Director's Bulletin, 20th March 2011

Libertarian Alliance Director's Bulletin

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20th March 2011

It is now five years to the day since the death of Chris R. Tame. I wish to mark this occasion by announcing that the new website of the Libertarian Alliance is taking shape. You can see this by looking here:

http://www2.libertarian.co.uk

As yet, few contents from the old site have been copied across. This will take much effort, as there are over a thousand publications to process, and all need to be changed in various ways. Also, we do intend to convert all our pdf files to html, so everything can be available in both formats.

But the structure and appearance of the new website are settled. It really is just a matter now of getting all the old stuff across. Whenever this is done, the “2” will be removed from the url, and the new website will become the website of the Libertarian Alliance. The old website will not be turned off – publications will remain in their old places indefinitely. From now on, though, all new publications will go up on the website only.

One new publication that I will mention is:

Saving a Symbol in Social Anthropology:
Why Libertarians Should Care About ‘Culture Shock’
Dr Edward Dutton
Scientific Notes No. 18

Abstract

“This article will chart the rise and fall of the phrase ‘culture shock’ and its central component ‘culture’ in social anthropology.  It will argue that the term is ‘culture shock’ and the way it has been treated symbolizes the dominance of irrational ideologies in anthropology.  This can be noted in part of the well-known stage model but more significantly in the way that ‘contemporary anthropologists’ have been rejecting it.  The article will argue that they are not philosophically justified in their rejection and that their arguments are fallacious.  It will show that this rejection of ‘culture shock’ is ultimately underpinned by a form of anti-freedom historicism which aims to displace critical thinking with dogma and it will argue that continuing to use ‘culture shock’ is thus confronting this anti-freedom movement.”

More at: http://www2.libertarian.co.uk/?q=node/21

Payment for Publications

For over a month now, I have been muttering about paying writers. We have now been offered a donation that will allow us to offer something to out writers. This will not, in the first instance, be a generous payment. Also, payment will only be made for original works offered to the Libertarian Alliance, and we shall demand exclusive rights for a reasonable time. But our Editorial Director is currently putting together a call for papers, and we shall give more details of our offer when that is sent out.

If you are currently a donor to the Libertarian Alliance, you will soon be contributing far more directly to the creation of a body of scholarly and, for the most part, specifically British libertarian literature.

Media Outreach

In the past ten days, I have spoken in six radio discussions – one of them with George Galloway. The only one of these I was able to record was on the 9th March 2011, and was a discussion of lap dancing clubs in Leeds. Here it is:

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2011-03-09-sex-sig.mp3

Libertarian Fiction

My Churchill Memorandum continues to pick up favourable reviews. The latest is by an American lady called Bella Gerens. You can read her review here:

http://bellagerens.com/2011/03/03/review-the-churchill-memorandum/

Following her suggestion, I went back and read the end of Chapter Five. Her interpretation is valid, though it is not one I had consciously in mind while writing the novel. It leaves me wondering to what extent an author’s interpretation of his own work has any privileged status.

Now, many people still insist that I should not use these Bulletins as an excuse for promoting my novels. If I were asking you to buy my hand-knitted scarves and balaclava helmets, these people might have a point – though, even then, I could argue that my earnings from this business would subsidise my libertarian activities. However, I will repeat that The Churchill Memorandum is a work of libertarian propaganda. I hope it works as entertainment in its own right. Indeed, if it fails in that respect, it fails as propaganda. But, so far as this novel is a success, the libertarian argument will be advanced in this country. And its success will encourage other libertarians to write better novels.

It is not only by writing big and earnest commentaries on von Mises that we shall bring about a libertarian hegemony. Competing with the statists at the level of popular entertainment is an effort worth the making. I am, therefore, unashamed in promoting The Churchill Memorandum. And I will continue promoting it until I have finished another libertarian novel later this year. This one, I think, will begin with the crash-landing of an alien spaceship in Kent in 1797. With one exception, the whole crew of shape-shifting lizards is killed. The one survivor is ruthlessly hunted down by the French and British security services, and by various Jacobin and anti-Jacobin fanatics, among others. He is saved from capture by the rather plain younger daughter of a clergyman. One day, she is looking at a lifetime of needlework and spinsterhood. The next, she is on the run with someone who is – occasionally – the man of her dreams. If you want to know the libertarian message in any of this, you will need to wait. You may also consider inspiring me by purchasing several copies of The Churchill Memorandum!

Best wishes to all,

Sean