Roald Ribe, the Capitalist Party (Liberalistene), Norway.

Across the North Sea, the Kingdom of Norway with it’s Scandinavian welfare state and history of Vikings is not the first place you associate with libertarians.  However the International Alliance of Libertarian Parties does have a representative from the land of the fjords.  The Capitalist Party (Liberalistene) (Wikipedia), advocates for a minimal state and free market economics.  We speak with Deputy Chair Political, Roald Ribe about the party.

Roald thank-you for your time.

Could you tell our readers about your party?

A huge mix of value-liberal, classical liberal, libertarian, minarchist, anarchist, laissez-faire, individualism oriented capitalists. Common ground is typically no rulers, less government, less laws and regulations, less tax, less bureaucracy, less politicians and so on. Unyielding on principles, on property rights and self-ownership, but flexible on speed of implementation. It will take time to provide enough people with enough knowledge to let them realize that they want anything to change, or to recognize the fact that a better society could and can exist. Our political programs are evolving significantly over time (7 years so far) to reflect that fact, and to try to factor some acceptance of the Overton Window into them and the general communication with potential members and voters. Our name in Norway is Liberalistene. In English the name is Capitalist Party. Where Laissez-faire is implicit in the name.

“Getting representation for a classical liberal ideological base into the public view, always insisting on less state, less taxes, less power to politicians and bureaucrats, gets our membership (and me) excited”

What are main issues in Norway you campaign on, what gets Libertarians excided?

We have distinct political programs covering most issues on three political levels (all) in Norway. Three levels seems a bit much for just over 5 million people, so we will try to merge the two lower into a local level, and the other a national level like today. As a start. All the “established” parties in Norway, those who are represented in parliament most of the time, seem to agree that there is no maximum size for the state in the economy. Creating a heard voice, a rallying point, recognised representatives of the opposite view, is task number one. Getting representation for a classical liberal ideological base into the public view, always insisting on less state, less taxes, less power to politicians and bureaucrats, gets our membership (and me) excited.

Your country has stayed out of the EU, but what’s your parties view of the EU and the Euro?

The population in Norway has voted against joining the EU twice. Political representatives in parliament still slipped Norway in, through the small back door named the EFTA, with no asking the population again first. Probably because they expected that the answer would be the same as for the EU. So, we are part of the EU, but “only” through the EFTA.  There is a majority for it in Norway it seems (EFTA), because voters have bought the political dogma that Norway “needs” such a deal to sell oil, gas, fish, electrical power and other unrefined and raw materials into the EU area or other parts of the world. It will not take much free market knowledge to realize that this is an outright lie. So, we are in the EU, but with no influence. Our party would strongly prefer for Norway to be out of that situation.

Different countries campaign in elections in different ways, what methods does your party focus on, and do you have any interesting stories from the campaign trail?

Our next national election for parliament is in this year, 2021. So we are in the middle of preparing for it now. The formal election campaign lasts from 10. August till the election day 13. September. Most significant boost in this election campaign is that a former Minister and MP with 20 years of experience in parliament, has joined our party. Mr Per Sandberg used to be Deputy Chair of the Progress Party, but has now upgraded himself 😊 to the top election candidate for Liberalistene in the Oslo and Finnmark election districts. This has not gone unnoticed in the media, and through his activities combined with our steadily increasing experience with media handling and election processes and campaigns, we get a lot more attention and traction in the media than we have been used to this far.

In addition to the constant hard work leading up to being taken seriously enough to be joined by an established political figure, campaigning is done in various physical forms. Branded stands in streets where we have enough active people to swing it. Talking to people, distributing brochures. In some less urban areas we are getting a lot of brochures distributed straight into mailboxes by single activists. We try to write opinion pieces for different news media, and we are getting better at it. With a couple of pre-qualified celebrities in our ranks, it is getting somewhat easier to get the party included in the media.

At this point in time we do not have the capacity to make a trail of it. In the locations where we have enough active personnel, they organise their own plans and activities in their area, basing the plan on their own assessment of when, how and what kind of effort can be realized by them, and what they think will be most effective there. The central / national organization is mostly a service and materials provider, making brochures and flyers available, ordering tents, flags and other materials in ways that makes it affordable and available for as many as possible.

“It will be interesting to see what kind of trade relations the UK develops with the world going forward by itself outside of the EU. If the UK is successful with that work, as I expect it to be, it may undermine the solid political EFTA support in Norway, which would be perceived as a good thing by our party”

Do you have any views on UK politics you can share?

I think your country did well to finally get the Brexit process into motion, but I expect that the usual suspects will drag their feet and silently sabotage it as much as possible. It is nice to observe that some of your political figures seem to wise up a bit on lockdown policies. It is about (bleeping) time… It will be interesting to see what kind of trade relations the UK develops with the world going forward by itself outside of the EU. If the UK is successful with that work, as I expect it to be, it may undermine the solid political EFTA support in Norway, which would be perceived as a good thing by our party. We hope our countries will continue to uphold the traditionally good relations between them, and continue to work for the best possible conditions for cooperation between the two populations, including as much free trade as possible.

If you could introduce, repeal or change 3 laws what would they be?

A law securing absolute property rights, protecting all possible value from coerced confiscation, especially from the government.

A new law securing negative rights only for individuals exclusively, abolishing any and all privileges given in law to any individual or group.

A new law to require that at least two old laws must be removed for new or changed to be introduced. 

“Governments have lost their last marbles if it ever had any, and are flushing down the economic future of many in a hole full of dirty, irrational, fear mongering. The only way to counter this is to provide more individual freedom and economic freedom for business”

Lastly how do you think your government is handling the Covid-19 crisis, and what would you like to done to help the economic recovery?

Lockdown is a travesty against citizens, especially those in the low income bracket. The only rational strategy out there seems to be The Great Barrington Declaration. Governments have lost their last marbles if it ever had any, and are flushing down the economic future of many in a hole full of dirty, irrational, fear mongering. The only way to counter this is to provide more individual freedom and economic freedom for business. Failure to do so should eventually be punished by quite a few voters. In that path, where we expect more voters to arrive eventually, is where libertarian efforts should loudly position themselves. But remember, voters go where they believe is right, not where you think they should. We must make it our business to find the points where those two often differing views coincide with each other, well in advance of voters arriving there.

The Capitalist Party can be found online at https://www.liberalistene.org/ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CapitalistPartyOfNorway, and Twitter at https://twitter.com/Liberalistene. They are also on email at post@liberalistene.org.

TPA’s Quids Inn campaign

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has called for tax cuts to support Britain’s pubs. They have also issued new beer mats, which will be distributed in pubs across the country urging punters to sign their petition. Speaking to the invited audience at the Barley Mow pub, chairman and founder of JD Wetherspoon Tim Martin was adamant that if Britain’s boozers are to survive, the government must help this struggling sector.

Dan was there to report:

“It was fantastic to be able to join the TPA for the launch of their “Quids Inn” campaign.  After the last 16 months of lockdowns everybody certainly deserved a drink!  The current VAT reduction really should be extended beyond September to enable the hospitality industry to recover from the pandemic.

It was also great to catch up with so many stalwarts of the cause of freedom.  It is clear we are going to have to work together to ensure a classically liberal approach to the nation’s post-Covid future.”  

Don’t forget to sign the petition.
More photos and details of the campaign: https://www.taxpayersalliance.com/cheers_quids_inn_campaign_launches_new_beer_mats_calling_for_cheaper_pints

The Anti-Free Trade Position Returns

Protectionism, Mercantilism, and the Denial of Consumer Sovereignty

Image: https://pixabay.com/photos/container-goods-ship-porto-4675851/

Opinion Piece by Josh L. Ascough

On the 21st June, 2021, Labour MP Emily Thornberry appeared on BBC radio 4, insisting that the government must cease the lifting of protections in place for British Steel; stating that:

We have to stop this government lifting the protections that steel has at the moment, because if we don’t, then we could end up with cheap steel being dumped in this country and it being the end of the steel industry.”

Throughout the Free Trade talks with Australia as well, farmers unions have been demanding for greater protections to be in place, with suggestions of restrictions on the number of meat produce that can be imported into the country, while allowing the free export of British meat.

One has to ask whether we’re seeing a return to Protectionism and Mercantilism.

In a sense the UK has never truly abandoned fallacious positions of trade. The British Steel industry has a history of bail outs and subsidies; in 2019 the government issued British Steel a £300 million bailout. In the same year, it received £43 million in subsidies.

But what is Protectionism, and what is Mercantilism?

Protectionism is idea that government must implement policies that restrict international trade, with the guise of helping domestic industries, and protecting consumers from making “harmful” choices.

Mercantilism is an economic policy designed to maximise the exports of the nation and minimise the imports to said nation, via regulations, tariffs, and to a degree outright bans of imports for certain goods.

On the surface there is very little difference between the two positions, as in the end both stifle competition and offer privileges to protected industries.

The conclusion from many Protectionists and Mercantilists is to issue tariffs on foreign imports, and offer subsidies to national industries in order to avoid a trade deficit, and have fair competition.

“domestic consumers face the costs of these tariffs, as they find the goods and services they wish to buy cost more; thereby reducing the consumers standard of living”

Tariffs however, hurt a nations consumers. While the country’s government in question may issue tariffs for the purposes of protecting domestic industries and consumers from apparent “dumping”, the domestic consumers face the costs of these tariffs, as they find the goods and services they wish to buy cost more; thereby reducing the consumers standard of living.

The issue of subsidies has a similar effect on consumers. A subsidy at the end of the day is a tax, and by extorting from consumers in order to prop-up a domestic industry, you’re reducing their expendable income.

The area Protectionists wish to avoid however, that of a trade deficit, is fallacious at best. The trade deficit myth looks at purely the flow of financial capital from one nation to another, yet it fails to look at why money is flowing and what those who transferred capital received in return; that being, the goods; whether that be goods of higher order for the purposes of more efficient production processes, or lower order goods (final goods: consumer goods). The problem with the concept of a trade deficit is, it answers too much: If more money via trade flowing from one country to another, while disregarding the goods received is a serious issue, then we must also look at the trade deficit between England and Scotland; or London and Oxford.

“the trade deficit doctrines logic, I have a trade deficit with the hobby business, Games Workshop. Over the course of 10 years, I’ve probably given £50,000 to the company. We have to ignore the products I received in exchange”

By the trade deficit doctrines logic, I have a trade deficit with the hobby business, Games Workshop. Over the course of 10 years, I’ve probably given £50,000 to the company. We have to ignore the products I received in exchange, and all the subjective value I attained from these goods, and time spent utilising them; we should only look at the movement of money. I need to issue quotas against Games Workshop of how many goods they’re allowed to sell me, in order for the payments between me and them to equalise.

The ends which Protectionists wish to reach, is that which they loosely label “fair competition”. The problem is, their concept of fair competition is not only far from any meaning of fair; as it requires the protection of some industries and barriers in place of others, but, also that the fair competition doctrine is very similar to the idea of perfect competition.

The theory of Perfect Competition is the state of affairs, where there are a certain number of buyers and sellers, selling (buying) the same quantities for the same price. The question that arises is; where is the competition?

The market is not a state of affairs; it is a process of discovery. To get right to the core of the problem with this doctrine, via the perfect competition doctrine, you rule out the possibility of the entrepreneur discovering an absence of information that is held by consumers and his competitors. Under the perfect (“fair”) competition doctrine, it is attempted to maintain what could be called a static form of the market; the subjective values, marginal utilities and choices of consumers, and the multi-period production processes of competitors put a wedge in your plans. Consumers have made the “wrong” choices; competitive entrepreneurial producers have discovered how to sell the same product cheaper – it’s not “fair”.

The Market is a process of discovery. At any moment, market participants can face utter ignorance; not just that of optimal ignorance – where participants know what they don’t know, but the costs outweigh the gains, but that of an absence of information; we do not know what we don’t know.

It is the role of the entrepreneur to be alert to the ignorance of market participants, and predict what the future price and value of goods will be. It is the role of the entrepreneur to see incoordination in the market –  where there are two prices for the same good; indicating to the entrepreneur that sellers(buyers) are offering(charging) too high(low) a price; if he is alert and sees one selling for 20 and one for 10, he will buy at 10 and sell for 15. It is through this entrepreneurial process of discovery, that we move away from disequilibrium and closer to equilibrium.

There is not just the pure entrepreneur who sees sellers, one at 10 and one at 20 and chooses to sell at 15. The entrepreneurial producer discovers he can produce the same product for a lower price, and the entrepreneurial seller may request his employees to smile more to appear friendlier in order to sell more goods.

The only way to allow the market process to operate, and to have entrepreneurial discovery is to have actual “fair” competition, which is freedom of entry; i.e. no privileges.

That which is often; intentionally or not, overlooked, ignored, and disregarded by the Protectionists; Consumer Sovereignty, must be stressed here.

“Consumer sovereignty is often something that Interventionists of all stripes; no matter the term we use, wish to stamp out. …Consumers vote with their feet and wallets”

Consumer sovereignty is often something that Interventionists of all stripes; no matter the term we use, wish to stamp out. Consumers ultimately have the final say of which goods are produced; how successful a production processes product will be, and who provides greater value via the epistemic nature and signal of profits. Consumers vote with their feet and wallets.

There is an entrepreneurial aspect to the consumers as well as those mentioned previously. An entrepreneurial consumer, who discovers he can satisfy his wants/needs for a cheaper price, will seek to obtain these means to satisfy his wants, and utilise them for the value they achieve, and profits from their service to him.

The practices of the Protectionist and the Mercantilist require denying the consumer of his sovereignty, and to classify the praxeological aspect of the consumers’ choice as wrong; the interventionist ideals of these two require not only the denial of consumer sovereignty, but the denial of subjective value.

Is Our Core Argument Based On Efficiency?

The answer to this question, to which we’ll finish with, is in the negative. The core of the argument for free trade is the same as that for the market process as a whole: coordination.

The purpose behind why the free market in all areas is the superior system; including that of trade, is because it better achieves coordination of the subjective values of individuals. The free market, through the entrepreneurial process of discovery, and the freedom of entry into the competitive market, allows for greater ability to coordinate market signals, and Protectionism stifles with this coordination; placing static over the signals and providing false or faulty signals – in total reducing the quality and leaving values unsatisfied.

It is for coordination that we should reject Interventionism in all its forms; whether it be Protectionism, Mercantilism, or Nationalism.

Undead Capitalism – The Effects on Time Preference and Interest Rates If Humans Were Immortal

Image: https://pixabay.com/vectors/zombie-spooky-scary-creepy-monster-521243/

Josh L. Ascough

– This Piece Is Satire and Should Not Be Taken Seriously –

– If You Do Take This Piece Seriously, Please Thoroughly Research The Term ‘Satire’ –

– Dedicated To Jessi Bennett. You Made Me Do This –

Human life, as all life, faces a time constraint; it is in large part due to this constraint that humans rely on their subjective time preference with regards to the choice for current consumption or future consumption.

To add to this, the time preference over current/future consumption is what makes interest rates possible. The time preference aspect of interest is based on the notion that humans’ prefer to consume in the present, rather than at a designated later, future time period; it is this time preference which helps to explain monthly payments of, for example, a TV.

(Due to time preference, people tend to accept small payments over a set time period for full ownership in the future, i.e. £500 for a TV to buy it in the present, or a £50 deposit followed by monthly payments plus interest, unless ceteris paribus, their ordinal ranking of the good is high, as well as the demand to satisfy their wants/needs for current consumption, i.e. they’re not willing to postpone; people would not be willing to pay the final settlement price for a good they want to satisfy their wants now, if they have to wait for the future to receive the good)

What would happen though, if some genius entrepreneur discovered a way to make humans immortal?

“Governments would hate it because they wouldn’t be able to issue a Death Tax or Inheritance Tax, so they would probably try to ban it”

Firstly Governments would hate it because they wouldn’t be able to issue a Death Tax or Inheritance Tax, so they would probably try to ban it, it would then enter the black market and cartels would tamper with it and turn everyone into zombies.

But assuming Governments don’t interfere (I know, it’s a big assumption more unlikely and unrealistic than this piece), the other question to ask is, how immortal would it make people? Would it be a simple case of humans wouldn’t die of old age, but could die from starvation and disease, or, would it be a case of complete immortality; no disease, mortal wound, aging, or level of hunger could kill a human?

We’ll assume it to be the more simple case, since it’s easier to grasp and if we assumed complete immortality, then the Hyperventilating Overpopulation Ensemble (HOE) would have a heart attack.

“we would likely see a large shift in the market from current consumption to future consumption, with the time preference for goods and services extending for future periods of ownership and consumption”

If humans had the basic degree of immortality (cannot die of old-age, but can from mortal wounds, starvation and disease), then since the time constraint of life would be unaffected by old age, while the time preference and marginal utility of food and medicine would remain the same, we would likely see a large shift in the market from current consumption to future consumption, with the time preference for goods and services extending for future periods of ownership and consumption.

Under this assumption, since peoples’ time preference as a whole has seen a shift to the future, if people still prefer small payments over a prolonged time period, then we would likely see, ceteris paribus interest rates plummet, since people would be saving far more than they are spending; meaning an exponentially larger pool of funds, would be available for long-run multi-period projects of production, expansions in capital goods for larger scale productions of consumer goods in the future, a larger housing supply etc.

In conclusion: I the writer clearly need to get out more.

Podcast Episode 58 – An Effective Opposition! Where will it come from?

We are joined by Steve Kelleher, the recent London Mayoral candidate for the SDP, and Scott Neville, the Co-Founder of the Hampshire Independents, as we discuss the lack of an effective opposition to the current Government and where a future opposition might come from.

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Covid ‘passports’ – letter to the Prime Minister

Tim Duce writes an open letter to the Prime Minister about the dangerous precedent of vaccine passports.

Tim also shared this petition against vaccine passports –https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/569957

Dear Prime Minister,

Fact: Most politicians know very little about Medical Science and Technology.

Fact: Politicians consult committees of experts to advise them on any complex subject.

Fact: Most of the members of a committee set up to advise on Medical Science are representatives of pharmaceutical companies.

Question: Are they going to advance the agenda of people like you and me or their agenda and that of their shareholders?

Pharma reps have tried it on a few times before with SARS, Bird ‘flu and Swine ‘flu. They did a pretty good job of terrifying the Blair/Bown government with Swine ‘flu and managed to con them into buying £1.2 Billion pounds worth of pointless vaccine but it didn’t take long before the jig was up. The public began to see through it and an embarrassed government quietly swept it under the carpet.

But, learning from their mistakes, the Pharma reps have done a much better job with Corona Virus/Covid 19.

1. They avoided the word ”flu’ – far too familiar

2. They recommended complete lockdown – a masterstroke, making people desperate to get on with their businesses, their lives and, of course, their holidays!

3. And then there’s the statistics!

To get the statistics into proportion, let’s compare Covid-19 to pneumonia.

Most people on their deathbeds are either in the 70+ age group or have compromised health conditions. These people are usually pushed over the edge by pneumonia or influenza and that is written on the death certificate as cause of death.

Do we then conclude that there is a pneumonia pandemic? No. Instead of going into a blind panic, we see the figures for what they are.

With impressive sleight of hand, the rather similar Covid figures have been INTERPRETED DIFFERENTLY. In cases where Covid-19 has precipitated the deaths of dying people, it has been interpreted that there is a PANDEMIC.

But it gets worse. Having been instructed by our terrified politicians that the global pandemic is ‘a fact’, the usually dependable Office of National Statistics gets caught up in the panic too.

I consulted them for some figures and screenshot twp paragraphs.

When I saw the first paragraph, I thought that maybe I’d got it wrong but THEN I read the truly shocking second paragraph. It tells us that:

In most cases, these highly trained and experienced doctors diagnosed that the patients died of PNEUMONIA OR INFLUENZA  and NOT Covid 19! But then…

A civil servant at the ONS, who I am willing to bet good money was NOT present at any of those deaths, tells us that these doctors GOT IT WRONG!

He tells us that although influenza or pneumonia was entered on the death certificate as the cause of death, “COVID-19 was the UNDERLYINGcause of death…”

How could he possibly know this? He didn’t. This is a perfect TRIUMPH OF BELIEF OVER FACT.

Having ‘statistically proven’ that there is a pandemic, pharma companies have done their best to discredit the cheap, safe, tried and tested treatments which are outside of their licences, promoted new, expensive vaccines and laughed all the way to the bank.

The global economy has been shaken, innumerable people have lost their livelihoods and the pharmaceutical companies’ shareholders have never been happier.

And now vaccine passports? This will be a bonanza for tech companies but is a seriously dangerous precedent. It will be a loss of civil liberty which will increase over time. People will be forced into being vaccinated under threat of not being able to fly, work or socialise. It will be a GOVERNMENT SANCTION OF ASSAULT.

If people want to be vaccinated, let them.

But if they want not to be vaccinated, let them not.

Your hero, Winston Churchill ENDEDID. Cards after WW2. Please do not go down in history as the prime minister who not only brought them back but forced people to receive an incompletely tested vaccine against their will.

There must be no vaccine passports and no employer, airline or any other institution should be allowed to use non vaccination as a justification to refuse access.

Best regards,

Tim Duce

References:

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:O%C4%8Dkovac%C3%AD_certifik%C3%A1t_-_vzor.jpg
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Date: 21 June 2021
Author: Juliettpapa97