John Singleton with Bob Howard, Rip Van Australia (Stanmore: Cassell Australia, 1977), pp. 9-12, under the heading “Alternatives”.
In our society, there are three broad areas of human interaction: social affairs, economic affairs and political affairs.
Social affairs are such things as codes of behaviour, sexual conduct, modes of dress and culture. Economic affairs include such things as business activities, profits, losses, supplies, demands, wages and so on, while political affairs include the whole range of legislation and regulation.
Obviously, these three areas are not independent of one another. There is interaction within each area and also between the separate areas, and in fact, the interaction between political affairs and the other two has grown to such an extent that political affairs now dominate the other two.
Our economic and social affairs are effectively controlled by politics — by the vast array of governmental regulations.
Just precisely how they are controlled depends to some extent on who is in control of the political machinery at any time.
In this regard, the groups in control fall into two broad categories: Left and Right, or, in Australia, Labor and Liberal/NCP respectively. In the broadest terms each of these has a characteristic attitude towards social and economic affairs, and, when in government, tend to control them accordingly. (These differences are, of course, more marked in the rhetoric of the two groups. The differences tend to get rather blurred in practice.) Now it’s the curious paradox of our times that the following breakup occurs in these different attitudes, and thus sets up two conflicting sets of relationships among political, social and economic affairs.
_______| Left (Labor) | Right (Liberal/NCP)
Social Affairs | Freedom | Control
Economics Affairs | Control | Freedom
The Left believes in freedom in social affairs, but control in economic affairs. This is seen in Labor Party support for the repeal of victimless crime legislation in the areas of prostitution, gambling, drug abuse, sexual activity between consenting adults and so on, in the area of social affairs, and their support in the area of economic affairs of the idea of a planned economy, through the creation of a socialist or communist state.
The Right traditionally takes the opposite point of view. In social affairs, the Right supports victimless crime legislation that outlaws pornography, homosexuality, gambling (except at the government TAB), prostitution and so on, while in economic affairs it supports — in theory at least — a free enterprise economy.
Thus we have this curious situation in which each side believes in some freedom and some control, but in opposite areas.
Just how and why this situation arose is a subject large and complex enough to require another book, but people supporting each side can find enough in the ideas of each to give them a feeling of conviction and certainty about the essential correctness of the ideas they support. Each can say with some justification “We believe in freedom and individual rights” and know with gut level certainty that they really do.
It is this split of attitudes that maintains the division between Left and Right and is the basis of all the conflict in the third area of interaction—political affairs. In their attempts to resolve social and economic conflicts, both Left and Right have increasingly resorted to using politics — practising what James Madison called “the old trick of turning every contingency into a resource for accumulating force in the government”.
In this way political affairs has come to dominate social and economic affairs — it feeds on the conflict.
This is the trap that most alternatives proposed to solve social and economic problems fall into. They seek to solve the problem by using politics. Therefore we see the growth of the “welfare state” to solve social problems, and the proliferation of regulations in an attempt to solve economic problems. Even the solutions of the more radical groups make this sort of error. The feminist groups, for example, want all sorts of political aid to solve their problems — free child- minding centres, free contraceptives, free health care, a living wage, and so on.
We believe that attempts such as these are examples of stepping out of the frying pan into the fire. What is the point of “solving” the problems of our so-called capitalist economy by replacing it with a totally controlled economy — an economy where everything is run with the efficiency of the Post Office?
Equally, what is the point of trying to build up a highly efficient technological society that emotionally cripples all the people who live in it?
We believe that much of the currently existing conflict and confusion in our social, economic and political affairs can only be eliminated by a completely new approach. We believe that we have to break away from the old Left-Right categories and create a new category. This new category is what this book is all about, and it can be shown very simply by adapting the previous diagram:
_______| Left (Labor) | Centre (Libertarian) | Right (Liberal/NCP)
Social Affairs | Freedom | Freedom | Control
Economics Affairs | Control | Freedom | Freedom
This new category of libertarianism is a genuine alternative. It eliminates the internal contradictions of both the Left and the Right stands and uses the best of both. It is a true philosophy of freedom — freedom in social affairs and freedom in economic affairs.
The position of the Left is to somehow believe that if a person can smoke pot, be a homosexual and speak his or her mind, then that person is free — even though he or she might be told how much to earn, what businesses to start, under what conditions to work, and so on.
For its part, the Right makes the opposite mistake (but again only in theory). It believes that if a person has freedom of enterprise then that person is free, and that this remains the case if at the same time his or her private personal behaviour is regulated.
These are obvious contradictions, but very pervasive ones. Unfortunately, the situation is not helped by the fact that most people on the Left misunderstand what is meant by freedom of enterprise, and that most people on the Right don’t appreciate the far-reaching consequences of social regulation. We hope that the rest of this book can do something to throw some new light on this confusion.
By unit[ing] the ideas of freedom in social affairs and freedom in economic affairs, the libertarian philosophy also does something else. It almost completely (some people would say completely) eliminates the power of the third area — politics. It frees both our social and economic affairs from political manipulation, domination and control. It allows individual people to control their own social and economic affairs.1
This libertarian philosophy, based as it is on voluntarism or individual freedom, can equally encompass people who wish to live as communists in voluntary communes, and people who wish to be free traders and run their own business enterprises for a profit.
In fact, the only criterion of libertarianism is that all relationships should be voluntary. In this sense it is a truly radical alternative rather than a reactionary one.
It is a consistent application of the philosophy of freedom.
And it’s about time we gave it a go.
- It is important to remember here that by freedom in economic affairs we mean a free enterprise economy and not a corporate capitalist economy. We believe that the evils of capitalism that so anger the left are only made possible by the collusion of business and government in what is a mixed economy and not a free economy. We do not believe that freeing the economy from government regulation would simply place people at the mercy of the big corporations, etc. ↩
- Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
- Singo and Howard Propose Privatising Bondi Beach
- Singo and Howard Speak Out Against the Crackpot Realism of the CIS and IPA
- Singo and Howard on Compromise
- Singo and Howard on Monopolies
- Singo and Howard Support Sydney Harbour Bridge Restructure
- Singo and Howard on Striking at the Root, and the Failure of Howard, the CIS and the IPA
- Singo and Howard Explain Why Australia is Not a Capitalist Country
- Singo and Howard Call Democracy Tyrannical
- Singo and Howard on Drugs!
- Simpleton sells his poll philosophy
- Singo and Howard Decry Australia Day
- Singo and Howard Endorse the Workers Party
- Singo and Howard Oppose the Liberal Party
- Singo and Howard Admit that Liberals Advocate and Commit Crime
- Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
- John Whiting's Inaugural Workers Party Presidential Address
- John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
- Singo and Howard on Aborigines
- Singo and Howard on Conservatism
- Singo and Howard on the Labor Party
- Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
- John Singleton changes his name
- Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
- New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
- Singo and Howard introduce Rip Van Australia
- Singo and Howard on Knee-Jerks
- Singo and Howard on Tax Hunts (Lobbying)
- Singo and Howard on Rights
- Singo and Howard on Crime
- Singo and Howard on Justice
- Singo and Howard on Unemployment
- John Singleton on 1972 cigarette legislation
- Singo and Howard: Gambling Should Neither Be Illegal Nor Taxed
- Holed up, hold-up and holdout
- The libertarian alternative vs the socialist status quo
- Workers Party Platform
- Singo and Howard Join Forces to Dismantle Welfare State
- Singo and Howard on Business
- Singo and Howard on Discrimination
- Singo and Howard on the Greens
- Singo and Howard on Xenophobia
- Singo and Howard on Murdoch, Packer and Monopolistic Media
- Singo and Howard Explain that Pure Capitalism Solves Pollution
- Singo and Howard Defend Miners Against Government
- Singo and Howard on Bureaucracy
- Singo and Howard on Corporate Capitalism
- The last words of Charles Russell
- Ted Noffs' Preface to Rip Van Australia
- Right-wing anarchists revamping libertarian ideology
- Giving a chukka to the Workers Party
- Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
- "A beautiful time to be starting a new party": Rand fans believe in every man for himself
- Introducing the new Workers' Party
- Paul Rackemann 1980 Progress Party Election Speech
- Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
- Voices of frustration
- Policies of Workers Party
- Party Promises to Abolish Tax
- AAA Tow Truck Co.
- Singo and Howard on Context
- Singo and Howard Blame Roosevelt for Pearl Harbour
- Singo and Howard on Apathy
- Workers Party is "not just a funny flash in the pan"
- Singo and Howard on Decency
- John Singleton in 1971 on the 2010 Federal Election
- Matthew, Mark, Luke & John Pty. Ltd. Advertising Agents
- Viv Forbes Wins 1986 Adam Smith Award
- The writing of the Workers Party platform and the differences between the 1975 Australian and American libertarian movements
- Who's Who in the Workers Party
- Bob Howard interviewed by Merilyn Giesekam on the Workers Party
- A Farewell to Armchair Critics
- Sukrit Sabhlok interviews Mark Tier
- David Russell Leads 1975 Workers Party Queensland Senate Team
- David Russell Workers Party Policy Speech on Brisbane TV
- Bludgers need not apply
- New party formed "to slash controls"
- The Workers Party
- Malcolm Turnbull says "the Workers party is a force to be reckoned with"
- The great consumer protection trick
- The "Workers" speak out
- How the whores pretend to be nuns
- The Workers Party is a Political Party
- Shit State Subsidised Socialist Schooling Should Cease Says Singo
- My Journey to Anarchy:
From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
- Workers Party Reunion Intro
- Singo and Howard on Freedom from Government and Other Criminals
- Singo and Howard on Young People
- Singo and Howard Expose how Government Healthcare Controls Legislate Doctors into Slavery
- Singo and Howard Engage with Homosexuality
- Singo and Howard Demand Repeal of Libel and Slander Laws
- Singo and Howard on Consumer Protection
- Singo and Howard on Consistency
- Workers Party is born as foe of government
- Political branch formed
- Government seen by new party as evil
- Singo and Howard on Non-Interference
- Singo and Howard on Women's Lib
- Singo and Howard on Licences
- Singo and Howard on Gun Control
- Singo and Howard on Human Nature
- Singo and Howard on Voting
- Singo and Howard on
- Singo and Howard on Education
- Singo and Howard on Qualifications
- Ron Manners on the Workers Party
- Singo and Howard Hate Politicians
- Undeserved handouts make Australia the lucky country
- A happy story about Aborigines
- John Singleton on Political Advertising
- Richard Hall, Mike Stanton and Judith James on the Workers Party
- Singo Incites Civil Disobedience
- How John Singleton Would Make Tony Abbott Prime Minister
- The Discipline of Necessity
- John Singleton on the first election the Workers Party contested
- Libertarians: Radicals on the right
- The Bulletin on Maxwell Newton as Workers Party national spokesman on economics and politics
- Singo and Howard: Australia Should Pull Out of the Olympics
- Singo and Howard Like Foreign Investment
- Mark Tier corrects Nation Review on the Workers Party
- The impossible dream
- Why can't I get away with it?
- The bold and boring Lib/Lab shuffle
- Time for progress
- The loonie right implodes
- Max Newton: Maverick in Exile
- John Singleton on refusing to do business with criminals and economic illiterates
- Censorship should be banned
- "Listen, mate, a socialist is a bum"
- John Singleton on Advertising
- John Singleton on why he did the Hawke re-election campaign
- Sinclair Hill calls for dropping a neutron bomb on Canberra
- Bob Howard in Reason 1974-77
- John Singleton defends ockerism
- Singo and Howard talk Civil Disobedience
- The Census Con
- Singo and Howard Oppose Australian Participation in the Vietnam War
- Did John Singleton oppose the mining industry and privatising healthcare in 1990?
- Bob Carr in 1981 on John Singleton's political bent
- John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
- John Singleton on elections: "a Massive One-Day Sale!"
- John Hyde's Progress Party praise
- King Leonard of Hutt River Declares Defensive Just War Against Australia the Aggressor
- Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
- Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
- John Singleton bites into Sinclair Hill's beef
- Save Parramatta Road
- 1979 news item on new TV show John Singleton With a Lot of Help From His Friends
- Smoking, Health and Freedom
- Singo and Howard on Unions
- Singo and Howard Smash the State
- Singo and Howard on the big issue of Daylight Saving
- Come back Bob - It was all in fun!
- A few "chukkas" in the Senate for polo ace?
- Country Rejuvenation - Towards a Better Future
- Singo and Howard on Profits, Super Profits and Natural Disasters
- John Singleton's 1977 pitch that he be on a committee of one to run the Sydney 1988 Olympics for profit
- Thoughts on Land Ownership
- 1975 Max Newton-Ash Long interview on the Workers Party
- The Electoral Act should allow voters to choose "none of the above"
- The great Labor Party platform: first or last, everybody wins a prize
- The politics of marketing - laugh now, pay later
- Singo and Howard call Australia fascist and worse
- The mouse will roar
- Viv Forbes and Jim Fryar vs Malcolm Fraser in 1979
- Quip, Quote, Rant and Rave: four of Viv Forbes' letters to the editor in The Australian in 1979
- Australia's First Official Political Party Poet Laureate: The Progress Party's Ken Hood in 1979
- Hancock's playing very hard to get
- Harry M. Miller and The Australian disgrace themselves
- Ocker ad genius takes punt on art
- John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
- John Singleton mocks university students on civil liberties and freedom of choice in 1971
- Murray Rothbard championed on Australian television in 1974 (pre-Workers Party!) by Maureen Nathan
- John Singleton profile in 1977 Australian MEN Vogue
- I think that I shall never see a telegraph pole as lovely as a tree
- Ralph Nader vs John Singleton on Consumer Protection
- John Singleton's first two "Think" columns in Newspaper News, 1969
- Singo and Howard on Ballet
- Product innovation comes first
- Protect who from a 'mindless' wife?
- A party is born
- Tiny Workers' Party gives us a hint
- John Singleton on the ad industry, consumerism and innovation
- Workers Party Economic Policy Statement, December 1975
- Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
- John Singleton and Howard on Government Largesse
- Counterculture must exclude government handouts
- John Singleton's 1974 Federal Liberal Election Campaign Ads
- John Singleton believes in the Workers Party
- Write-up of John Singleton's 1978 speech to the Australian Liberal Students Association
- Singo in 1987: "Joh doesn't go far enough ... I want absolute deregulation of the economy"
- Maxwell Newton chapter of Clyde Packer's No Return Ticket (1984)
- Singo and Howard on Totalitarian Socialism and Voluntary Socialism
- Rip Van Australia on Ripoff Vandals Taxing Australia
- Singo and Howard beg for tolerance
- John Singleton's 1985 advertising comeback
- Singo and Howard Demand End to Public Transport
- John Singleton and Howard on Fred Nile, Festival of Light, FamilyVoice Australia and the Christian Lobby
- Capitalism: Survival of the Fittest
- Return Australia Post to Sender
- Singo and Howard on Public Utilities
- John Singleton and Howard say monarchy should be funded by monarchists alone
- John Singleton on cigarette advertising
- Singo in 1972 on newspapers' demise
- John Singleton farewells Bryce Courtenay
- John Singleton on Australian political advertising in 1972
- Gortlam rides again
- Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
- John Singleton on trading stamps, idiot housewives and government
- 1975 John Singleton-Sir Robert Askin Quadrant Interview
- Singo asks two prickly questions
- VIOLENCE, TV BAN, DRINK - SINGO SPEAKS HIS MIND
- Why John Singleton can't keep a straight face
- Why John Singleton Defends Smokers Rights
- Tony Dear on Paul Krutulis, the Workers Party and murder
- An Ode to Busybodies
- Progress Party and Workers Party lead The Australian
- How many tits in a tangle?
- Viv Forbes in 1978 on loss-making government, the Berlin Wall and misdirected blasts of hot-air
- John Singleton wants the Post Office sold and anti-discrimination legislation scrapped
- A speech from the Titanic
- A crime must have a victim
- John Singleton vs Australia Post
- Minimum wages the killer
- Has Fraser got his priorities all wrong?
- John Singleton says "the royal family should be flogged off to the U.S."
- John Singleton vs Don Chipp and the Australian Democrats
- John Singleton vs Don Lane
- John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
- John Singleton's 1986 reflection on the Workers Party
- Bob Howard in 1978 on libertarianism in Australia
- John Singleton on the stupidity of anti-discrimination laws
- Thou shalt know the facts ... before thou shoot off thou mouth
- Charity: An Aesop Fable
- Bob Howard announces the Workers Party in freeEnterprise
- New improved moon
- Announcing people ... YES, people!
- Creativity in advertising must be pointed dead on target
- John Singleton on barriers to, and opportunities for, effective communication
- Wayne Garland on John Singleton on Advertising
- John Singleton schools ad course
- John Singleton: advertising awards
- Mr Singleton Goes to Canberra for Australian Playboy
- John Singleton on his TV career for Australian Playboy
- John Singleton sacked for telling the truth about Medicare