>A few interesting links: Finance, History, Political Thought

>Some things I saw online today, I think are worth sharing, but  I don’t have much to add.

Hedge Funds moving from London to Malta
Jan Boucek at the Adam Smith Institute on why hedge funds are shifting from London to Malta
Article in the Financial Times referred to by Boucek

As Malta is in the EU, this somewhat undermines Eurosceptic free marketeers who think the EU kills business compared with a the UK as it retains its own currency; and undermines left-wingers who think the coalitions government in the UK is too market and pro-financial sector in the most extreme way.

British Liberals Discuss Giving Shares in Nationalised Banks to Everyone
UK Liberal Democrat oriented political policy foundation CentreForum, publishes pamphlet by Lib Dem MP, inspired by Portman Capital Partners to distribute shares in banks nationalised after the financial crisis to everyone in the country, giving everyone some pay back for bailing out these banks.  Of course in practice most shares would end up with institutional and wealthy individual investors, but it would give some benefit to the whole population, and would probably leave a few people with a taste for share ownership and stock markets.

Italian War to Conquer Libya in 1911-12 from the Ottomans, First to Use Airplane Bombing
Brendan O’Neill at Spiked Online.  Not someone I agree with about everything, much to inclined to take a blame western imperial powers for all problems in post-colonial countries line, but great points about Italian conquest, partition between France and Britain after World War II, Anglo-French manufacture of Libyan state and monarchy in the 1950s.

Classical Liberal/Libertarian Attack on Neo-Conservatives and Leo Strauss
An important issue since libertarianism and neo-conservatism have evidently merged in some people’s minds.  C Bradley Thompson posts ‘Neoconservatism Unmasked’ at Cato Unbound.  Particularly an attack on Leo Strauss, the German-American political theorist who influenced some notable neocons.  Rather sweeping and intemperate, but certainly correct in emphasising the authoritarian anti-individualist Platonist element in Straussian thought.  Thompson accuses the Strauss and the Neocons of Fascism, going too far to my mind.  However, there is no doubt that Strauss started of as a supporter of the more moderate forms of Fascism, and he ended up influencing thinkers on left (Mark Lilla and William Galston) and right (Peter Berkowitz and Allan Bloom) with communitarian, traditionalist and anti-individualist tendencies.  In the end Strauss can be described even by his contemporary American apologists as no more than a friend of democracy and modern liberalism, and certainly not a a democrat or modern liberal by deep conviction, only in the sense of supporting them in an ‘occasional’ way, like the Catholic based parties in early 20th century Spain and Germany, which paved the way for Franco and Hitler with their lack of deep commitment to liberal democracy.  Of course current American Straussians are no creating a similar situation, but their influence is certainly not to the benefit of liberty or a vigorous democracy of strong open antagonisms and challenges.  Straussians tend to attack Nietzsche as an immoralist and nihilist, I learned a lot more about liberty and virtue from Nietzsche than from Strauss.

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