Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Story of Stuff

What is a country for ? Well oh best beloved this is how the “Country” came to be.
Long ago little family groups wandered about covered in blue dye and they accumulated a certain amounts of stuff with their energetic tin mining or something . Sadly being a little family group when a tribe turned up they immediately killed or enslaved them and took their stuff. From this time on little groups felt in unwise to wander about unprotected so they gathered up into tribes built a bloody great ditch and snuggled down behind it to enjoy the unalloyed pleasure of keeping all their stuff.. This would have been fine but another ditch building tribe( tribe B) finding that they were stronger together cast envious eyes at the neighbouring tribes stuff and invaded them .’ Once again the devil, farts in my face’, cried the invaded members of tribe A ,realising at once that they had to up their game stuff –keeping wise.

This process continued until the tribe reached a natural boundary like the Sea and until they met another vast accumulation of stuff-keepers. The tribes became one tribe within this boundary and they all cooperated to keep their stuff from other similar organisations. These cooperative stuff keeping enterprises were known as countries . Well of course countries wanted eachothers stuff but some countries were good at keeping stuff and became right handy at defeating successive would be invaders . They created a thing called a government or ruler and pretty much all hey did was collect money to pay for armies so everyone knew their stuff was secure .

That was all governments did really until the 19th century at which time for obscure reasons what had been merely a vehicle of protection became master of the country.
The people in it found their stuff was taken actually by the stuff-guardian . Worse still, the boundary that had been the point of the entire exercise was now a revolving door until 574000 a year of any old person could turn up and take as much stuff as they liked .
Looking at this sorry state of affairs 385 ,000 per year of the people who had made the country left wondering why they had bothered.
Here Endeth the Lesson


Jenny! said...

Thanks for the lesson, but I was passing notes to my I need ot see the principal now???

Newmania said...

Report to my study immediately Jenny !!

Ed said...

Yay I'm third.

N if the state is only supposed to protect our stuff from invaders and criminals, where does banning porn come in?

I think there's a libertarian in you struggling to get out.

Stan! said...

And I'm fourth.
As you point out, after 1870, many on the right were gradually seduced into believing that the state was required to guarantee "social justice".The right have largely abandoned the notion of individual freedom, especially economic freedom, and nowadays spend most of their time on shoring up the welfare state and excessive regulation (just look at most European "centre-right" parties).
Is Mr Newmania a libertarian?
*Libertarians want to abolish as much government as they practically can.Taxation is theft.
*Most libertarians have no attachment to an idealized past and have little interest in the right wing's militarist and authoritarian tendencies.
What say you, N?
Personally, I have rather advanced libertarian ideals on some (but not all) issues.I oppose all anti-pornography laws as unjustified interference with private and voluntary acts and would only leave in place laws punishing, for example, the production and sale of child pornography. I also oppose most gun control laws.
Thus, I am perhaps not your average Tory....

CityUnslicker said...

I was very disappointed by Iain Dale's reaction to this story.

How can the huge cultural change to our nation being wrought by the Government in their own socialist interests not be of concern of huge concern.

Increasingly I think one day I might join those who live afar...maybe even beoyond Kent or Sussex.

Ed said...

Thus, I am perhaps not your average Tory....

I often find myself thinking the same thing.

Ed said...

I was thinking about this on the way home - are there any "rich" democracies where the state doesn't have huge control? Even the USA has an overbearing state despite its libertarian constitution.

I'm beginning to think the French, Italians, Greeks etc. have the right idea - let the politicians get one with their meddling and let the people ignore them.

garypowell said...


Its easier and far cheaper to find such a place then it is to get them to allow you to live there.

Given the above

These countries are usually places where the government does not have enough of your cash to empower them to steel the rest of it yet. Nor the Marxist inspired will to control every aspect of human life.

Problem is that it will cost you a mill or two at the very least and requires the attainment of a few friends in high places.

Of course if you really suck up to the right people and also take the public for a vastly expensive public funded late and dirty gravy train ride you can do a 'Branson' and buy your own island.

gp said...


As a rule the best way of working it out is by a simple back of a fagbox calculation

The real wealth of the government divided by the cash wealth of YOURSELF.

The larger the resulting number the more the place should be avoided.

The cops are cheaper to bribe in Havana then London for example. Also every single female on the entire island thinks that English men are the most wonderfully good looking thing they have ever seen.

That is till they find out your a cheap skate and that you brought your wife and kids with you on holiday.

Newmania said...

I have been out drinking with Croydonian and in my absence I have about the most inteligent comments I have ever had.

re-Reading and thinking required...( could take a while )

Newmania said...

GP ....I think you are leaving out the value of cultural Capital

Newmania said...

..and in fact Libertarians in general whilst its fun to argue I don`t see the application. I was trying to talk about why a country is not a car park. Not why we should do whatever we like ....sigh

I`m afraid I am a Conservative ...not a Libertarian

Ed said...

But you said the state should only be involved in protecting our property - at what point do the tribe decide that they need to tell other members of the tribe how to behave?

Newmania said...

In did not say that Ed , its only one part of what a country is but a fundemental one . The resolution between order and Liberty for a Conservative is in social cohesion whereby people wish to behave in beneficial ways and with a realistic view of a level of coercion.Thats why Conservatives value culture and tradition becsause then less coercion is required to avoid anarchy.Anarchy is a hideous slavery and the reverse of freedom.

Conservatism is actually a subtle mode of thought with more in common with holistic Eastern traditions than continental atomising modes of enquiry. I have sometimes wondered if thats why the English and Indian people seem to have an affinity.

Think on that over your Lamb Tikka Massala !

pretentious moi ...?

Stan! said...

What I like about libertarianism is the "Non-Coercion Principle", i.e., the fundamental belief in individual conscience and individual choice.The problem with libertarians is that they believe in open borders and unrestricted immigration. They also believe that you can fund vital public services by privatizing them. A government, should live on user fees, lotteries, and endowments.
I can't go that far.

Ed, if there is hope, it lies in the new democracies of eastern Europe. Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have just proposed doing away with exemptions, deductions and loopholes in favor of a flat tax. With its 10 percent rate, Bulgaria sits at the low end of the flat tax spectrum while Lithuania's 33 percent is at the top end. Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Georgia and Romania have also switched to flat tax systems in recent years.
I can't see much of that impetus spreading to western Europe.Alas.

Anonymous said...

stan! said:

if there is hope, it lies in the new democracies of eastern Europe. Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have just proposed doing away with exemptions, deductions and loopholes in favor of a flat tax. With its 10 percent rate, Bulgaria sits at the low end of the flat tax spectrum...

Will Brown find himself in a position where he has no choice?

UK Recruitment companies are now receiving a flurry of tax reclaim forms from Eastern Europe to complete on behalf of Eastern Europeans who've returned home to their native countries.

Perhaps B ruin will be forced to close our borders after all?

Auntie Flo'

Ed said...

We might have to start slashing taxes when the economy stops being competitive and the debt bubble bursts.

N, I don't think you need to coerce people into behaving "well". Of course the state still needs to punish people for interfering with others' lives and property, but not much else.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that should have stated:

Will Brown find himself in a position where he has no choice but to go for flat tax?

Auntie Flo'

Newmania said...

N, I don't think you need to coerce people into behaving "well".

No Ed people live in a culture and they becoming entwined by the invisible threads holding us together and they would not want to behave badly to their fellows.
If they do not have this binding humanising cuktre /tradition and so on then they will behave selfishly and carelessly .

Thats why Conservatives look for the answer to creime in the family and social structures at a sub state level that can be supported or at least stop being destroyed. You might say its a cynical view of human nature I was speaking to John hayes the Cornerstone chap and whe I said you seem to think peopke are inherently evil he said " No I would say ..fallen". Conservatsim and Libertarianism are related but by no means identical beliefs . Actually I found him really likeable and not the dreadful Cornerstone of legend .

Hmmm I am going to do a blog on this

Stan I did a blog about flat tax a while ago its an interesting development although we seem to be capable of ignoring the example of Ireland just next door .

Newmania said...

Flo thats an encouraging thought . I saw some migration figures showing that migration from the new countries was pretty low in the New Statesman and nothing like the Polish diaspora.

You have to have higher skills i believe I read

Ed said...

They are not invisible strings N, they are values instilled into people by their parents, wider family, friends, role models, teachers, peers, etc. But not by the state.

Newmania said...

Thats what I meant . Yes agreed

Jenny! said...

I hope you don't use the ruler again...that stung a bit!

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