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  • And people who seem to believe that "public ownership" necessarily means "ownership by THE WHOLE public" are especially deluded. The railways shouldn't be owned by "the public", the railways should be owned by the people who work on the railways. The post office shouldn't be owned by "the public", it should be owned by the people who work in the post office. Services should be owned by their providers, not the state.
    Nationalisation is not public ownership, because the owner of whatever is being nationalised would not be "the public", the owner would be the state. It's akin to people who accuse self-employed tradesmen who own their own tools of being "kulaks" (unbelievable as it sounds) when surely they should be the platonic ideal of working people who own their own labour that the so-called "socialists" purport to champion?
    Crimes would be reduced if the laws were abolished, because there can be no crimes if there are no laws to break. For as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon said, liberty is the mother and not the daughter of order.
    In this way, the individual right of the healthcare workers to ensure that they and not the state are the owners of their labour would be maintained. I might come off the worse for it, but SURELY the only intellectually consistent position is that my right to healthcare is trumped by the right of a working person - in this case a doctor or a nurse - to full ownership of his or her own labour.
    The more equitable solution from an individualist perspective would be to divorce the health service from the state completely (which would eliminate its status as a political football to be kicked around by members of the elected class) and replaced by mutual aid organisations, which would be owned by the doctors et al. and funded directly by patients via subscription.
    State ownership of the health service to try and achieve a "right to healthcare" is, by necessity, an infringement upon the natural right of doctors, nurses, hospital staff (receptionists, caretakers, cleaners etc.), ambulance drivers, therapists, carers etc. to ownership and control their own labour as individuals.
    I do not know how it can be fixed, though. I do not know what we can do to show all of those starry-eyed idolaters who look on the elected class with mingled wonder and hope just how miserably wrong they are. When a man says "power to the people" there should be no place for politicians in whatever programme he proposes.
    One of the most worrying tendencies in the world today is politician-worship. It is commonplace on the left and right alike but there is something so much more puerile about it happening on the left. Perhaps one simply expects it to be the more natural province of the right and it’s quite frankly morally disgusting prevalence on the left makes it that much more striking. (Contd.)
    G
    Gregg
    Is this a tendency of the world today, though? 65 years ago Labour politics was defined by two factions named after individuals - Bevanites and (to a lesser but still some extent) Gaitskellites. And neither man was the perfect expression of the sum of those factions, but still could be counted as a rallying figurehead. I think it's hard-wired into the left: Marxism, Owenism, Gladstonism.
    V
    von mises
    Always thought Owenism was a tendency to trawl through past threads handing out likes.
    G
    Gregg
    That is Classical Owenism.
    As I have said before, there is big business (representing exploitation) and there is big government (representing oppression). Individuals in society have to stop looking at that formulation and replacing the "and" with an "or" because that's all anyone ever seems to do; stop treating this as a dichotomy, because the fact and the truth of the matter is that one is impossible without the other.
    The most truly "socialist" principle must surely be that the state is oppressive and that the capitalist system is exploitative. Why so many self-professed and self-proclaimed "socialists" seem so determined to embrace oppression as a solution to exploitation is mysterious to me, but in my mind the most desirable thing, if one claims they are truly a socialist, would be to have neither. (Contd.)
    No external government should ever compel an individual to do something which he would otherwise not do; even if it is to his detriment to refuse to act, said action must always be his own choice from his individual reason. Consequently, all forms of majority rule are always corrupt. As I have said before, it must be government by unanimous consent or no government at all.
    Yet where questions of morality are concerned, each person must make an individual decision of conscience, utilising the capacity to reason which God has also endowed upon us, and make the best decision we are capable of making. In the end, we are only human and though we are created in the image of God, we are not God, nor do we share Christ's perfection. We must ask ourselves: what would Jesus do?
    I take the view that each Christian, endowed with free will and conscience and the information in the Bible, may be a priest, establishing and maintaing a direct personal relationship with God through the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our intended high priest and whose redeeming death and miraculous resurrection after three days entombed is the exclusive source of our salvation. (contd.)
    Now, as to my thoughts on religious matters, one thing that is clear is that God has made each person with an individual conscience and I believe He intends for us to use it, following the teachings He has passed down to us through the Bible. (contd.)
    The reason why "night watchman" minarchism (as opposed to "caretaker" minarchism) is flawed is that it imagines the state as a purely coercive force for all its reduced size; the state exists in this model as a law enforcer; in other words, it is in fact inimical to the basic ideas of libertarianism and is in fact just as authoritarian as any other state. If a state must be had, we should not even realise we have it.
    Meanwhile, most functions of the state would have been assumed by the individuals who have chosen to live in "society" with one another, perhaps by voluntarily associating with one another in a mutual or co-operative combination. The state would have a broadly passive rather than active role. But at the end of the day, it would be much preferable that there be no state whatsoever. (contd.)
    However, one may in the alternative understand minarchism as the "caretaker" state, whose job is to arrive to work in the morning, unlock the doors, switch the lights on, deal with issues during the day and then close up at night before they go home. Applied to society, the "caretaker" state would operate public utilities like technocratic administrators, but would pass no laws regulating human behaviour. (contd.)
    I have indicated previously that any person who seriously believes themselves to be a "socialist" ought to be a minarchist. I should not need to explain why because I think it is very obvious, but I will do so. The principle of minarchism as it is commonly appreciated is that of the "night-watchman" state. (contd.)
    I would go so far as to contend that, in fact, in a non-capitalist system, markets would be even freer than now, because there would be no monopolistic phenomena (i.e. big business and big government, the two heads of the Great Red Dragon called Authority, which manifests in our societies as the State) save for the individual's right to a monopoly over his or herself, and thus maximum freedom to compete.
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