Sunday, December 19, 2010


Libertarianism & My Day Off

I have started a new 'proper' job, just for one month, and although I don't enjoy working for anyone other than myself, I recognise and accept that sometimes it's necessary to do so. My own ideal society would be one in which everyone was self-employed or part of a small syndicate with full control over their own business affairs, taking orders from no one but themselves, dancing to no tune played by another. Working for large or even medium-sized corporations is demoralising and unmotivating. Everyone deserves the chance to be an entrepreneur, in control of their own fate, as much as such control is possible.

I call myself a 'libertarian' and I have done so for many years, but there seems to be a general assumption that libertarians only care about the freedom to get rich. I'm not that kind of libertarian. I try to follow the creed that liberty is the highest ideal and that everyone should be free to act as they please provided those actions don't interfere with the liberty of others. The final part of that mantra is crucial but often overlooked. When a small-time entrepreneur becomes too successful and turns into a corporation, the liberties of other people are certain to be constrained. For libertarianism to remain true to its own ethics, it must remain small.

In fact I regard Free Market Capitalism as Anti-Libertarian. It restricts the freedom of those it oppresses, in particular the small entrepreneur. I hate right wing worship of Big Business, even more than I hate left wing worship of State Control. Libertarianism should entail supporting (or trying to support) cultural, political, religious, philosophical and geographical liberty, while preserving the integrity of the environment. Social provision might be a duty, yes, but it shouldn't take priority over liberty. And neither should employment take precedence over the environment. I don't want the world polluted by industry, even if it does mean jobs for workers...

Anyway... Thanks to the gods of weather, my second day at work was snowed off. So instead of working I went out to play in the snow. Adele took these photos. She also took some amazing photos of crows and rooks in the snow: she may post some of them on her blog at some point. We made a selection (syndicate?) of miniature (self-employed?) snowmen, rolled a massive snowball along the beach until it became truly monstrous and broke into pieces, used the pieces to build a snow pagoda, and enjoyed a spectacular sunset before going home to a fire and wine. Much more satisfying than work!

There should be a statute for that, I already have a name in mind... yes, you've got it:

The Statute Of Libertarianism

I'm sure I saw a photo of one recently...
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