Monday, 31 January 2011

South East Meet Up -- Thursday 3rd Feb

Just a very quick message to remind all South East LPUK members and Libertarians our monthly meet up is this Thursday -- Feb 3rd.

We will be at the Rose and Crown in Southwark from 6:30 till late. If you haven't been before and cannot find us please ask at the bar -- the landlady will point you in the right direction.

A map is below, everyone is welcome and we hope to see you on Thursday...

View Rose and Crown -- Southwark in a larger map

Friday, 28 January 2011

Event Report: ASI seminar with Yaron Brook

Wednesday saw me attending a seminar entitled "How to be a rational egoist" with Yaron Brook at the Adam Smith Institute. I had expected a talk about applying rational egoism in practical contexts, but the talk was much more political.

Dr Brook argued that in order to win the political argument over free-markets and, by extension, the fight for practical freedom we need to rethink and reject mainstream ethical systems and adopt an Objectivist moral code. As a student of Objectivism, I understand this as a set of values which guide the choices of an individual and have as their purpose the individual's survival and flourishing.

The talk progressed through a series of examples which demonstrated that self-interest is not revered in our culture, but is practiced in the market. That showed the difference between selfless, self-destructive and rationally selfish actions.

There was a darker moment in the Q&A (at 32 mins) where a member of the New Zealand Libertarian Party asked approximately "As an objectivist in the UK what can we do?" and seemed to dismiss the UK Libertarian Party as "nowhere", which caused me to speak up as you see in the video. On playing it back, I realised the comment was much worse - that we are "all over the shop". I think both of these of comments are objectively true, at least they characterise the party's indecisive and ineffective campaigning and public communication up to this point, and this is not a reputation I think we can afford in future.

Dr Brook's answer was framed according to the circumstances in the US, where Bush and Obama have moved quickly and consistently in the statist direction. He believes that trouble, including a massive economic disaster, is ten or twenty years away and that we must buy time to allow us to "turn a corner" before then. Culturally he believes there is work to do in terms of creating Objectivists in order to vote for some future Objectivist or a compatible non-Rothbardian Libertarian Party.

I would add to Yaron Brook's recommendation. There is the critical task of creating that future party which a future Objectivist culture can vote for. I believe that LPUK's policies are already non-Rothbardian and broadly minarchist in a way that is sufficiently compatible with Objectivist thought. By addressing its internal problems and building a well funded operational team the UK Libertarian Party can be the party Dr Brook foresees. While it is being built it will also work to shift our cultural norms towards rational self-interest.

I hope that British Objectivist's will see a strong LPUK as in their self-interests over the span of their lives and will bring to the Party the brilliant white heat of their intellect. It will take 10 years or more to do, but to get there, that heat must be applied to building a core LPUK operational team.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Upcomming events in London

Hope everyone had a good festive break and new year. Has been a low key start to the year, was meaning to mention a few events but was too late for some. However the following may be of interest:

Jan 18th: An occasional lecture by Dr Steven Kates

Jan 19th: An evening panel discussion

Jan 20th An iea book launch- Robust Economic Policy

These 3 events are all hosted by the IEA

Jan 25th: Evening seminar with Dambisa Moyo

Jan 26t: Evening seminar with Yaron Brook

Both of these are hosted by the Adam Smith Institute.

Unfortunately I will be unable to attend these events as I'm off to Kenya on Sunday. I'll be back beginning of Feb, when the SE campaign season will begin (details to follow). In the meantime please contact Rob or Simon with any Urgent SE business.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Stand up for your party in 2011

Last nights planning meeting come drinks evening was very entertaining. If you were there, thank you for your input (minutes are almost done).

If you were not, we look forward to meeting you next time.

One of the topics covered was the local elections this year. Andrew Janes is encouraging us to stand up and, well... stand, for the local elections in your area this year.

The reason I'm posting is that the system is unclear and there was uncertainty as to whether members had elections at all. The House of Commons has published a handy list of authorities holding elections in 2011.

If you are interested in standing in the South East check the list and get in touch with us so we can make appropriate plans to assist you.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The 2010 Hayek Lecture

Many SE members will have been at this event, and seen this first hand. For those that did not, here is the full video:

LSE Hayek Lecture 2010: Professor Jesús Huerta de Soto from Cobden Centre on Vimeo.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

South East Meet Up -- Thursday January 6th

This is just a quick message to remind all South East members that our next meet up will be this Thursday, January 6th in the Rose and Crown Southwark.

As usual we will be there from 6:30pm and if you have not been before and cannot find us please ask at the bar and the landlady will point you in the right direction.

Below is a map and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

View Rose and Crown -- Southwark in a larger map