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Talk by Trevor Watkins At the 27 th Libertarian Spring Seminar Grahamstown, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Talk by Trevor Watkins At the 27 th Libertarian Spring Seminar Grahamstown, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Talk by Trevor Watkins At the 27 th Libertarian Spring Seminar Grahamstown, 2012

2 The Newsroom Will McAvoy, news anchor Declares that he is on A mission to civilise Immediately gets several drinks thrown in his face Committed to asking the obvious difficult questions Supposedly Republican, actually a liberal attack on the Tea Party and conservatives Still good drama

3 Ron Paul My hero, put Libertarianism into public domain In his farewell speech to congress, delivered this week Trying to figure out the plain truth of things Promote peace and prosperity by rigid adherence to the principles of individual liberty enshrined in the constitution Prohibit the use of offensive force by government Called for an Intellectual awakening

4 Who are we? A tiny, tiny group of people Who believe they have the key to happiness Despite many fundamental disagreements And no agreed or obvious plan Like, Thats never happened before!

5 What do we want? Personal, individual and universal happiness Economic growth, prosperity, Free Markets, Property rights, Binding Contracts Family, children, posterity, gene reproduction Right to bear arms, end to tax, end to fiat money A pleasant environment, survival of the species To overcome stupidity, to explain the universe via the scientific method

6 Happiness I thought it depended on family, freedom and fun World Happiness report Income, work Personal relationships freedom family experience Community, governance, religion mental health, physical health education, and gender and age

7 Sources of happiness Loving and being loved are key conditions for human happiness. Marriage is one of the unambiguous, universally positive and statistically significant correlates of life satisfaction. In the United States, average happiness has not risen despite strong economic growth life satisfaction varies linearly with the logarithm of income. No people can be truly happy if they do not feel that they are choosing the course of their own life there is no difference in life satisfaction between more and less religious countries Evidence on volunteering and donating suggests that altruism increases happiness

8 Why do we want this stuff? To rise above the savage and brutish To craft a better world than the one we found To civilise It seems like a good idea It is in our nature, it is our destiny The alternative is awful To live the best possible life To bring peace and love and happiness To avoid conflict

9 What are we not so sure about? Abortion Capital punishment Equality Democracy Religion Government use of force Size of government The environmental movement

10 What is our constitution? The Consent Axiom? Libertarian Non-Violence manifesto? United States Constitution? Robert Nozicks proposals? ISIL, Libertarian Party, Jonathan Gullible, ? Capitalism and free markets? None?

11 How will we get it? By persuasion, logic, example By withdrawal, isolation and exclusion By democracy By insurance, business, self-interest By being richer and smarter By demonstration By stealth By force By being the last men standing

12 Do we have a problem? Our policies roundly rejected in last US election Libertarians disagree on key issues Obsessed with economics No demonstration effect anywhere Unpopular public perception Appeal to the wealthy Negative rights only Extreme social permissiveness

13 Where are we now? Are we in a good place? Life has never been better for the wealthy We have more wealthy than ever before Life remains mediaevally wretched for the poor We have more poor than ever before Are we free? Less free than a feudal serf (tax, conscription, movement, surveillance, social issues) Less free than 19 th century (income tax, passports, inflation, 2 world wars)

14 South Africa We are living the reality we so feared Declining wealth, widespread conflict, corruption, crime Rise of demagogues Class warfare – most civil conflict in world Collapsing infrastructure Loss of hope, trust, caring

15 Do we have an opportunity? Rise of Ron Paul The internet The coming fiscal collapse Alternative currencies, gold, silver, bitcoin Widespread civil disobedience and tax revolts Honduras, Catalonia, South Sudan, seasteading, Swaziland, Lesotho

16 What should we do next? Be personally happy, through family, freedom and fun Buy gold, silver and hard assets Use the internet to find and build freedom-loving virtual communities To influence public opinion through constant challenge, criticism and suggestion Move to freer jurisdictions (Western Cape, Honduras, Botswana) Stockpile food, water and guns

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