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  • Alan Stevens - AWAH - Libertarianism, Freedom.

Visions of a Better Christmas Future

And now a post looking at how future free societies will differ from the present state of affairs in the West. I take the opportunity to link to many past Awah posts which I hope you may find entertaining and instructive.


This post started out as a bit of cheer after the subdued spirit of a Christmas season spent under house arrest for no reason at all (see www.awah.uk posts ‘It is Not About the Virus’ and ‘The Telegraph Chart – It ended in June’). After all the current move in western society towards totalitarianism will pass, sooner or later. No advanced society can survive without the decentralised decision-making technology called liberty (see www.awah.uk post ‘Liberty’s Triumph – The industrial Revolution’). So I am optimistic about the future.


The alternative to liberty, central planning, cannot work. And it is based on threat and coercion, which are moral evils. It has always has failed in practice (see www.awah.uk post ‘The Impossibility of Socialist Economic Calculation’). The WEF, the Green New Deal, the EU and the increasingly socialist USA will all break-down, break-up and fail. And in the longer term, partial liberty, say economic liberty enforced by an authoritarian state, will not be sustainable either. It’s either liberty or simple slavery. Since the latter is no fun and will not work, the ultimate choice should be liberty.


Let’s say one could fast-forward a generation or so. We can bypass, in our imagination at least if not in reality, the coming troubles, the developing triple economic depression, the WEF/Davos Crowd’s ‘Great Reset’, the true reset in which state debt and money will be cancelled, or the now unavoidable civil unrest and conflict in the West.


If you could see the world through the eyes of a member of one of the free, non-state, societies that will exist in time, what would you see? The answer is a mixture of much better economic circumstances, much less fear and insecurity, and a real community.


GREAT AND WIDESPREAD PROSPERITY

Most people who support the current drive towards totally state dominated quasi-slave societies assume that the fabulous standard of living we have now is a given. Moving to socialism or fascism (the same things in substance) will not, they think, make them poor.


I fear they are wrong. Our affluence was only ever the consequence of a historical accident. For a brief period, Britain and its daughter societies became free enough to operate market economies (see www.awah.uk post ‘Liberty’s Triumph – The Industrial Revolution’). But without the freedom necessary to run an economy on the basis of the price mechanism, and the freedom to keep most of the rewards of production, our living standards will fall back. Population levels would then fall too. Which is what the Davos Crowd wishes to see.


To see societies attain again comparable living standards to those of the West, we may have to wait until the first free societies of the future appear. These would be the first societies ever where the collective hallucination of the state will have been finally exorcised.


They will enjoy a profound and stable prosperity. Public opinion will finally understand the nature of self-ordering systems such as the natural world, and human societies – which are special case subsets of the natural world. Everybody who is not actually impaired in mind or body will be cooperating voluntarily with others, with increasing success, to create mutual value by using resources to produce what is most desired by others. In such systems, successful ways of being attract the resources to carry on, and unsuccessful ones do not.


Under conditions of liberty, these basically evolutionary forces will again push society towards what works best in every aspect of life. The result will be the highest achievable level of prosperity consistent with the technology of the time. Just getting rid of state enforced win-lose arrangements will free up ample resources for win-win transactions between free individuals (see www.awah.uk post ‘Society Really does not Need the State’).


As Canadian professor and writer Jordan Peterson explains, post-modernism may be correct to say that there is an infinite number of ways of understanding the world, but very few are viable. Therefore, everything is not ‘relative’ or value-free. Liberty, and the powerful evolutionary forces it enables, discourages unviable projects, values and ways of being.


It also enables citizens to put down macro-parasitism (i.e. some people using ‘state’ force and legal privilege to live at others’ expense), which historically has been an all too common, if unpleasant and destructive, way of being. That is to say, liberty cuts out those people who in our societies rely on tribute and obedience exacted by the state. Would-be predators will have to make themselves useful to their fellow citizens instead.


A free society will suffer no losses to taxation, neither direct loss of resources nor indirect disruption of output. Not paying on average 40% of incomes in tax will be great progress. HM Treasury tells us that each £1.00 of UK government spending costs society £1.60 (see www.awah.uk post ‘Twice as Well-off Without Politics’) once long-term economic costs of taxation are included. The original £1 of state spending is unlikely to have been well used, and the extra 60p of loss is simply pure waste. Free, non-state, societies will no longer be hampered by the ‘tax wedge’. This is the demoralising gap between what people have to earn pre-tax to buy a good or service and what its supplier actually receives after tax (see www.awah.uk post ‘Is the Tax Wedge Becoming Un-affordable?’).


And that’s before you get to what economists call ‘rent-seeking’. This is where apparently virtuous private (and public) sector entities use state power to rig the game against productive individuals (see www.awah.uk post ‘Regulation, Fascism and Crony Capitalism’).


A free society will probably be egalitarian in a way reminiscent of the peak post-war years of the American Dream. Nobody will have any legal privilege to disadvantage or exploit others. In a prosperous society, relatively well-paid jobs will be freely available.


The less skilled will have a better chance of a fair crack of the whip in a free society than they will in conditions resembling slavery in an unfree one. Liberty enables everyone to benefit from trade (see www.awah.uk post ‘Comparative Advantage and the Common Man’). The more unfree a society is, the less likely the courts are to protect the little guy from the powerful. Unfree societies therefore have great inequality, as well as generalized poverty. You have only to think of the Nomenklatura class in the USSR and other communist states, and largely corrupt elites in Latin America, especially socialist Venezuela.


SAVING AND INVESTMENT

The difference between wealthy and poor societies in the world is how much productive fixed capital – factories, machines etc. - is available for use by the working population. Productive fixed capital can only be created as a result of saving. Which is why the West’s lengthy war on saving has finally halted growth in popular living standards (see www.awah.uk post ‘Why did Keynes Want to Destroy Savers?’)


Savings and investment in a free society will correctly be seen as a crucial area of voluntary cooperation. This is a foundational tenet of the Austrian School of Economists. These thinkers are liberty’s standard bearers (see www.awah.uk post ‘The Austrian School of Economics’) in the dismal science. Their teachings are the only economics likely still to be taught once Keynesianism, especially the mess of macroeconomics, has been cleared away.


Savers will once again be understood to be virtuously refraining from immediate consumption to build up ‘financial capital’. Capital is simply a supply of yet-to-be-consumed goods. These consumables are used by businesses to sustain people who build productive fixed capital. Without a saved supply of such consumables, no society can invest at all (see www.awah.uk posts ‘Thought Experiment 1 – Do Capitalists Oppress Workers?’).


A high level of fixed capital investment of all kinds will be facilitated by higher savings rates in free societies. The counterparty to this investment driven prosperity will be independent families able to rely on nest-eggs built up by inter-generational savings (see www.awah.uk post ‘Saving Your Way to Growth in a Free Society’).


It is possible that a massive increase in fixed capital investment in automation, in the form of so-called robots, will only be feasible in free societies. Many or even most families in such societies will be independently well-off. They will be happy to get incomes from owning machines, rather than fearing loss of employment. In any case living standards in a heavy investment society, including investment in public works (see www.awah.uk post ‘Transport in Britain without the State’), will be much higher for employees and investors alike than in any unfree society.


Capital markets in free societies would have a smaller role for banks, and less widespread share ownership. The banks will be unable to create money out of thin air and so will lose importance. But money will no longer lose value. So, it will be safer for individuals to invest in debt issued by companies, or to rely on saving through insurance products, than to buy shares. Shares would go back to being considered high risk investments mainly for the wealthy and informed, as in Victorian times. Lastly there would not be ‘risk free’ government bond drones. Government bonds are serviced from the proceeds of extortion, which won’t be feasible or acceptable in free, non-state, societies.


DISCOURAGING IRRESPONSIBILITY

A tendency towards excessive consumption, which is mistakenly said by Keynesian indoctrinated officials to lead to economic progress, is likely to be generally regarded as unwise in the future, as it was in the past. It will be something of a reputational disadvantage, in particular for individuals in the mating game or marriage market.


Widespread inheritance of significant savings and the absence of entitlement to state dole will make for much more cohesive families. The replacement of statutory no-fault divorce by pre-agreed, responsible and voluntary contractual arrangements and obligations will also reinforce family structures.


The return to a society based on liberty rather than top-down control will mean a general tendency towards rewarding self-control and self-discipline. Trying to build up something for the future will no longer be discouraged by taxes and inflation. More deferred gratification and less instant self-indulgence is the very template of civilisation and civilised behaviour. However, this being a free society, there will still be enterprises catering effectively and indeed lavishly to those seeking escape from everyday responsibility.


THE BENEFITS OF SOUND MONEY

It is remarkable how often pro-liberty books come to be dominated by a discussion of the role of unsound money in exploiting people and denying liberty. That is because unsound money is crucial to the big state project crushing independent families and businesses. They are displaced by an overexpanded big business sector working hand in hand with the state. That is a core characteristic of the soft fascism we have been living in for generations.


Under the label of Keynesianism, inflationism and taxation of private income and wealth enable the state and its ‘corrupt corporates’ allies to take resources from small business, savers and employees (see www.awah.uk post ‘Banks and the State print Money to Steal from You’).


Free societies will indeed be based on sound money. There will be no legal tender or tax rules making you use unreliable FIAT or ‘paper’ money. People will be free to use whichever form of money they believed will keep its value. They would naturally choose to use the soundest form of money, the one most likely to keep or increase its value. There would be no licensing of banks to create a protected cartel acting for the state. Banks would compete on the basis of probity, credibility and the quality of their money or credit. It is likely there would be more competing banks (and indeed insurance companies) once the current state barriers to entry in financial markets disappear.


It is possible that law court operators in a free society would be reluctant to allow limited liability, at least in banking. Partners and owners of banks would find unlimited liability a bracing incentive to act in a reputable and responsible manner. There would be no central banks to bail out owners of banks guilty of unwise lending or unbacked money creation.


It seems likely that free societies would choose to use precious metals, although private crypto-currencies may be preferred (see www.awah.uk post ‘Hyperinflation, Bitcoin, Gold and FIAT Currencies’) at least in some places and for certain transactions. Gold would be freely transferable across borders again. Banking secrecy would automatically be the norm too. These changes will level the playing field in favour of precious metal money. In the absence of tax and other state measures, gold therefore will acquire some of the privacy advantages currently offered by crypto-currencies.


In any case, with no fraudulent money creation by banks and central banks, everybody will experience gradual but steadily falling prices for manufactured goods and tradeable services. When money is not fake, and markets are deregulated and therefore competitive, technological progress shows itself in continually falling prices for consumers. Competition is a key characteristic of liberty. That’s why multinational ‘corrupt corporates’ are supporting the Davos Crowd/WEF Marxist project to take away our remaining liberty.


In a free society, not only would each weekly shop get steadily cheaper. Big ticket items like cars and holidays would be cheaper too. One key manufactured product that will be much better value is housing (see www.awah.uk post ‘Cheaper, Better Housing after the Fall’). This constant fall in nearly all prices will mean that savings will automatically grow in value, thereby further bolstering saver families.


NO MORE SLUMPS BUT MANY MORE INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES

Two more big benefits of the ending of corrupt unbacked paper money will be the disappearance of the bank credit or ‘business’ cycle of boom and busts, and a revival in small and medium business stemming from the end of the Cantillon Effect.


A key feature of the pro-liberty Austrian School’s economists is their explanation that economic depressions are the inevitable result of the state allowing banking systems to create money out of thin air. Depressions have inflicted great uncertainty and suffering on society in general, and on so many businessmen and employees in particular. They have been a great recruiting tool for socialism – even though these slumps were caused by the state all along (see www.awah.uk post ‘How a Free Society will Avoid Slumps’).


The Cantillon Effect describes the way in which state-promoted unsound money enables favoured bank customers to buy up swathes of businesses and assets on the cheap. Basically, big bank borrowers get to buy assets and businesses with wads of newly created bank money before inflation drives up their price. Asset prices will continue to go up due to the very fake money creation to which they are party. This happens at the expense of those who do not have access to newly created money. The domination of big business and national chains rather than locally owned businesses is largely caused by the Cantillon Effect (see www.awah.uk post ‘The Cantillon Effect - Finance Displaces Productive People’).


ACCESSIBLE AND EFFECTIVE LEGAL SYSTEM

A huge difference between our current predicament and life in the free societies of the future will be in their legal arrangements. In a free society there will be no legal privilege as there is now. Everybody will be subject to the same law. Everybody will be able to seek and obtain redress for any breach of the Libertarian non-aggression principle (NAP). In other words, for any attack or threatened attack on persons or justly acquired property.


On the other hand, the mass of political, victimless crimes, such as taking illegal drugs, will be scrapped. There will be no police state justified by state law enforcement. That change alone will spare thousands of people annually from harassment and insecurity.

In the case of proper crimes – theft, assault etc - a successful prosecution currently won’t lead to a meaningful restitution award or award of legal costs. But in a free society returning to the pre-state practice of redress in the form of restitution (’damages’) will actually be effective in compensating the wronged rather than just punishing wrongdoers (see www.awah.uk post ‘Defunding Criminals under Libertarian Law).


People are often deterred from going to court because it is so slow, expensive and time consuming. Rich wrongdoers, including the state (by definition a wrongdoer), can threaten to bankrupt people of modest means with the sheer cost of litigation even if the latter have a sound case. But this will change with value for money provided by competing legal firms.


Without the state, it will not be possible to have a monopoly of judgement. There will therefore be competing judgement, enforcement and detection companies – similar to private arbitration, security and detective agencies we already have.


The age-old difficulty of accessing value-for-money justice is simply the inevitable result of standard monopoly over-charging and under-providing. The profits of the state’s monopoly of judgement are shared with the legal profession – which is a state-supported closed shop. This is why lawyers are generally disliked by the population, despite the fact that they are, and will be, absolutely indispensable to the functioning of every free society.


Easier and cheaper resort to the law will make regulation unnecessary and enable matters of fact to be resolved rigorously in line with the excellent Anglosphere rules of evidence. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruled that carbon dioxide was a pollutant. It was a little bit of virtue-signalling towards climate-alarmist vested interests. But it made members of the public more likely to believe that the climate alarmists had some kind of scientific case, which they no longer do, if they ever did.


In a free society, major emitters of carbon dioxide would be able to demonstrate under courtroom conditions that carbon dioxide emissions cannot be damaging. Carbon dioxide is key to plant photo-synthesis and therefore to our staying alive at all. The more there is in the atmosphere, the more plant and animal life there is, and the more food can be produced. And it has little or no effect on global temperatures (see www.awah.uk post ‘Some Perspective on Climate Change’).


LIBERTY IS THE ANTIDOTE TO MODERN FASCISM

The state’s courts just don’t work for most people. The population therefore looks to state regulation to secure just outcomes rather than to the law. Unfortunately, few realise that state regulation is generally hijacked by vested private sector big business interests (‘corrupt corporates’) and state officials precisely to disadvantage consumers and smaller businesses. Regulation too is unjust, just like everything else that depends on coercion.


THE END OF POLITICS AND OF SOCIETAL FEAR

People have lived not just in pointless relative poverty, but also in unnecessary fear and insecurity, because of the existence of states. Partly this is due to scaremongering by vested interests associated with the state. The state licensed mainstream media are happy to get attention by scaring people. Vested interests profit, for example, from the current dual climate and coronavirus scares.


The surcharge paid by electricity consumers in Britain to private companies promoting unreliable and costly renewable energy is clearly an example of state-sanctioned theft, given the lack of grounds for climate concern. The most certain prediction about climate is this: many people in northern Europe and North America who are going to their graves worrying about global warming will be gouged out of them in a few thousand years or less by glaciers.


Coronavirus as an existential threat - rather than the appearance of a new member of the coronavirus family of common colds - is more scaremongering. Barely tested vaccines are being foisted on the population for the profit of Big Pharma. It is also advancing the Davos Crowd’s green fascist Great Reset – ‘you will own nothing and you will be happy’.


Big Pharma and Bill Gates are major donors, and drug companies are major advertising clients. They all get their way with journalists and politicians (the two least trusted groups in British society). Governments have agreed to protect Big Pharma from people seeking redress from any side effects of ‘innovative’ vaccines. The panic-stricken population doesn’t realise that overall mortality in proportion to population was lower in Britain in 2020 than in most years over the last hundred years (see www.awah.uk post ‘It’s Not About the Virus’)?


FREEDOM RELIES ON REPUTATION RATHER THAN REGULATION

One could not absolutely guarantee that there would be no media scare campaigns in free societies. But it would be impossible for vested interests to use state power to benefit from starting them. The very concept of a vested interest is a creation of the state. State legal privilege is needed to ‘vest’ predator groups.


Intellectual dishonesty of the kind on display with the climate change and covid stories would carry a much higher price in a free society. All participants in a free society will rely on having a reputation for honest and mutually beneficial behaviour. Reputation is liberty’s alternative to Regulation. Anybody who loses his reputation for honesty will find themselves rejected by the citizens. Citizens will exercise the power of ‘No’ - which they have in a free society but not so much in ours. Bad actors will leave or reform.


The ultimate source of most fear in society is the state itself. “Will it come under the control of those who want to do me harm?” The state always causes harm to the productive people whose exploitation it oversees. But, on occasion, states go aggressively authoritarian. They turn on people and deprive them of property, freedom and indeed life itself. They run concentration camps, or gulags or conscript men for wars of aggression (see www.awah.uk post ‘War is the Health of the State – the History).


Nor could there ever be disasters like the ghastly lockdown fiasco being visited on the West. They would simply be impossible in a free society. People who were vulnerable, or of a fearful disposition, would be free to shun contact and close their businesses. But most people would not do so, or not for long once the threat was accurately reported rather than exaggerated. And it would be properly reported because reputable, competent healthcare entities would be present (see www.awah.uk post ‘Healthcare in a Libertarian Society’). There could be none of the current police-state style harassment of dissident opinions.


Nor in a free society will there be the fear of ordinary criminality we have now in many countries. It is caused by the way statist criminal justice systems and state doles subsidise criminals and multiply the number of victimless crimes offering profit to criminal gangs.


Wouldn’t it be lovely not to have to worry ever again about taxes, intrusive regulation, poverty, organized crime, house prices, schools, inflation, economic slumps and elections? We can get there as soon as enough people dump the state mind viruses in their heads.


THE PRICE OF LIBERTY IS CONSTANT VIGILANCE

In a free society the march of political correctness will grind to a halt. People would be free to believe privately in notions such as toxic masculinity, gender fluidity or white guilt and other such narratives. But they could not use such beliefs to attack people and advance power grabbing narratives. Socialists would be left in peace, so long as they did not conspire to re-introduce a state. If they did, they would find themselves in court for conspiracy to commit theft. Persistent offenders would be outlawed, and probably expelled by insurance company and/or militia forces (see www.awah.uk post ‘Defending Liberty Against Internal Predators’).


Socialists could instead just join what one might call a special interest community. These are likely to be a feature of future free societies. Entry would be voluntarily restricted to people with common political, religious or sexual affiliations or interests. People could move to communities with their preferred level of diversity and openness, or lack of it. Separation or secession must be a better bet than the enforced co-existence of mutually hostile groups, which is what statist political competition is creating around us (see www.awah.uk post ‘Let my People Go - to our own CHAZ’).


But it can’t all be plain sailing in future free societies. To work, liberty requires and rewards taking responsibility for the wellbeing of the community. I expect that will include being prepared to run and subscribe to charitable and mutual enterprises. It also will mean arming and training for self-defense, and participation in militia formations to defend against internal and external aggressors. Free societies could well have defense arrangements similar to the Swiss Army, which is effectively a militia. It - and a strict policy of neutrality - has enabled Switzerland to prosper while staying out of European wars for two hundred years (see www.awah.uk post ‘Defending Freedom Against State Aggressors’).


GUESS WHO IS COMING TO THE PARTY?

One way to visualize a future free society is to imagine what kind of people would populate a typical party or social gathering, and what kind of people would be absent.

There will be no state employees at the party. This is currently the dominant social group in most areas of Britain. But not in the future. People who bizarrely claim moral superiority because they don’t have to produce what others want, and because they are paid from the proceeds of extortion, will no longer set the tone. The mass of state sponsored anti-liberty ‘IYIs’ (Intellectuals yet Idiots) with no skin in the game will be refreshingly absent.


There will still be highly paid employees - professionals, entertainers, managers and other talented people. But their incomes will be freely funded by their customers. They will not stem from membership of state-sponsored closed shops (professions) or privileged producers of fraudulent fiduciary money. Alongside high earning employees, there will be business owners and investors with incomes from deploying capital.


There will be no price inflation in a free society. Without inflation there can be no Cantillon Effect (see above). Anybody who tries to create a big company by overpaying for assets will find the real value of their debts going up until bankruptcy puts the assets back on the market. There will be no ‘zombie’ big companies propped up by state money printing. Similarly, there will be no Deep State sponsored censoring Big-tech firms benefitting from publicly provided infrastructure. In a free society the only large enterprises will be in industries which actually need to deploy a great deal of capital to achieve viability.


So there will be fewer corporate bureaucrats at the party. This does matter. Corporate bureaucrats in hundreds of multinationals are supporting the WEF’s drive to a create a green-fascist, police-state in the West. They are just as keen as their counterparties in globalist bureaucracies to do down smaller businesses and suppress ‘populism’. In free societies such people will not be able to promote globalist control. Nor could they get states to regulate competitors out of existence. Big corporations will instead have their hands full surviving in the face of relentless innovation and competition from smaller firms.


The key class in a free society will precisely be independently productive people. In a free society everybody not living on charitable provision will have to find a way to use their labour and/or capital productively. In that sense, whether working for charities, mutual societies or companies, most people will be balancing entrepreneurial risk and gain.


Everyone will have ‘skin in the game’. That means they will have to act responsibly because they have something to lose if they make wrong choices. Far more people will understand the realities of running productive enterprises, as compared to the present where society is dominated by people who do not understand them at all.


Many former state employees - teachers, policemen and medical staff - will be working for, and often running, independent mutual or independent enterprises similar to those existing before nationalisation. ‘Education’ will be put back in its box, instead of kidnapping young people until they are 20. It will take the forms which people find useful rather than suiting vested interests (see www.awah.uk post ‘Education and the University of Life – Part 1’).


Far more people will be using their native wits to sift sound ideas and proposals from unsound ones in the daily effort to produce value cooperatively. In other words, the population will be trained up in the University of Life. It will be more resilient, practical, logical, sceptical of authority and pro-active than current western populations (see www.awah.uk post ‘Education and the University of Life – Part 2’). Formal universities with their legions of ‘IYI’ Marxist academics may largely disappear.


The state is the enemy of genuine community, which is always local. Privileged bureaucracies, private and public, have smothered local society. In a free society, local communities will be back with a vengeance, front and centre. Many of the people at our hypothetical future party will be occupying leadership positions in their community’s commercial life or working for charities and mutual societies. An important group at the party may be part time officers and men in militia units. You are likely to have productive, useful conversations at a party in a free society - rather than gassing about house prices (which thank God nobody will talk about because they won’t change much, still less ‘go up’).


WILL FREEDOM BE NICE-TO-HAVE OR INDISPENSABLE TO OUR WELLBEING?

If, dear reader, you have made it this far, then I congratulate and thank you. You may be thinking, however, that a free society could be nice to have but not worth the trouble of going through a transition which would inevitably inflict losses on many people who have lived their life according to Big State rules and incentives. But maybe there is no choice.


I starting writing these posts when the lockdowns began last spring. I thought I saw predatory state elites trying to shore up their position. A police state has been created in Britain, or rather implemented - since the necessary legislation has been in place for some time. It had no good effect on mortality from the ‘pandemic’. It causes deaths of despair and from NHS neglect. It breaks independent, productive people. And it curtails our ability to defend our freedoms and therefore our ability to say ‘No’ to our self-appointed rulers.


They know that political systems are unviable and failing. All their taxation, meddling, impossible promises, regulatory suppression of competition and common sense, ‘wars’ on drugs and ‘terrorism’, inflationary money printing, social engineering, pointless military preparations interventions, and corruption have brought us to the point of collapsing public trust and living standards. These can no longer be hidden by a tame MSM.

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