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28 April 2011
Some thoughts on libertarian attitudes to politicians and elections

Inspired by Brian’s thoughts here:

Some say to be involved in elections at all - even by voting - is to accept the result and the inevitable state violence.  I don’t know how I feel about this.

One of my theories is that if you do accept that voting is allowable then you can only endorse candidates that make a clear commitment to reducing the size and scope of the state.

Related theory: freedom never comes about in one go.  It comes about slowly, in fits and starts, two steps forward one step back all the way.

Related (and slightly contradictory) theory: you get reeled in.  I sometimes imagine what it would be like if I were in charge and trying to move in the right direction but not completely in the right direction.  That would mean having to take responsibility for and having to justify a lot of violence.  “Violence is wrong, but I’m doing all this violence because I don’t think I’d win an election if I didn’t.”  Not sure that’s a winner.

Getting back to clear commitments to freedom: what does this say about Brown and Cameron?  I agree with Brian that Brown was appalling but Cameron is little better.  And his littebetterness will end up doing all sorts of damage to the Conservative brand.

Could there be an argument that a politician who goes in the same wrong direction but more slowly is better than one that rushes? 

The Republicans are clearly having dreadful problems coming up with a credible candidate.  Could this in some bizarre way be a strength?  In that (some) people stop looking for messiahs.  This is very much a half-formed thought.

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