Liberal Democrats – 2009 Nation Conference

The ALS is not affiliated with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). However I am. As such I thought I’d flag an upcoming event of significance to Australian libertarians.

A lot of people think that the quest for freedom can be won with good intellectual arguments, moral suasion or mere economic competition. These things are important but I don’t share the optimism of those that think it is enough. Freedom needs defending and in order to defend anything you need a degree of power. Not the power over other people that socialism depends on but the power to defend. This logic is central to the argument for a right to bear arms, to the argument for lower taxes and to most aspects of the libertarian agenda. If somebody breaks into your home and attacks you it is not libertarian ideology that will save your bacon but a willingness to exert power and fight back. This logic is also true of politics. The more positions in parliament that are filled by socialists the less free we will be. The logical response is to want more freedom loving individuals filling up those seats. Unfortunately many freedom loving people have a strong aversion to politics.

The Liberal Democrats are far from being a perfect embodiment of Libertarianism. I don’t think any political party ever can be and I’d resist the notion that we should have a political party that takes for itself the name Libertarian. Politics is not a game of purity. It entails compromises, trade offs, second rate options and marriages of convenience. I don’t agree with every position in the Liberal Democrats policy book however I agree with it vastly more than anything I see in the other political parties. It is in my view the vehicle through which Australian libertarians are best positioned to exert political influence.

Some will counter this by saying the Liberal Democrats have no real power. That it is better to exert influence through one of the major parties. I disagree with this analysis. It is true that the Liberal Democrats currently have no representatives in government. However we have had lots of freedom loving people join major parties and then disappear without trace into the party machines. Centrist parties that aim to form government need a form of discipline and compromise that is unsuited to our agenda, especially in the current cultural environment. Whilst the Greens sit on the opposite side of the ideological divide to libertarians (at least on the economic issues) they best represent the means by which an agenda can be advanced through a minor Australian political party. The Greens have never been in government but they have exerted an influence on Australian politics well beyond what mere arithmetic would dictate. Australia needs a freedom loving party sitting on the freedom side of the political see saw and testing the extremity of that lever. The Australian people need to know about freedom as an alternative and to have a box on that menu called the ballot that allows them to express an alternate vision for our society.

As such I’d like to encourage everybody that has even the slightest libertarian leaning to consider coming along to the Liberal Democrats 2009 National Conference. Whilst this event is a business meeting, rather than merely being a social event, you will still find plenty of opportunity to meet like minded people and to enjoy conversation. You will also see a small part of the inner workings of a young freedom loving political party. And of course if you are really brave you may even take the plunge and sign a membership form because like the best things in life it’s free. Bring a close friend if you’re feeling shy.

The event will be held in Sydney on Sunday 25th of January. If you are a user of facebook you can informally register your intention to attend here. On facebook you will also see details about the location and time of the event. I look forward to meeting you on the day.

For more information about the Liberal Democrats, including their policies, please check out the official website: http://www.ldp.org.au/ 

53 thoughts on “Liberal Democrats – 2009 Nation Conference

  1. As for the Liberal Democrats not representing ‘pure’ Libertarianism, what is pure libertarianism? It seems more like a direction than a destiny, considering the variety of differing viewpoints raised here!

  2. Nicholas – I think you make a fair point. I use the term libertarian more to describe the direction I am inclined towards, rather than the end point.

    In terms of end points I would personally wish to see Australia go well beyond LDP policy. For instance I’d like to see income tax abolished.

  3. I find it disappointing that the Liberal Democratic Party has to fashion itself as another “off from centre” party. It’s probably better than the alternatives and so for that reason alone I may give them my vote if given the chance. I’d be reluctant to go any further than that though because the “compromises, trade offs, second rate options and marriages of convenience” all done in order to get and keep power would likely lead me to become disillusioned very quickly.

    I would prefer to wait and give my full support to a principled and unambiguous libertarian party committed to key libertarian concepts and unwilling to make compromises. Maybe I’m expecting too much but I think there are successful examples out there. Ron Paul in the US comes across as a principled character who seems to have been uncompromising throughout his long career and has done quite well in spite of it.

    In the meantime I’ll continue to watch how things develop with the LDP.

  4. Jaz – no disrespect but in my view that’s a bit like waiting for the messiah to come and liberate us. Liberty needs boots.

  5. The world isn’t perfect, Jaz. If you ever want to enjoy any success in politics you need to take a practical approach. Practical politics is really about how to compromise your principles while still delivering a desirable outcome. If you don’t take this practical approach you won’t achieve the necessary democratic majority.

    Remember that we all want to move in the same direction even if we don’t agree on the exact destination. So rather than standing around bickering on principle lets all pull in that direction and everyone wins and at least gets closer to their desired destination.

  6. Jaz, maybe you should decide what you want!
    Anarcho-capitalists are the ‘Privatise Everything Now!’ libertarians. The Austrian School of Economics has this sort of attitude. If you look up Mises Economic Blog on google, you’ll see what they have to offer.
    Minarchist come in various sizes, so there’s no single site, but some of the side-links lead to other sites that are worth looking at.
    I call my own variety ‘Co-Monarchism’. We should all, on our own lands, have the same rights as Monarchs. ‘Public’ land, such as roads, could be owned by the local council, which could set licence fees for users, etc. Copyrights and patents would only apply over public property, such as for advertising purposes. Bigger governments would be turned into conferences for local governments, etc.
    So what do you support?

  7. Teje, Mick – I think it comes down to the old argument of principles versus pragmatism and there are plenty of good arguments for pragmatism in the “real” world. I definitely agree that you can make some positive changes in the right direction in a limited way if you’re prepared to play the game so to speak.

    For whatever reason lately I’ve come to think that a principled party which consistently and clearly states its objectives over time to the electorate might eventually get a decent group of followers and may one day hopefully get some degree of power to make meaningful changes on its own terms.

    I can understand that this might sound overly idealist/quixotic to some but there have been instances (admittedly rare though!) of principled politicians who have done quite well over time (Ron Paul as I have pointed out might be an example of this).

    I guess you just have to have hope that given the information/message consistently and repeatedly enough and with the continued disillusionment with present politicians/parties people just might come round to accepting a libertarian alternative without such a party having to dilute or water down its objectives to make them politically palatable.

    Nicholas – I see your point it’s difficult for a group of people to agree on anything. Libertarians are no different and are all over the shop with your big L’s, little l’s, anarcho capitalists, minarcists and so on and so on. The LDP it seems does not want to use the word libertarian because it many not want to adhere to core libertarian principles all the time which is fair enough. For that reason I would ideally like to support a Libertarian party. Yes there will be disagreements on what “flavour” of libertarianism it would be but at least hopefully the objectives could be fleshed out and stuck to from the start and it would remain unambiguously libertarian.

    Mark – I will support the LDP as long as they remain the best alternative.

  8. Look at ACT and LibertariaNz in New Zealand. The LDP aspires to be ACT, and get MPs. LibertariaNz is an uncompromising Libertarian party pushing the ideas, but not getting anyone elected. There is space for both. If you found LibertariAus, I’ll certainly join it, but I’ll keep putting my efforts into the LDP…

  9. There is almost nothing in the LDP’s policies that isn’t libertarian.

    Furthermore, it is unquestionably a principled party which consistently and clearly states its objectives

    Jaz is just typical of a lot of men – reluctant to make a commitment.

  10. Yes David I am reluctant to give commitment because when I read things like; “compromises, trade offs, second rate options and marriages of convenience” it makes me nervous. If the LDP stays consistent and principled then I will continue to spread the good word about it.

  11. Personally I am personally at the point where I no longer care. People get the government they deserve and Australia deserves Rudd.

    I support the LDP but I fully plan on leaving this country to become the cesspool it wants to be. Things get worse every year, I’d rather live in a country that is libertarian now.

  12. Jaz – I don’t think I have mischaracterised the nature of politics. Even if you got pure bred libertarians into parliament they would be compromised every time they voted for or against a bill that included good bits and bad bits. For instance attached to the Telstra privatisation bill was a $4 billion dollar handout to the bush. How do you vote for or against that without being compromised? Included in the last budget was tax cuts but also the perpetuation of massive government. How do you vote for or against that without being compromised?

    My point wasn’t that the LDP is without principles. My point was that politics is a dirty business in which we get to choose between bad and bloody awful.

  13. Jaz, they also call it the LIBERAL Democratic Party because the Liberal Party used to be a small-government party which favoured business, and they hope to capture any Liberals who want to go back to the good old days!

  14. I don’t think that has ever been particularily true of the Liberal party. It has frequently opposed bigger government but only rarely has it championed smaller government.

  15. Terje, this conference thingy you mentioned on the 25th- where will this blessed event occur? And have you managed to et some celebrities to attend? I think dick Smith would be interested, based on some of the things he has said in the past.

  16. Jaz — if you’re waiting for somebody else to do all the work, you’ll be waiting a long time. If you’re waiting until other people perfectly agree with you, then you’ll be waiting a long time.

    I would like Australia to have a radical libertarian and a moderate libertarian party. Both have been started. The radical one got a maximum of three members and literally never did a thing. The more moderate one has done slightly better — with nearly 2000 members, eight years of history, registered in two jurisdictions and has stood in four elections. But even then, the party needs more support if we want to make the next step in politics.

    Clearly, having the LDP in Australia is better than not having the LDP in Australia. The actions of libertarians will determine whether there is a libertarian alternative.

    Personally, I’m a radical libertarian. But ultimately, radical libertarians who do nothing (or nothing but talk to themselves) are effectively useless to the movement, while moderate libertarians who actually contribute are valuable.

  17. “I have been ruminating recently on what are the crucial questions that divide libertarians. Some that have received a lot of attention in the last few years are: anarcho-capitalism vs. limited government, abolitionism vs. gradualism, natural rights vs. utilitarianism, and war vs. peace. But I have concluded that as important as these questions are, they don’t really cut to the nub of the issue, of the crucial dividing line between us.”

    “The real difference isn’t between what constitutes the ‘end game’ be it small limited government or anarcho-capitalism, it is how you go about getting there.

    “Perhaps the word that best defines our distinction is “radical.” Radical in the sense of being in total, root-and-branch opposition to the existing political system and to the State itself. Radical in the sense of having integrated intellectual opposition to the State with a gut hatred of its pervasive and organized system of crime and injustice. Radical in the sense of a deep commitment to the spirit of liberty and anti-statism that integrates reason and emotion, heart and soul.

    Furthermore, in contrast to what seems to be true nowadays, you don’t have to be an anarchist to be radical in our sense, just as you can be an anarchist while missing the radical spark. I can think of hardly a single limited governmentalist of the present day who is radical – a truly amazing phenomenon, when we think of our classical liberal forbears who were genuinely radical, who hated statism and the States of their day with a beautifully integrated passion: the Levellers, Patrick Henry, Tom Paine, Joseph Priestley, the Jacksonians, Richard Cobden, and on and on, a veritable roll call of the greats of the past. Tom Paine’s radical hatred of the State and statism was and is far more important to the cause of liberty than the fact that he never crossed the divide between laissez-faire and anarchism.”

    “Why are almost all of our laissez-faire limited governmentalists plonky conservatives and patriots? If the opposite of “radical” is “conservative,” where are our radical laissez-fairists? If our limited statists were truly radical, there would be virtually no splits between us. What divides the movement now, the true division, is not anarchist vs. minarchist, but radical vs. conservative. Lord, give us radicals, be they anarchists or no.”

    “Taking the concept of radical vs. conservative in our new sense, let us analyze the now famous “abolitionism” vs. “gradualism” debate.

    There is not a single abolitionist who would not grab a feasible method, or a gradual gain, if it came his way. [b]The difference is that the abolitionist always holds high the banner of his ultimate goal, never hides his basic principles, and wishes to get to his goal as fast as humanly possible.[/b] Hence, while the abolitionist will accept a gradual step in the right direction if that is all that he can achieve, he always accepts it grudgingly, as merely a first step toward a goal which he always keeps blazingly clear. The abolitionist is a “button pusher” who would blister his thumb pushing a button that would abolish the State immediately, if such a button existed. But the abolitionist also knows that alas, such a button does not exist, and that he will take a bit of the loaf if necessary – while always preferring the whole loaf if he can achieve it.

    His button-pushing position stems from the abolitionist’s deep and abiding hatred of the State and its vast engine of crime and oppression. With such an integrated world-view, the radical libertarian could never dream of confronting either a magic button or any real-life problem with some arid cost-benefit calculation. He knows that the State must be diminished as fast and as completely as possible. Period.”

    “And that is why the radical libertarian is not only an abolitionist, but also refuses to think in such terms as a Four Year Plan for some sort of stately and measured procedure for reducing the State. The radical – whether he be anarchist or laissez-faire – cannot think in such terms as, e.g.: Well, the first year, we’ll cut the income tax by 2%, abolish the ICC, and cut the minimum wage; the second year we’ll abolish the minimum wage, cut the income tax by another 2%, and reduce welfare payments by 3%, etc. The radical cannot think in such terms, because the radical regards the State as our mortal enemy, which must be hacked away at wherever and whenever we can. To the radical libertarian, we must take any and every opportunity to chop away at the State, whether it’s to reduce or abolish a tax, a budget appropriation, or a regulatory power. And the radical libertarian is insatiable in this appetite until the State has been abolished, or – for minarchists – dwindled down to a tiny, laissez-faire role.

    Many people have wondered: Why should there be any important political disputes between anarcho-capitalists and minarchists now? In this world of statism, where there is so much common ground, why can’t the two groups work in complete harmony until we shall have reached a Cobdenite world, after which we can air our disagreements? Why quarrel over courts, etc. now? The answer to this excellent question is that we could and would march hand-in-hand in this way if the minarchists were radicals, as they were from the birth of classical liberalism down to the 1940s. Give us back the antistatist radicals, and harmony would indeed reign triumphant within the movement.”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard75.html

    I skipped a few bits, so it is best to read the entire thing but basically, I’m seeing a whole lot of “conservatives” here & hardly any “radicals”.

    No third party has ever successfully built itself up into a movement without being “radical” and standing by the principles they represent. I think that is what Jaz wants, as do I. 🙂

  18. No third party has ever successfully built itself up into a movement without being “radical” and standing by the principles they represent.

    No third party has ever successfully built itself into a movement by being “radical”. Certainly not in libertarian/minarchist/anarchist terms.

    Moreover, the LDP stands by its principles 100%. If you don’t agree, prove it.

  19. Did you just completely miss the point of my post?
    It has nothing to do with being libertarian/minarchist/anarcho-capitalist… it’s about “radical” in the sense of being an outspoken abolitionist instead of advocating gradualist “conservative” approaches – it’s about having a profound angst of what we currently have, i.e the status quo and advocating a “radical” position as our end goal. Liberty.

    The greens are “radical”, they are forever practically calling for an end to industrialization and civilization, to save the earth. Covert malthusians who want to see humanity rewind the last thousand years of progress so that we can go back to anarcho-commune’s and live in the forest.

    The socialists are “radical”, do I need to delve into the marxist, leninist propaganda & what they constantly advocate and strive for?

    The point is they forever hold their goal up high, shout it from the rooftops, accept whatever fabian progression that is accomplished and then demand more.

    All I propose is the LDP do the same. Advocate:

    – The abolishment of the income tax, and any other taxes because ‘taxation is theft’. The minimum wage is a barrier to job creation and in the coming economic climate it is paramount that government intervention in the market be annihilated.
    – Call for the end of the RBA, the central bank – 5th plank of the Communist Manifesto.
    – Oppose irrational, illegal, unnecessary wars because they break the fundamental principles of libertarianism, the non aggression axiom and private property rights.
    – It’s about opposing global warming and the eco agenda behind it. And rhetorically the way you can do it is by blasting the “greenies” who support a carbon tax, that they are legalizing pollution, and in fact – our position: full private property rights neglected since the Industrial Revolution would ban it altogether. We (Libertarianism) has the moral high ground on every single issue out there. Our whole philosophy is centered around, what should or should not be law. Why would you give that up?

    It’s about standing up for Liberty and justice. That will build a movement, that will get publicity, that will spread the message, that will get people fired up, that will motivate and hopefully that will get someone elected, who can then use the platform to further the cause, spread the message even more. There is nothing to be gained from getting there, then shutting the —- up, and trying to do backdoor deals, to play the game of ‘politics’. It will lead nowhere, principles will be compromised, the base you built on principles will perish & the movement squandered.

  20. “Antilibertarians, and antiradicals generally, characteristically make the point that such abolitionism is “unrealistic”; by making such a charge they hopelessly confuse the desired goal with a strategic estimate of the probable path toward that goal.

    It is essential to make a clear-cut distinction between the ultimate goal itself, and the strategic estimate of how to reach that goal; in short, the goal must be formulated before questions of strategy or “realism” enter the scene. The fact that such a magic button does not and is not likely to exist has no relevance to the desirability of abolitionism itself. We might agree, for example, on the goal of liberty and the desirability of abolitionism in liberty’s behalf. But this does not mean that we believe that abolition will in fact be attainable in the near or far future.

    The libertarian goals – including immediate abolition of invasions of liberty – are “realistic” in the sense that they could be achieved if enough people agreed on them, and that, if achieved, the resulting libertarian system would be viable. The goal of immediate liberty is not unrealistic or “Utopian” because – in contrast to such goals as the “elimination of poverty” – its achievement is entirely dependent on man’s will. If, for example, everyone suddenly and immediately agreed on the overriding desirability of liberty, then total liberty would be immediately achieved. The strategic estimate of how the path toward liberty is likely to be achieved is, of course, an entirely separate question.

    Thus, the libertarian abolitionist of slavery, William Lloyd Garrison, was not being “unrealistic” when, in the 1830s, he raised the standard of the goal of immediate emancipation of the slaves. His goal was the proper moral and libertarian one, and was unrelated to the “realism,” or probability of its achievement.

    Indeed, Garrison’s strategic realism was expressed by the fact that he did not expect the end of slavery to arrive immediately or at a single blow. As Garrison carefully distinguished:

    “Urge immediate abolition as earnestly as we may, it will, alas! be gradual abolition in the end. We have never said that slavery would be overthrown by a single blow; that it ought to be, we shall always contend.”[8]

    Otherwise, as Garrison trenchantly warned, “Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.”

    Gradualism in theory, in fact, totally undercuts the overriding goal of liberty itself; its import, therefore, is not simply strategic but an opposition to the end itself and hence impermissible as any part of a strategy toward liberty. The reason is that once immediate abolitionism is abandoned, then the goal is conceded to take second or third place to other, antilibertarian considerations, for these considerations are now placed higher than liberty.”
    – (http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard164.html)

    Liberty Australia
    http://www.la.org.au/

  21. MichaelC – Who did the graphic design for the http://www.la.org.au website?

    I’m all for abolishing income tax. I’m not so convinced that all tax should be abolished. If the LDP decided that it’s policy was to have all tax abolished then I’d still vote for it but I suspect a lot may not.

    Anyway I hope you come along to the meeting and try to sway the direction of the party. Talk is cheap, turning up counts for more.

  22. LDP 2009 National Conference – event details:-

    Sunday, January 25, 2009
    Time: 2:00pm
    Location: Balmain Leagues Club
    Street: 138-152 Victoria Road
    City/Town: Rozelle, Australia

  23. Here’s an idea- have a series of St. George awards, like Oscars, to be given to politicians who have reduced the amount of red tape which seeks to strangle us. Then invite contending politicians to attend the next conference, where all their efforts are explained, and then have the LDP president announce the winner! Have it just like the oscars, but for service to the nation by reducing the size of government, the metaphorical dragon which is killing us all (hence calling the award St. George, the dragon-slayer.)

  24. I quite like my idea of cash prizes (say $1000) for various categories of Australians who have paid the highest effective marginal rate of tax:

    1. Unemployed

    2. Welfare to work

    3. Employee

    4. Self employed

    5. An open division.

    Surely this would get media attention?

    Nicholas – I fear your award may have to be cancelled due to a lack of participation.

  25. Hey Terje,
    The guy who did the design is from Ufa, Russia. We wanted to get an Aussie but they were a little pricey.

    Talk is indeed cheap. I’m unable to make it to Sydney, but am hoping something further up North is possible, to kick start the party.

    Mike

  26. Maybe we should give it to politicians who didn’t vote on extra laws. There must be SOME politicians who have a less-bad record than others! They can’t all be equally guilty!
    Can any other commenter name a politician who is going in the right direction, please?

  27. I had fun at the conference. What a shame more people didn’t attend. I met some people who hadn’t heard all my jokes before, and they politely laughed. Nice people!
    I couldn’t stay for the whole conference, but it was great to meet and greet. One suggestion for future meetings- find some way to limit David to a ten-minute rant! That’ll halve the meeting time!

  28. Another point for improvement- quote Australians!
    Peter Whelan’s card has a quote from an american, but this is supposed to be an Australian Party! Are there no good quotes to be extracted from an Australian’s speech? Wouldn’t that be better? (And dose the Alsblog site need a silhouette of the Statue of Liberty? What’s wrong with the flag of the Eureka stockade?)

  29. I think those that organised the day did a great job. The venue was good, the people were interesting and the discussion remained light hearted even as the business of the day was completed. Congratulations to the new members of the executive team which includes ALS blogger Jim Fryer. And thankyou to the outgoing members of the executive team for their contributions over the past year.

    For symbolic reasons I would prefer that the front of the room had included the entire executive and not just the president and secretary. I have passed this on to the relevant people and they seem receptive to the idea so maybe next year.

  30. Eureka flag is used by socialists and fascists. The chance that we can re-badge it as a libertarian symbol is unlikely.

    The Statue of Liberty has long been associated with freedom. And the southern cross has long been associated with Australia.

  31. “Personally I am personally at the point where I no longer care. People get the government they deserve and Australia deserves Rudd.

    I support the LDP but I fully plan on leaving this country to become the cesspool it wants to be. Things get worse every year, I’d rather live in a country that is libertarian now.”

    I was wondering what country this might be. I spoke to Lew Rockwell and he told me that he knew of friends who were moving to New Zealand. Considering that you gents are from Australia, which is relatively close by, what do you think about that place. I was also thinking about Signapore, a place that Jim Rogers, libertarian investor, has moved to and recommends.

  32. That is a shame, since the circumstances of the event, and also the flag is very well designed – and links thematically with “libertarian” colours.

    John is also quite correct – the far left and far right have both appropriated the flag although it has little to do with their ideology, or the poem it was apparently based upon (along with our antipodean geography).

    Personally I would like it as our national flag, but I see problems with that like the above.

  33. I like the Eureka flag as a symbol for Aussie libertarians. The Eureka stockade was after all a rebellion against government authority and in particular against taxation. I also quite like the association with gold. I don’t think it would be impossible to dust off that old flag and give it new meaning for the 21st Century. In fact I have used if for one of the causes I started on facebook.

    http://apps.facebook.com/causes/21945?m=611088da&recruiter_id=6758475

  34. NZ is better than Australian on things like gun laws. However once you line up their income tax scales along side ours and adjust for the exchange rate you realise how horrible the taxes there are.

  35. How about a version of the Eureka flag with different colours? A light blue background, with white cross and golden stars? If we incorporate LDP colours, it can become ours.
    And we still need to find some Australian for our quotes in favour of liberty. Did Peter Lalor say anything quote-worthy?

  36. I’m thinking both designs look good, though the centralisers have used the dark blue version. Any other ideas out there? Perhaps our mascot could be the Cassowary, a vegetarian with strong property instincts.

  37. Good idea Leigh… a “Design a Liberty flag” which can be used as/incorporated into a logo for ALS. I’ll even throw in a few dollars towards a prize.

  38. The Eureka flag has had a strong union/left-wing affiliation in recent history, particularly with corrupt organisations like the BLF in the 70s and 80s. It’s a shame because considering it’s origins it would be more appropriate for a cause like ours.

  39. Greego,

    I agree… that’s why a modified version is a good idea.

    There may be other good ideas too, which is why a comp might be useful… plus it might attract attention, and our cause could certainly use publicity.

  40. A few competitions recently *invented* by nicholas and I…

    1. Most red tape eating politician

    2. Australian with the higest tax rate of the year award

    …and I quite like this “design a logo” competition.


  41. Sam, which country takes your fancy? If I hadn’t of built a career in the Australian military I think I’d be an American by now.”

    There are a few canditates. There are certain countries that are libertarian by design (e.g. Hong Kong, Monaco, numerous tax havens in the Carribean and South Pacific) and there are also quite a few countries that are libertarian by virtue of a lack of law enforcement (most Southeast Asian countries and a number of other developing countries elsewhere).

    Both have their advantages. Typically the advantages of countries like Hong Kong is great economic freedom, but personal freedom is no better than Australia. The developing countries have personal freedom on a much wider scale but the cost is a reduced value of property rights because of poorer law enforcement.

    Quite a few libertarians have found homes in places as varied as Vietnam, Monaco, Hong Kong, Antigua, Vanuatu and Gibraltar.

    As much as I would like Australia to become a libertarian country, the chances of it becoming so in my lifetime are extremely remote, and I would like to try my luck elsewhere.

  42. Mick, I don’t know why you think that America is so great. Perhaps at various times it was under Reagan or Clinton, but certainly not during the past 8 years and certainly not now with all these bailouts of failed companies, outright nationalizations or the threat thereof, increasing smoking bans, high corporate and income taxes, belligerent drug war to the point of absurdity, world’s highest prison population, never-ending wars, crony capitalism, world’s largest national debt, thoroughly decayed production base and worst of all, the danger of economic controls that promise to be more stringent than FDR’s new deal.

    To see this never-ending nightmare in action, all you have to do is watch an episode of Glen Beck, Lou Dobbs, John Stossel or Peter Schiff. Peter Schiff and Jim Rogers, famous investors, have stated that there is no future for the USA if it continues in this path.

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