As of writing this, I am about to begin my bachelor’s degree in philosophy and politics. I am re-entering education as a mature student in my late twenties, having just completed an Access to Social Sciences course in Cardiff.
Liberty has always been my driving motivation since I first became interested in politics and related disciplines. Originally my sympathy was with small-scale intentional communities, eco-villages and decentralisation movements. Although I sometimes flirted with green anarchy I unfortunately got tangled up with socialism, communism and Marxist theories of capital which lead me down a blind alley for a number of years, and I lost sight of the original liberatory ideals that got me interested in politics in the first place.
Curiosity cured me of the big state mentality as I began to explore conservative and classical liberal ideas, becoming influenced by Burke, Locke, Mill, de Tocqueville, de Maistre, Hume, Belloc, Chesterton, Kirk, Scruton and others. Meanwhile, I spent more time learning about the failures of socialism and the horrors of the communist experiments of the 20th century, along with a growing weariness of the sectarian, censorial, self-righteous, anti-scientific and entitled mentality of the radical millennial left. Alongside my life-long commitment to freedom of speech, conscience and association, these realisations gave me a new found respect for private property, due process and the rule of law, aversion to egalitarianism and utopianism, respect for tradition and religion, desire for unimposing, localised government and a (reluctant and begrudging) acceptance of the necessity of sensible border policies. I developed a strong appreciation of Britain’s unwritten constitutional inheritance, and a new orientation towards a more libertarian (free market) economic outlook.
That’s where I am today, still having a rather novice understanding of economics. I am interested in Austrian school economics and theories of land reform like Georgism and distributism. I am not yet knowledgeable enough to say anything definitive about economics (although I am more adverse than ever to state intervention) though I hope that I one day find the answer somewhere in this direction. Finding the left/right spectrum too rigid, I decided to bastardise a famous quote from Voltairine de Cleyre to best describe my political position: Libertarianism Without Adjectives.
When I enter university this September (2017) I’ll be interested in being involved in societies and think tanks dedicated to subjects like libertarianism, freedom of speech, anti-statism and heterodox economics, amongst other things. Part of a group I might be interested in? Get in touch!