What is Left-Libertarianism?

by Kevin Carson
What is Left-Libertarianism?

Left-libertarianism has been getting a lot of buzz recently in the broader American libertarian community. The term “left-libertarian” has been used many ways in American politics, and there seems to be some confusion within the libertarian community itself as to who left-libertarians actually are.

The basic ideas of left-libertarianism, as we at the Alliance of the Libertarian Left (ALL) and Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) identify with that label, are broader than our organizations alone. The 1990s were a sort of Steam Engine Time for the general idea of libertarianism with a left-wing orientation, and the use of free market ideas as a weapon against the evils of corporate capitalism; a number of thinkers have developed parallel lines of analysis independently of one another, and it has grown into a large and loose-knit ideological tendency. But considering the disproportionate role ALL and C4SS have played in the growing prominence of this tendency, it’s only appropriate to explain where we’re coming from and what we mean by left-libertarianism.

The oldest and broadest usage of “left-libertarian,” and perhaps most familiar to those in the anarchist movement at large, dates back to the late nineteenth century, and includes pretty much the whole non-statist, horizontalist or decentralist Left — everybody but Social Democrats and Leninists, basically. It was originally used as a synonym for “libertarian socialist” or “anarchist,” and also commonly included syndicalists, council communists, followers of Rosa Luxemburg and Daniel DeLeon, etc. Many of us at C4SS would consider ourselves part of this broader left-libertarian community, although what we mean when we call our position “left-libertarian” is more specific.

To the general public these days, “left-libertarian” is more apt to call to mind a school of thought exemplified within the past twenty years by Hillel Steiner and Peter Valentyne, among others. Most adherents of this philosophy combine a belief in self-ownership and the non-aggression principle with left-wing views on the limited extent to which individuals can remove property from the common and acquire unlimited rights of disposal over it simply by mixing their labor with it. It overlaps heavily with Georgism and Geolibertarianism. Although this version of left-libertarianism is not coextensive with what we promote at ALL/C4SS, and some of our members would object to aspects of it, it’s easy to imagine an adherent of this philosophy being at home among us.

Within the Anglospheric libertarian community, and those who describe themselves as “liberal” elsewhere in the world, “left-libertarianism” might be associated with Murray Rothbard’s and Karl Hess’s attempt at an alliance with anarchists in the SDS around 1970, and left-Rothbardian movements like Sam Konkin’s Agorism that grew out of it. Although left-Rothbardianism and Konkin’s Agorism are not the official position of the ALL/C4SS, it’s fair to say that we have some organizational continuity with Konkin’s Movement of the Libertarian Left, and a significant part of our oldest core membership come from the left-Rothbardian and Konkinite tradition. I myself do not. We are a multi-tendency coalition that includes left-Rothbardians, classic 19th century individualist anarchists, Georgists, and many other traditions.

There is also a tendency among American libertarians to confuse us with “Bleeding Heart Libertarians,” which is actually the name of a specific blog. Although there is some good writing there and they’ve published some of our stuff, we are not bleeding heart libertarians as such. Bleeding Heart Libertarians are a lot closer to “liberaltarian” fusionism, with deviations ranging from Cass Sunstein’s “libertarian paternalism” to the defense of sweatshops and Israeli settlements. Not to mention most of them aren’t anarchists, and we are.

So now that we’ve considered all the things that we of ALL/C4SS are not, and do not mean by “left-libertarianism,” what do we actually stand for? We call ourselves left-libertarians, first, because we want to recuperate the left-wing roots of free market libertarianism, and second because we want to demonstrate the relevance and usefulness of free market thought for addressing the concerns of today’s Left.

Classical liberalism and the classical socialist movement of the early 19th century had very close common roots in the Enlightenment. The liberalism of Adam Smith, David Ricardo and the other classical political economists was very much a left-wing assault on the entrenched economic privilege of the great Whig landed oligarchy and the mercantilism of the moneyed classes.

As the rising industrialists defeated the Whig landlords and mercantilists in the 19th century and gained a predominant position in the state, classical liberalism gradually took on the character of an apologetic doctrine in defense of the entrenched interests of industrial capital. Even so, the left-wing — even socialistic — strands of free market thought continued to survive on the margins of establishment liberalism.

Thomas Hodgskin, a classical liberal who wrote in the 1820s through 1860s, was also a socialist who saw rent, profit and interest as monopoly returns on artificial property rights and privilege. Josiah Warren, Benjamin Tucker and the other American individualists also favored a free market form of socialism in which unfettered competition would destroy rent, profit and interest and guarantee that “the natural wage of labor in a free market is its product.” Many individualist anarchists associated with Tucker’s Liberty group had close ties to radical labor and socialist groups like the Knights of Labor, the International Workingmen’s Association and the Western Federation of Miners.

This strand of libertarianism was also on the cultural Left, closely associated with movements for the abolition of slavery, and for racial equality, feminism and sexual freedom.

As the class wars of the late 19th century raged on, “free market” and “free enterprise” rhetoric in mainstream American politics came to be associated more and more with the militant defense of corporate capital against radical challenges from the labor and farm populist movement. At the same time the internal split within the anarchist movement between communists and individualists left the latter isolated and vulnerable to colonization by the Right. In the early 20th century, “free market libertarianism” came to be closely associated with right-wing defenses of capitalism by Mises and Rand. The surviving individualist tradition was stripped of its older left-wing, pro-labor and socialistic cultural traditions, and took on an increasingly right-wing apologetic character.

Nevertheless, even then some remnant of the older left-wing tradition survived in American libertarianism. In particular Georgists and quasi-Georgists like Bolton Hall, Alfred Nock and Ralph Borsodi straggled along through the mid-20th century.

We on the Libertarian Left consider it utterly perverse that free market libertarianism, a doctrine which had its origins as an attack on the economic privilege of landlords and merchants, should ever have been coopted in defense of the entrenched power of the plutocracy and big business. The use of the “free market” as a legitimizing ideology for triumphant corporate capitalism, and the growth of a community of “libertarian” propagandists, is as much a perversion of free market principles as Stalinist regimes’ cooptation of rhetoric and symbols from the historic socialist movement was a perversion of the working class movement.

The industrial capitalist system that the libertarian mainstream has been defending since the mid-19th century has never even remotely approximated a free market. Capitalism, as the historic system that emerged in early modern times, is in many ways a direct outgrowth of the bastard feudalism of the late Middle Ages. It was founded on the dissolution of the open fields, enclosure of the commons and other massive expropriations of the peasantry. In Britain not only was the rural population transformed into a propertyless proletariat and driven into wage labor, but its freedom of association and movement were criminalized by a draconian police state for the first two decades of the 19th century.

On a global level, capitalism expanded into a world system through the colonial occupation, expropriation and enslavement of much of the global South. Tens and hundreds of millions of peasants were dispossessed from their land by the colonial powers and driven into the wage labor market, and their former holdings consolidated for cash crop agriculture, in a global reenactment of the Enclosures of Great Britain. In not only colonial but post-colonial times, the land and natural resources of the Third World have been enclosed, stolen and plundered by Western business interests. The current concentration of Third World land in the hands of landed elites producing in collusion with Western agribusiness interests, and of oil and mineral resources in the hands of Western corporations, is a direct legacy of four hundred years of colonial and neo-colonial robbery.

We of the Libertarian Left, as we understand it at C4SS, want to take back free market principles from the hirelings of big business and the plutocracy, and put them back to their original use: an all-out assault on the entrenched economic interests and privileged classes of our day. If the classical liberalism of Smith and Ricardo was an attack on the power of the Whig landed oligarchs and the moneyed interests, our left-libertarianism is an attack on the closest thing in our own time: global finance capital and the transnational corporations. We repudiate mainstream libertarianism’s role in defense of corporate capitalism in the 20th century, and its alliance with conservatism.

We of the Libertarian Left also want to demonstrate the relevance of free market principles, free association and voluntary cooperation in addressing the concerns of today’s Left: Economic injustice, the concentration and polarization of wealth, the exploitation of labor, pollution and waste, corporate power, and structural forms of oppression like racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.

Where robbery or injustice have been done, we take an unflinching stand for full rectification. Wherever ownership of land by neo-feudal elites persists, it should be treated as the rightful property of those whose ancestors have worked and used it. Peasants evicted from land to raise cash crops for Cargill and ADM should be restored to them. Haciendas in Latin America should be opened up for immediate homesteading by landless peasants. The title to vacant and unimproved land in the United States and other settler societies that has been enclosed and held out of use by absentee landlords should be voided. In cases where land originally claimed under such an illegitimate title is currently worked or inhabited by tenants or mortgage-payers, full title should be immediately transferred to them. Corporate title to mines, forests and oilfields obtained through colonial robbery should be voided out.

The minimum list of demands of left-libertarianism should include abolition of all artificial property rights, artificial scarcities, monopolies, entry barriers, regulatory cartels and subsidies, by which virtually the entire Fortune 500 gets the bulk of its profits. It should include an end to all absentee title to vacant and unimproved land, all “intellectual property” monopolies, and all restrictions on free competition in the issue of money and credit or on the free adoption of any and all media of exchange chosen by the parties to a transaction. For example, the abolition of patents and trademarks would mean an end to all legal barriers that prevent Nike’s contractors in Asia from immediately producing identical knockoff sneakers and marketing them to the local population at a tiny fraction of the price, without the Swoosh markup. It would mean an immediate end to all restrictions on the production and sale of competing versions of medications under patent, often for as little as 5% of the price. We want the portion of the price of all goods and services that consists of embedded rents on “property” in ideas or techniques — often the majority of their price — to vanish in the face of immediate competition.

Our agenda should include, also, an end to all artificial barriers to self employment, home-based enterprise, and vernacular or self-built housing and other means of low-cost subsistence — that includes licensing and zoning laws or safety codes. And it should include an end to all legal restrictions on the right of labor to organize and to withhold its services under any and all circumstances or to engage in boycotts, and an end to all legal privileges that give certified union establishments the right to restrict wildcatting and other direct action by their rank-and-file.

In the case of pollution and resource depletion, the left-libertarian agenda must include an end to all privileged access to land by extractive industries (i.e. the collusion of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management with oil, mining, logging and ranching companies), all subsidies to energy and transportation consumption (including an end to airport and highway subsidies, including the use of eminent domain for those purposes), an end to the use of eminent domain for oil and gas pipelines, the elimination of all regulatory caps on corporate liability for oil spills and other pollution, an end to the doctrine by which minimal regulatory standards preempt more stringent preexisting common law standards of liability, and a full restoration of unlimited liability (as it existed under the original common law of torts) for polluting activity like fracking and mountaintop removal. And it must include, obviously, the role of the U.S. warfare state in securing strategic access to foreign oil basins or keeping sea lanes open for oil tankers.

Corporate capitalism and class oppression live, move and have their being in state intervention on behalf of the privileged and powerful. Genuine free markets, voluntary cooperation and free association will act like dynamite at the foundations of this system of oppression.

Any left-libertarian agenda worthy of the name must also include a concern for social justice and combating structural oppression. That means, obviously, an end to all state-enforced discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation. But it means much more.

True, as libertarians we oppose all legal restrictions on freedom of association, including laws against discrimination by private businesses. But we should enthusiastically support direct action to combat injustice in the social realm. And historically, state non-discrimination laws have served only to codify, grudgingly and after the fact, gains won on the ground through direct action like bus boycotts, lunch counter sit-ins and the Stonewall riots. We should support the use of direct action, social pressure, boycotts and social solidarity to combat structural forms of oppression like racism and rape culture, and challenging internalized norms that perpetuate such systems of coercion.

In addressing all forms of injustice, we should take an intersectional approach. That includes a repudiation of the Old Left practices of dismissing race and gender concerns as “divisive” or something to be postponed “until later” in the interest of class unity. It also includes a repudiation of racial and gender justice movements dominated by upper-middle-class professionals, that focus solely on black or female “faces in high places” and “cabinets/boardrooms that look like the rest of America” while leaving the power of those high places, cabinets and boardrooms untouched. The assault on one form of entrenched privilege must not be seen coming at the expense of other struggles; rather, the struggles are all complementary and mutually reinforcing.

Paying special concern to the intersectional needs of the least privileged comrades in each justice movement — women and people of color in the working class; poor and working women, women of color, transgender women and sex workers within feminism; women and poor and working people within the racial justice movement; etc. — does not divide these movements. It actually strengthens them against attempts by the ruling class to divide and conquer by exploiting internal fracture lines as a source of weakness. For example, the big land-owners defeated the tenant farmer unions in the American South of the 1930s by encouraging and exploiting racial discord and causing the movement to split into separate black and white unions. Any class, racial or sexual justice movement that ignores the intersection of multiple forms of oppression among its own members, instead of paying special attention to the special needs of the least privileged, leaves itself open to the same kind of opportunism. Ultimately, any such attention to intersectional concerns must include a safe spaces approach that creates a welcome atmosphere of genuine debate for all, without the chilling effect of deliberate harassment and slurs.

Libertarians — often by our own fault — have been dismissed by many as “pot-smoking Republicans,” adhering to an insular ideology mainly of white middle-class males in Silicon Valley startups. In all too many establishment libertarian publications and online communities, the reflexive tendency is to defend big business against attacks by workers and consumers, landlords against tenants, and Walmart against Main Street, dismissing any critics as enemies of the free market and treating corporations as if they were proxies for market principles. It’s paralleled by a similar tendency to dismiss all concerns for racial and sexual justice as “collectivist.” The result is a movement seen by poor and working people, women and people of color as utterly irrelevant to their concerns. Meanwhile, white male 20-something tech workers explain the lack of women and minorities by reference to their “natural collectivism,” and morosely quote Nock from “Isaiah’s Job” to each other.

We on the Libertarian Left don’t want to be relegated to the catacombs, or be the modern-day equivalent of Jacobites sitting in the coffee houses and reminiscing about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the ’15. We don’t want to moan about how society is going to hell in a handbasket, while the majority of people fighting to change things for the better ignore us. We want our ideas to be at the center of struggles everywhere for justice and a better life. And we can only do this by treating the real concerns of actual people as if they’re worthy of respect, and showing how our ideas are relevant. This is what we aim to do.

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  1. If the Marxist Rosa Luxemburg (cited by Kevin above – before Thomas rushes in to say I am “lying) is a good example of a “left libertarian” then “left libertarianism” is nothing to do with libertarianism.

    As for industrialists and land owners in Britain – the profits made by the agricultural revolution were (either directly or via banking) into industry.

    There was no conflict between large successful domestic famers (whether they were Whig or Tory in their politics) and a good industrialist such as J. Wedgewood (odd that I have never seen Kevin praise any successful large farmer of the agricultural revolution or J. Wedgewood or any other good industrialist – almost as if Kevin is not a libertarian at all…… indeed no need for the words “odd that” and “almost as if”).

    The conflict in the 19th century over the Corn Laws (repealed in 1846) was real – but it does not represent the normal relationship between farming and industry in Britain.

    As for breaking up large estates in various Latin American countries – it is has been done (multiple times).

    Indeed “land reform” is one of the great CURSES of Latin American – what is the point of investing in your estate (improving it) if it may be stolen and “given to the peasants” after the next coup or revolution? After all somewhere like Bolivia has one of these coups or revolutions almost every year – not exactly good for long term investment.

    Kevin reminds of the Argentine Marxist (and mercenary) “Che” – who arrived in Bolivia in the 1960s and called upon the peasants to kill the big landlords.

    “Che” did not realise that there were none – the landlords having been robbed as recently as the 1952 Revolution.

    Of course large estates keep come back in many Latin American countries – because peasant plots are a bloody awful way of doing farming (just as they were in Ireland in the 19th century), but the endless “land reforms” undermine investment and make everything worse than it need be.

    These people (such as “Che” and Kevin) live in a fantasy world – where chaos (such as endlessly breaking up landed estates or looting supermarkets) is good for the economy and living standards.

    They do not grasp that this sort of chaos is one of the main reasons that most of Latin America is such a mess.

    Another reason is the “cheap money” policy in various Latin American countries – the policy (now adopted in the United States, Europe and Japan also) of trying to fiancé borrowing by monetary expansion (credit expansion) rather than REAL SAVINGS

    And I have yet to see Kevin denounce monetary expansion (the “cheap money” “low interest policy”) either. Again it is “almost as if” Kevin is not a libertarian at all.

  2. By the way – the idea that getting rid of copyright….

    Whether this would be a good thing or a bad thing is a matter for debate – but the idea that it would transform the world is drivel.

    For example I bought a pair of shoe things in Tesco that look like Nike All Stars – they just do not have the Nike logo on them.

    They cost me Ten Pounds (no doubt they are so inexpensive partly because the producer pays their employees much LESS than Nike does).

    Would my life (or anyone’s life) be transformed, if some Asian company was allowed to put the Nike logo on them?

    Surely a poor person cares about the basic product – not what logo is on it?

  3. The central position given to property by libertarians , including the unfettered right to inherit, subverts the ends of libertarianism. Even in a society which starts out with a large degree of democratic control, the inevitable outcome of unhindered passing down of wealth through the generations is the rapid formation of a plutocracy. Such a society is a form of authoritarianism, and arguably the most potent form of authoritarianism because it is not the direct and overt consequence of an elite which has seized power at a given point and wielded it unashamedly for its own advantage. Rather, it is a social state which develops organically and is all the stronger for that.

    There is no obvious villain for the have-nots to attack for there is no monarch, no party, no dictator to direct anger at, merely a group of the privileged who colonise and control the political system, reducing the democratic process to an pantomime of elective oligarchy in which parts of the elite compete for formal power.

    A plutocracy also passes its power and privilege down the generations through inheritance, the importance being in the inheriting as a class rather than as an individual. This avoids the habitual cause of failure amongst authoritarian regimes, the problem of succession.

    Once a plutocracy is established , the state becomes less important because the elite have power which is not solely dependent on the formal positions of power as it is in states such as the Soviet Union. The elite’s power ultimately flows from the wealth they command, which allows them to effectively buy the command of society, both formally and in their relations with other individuals.

    Wealth, as my old history master never tired of saying, is power. The consequence is that substantial differences in wealth mean that those without wealth are left in a grossly subordinate situation which undermines their ability to attain libertarian ends. Inherited wealth reinforces and amplifies these power relationships and very rapidly produces a plutocracy. a social state utterly at odds with the ends of libertarianism.

    I don’t like political labels but if I had to invent one for myself it would be social libertarian.

  4. Well I am surprised (modern usage – the old word for it was “astonished”) that Robert Henderson is going for this attack on “plutocracy”.

    The old argument AGAINST democracy was that it would be dominated by ENVY (the hatred by some people for people who have more stuff than them), now we are told that envy is a jolly good thing, that large scale inequality is a threat-to-democracy. Well if “democracy” is just organised envy – then a pox on it. Liberty is NOT about robbing people – and the Duke of B. having lots of stuff and me having very little is NOT a threat to my liberty (on the contrary, my liberty and his are threatened by the same forces).

    At least we have been spared Kevin’s idea that real libertarians (i.e. people who are not of the “libertarian left” – i.e. not-libertarians-at-all) are “lackies of the plutocracy”.

    Carl’s question about who is to hinder the “unhindered passing down of wealth” – well Kevin would not say “the state” or “the government”, he would be likely to say “the community” or “the people” (it will amount to the same thing – rob, rape, kill, burn, the standard Kevinism that has cursed the history of much of Latin America and elsewhere for centuries).

    In Ireland it was called “confiscations and counter confiscations” – as the various factions took land (and then had taken back again), with the custom of “burning out” (not exactly good for the long term investment in and development of farming).

    I am baffled by these people – the people who denounce “plutocracy”. As if (for example) the great estates of England and Wales were somehow a bad thing and how collective-peoples-action (with pitchforks and touches) should be taken to destroy them.

    At least Kevin is consistent – he does not just hate the big landowners, he hates the big industrialists also. Just as Karl Marx (and Rosa Luxemburg) did.

    A family business building up factories over the generations? People such as the Wedgewood family (and the other families of the 18th and 19th centuries – and in modern times also).

    Not a word of praise for them from Kevin – and it is not an accident.

    And what of poor people who do NOT support robbing landowners (or industrialists)?

    We are the “lackies of the plutocracy”, the “henchmen of the kulaks” (and, of course, “tools of the Koch brothers”) – we are to be murdered as well.

    This is what the “libertarian” left is about.

    • Paul Marks – the political implications of material inequality are not primarily about envy . Differences in wealth means differences in the power relationship between people: the richer you are the more power you have.

      When people say things like “You’re just envious because X has more than you” , they are addressing the wrong subject. The question they should be asking is whether, if you had a choice, you would choose to be in a society where you were rich and many were poor or a society in which there was a rough equality. I would choose the latter without hesitation.

      A libertarian should always think not first of himself but of how a society will best provide the means for libertarian ends to be achieved. A plutocracy patently does not do that.

      • 1. You would prefer to live in a society where there was rough equality [of wealth, or of money; though these are not in fact the same] over one where you were rich and many were poor.

        …. So you would prefer living in the U.S.S.R., or Cuba, or North Korea, to just about any Western country. (I do not include most Central or South American countries as “Western” for this purpose. They tend to be poster-children for the sort of 21st-century rich-vs.-poor that it seems to me you actually have in mind.) –That would include Israel, and to a somewhat lesser extent perhaps Japan, S. Korea, and Taiwan.

        2. “A libertarian should always think not first of himself but of how a society will best provide the means for libertarian ends to be achieved.”

        No. A libertarian does indeed think first of himself. “Society” never comes first. It is the libertarian who understands that a society that fosters libertarian ends is the one that it is in his best, rational,
        enlightened self-interest to support.

        And what are “libertarian ends”? If “libertarianism” means anything, the libertarian end is the protection of the individual’s practicing of his own self-determination, unhindered by any aggressive or unprovoked force, fraud, or extortion.

        That is the point of the (political!) philosophy of libertarianism, and that is its (political) end. The libertarian question is, What is the best political means to such a society?

        3. Sometimes the rich have more political power than the “poor” and sometimes they don’t. There may have been some Bolsheviks who were “rich” relative to the Russian peasantry, but I don’t think it was plutocracy that put them in power. Longish comments on this with examples from British and American history would be educational. (hint, hint 😉 )

        Also, it depends on just what one means by “rich” and “poor.” Who is in which category seems to depend quite a bit on the political agenda of the person using the term in any given instance.

        • Julie – “.

          1. So you would prefer living in the U.S.S.R., or Cuba, or North Korea, to just about any Western country.”. You ask the wrong question. The question should be “How would England (in my case) be rendered to a country with a rough equality? ” Not so long ago England was a country which was much less unequal. Let me make clear what I mean by rough equality. If there was a maximum income of £100k that would give enough breathing space to meet individual aspiration

          2. ” A libertarian does indeed think first of himself. “Society” never comes first. ” That is precisely what is wrong with regulation issue libertarianism. It ignores Man’s social context.

          3. The rich always have power over the poor. Simple fact.

  5. There’s nothing in libertarianism about “the right to inherit,” except in a strictly derivative sense. That is, if someone freely gives you something that he justly owns, libertarianism cannot forbid you to accept it, since that would constitute unjust interference with your right of self-determination.

    Inheritance is right and just because it is simply a freely-given gift of the owner of justly-acquired property. It is an example of a property-owner’s inalienable right of disposition of his own property.

    The primary right in inheritance is the property-right of the original owner. The inheritor has no “right to” the stuff he inherits; his right is to accept it or not, according to his choice.

    If he does choose to accept it, then since he has acquired it justly, he is now its just owner.

  6. Julie – ” It is an example of a property-owner’s inalienable right of disposition of his own property.”

    Where does this “right” come from? Who has granted it? Who has accepted it as an objective fact? RH

  7. It’s at the very foundation of our libertarianism, Robert. It follows directly from the principle of self-determination (so-called “self-ownership”). To interfere with what a man does with his stuff is to interfere with his self-determination. To tell a man he may not make of a gift of his stuff is to put an unjust prohibition on his self-determination, which is specifically to do as he will with the various fundamental features of his life: His body (which includes his brain or mind and the fruits thereof), his time, and his effort. From these flow the original right to property, that is, to the self-willed disposition of property; from keeping it for his own use or enjoyment, to using it for some project, to trading it for the property of someone else (as is freely willed by both), to destroying it, to giving it to someone else.

    One of the evil aspects of expropriation is precisely that it results from taking a man’s justly-acquired stuff. In other words, You must make stuff, but I get to take it for my own purposes.

    In other words, you are a slave to me. Not necessarily a chattel slave, but a slave nonetheless: your right of self-determination no longer exists, when it is applied to what you have made. You work and make something, and I take what you’ve made whether you like it or not. This, then, amounts to the taking over of a portion of your life — your body-and-mind, your effort, your time. All irreplaceable; all unquestionably yours.

    “Justly-acquired” means: acquired by the making of it; through trade with someone who acquired it justly himself; or as a gift of someone who acquired it justly himself. But perhaps the other way of putting it is to say that property (any thing) is justly acquired when and to the extent that it was not taken by aggressive force, nor fraud, nor extortion (the threat of force).

    In this way a chain of just ownership can be created. To interfere with the disposition of the property in question as it passes through the phase of ownership by each person is to deprive the prior owner (or the original owner) of something that is justly his.

    • Julie – All you are putting forward is a version of natural rights. Such rights have no reality, they are merely wishes. . Formal rights are given through laws; informal rights through custom.

  8. The confusion of income and wealth on one hand and the power to use violence (the state) on the other hand is a basic one – it is exactly what Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism is AGAINST.

    It is astonishing that Mr Henderson makes this basic mistake.

    Of course a rich man may be also have political power – for example the Marquis of Rockingham (the richest landowner in Britain) was Prime Minister (twice), but there was nothing wrong with the wealth of the Marquis of Rockingham – his income and wealth was NOT an aggression against others.

    Nor is it the case that all rich people have the same political opinions (the Marxist error of thinking in terms of “classes”) or that the majority opinion among rich people (“capitalists”) controls government.

    Take “plutocratic” California.

    It has the highest personal income taxes (and very high Capital Gains Taxes) in the United States.

    The failure to abolish income tax (supposed to be a “temporary” tax in the 1840s) and the introduction of “Progressive” income tax (and the Death Tax) in the early 1890s shows that even in the 19th century shows that the “rich class” did NOT control policy.

    It is simply astonishing that people are still coming out with this stuff in 2014 – when it was refuted by events in the 1890s (indeed by the failure to get rid of income tax after the elections of 1874 – when both parties promised to do so). In the “plutocratic” United States history since 1913 is incomprehensible if one insists on seeing the world via the Marxist scheme of “wealth is power – the rich class rule”). Contrary to the falsehoods of socialist historians (such as G. Kolko) American history even BEFORE 1913 does not fit with “the rich” being “in power”.

    People such as “Teddy” Roosevelt were not puppets of the “rich class” (and rich people had lots of different political opinions anyway – and are still as divided by politics as any other group of people).

    Warmed over Marxism being presented a libertarianism – I expect that from Kevin, NOT from Mr Henderson.

  9. By the way – when I talk of the income tax coming in the 1840s (in spite of the nation being at peace) and the “Progressive” income tax (and the Death Tax) coming in the early 1890s I am pointing to Britain.

  10. The only “class conflict” that libertarians are interested in is the one between tax payers (of any level of income and wealth) and tax “eaters” (of any level of income and wealth – and some tax eaters are rich and some tax payers are poor).

    Nor does it matter if the official government does the looting or if “the people” or “the community” (i.e. some savage mob) does the rob-rape-murder-burn. It is still NOT libertarianism.

    The down-with-the-rich mob stole the word “liberal” – do not let them steal the word “libertarianism” also.

  11. The bottom line of this discussion is that Mr. Henderson is in no way, shape or form a libertarian; indeed he rejects the fundamental postulates and principles of libertarianism. OK, so we have a coercionist in our midst. That’s fine, as long as we are aware of it. We won’t expect Mr. Henderson to uphold libertarian principles, and he won’t expect the contributors to a libertarian board to agree with coercionist, i.e. anti-libertarian, positions.

    • Julie, well here are some of the things I am implacably committed to

      Free expression

      The legalisation of drugs

      The free ownership of guns

      The removal of the power of the rich to abuse the poor

  12. Mr Henderson being rich is NOT an abuse of the poor.

    And in terms of taxation and government spending – “the poor” abuse the “the rich” far more than “the rich” abuse “the poor”.

    Such things as the “ownership of guns” (or any weapons) are about the DEFENCE of life and property – NOT about looting (what the “libertarian” left wish to do).

    For example, Pericles was NOT a great leader of Athens – he turned poor against rich, and the allies of Athens into subjects (and then enemies) all to BUY VOTES with wild government spending. As I have said before – if this organised envy (this vote buying) is “democracy” then a pox on it.

    A libertarian is someone who is AGAINST the looting of the rich (or of the poor) not someone who is in favour of it.

    In the face of this supreme fact (the supreme fact of Classical Liberalism as well as Libertarianism – that inequality is NOT wrong) everything else (drugs or whatever) is a triviality.

    Those who seek to rob people on the grounds that they are rich (including of inherited wealth) are not benefactors of humanity – they are the enemies of humankind, and they should be treated accordingly.

    The “libertarian left” are not libertarians at all. In fact they are the sworn enemies of the basic truth of both Classical Liberalism and libertarianism – the natural harmony of long term interests between “rich” and “poor”, employers and employees (whether on a landed estate or a great manufacturing or retail enterprise).

    As for the “arguments” of the “libertarian” left – they are tissue of lies. For example claiming that the United States of America (in reality now one a land of some of the highest company taxation and worst company regulation in the Western World) is an example of oppression by “Corporations” (like some stupid Hollywood film with the “big business” bad guys).

    • Mr Marks – being very rich is a potential abuse of the poor, and very often is the actuality. Try getting into a legal dispute with a rich man and then say that his being rich and you being poor does not give him power over you.

      More generally, the rich many can take a disproportionate amount of scacre goods and leave the have-nots with insufficiency even for a simple life,. The housing situation in Britain at present is a classic example with the rich from outside the UK piling in as well as the better off here.

      • Goods are not scarce in the way you imply. One man’s property is not at the expense of another; that I own a refrigerator is not a denial of somebody else owning a refrigerator. This is because the economy is not a “division of resources”. It is the free trading of human production.

        The housing situation in the UK is entirely due to the State manipulating (strangling) supply at the behest of lobby groups. Which brings us on to the next thing-

        The unfair “power” of a wealthy man is entirely due to the State. The ability to lobby government for privileges is that power. Take that State- supplied power away, and a wealthy man is just a man with more, or better, refrigerators and other goods.

        The advantages of wealth in the legal system are well known and a perplexing problem. But due to theft, the State always has more wealth and power in a courtroom than anyone else, as we see with the current persecution of elderly celebrities by the State, stacking up unlimited funds behind top barristers and ruining defendants who are trying to prove they didn’t touch a girl’s bottom in 1974. The State is not a solution. It is the problem.

        • Ian, excellent comment and the first para. especially is downright brilliant. You’ve nailed it! *applause*

          • Thank you Julie 🙂

            I think that point- that the economy is not a “division of resources” is fundamental and without understanding it a person simply cannot understand economics.

  13. “The possession of great wealth is OF ITSELF a threat to those who do not have great wealth” (my stress).

    No it is not.

    The (inherited) wealth of the Marquis of Rockingham (the richest man of 18th century Britain) was not a “threat” to the poor – it was boon.

    The wealth of Jon Huntsman (senior) or (YES) the inherited wealth of the Koch brothers is not a “threat OF ITSELF” to the poor – it is a boon (both in their employment and in the good works that Charles and David Koch do).

    Mr Henderson you fundamentally misunderstand the entire tradition.

    The tradition of the Whigs (Old Whigs), Classical Liberals, and Libertarian economists such as Ludwig Von Mises.

  14. “The rich have always had power over the poor – simple fact”.

    Actually it is nonsense – shown to be nonsense by such things as the introduction of income tax, and capital gains tax and inheritance tax (so much for the political power of “the rich”). As for idea that “the rich” economically “exploit” “the poor” – that is warmed over Marxism refuted more than a century ago.

    By the way…..

    If anyone really does want to reduce inequality THERE IS A WAY (and it does NOT involve looting).

    End the policy of “cheap money” (“low interest rates”) the monetary expansion of the Bank of England and the other Central Banks (indeed abolish these institutions).

    Richard Cantillon showed as long ago as the 1700s that a “cheap money policy” (Credit Bubble ism) tend to artificially expand inequality.

  15. Mr Henderson – the late Henry Veatch would not agree with you that natural rights are just wishes (that they are not real). See his “Human Rights: Fact or Fancy?” (1985).

    It might be considered breath taking arrogance to dismiss the entire tradition of natural rights (and natural law), as Thomas Hobbes does with his state that can do whatever the ruler wants (“law” being just the WILL, the COMMAND of the state), or Jeremy Bentham does with his 13 Departments of State covering just about everything.

    Where is your freedom to own firearms, or you freedom to buy drugs (the two freedoms you cite as important to you) – if even such things as the Bill of Rights are just fancies (“wishes”)? You destroy your own position – by making all freedom (including those bits of freedom you yourself favour) simply fancies (not natural rights derived from natural law).

    However, let us take an entirely utilitarian view of the matter of inequality of income and wealth…..

    Your position still fails (even from your own philosophical point of view).

    On entirely rule utilitarian grounds such economists as Ludwig Von Mises (the real Mises – not Kevin’s quotes-out-of-context) showed that the Classical Liberal view was correct. That vast inherited wealth does NOT harm the poor – that there is a natural harmony of long term economic interests between rich and poor, employer and employee.

    To waste time talking about drugs, or sexual whatever (please do not frighten the horses…….), when you do not even oppose looting (as long as it is the looting of inheritance by the state) is simply astonishing.

    An obsession with trivialities (such as drugs) – and a disregard (indeed a hostility towards) the most basic principle of Civil Society.

    This principle being “hands off” the income and wealth (including the inherited income and wealth) of the people.

    Indeed the great landed families (and the security of their estates) were the vital difference between the West and Asiatic Despotism.

    Under the various forms of Asiatic Despotism (Islamic and non Islamic) the ruler could loot the rich – especially of their landed inheritance.

    And what did such despots pose as?

    DEFENDERS OF THE POOR (or course) defenders of the poor against “the rich”.

    Exactly the same absurd fallacy as the would-be despots who call themselves the “libertarian left”.

    • Paul Marks – ” Mr Henderson – the late Henry Veatch would not agree with you that natural rights are just wishes (that they are not real). See his “Human Rights: Fact or Fancy?” (1985).

      “It might be considered breath taking arrogance to dismiss the entire tradition of natural rights (and natural law), as Thomas Hobbes does with his state that can do whatever the ruler wants (“law” being just the WILL, the COMMAND of the state), or Jeremy Bentham does with his 13 Departments of State covering just about everything. ”

      The argument from authority is an empty one. It is just someone else making the assertion.

      As for how I can enjoy rights, the answer is simple, the law can give them to me in law which can only be changed with great difficulty vide the American Constitution.

      • To cite an expert’s analysis and explanation of some theory or phenomenon is not to “argue from authority.” That term refers to a fallacious assumption made in the course of an argument, namely, “P is true because Authority A says so.”

        Whereas Mr. Marks is suggesting that a more valid point of view on the subject of Natural Rights is given by Prof. Henry Veatch in the work cited, and that you might care to read this material yourself and see what you think. This is the very antithesis of the Argument from Authority.

        • Julie – you have yet to try to demonstrate that they natural rights you claim have an objective reality, that is they exist naturally…. Have a go at doing that then we can extend the dialogue.

          • The whole “natural rights” thing is a stumbling block for Libertarianism. The concept arose originally during the English Civil War as a concept that man has certain rights imbued inalienably by God which the King cannot override, and that’s all it really meant. The idea that rights exist in “nature” as modernly defined as the physical world revealed by science is pretty obviously poppycock and does us no favours in the sphere of debate.

            The word “naturally” at the time meant something more like “obviously”- as we still use it to day if we say something like, “naturally we will pay your expenses” or “alone again, naturally” (whatever did happen to Gilbert O’Sullivan?) but a lot of liberals have lost sight of that and start talking as if you can crack open a geological stratum and find them literally written in stone. It’s not helpful.

          • Robert, First, in my last comment above this one, I said nothing about “Natural Rights,” EXCEPT to say that you have erred in accusing Paul of making “The Argument from Authority,” which he did not.

            There are other metaphysical/epistomological/ethical theories that lead to essentially the same ethical conclusion that it is not right to interfere with a man’s self-determination, then usual caveats.

            I have specifically said (further down on the page) that my definition of “rights” does not suppose that they exist only insofar as the Gov Has Spoken, whereas you use a different definition entirely. This is only to say we use the words to mean different concepts.

            I have purposely avoided getting into a discussion of Natural Rights, still less of “claiming they have objective reality.” Kindly read my remarks for what they say and not what’s in your head.

            I will add only that the “Natural” in “Natural Rights” was SPECIFICALLY INTENDED by the people who originated the term in order to distinguish it from Statute Rights.

            You are insisting that the word can only be pronounced “to-MAH-to,” while I use the pronunciation “to-may-to” when I refer to the fruit at all.

            So let’s call the whole thing off.

            • Ian and Robert:

              I see that WordPress doesn’t even do “threading” properly. I entered the above as a reply to Robert’s comment of 22 June, 2014 at 5:55 pm. Hence my response marked 22 June, 2014 at 7:16 pm. As the comments are now ordered on the page, Ian has a couple of intervening comments.

              My comment to Robert applies to those as well.

              Either way, Robert specifically uses a definition of “rights” which states that they exist only insofar as they are granted by “the State.”

              Very well. Use that def., as long as you’re clear about it. But note that in North Korea the state does NOT grant you the right of self-defense. And even in the UK, the State grants only a very limited version of a right of self-defense — many people have been locked up for simply defending themselves against attacks by intruders for instance.

              And as near as I can make out, by your definitions that’s as good as it gets.

              I don’t intend to elaborate further on my own comment of 21 June, 2014 at 9:29 pm, which as I type appears below this one. Too nice an afternoon to spend in an argument that will go nowhere.

      • Robert, the version of “rights” that you give is in fact a matter of definition. Your very definition restricts “rights” to actions that are protected by the State [or the Lawmaker(s), the Ruler(s)]. Once you have defined a “tree” as “a plant that grows in the ground,” a potted tree is not a tree, by definition.

        Whereas we who accept some version of a Natural Rights theory have a different definition, and to us your statement that “the law can give [rights] to me” is, to us, merely an assertion.

        For us, what I am calling a “fundamental right” is something that it is right and proper for a person to do, regardless of what statute law says.

        From our point of view and our definition of rights, they can be divided into two categories: fundamental and legal. Fundamental “rights” address what is, or is not, proper (“right”) for men to do given their nature and the nature of Reality, regardless of what any Law may say. Legal “rights” — by your definition, the only kind there are — are statements of what actions are prohibited, allowed but not mandatory, and mandatory by the State or Lawmaker(s).

        From your definition, the only reason you have any sort of “right” to go for a walk is that the Law does not prohibit it.

        From ours, the right to go for a walk is directly derived from the pre-existing right of all men to self-determination (as long as they don’t initiate attack against other people in their exercise of their same right), and if Statute Law or regulation actually forbids this activity, it is acting outside its authority, which is limited to attempting to guarantee that people’s fundamental (pre-existing!) rights are protected.

        There are different versions of natural-law theories, but all of them either assume as a postulate, or else derive, the fundamental right of each person to be safe from unprovoked attack on his person, possessions, and any attempt to interfere with his self-determination.

        Recognition of this last fundamental right (which can equally well be seen as a fundamental restriction on the behavior of others) is at the heart of libertarianism.

        • Julie – what I am saying is beautifully simple, that no rights exist which are not given either by law or custom. Take self-defence. It is generally accepted that self-defence is a right both legally and morally. But in many societies what constitutes self-defence is at odds with what we should consider self-defence, for example, the widespread existence of the vendetta.

  16. In furtherance of Ian B’s specific point about governmental graft:

    There’s another thing about the “rich” and government, which is that governmental groups and individuals, because of their lawmaking and regulatory power, can and do what amounts to soliciting bribes from business firms and individuals. (Actually, it’s extortion, but it leaves the bribees looking to the general public like that the bad guys.) I believe that in Peter Schweizer’s book Throw Them All Out he gives real-life examples of this. In their paper “Reconsidering Gabriel Kolko–A Half-Century Perspective, Roger Donway and Roger Bradley discuss this exact situation in the case of capitalists of the late 19th century and their alleged “pull” with the Fed. Govt. to get various anti-free-trade and anti-property-rights measures from the government. These men are the famous “robber barons”: see introductory info at


    which links to the paper at


    There are feedback loops galore in this. For instance, an effective NGO or quango is in a position to be both the briber and the bribee, because of their ability to garner votes for politicians who wish to remain in office because of the off-the-books “salary” and various perks, status, ego-satisfaction, so forth.

  17. Yes some rich people benefit from government spending – and some poor people do also. Overall more government spending is on “the poor” than “the rich”.

    Indeed the out-of-control Welfare States (which were NOT, contrary to Kevin, created to benefit the “capitalists” or in response to some non-existent negative consequences of “capitalism”) threaten the continued existence of Western Civilisation (it does not astonish me that Kevin does not care about that – but I would have hoped that Mr Henderson would care), either this ever increasing torrent of government spending must be controlled or the economic (and the CULTURAL) effects will destroy the West.

    As Frederick Bastiat noted long ago, the worst danger in giving rich men subsidies is not the waste of money in giving taxpayer’s money to them (bad though that is) it is the precedent it sets to hand out money (and “public services” – benefits in kind) to everyone else.

    Handing out a fat government contract to Mr X is bad (it is corrupt), but it will not in-its-self destroy civilisation – the real danger (as Bastiat pointed out) is in the idea that “if he has – why can not we all have it?”. That is why a policy of strictly limited government is even in the long term interests of Mr X – as a government big enough to give him special favours is also big enough to take away everything he has.

    I have already pointed out the primary way that government intervention benefits the rich – the “cheap money”, “low interest rates” of monetary expansion.

    I trust that Mr Henderson agrees with me that this policy (and the Central Banks, such as the Bank of England, that push it) should be ended and all loans be entirely from REAL SAVINGS.

    Actual people denying themselves consumption in order to finance loans to others in the hope of gains (either for themselves or their children) when, and if, the loans are repaid.

    Obviously in a system that was based upon real savings (not credit expansion) loans would tend to be about increasing production (via productive investment) not increasing consumption (although some loans would continue to be about financing wild living) – as if most loans were for consumption they could (in the end) be repaid, and this would matter in a system which depended on real savers, rather than on government backed Credit Bubbles.

  18. As for Mr Henderson’s idea that the government has the right (indeed the duty) to loot the property of rich people, either during their lives or upon their deaths (passing on and improving a large scale estate being somehow a bad thing according to Mr Henderson).

    This view of Mr Henderson (or anyone else) is utterly wrong. It does not matter whether one judges it in terms of natural law and natural rights, or in terms of utilitarianism – it is still (as Mises pointed out) an absurdity to say that people (or voluntary institutions) having great wealth in-of-itself “harms the poor” (it is in fact the exact OPPOSITE of the truth). As for state intervention – it is in fact unlimited government that can (till economic and social bankruptcy arrives) seek to give “favours” to both “the rich” and “the poor” – to the eventual ruin of both.

    Intelligence is not enough. Mr Henderson is a very intelligent man, but this does not make for his fundamental ignorance (and I mean the word “ignorance” in its literal sense – NOT in any insulting way) of fundamental economics.

    Mr Henderson may deny (if he wishes to do so) both natural law and natural rights (i.e. the central principle of the West, as opposed to Asiatic Despotism) that the state may NOT plunder the estates of the rich upon their deaths (may not destroy the great families who have historically limited the state in the West – or prevent the rise of new families who replace those old families who have lost their wealth via their own folly), but Mr Henderson also denies basic economics with false idea that great wealth of-its-self harms the poor (the opposite of the truth).

    I am reminded of Mr Henderson’s denial of the fundamental truth of FREE TRADE – no amount of intelligence (and, I repeat, that Mr Henderson is a highly intelligent man) makes up for lack of knowledge of fundamental economic law (which, contrary to the German historicists, is as universal in time and space as the laws of nature).

    As for the “sex, drugs and rock and roll” side of libertarianism, well as long as someone does not frighten the horses, it is none of my business.

    However, do not let such trivial matters distract from the FUNDEMENTAL PRINCIPLE of both Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism – i.e. the long term harmony of interests between “the rich” and “the poor”, between employers and employees.

    If this principle is lost sight of (if the idea that the state[ [or savage mobs of people – as with the “libertarian left”] has a right, indeed a duty, to plunder the estates of the wealthy upon their deaths) then the decline of the West (both economic and cultural) is inevitable.

    • Paul Marks – you misunderstand what I advocate. I do not advocate crude measures such as taking all the wealth from the rich over a certain point in one fell swoop. What I seek is a restructuring of society which will prevent vast differences in wealth occurring. As I have already pointed out that does not mean every has to earn the same but they do need to have less than they need to seriously oppress the have-nots.

  19. Mr Henderson – your last comment is too vague “What I seek is a restructuring of society which will prevent vast differences in wealth occurring” to be examined, so I will deal with specific matters (if the specific matters do NOT apply to you – then fair enough).

    It does not matter if one follows the natural law-natural rights approach (as Rothbard did) or the utilitarian approach (as Mises did) such things as inheritance tax (the Death Tax) are still harmful (not helpful).

    Vast differences in income and wealth are NOT an aggression against freedom – and neither open statism, nor the “non statist” approach of the “libertarian left” (i.e. savage mobs going around looting, raping, killing ad burning) is not a justified response to vast differences of income and wealth (including inherited ones).

    I may despise (for example) what Mrs Heinz Kerry does with the money that she got from her late husband (for example her subsidies to the Tides Foundation and her support for her husband’s, John Kerry. political antics), but a government powerful enough to “restructure society” (or mobs of people with the same objective) is not a good response.

    I repeat that there is no substitute for basic knowledge of economics.

    It is not an “argument from authority” to say that (for example) free trade is correct – any more than it is to say that 1+1=2 is correct.

    Someone who opposes free trade might as well say that (for example) the massive inherited wealth of the Marquis of Rockingham (the richest man in Britain in the 18th century – who used his inherited landed wealth to both improve his own estate and to finance the development of industry) was a bad thing, or the inherited wealth of Charles or David Koch today is a bad thing.

    A clever person may argue any case (trail lawyers make a living often arguing cases that are essentially nonsense), but objective truth does exist.

    Free trade is correct.

    Inherited wealth is NOT a bad thing – regardless of the degree of inequality in society.

    And so on.

    By the way …….. I repeat……..

    One nonstatist (and non mob) way one could reduce inequality is to end the “cheap money”, “low interest” policy of monetary expansion of the Bank of England and the other Central Banks (all of which should be abolished),

    Richard Cantillon pointed out (as long ago as the 1700s) that credit-money expansion tends to artificially expand inequality – even after the “boom” has been followed by the inevitable “bust” the situation is still far more unequal than it would have been had the policy of “cheap money” “low interest rates” never been followed in the first place.

    Sadly I have not had a chance to read every single comment (I have been busy at work – and very tired), but I trust that Mr Henderson and myself are in agreement that all lending should be from REAL SAVINGS (i.e. the voluntary choice to sacrifice consumption in order to fiancé loans for productive investment) NOT credit-money expansion.

    When people denounce “inequality” what they normally have in mind is not some landed estate or a great manufacturing enterprise (such as Huntsman Chemical created by Jon Huntsman) – but “City Speculators”, traders in the National Debt (i.e. the government debt) and those who get the funny money from the Federal Reserve and other Central Banks.

    Even “Occupy” (apart from “Occupy Oakland” – which seems to have obsession with closing down the port in order to make local people unemployed) does not normally “protest”outside steel mills and oil wells (or large scale farms and ranches), they tend to target “Financial Services” pointing to intimate connection between the dealers-in-charge-alley (as Burke called them) and the state. There would still be banks and so on in London and New York without statism – but the scene would look very different, physically different as the HQs of the various financial services enterprises would not be so much out of scale (due to the flow of funny money from the Bank of England and so on) as to physically dwarf everything else in these cities.

    However, there does seem to be a lack of basic understanding of economics.

    For example the Occupy Wall Street people marched across town to “protest” outside the home of David Koch (a man whose wealth actually comes from such things as oil) marching right past the home of George Soros (whose wealth really does come from “speculation” based upon intimate connections with government). Indeed many of these “Occupy” groups are actually financed by Mr Soros (and other Wall Street types) via the Tides Foundation – in short the young “Occupy” people are the tools of the very “speculation” they oppose.

    And this makes basic sense – after all a bigger and more interventionist government (what “Occupy” is pressing for – whether the people on the street know it or not) gives more (not less) opportunities for Mr Soros (and his friends) to profit at the expense of the public.

    Again cleverness is no substitute for basic knowledge.

    One does not oppose slavery by “protesting” outside the home of J. Wedgewood (or any other industrialist who was opposed to slavery) and one does not protest against speculators in the national debt (and so on) by protesting outside the home of the Marquis of Rockingham (or some other landed magnate – who spent their lives OPPOSING the wild debt spending of government).

    Again (as with opposition to “low interest rates”) I hope Mr Henderson will agree.

    Do you agree Mr Henderson?

    No more “cheap money”, “low interest rates” (on the monetary side – all lending to come REAL SAVINGS), and (on the fiscal side) no more wild government deficit spending (on HS2, HS3 – HS whatever….)?

    Are we in agreement?

  20. Sounds like corporate socialism to me (I don’t use the word “Fascism” as it’s meaning has been mangled by 60 years of lying leftists).

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