With the site now being two months old, we've had what has been a solid enough start while I would have to accept that there have been one or two 'tactical errors' on my part. Firstly, responding to our trolls and taking them on was not a smart move, and the error of briefly bringing in comment moderation only served to compound the scale of the original blunder. Secondly, I'm going to lay off the 'rat race' stuff for a while because it turns out I've upset a couple of people I work with whose opinions I respect. No personal offence was intended, and I'd like to take the opportunity to lay that on record. 'A Failure's Guide to Winning the Rat Race' will of course still be written, but I think we've covered that particular subject sufficiently on here, at least for the time being.
Something I've grown to appreciate over the years is the importance of valuing your friends, seeing as they might be all you have when faced with an important battle someday. Coming at things from the political perspective that we do, OutspokenRabbit will never be universally popular and will continue to enjoy the welcome hostility of the statist. However, we have managed to make a few significant allies along the way, and hope to increase that tally in the coming weeks and months.
First up, you can find Bernard Chapin at http://www.youtube.com/user/pinegrove33#, where he offers his insight into the political and social events of the day, usually focussing on developments across the pond. Chapin is a committed Men's Rights Activist, with a sharp eye for the double standards and hypocrisy of the feminist movement, and keen attention to detail when explaining the biases against men in custody battles, divorces and maintenance settlements. However, while he takes up the less than en vogue cause of equality for men with considerable zeal and competence, I hope that Chapin is seen as something significantly more than a mere MRA aiming to establish the truth.
Chapin's Inferno - a Wandering Couldron of Politically Incorrect Commentary is one of the best instances of three-dimensional politics that I have seen. Like many, Bernard refers to the left-right argument that I still catch myself talking about from time to time, but if we use the words authoritarian and libertarian with the economic, social and constitutional dimensions, the Inferno comes out with a pretty strong bill of health. Chapin is a committed economic and constitutional libertarian who strongly supports the reduction of the size of the state while championing the notions of free speech and self-defence. He is perhaps not as socially liberal as myself or some of our other contributors, and once said, "when I'm around Conservatives, I feel like a Libertarian. When I'm around Libertarians, I feel like a Conservative". My best description of Bernard would be as a sort of hybrid of the two - this means I will find myself in agreement with him about 90% of the time, and that puts him firmly on the same team as us as far as I'm concerned.
Three things impress me most about Chapin's work. His understanding of the statist as a control freak, bully and manipulator is instinctive and probably owes something to his training as a psychologist. I've learned to understand that the 10% of issues on which two members of the same side may disagree are the small plot of land that the statist will use to execute their plan of 'divide and conquer'. In order to get our anti-statist message across, we need to act as a team on the significant issues of economic liberty, freedom of expression and a significant shift in the relationship between government and citizen from parent-child to that of two adults.
Bernard is a team player with humility and a sense of humour, as the working title of his would-be autobiography demonstrates. Anyone prepared to name their personal tomb "a man of no importance" has clearly not let whatever profile they have deprive them of the ability to not take themselves too seriously. The other aspect of the Inferno that really clicks is Chapin's rare ability to fuse challenging intellectual argument with everyday language, polemic and a dash of observational wit. Some of us can espouse our sincere sense of angst at an issue, while others have the capacity to present a more high brow line of discourse to the reader or viewer. A fortunate few can do either at a given time, but the talent for somehow ticking both boxes simultaneously is indeed a rare one. His channel is well worth a watch for these reasons and quite a few more...
Another friend of this site is Anna Raccoon - http://www.annaraccoon.com/, who very kindly forgave this bunny for once referring to her as 'potty' during the Andrew Withers saga. She has also allowed several guest posts from here on her site, as well as adding us to the Raccoon's blogroll, and we are eternally grateful to Anna, Matt, Jon and the crew for adopting us as a kid brother of sorts. "Us animals need to stick together", she once informed me, and it is true that the woodland of the political blogosphere is often a place where you leave yourself open to attack. As well as the contributions of writers from this site, the Raccoon also strikes a nice balance between focussing on the major issues of the day and giving their readership some time off with a gentler story from leftfield. Anyone with a jaundiced view of the mainstream media tends to be worth reading, and the Raccoon is no exception.
Next I'd like to take the opportunity to declare OutspokenRabbit an official friend of the Wirral First campaign - http://wirralfirst.wordpress.com/, of which both Malpoet and Pagar are prominent members. Any political movement which seeks to advance the causes of personal and economic freedom ought to enjoy the full endorsement of committed Libertarians. The eventual aim of an independent Wirral peninsula is not one which is likely to be achieved anytime soon, but the prospect of another Monaco on our doorstep begs the asking of one particular question. Does anyone believe that a section of the home isles with significantly lower taxes, regulation and restrictions on economic activity would not attract an exodus of people, jobs and wealth from the rest of the Uk? And what does that tell you about the failings of the statist model when put alongside a viable free market alternative? Wirral First has far more potential to catapult Libertarian thinking into the spotlight than an official political party could ever have done, and for that reason deserves our support.
I'll wrap up by mentioning a few further blogs with whom we have a warm relationship. A thumbs-up goes to Simon and the boys at Libertarian Home - http://libertarianhome.co.uk/, who seek to provide a discussion forum for Minarchists, Classical Liberals and anyone of a Libertarian persuasion. The censorship imposed on the old LPUK site (after multiple threats of lawsuits) was indeed unfortunate and kudos to the efforts of all involved at Libertarian Home for creating an accessible, engaging and user-friendly site in rapid time. Thoughts on Morality - http://thoughtsonmorality.blogspot.com/, the blog of Rational Anarchist, appears to need some new material but has been a fine and insightful work. Three of our own contributors of course also have their own blogs - Malpoet can be found at http://malpoet.wordpress.com/, the Random Thoughts of Andy Janes http://andy-janes.blogspot.com/ comes with a new look these days while Stuart Heal, who introduced me to LPUK, has his 'Sell a Man a Fishing Rod' blog at http://sellamanafishingrod.blogspot.com/.
Take care and we'll see you again tomorrow...