THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
'Terror law plans to be unveiled'
President Tone

The psychology of a libertarian

Sometimes I worry that my personal response to state power is a matter of psychology, not reason. My parents were strict. Though essentially a charming and well-behaved boy, I spent my childhood always “in the wrong.” It was meant kindly, of course, but independence came as a relief. I set out on adult life determined that no-one would tell me what to do again. Faced with anyone who tries to put himself in loco parentis, my reactions can be fierce.

The present government certainly seems to see itself as a substitute parent. It expresses concerns about our health, suggests we don’t know how to bring up our children and - as if we were teenagers living at home - takes a large slice of our money to spend in ways we would never have chosen.

Our health and welfare are simply not their business. How anyone can be such a lack-brained, pusillanimous milksop as to think that they are? I can understand the politicians who seek power rather better than the craven individuals who meekly submit to it. I have known many a weak individual overcome his well-merited sense of personal inadequacy by bossing others about. But who the hell enjoys taking orders?

Perhaps the sons and daughters of milder parents respond differently to those professing concern for their health and well-being? Perhaps they are more inclined to welcome such attentions? I wish they weren’t. I can’t help feeling that if the statist thugs devising new laws and their lickspittles enforcing them were met, daily, with the same reaction from millions that they reliably encounter from me, our country would be a better place.