Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Global Tax Crackdown = Global Surveillance State & Lower Standards of Living. [Plus Copyright.]

In an effort to mitigate all the good effects of last night’s free trade deal signed for Pacific nations, world governments are moving on their draconian plans to stymie the world economy by adding as much cost as they can to those firms we would, as individuals, otherwise want to trade freely with. The below comment to this NBR piece indicates the source of the problem - statism has won over freedom:

#1 by norman godden   16 hours ago

About time too. I have observed so many multi-nationals reduce profits here by loading up related party debt and unrealistic management fees.

I replied to Norman on that thread, but as ever NBR’s moderation works to stop the free flow of ideas, and it never made it up to the site. This will have been due to it falling through the cracks of their creaky moderation system which sees comments lost, not because of content. As near as I can remember my comment it was as follows – well, expanded:

Goddamn Godden. These firms were operating their tax affairs in our best interests, preferring to use their profits for innovation and lower prices to benefit customers, rather than increase the size of world governments.

Tax is a cost in (at least) two ways:

First tax is a cost to business which will be passed on in higher prices for goods, and via less innovation, less choice. Indeed, when New Zealand soon moves to add GST to all imports – unrelated to this crackdown, but the same impetus - I can see some overseas firms who won’t find it profitable to trade here, not bothering to. So our cost of living will rise, as the quality of life we’ve had through global trade declines.

Second, the money that is extorted from consumers – as they are always the one who pay corporate income tax as well as sales tax – is used by governments that have grown to half the size of their (planned, centrally dictated) economies, to grow themselves yet further via dependence to the welfare state, undermining always the self-reliance required for freedom and prosperity, and the entrepreneurial spirit rewarded by laissez faire capitalism that has given the West the best standard of living of any previous civilisation.

Norman’s comment is representative of the statist gestalt that has won in the West, capturing Left and Right, which produces from our state school system sheeple who would vote for abattoirs if they thought they might get a free lunch on the way to the trucks.


I’m moving further away from Ayn Rand on copyright. I will always hold it as a valid right, but a bad provision of the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) – other than that there are so many provisions and true free trade should be agreed in a single sentence (so this is cronyism on top of free trade) – is the increasing of authorial and music copyright to 70 years after death from 50, as it is in the US. This is retrograde as far as artistic use is concerned. I believe copyright should die with the creator.

Further Reading:


  1. I'm disappointed to see you are an interventionist and think you have stumbled across the Libertarian dilemma in that you want rules that suit your perspective rather than no rules at all. I think ownership rights are important and in respect of copyright I believe ownership rights apply. What I own I keep to do with as I wish. If I sell those rights they become the property of the purchaser. Of course its noble to share great things at little or no cost but the concept of nobility is so last century and today its all about me. Freedom means freedom to be self centred pricks if that spins our wheels. A morally attuned free market will sort that out but I suspect that the idea of a moral component to business is best ignored in case we pay too much for something that's darned cheap even at normal retail.


    1. My ideas are changing on copyright, yes.

      I will always recognise copyright as a right, but there are problems around artistic use.

      An example and some questions for you:

      Pachelbel's Canon in D has a 4 chord sequence - just four chords - that now is used in countless pieces of music.

      My opinion is that every sale of Canon in D should go to Pachelbel's estate for eternity, for all I care. However, over his life other artists should have been able to negotiate - at the least - use of that combination. After his death that combination should have been freely available (including as homage to Pachelbel). What's your opinion on that?

      This is simply 4 lousy chords: inevitably in the centuries since his death other composers would have come up with the combination without any reference or knowledge of Pachelbel - they are to be denied a product of their own minds?

      I've just written a novel in which I thought I was being 'genre-istically' original: but I find on finishing the manuscript it fits pretty much exactly in some important techniques of an avant-garde movement called readymade - which I've never read the authors of, or knew them - calling into question the whole notion of whether originality is even possible. I fell on these techniques because they fitted what I was doing, and I had no knowledge of their existence previously, so I'm excluded from using them?

      IP is a legit property right, but is not black and white like rights over tangible assets. There has to be a case for artistic use.

      Include in your answer your definition of artistic originality.

    2. Another thought.

      I would be comfortable with a common law tort of damages being used in instances of 'supposed' copyright infringement.

      For example, say I use one of Orwell's characters in a novel - which the literary agency of his estate refuses blanket permission for. However, so long as my use of that character is obvious (or credited) surely that raises interest in the earlier work, and thus renewed sales interest. Indeed, I don't see how it could possibly lead to a fall in sales of the original work.

      Why doesn't the estate have to therefore prove damages? (If there is no loss of a sales trend, or it goes up, what they hell are they suing over, other than, ironically, to profit from my original use of that character in a very different context, with original significations?)

    3. One other OT point 3:16: do you realise your default mode is as a sarky bastard? (re your opening).

  2. I had to look the music up which shows my ignorance but having listened I was grateful to recognise it. While its a few cords I think that its usable if expanded upon - another bit of music that sounds nothing like it and is original except for using those cords in a different way must belong to the person creating it - a practical test of what's new enough to pass the test. Maybe the reason there is little novel in music today (in my view) is that there's only so many good combinations of the few notes that make up the music alphabet.

    Being a Cristian I have come to love many of the hymns in ancient and modern (the term modern is to be smirked at). They are in the public domain because the people that composed them thought of others rather than themselves. Thoughtful people are like that and I'm sure there's many an atheist that is not fixated on themselves.

    I like Pink Floyd and regularly see the local Pink Floyd Experience show. I don't know if they pay a royalty but they are great and have travelled overseas doing their show. It follows that they are making a buck out of playing someone else's music with permission. Next time I see them in the pub I'll ask.

    I agree that the idea of damages needing to be proven is enticing but if I get a royalty from owning music (or anything else) and you don't pay it damages are quite evident although probably small because in reality it would be the few bucks you should pay. Using the Orwellian character is up to the agency - they have a patch to protect because he's a class author. I've trended away from fiction and prefer history, military stuff, aviation, railways, theology and science related books. I guess facts are facts in the public domain so as long as you present history in an original way you are squeaky clean. It certainly encourages people to be original and that may be a good thing.

    I confess to being grumpy - the more I study the more depressed I get about man being a shambles unable to behave properly. You have a poke at Christianity every chance you get (like Cresswell) and I suck that up. I think many of the comments are ignorant and ignore the nature of the theological statements Christianity makes. You don't have to believe of course but to push philosophy as the answer to everything is short sighted. Man can rise to great heights but the pattern of history is we stuff up when we think we can ignore the idea that someone who should not be messed with is watching. We are moral beings and should not lose sight of that. I don't know how that evolved - I see no similar innate expectation in other animals to behave well. They do so because there's a snack or safety on offer.

    So, no magic answer really except that I have a hope of something to come that sees everything sorted. I'll live with the world's bollocks and enjoy the simple pleasures it offers until my time is up. Jesus does a great wine trick by the way.


    1. My 50th birthday party last night. Had way too much of that wine.

      Half day today I think.