Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Sunday December 31 2006

Well, I was wrong about there not being anything up here today apart from links to me on Samizdata, because here is the latest recorded conversation between me and Antoine, about democracy and libertarianism.  It’s just under forty minutes in length.  And I did manage to get this up before our end-of-the-month deadline.

It’s more abstract and vague and less dependent upon recent events than usual, and my sense is that this didn’t really work.  Normally, if people think something in the blogosphere is not very good, they are sane and polite enough just to move on in silence.  But here is a case where I would really like to know what you thought, even if you thought it rather poor, and particularly if you thought it poor and usually like the chats that Antoine and I do rather more.  And, of course, I would be equally interested if you thought it was fine, or even better than usual.  In fact, any general advice about how Antoine and I should go about these things would be greatly appreciated.

I also have in the can the conversation that Alex and I had about Gilbert and Sullivan.  This felt far better to me, because we had both done some homework.  But alas, technically there were problems, with me being much quieter than Alex.  Further work will be needed before that sees the light of day.  Live and learn.

Anyway, I mention that G&S chat because I think that homework is a good idea for these things, especially when it’s with the same person again and again and there isn’t the simple fact of meeting a new person to keep things lively.  Each time, we need to really get to grips with a new subject, but alas, this time, as we joked afterwards rather ruefully, this was something of a “quota podcast”.

I think that Antoine and I need to decide on our topic not hours before, but a couple of weeks before.  That way, we keep our eyes and ears peeled for relevant stories, and generally learn some good stuff in advance, like I did about G & S.

Like I say, live and learn.

I thought it was fine.
If you had done some homework, I would have liked to hear what could be done to make a monarchy work. Obviously we couldn’t have people running around and claiming divine right.
I find it somewhat exasperating that the first idiot to announce his candidacy for the President of the United States believes in raising the minimum wage and unionizing labor.  This is like having a political discussion about whether or not 2+2=4!  How can we ever make headway if we have to fight the same battles over and over? 
The monarchy does sound good to me right now.

Posted by August on 01 January 2007

Thanks August.  Much appreciated.

As for the Monarchy thing, I think the likely way such things might develop is that in some parts of the world regular government will just get SO bad, and rich people will meanwhile be getting SO rich (and thus really quite powerful) and the rich people will just BUY bits of the territory of crap governments, and run those bits as, well, monarchies.

But the bits would have to be small, and even there, I suspect that monarchy, for many of the kinds of reasons that Antoine and I talked about, might still mutate into democracy.

I don’t see current democracies ever mutating as a whole into much else, other than sheer confusion and chaos, South American style.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 02 January 2007
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