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The Libertarian Alliance has decided to create a web archive containing issues of its magazine FREE LIFE which made its appearance in the late 1970s. Over the years, FREE LIFE contained a large number of articles on Libertarianism which were both entertaining and instructive.  As issues are scanned in and edited for presentation on the Web, they will appear in the list below.

NEW: Subject Index of Free Life

This page Free Life Volume 1-4
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First Editorial - Judy Englander - Winter 1979

The launching of yet another "fringe" political magazine needs, perhaps, some justification. While a greater or lesser degree of statism/collectivism is accepted by all political parties and groups, our aim is to provide an - in Britain - unique forum for ideas consistent with individual liberty.

Articles will not reflect a 'party line'. We hope that diverse interpretation of the Libertarian philosophy will fill these pages, and that there will be a lively debate between contributors.

Readers will, nevertheless, notice a thread of continuity in all the opinions expressed - a common commitment to the core Libertarian principle that it is morally wrong, and socially and economically detrimental, for any person or group of persons to initiate force against others for any reason whatsoever. We believe that consent is the only ethical and workable basis on which society can rest. We believe that each individual owns his/her own person entirely and is absolute sovereign over it. Thus we believe in the inviolability of private property - the extension of the person and the distilled product of his/her talents

'Free Life' is not a 'right-wing' or a 'left-wing' magazine. Our commitment to individual liberty includes both economic freedom and personal freedom; we are interested not only in a free market but also in a free society. Articles will reflect our concern with liberty 'across the board' - an honest alternative to those self-accredited 'champions of freedom' who only support the liberty to do things of which they approve. This hypocritical, selective approach - 'shopping around' for freedom one agrees with, leaving the others "on the shelf" - is discussed in David Ramsay Steele's article, 'No Computer Science Without Striptease'.

'Free Life' will support all legitimate (that is, non-coercive) ways in which individuals choose to use their freedom, without necessarily approving of them. Our title was first used from 1890- 1901 by a weekly newspaper published by the great British Libertarian, Auberon Herbert. The first 'Free Life' was dedicated to the fight against state coercion, which is "a mere survival of barbarian, a mere perpetuation of slavery under new names, against which the reason and moral sense of the civilised world have to be called into rebellion".

That, too, is our brief.
Free Life Volume 1. No .1 Winter 1979
What we want is a Government so small that it doesn't matter where it is, what it does, who's in it, or how they got there.

The case for nuclear energy
David Ramsay Steele
Law shops Graham Smith
Deregulating the oldest profession Su Cunnington
No computer science without striptease  David Ramsay Steele
In praise of prejudice Bernard Adamczewski
National Front: Right or Left? Judy Englander
A Libertarian between the lines? Graham Smith

Free Life Volume 1. No .2 1980
Inside ...Anarcho-Capitalism
Jogging & more 

The libertarian tradition No 1: Auberon Herbert: Chris R Tame Why anarcho-capitalism is a non-starter Geoffrey Sampson
Reply to Sampson David Ramsay Steele
News from somewhere Lauri Rantala
Agonistic self-abuse: can Britain survive? The Free Life Investigative Team
Killing freedom by stealth Judy Englander

Fly you to a free country? This is an aircraft, sister not a bleeding spaceship

Free Life Volume 1. No .3 
Inside ... Pot, Landlords 
& more ...

We're organising a state funeral

Editorial Graham Smith
Making a hash of pot Brian Micklethwait
Let the landlords let  John Blundell
The destruction of the railways John Driver
The secret of God or the need for rules  Bernard Adamczewski
News from somewhere
Lauri Rantala

Free Life Vol.1 No. 4 Autumn 1980
Monetarism - Special Issue

Editorial Graham Smith
Money out of control Richard Henderson
On monetarism and libertarianism  John Burton
The birth and rebirth of monetarism
David Ramsay Steele
Money without the state  Lauri Rantala
News from somewhere
Lauri Rantala
Reviews Arthur Marwick on Class and P.S. Atiyah on Freedom of Contract

Free Life Vol.2 No. 1 Winter 1980 Who will own Space? 

A bureaucratic empire? or free settlers?

Editorial David Ramsay Steele
Gun control? No thanks David Ramsay Steele
Freedom for children  Brian Micklethwait
A new look at trade union immunities
Graham Smith
A Soviet solar system?  Andrew Nimmo
After the meltdown
Richard Vaughan
Book reviews Reviews of "Knowledge and Decisions" by Thomas Sowell and "The Causes of War" by Geoffrey Blainey  also contains the article MANUFACTURING CRIME (From Auberon Herbert’s libertarian paper, THE FREE LIFE, June 20th, 1890)

Free Life Vol.2 No. 2 Spring 1981
Lessons of the Riots
Editorial - Lessons of the Riots David Ramsay Steele
Liberal objections to nuclear power  Geoffrey Sampson
Impossibility of anarcho-capitalism  Tony Hollick
Reply to Hollick
David Ramsay Steele
My anarchism   S E Parker
Authority and power under anarchy
  David Mcdonagh
Economics and ethics of music - M L Rantala
A marxist re-think - James Alexander
Purpose and strategy of the Libertarian Alliance - Executive

HAYEK ON PROPAGANDA  "... I think Americans have long been mistaken (in thinking) that propaganda must be expensive because it must from the beginning be directed to the masses. Now, that is very expensive, and it's also useless ... If you want to be successful you have to educate what I call the intellectuals - the makers of opinions ..." (From an interview with Friedrich A.Hayek, Libertarian Review, September 1977)

Free Life Vol.2 No. 3 Autumn 1981
Report on Brandt

Brandt's report: no candour David Ramsay Steele
Freedom for children, a reply
Sean Gabb
Rights and consequences Brian Micklethwait
Laissez-faire and the closed shop
Graham Smith
Escape from the leviathan Christie Davies
Nick Beeching
Ireland: a great chance lost- (From Auberon Herbert's libertarian paper, THE FREELIFE, May 24th 1890)

Free Life Vol.2 No. 4 1982
Poland What Next?

Unemployment and the dole James Alexander
Tebbit and the Unions James Alexander
Stromas interview on Poland THE FL Team
Nuclear safety and human fallibility Richard Vaughan

London County Council again: From Auberon Herbert's libertarian paper, THE FREE LIFE, May 31st 1896

The London County Council are determined to distinguish them- selves in some fashion or another. It is a great temptation to a young governing body that has not cut its first teeth to have a finger in every pie; but the record of Governments who turn jack-of-all-trades, never has been an encouraging one. This first attempt generally seems to succeed. It is only later on that the difficulties disclose themselves; and when they do the Government in question has generally got tired of its little experiment, is fascinated by some new attraction, and feels inclined to use bad language about its folly in having produced a profitless tangle, about which nobody now cares. The Council have decided in a rash moment to build a model lodging-house. If they would have encouraged the spare capital in London to enter upon such an undertaking, they might have done real good. But this is just the thing they have not done, and do not care to do.

We were informed the other day, on good authority, that they attached such impossible conditions to the sale of some land they had in their possession that the trustees of the Guinness gift were obliged to retire from the negotiation. And this building resolution is probably the second chapter. Having discouraged the useful activity of others in one direction, they are determined to have their own little dabble in bricks and mortar in another direction. What an enterprising soul a London Councillor has! There is nothing in the wide circuit of heaven and earth that he does not feel himself capable of undertaking, so long as he can get hold of the taxes of the London citizen. Compulsory taxation! Whims of one man carried out at the cost of another - there is the whole secret of the mischief. :From Auberon Herbert's libertarian paper, THE FREE LIFE, May 31st, 1896

Free Life Vol.3 No. 1 1982
Sex and the Law

Contraceptives and drug regulation James Alexander
Sex and the Law Anthony Grey
Monetarism is still not enough John Burton
What good is the State? A Conservative View
Gerry Frost
The bankruptcy of conservatism - A reply to Frost Chris R. Tame
The Libertarian Groupies International
Executive Committee

" a State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes – will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished..." J. S. Mill

 "And if my ways are not as theirs
Let them mind their own affairs.
Their deeds I judge and much condemn,
Yet when did I make laws for them?
Please yourselves, say I, and they
Need only look the other way.
But no, they will not; they must still
Wrest their neighbour to their will,
And make me dance as they desire
With jail and gallows and hell-fire."

 Free Life Vol.3 No. 2 1982
Porn - Rape

 "Public" provision, contractors and the market James Alexander
Porn, rape and justice David Ramsay Steele

Against nuclear energy Peter Bolwell
Anarcho-capitalism and its enemies
Graham Smith
Libertarianism and the Falklands' war
Stephen Berry, David McDonagh

Free Life Vol.3 No. 3
Nuclear Fall-Out?

Plumbing the Depths for Fairness James Alexander
Aftermath of the Split Hillel Steiner
Attempted Theft of an Organisation David Ramsay Steele
The Facts - a reply to Bolwell's Against Nuclear Energy
Julian Osborn
Review: Resources and Growth N S Beeching


Free Life Vol.3 No. 4
Hitler: Puppet of Ideology

Labour's Pains James Alexander
The Falklands' Dispute: A Reply David Barker - Stephen Berry
Apocalypse? No David Ramsay Steele
No Tears for the Fuehrer
Stephen Berry
A Scientific Approach to Race Relations
Dan Aronoff
Libertarian Pollution Control
Max T. O'Connor
Accidental Refutation of the Moral
David Ramsay Steele

QUESTION: Which crackpot protectionist demagogue was responsible for the following piece of claptrap?

"When one watches how even Japan is now being beaten in ever more fields by South Korea and other newcomers ... one cannot but shudder when one asks how in a few years' time Britain is to get the food to feed her people".

QUESTION: Which ignorant Tory union-basher emitted the following soon-to-be refuted prophecy?

" . . . so long as general opinion makes it politically impossible to deprive the trade unions of their coercive powers, an economic recovery of Great Britain is also impossible".

I regret to say that the correct answer is: no protectionist demagogue and no Tory politician, but a writer regarded in many quarters as an eminent free market economist, F.A.Hayek.

Next Page Free life Volume 4 - 7 >>>


© Libertarian Alliance  2010

Articles will not reflect a 'party line'. We hope that diverse interpretations of the Libertarian philosophy will fill these pages, and that there will be a lively debate between contributors.

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It is by the goodness of God that we have in our country three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practise either. 

Mark Twain

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in the manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only land himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere he so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it." 

Adam Smith 
The Wealth of Nations.

Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
Oscar Wilde 
The Soul of Man under Socialism

List of contributors (as they were then)

BERNARD ADAMCZEWSKI Is a freelance researcher and writer, and is currently working on a new application of micro-chip technology.
is Lecturer In Social Policy and Administration at Guildford College of Technology and is on the Home Office Criminal Law Revision Committee. Her forthcoming book is Prostitution in London in the 1970s.
is author of a forthcoming book, The Impossibility of Communism.
is a political researcher and writer.
is head of the Research Department of The Freedom Association.

Just Fancy That! 

A major war aside, I cannot conceive that the monetary authorities will  permit the quantity of money to rise at a rate that would produce inflation of more than, say, 10 per cent a year. . . 
Milton Friedman 1966, Dollars and Deficits, 1968, p. 120

Surely it is clear that the Russian empire is in its final throes and will not live to see the turn of the century. (For it to survive the eighties would require Political genius of the phenomenal stature of Stalin, and present methods of Politbureau recruitment hardly favour the emergence of such a man.) Soviet Russia is finished. Socialism is finished. Let us not live in the past.

David Ramsay Steele - writing in 1980


Freedom necessarily means that many things will be done which we do not like. Our faith in freedom does not rest on the foreseeable results in particular circumstances but in the belief that it will, on balance, release more forces for the good than the bad." 

F. A. Hayek Constitution of Liberty.

The fruits of nationalisation.

By 1947 the Southern Railway possessed 140 Bulleid Pacifics, the most modern, powerful and efficient express steam locomotives ever to run on British metals. So revolutionary were they in many ways, (though not as good as their builder said he could make them) that when one was placed on BR's expensive static test bed at Rugby, it overdrove the instruments, and the operators never succeeded in forcing the boiler to reach its maximum steaming rate, so that this could not be measured. Of the total of 140 Bulleids, BR "rebuilt" 90 of these to conventional design, at great cost and with some loss of performance. Even then, they were still superb machines. In the furious and ill-considered panic to abolish steam in the sixties, all these bar a preserved few went to the cutting torch, with twenty five years of their lives still to run. 
John Driver

Be it or be it not true that Man is shapen in iniquity and sin, it is unquestionably true that Government is begotten of aggression and by aggression
Herbert Spencer 1850

Vol 3. No. 2. Libertarianism and the Falklands' War"

'To say that the unprovoked German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was wrong and that the Russians had a right to defend themselves is not to implicitly become a propagandist for the taxation and conscription of Russians. It does recognise that Russians would defend themselves with the institutions which were available to them in 1941.'

Vol 3. No. 3. "Attempted Theft of an Organisation"

"Numerous other attacks were made on the LA by Hollick and Tame. They got possession of manuscripts of FREE LIFE and withheld them from us, in order to stop FREE LIFE coming out. They bombarded us with threats of court action, to try and suppress discussion of what they had done. When I stated that the more we were threatened with litigation in an attempt to stop discussion of Tame's misdeeds, the more publicity would be given to these misdeeds, Tame had me reported to the Director of Public Prosecutions for blackmail. (The DPP, obviously, decided there was no case.)"