New Australian Libertarian Websites

Australian libertarianism is beginning to grow in the hearts and minds of many Australians.  Maybe like you, I have noticed that libertarian ideas and attitudes are rapidly spreading to family, friends and acquaintances. I think this is because we are becoming more vocal about our objections to the growth and celebration of the nanny state.  Avenues for our political expression, such as Facebook, have been invaluable to: 1) sowing ‘liberty thought’ seeds, and 2) becoming an alternative voice in political ‘comment wars’.

Certainly the emerging prominence of the Liberal Democrats is another measure of vibrant Australian Libertarianism.  As a matter of fact, this was the first election where I’ve left the polls with a positive attitude after seeing the LDP on the Senate ballot box.

Another measure of growing libertarianism in Australia is the growth of liberty-oriented websites that aren’t associated with any political party.  The last couple years have seen various kinds of Aussie Libertarian websites pop-up on the Internet.  Let’s look at a few:

1. Economics.org.au

A fantastic website with local and global economic and policy analysis with a sharp libertarian edge.  The contributors come from a broad spectrum of libertarian thought, which should have articles that appeal to both classical liberals and anarcho-capitalists.

2. Liberty Australia

This website was in the making for quite some time but was finally unleashed this year by founders Michael Conaghan and Anthony Coralluzzo.  The purpose of the website is to function like an Australian equivalent of LewRockwell.com, which would catalogue various blog and opinion articles by established contributors, with a distinct ‘Ron Paulian’ & ‘Rothbardian’ flavour.  What is really unique about this site, apart from it’s beauty and design, is that registered users can submit their articles for publication review.  Liberty Australia also has an excellent list of valuable Libertarian websites from around the world.

(Disclaimer: I am a major contributor to the following two websites.)

3. Aussienomics

Aussienomics was founded by Austrian School economist Justin Pyvis.  This blog is an Austrian school economic voice that analyses and comments on economic and political policies within Australia. Aussienomics is a great source to visit regularly if you want to escape the Marxist, Keynesian and Monetarist dribble from all the major news outlets AND if you want to read an article containing the words: savings, production, private, capital, Mises, Hayek and Rothbard.

4. The Mule Watch

This website was setup by group of young Queensland scientists who were interested in only one thing: creating a news aggregation source that reported on Big Government activities around the world, and any resistance to it.  The website offers several RSS feeds, updated regularly, to deliver to subscribers the latest news concerning your liberty.  (update: the blog portion of the website recently got spammed, which is being fixed, but the RSS feeds are fully functional though)

The increased presence of Australian Libertarian websites will only strengthen the culture of freedom in our local communities.  With the growing influence of social networking sites as second-hand dealers of news and opinions, these and other future websites can regularly deliver quality libertarian content to your friends and family.

11 thoughts on “New Australian Libertarian Websites

  1. I honestly for the life of me can’t remember how I stumbled across this website, but thank goodness!
    Great websites, thanks for the referral. 🙂

  2. I didn’t realize that when i was searching for australian specific material on libertarian ideas, i would come accross material that has mostly represents the views of quite right wing conservative liberal thinkers, that more closely resembles the U.S tea party movement, than ‘small L’thought. The swathe of articles, opionion and blog here seem to just mirror Abbott-style liberal philosophy at the moment, rather than any constructive, free-thinking positions and solutions on the environment, the economy or social issues.

  3. Brad, I’m not quite sure you understand the modern use of the term “libertarian”. Libertarians support low taxes and low spending (just like the Tea Party movement) while simultaneously being in favour of civil liberties. Libertarians are opposed to government coming up with “constructive solutions” because we believe that government creates more problems than it solves.

    To call say our philosophy is “Abbott style” is like saying the Greens have “Gillard style” philosophy. Libertarians do tend to the right on economic issues, but you’ll find few if any libertarians that agree with Abbott on social issues.

    “Small l” liberal, in my experience, typically refers to social issues and while the blog here often focuses more on the economic side than things you’ll notice Tim Andrew’s recent article “The Terrorists Have Already Won” is something one would expect to come from the left rather than the right.

    I recommend you start looking outside the left-right dichotomy you’ll find that libertarianism is a philosophy that universally respects the individual and their freedoms.

  4. “free-thinking positions and solutions on the environment, the economy or social issues.”

    Nukes (laissesz faire), laissez faire and laisses faire.

    We want the private profit, non profit and civil societies to come up with whatever solutions work for them.

    No conservative movement has consistently or thoroughly taken up this position.

  5. Shem, maybe i don’t understand the modern use of the term ‘Libertarian’, being used in the context found here. Sure, i agree and understand that Libertarians champion free enterprize and market based solutions to macro-economic policy- as you say low tax, low spend, low or no gevernment intervention.
    I just thought that Libertarians would take a more ‘small L’ approach to social issues- the market (i don’t think) can provide adqeudate legislative protection for citezens, and what is the position of this philosohpy on general social issues? Less Welfare, Less Austudy, etc. I’m sure that you would say competition drives success to the betterment of all individuals, i just find that going purely capitalist economically, also lends itself to the same notion socially- and a purely capitalist society undermines the very principles of democracy that capitalists support.
    I’m not sure you would agree with this summation, but perhaps i don’t understand where Libertarians fit in a left-right dichotomy. Either that or i am more left leaning than i thought!

  6. I’m not exactly sure what “social issues” you are talking about.

    If you mean civil liberties (like drug use, gay marriage, etc), a libertarian supports adult freedom and adults making their own choices.

    If you mean welfare, we believe that government hurts people more than they help. Moderate libertarians agree that there should be a minimal safety net- but beyond that we think excessive welfare leads to welfare dependency and poor incentives.

    Welfare should be a last resort- people are happiest when they are productive and they are most productive when they work. Welfare removes choices from people, work provides autonomy and choices.

    Capitalism and free markets provide the most choice for people and the most autonomy. Capitalism results in more productive societies.

    If it helps you understand the philosophy libertarians are capitalists that support civil liberties. But unlike Liberal party capitalists we are opposed to middle class handouts and handouts to big business.

    Hopefully that helps you understand a bit more.

  7. > but perhaps i don’t understand where Libertarians fit in a left-right dichotomy

    Here is my perspective:

    A libertarian often agrees with the left on social issues but reaches the decision based on different logic.

    Take the question of gay marriage.
    Mrs Left may or may not be gay but want to allow gay marriage based on existing discrimination against a particular group
    Ms Libertarian may or may not agree with gay marriage but asks if the government need to define marriage at all
    Mr Right wants to exclude gay marriage from the Marriage Act due to fear that it will be to the detriment of society (or at least Mr Right’s perception of society)

    A libertarian often agrees with the right on economic issues but reaches the decision based on different logic.

    Take the question of nuclear energy.
    Mr Right may or may not think nuclear power is worthwhile but want to allow nuclear energy based on existing discrimination against a particular industry
    Ms Libertarian may or may not think nuclear power is worthwhile but asks why the government should decide which industries to permit at all
    Mrs Left wants to ban nuclear energy due to fear that it will be to the detriment of society (or at least Mrs Left’s perception of society)

    The libertarian approach is to institue a set of fair and equal law, where moral judgements are left to be debated, shaped and evolve in the marketplace of ideas.

    When I’m asked to briefly outline my position on issues based on “left” or “right” dichotomy, I tend to paraphrase Penn Jillette: “Take a sharp right on money and a sharp left on sex and it’s libertarianism straight ahead”.

  8. Both fair enough responses- thanks for the reply. I wonder then where the libertarian would draw the line at what is adequate governance, and what imdedes the rights of the individual. If the reponse is all government intervention infringes on individual rights, the can a libertarian be lumped with the tag of an anarchist? Cheers.

  9. “Extreme” libertarians are basically anarchists or anarcho-capitalists. Some people on the site here fit more in that category.

    Then there are minimal-state anarchist. They believe that government action involves violence (tax is theft) and the only reason for a government to use violence is to prevent further violence. In other words, it’s okay for a government to run a police, a military and generally protect the population but anything beyond that is illegitimate.

    Then you have moderate libertarians. Most people here probably fit into that category- they are pragmatists who try and push towards practical solutions rather than deal in philosophical ideals. Generally these are people that believe in government that is smaller than the current size, but still has most of its current responsibilities. They support welfare, but limited welfare. They support public funding of education, but not government provision of education (school vouchers). They might support superannuation instead of old age pensions. The idea here is that government does a bad job of things so you’re better to have private industry manage them. However, there are still some areas where it’s important for government to tax from some and give to others.

    If you believe government should be smaller (less laws, less tax, less spending) than now you are a libertarian. If you believe more spending is somehow going to fix society’s problems you’re probably not a libertarian. This site has all kinds of libertarians, some who believe in zero, or almost zero government and others that believe in just a bit less government than now.

  10. If you’re interested in libertarian theory Milton Freidman’s “Free to Choose” is a moderate libertarian place to start. Nozick is more minarchist and Rothbard is an anarchist.

    Hayek gives a good justification for libertarian economics. And of course there’s Ayn Rand and her “objectivist” philosophy.

Comments are closed.