C for Vendetta?

As we tear through the statute book,
we’ll do something no government ever has:
We will ask you which laws you think should go.
– Nick Clegg, to the British public
You’ll be free to do anything you wish.
If you don’t like controls – repeal them.
– Mr. Thompson, offering John Galt the job of Economic Dictator

Nick Clegg the liberator?

Nick Clegg is promising (CHT Tom Palmer) all sorts of libertarian goodies, including “the end of the controversial ID cards scheme” and “the scrapping of universal DNA databases.” Other state intrusions to be abolished include “limits on peaceful protest,” the “storage of … email records without good reason” (whatever that last means), and schools’ right “to take a child’s fingerprint without parental permission.” Clegg and his Tory allies are supposedly planning to inaugurate the “most radical redistribution of power from the state to the people for 200 years.”

Yeah, yeah, it all sounds sexy. But I remember the Reagan and Republican “Revolutions,” Bush I’s “no new taxes,” Clinton’s “era of big government is over,” Bush II’s “humble foreign policy,” and Obama’s “hope and change.” As for Clegg’s side of the pond, I remember Thatcher’s Hayekian rhetoric and Blair’s antiwar rhetoric.

Let’s just say I won’t be holding my breath.

If people want freedom, they should think about taking it rather than waiting for some politician to keep his promise to give it to them.

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5 Responses to C for Vendetta?

  1. Gray Woodland May 23, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    True. Trusting government is like trusting one of those ingenious business propositions which now and then some entrepreneur is good enough to smuggle through my spam filters. Nonetheless, there are times when it’s in politicians’ self-interest to throw a restive populace a bone. New Labour were an exceptionally nasty and securocratic crowd, and at this stage their replacements aren’t really invested in a lot of the offensive and expensive crap they imposed.

    They also have some remarkably unpopular decisions to make, a fragile coalition to make them with, and a pressing need to sweeten the pill.

    For a while, the bilirubinous tide may ebb a little in consequence.

    Afterwards… well, yeah, anybody who used the respite to sit on their hands praising the New Improved Canute, is not going to have very much to sing about.

  2. Richard Garner May 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    It looks like Nick Clegg will also be getting another policy the Liberal Democrats have campaigned for: a State mandated minimum price for alcohol of 50p per unit.

  3. Tracy Saboe May 24, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    I guess I really don’t understand the concept of “taking your liberty.” Sure I can do what I want — but thugs with guns are going to come throw me in jail.

    It’s not that I haven’t tried understanding agorism, but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Roderick May 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

      I guess I really don’t understand the concept of “taking your liberty.” Sure I can do what I want — but thugs with guns are going to come throw me in jail.

      Individuals can do some of what they want without going to jail. As they associate in larger groups and start building alternative institutions, they can do more and more of what they want without going to jail. When agorist sentiment gets sufficiently widespread, they can do anything (peaceful) they want to without going to jail, and the state is reduced to a bunch of weirdoes yelling on street corners, like Hitler and his cronies in the Monty Python sketch.

      Thus agorism is incremental in a way that political approaches (whether electoral campaigns or violent revolutions) aren’t. Rather than a long period of no improvement, building toward the Big Moment when we finally seize control of the state and get our Finavenko all at once, agorism allows for a development through larger and larger successes; Charles talks a bit about this here.

  4. Zanthorus May 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    Clegg has already namedropped the ’32 reform act which left the power of parliament in the hands of the industrial bourgeoisie and left most of the british working class disenfranchised.

    I’m not expecting great things from him anytime soon.

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