Have a hug. Read Atlas Shrugged.

Category: Free Market Roundtable (Page 1 of 4)

Currently based in Melbourne, Australia. The Roundtable is focused on the Liberal Party of Australia, providing resource that promote understanding of practical free market principles and policies.

Ayn Rand Lexicon now available online



A powerful resource for those interested in studying and checking out what Ayn Rand and Objectivism are really about.

The Ayn Rand Lexicon is not commentary about Ayn Rand or her philosophy, Objectivism. Itconsists ofdirect quotes from Ayn Randand some ofthose works which she directly endorsed.

The debate on Ayn Rand’s ideas will continue.Good! But there’ll be little excuse to misquote or misrepresent those views.

And for those writing from an Objectivist perspective, now you can hypertext link the terminology you use.

But the greatest value of all, and the greatest fun of all is the application of the Lexicon as a study tool.

I’ve had my own hard copy of this publication since it first came out, and it’s gotten plenty of use!

A couple of examples from the Ayn Rand Lexicon

From one of the entries under “altruism”:

There are two moral questions which altruism lumps together into one “package-deal”:

(1) What are values?

(2) Who should be the beneficiary of values?

Altruism substitutes the second for the first; it evades the task of defining a code of moral values, thus leaving man, in fact, without moral guidance.

Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one’s own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action is the only criterion of moral value—and so long as that beneficiary is anybody other than oneself, anything goes.

One of the entries under “property rights” ….

The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial.

It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree—and thus keeps the road open to man’s most valuable attribute (valuable personally, socially, and objectively): the creative mind.

Even these two examples, I think, highlight both the uniqueness of Ayn Rand’s take on ideas, as well as the Aristotelian/Enlightenment tradition of which she is a part.

Hat tip to Zigory.


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Discover Capitalism: Success of private education across the Third World

James Tooley, E. G. West Centre, England

Notice of this Monday’s Discover Capitalism meeting in Melbourne, Australia . . .

From: Prodos, Ph: 9428 1234, 0421 221 679

Dear Friends,

Good evening!


Next week – and possibly beyond – Discover Capitalism™ will be meeting on MONDAY (instead of Tues).

Venue: Grace Food & Wine
306 Bridge Road, Richmond
(opposite the Richmond Town Hall)


This Monday evening we’ll have a look at some of the work of Dr James Tooley of the England-based E. G. West Centre, studying the success stories in non-state funded education across the Third World.

Time: Formal meeting commences at 7.30 PM (sharp) and finishes at 9.30 PM (sharp).

I’ll be there … from around 6.30 PM to set up and have a meal, if you’d care to join me. Otherwise food and drinks, and sweets WILL be available throughout the evening.

– – –

The Financial Times, reports on James Tooley’s work

Almost everybody knows that governments cannot
run factories, farms or shops. But many people
still expect them to do a first-rate job of
delivering education. They are deluded.
Poor parents have realised this already.
They have also done something about it, as
James Tooley … has discovered.

… Prof Tooley has already found that private
schools for the poor perform far better than their
public counterparts, to the chagrin of fond believers
in the honesty and devotion of public sector

He has shown that private schools have lower
teacher absenteeism, lower costs and better
results than public competitors.

This superiority is, without doubt, because they
are accountable to parents, not idle functionaries
and indifferent politicians.

– – –

James Tooley, writing in the Sunday Times:

Bob Geldof and Bono rave about how an extra
1m-plus children are now enrolled in primary
school in Kenya. All these children, the
accepted wisdom goes, have been saved by the
benevolence of the international community – which
must give $7 to $8 billion (�3.8 to �4.4 billion)
per year more so that other countries can
emulate Kenya’s success.

The accepted wisdom is wrong.

It ignores the remarkable reality that the poor
in Africa have not been waiting, helplessly, for
the munificence of pop stars and western chancellors to ensure that their children get a decent education.

Private schools for the poor have emerged in huge
numbers in some of the most impoverished slums
and villages in Africa. They cater for a majority of
poor children and outperform government schools,
for a fraction of the cost.

– – –

It would be a pleasure to see you and think with you on MONDAY, so I hope you’ll be able to make it along!


Best Wishes,


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John Stossel challenges rage against Big Oil profits

Responding to recent outrage about”record high”petrol prices in the USA, and the “excessive profits” of Big Oil, John Stossel has written a well-argued, brief article called “Why is Profit a Dirty Word?

Hat tip to Tim Warner

John Stossel’s article begins by quoting Democrat Senator John Kerry saying “Oil companies in America are reporting record profits. Record profits.”

I couldn’t find this particularquote on the web or on John Kerry’s website, but there’s no shortage of John Kerry railing againstBig Oil’s …”windfall profits” … “price gouging”, and so on.

The Democratic Party has been pushing to end “billions of dollars in oil industry subsidies”. I need to find out more about this, but it appears that many of these so-called”subsidies” are actually just mis-namedtax breaks.

Continue reading

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Carbonocracy versus Capitalism


Matthew Warren‘s article in The Australian, Capitalism clears the air, is full of enthusiasm about how big business, market forces, and carbon emission credits [i.e. anti-market forces] will tackle global warming more efficiently, effectively, and innovatively than any government could.

In fact carbon “trading” represents a deep undermining of the free market – which is the whole point of it of course. It’s an attempt to tame (i.e. destroy) the free market.

The threat of climate change has been around for more than a decade; however, clouded by complex and uncertain science, it is only in the past few years, even months, that the inherent risks to business have been sheeted home.

At an intellectual level there is the risk of an unacceptably warm planet by the end of the century. But even more pressing is the growing risk of a high price on carbon emissions and the impact that may have on their competitiveness, even survival. Self-interest is a powerful motivator for change.

Whodetermines this “high price on carbon emissions”? It’s not the interaction of buyers and sellers, producers and consumers. It’s government, led by technocrats.

The world’s biggest corporations are currently falling over themselves to get in on this.

What we are seeing is the rise of the new Carbonocracy.

Those who are learning to play the Carbon Game, and profit by it. The Carbonocracy will be a global community of gutless, subservient corporations.

Carbon emissions”trading” and carbon credits are completely incompatible with Capitalism, free markets, and freedom.

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) is leading the charge on Green Dhimmitude. They just can’t get enough of it!

  • Make the scheme long-term (at least 30 years) to increase greenhouse gas emissions reduction and investor certainty;
  • Set both annual and long-term emissions reduction targets;
  • Include a first phase which involves the establishment of information collection and measurement and verification mechanisms for businesses and the secondary market;
  • Include as many greenhouse gases as possible;
  • Maximise the number of sectors that are included in the scheme. If it is not possible to include a particular sector, introduce policies which ensure commensurate emissions reductions in that sector;
  • Allow maximum offsets (national and international) to meet abatement targets;
  • Establish a ‘Reserve Bank-like’ permit issue authority;
  • Issue free permits to compensate enterprises for the economic loss from the change in the ‘rules of the game’;
  • Offset the competitiveness impact of the scheme on ‘trade-exposed’ industries for as long as necessary, providing transitional arrangements through the permit issue process;
  • Cap the price of permits and consider other relevant ‘safety valve’ mechanisms;
  • Ensure the scheme facilitates an active secondary market to provide a rising but reasonably stable forward permit price curve; and
  • Ensure effective governance structures that enable confidence in the market.

And they love being Green so much, they want to share it with the world.

While Australia is developing a national response, the BCA believes Australia can and should, through its international relationships and networks, push for the development of a far-reaching global market response.

PS: I consider the notion of man-made global warming to be a load of rot. Just in case you were wondering.

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Islamic Free Market Institute Foundation and George Bernard Shaw

In an earlier post scrutinising the Islamic Free Market Institute Foundation, which has been praised by Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs, I wrote:

– – –
The Islamic “Free Market”Institute Foundation also quotes
this item by George Bernard Shaw:

I believe that if a man like him [Muhammad]
were to assume
the dictatorship of the
modern world
, he would succeed in solving
its problems in a way that would bring it
much needed peace and happiness.

Oh, I get it! A free market dictator! Brilliant.
– – – –

In case the reader isn’taware, the 1925 Nobel Prize winning author, George Bernard Shaw, was a Socialist and a big fan of Stalin, Lenin, Mussolini, and Hitler.

… By 1933 he was calling Stalin and Mussolini “the most responsible statesmen in Europe”

… He applauded his [Stalin’s] annexation of Finland, recommended him for the Nobel Peace Prize …

… Shaw’s view after he spent nine days in Russia in 1931 … congratulated slave-labourers on their public-spiritedness, said he would settle “in the most fortunate country on earth” if he were younger and, in a hall later used for show trials, declared he would die happy now he knew that the communist system could “save mankind from complete anarchy and ruin”.

… In October 1939 he published an article urging Britain and France to make peace with Germany, suggesting that Churchillism be abolished before Hitlerism and declaring that “we should cease railing at our own creation” and recognise the ability with which the Führer had undone “our wicked work” at Versailles.

… as late as 1942 that the Führer was “a remarkable fellow” who had taken “the courage of his convictions to a sublime height”.

… As late as 1938 Shaw wrote to Beatrice Webb: “I think we ought to tackle the Jewish question by admitting the right of the State to make eugenic experiments by weeding out any strains they think undesirable.” The result of those experiments was, of course, the Holocaust, in which Shaw always refused to believe.


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Andrew Landeryou scoops my Lib pre-selection application

I just found out that controversial Australian blogger and mega-stirrer, Andrew Landeryou, already knows that I’ve just nominated for Liberal Party Pre-selection for Melbourne for the forthcoming Federal election!

I’m impressed.

Here’s the article

Colourful internet identity Prodos is throwing his hat into the ring for Liberal preselection for the federal seat of Melbourne.

Previously he has been persuaded to withdraw but to paraphrase the great English Prime Minister, this time this Prodos is not for turning.

Sources close to the behatted one declare that he will not withdraw under any circumstances and even if the chieftains of 104 Exhibition Street look like prevailing, he’ll be pressing on regardless to make his point.

We understand that he will be opposed by an Owen Dixon (not the former Chief Justice who died in 1971 presumably).

Prodos seems like a good stick, an unusual person in politics who actually thinks about his political philosophy rather deeply. Political parties don’t generally reward such folk which is why in ALP circles it’s sometimes quite a surprise to hear a strong view about something where there’s no internal agenda just a sincerely held opinion, like Conroy and Fiona Richardson against uranium mining or Tanner in favour of really open markets with much less government red tape on foreign investment. Unpredictable views are all too rare.

And Prodos isn’t so much unpredictable as consistent philosophically, which is even rarer. Good luck to him, he’ll need it.

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IPA praises the Islamic Free Market Institute Foundation

The cover story of Australia’sInstitute of Public Affairs magazine, IPA Review,is:

Islam’s free market heritage
written by Chris Berg and Andrew Kemp.

One of the groups that’s praised in that article is the Islamic Free Market Institute Foundation.

Among other things, this group claims that:

… the life of Prophet Muhammad provides a perfect example.

… The law of God, as enunciated in the Qur’an and exemplified in the life of the Prophet is supreme in all cases.

I wonder if Chris and Andrew have studied the Hadith in order to be clear about what this means exactly. I really think they should.

Islam is not a new religion, but a re-presentation of the same message and guidance that Allah revealed to all of His prophets.

What this means is that Jesus and Moses (and others) were all Muslims. It also means that Islam is the rightful owner/origin/source of both Christianity and Judaism.

The Islamic “Free Market”Institute Foundation also quotes this item by George Bernard Shaw:

I believe that if a man like him [Muhammad] were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness.

Oh, I get it! A free market dictator! Brilliant.

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