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The Middle Ages as Ordered Anarchy (PFS 2017)

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The mediaeval roots of European freedom

On the evening of 27th September 2017, I visited the boys at The Oratory School to give a short talk. I gave no title at the time, but a title which suggests itself retrospectively is ‘The medieval roots of European freedom.’ Here is a very brief outline of the 30 minute talk:

How do we explain freedom or liberalism? Any Little Englander will tell you that England is a bit special, but there are other such places in Europe worth investigating. Racialistic accounts, such as in Mein Kampf, and other accounts such as Max Weber’s, of how small countries like England and Holland came to dominate the world, are flawed. Explanations of the ‘European miracle’, too, are mostly confused, often lapsing into 19th century historicism. Rather, we must look to how our early and high mediaeval forebears thought about and practised law and kingship to come to a better understanding of liberal England and liberal Europe. After all, it was in the mediaeval period that the foundations of much that we hold dear – whether economic, political, cultural, or religious – were laid. Ideas and practices worth considering here are: strong kinship bonds; fealty; oath-helping/compurgation; the sovereignty of law; the absence of sovereign territoriality; the absence of the Divine Right of Kings; the consensus fidelium; the right of resistance etc.

Video: The Middle Ages as Ordered Anarchy

CUCA Port & Policy (12/10/2016)

The first Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA) ‘Port & Policy’ meeting this Term took place last night. (Photographs below taken by CUCA and from their Twitter page.) At this event, after having criticised the Osborne economic policy of a painfully slow reduction of the budget deficit, I spoke in favour of much more “austerity”, making the moral and practical case for a massive reduction in the size of the State. Further to this, I argued that it should not be the role of government macroeconomic policy to prevent recessions, especially following unsustainable booms caused by a loose monetary policy. In short, austerity works, and, while unpopular, it is the right thing to do. Other debates had at the meeting were over Grammar Schools and the Single Market.

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PFS 2016 Talk – On the Glorious Revolution

How Glorious was the “Glorious Revolution”?

How Glorious was the “Glorious Revolution”?
(Adapted from an address to the 11th meeting of the Property & Freedom Society)
By Keir Martland

I would like to begin by thanking Professor Hoppe and Dr Imre Hoppe for their generosity in inviting me to speak on 2nd September to such an august gathering as the Property and Freedom Society – and at such a young age. The topic of the speech I gave was the so-called Glorious Revolution, although it might as easily have been titled “On Politics and Religion”, so central were these two themes to my own speech. Therefore, at the beginning of this essay I cannot help but recall an anecdote told of G.K. Chesterton. The great man was offered a column by the Illustrated London News Company and he very humbly asked on what he could possibly write for them. (more…)

Libertarian Thoughts on Foreign Policy