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Liberty and Power

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  • Wise Beyond His Years

    by Sheldon Richman

    [T]he term “Israeli/Palestinian Conflict” [is] no more accurate than calling the Civil Rights Movement the “Caucasian/ African-American Conflict.” In both cases, the expression was a blatant euphemism: it gave the impression that this was a dispute among equals and that both held an equal share of the blame. However, in both, there was clearly an oppressor and an oppressed, and I felt horrified at the realization that I was by nature on the side of the oppressors. --Jesse Lieberfeld,  11th -grader in Pennysylvania  "Fighting a Forbidden Battle: How I Stopped Covering Up for a Hidden Wrong"  

  • Protect IP/SOPA Break the Internet

    by Amy H. Sturgis

    At midnight, the English language version of Wikipedia (along with reddit and a host of other sites) is going dark for 24 hours in response to SOPA and PIPA.   


  • The Mass Media: Polluters of the Human Soul?

    by Lester Hunt

    I've just re-read Ortega's Mission of the University. Interesting stuff, like everything he wrote, but the best part is the last page, which is a blistering attack on the press -- or what we today would call "the mainstream media." When his colleagues at El Sol, a paper for which he wrote, saw it, they wrote a collective editorial bashing him for it. What's most disturbing is how close to the truth it still is today -- probably much closer than it was in 1930, when he wrote it.

    Here we are in the midst of a primary election campaign, and there is a huge amount of reporting on who is going to win (though it's fairly obvious who will win), little reporting on their positions on the issues, and almost non on the issues themselves. That is exactly the sort of "inversion" Ortega talks about below.


  • Where Minarchists Fear to Tread, Part II

    by Roderick T. Long

    As previously mentioned, the Society of Political Economy met in 1849 to critique Molinari’s market anarchist ideas. A month later, one of the participants in that discussion, free-banking theorist Charles Coquelin, developed his objections further in a book review of Molinari’s Soirées on the Rue Saint-Lazare for the Journal des Économistes. I have now translated and posted Coquelin’s review also.

    These two pieces are especially important as the first critiques ever published (AFAIK) of the idea that the legitimate functions of government could and should be turned over to market mechanisms.


  • The Temptation of Bernanke: How Historical Memory Feeds Fed Power

    by Jonathan J. Bean

     

    “Tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right.” “Wherever law ends, tyranny begins.”
    —John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government

    “The historian is . . . one step nearer to direct power over public opinion than is the theorist.”
    —Friedrich von Hayek

    Man of the Year (2009)

    Say what you will, but the Fed certainly has chutzpah: driving interest rates to zero, printing money, and now jawboning Congress to write down the principal of the nation’s mortgages (nationalized by force in 2009 and held by the federal government). It’s only money, after all, the property of “nobody” since the government now owns the nation’s housing debt. Bernanke has declared that if Congress does not legislate as he desires, then Bernanke will take law-less action.


  • Where Minarchists Fear to Tread

    by Roderick T. Long

    In 1849, the members of the Society of Political Economy – the chief organisation for classical liberalism in France at the time – met to discuss Molinari’s proposal for the competitive provision of security. The meeting included some of the foremost liberal thinkers of the day, such as Bastiat, Dunoyer, Coquelin, Wolowski, and Horace Say (son of J.-B.). Without exception they agreed that Molinari’s ideas were unworkable, offering much the same objections to market anarchism as those that are prevalent today. (Although, oddly, nobody raised the objection that would later lead Molinari himself to moderate his position, namely the problem of so-called “public goods.”) Even Dunoyer, who in his earlier work had come close to Molinari’s position, now held that it was best to leave coercive force “where civilisation has placed it – in the State.”


  • Why Your Dog Doesn’t Own Your Entire House, and the Government Doesn’t, Either

    by Robert Higgs

    I wrote recently about some views expressed by Elizabeth Warren and certain politicos of a previous era to the effect that the government has every right to take at least a big chunk of your earnings and, in some expressions, even your entire earnings for purposes the rulers stipulate.

    Nearly ten years ago, the great political philosopher Anthony de Jasay wrote a charming little essay related to this matter called “Your Dog Owns Your House.”  There, he spells out some of the ways in which such sweeping claims—by your dog or the rulers—are incoherent, absurd, and indefensible, and he sketches how to think more sensibly about the issue.

    One sees upon even a small amount of reflection that the kind of reasoning advanced by Warren and her predecessors proves too much. Yes, if your dog did not ward off burglars, you might have lost all your household possessions; hence your dog’s diligence in some sense accounts for everything you have.


  • test

    by Robert Higgs

                       

    wrote recently about some views expressed by Elizabeth Warre


  • An Open Letter to Kevin Zeese

    by Keith Halderman

    Over sixty years ago General Dwight Eisenhower warned us that our nations leaders had plans for us that included perpetual warfare and growing debt slavery. Since then Barack Obama and all of the Republican candidates for President except Ron Paul have tried to make this warning a reality. The corrupt and lying news media have done their best to aid in this effort. however the voters in Iowa have made their constantly repeated mantra, that Ron Paul can not be elected, ring hollow. Ron Paul has given the American people something they have lacked for for decades, a viable candidate who wants peace. But he and his supporters like myself are not going to be able to stop this useless carnage by ourselves, we need your help. As Glenn Greenwald explained in his latest article the forces arrayed against peace are very powerful and their primary tactic is keeping you and I divided. The profits of the military industrial complex and what Jesse Jackson termed the prison industrial complex must be protected.


  • A Tremendous Lost Opportunity

    by Keith Halderman

     When Barack Obama wanted to get rid of Osama Bin Laden, arguably the largest victory in the War on Terror to date, he handled the situation the same way Adolf Hitler or Joe Stalin would have, he just went out and killed him. Obama gave up the golden chance to show that we were still different, to prove to our enemies, our friends, and the whole world that no matter how provoked we continued to be a nation of laws, not a nation of men.  My cousin was a firefighter in Queens New York and he died on September 11th when one of the towers collapsed on his headso I do not mourn the death of Osama Bin Laden with even a single tear. I do however regret the passing of an American exceptionalism that has kept us free and safer for hundreds of years. We are told that we had to do this and that our sons and daughters have to experience a bloody death in some field in Afghanistan in order to protect American lives, yet on the day that Osama Bin Laden died our government informed us oh by the way you our all less safe today then you were yesterday. If you believe as I do that American freedom and safety are worth preserving then vote for Ron Paul.


  • A Tremendous Lost Opportunity

    by Keith Halderman

     When Barack Obama wanted to get rid of Osama Bin Laden, arguably the largest victory in the War on Terror to date, he handled the situation the same way Adolf Hitler or Joe Stalin would have, he just went out and killed him. Obama gave up the golden chance to show that we were still different, to prove to our enemies, our friends, and the whole world that no matter how provoked we continued to be a nation of laws, not a nation of men.  My cousin was a firefighter in Queens New York and he died on September 11th when one of the towers collapsed on his headso I do not mourn the death of Osama Bin Laden with even a single tear. I do however regret the passing of an American exceptionalism that has kept us free and safer for hundreds of years. We are told that we had to do this and that our sons and daughters have to experience a bloody death in some field in Afghanistan in order to protect American lives, yet on the day that Osama Bin Laden died our government informed us oh by the way you our all less safe today then you were yesterday. If you believe as I do that American freedom and safety are worth preserving then vote for Ron Paul.


  • Glenn Greenwald Shows What Progressives Fear Most of All in the Election

    by Sheldon Richman

     

    It’s themselves.

    Paul’s candidacy forces progressives to face the hideous positions and actions of their candidate, of the person they want to empower for another four years. If [Ron] Paul were not in the race or were not receiving attention, none of these issues would receive any attention because all the other major GOP candidates either agree with Obama on these matters or hold even worse views….

    Paul scrambles the comfortable ideological and partisan categories and forces progressives to confront and account for the policies they are working to protect. His nomination would mean that it is the Republican candidate — not the Democrat — who would be the anti-war, pro-due-process, pro-transparency, anti-Fed, anti-Wall-Street-bailout, anti-Drug-War advocate (which is why some neocons are expressly arguing they’d vote for Obama over Paul).


  • Government Officials Want You to Know that Your Earnings Belong to Them

    by Robert Higgs

    Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, recently created a media flap when she said:

    There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you!

    But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea—God bless.

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