and it is many times larger than the actual money (the so called “monetary base”). “Fractional reserve banking” is not a “fraction” as a normal person would use the term – it is not, say, ninth tenths of, the “deposits” (another mistaken word – as the money is not “deposited”, it is lent out) it is more like 90 tenths or 900 tenths of the money.

What is money?

Money is both a medium of exchange and a store-of-value (the latter function is often forgotten but essential – and is not negated by economic value being subjective) – government money is backed by legal tender laws and tax demands, but private money is not the same.

There can be private money – take the example of cigarettes, they have no value for me but they are valued by other people. So they can be used (by me) as money (and they are used as money – in prisons and so on) – as they have value BEFORE they are used as money. Just declaring something as “money” that no one wants will not work – unless one is the government with its tax demands and legal tender laws.

Gold and silver were both used as money long before the invention of coinage (just by weight and purity) – but again no one said “let us use silver as money” – such commodities were already valued BEFORE they were used as money (that is why they were used as money).

The dream of lending out more money than was ever really saved (lending without the sacrifice of consumption – which is what saving really is) always eventually turns into the nightmare of a bust – government bailouts can not put off the bust for ever.

But when will the bust come? When?

Governments (via their Central Banks) have delayed the bust for a long time – far longer than I thought they could.

However, there is a price for that.

The “capital structure” of the economy (that special topic of F.A. Hayek and the rest of the Austrian School) is now hopelessly distorted – twisted beyond reason.

So when the bust comes…….

Of course the bust has already arrived in Brazil – and it will get worse and worse.

But will the international economy go in 2016?

After all we are all roped together (in the “financial system”) like a group of climbers on a mountain.

If a big player goes down – it drags everyone else over the cliff with it.

Almost worth staying alive to find out if this will be the year the whole corrupt mess finally falls.

But the practical problems with staying alive are irritating.

John Stewart Mill, Sir William Hamilton and Professor William Whewell.

I see Mr J.S. Mill – we have no freedom to choose our actions, as our actions are DETERMINED by our character. But we do have freedom to shape our character – by certain chosen actions. And you do not see that you have hopelessly contradicted yourself with this “compatiblist” mess?

Turning to your opponent Professor William Whewell of Trinity College Cambridge…….

The much attacked William Whewell was clearly wrong to oppose allowing religious Dissenters into Oxford and Cambridge. However, there is a point here that “liberals”, including Mr Mill’s rival Sir William Hamilton, just do not seem to understand.

Indeed Sir William Hamilton went so far as to demand that the state intervene in the internal elections of the University of Edinburgh – as the members of the university had committed the terrible crime of not voting for him in the election to a Professorship (some “liberalism” – it smells of the statism of German philosophy). And then made up his own history by claiming that “the state” had created all universities everywhere (historically of course most old universities were created by the Church – not the State).

What was the point these “liberals” did not seem to understand? It was as follows…..

In those days the state did not fund universities – so what gave the state the right to tell people in private bodies corporate, such as Colleges, how they should live their lives?

It may indeed be very nasty to not allow people who are not in your Church to enter your College. But if the government is not funding the College (regardless of gifts in the distant past) surely this comes under the moral rights of private property and Freedom of Association – which must, logically, include the freedom to NOT associate.

Odd that people who wrote so extensively on logic (such as Mr Mill and Sir William Hamilton) did not understand this basic point of logic in a real world situation. Or that they fell back on the hollow “reasoning” of the Emperor Diocletian and others – that a body corporate must get its right to exist from the state (what of a “Trust” under Common Law – that requires no such prior permission from the state), or that any business or charity that deals with the “public” is a “public” matter and thus morally open to state regulation.

That form of hollow “reasoning” is also present in Mr Mill’s “On Liberty” – where he claims that the freedom of a business is just an economic matter, not under the “simple principle” of MORAL freedom. As if the freedom of, say, a baker was not the same basic moral (yes moral) matter as the freedom of a writer or other intellectual. And, of course, the members of an academic “college” are intellectuals (if anyone is ).

If someone such as William Whewell (with his great interest in and knowledge of both the humanities and the natural sciences – indeed William Whewell invented the very word “scientist”) does not want people who are not in his Church to be in his College what business is it of the State?

And I hope I do not have to explain the vast difference between an “Established Church” and a “State Church” to anyone – what the French Revolutionaries tried to create with their “Civil Constitution of the Clergy” of 1790 was NOT like the Church of England in its relations between Church and State.

We may, quite rightly, shake our finger with disapproval at the late Professor Whewell – but we have no right to use VIOLENCE (or the threat of it) to make him do as we wish.

And calling ourselves “the state” or “the government” does not alter this fact.

Of course I would be only to happy to accept evidence that Mr Mill opposed passing an Act of Parliament to forcibly “open” Oxford and Cambridge to religious Dissenters.

The last words needed on Mr Thomas Hobbes.

I considered typing out my little piece on Banking and Money – but Cats has it and will publish it if he believes it worth doing.

So instead I will type out the brief summation of Mr Thomas Hobbes to be found on page 62 of Theodore Plucknett’s “A Concise History of the Common Law” (Fifth Edition 1956) – and Plucknett was no “reactionary right winger” like Paul Marks. He was a very much a modern type – recommended for his position at Harvard by the socialist Harold Laski, and a leading academic at the London School of Economics (the very institution where M.J. Oakeshott, who for so many years insisted on overlooking the obvious about Mr Hobbes and concentrating on the relatively unimportant, taught).

To a man of the law (such as Pluncknett – or my friend Mr Ed) what matters about a “contract” is what are both parties committed to – a “contract” where only one party is committed to things is, to a Common Lawyer, a nonsense. But what was the position of Mr Hobbes?

“Where other thinkers had conceived of society as involving a contract between ruler and subjects, Hobbes devised a completely different scheme. According to his view, helpless and miserable mankind made a contract, every man with another, to submit to a ruler whom they all clothed with authority to govern them. This ruler was no party to the contract and is therefore bound by no limitations. Consequentially it is impossible to talk about a sovereign having broken his contract with the nation (which was a common argument in the 17th century) for no such contract existed. Nor is there justification for resistance to the sovereign”.

Nor is religion off limits to the proto totalitarianism of Mr Hobbes.

“He recommend that there be but one Church in a State, and that under the absolute control of the sovereign leviathan; he even asserts that the sovereign has full authority to preach, baptise and administer the sacraments and that the clergy only perform these functions by delegation from the State, whose will is the source of both temporal and spiritual law”.

To claim that Mr Hobbes was some sort of feudal “Contract” thinker, interested in limiting state power with a “liberal” view of the law and the author of parts of “Classical Liberalism” (all of this nonsense is claimed by “scholars” – see the “Wikipedia” article to which correction by the truth is NOT allowed) is clearly a series of lies.

Nothing, not even land holding itself (no Edict of Q of 877 AD for Mr Hobbes), is outside the whims of the state for Thomas Hobbes. Everything, including the religion of the population, is (for Mr Hobbes) just a matter of the will of the ruler or rulers.

The Common Law is older than Parliament – such men as Bracton worked before Parliament even existed – there was no “legislature”. And as for the idea that the law was just the whims of Kings – who could loot the Church and the laity at will….. well such a Hobbesian position deserves only one answer.

Just force – to counter the unjust force of the Hobbesians. The Sword of Justice to counter the Sword of Evil that is the Leviathan.

If they will not listen to reason, if they resort to force for their “leviathan”, then they must be answered with force.

No more needs to be said about the vile Mr Hobbes or his followers.

Storing Metadata is not an invasion of privacy

Storing Meta Data is not an invasion of privacy

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