Insomnia strikes again.
Surfing round the blogs, I finally noticed that Don Arthur has finally upgraded his computer from a dodgy Apple Mac (though I suspect he’s only upgraded to another dodgy Apple Mac), and has been hard at work.
But he keeps linking to Clive Hamilton.
Clive has a problem with people seeking to assauge their sorrows with commercial shopping sprees. It really gets on his goat, and he has produced another massive PDF about it. I was dubious, but I downloaded it, with some trepidation, because Don finished his post with:
It would be a shame if Australia’s classical liberals ignored or dismissed this latest paper from the Australia Institute.
Well, I do have to dismiss this paper. The problem is that Hamilton has a bugbear about happiness. There is, in his view, not enough of it.
But happiness is a very human, individual emotion. It is totally random, uncalculable, and hardly controllable. And it seems to me that Hamilton is arguing for an ideology to enforce happiness on to people.
This strikes me as being the political equivalent of perpetual motion. Wonderful in theory, unattainable in practice. Until and unless Hamilton starts getting realistic, I will continue to give his work a cold hard stare.
Don has plenty of other stuff though that is good, notably this post about how “National Greatness” Republicans are steering the party away from its small-government philosophies of the 1990s and into a fairly ugly brand of ‘big government conservatism’ of a kind that is pretty disconcerting to the ‘small government’ types. Jason Soon puts that sort of thinking into an Australian perspective.
As Don mentions, it also leaves libertarians with a bit of a problem. It is sad to think that, thanks to the internet and blogs, libertarian voices are being heard more then ever, and yet the political clout of liberal ideals seems to be fading.
It is good to see Don back, I just hope his computer can hold out for a bit longer this time….