In the not too distant future, after the coronavirus crisis has passed, free-market liberals will have a fight on our hands to claw back every single aspect of control ceded to the government. Simply put, our economic freedoms and civil liberties will need championing more than ever.
And with neoliberal, free market policies being increasingly sidelined over the past few years, 1828’s new board of advisers and group of parliamentary supporters reflect nonetheless a willingness to shift towards the principles which could hold the key to the generation Z vote – a crucial step in preventing socialist parties from dominating the future.
Crispin Blunt MP, Andrew Boff AM, Ryan Bourne, Sam Bowman, Eamonn Butler, Douglas Carswell, Simon Gentry, Nusrat Ghani MP, Ben Habib, Dan Hannan, Julian Knight MP, Daniel Moylan, John Penrose MP, Bruno Prior, Lee Rowley MP, Ian Silvera, Matt Taylor, Radomir Tylecote
Crispin Blunt MP, Ben Bradley MP, Nusrat Ghani MP, Rachel Maclean MP, Julian Knight MP, John Penrose MP, Lee Rowley MP, Liz Truss MP
1828 was founded to champion freedom. Why are we needed today? Because practically anything that’s perceived as remotely negative is blamed on capitalism, economic freedom or neoliberalism. There is also an urgent need to challenge socialism’s grip on the young and to make the case for free market-conservatism. Because, let’s not forget, the evidence is on our side, and those who hand us the blame for all the ills of the world are usually the very people who created said problems in the first place – those who see an ever-more active state as the solution, despite that being the fundamental issue.
When you strip everything back, neoliberals are simply champions of freedom. We believe that the role of government is to protect and facilitate the individual’s liberty to live their life as they choose, as long as they do not interfere with others doing the same. We believe that society is built from the individual up, not from the state down. We are consequentialists. We ask: does this policy increase an individual’s ability to flourish without imposing an unacceptable infringement on their liberty? If so, it is an idea we can support.
That’s why neoliberals support free markets, which have proven the most effective method to deliver prosperity and safeguard individual liberty. Replacing socialist dogma with free markets and free enterprise has allowed the world to make rapid progress with lifting millions out of a life of misery. The World Bank estimates that the number of people in extreme poverty has fallen from nearly 1.9 billion in 1990 to about 650 million in 2018. And data collected by the World Health Organization indicates that mortality rates for children under the age of five declined by 49 per cent from 1990 to 2013.
Neoliberals are rational optimists and unapologetic globalists. We accept the overwhelming evidence that the world is getting better. There’s never been a better time to be alive, and we expect things to get better in the future.
1828 and the ASI expanded on these values and translated them into policy proposals in our recently released publication, The Neoliberal Manifesto, which was launched at Conservative party conference 2019. The reception was so positive that a Spanish version of the manifesto, El Manifiesto Neoliberal, and a Catalan version, El Manifest Neoliberal were subsequently published.
Our first event was at Leeds university in January 2019, where it hosted a speech by the then chief secretary to the Treasury, now secretary of state for international trade, Liz Truss MP. She said: “I’m very excited to be speaking for 1828, as well as to Leeds University students, because I think they are a huge part of what’s happening on the right of politics, where a lot of new ideas are coming to fruition.”
We then went on to host the UK’s largest-ever Free Market Road Show in May 2019, in collaboration with the Austrian Economics Center, which included a keynote speech by the now home secretary, Priti Patel MP. She said at the time: “Jack, Matt and the team at 1828, the work that you do is absolutely vital. As champions of markets and freedom, we must all have the courage of our convictions to publicly advocate the transformational impact these principles can have on our society and our freedoms.”
Douglas Carswell echoed Patel, saying: “1828 is an absolutely superb initiative, and I have to say I think it’s probably far more important than anyone or anything happening in the House of Commons right now.”
Since our inception, more than half a million people have read over 350 influential articles from cabinet ministers, MEPs and policy experts on a diverse range of issues including healthcare, free trade, housing, immigration, drug reform, and LGBT+ rights.
We believe that now is the time to usher in a new generation of freedom fighters and renew the case for liberty – because our side of the argument is nowhere near out of the woods yet.
That’s why we’re asking for your help. If you value the work we do and want to see more, please help us to continue championing freedom. Any donation, large or small, makes a difference.
With your help, 1828 will continue to be on the frontline of the battle of ideas in the months and years ahead ensuring that capitalism, freedom and progress prevail.