Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mises and Mussolini

In fairness to Ludwig von Mises (whom Michael Lind uses, cynically and dishonestly, as example of libertarian softness on fascism; see post below), you have to look at the historical moment he was writing about. Mises understood that the choice in Italy was between Mussolini and the Leninists. In real terms, there was no third choice at that point. He did not accept the Fascist program in the least and condemned its inherent violence. But in the short run he thought it was better to keep the Leninists from imposing their monstrous regime. He made a choice between two forms of totalitarianism, and took what he saw as the lesser. (Given what was going on in the Soviet Union, was he wrong? It was an abattoir in which entire classes of people were being exterminated.) Liberalism was not an option.

See Mises's full treatment here. Also see Ralph Raico's article on the matter here (pdf).

Postscript: There is a big difference between what Mises wrote and any nice words Hayek and Friedman may have had for Pinochet and his economic program. Mises had nothing good to say about Mussolini's program, nor did he have hopes that autocracy could usher in free markets. Lind shamefully lumped all three together.

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