And till they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
'till somebody we like can be elected.
Proudly delegitimizing the state since 2005
"Aye, free! Free as a tethered ass!" —W.S. Gilbert
"All the affairs of men should be managed by individuals or voluntary associations, and . . . the State should be abolished." —Benjamin Tucker
"You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." —James Madison
"Fat chance." —Sheldon Richman
From the back cover:
This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.
What is American politics coming to? I just watched a joint interview with Ralph Nader and Rep. Ron Paul — and they were mostly on the same side! Nader has spent his life promoting government intervention in the economy. Paul has spent his life promoting the free market and minimal government. For the two of them to discuss making common cause is something extraordinary. And yet it makes total sense. What’s so exciting is that their common cause shines the spotlight right where it’s needed: on corporatism — the constellation of government policies that primarily benefit wealthy and well-connected business and banking interests at the expense of the rest of us.Here's the op-ed.
“We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world,” Obama says.
How repulsive! The liberal vision isn’t a zero-sum Olympic rivalry among nation-states, with governments alternately cajoling and cudgeling their populations to perform. It’s a positive-sum world where individuals, not countries, compete and cooperate in pursuit of their well-being within a division of labor and harmony of interests, unobstructed by governments and their sanctioned monopolies — and oblivious of political boundaries.
The rest of TGIF is here.
“President Obama ... gently but pointedly prodded China to make progress on human rights,” reports the New York Times.
The irony should not escape us. The head of the U.S. empire, which for years has committed a variety of atrocities abroad and widespread surveillance at home, lectured President Hu Jintao of China about human rights. You can’t make this stuff up!
The full op-ed is here.
Does cost of production determine price or does price determine cost of production? In the world of economic caricatures, the classical economists (Smith, Ricardo, et al.) took the former position, the Austrians the latter. Specifically, the Austrian view supposedly is that that demand driven by marginal utility determines the price of consumer goods, which is then imputed backward to the factors of production.The rest of TGIF is here.
But like all caricatures, the picture is an imperfect reflection of reality.
Figueroa is not a doctor, and these claims conflict with the opinion of top doctors in the field of psychiatry.Well, sure. I can't imagine why we would take more seriously the judgment of someone who actually knew him intimately not long ago over a bunch of self-serving psychiatrists who never even met him.
It is not without wisdom that Lionel Robbins says, in his introduction to Wicksteed’s Common Sense of Political Economy, “a very good case could be made out for the view that, with all their differences, the systems which seem to make the clearer break with the past are, in fact, nearer in spirit to the classical system than those which have preserved more closely the classical terminology and apparatus.” The system making the clearer break, of course, is that of Austrian economics. The one more closely preserving the classical terminology is that of Alfred Marshall.
[T]he less the material and labor that the production of a jacket costs, the more jackets, of course, can one produce with the means of production available. Thus the more completely can the need for clothing be satisfied. And thus, other things being equal, the lower will be the marginal utility of a jacket. The technical conditions of production are, therefore, to be sure a cause of the value of goods lying further back, a "more ultimate" cause, than marginal utility.
In August 2009 Obama declared before the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Afghanistan “is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity.” Is that true?...Read the full op-ed, "Afghanistan: War of Choice Not Necessity."
Anand Ghopal, who has covered Afghanistan for both the Wall Street Journal and Christian Science Monitor, reports that after the Taliban government fell in Kabul in 2001, members of the ruling group, resigned to Afghanistan’s new situation, expressed a willingness to surrender to U.S. forces. The surrendering Taliban leaders offered not to participate in politics if the new government would not arrest them. “But [but U.S.-picked leader Hamid] Karzai and other government officials ignored the overture — largely due to pressures from the United States and the Northern Alliance, the Taliban’s erstwhile enemy,” Ghopal added. The surrendering Taliban were subject to “widespread intimidation and harassment.... Many of the signatories of the letter [offering surrender] were to become leading figures in the insurgency.”
For an exchange to take place, the two parties must assess the items traded differently, with each party valuing what he is to receive more than what he is to give up.Read the rest of TGIF: The Importance of Subjectivism in Economics.
Read the rest of "The WikiLeaks Leaks Matter."
Why should anyone care about the secret diplomatic cables WikiLeaks has disclosed? So what if State Department bureaucrats say unflattering things about other world “leaders”? Some people may be asking those questions in response to WikiLeaks’s latest disclosures. Okay, they say, leaks about atrocities on the battlefield (such as the first WikiLeaks disclosure, the “Collateral Murder” video) tell us something we should know about — the gross misconduct by U.S. military forces, condoned by the command all the way up to the president of the United States.
But diplomatic cables? Who cares?We all should care. The documents serve as a timely reminder that the people who collectively call themselves “the government” are professional liars.
Look, I’m not a social democrat or a welfare statist. If you’re looking for someone to promote the German model in the U.S., it ain’t me. But if you call yourself a libertarian, don’t try to kid anybody that the American system is less statist than the German one just because more of the welfare queens wear three-piece suits. And don’t kid yourself that, given equal levels of statism, most Americans wouldn’t prefer the kind where they have guaranteed healthcare and six-week vacations. Come on, I would — after all, if we’re choosing between equal levels of statism, of course I’ll take the one that weighs less heavily on my own neck.
The Republican leadership presented a summary of the new rules [House] Wednesday morning, revealing a number of strict -- and in a few cases unprecedented -- changes to the way Congress will be run. To underscore their point, they will kick off their reign as the majority by doing something that remarkably has never been done before: They will read the Constitution, all 4,543 words of it, including all 27 amendments, aloud on the chamber floor....Antifederalists were reported to be spinning in their graves.
Keeping with the theme, Republicans will also require every new bill presented on the House floor to cite which article in the Constitution authorizes the enacting of such legislation, a nod to the Tea Party, which made the Constitution a tenant of its movement throughout the midterm election cycle.
—Henry David Thoreau
"Free association . . . the only true form of society."