LA News Release, "Is Big Business Part of the Free Market?" (October 2008)

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NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International

Release Date: Saturday 30th August 2008
Release Time: Immediate

For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message
Release url: http://www.libertarian.co.uk/news/nr071.htm

LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE ESSAY PRIZE (£1000): IS BIG BUSINESS PART OF THE FREE MARKET?

The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties policy institute, today announces the title for its 2008 Chris R. Tame Memorial Essay Prize competition.

This Prize is funded by a generous grant from The PROMIS Unit of Primary Care and is in honour of Chris R. Tame (1949-2006) Founder and first Director of the Libertarian Alliance. The Prize is worth £1000.

The essay title for 2008 is:

"Can a Libertarian Society be Described as 'Tesco minus the State'?"
Essay Length: 3,000 words excluding notes and bibliography
Submission Date: 10th October 2008

Explanatory Note

The purpose of this year's essay title is to draw wider attention to a debate that has been taking place within the libertarian movement for over a century, and that is now more relevant than ever: is big business really part of the free market in which libertarians believe? Or is it just the "third way" between free enterprise and socialism?

Many socialists and conservatives regard libertarians as cheerleaders for big business. Our belief in free enterprise is understood as support for the bigger, and therefore the more successful, corporations - General Motors, Microsoft, HSBC, Tesco, and so forth - and for an international financial system centred on the City of London.

Some libertarians are happy to be so regarded. They dislike the way in which big government provides opportunities for big business to acquire privileges that shelter it from competition. Even so, they believe that a world without government, or a world with much less government, would be broadly similar in its patterns of enterprise to the world that we now have. It would be much improved, but not fundamentally dissimilar.

Other libertarians disagree. They regard big business as fundamentally a creation of big government. Incorporation laws free entrepreneurs from personal risk and personal responsibility, and allow the growth of large business organisations that are bureaucratically managed. These organisations then cartellise their markets and externalise many of their costs. The result is systematic distortion of market behaviour from the forms it would take without government intervention. These libertarians often go further in their analysis by denying the legitimacy of intellectual property rights and ownership rights in land beyond what any individual can directly use.

Where do you stand in this debate? Are you broadly comfortable with a global capitalism that is raising billions of people from starvation towards affluence. Or are you a radical with a vision of a society that has never yet been tried and is as alien and even frightening to most people as anything promised by the Marxists.

The winner of the 2008 competition will be announced at the London conference of the Libertarian Alliance, on Saturday the 25th October at the National Liberal Club.

Full details of the Prize at http://www.libertarian.co.uk/conferences/prize08.htm
Full details of the Conference at http://www.libertarian.co.uk/conferences/conf08brochure.htm

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Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He is the author of ten novels and ten other books, plus about a million words of journalism. He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at sean@libertarian.co.uk

His latest novel, The Break, has been nominated for the 2015 Prometheus Award.

His recent book, Freedom of Speech in England: Its Present State and Likely Prospects, is a defence of freedom of speech without exceptions. 

Or his book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, explains how its current ruling class has turned England into a totalitarian police state, and how this ruling class can be overthrown and utterly destroyed.

Or another of his books, Smoking, Class and the Legitimation of Power, explains how the current "war" on smoking has nothing to do with making individuals healthy, but everything to do with enhancing the power of a totalitarian ruling class, and enriching its relevant client groups.

You can see other books by Sean Gabb here.

Extended Contact Details

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain's most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 800 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at http://www.libertarian.co.uk

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Lansdowne Row
Mayfair
London
W1J 6HL
Tel: 07956 472 199