Monday, 2 May 2005

Libertarianism breaks out in Dundee - sort of

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to read this:
Two Scottish academics, who spent two years analysing the behaviour of people who neglect both themselves and their homes, say such eccentric individuals should be allowed to live as they like so long as it does not affect anyone else.
I'll ignore the fact that the academics took two whole years - no doubt at our expense - to come to this conclusion for it's such an unusual one nowadays. The truth is that all of us - not just "eccentrics" - should be allowed to do whatever we want so long as it does not affect anyone else. Actually, that's not quite correct from a purely libertarian perspective. The sentence should end: "so long as it does not affect anyone else's rights", but I'll let that pass. If the powers that be start thinking along these lines the jobs section of the Guardian will be thin indeed.

(A caveat. Note this statement:

the researchers have drawn up guidelines for health professionals, social workers and housing officers, which advises them on ways of dealing with squalid households.
In so far as the houses concerned are owned by the state then I think that a degree of monitoring by those ominous-sounding "housing officers" is legitimate. Needless to say I don't think that the state should own any houses.)

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Robert Speirs
I'd say "so long as their behavior does not cause physical harm to anyone else".

9 May 2005, 20:24:41 GMT+01:00
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Shooting Parrots
Bloody Haloscan! To continue: 
Landlord Zone.) 
While I agree with your basic tenet that the State (or local authorities in this case) shouldn't have to own houses, the reason they do is because of the exploitation of tenants by landlords like Peter Rachman, not a system I'd care to return to. 
Besides, more and more council housing is being transferred to social housing trusts.

6 May 2005, 19:28:10 GMT+01:00
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Shooting Parrots
Up until about 1914 approximately 90 per cent of all housing in Britain was privately rented. This compares to only about 10 to 11 per cent at the end of the century, though from a low point of about 7 per cent in 1991 there has been a steady increase over the last few years. It is now predicted that the privately rented sector will reach 15 per cent of the total housing market by 2002 (From

6 May 2005, 19:23:27 GMT+01:00