Author: William Blake

Breaking Up With Libertarianism

Editor’s note: Imagine a city floating in the middle of the ocean, where everyone has a gun and no-one pays taxes. This essay is about how skepticism of extreme policies prompted one Australian individual to leave his political tribe. It was just after the Global Financial Crisis when my brother Stephen and I began talking about an incredible book he had recently read called The Birth of Plenty, which documented how man evolved from cave-dwelling primates to urban sophisticates. Intrigued by the book, I followed up by asking if there was anything else about economic progress I should learn about. He began telling me with great enthusiasm about John Maynard Keynes, deficit spending and pump priming. I had no idea what those terms meant at the time, but I promised my brother I would research those terms and learn more about them. The person I eventually discovered to explain the meaning of pump-priming was a balding, bespectacled older gentleman by the name of Milton Friedman and by chance the video series I had stumbled onto was …