Friday, 13 March 2009

Localism and Libertarianism

The society was delighted to host Douglas Carswell, Conservative MP for Harwich & Clacton, last night to speak about his new coauthored libertarian/localist manifesto, 'The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain.' The speech was extremely stimulating, and points to an intriguing way for libertarians to return responsibility for the functions of the state down to the lowest level possible - the local community, and in most cases, the individual. One of the subtle points that suggests localism should be forefront amongst the agenda of libertarians is that it provides a counterweight to the politically powerful tool of big government - the client state. By empowering individuals to choose their children's school or be in charge of what healthcare they receive, and how much they pay for it, a new orthodoxy can be established in which rational individuals refuse to surrender their newfound rights to the central government. In this respect, localism has a self-replicating mechanism which, by competition between councils, encourages best practice to be emulated, and, by giving individuals a wider range of choices, irrevocably breaks the monopoly of the central government.

The video is below:

(It starts ~30 seconds in to the talk - hence the discontinuity at the beginning)

1 comment:

Jock Coats said...

The interweb is a wonderful thing - I was unable to come along last night and so am very grateful for you arranging this video. Thank you!