Modern libertarianism is the disguise adopted by those who wish to exploit without restraint. It pretends that only the state intrudes on our liberties. It ignores the role of banks, corporations and the rich in making us less free. It denies the need for the state to curb them in order to protect the freedoms of weaker people. This bastardised, one-eyed philosophy is a con trick, whose promoters attempt to wrongfoot justice by pitching it against liberty. By this means they have turned "freedom" into an instrument of oppression.To a point, Lord Copper. Monbiot names the TPA, the Adam Smith Institute, the IEA and Policy Exchange as leading a libertarian movement that robs the freedoms of the masses, accuses libertarians of being in bed with the big corporates, and imagines that a Big State will curb them. What trite nonsense. We've had a Big State since 1979, and since then the corporates have enjoyed an unprecedented period of growth in complete synergy with government; nothing could be more antipathetic to libertarianism than the oligopolistic corporates that smother free market capitalism, yet government over-regulation skews the advantage in favour of the corporates who can devote entire departments to complying with regulation and against SMEs and mom-and-pop businesses for whom it's an often unsustainable burden. Central Statism and Corporatism are bedfellows.
The protection of the freedoms of the weak has never been on the agenda of a Big State that has consistently sought to destroy and disempower the horizontal ties of self-help, mutual support, local institutions, the family and community. It's the State that destroyed the Friendly and Provident Societies and mutual insurance by the weak, and a State fearful of the independence of the working class as an alliance of the weak that has systematically destroyed every authentic grass-roots working class movement in the country. Freedom comes through Burke's 'little platoons' , not an authoritarian Rousseau-esque central State that seeks to abolish all ties of blood and belonging in favour of a direct relationship between the State and every powerless individual.
George, the Leviathan State is not good, is not benign. And as for Clare's Elm, no farmer ever denuded the land as much as a wartime State rapacious for timber for trench props and shell boxes and armed with the power to requisition and destroy without recourse.