The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Archive for the ‘Libertarianism’ Category

Banning the ‘Burka’: a poor performance from UKIP

Posted by rantingkraut on January 17, 2010

Nigel Farage appeared on the BBC arguing that face covering Muslim dress should be banned on security grounds -which seemed uncontroversial- and because it is a symbol of the oppression of women and of a divided society. On the two latter points he lost the argument to his Respect opponent.

To argue that women who choose to wear burka or niqab are as a rule oppressed -even if they say otherwise- is essentially a feminist argument which requires hefty dose of social determinism to conclude that women can’t make genuine choices within a patriarchal society.

Alternatively, one could argue that the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Atheism, Civil Liberties, immigration, Islamism, Libertarianism, monthly rant, Regulation, Religion | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Freedom and Chaos

Posted by rantingkraut on November 17, 2008

To the authoritarian mind, freedom and chaos are synonymous. They literally find the idea of people doing their own thing terrifying. The idea of everybody doing their own thing is a nightmare. The only response of which they are capable is to attempt to impose order …

(Ian B commenting on Samizdata)

Posted in Libertarianism, quotes | Comments Off on Freedom and Chaos

Will the democrats bring back slavery?

Posted by rantingkraut on November 14, 2008

Well, it is safe to presume that they won’t revive the 18th century version. However, if slavery is defined generally to cover any case where ownership rights are claimed over another human being then the answer may well be yes. Obama is reportedly planning forced labour schemes for school children and for college students as a precondition for receiving a grant.

Of course, if you want to be nice about Obama, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Libertarianism, Property Rights, Socialism | 2 Comments »

No Victory in Sight in the War on Drugs

Posted by rantingkraut on October 26, 2008

Millions uprooted, terrorized or made refugees. Hundreds of thousands imprisoned. Thousands killed. Trillions of dollars lost. Wiretapping and government surveillance of civilians. Our civil rights eroded. No end in sight. Iraq? Hardly — it’s the war on drugs.
(…)
This war has gone on for years. It has cost hundreds of billions of dollars and filled our jails. Criminal gangs prosper and proliferate. It has eroded our civil liberties. The drug trade has seriously destabilized Mexico, Columbia and Bolivia. There is no victory in sight.

The economics of the drug trade are clear. Demand remains undiminished. The cost of production remains low. Arrest a horde of producers, smugglers, wholesalers and retailers and all that can happen is that the profit margins go up. That is what must take place when supply diminishes while demand remains steady. Higher profits brings more recruits into the trade. ” (John Frary in the Western Standard)

Posted in Civil Liberties, Drugs, Libertarianism, quotes, Regulation, Uncategorized | Comments Off on No Victory in Sight in the War on Drugs

New(ish) Blogs

Posted by rantingkraut on October 25, 2008

The Institute of Economic Affairs (iea) started its own blog last month. Feminists Against Censorship have also started blogging while ago. They don’t post very often, but have been among the few following the censorship provision in the “Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008”.

Posted in Freedom of Speech, Libertarianism | Comments Off on New(ish) Blogs

Eamonn Butler on the Nasty Party

Posted by rantingkraut on September 17, 2008

“… Labour turned into the “nasty party” – with police-state restrictions on almost everything we do. How could it have happened?
(…)
There is really no mystery. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson and other leaders of the New Labour “Project” had a sense of mission.
(…)
Because they knew they were right, the Project’s leaders were completely unapologetic about scrapping ancient rights and institutions, re-writing the constitution, or suspending trial by jury and habeas corpus.

(Source)

Posted in Civil Liberties, Libertarianism, quotes | Comments Off on Eamonn Butler on the Nasty Party

Three Cheers for David Davis

Posted by rantingkraut on June 16, 2008

If the purpose of David David’s resignation was to provoke an in depth debate on the erosion of civil liberties and keep the issue in the news, then he seems to be succeeding. Here is some recent coverage from Philip Johnston in the telegraph:

There are several layers to be addressed: the extension of the criminal law to penalise bad behaviour; the proliferation of state databases carrying personal information and so violating individual privacy; and the expansion of the surveillance society, acknowledged only last week by the Commons home affairs committee. Mr Davis may be quixotic, but he is not imagining these things; most of them have happened in the past 10 or 15 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, In The News, Libertarianism, quotes, UK politics | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Of Iain Dale, Boris and Gateway Drugs

Posted by rantingkraut on September 23, 2007

During his recent one to one with Boris Johnson, Iain Dale stated that Marijuana was a gateway drug. According to Dale, this can be inferred from the fact that one would be unlikely to find a single Heroin addict who had not consumed Marihuana previously. Boris duly conceded that taking drugs was a stupid idea and expressed his scepticism over taking a more relaxed attitude to Marijuana.

So, is Boris loosing his libertarian instincts? Are potheads doomed? Let’s look at the gateway drug issue first. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in In The News, Libertarianism, UK politics | Comments Off on Of Iain Dale, Boris and Gateway Drugs

Hitler and Free Speech

Posted by rantingkraut on August 2, 2007

The Grauniad has received some attention with a pro-censorship propaganda piece in a ‘comment is free’ column by some Cath Elliot. She argues the by now familiar line that principled support for free speech causes people to commit hate crimes. Naturally, she takes the opportunity to point out that Hitler too spoke freely. Less common is her partial admission to an implied key assumption: Ms Elliot actually spells out that this argument presupposes that people are generally incapable of thinking for themselves.

Unfortunately, she stops there and doesn’t work out the further implications: if humans can’t think for themselves, who is to think for them? After all, if people generally can’t think for themselves, then the same should be true for their elected (human) representatives. And how can they have the ability to elect representatives in the first place if they can’t independently think and decide who should represent them etc. By and large the piece is so poorly argued, I could spend all night fisking it. I can’t be bothered to do that though and will therefore concentrate on her invocation of the Führer. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech, Libertarianism | 2 Comments »