Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Evolution of My Libertarian Side

After the Tucson tragedy, I Googled "Tucson Killings England." I did this in good part wanting to see what people over in England -- besides my cousins -- were saying about Tucson.

I discovered one interesting blog titled A View from Middle England by someone using the pen name Arden Forester. He subtitles his blog "Conservative with a slight libertarian touch. Optimistic supporter of the Coalition Government. Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism."

Our views are clearly different in some ways. He also writes about English political matters about which, while I am better informed than most Americans, I will not claim to be some sort of expert. If I moved there, I probably would become some sort of expert, but I am not one now.

Forester does criticize some people who might be viewed by Americans as conservative. He has criticized the Westboro Baptist Church as fanatics. A fair number of American conservatives say similar things. He's also criticized Sarah Palin thoughtfully. That's something I haven't seen too many American conservatives doing.

Prehaps most importantly, though, is his criticism of corporations and greedy CEOs. He has, I think, recognized one very important fact. Government can be a threat to liberty. Unfortunately, too many corporations are as well. Too many of them abuse ordinary staff. When a company demands so much that people cannot do ordinary human things -- like get married and have children -- that company is demanding too much. When a company shuts down a profitable factory simply because they make a few dollars (or pounds) more elsewhere for a few quarters, that is being shortsighted and harmful to the people who work there.

Quite a few libertarians in the United States always criticize things like people forming unions or turning to government for help. It hasn't registered with them the harm that some corporate management does and that people will turn to the government for help. Criticizing such people for violating libertarian theory isn't helpful. I think libertarians need to start working on reforms in business and in school -- especially business school -- to address real problems caused by corporate management. Arden Forester and I seem to have similar views on this topic.