Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Things Frederic Bastiat Did Not Write (But Obviously Thought)

1. Paris gets fed.
2. If goods don't cross borders soldiers will.
(HT: David Hart of Liberty Fund)

John Quincy Adams's Benign Theory of Anarchism

While John Quincy Adams, in his famous speech in which he said America "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy, used the word anarchy to mean chaos, he seems to have had a benign theory of statelessness. From the same speech:
From the day of the Declaration, the people of the North American union, and of its constituent states, were associated bodies of civilized men and christians, in a state of nature, but not of anarchy. They were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct. They were bound by the principles which they themselves had proclaimed in the declaration. They were bound by all those tender and endearing sympathies, the absence of which, in the British government and nation, towards them, was the primary cause of the distressing conflict in which they had been precipitated by the headlong rashness and unfeeling insolence of their oppressors. They were bound by all the beneficent laws and institutions, which their forefathers had brought with them from their mother country, not as servitudes but as rights. They were bound by habits of hardy industry, by frugal and hospitable manners, by the general sentiments of social equality, by pure and virtuous morals; and lastly they were bound by the grappling-hooks of common suffering under the scourge of oppression. Where then, among such a people, were the materials for anarchy! Had there been among them no other law, they would have been a law unto themselves.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

No It Isn't

It's frustrating, to say the least, that many libertarians appear to believe that what went on at Monty Python's Argument Clinic really was argument.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Eyes Wide Shut

Are those who charge me with the mortal sins of being PC and being a panderer so blind that they cannot see I am showing progressives that disliking something is not a legitimate reason for resorting to state violence?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Deir Yassin, April 9, 1948

Today is the 66th anniversary of the slaughter of Palestinian men, women, and children by Zionist paramilitary forces at the village of Deir Yassin. For details see my post of a year ago.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Again on Thick Libertarianism

Obviously one cannot define "the initiation of force" by reference to the initiation of force. A good definition will invoke facts and values that will then be relevant to judging whether preferences are conducive to or destructive of the conditions required for libertarianism to prevail in a society.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Foolproof Method

There's a great time way to prevent war veterans from killing themselves or others: stop creating war veterans.

TGIF: In Praise of "Thick" Libertarianism

I continue to have trouble believing that the libertarian philosophy is concerned only with the proper and improper uses of force.

Read the rest here.

Op-ed: The Roots of Iran's Nuclear Secrecy

Iran has had an innocent reason to develop its civilian nuclear industry largely in secrecy: The United States.

Read about it here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

GM: More Evidence against the Regulatory State

I've long said that government regulation gives people a false sense of security, which is worse than no sense of security at all. Latest evidence: GM's ignition-switch failure.

Obamacare: The Wrong Test

The core objection to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was never the glitchy website or the deficient number of sign-ups. (It you subsidize it, they will come.) It was the predictable harm of combining government-subsidized demand, controlled supply through administered pricing, and mandated standardized insurance products (i.e., a "market" without entrepreneurship and full, free competition). These consequences will take time to reveal themselves, but they will do so in due course. The laws of economics guarantee it. (Note: Obamacare merely intensified the antimarket features of the reigning corporatist system.)

Ignoring the real objection has distorted the debate and set the success bar absurdly low.