Liberty! Fraternity! And Venery! Or, the Threat to Hunting in Britain: an Opportunity for Liberty

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

Puritans
are abroad in my country once more. Hardly a week goes by without
the Labour government of Tony Blair attempting to ban some kind
of human activity or enterprise that is to the disliking of the
House of Commons and its socialist majority. The government controlled
BBC is meanwhile expanding its (licence funded) empire to promote
the Labour party doctrines; the government has a monopoly on education
at all levels; and it has used its majority in the second chamber
to reduce the power of the upper chamber; the Home Secretary is
seeking the end of trial by jury in some legal cases and the introduction
of double jeopardy. Not only are basic rights at stake but so too
is Parliamentary democracy and the tradition of liberty that the
British taught the world. These issues have come to a head over
the government's intention to ban hunting in which the government
seeks to overturn a human-centred morality in favour of an animal-centred
one whilst at the same time promoting jobs-for-the-boys in the public
sector. Nobody has yet to march for judicial rights, yet 400,000
marched for the right to hunt.

Socialism
lost the Cold War debate: Boehm-Bawerk had reduced the labour theory
of value to shreds; Mises had rightly and brilliantly exposed the
impossibility of socialist calculation; the Soviet experiment finally
collapsed and revealed the depth of its economic bankruptcy. So
interventionists and socialists sidled over to attack man's moral
status. In the past three decades we have seen the rise of environmentalism
and of animal rights. If man cannot be sacrificed for the state,
then the new eco-fascists cry, let him be sacrificed to the planet
— or a fox or rat.

In
an incredible inversion of morality, the present Labour government
is set to prohibit (or regulate, which comes to effectively mean
nationalisation and later prohibition) forms of hunting across the
UK. Local traditions and the cultural heritage of the land mean
nothing to the government; the jobs of thousands connected to the
chase mean nothing; the millions that the industry generates mean
nothing; the rights of private landowners mean nothing.

The
government's backbenchers behind this policy are partly claiming
the spoils of victory that they sought as bigoted, aggressive, youthful
Marxist radicals on campuses around Britain in the 1960s and 1970s.
They see those who hunt as symbolising the great Tory land-owning
class of the 18th Century — and the red coat of the huntsman
makes them see blood. They wish to exterminate the hunting community
on class grounds. (The cleverer advisers know that by banning hunting,
another independent political bulwark in the country will have been
removed — and then, ultimately, farming can be nationalised.) Such
radical left-wing MPs know nothing of hunting and refuse to join
or visit the hunts: if they did, they'd find a lot of Labour supporters
and people from all walks of life. Hunting used to be the privilege
of the upper-class, but not for three centuries — but the MPs don't
care to understand that fact. They prefer to be irrational and asinine.

For
the most part, the sympathetic half of the nation that seeks hunting's
abolition is motivated by an animal welfare and rights agenda that
is actively promoted by the government-controlled schools and BBC.
"Hunting's evil, hunting's cruel," they chime, for the
other side will never be examined or be given fair airtime when
government controls the sources of debate. Schools, styled on Soviet-style
bureaucracy, are havens for socialists and environmentalists, who
can peddle their ideologies at taxpayers' expense. Yet the same
people who seek a ban on hunting often allow their cats to decimate
local mice, vole, and bird populations — they do not see the hypocrisy:
reason and logic are, of course, not taught in the government schools
— nor is the land's history and heritage (that would be politically
incorrect and offensive to any recent migrants to the country!).
Most people who oppose hunting are happy to call in pest control
to u2018humanely' dispatch rats and other vermin (even though a terrier
is, ironically, swifter in its kill and more u2018environmentally friendly'
than poisons!) So prejudice, bigotry, Bambi-adulation and ignorance
rise to the fore as the government's backbenchers smell the potential
extinction of the huntsman.

But
a revolt against the absurdities of unclear thinking, moral inversion,
and basic prejudice is afoot in Britain. It represents an excellent
opportunity for freedom supporters to raise the banner against further
moral inversion and political interference. The most important moral
question with which the West entered this millennium was, u2018what
is more important — the life of a human or that of an animal?' In
September, over 400,000 people (more than the civil rights marches
in the US) marched in London to claim the right to hunt and the
right to be left alone from ignorant and interfering politicians.
There are proposals for another mass rally of Parliament in December,
which should also draw the crowds to show their discontent.

There
is now an opportunity for freedom and human morality to be put back
onto the political agenda — not just in Britain but also across
the entire West. Freedom is slowly being strangled in the West by
the new socialism of Blair, the EU and environmentalist and animal
rights lobbyists. From the roof-tops we must declare that freedom
cannot be compromised and certainly must not be sacrificed to the
animal kingdom. There is no third way when it comes to liberty and,
as William Venator writes in his soon-to-be-published novel on a
rural secession in the UK, "there is no greater cruelty than
to take away a man's liberty."

I
would urge supporters of freedom to witness and support the besieged
hunting community in December should a mass rally go ahead: come
and join us in London even — at the last march I saw several "Don't
Tread on Me" flags! The rally will be organised by the Countryside-Alliance.
The message is simple: freedom should not be compromised.

It
is time for our compatriots to be challenged on their beliefs. This
is a great opportunity to put humanity first and to stop the slow
strangulation of freedom on the sacrificial alter to appease the
Marxists and animal rights activists.

December
7, 2002

Alexander
Moseley [send him
mail
] is a former professor at a government university in the
U.K.  Dr. Moseley now teaches smart students one-on-one, as
recommended by Murray N. Rothbard. He is the author of A
Philosophy of War
and has a second and a third volume in
the works.

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts