L. Neil Smith's
Number 360, March 26, 2006

A Paper Manuscript

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Sean Gabb

Letter from Jim Davidson

It is with the deepest regret that I must announce the death of Dr Chris R. Tame, Founder and President of the Libertarian Alliance.

Chris founded the Libertarian Alliance in the early 1970s. During the next 30 years, he worked tirelessly to recover the British libertarian tradition as a seamless heritage of freedom. He took issue with those Conservatives who saw freedom in terms purely of pounds and pence—and often not even as that. He took issue also with those who demanded freedom in all matters but those involving the getting and spending of money. He believed that freedom should be defined in the traditional English sense, as the rights to life, liberty and justly acquired property.

In July 2005, Chris was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of bone cancer. Though only 55 at the time, and though he had avoided all those vices commonly believed to be dangerous, he took this diagnosis with great calmness. During the next eight months, he faced his approaching end with a fortitude and good humour that was an inspiration to those around him.

To the very end, he retained a keen interest in public affairs and in the welfare of his friends and loved ones. On his last day, he made sure to check his e-mails.

Chris died peacefully in his sleep at 3:37pm GMT on Monday the 20th March 2006. He was never alone during his last six days. Mrs Helen Evans and Dr Sean Gabb were by his side at the end.

Chris was married and divorced twice. He left no children.

Dr Gabb will make a further announcement in the next few days of the funeral arrangments. In the meantime, all further correspondence should be directed to him.

Chris leaves the Libertarian Alliance in the hands of Dr Timothy Evans and Dr Sean Gabb, who as President and Director, hope to carry on its work through the first decades of the 21st century.

Sean Gabb
Director, the Libertarian Alliance

Buy my new book: "War and the National Interest: Arguments for a British Foreign Policy" (Second Edition)—www.hampdenpress.co.uk

Dear Editor,

With regard to Bob Shea's recent letter to the editor, he is correct and Jonathan David Morris is wrong. Yes, driving is a right under the Ninth Amendment.

The opposite idea certainly holds sway, especially among police officers and state troopers. But it is clearly wrong. Even the idea of licensing drivers is based on a limited power to regulate commerce and doesn't apply to most people if they aren't moving cargo or passengers for hire.

(The term "driver" refers to such teamster-like behavior, as may be seen by reference to the state laws on the subject. Even the term "traffic" refers to trade and commerce. If you look at how your state defines these words in its laws, you'll find that the specific application of the law to you is mistaken.)

For example, what do you drive? Your car or truck, right? If it is your property, you have the right to use it. If your property is to be taken away from you and its use limited in any way by the state, then some just compensation is due to you under the law. The state is not allowed to take your private property for public use (or any public "good") without paying you compensation.

What's that you say? You weren't paid a fee for the limitation on your property involving having to license your vehicle and your use of it? You had to pay a fee for the license plates and the driver license? Then there are other constitutional grounds for voiding this nasty encroachment on your liberty.

As Bob points out, either we are free to travel or we are slaves. I gather from his rather pompous assertion that driving is a privilege that Morris prefers to be a slave. He expresses no strong principled position on individual liberty. Which, presumably, works great for his readers in other publications. I'm a bit surprised to find his natterings in The Libertarian Enterprise, though I guess you scrape the bottom of the barrel when you must.


Jim Davidson

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