Sunday, 25 October 2009

A Modest Case for Sacking the State

The society welcomed back Tom G Palmer, Vice President of the Cato Institute, last week, to speak on the case for 'sacking the state' in place of voluntary, spontaneous systems of law. The talk traced the emergence of the state, from nomadic bands, through medieval duchies and up to the present day, examining its common features and popular justifications.

The Q & A session afterwards was highly eclectic, including discussion of immigration and the case for abolishing border controls, Islam & freedom, the war on drugs, private law enforcement, and free trade.

The video of Dr Palmer's previous lecture to the society (entitled 'Liberty as the Remedy to Poverty: Socialism as a Cause'), can be found here. He has also recently published an edited collection of his essays, entitled Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History and Practice, which which defends libertarianism from its critics, and ably sets out, with one eye on history, the case for individual freedom and property rights.

Postscript (28/10/09): Tom emailed shortly afterwards to correct an error with statistics that he mentioned concerning the comparative income of the poorest in free and unfree economies. According to the latest edition of the Fraser Institute's annual Economic Freedom of the World report, the average income of the lowest decile of the population in the most free economies is $9,105, in contrast to $896 in the least free.

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