"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lessons From A Brit On Liberty

My favorite European pol of recent years is undoubtedly Daniel Hannan - a man whom I like to call Tocqueville of modern times; a man who understands and admires what the spirit of the U.S. Constitution stands for; in other words a rare man likes of whom are unfortunately sorely lacking even in the Republican party of today.  Here are some great (mostly short) videos with lessons embedded in them that we better heed if we hope to regain what has made us the greatest nation on earth for the past two centuries.

This one is about comparison of the U.S. and E.U. from a constitutional view.  Hannan rings the alarm bells that many here are ignoring: Power (especially under this Administration) is being centralized and we are witnessing the europeanization of our political system.

This one is about why Europeans don't protest oppressive taxation.  It summarizes the reason why the parliamentary systems of Europe are not conducive for liberty and why there is no Tea Party movement in Europe. Taken together with the warning embedded in the first video, one wonders if a populist movement such as Tea Party would even be possible a decade or two from now.

Here is a worthwhile, longer video on Tea Party as the symbol of our uniqueness as a nation.

Finally, here is Hannan's warning to America - a longer video - parts of which were included above - which I recommend you make the time to view.

Daniel Hannan - a true champion of liberty. Here is the link to his other videos, many of which are highly worthwhile. Enjoy.


Tel said...

Richard North, on the subject of Daniel Hannan:


Having said that, I have great respect for both Richard North and Daniel Hannan even when their opinions do differ.

The Patriot said...

Hannan is the most Tocquevillesque (made the word up) high profile european politician since Thatcher. I am not a North fan, sorry.

Tel said...

A lot of people don't like North because what he has to say it not particularly palatable, so I really don't blame you for not being a fan. But there's a bigger question here: how far can you get working within the mainstream two-party framework?

Consider that Hannan is a member of the currently governing Tory party, that is to say the party that actually came first in the last British election. So look at Hannan's ideas and look at where his party is going... the Tory party just ignore Hannan, let him give speeches to empty seats in the EU parliament.

Now from reading your blog I see you are a strong supporter of the US Republican party, and I'll tell you that I never once liked George W Bush. When Obama first came to power I figured he would surely have to be better than Bush. I actually expected Obama to pursue an anti-war agenda like he campaigned on.

OK, turns out that in hindsight Obama is worse than Bush for the US economy and at least equally bad when it comes to foreign policy.

Now, let's look at what the alternatives are for 2012? What are the Republicans offering as a viable alternative to Obama? I don't see much out there. Mainstream politics is failing us, just like the mainstream media is failing.

The Patriot said...

First let me make one thing clear: I am a classical liberal - not a Republican. That being said, I would vote for a Republican soda can before any jackass (Dem). It is the whole lesser of two evils argument.

I agree with your sentiments in that the political system is corrupted.
Therefore the first order of things has to be political reform before reforming anything else. You must first attack the root cause of your troubles before attacking the symptoms.

Here in the U.S. that means getting all money/influence out of politics, imposing strict term limits, and making congress live by the same rules as everyone else. The idea is to make politics purely a service to the country - not a place to get rich and powerful. Only then can we count on politicians to do the right thing.

In the U.K., as Hannan explains as well, the parliamentary system is not condusive to democratic movements outside the political system - thus no Tea Party like movements. Same goes for the EU in general. Tory was never a liberal party in the classic sense anyways (not even in the 1980s).
The choice in the UK is between bad and worse - same elsewhere in Europe. And the U.S. is kind of getting that way also because the RINOs (like the Bush family, Romney, etc.) run the Republican Party. Other parties never gain traction.
The only solution, as I said, is political reform in a complete sense of the word.

Tel, I fear that 2012 election will be more of the same as far as politics go. Trust me, any Republican currently running will be infinitely better than a progressive. No questions.
We need political reform and then we can move on from there.

Unfortunately that won't happen because politicians have vested interest in the system as it is now. They won't cut their noses despite their faces. You can be assured of that.
And the progressives in public won't want such reforms anyways because such an honest/open political system would end progressivism as we know it.

My ideal solution is for the U.S. to split in to two countries: one progressive euro style social democracy; and the other a limited government constitutional republic.

Thanks for reading my blog.