Monday, January 13, 2003


In a post of 5th headed "Poppycock", Marc Miyake is amazed that a Leftist can call himself an anarchist. In truth, of course it is no more amazing than a Leftist calling himself a liberal. It's just camouflage for their real dislike of individual liberty and their love of big government.

It was not always so, of course. In the 19th century, anarchists were generally real individualists who were genuinely opposed to government of all sorts. The trouble was that they also saw business and government as being in cahoots -- which to a degree they were of course. So the only alternative idea to government that the poor old 19th century anarchists had to offer was to revert to some sort of communal living -- which stops working almost as soon as you try it. The dreamy 19th century anarchists did not die out overnight, however. They were still one of the factions on the Leftist side in the Spanish civil war and it was largely their thinking behind the Israeli kibbutzim. There are still a few of them around and "Left-wing anarchist" would not be a bad name for them. Like Leftists, they ARE opposed to the existing power structures. But where Leftists simply want themselves to take over, the dreamy anarchists have no real alternative at all to offer.

The true anarchists of today who have a much more plausible alternative to government are of course the anarcho-capitalists -- the extreme end of the libertarian movement. They see business not as an ally of government but as an alternative to it. And it is undoubtedly true that most of the things now done by government could be done (and in some cases are already also being done) by business instead. AOL now claim to deliver more mail than the U.S. postal service and the role of insurance companies in providing for old age, sickness etc is well known.



Andrew Sullivan has a good article in the London Sunday Times (January 13th) on President Bush. See here. He portrays GW as a man of principle who sticks to his core instincts rather than being a slave to political expediency. Sullivan does not make a big point of it but the core of what he is saying is that GW is a worthy successor to the Gipper.

There is a big message in it to the �me too� jellyfish presently running the British Conservative party too. As I see it, now that the Labour Party�s Tony Blair has �stolen� a lot of conservative causes, the British Conservatives have moronically concluded that their only option is to steal Leftist causes! If they had any brains they would stress the conservative causes they have left -- such as tax cuts and punishing the criminals rather than the victims of crime.

Just as a matter of interest, Sullivan�s repeated use of the term �inner-directed� to describe GW derives from the work of Riesman. There is an article here that argues that JFK was also inner-directed. An inner-directed person is one who follows his own instincts and standards whereas an other-directed person is always worrying about what others think.

Riesman, D. (1950) The lonely crowd New Haven: Yale U.P.



In a nationwide poll reported last year in The Washington Post, respondents overwhelmingly opposed racial preferences. That view cut across all groups: 86 percent of blacks, 94 percent of whites, 88 percent of Hispanics, and 84 percent of Asians agreed that college admissions (as well as hiring and contracting) "should be based strictly on merit and qualifications other than race or ethnicity."

From The figleaf of �Diversity� by Jeff Jacoby.



In response to my recent posts on the FDA and drug regulation generally, one of my medical readers (a specialist doctor) has written in as follows:

Drug regulation has done more to stifle competition than to protect consumers - isn't that what most regulation does?

They have locked out small companies who simply cannot afford the regulatory process, leading to a less competitive marketplace.

I have always been suspicious at anyone patenting the use of an old product - especially if the distributor has done little original research. In any case, most companies would not use an old drug for any reason.

For this reason (little profit in old drugs), we now have a critical shortage of such drugs. Along with the risk of litigation for making old drugs, companies elect to discontinue production. Again, regulation - by empowering trial lawyers - has made it economically impossible for drug companies to make old drugs. Don't you just love government?



Shishir Yerramilli has emailed me his thoughts on how important Christianity is to prosperity -- which I have put up here.

He says that most Catholic nations are poor where all Protestant nations are rich. That is roughly true but the existence of very wealthy Catholic countries like Italy, France, Spain and Ireland suggest that it is not their Catholicism that holds some Catholic countries back.



People, and very many historians, conveniently seem to forget that the outbreak of the World War II in 1939 was caused not only by Hitler, but also by Stalin: Soviet Union invading the eastern half of Poland, and Germany invading the western half.




China Hand has just started a new blog and his first posting on it is the story of his life! See here.

Chris Brand reveals that he has become a public bogeyman.

The Wicked one has some embarrassing quotes from the Bible.

Michael Darby warns us that Al Qaeda has an interest in shipping.


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