On island-selling, Ayn Rand, nightclubs, pigeons and neoliberalism

29 Oct

Owning an island seems a Randian dream: no taxes, no laws, no deficits, no society; just you alone in a luxury paradise. I look into the business for the Economist. There are still taxes, planning laws, eco legislation – finding a doctor and a school is tricky, too – and the government might not pay for defending your liberties if you are invaded by Fijians (as Mel Gibson’s isle was). 

Here I look at the trouble of owning your own island. 


Ayn Rand has many fans in India and Sweden.


A third of nightclubs have shut in five years. A snapshot of the industry.


Here I investigate in full something no national publication has properly looked into: the Chinese pigeon bubble.


Folk are sniffy about using the word, neoliberal. Lefties constantly misuse it; it is always pejorative and it is lazily used to mean something to do with free markets or something? But a word should not be ditched because one’s political opponents are misusing it. The first neoliberals – and Friedman – happily went by that name.

Neoliberalism is a good word to describe the second wave of liberalism. The word liberal will not suffice. Neoliberalism is distinct. Hayek and Friedman followed in the tradition of Adam Smith, but by the 1940s things have changed so much that one cannot say neoliberals were having the same argument as Smith. Would Smith have agreed with modern welfarism? Who knows.

Introduction over. Here is my review of Daniel Stedman Jones’s history of neoliberalism.



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