Libertarian Alliance

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The Libertarian Alliance (LA) comprises two libertarian think tanks in Great Britain that promote free-market economics and civil liberties. According to the websites of both organisations, "The Libertarian Alliance is a non-partisan group fighting statism in all its forms and working for the creation of a truly free society."[1][2]

It has been suggested that their advocacy of complete free speech and the abolition of taxation and government intervention in economic and social life combines elements of liberalism, conservatism, and anarchism.[3]

Between them, they have produced over 800 publications by over 280 authors. Free Life was formerly the LA's hardcopy journal. Most LA publications are now Internet based.

History[edit]

The original Libertarian Alliance was founded in 1977 by Mark Brady, Judy Englander, David Ramsay Steele and Chris Tame in Woking. It was an alliance of libertarian minarchists, anarchists, and classical liberals. The LA was not the continuation of either the Radical Libertarian Alliance (founded by Mark Brady, and Chris Tame) in late 1971 nor the earlier Young Libertarians founded by David Myddelton in the late 1960s.[1]

The principles of the LA were formulated by the founding members, and written out by David Ramsay Steele. While the LA had no official leader, it did have a chairperson, secretary, and a treasurer. The Alternative Bookshop, formed in 1978, became the unofficial hub of LA activities for a time.[1]

In 1982 a power struggle within the organization caused a split.[4] Since then there have been two groups both calling themselves the Libertarian Alliance and using the same logo and using the phrase "Let a Thousand Libertarian Alliances Bloom!".[1]

Although this was not always the case in the past, the two groups now have rather more friendly relations, often sending guest speakers to each other's conferences, and commenting civilly and constructively on each other's blogs and sites. A number of English libertarians are members of both groups. However, reunification does not appear to be likely in the near future.

Current activities[edit]

One group maintains the sites libertarian.co.uk and a blog. The current director of this Libertarian Alliance is Dr. Sean Gabb.[5] who speaks regularly on the television, and on the radio, in current affairs programmes and where comment is required. Other committee members of this Libertarian Alliance include Professor John Kersey as Director of Cultural Affairs. It is a member of Backlash, which was formed in 2005 in order to oppose a new law criminalising possession of "extreme pornography". This Libertarian Alliance has some links with the Traditional Britain Group; Sean Gabb, John Kersey, and Keir Martland have each spoken to Traditional Britain Group conferences. In 2015 Gabb's Libertarian Alliance was recognised by HMRC as an educational charity.

The other Libertarian Alliance is run largely by David McDonagh, though they have no official director or president, and has regular meetings in London. Dr Gabb has spoken at these meetings on a number of occasions and each time he is introduced by McDonagh as "The Director of the Libertarian Alliance".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "About", Libertarian Alliance.
  2. ^ "About the Libertarian Alliance", Libertarian Alliance
  3. ^ Goodwin, Barbara (2007). Using Political Ideas. Wiley. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-470-02552-9. 
  4. ^ "Aftermath of the Split", Free Life, Journal of the Libertarian Alliance, Vol. 3, No. 3.;"Attempted Theft of an Organization", Free Life, Journal of the Libertarian Alliance, Vol. 3, No. 3.
  5. ^ http://www.seangabb.co.uk/?q=node/526#comment-135