Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Are we less free than we were in 1908??

. "I am definitely less free than I would have been a century ago - I can get a criminal record and possibly banged up for consuming certain substances"

You really do have to read it to believe it don't you?? Jock Coats said this on Charlotte Gore's blog which at least has the virtue of showing us what the libertarians really are about; every social advance that has been fought for and battled for is to be thrown right out of the window. The first point should be obvious; if capitalism and the markets are such a liberating force why are we less free now than we were 100 years ago. It simply cannot be argued both ways; either the markets have delivered social progress or they have left us less free than we were 100 years ago.

Does Charlotte feel she would have been more free in a society where she had no vote? My perspective is quite clear; social advances, freedoms have been won in the white heat of battle by social movements like the Suffragettes. This, to me, is the true history of liberty; not that it was delivered from on high by free markets. Jock isn't even technically correct; for example, in 1908 the sale of opium was restricted to people known to a pharmacist. Controls on cocaine, heroin and morphine were put in place only 9 years later in 1917. In other words, prohibition is by no means the invention of the modern state. What we are dealing with here is a total loss of historical perspective due to viewing the world through the given ideological prism. In that case how can we expect anything other than idealised solutions which neglect people and leave them to rot??

17 comments:

wit and wisdom said...

Nice one.

Jock Coats said...
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Darrell G said...

Jock,

Errr no, where did I say that?? What I said is that there is a logical contradiction in your argument that markets lead to freedom.

Fine, time-travel to 'free' 1908 where half the population don't even have a vote....

Jock Coats said...
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Jock Coats said...
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Darrell G said...

Jock,

Maybe somebody should have told the Suffragettes to campaign for Free Trade then. Isnt the real thrust of this that Libertarians are no different to their opponents; the 'evil' statist 'collectivists'?? Instead of the 'state' they say 'markets' and 'trade'.

It is so ironic that you criticise the 'statist' left for not wanting to free individuals when you are no more interested in people actually going out their and winning their liberty than statists are because you do not see liberty being won by people but by trade....

Darrell G said...

Jock,

Let me refresh your memory...

"Incidentally I am definitely less free than I would have been a century ago - I can get a criminal record and possibly banged up for consuming certain substances - it's not all been a one way street by any means."

A century ago puts us in 1908...hence the post....

Jock Coats said...
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Jock Coats said...
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Jock Coats said...
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Darrell G said...

Jock,

Hang on a second. I did not 'rip the quote out of context'; ive actually just provided the quote which provides full context. You claimed that you (and presumably the rest of society) was more free 100 years ago ie, in 1908 which as we can clearly see is nonsense.

If you regard a society in which half the population didnt even have the vote as being more free than one where there is universal sufferage what really is to be said?? I am sorry for your tragic loss of the right to bear arms but the reality is that I feel alot safer for it...do you really want to turn this country into America where the political classes are hostages of the gun lobby and lives are lost because of it??

I have pointed out that drug controls were already starting to be put in place in 1908 so your comment that you would not have been subject to prosecution for the possession of certain narcotics isnt accurate. At the last comment all I can say is OMG...maybe we should wind back the clock to when we were all feudal serfs and had common land...maybe they we would be free hey ;)

Jock Coats said...
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Darrell G said...

Jock,

Unbelievable. I think anybody can see from this that I clearly have *not* quoted you out of context...

Jock Coats said...
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Darrell G said...

Its not a question of thinking...its a question of knowing. You said quite clearly you feel you would have been more free in 1908...there is no qualification to the statement you made...it's their in black and white...

Jock Coats said...
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Darrell G said...

It really doesnt matter what qualifications you make Jock, the operative part of what you say; your assertion is that you feel you would have been more free in 1908....which bit of

"I am definitely less free than I would have been a century ago"

is not a catergoric assertion??