Libertarians and the Company they Keep

Laughland & Co. are not the only “right-wing anti-state libertarians and isolationists” who seem to have caved out a niche for themselves as advocates of repressive authoritarian regimes with atrocious human rights records.

Step forward Sean Gabb and David Hoile, of the U.K.’s Libertarian Alliance: a jolly outfit which published what, to my mind, is the seminal piece of political analysis of the 1990s: Acid House Parties Against the Lifestyle Police and the Safety Nazis. Disappointingly, since that high point, David Hoile – author of The Levellers: Libertarian Radicalism And The English Civil War, which argues that Pergerine Worsthorne is the true inheritor of the Levellers political tradition – has devoted his energies instead to ESPAC: The European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council.

The function of ESPAC appears to be to expose Amnesty reports on human rights abuses by the Sudanese government as, um, the Displacement of Truth, and generally to rubbish any suggestion that the Sudanese government is anything other than the victim of a nasty civil war, started by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

And that’s not all Hoile does. According to Tommy Calvert, the American Anti-Slavery Group’s Chief of External Operations, Hoile has:

“worked for the Nicaraguan contras, the Afghan mujahedeen, and the governments of Angola and Mozambique.

“Wherever they need to repress a people, David Hoile is there,” Calvert said.

I would have expected better of a former Senior Vice Chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students

Sean Gabb has also been busy devoting his energies to the defence of Sudan. He used to run the (possibly now defunct) Sudan Foundation until 1999, an independent organisation the purpose of which was, similarly, to defend the Government of Sudan and attack its opponents.

I’ve written about both these outfits previously here.

I wonder what it is that makes dictatorships so attractive to these one-time advocates of personal liberty?