Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Nature of Evil - Can You Spot the Difference?

The man on the left was a democratically-elected socialist vegetarian environmentalist. The man on the right is a democratically-elected socialist environmentalist, though I'm unsure as to whether he's a vegetarian. Oh, and he doesn't have a moustache anymore, though he used to have one - which seems to be a common indicator amongst wannabe demagogues until they realise how much it makes them look like the man on the left.

But this set me to thinking; what is the nature of evil? I suppose from a libertarian point of view it is the relishment and taking of unwanted power over the lives and property of others. The man on the left had this in spades. The man on the right has it too. His latest pronouncement that he will make London go green, apparently against its will, has all the classic hallmarks of the socialist dictator in the making. This relishment of making people obey your will, against their own, is, to me personally, the unmistakeable brand of the nature of evil, an ever-living force which will probably be with us forever in one form or another. How did the people of London ever vote this creep in? I suppose Ludwig von Mises et al were asking this exact same question in central Europe, after the democratic rise to power of Herr Hitler in 1933. So perhaps this answers my original question. Perhaps the nature of evil is the practice of democracy, where the majority can legitimately tyrannize the minority? It would certainly seem democracy and evil do have a tendency to go together, as evidenced by the two democratically-elected socialist environmentalists above.

(Godwin's Law? What's Godwin's Law?)

The Madness of Prince Charles

So, His Majesty has been sounding off again about how Big Macs should be banned. Just what is it with people? Why do they think other people are so stupid as to need their lives controlled by those who consider themselves better than everyone else?

Now, don't get me wrong. I've got a soft spot for Prince Charles, who has led a miserable life in a goldfish bowl, and he's probably been heavily mis-quoted by republican socialist types in the Press. However, philandering moralists really ought to be more careful in what they say, especially if they regularly help themselves to my wallet to finance their daily clean-sheet habit.

Don't tell me, Charles, whether I can have a Big Mac or not, while you continue to pilfer my wallet. Unless you're prepared for me telling you what you can, or cannot do, in your life. Your motto, as the Leader of All Faiths, ought to be "Live and Let Live". If you can bring yourself to say that, then I'm still your man. If you want to continue with these Daily Mail style polemics, expect your forthcoming reign to be treated with the derision which it will deserve.

Ten Billion and Counting...

Crikey, last week the 2012 London Olympics was going to cost £9 billion, according to official figures (whatever the heck they are - I suppose something knocked out on the back of an envelope in the Red Lion pub, by drunken Treasury wonks).

This week, official figures say these miserable rotten games, held in the arse-end of town, in Stratford, are going to cost £10 billion! Come on, guys. At this rate, it's going to hit Maturin's reasonable target of £15 billion before the end of March. It may even reach Maturin's unreasonable target of £30 billion by Christmas. I only hope I'm wrong on both counts. But I still fear £15 billion is the absolute least this disaster is going to cost the wealth producers of this country. I mean, 5 years to go, and the cost is going up by a £1 billion a week!

Oh, well. It's only other people's money. Let's just hope it doesn't rain.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Fat Chances and the World of Government Failure

It would seem that the government's Network Rail agency is incapable of managing a railway line, despite more subsidy being spent upon it than there has ever been lavished before upon any similar agency. The argument is clear. The railway should be properly privatized tomorrow, lock, stock, and barrel, to leave one owner in charge of one railway, like it used to be back in the day of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a man who ran a better railway under Great Western over one hundred years ago, than the government-toadying clowns of First Great Western can manage today, with their drive to keep to Whitehall's lateness timetable spreadsheets at the cost of customer service.

Will a proper privatisation happen? Will we go back to what we had before the interference of the 1945 proto-communist Labour government?

Alas, there's fat chance of this until the entire thing really does come to a permanent grinding halt, worse even than the mess in the NHS. And where the failure of the government-controlled Railtrack was a reason to bring in the government's fully-owned Network Rail, the failure of Network Rail will lead to nothing but yet more subsidy for those legions of tax-consuming friends of the government based in the Euston area, especially if they can bung the Labour Party a few quid, from their ill-gotten government gains.

Crooked? Useless? Stupid? Obvious? Just tick yes to all of the above.

Can You Tell if the Government's Involved?

Let's play a game. I'm going to blindfold you and then hand you a service. You have to tell me whether this service is either run (or at least heavily controlled) by the government. Are you ready? Here's service number one:

Haven't got it yet? Here's some clues. This service is:

  • Dirty
  • Overcrowded
  • Seems to have too many staff hanging around doing nothing useful you can discern
  • Pricey
  • Is a legal monopoly
  • Has numerous ongoing failures, which seem to replicate endlessly day after day
  • Adopts a take it or leave it attitude
  • Requires endless subsidies, despite endless price rises above the market trend
  • Seems to have fanatastically well-paid managers or senior staff (and lots of them)
  • All the staff, including the well-paid ones, are chippy, arrogant, and are quite happy to let you know that they really couldn't give a monkeys
  • Uses sub-standard equipment or equipment that seems 30 years out of date
  • May be brightly coloured, but is often shabby and degraded
  • Tinged with an edge of violence and decivilised graffiti
  • Is regularly in the papers for being dangerous, but no-one seems to do anything about it
  • Hedged around with posters threatening you with police action if you misbehave
  • Filled with customers who look angry, bored, dejected, or just plain miserable
Now, is this a government service, or a government-free one (or at least a semi-free one)? Once again, you decide.

I know. It's really difficult, isn't it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Spot the Difference

What do you reckon the difference is between the two pairs of men detailed below?

One pair are the two most prominent members of a gang which rapes Britain every year of over 2% of its wealth. The other pair are the two most prominent members of a gang which rapes Britain every year of over 50% of its wealth. Which pair is worse? You decide.

A Tax Serf Writes

His Serene Highness the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom did me the honour today of having one of his toadies write to me, to tell me of the wonders of government plans to introduce yet more taxes on top of all the other taxes they charge for one daring to transport oneself about the land in search of sustenance.

What Mr Blair fails to realise, of course, is that when he says "this is not another stealth tax and is definitely not a further extension of Big Brother", if you're wearing well-padded Maturin Ears (patent not applied for), you hear exactly the opposite: "This is a stealth tax and this is definitely a further extension of Big Brother."

No doubt my reply below will be one of the millions trashed without any monkey in Whitehall reading it, despite my paying their ill-gotten wages, but it did make me feel slightly better to write and send it:

Dear Tony,

Why don't you just stick it where the sun doesn't shine and then clear off to America to make some loot. Please buy a one-way ticket. And don't come back.

A. Tax-Serf
Well, it keeps me off the streets.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How Much Would You Bend Over For?

I heard a clink today and looked down. There, at my feet, lay one of the Bank of England's finest twenty pence pieces, in all its fake silver glory, rattling down to a state of rest. Now I've probably got my maths all horribly wrong, but if a British sterling pound was still a Troy pound of silver, as it used to be before the Henry the VIIIth and the British government got their ravenous inflationary hands on it, a twenty pence piece would be worth about £17 current fiat pounds; in other words, the value of four original silver shillings has now shrunk to approximately 1.5% of their original value due to government meddling with the money supply.

All these thoughts and more swilled around my mind before the coin came to a dizzying halt. Sod it, I thought, and walked on. I couldn't be arsed to pick the damned thing up.

So, what would you bend over for? I think I'd probably still go down for a pound, and maybe even a fifty pence piece. But it's been a while since I've bothered to stoop for ten pence pieces, and five pence pieces are like so much fancy glitter hardly worth even following with your eyes if they should spill from your wallet.

But this is the first time I've walked on without a second glance from a dormant twenty pence piece.

Government inflation really does have the strangest effects.

BTW, any link between this story and my experiences as a young man walking down Canal Street in Manchester, being asked if I wanted to spend twenty pence, are entirely coincidental - I still to this day have no idea what these men were talking about.

Welcome to World War III

In the perpetual war of the United States government to bring world democratic peace, it would seem more and more likely that Iran is likely to be attacked very soon, given the current psychological warfare being directed against western taxpayers to fund this oncoming disaster. In its seventh Asian war to defend freedom on the North American continent, it would seem the US government is ready to sacrifice us all to a worldwide Muslim defensive nuclear backlash to achieve its ultimate ambition of a world government run by the plutocrats of Washington DC (perhaps the ugliest city in the world, and certainly one of the sweatiest - and don't try to kid me off with those New Orleans style ribs in Crystal City; Washington DC really does suck, especially those horrible people movers at Dulles Airport).

Yes, ye mocked, when AngloAustria predicted this forthcoming World War last April, but mock ye not any longer. The war is coming. What are you going to do to stop it?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Taxi Driver Speaks Out

I caught a cab from the Barbican to Euston today, and oh what a mistake that was. I got the world's most talkative cabbie (probably a fireman at weekends picking up a government salary and pension while he sleeps) telling me how he hated being ripped off.

"This Valentine's Day Mularkey. It's terrible. There's a restaurant round my way charging double for a table on Valentine's Day."

"So they've let you know in plenty of time, then, rather than hitting you with the bill on the night?"

"Yeah Guv. What difference does that make?"

"Well, at least it gives you the opportunity to stay at home, cook your wife a lovely meal, and then take her out for half the price on February the 15th, and spend the difference on a nice gold necklace."

"But Guv, it's a bleedin' rip-off."

"No, it's just the market adjusting to higher demand. Maybe they charge you half price throughout the year, and the right price on special occasions?"

"You one of them Tories then?"

"Ok (reeling from the blow), what about Taxis charging more on Bank Holidays and after Midnight then?"

"Ah well Guv, that's just regulations that is."
At this point I gave up. And the bugger had managed to drive such a tortured route through the road humps of St. John's Wood that he'd managed to finesse the fare up to £10 quid (it's normally about £6 quid).

Blimey, I thought, as I jumped out in relief, £4 pounds lighter than I normally am, without leaving my usual tip; I really do hate being ripped off.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Fungal Growth of the EU

According to the principles of statism first outlined by Judge Samuel in the Bible, the state will forever try to expand, to increase its taxation income range, while passing off the costs of this constant attempted expansion onto its current set of obligated taxpayers. And so the expansion of the EU state continues ever onward, with this week the announcement of its first entry into the European-wide harmonization of criminal law.

So what would you have thought their first foray into this area would have been? An EU-wide murder law, perhaps, or an EU-wide kidnap law? These, I suppose, would have made some kind of sense, as both are universal crimes following on from the principles of natural law.

But the usage of the words sense and EU in the same paragraph really is asking too much; the first EU-wide law will instead cover fly-tipping. Yes, as part of the noble aspirational dream of the re-creation of Augustus Caesar's bloody European empire, we will shortly be subjected to draconian laws on fly-tipping. Thank goodness for the EU, then. For without them where would we be, but covered in bags of garbage tipped onto to us by our neighbours.

Yes, without the planned ten-year jail sentence for dumping bags of refuse on the property of a neighbour, I would feel compelled to do just this. So it is a relief that this new law will now stop me.

Does anyone in the British government have the temerity to point out that for murder you get about three years in jail, while this hideous practice of fly-tipping will get you ten, which seems a little arbitrary?

No, of course not, because this new law is riding on the back of the new socialist God, which neatly replaced their previous failed God of communism, and this is, of course, the God of environmentalism. Any state action now done in the name of this divine principle automatically gains knee-jerk approval, no matter how hare-brained or out of proportion to the evil anti-environmental acts it is supposedly protecting us from.

We are living in a world of irrational fools, folks. Unfortunately, most of them are the ones pointing the guns of government at us.

You Lucky People

We've now confirmed that I'll be doing a talk on Herr Professor Von Mises' "Socialism", on the 14th of May, in London, for the Bolshevik (as opposed to the Menshevik) wing of the UK Libertarian Alliance.
Try here for details.

Be there. Or be a Minarchist. Or even worse. A member of the Menshevik wing.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The State of Lost

Well, I don't know about you, Pilgrims, but I'm having a great time at the moment. After working hard all day trying to efficiently direct capital into the right hands in the City of London, whilst trying to legally avoid handing any of my personal profit to the state, I'm coming home to some great entertainment on the goggle box.

We've already had a great coverage of 24 on and I've talked about Battlestar Galactica below, but what about 'Lost'?

It's starting again on Sunday and I, for one, can't wait. Yes, I wish they'd get on with it and just get on the hell with explaining who the others are, but what I really love about 'Lost' is the Robinson Crusoe economics. We have one totally voluntary society on one side of the island (the good guys), and one coercively organized bad guy society on the other side of the island (the others).

And here's the strange thing. The good guys would like to get back to a society, on the mainland, run on the same lines as the society ran by the bad guys. (Or would they?) But then again, some of them wouldn't like to. Which is kinda interesting. Strangely, most of the good guys have also got problems with the state governments in their home lands, which may be keeping them on the island. Or maybe not?

I find it intriguing. (As well as wondering if Jack will get off with the blonde chick, especially after Sawyer's rampant escapades with Kate.)

I also feel sure that this curious 'Crusoe Economics' link isn't entirely coincidental. If any scriptwriters of 'Lost' would like to write in and admit their ownership of 'Man, Economy, and Sate', I promise not to hold it against you.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Calling All Minarchists

There are just two things the state is supposed to be good for, even according to the most minimal of Randian minarchists; internal security and external security. Everything else the state does is based upon its avowed huge competency in these two areas. And yet in Britain there are paedophiles, rapists, and murderers wandering around the streets at their leisure, while the staff in the Home Office luxuriate in their brand new £3 billion pounds wonder palace, with its airy views and contemporary chill-out zones. British troops are also fighting a meaningless war in Iraq, and dying almost every day, over a deliberately state-manufactured lie about WMDs being able to hit British sovereign territory in 45 minutes, while the airwaves are filled with army adverts trying to get people to sign up and get killed in a foreign land.

Add to this the daily violent murder in London every day in a newspaper near you, the general British street knife culture, and the passing of laws threatening imprisonment for drivers with the temerity to tune their car radios on the move, whilst violent robber hoodlums wander into welfare offices to sign for their weekly dole before scoring some smack with it in the pub. If you can find an area of British life that is more badly managed than internal security, you'll probably be looking at John Prescott's copious love handles.

So I can only ask this; if the paramount need for security is what lies at the heart of the state's claims to rule over us, and if the state is absolutely useless at providing security, then what exactly is the point of it? And where do all these idiot religious worshippers of the state then get off on moving out from their appallingly managed security base to inflict similar misery and chaos upon us in all their other business land-grabs, such as education, health, and transport?

Christ on a stick. Let us hope that one day we will be free of these publicly-educated morons and envious Guardian-reading fools. Roll on the Molinarian revolution, the privatisation of security, and the end of the state.

Read my lips, Minarchists. As long as we persist in our feeble, pathetic, and vain hopes for a state that can actually work, the situation is only going to get worse.

So come over the black side and join us here in the thinly-populated land of anarcho-capitalism. You have nothing to lose except your current legal inability to defend yourselves.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Thousand Year Riches of Magnum Opuses

When a Mr A. Hitler, of One, Unter Den Linden Strasse, Berlin, was burning all of those books in his thousand year Reich, I wonder which twentieth century books he thought would survive on their merits for a thousand years in his empire? Having thought about this for 72 milliseconds, here's my top ten for those books which will survive into the glorious 'Totally Voluntary Human Society' of 3007:

Socialism (by Ludwig von Mises, the book which in 1922 predicted the inevitable collapse of communism)
Mein Kampf (by Mr A. Hitler, the book which will survive due to its suppression by democrats)
Lord of the Rings (hey, I know I should get out more, but it's a great book!)

Errrrr...... struggling ......

East of Eden (a far better book than the film ever was)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (I've read this about 50 times now, and it gets better each time)
The White Goddess (Robert Graves's book on prehistory which describes how the modern day socialist thinks with his glands)

Errrr...... really struggling ......

Conceived in Liberty (a tale of hope, by Uncle Murray, which will inspire the creation of the 'Totally Voluntary Human Society')
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (which will be hailed by the future Lunar colony for its unbelievable accuracy)
Slaughterhouse-Five (a warning from history, by Kurt Vonnegut)

Errrr...... desperately struggling ......

Harry Potter (can you beat those sales figures? - the free market never lies)

I don't think much else will make it from the twentieth century into the thirtieth century, but one or two of those in the list above may get there. I feel almost certain that "Socialism" will survive the chaotic information shredder of time, a book that, like Obi Wan Kenobi, will become more powerful with age.

So what would be your list? How have I betrayed my utter lack of education by missing out your obvious contenders? I had the horror of studying Chaucer, Browning, and Shakespeare, at school, which almost put me off for life. What books realistically do you think will still be in the canon of the well-educated human, in a thousand year's time, from the twentieth century?

My guess is, it will be a list a lot shorter than ten.

"Socialism" - Was this the true Magnum Opus of Ludwig von Mises?

I've been invited by the more anarchistic of the UK's two Libertarian Alliances into doing a talk on the magnificent Socialism, by Ludwig von Mises. The talk should be sometime after April, and I'm looking forward to it already. By Gad, I've got most of my notes prepared already - the hard part will be cutting the talk down to less than one hour.

I really do believe that this is a more important work than Human Action, one that will live longer in human memory than any other of his mighty works, and will be far better known in a thousand years that it is now, perhaps one of the few books of the twentieth century that will live that long. Why?

Ah. Well. There's a question.

You'll have to wait for my talk on that, now, won't you! :-)

The New Blogger - By God It's Atrocious

I suppose it's not coercion because I could always set up a new blog somewhere else, or even set up my own Interweb company specialising in blogs - but it sure feels like coercion, being compelled into using this new software or facing the tedious task of taking your non-paying custom elsewhere. And being a creature of habit I hate having to change anything.

Plus, on top of that, this 'New Blogger' technology is a load of old pants and I'm quite certain wouldn't have happened without Google trying to massage a lot more new users into using Google accounts.

Oh well, 'tis the way of the free world, I 'spose. Curses. (It's the old socialist in me again, trying to grumble his way out again. Ever felt like Gollum?)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Crooked Man in a Crooked House

As His Imperial Majesty Tony Blair tries desperately to hang on for his ten years in office, it would seem he's following the trend set by that other great socialist multi-millionaire hypocrite and crook, Bill Clinton, to start off a reign with the blessing of the nation, and to end it with his collar felt by his own minions. My current betting is that Blair will stagger over the line of May the 7th, this year, and then utterly collapse into ignominy.

To have started a premiership with so much goodwill and to then end it with your hand so flagrantly in the till, and so obviously thinking of nothing but yourself and your own personal short-term interests in what you can sweat from the serfs, is of course fully in line with the predictions of Hoppe's 'Democracy: The God That Failed', the favourite book on our survey below. If you haven't read this mighty work, a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster of a tome, then now really is the time.

The central character it describes, the flashy demagogue thief, is an almost too-real sketch of Tony Blair. However, the silver lining of Blair's waste of ten years' worth of the fruits of British industry, all of it spent on the rents of his friends and cronies, is that never again in my lifetime will the British people believe in the sanctity and goodness of any politician, no matter what emotional tricks he plays to make us love him. I think all the scales have fallen from all of our eyes, and now we know that whatever any of them says about anything, we know that they are in it entirely for themselves and their own psychic profit, whether financial, sexual, or in the exercise of power for its own sake. Our current prime minister really was a last drink at the last chance saloon of deluding yourself into believing in the goodness of politicians. So well done, Tony.

Let's just hope that in your Clintonian decline your Queen of Narnia of a wife doesn't do a Hillary, and press herself into our bosoms as Tony Blair Mark II. Ye Gods! Yes, it would be good from a long-term point of view to further wreck the survival of democracy, but would any of us make it through the short-term? It is a horror that even fails to make it beyond the confines of my twisted imagination. Let us hope that it never comes to pass.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Nothing New Under the Third Sun of Caprica

In another article below, SPQW, I pointed out the remarkable similarities between the insurgents of the early United States of America, throwing out a hated imperial power, and the current situation in Iraq. I think we can only congratulate the script writers of Battlestar Galactica for following a similar line of thought, with the hated Cylons playing the US Government, and the remarkably-American sounding humans, playing the Iraqi insurgents. Very, very brave indeed. My hat is doffed.

Higher, Higher

I made the claim below, in an article posted on the 18th of November last year, that I thought the British Olympic Games in 2012 would cost no less than £18 billion pounds, after the initial estimate of £2.3 billion. Well, after today's official estimate of £9 billion, and with more than five years to go, I think I was being remarkably generous with a measly guesstimate of a mere £18 billion.

Any advance on £30 billion, anyone?