Thursday, 20 May 2010

Murray Rothbard endorses the BNP ( @jockox3 )

Kind of:

Indeed, Murray Rothbard, who, despite him appearing in the "gallery" of heros along the top of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left site, most people would not usually regard as being left-libertarian, goes into great detail in his "Ethics of Liberty" in exploring ways in which such "unjust" property might be released to be re-homesteaded and so achieve an initial "just" distribution of property at the start of an anarchist society.

This is particularly important in a UK context. Obo, I believe, glosses over this too easily when he says that redistributing unjustly acquired property would be too difficult to bother with. Rothbard believes that, aside from actually state-owned property and that owned by privileged clients of the state, such as industries who rely predominantly or solely on state distributed largesse, there would not be much need for such redistribution of private property in the US, but acknowledges that the situation is different in countries with a long history of feudalistic ownership, which would, in my opinion, include the UK.

So, the BNP's "true Britons" would be entitled to the lion's share of any such wealth redistribution, because they were the most dispossessed people.

Really, I can't see how any such scheme would work with absolute fairness. The vagaries of history would inevitably mean some practically impossible maths would be required.

And really, where do we draw the line? 1820? 1760? 1066? 43? 2000BC? How do you even track stuff back that far?

What about people of the "correct" British ancestry who have emigrated? Or those who have children born elsewhere who have come to live here?

There are so many arbitrary decisions that have to be made that it can never be entirely "fair".

And then, of course, we have the question of who gets to make these arbitrary decisions. Who gets to make them? Who gets to decide who gets to make them? Who gets to decide who gets to decide to make them? (That's not a fatuous question, by the way.)

So, yes, I do believe in some redistribution, at least at the point we begin an anarchist society, in order to redress historical inequities that have resulted in a great deal of unjustly acquired property, but I don't believe that that necessarily makes me a "left-libertarian". I do believe that unreproduceable goods that can be monopolised pose a problem in any system of social order (if anarchism can be described as a "system"!) but that in a genuinely freed market ways will be found through economic incentives to address these problems.

Unless you can somehow convince me that every single landowner in the UK will voluntarily accede to this program of redistribution, you are definitely applying coercion. Which is not libertarian.

Hence, while you may be of the left, you are not a left libertarian.

Update: Jock left this on twitter:

not at all. Nothing is coercive. More like post-revolution "free for all" as people assert their claim w/o land rgy

From this I discern that Jock seriously believes that "come the revolution", every person will lose all their (land) property and (land) property-derived goods and there will be a "free for all" where everyone will assert their claims without a Land Registry.

Fuck me, and I thought anarcho-capitalism was hopelessly unrealistic.


Carpe Jugulum said...

As the saying goes, you can be a socialist in a libertarian society, but you can't be a libertarian in a socialist society, a 'left libertarian'.....fuck off.

Where do my friends in England find these fucktards, really are you fishing at the shallow end of the gene pool

Anonymous said...

Murray hasn't got so far as the gene pool, he's still busy pleasuring himself in the changing rooms.

Jock Coats said...

What the fuck are you on about Carpe/

All left-libs are saying is that in a wholly free society, an anarchy, in a system of "emergent law" we think that decision on land tenure, say, are likely to tend toward "ownership and use" over some kind of dubious historical legacy ownership without use.

No more, no less. If a freed market does not produce results like that, then I guess we are free to establish a colony that would have some kind of voluntary collectivism, if we felt the injustice was egregious enough.

All Rothbard is writing about is an idea of an ethic that would apply the anarcho-capitalist original appropriation and protection of justly acquired property to all claims where someone claims that another has unjustly acquired property that is harming them as a result.

Your apparent ignorance, leading to insult, when you are tilting at windmills and burning straw men is astounding. I do not understand why "you people" want to imagine these almost wholly artificial divides amongst libertarians in the first place - it's like you don't want liberty to triumph or something.

J Demetriou said...

Ignore these people, Jock, they only see what they want to see and they are intolerant of anything they don't like.

Not at all libertarian, but hey, we live in a fucked up world full of hypocrites.

H said...

Is it really the case that the people from the estates, given the chance, would march off into the countryside, seize an acre or two and settle down to a life of peasant self-sufficiency? Seems unlikely to me, but then, what do I know?

dearieme said...

"..there would not be much need for such redistribution of private property in the US..": the Red Indians might reasonably disagree.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I can't stand that slimey, self-serving left libertarianism. A desperate grqab for land they don't won in the name of actions of people they are only connected to by a good fucking and not by any right to ownership, who would rather cry about how hard it is to start off on the road to freedom, than actual work their asses off achieving it. And it only serves to ignore the actual debate on the need for freedom, and is of course used to hide the fact that the majority of left-libertarians don't believe any kind of truth or honesty in terms of freedom, even when we're all living in magic la-la-land with our rightfully acquired property. Just bin the pathetic crab jock and bin the gun, work for your self and stop crying about how other people acquired property.

Jock Coats said...

You clearly have not understood it one bit, and hid behind anonymity to hide your otherwise conspicuous ignorance.

Fuck you.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

I tried, though. :o)

Jock Coats said...

Actually, no, you do deserve a response. Because if you want freedom, yet don't want to do anything about the inequity created by the existence of the state already, then you merely wish to perpetuate the state's calumny. You are no libertarian.

Those who think and understand the issues, both right and left, recognise the problem with this position and do not just wank on about how others are "crabbing" about it.

The Tannehills, Rothbard and even Block all pose the question - if on the day before anarchy is declared the ruling elite declare themselves owners of everything, you would find that fair would you?

Still, all that's probably lost one someone with such powers of reasoning as yourself - and all you are doing is setting up needless barriers to us actually achieving freedom by dividing us. Maybe that's what you want.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

OK, so you're saying that the only calumny that was inflicted on the state that matters enough to fix is the issue of land rights?

Because what about Terry Leahy's extra dividends because of the new minimum price for alcohol, for instance? What about every other gain that was made because of the state? And what about those gains that were made honestly (by your standards? Are they all just thrown away?

I can't really see how you can get away from the fact that people who don't "deserve" to lose out, would lose out.

Or is that just acceptable because then we're all free?

Jock Coats said...

SO you have no problem with what the left-libertarians such as myself propose - absent the state there would be no protection for Leahy's minimum alcohol price, and there would be no protection for your land holding except what you pay for in your insurance. If the premiums work out that it is not worth holding property you do not actually use but merely fleece someone else for using (as I suggest would be likely, no more than that), that's an economic calculation you have to accept. The likelihood though is that you'll have made a significant income over the years of holding it anyway.

Besides, I think you'll find that Leahy, and Sainsbury actually make more, longer term, from their state protected landholdings - not for nothing did Robert Tchenguiz when he wasmaking a bid for Sainsbury describe it as a ten billion pound property company with a grocery business on the side.

However, the point remains, that some things are more iniquitous than others. Absent the state enforced minimum alcohol price free competition would kick in straight away. In holdings of things like economic land if you continue to protect peoples' monopoly rights, competition cannot enter the market and level the playing field so easily.

I am still at a loss to understand why, given that people like Rothbard and Block acknowledge these problems, anyone believes this is a "right versus left" libertarian issue.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"However, the point remains, that some things are more iniquitous than others."

To certain people. Your comments are all valid in a statist society, but my opinion is that in a (left or right) libertarian society, the value of land would decrease, and probably quite sharply, too.

But I don't see why, having deflated their artificially high land values, we need to go further and divest them of their land?

Jock Coats said...

Sorry if I have not been clear. That is exactly what I would expect too. That is why there is no compulsory "divestment" in what I am talking about - I would imagine such market mechanisms only needing to kick in at the margins where egregious monopolistic practices were still happening. Not in general.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

So, what you're saying is that I'm right? :o)

Jock Coats said...

Far from it - what i am saying is that the perception put about regarding what left-libertarians "want", including by this blog post (this whole three way discussion) is at best tarring every self-defining "left-libertarian" with a brush that only some paint with - some, I would add, that I have never actually come across and the vast majority of those I do would not make common cause with - and at worst deliberately creating a more or less non-existent dispute with which hampers all our chances of attaining liberty because we are artificially divided.

Or, in other words, I was right :-)

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"I would imagine such market mechanisms"

I assume that you mean NON-market mechanisms?

Jock Coats said...

No, you assume wrong.

If there is a demand for scarcity rent to be priced out of land then the market will find a way of doing so.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Fucking hell, but it's hard to work out what you're actually saying.

"That is why there is no compulsory "divestment" in what I am talking about - I would imagine such market mechanisms only needing to kick in at the margins where egregious monopolistic practices were still happening. Not in general."

What you're saying is that the market will take care of egregious monopolies, but the rest of us won't be affected by a collapse in land prices?

Or what?

Anonymous said...

@Jock: I'm not hiding behind Anonymous... I just don't have a compatible account and didn't realise that Obo's blog supported the Name/URL function (many blogs with this comment form don't)... I'd be happy to give you my every detail, but I won't debate with someone who attacks the commentator and not the comments.