Reminder: Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Hey peoples… just a reminder about the upcoming Festival of Dangerous Ideas. I will be talking at 5:45pm on Sunday 4 October with the topic “the old should pay for themselves”. I’m sure there are going to be plenty of trendy neo-socialists there to throw tomatoes, so it would be good to have a few libertarians to even things out.

Click on the image below for more details…


There are plenty of other interesting talks at the festival, including talks by Oliver Hartwich and Cassandra Wilkinson on Capitalism, Ray Evans on Child Labour and various other talks.

The Christopher Hitchens talk (Religion Poisons Everything) has sold out, but I have one spare ticket (free) for whoever does the best job of bribing me. If you’re interested, e-mail me on

9 thoughts on “Reminder: Festival of Dangerous Ideas

  1. Will you end up posting your talk online for those of us to poor (cheap) to go to Sydney?

    Also do you go into how much tax current pensioners have paid to other peoples pensions? Do they deserve some of their money back or not?

  2. In an ideal world, they deserve it all back. Unfortunately, it has already been spent. Just because somebody robbed you, that doesn’t give you a moral right to rob another (totally innocent) person.

    I don’t know what the opera house will do with the videos, if anything.

  3. The Capitalism talk is not in the program overview website.

    Certainly an interesting range of views in the different talks. If neo-socialists heckle you, are libertarians allowed to heckle Germaine Greer’s speech – Freedom: The Most Danbgerous Idea of All?

    First explicitly anti-liberty view I’ve heard expressed, but not exactly surprising from the old Marxist Greer, who believes in silencing dissent by force.

  4. woops sorry the Oliver Hartwich and Cassandra Wilkinson talk is in there, I missed it.

    Keysar Trad’s talk on islamic values and polygamy supposedly being good for Australia should be interesting.

    Some of these topics are pretty controverisal, so the festival is well-named, but I wonder if there will be a heckling problem?

  5. When I read the title of the talk I immediately ponder the motive of the speaker. The title of the talk is suggestive of throwing people off their pensions to rot in the gutter so we don’t have to pay for them. However to win over the audience I suspect you will need to reframe it in terms of self funded retirement being of better quality. Too often people think removing the zimmer frame means people will fall over rather than the acctual intent, which is that people will learn to walk again.

  6. JH and others, this material goes into my approach on how best (most justly and also most efficiently) to get from where we are now to “the old… pay for themselves” without taking further from them (I consider removing their currently scheduled benefits a taking – so it’s not a question of taking further from the young or not, but of which taking mathematically must happen).

  7. TerjeP, I doupt self funded retirement can be of better quality. I think the issue is one of plunder and theft. The pension provides far to much money and is far to lenient. I am stunnded that people can hold million dollar property and live on the pension. Anyway the pension is not different than any other tax/welfare, so I will be interest in seeing why he chooses to single out the pension.

  8. Because I was asked to talk about the pension.

    Not sure why you think the government pension is higher quality than the alternatives. Many people would be better off with no pension and lower tax during their working life.

Comments are closed.