Saturday, 27 August 2011

MSNBC to Ron Paul: How Could It Be That You Knew This Would Happen?

Here is what Ron Paul said in 2003:

"The special privileges granted to Fannie and Freddie have distorted the housing market by allowing them to attract capital they could not attract under pure market conditions... like all artificially-created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will find it difficult as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they would have otherwise been had government policy not actively encouraged over-investment in housing."

- Ron Paul to House Financial Services Committee, 10th September 2003.

Ron Paul explains in the video below how he was able to make this prediction. Austrian economics.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Law without Government, Part Two: Conflict Resolution in a Free Society

This is part 2 of my video series exploring a society where law is provided not by government, but by competing voluntary institutions.

In this part, Alice is mugged, and her protection agency identifies Bill as the mugger. But Bill protests his innocence. Things start to get interesting when Bill's protection agency stands by him.

How will the two protection agencies resolve this conflict?

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Tiny Dot (by Larken Rose)

Believing in Government Makes No Sense (by Larken Rose)

This is a video of Larken Rose's presentation at the Free Your Mind Conference in Philadelphia, PA on April 10, 2011. Larken clearly explains the illusion of human "authority" in a unique and dramatic way.

Why Liberalism? (by Daniel James Sanchez)

Article by Daniel James Sanchez.

Video by Niels of

Audio by Graham Wright.

The Political Importance of Murray Rothbard (by Ron Paul)

It would be difficult to exaggerate Professor Murray N. Rothbard's influence on the movement for freedom and free markets. He is the living giant of Austrian economics, and he has led the now-formidable movement ever since the death of his great teacher, Ludwig von Mises, in 1971. We are all indebted to him for the living link he has provided to Mises, upon whose work he has built and expanded.

But many are less aware of Rothbard's political influence. Some would say that while he is undoubtedly an excellent economist, his political efforts have been less than successful.

I would deny this. Rothbard is the founder of the modern libertarian movement, and of the Libertarian Party which is its political incarnation, and he thus has built the necessary foundation for liberty by inspiring the most important third-party movement ever. And in my own political work, I have been profoundly influenced by the lucid and brilliant works of Rothbard.

In his first correspondence with me after I was elected to office, Rothbard expressed surprise and delight to find a real Congressman who wrote that "taxation is theft," and approvingly quoted his article, "Gold vs. Fluctuating Exchange Rates." I, of course, was thrilled to hear from someone whose works I had studied and admired for so many years.

The aura that has traditionally surrounded American politics in this century has turned to suspicion during the past decade. The scandals of Watergate (and, let us hope, Iran-Contragate as well) convinced the public, for a time, that it is naive to trust any mainstream politician. Rothbard was delighted with the whole event, saying in 1979 that, "it is Watergate that gives us the greatest single hope for the short-run victory of liberty in America. For Watergate, as politicians have been warning us ever since, destroyed the public's 'faith in government'—and it was high time, too."

Rothbard rejoices, saying, "government itself has been largely desanctified in America. No one trusts politicians or government anymore; all government is viewed with abiding hostility, thus returning us to that State of healthy distrust of government that marked the American public and the American revolutionaries of the eighteenth century." For the sake of liberty, let us hope this hostility isn't just a passing phase.

Most understand  that what a politician says during his campaign is rarely compatible with his performance. Still, this broad—and healthy—cynicism does not translate into clear public understanding of the lies of the average politician. 

It is incredible how a politician can maintain an image while the facts clearly point in the opposite direction. Many still see President Reagan as a budget-cutter while he has proposed the largest budgets and deficits in our history.

While it is perhaps understandable  that the public remains naive about the realities of politics, given the Establishment-media conspiracy to hide the  t ruth, but the tendency of scholars to gloss over facts and misrepresent realities is absolutely inexcusable. Academics tend to cling to old interpretations, or worse, old Statist ideals which blur their view of reality. And when prevailing historical orthodoxy is challenged, those who have an interest in maintaining myths attempt to silence their opponents.

Just one example from his works is the case of Murray Rothbard's revisionist analysis of Herbert Hoover's pre-Depression years. When Rothbard set out to tell the story of Hoover, consider what he was up against. Republicans, who for the most part opposed Roosevelt's New Deal, blame the enormous growth of government that occurred duringthose years on the Democrats. Conversely, the Democrats, who are proud of the New Deal, take credit for it. Thus Republicans are taught that "Hoover's only problem was  that he did not have a Republican Congress," and Democrats are taught that government should solve any crisis  that "socially Darwinian free markets inevitably cause," just as Roosevelt did. And intellectuals are notoriously stubborn about accepting new historical interpretations, especially if the revision favors free markets over government planning.

It is a tough job to change historical interpretations—no matter how false—which have been solidified for generations in the minds of State-protecting partisans. Nevertheless Rothbard announced in 1963: "Herbert Clark Hoover must be considered the founder of the New Deal in America." And in fact "Franklin D. Roosevelt, in large part, merely elaborated the policies laid down by his predecessor."

Rothbard's analysis is stunning and exhaustive. He set out to prove his proposition and did so without question. Hoover was an interventionist. He was philosophically committed to using the coercive machinery of government to bring about full employment, insure the survival and influence of labor unions, manipulate the price level for farmers' benefit, maintain wage levels and deport immigrants, prevent bankruptcies, and above all to inflate the money supply. Hoover did this in spite of the"bitter-end liquidationists" who thought the Depression represented a necessary correction in the malinvestment of the previous decade.

And indeed, against all odds, Rothbard has made inroads to changing the way history treats Hoover. The eminent British historian Paul Johnson, who became the darling of the conservative movement with his massive study on the history of Christianity and his history of the world during the twentieth century, Modern Times, was directly influenced by Rothbard's reconstruction of Hoover. In Modern Times, Johnson calls Hoover's fiscal and monetary policies "vulgar Keynesianism," a point upon which Rothbard had previously elaborated.

Idols for Destruction, a scholarly work by Herbert Schlossberg now causing much talk in conservative and evangelical circles, enthusiastically echoes Rothbard's historical revision of Hoover. "Herbert Hoover, amazingly referred to even by historians as a partisan of laissez-faire, energetically supported  . . . a powerful central State  that would coordinate the efforts of business."

The New Deal was not new after all. It has hatched in the decade prior to Roosevelt's ascension to power. Rothbard's analysis, directly and indirectly, has led many to be more objective when evaluating partisan politics, both now and in the past.

Years before I ever thought of running for Congress, I came across Rothbard's America's Great Depression. Before reading it, my thinking was clouded by the temptation to divide these issues and ideas in partisan terms. Rothbard fixed that.

America's Great Depression was a key book in my conversion to pure free-market, libertarian thinking. The confidence I gained with ammunition supplied by Rothbard encouraged my entry into politics, since I needed the reassurance that my intuitive allegiance to liberty was shared by great thinkers. Rothbard taught me to always keep the distinction between peaceful market activity and State coercion in my mind. It served as a constant guide once I was in office.

I wanted to see the brilliant writings of theoreticians such as Rothbard translated into practical political action. To my surprise there was a strong constituency for these views, and I was elected to four terms. Even a person familiar with only a small part of the vast work Rothbard has produced during his career knows his attitude towards politics. Like Mises, he labels the State as the "social apparatus of violentoppression."

How do we minimize the role of the State? To bring about radical and permanent change in any society, our primary focus must be on the conversion of minds through eduction. This is a task to which Rothbard has dedicated his life. That's why he was such a willing participant on so many occasions in the educational functions I held for interns, staffers, and Members of Congress. After speaking at a seminar I held, he expressed delight at the large turn-out, saying it "shows the extent to which our ideas have permeated politics and public opinion, far more  than I had hoped or believed."

But because Rothbard sees education as the primary vehicle for change,  that does not mean, of course,  that he is opposed to getting directly involved in political action towards a libertarian society. As he had said, "since the State will not gracefully convert itself out of power, other means  than education, means of pressure, will have to be used."

That's why I asked his help when I was appointed to the U.S. Gold Commission, and Rothbard produced brilliant material on American monetary history in the nineteenth century, especially as related to gold and the evils of central banking. These are issues that Rothbard has refused to compromise on, despite enormous pressure from inside and outside the movement. To this day, he remains the most persuasive monetary theorist and consistent critic of inflation and fiat paper money. When gold is once again restored to a central place in our monetary system, we will owe a gigantic debt to the work of Rothbard.

In fact, Rothbard's work with the Gold Commission helped us get on the road to a gold coin standard, because out of the Gold Commission came support for my legislation to mint the American Eagle Gold Coin. And his encouragement and support helped me make up my mind to  run for the Presidency of the United States on the LibertarianParty ticket.

In a multitude of ways, Rothbard's work has given not only me but all of us the ammunition we need to fight for the American dream of liberty and prosperity for all mankind.

Chapter 22:

Anarcho-Capitalist Resources (by Wesker)

General/Introductions to Anarcho-Capitalism

Antimarket Ethics: A Praxeological Critique by Murray Rothbard (Rothbard destroys many common criticisms against the market, absolutely a must read, for minarchists too.)
The State is Not Great by Jacob Spinney (best video intro in existence. VERY GOOD.)
Anarcho-Capitalist FAQ by Hogeye Bill
The Obviousness of Anarchy by John Hasnas
Evil Monopolies Are Fairy Tales In Free Markets by Jacob Spinney (great video)
Fear of Monopoly by Brad Edmonds
Monopolies by D.T. Armentano (In an economy free of governmental regulation, wouldn't a firm or group of firms obtain a monopoly over some vital resource or product?)
The Myth of Natural Monopoly by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
Taxes are the price we pay to... by Mike P (taxation, self ownership, democracy)
What Is Anarchy? by Butler Shaffer
What Libertarianism Is by Stephan Kinsella
Disproving the State by Stefan Molyneux
The Non-Aggression Axiom of Libertarianism by Walter Block
The Death Wish of the Anarcho-Communists by Murray Rothbard
The Stateless Society: An Examination of Alternatives by Stefan Molyneux
Introduction to a Stateless Society Introduction list with multiple articles and authors
The Anatomy of the State by Murray Rothbard
Society Without a State by Murray Rothbard (Rothbard defines the State and Anarchy here)
Forget The Argument From Efficiency by Stefan Molyneux
War, Peace, and the State by Murray Rothbard (philosophy on nukes here)
Why We Couldn't Abolish Slavery Then and Can't Abolish Government Now by Robert Higgs
Anarchy and the 'Problem of the Commons' by Stefan Molyneux
Toward a Universal Libertarian Theory of Gun (Weapon) Control:a Spatial and Geographical Analysis by Walter Block (theory on nukes included)
Arguments Against Anarchy by Jarret B. Wollstein (warring defense agencies)
Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections by Roderick T. Long
Objectivism and The State: An Open Letter to Ayn Rand by Roy A. Childs, Jr.
Anarchism and Minarchism; No Rapproachment Possible: Reply to Tibor Machan by Walter Block
Anarchy by Pete Leeson (very good video.)
Introduction: The Six Questions, and FAQ by Stefan Molyneux, added 6/04/11
Are Libertarians "Anarchists"? by Murray Rothbard added 6/15/11
What Are You Calling 'Anarchy'? by Robert P. Murphy added 6/15/11
What It Means To Be an Anarcho-Capitalist by Stephan Kinsella added 6/16/11
Market Anarchism: Are You Guys Crazy, or Just Nuts? by Stefan Molyneux added 6/16/11
Anarchy, Government, and the State by Sentient Void added 6/28/11
Privatize the Highways — and All Roads for That Matter by by Zachary Slayback added 8/03/11

Anarchy,Law, and Security

Chaos Theory (Private Law and Defense) by Bob Murphy added 6/09/11
The Myth of the Rule of Law by John Hasnas
Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution by Murray Rothbard
Customary Law with Private Means of Resolving Disputes and Dispensing Justice: A Description of a Modern System of Law and Order without State Coercion by Bruce L. Benson
Anarchism and the Public Goods Issue: Law, Courts, and the Police by David Osterfeld
Justice Entrepreneurship In a Free Market by George H. Smith
The Production of Security by Gustave de Molinari
Defense Services on the Free Market by Murray Rothbard
How Would An Anarchist Society Handle Child Abuse? by Walter Block
But Wouldn't Warlords Take Over? by Robert P. Murphy
Criminal Private Courts by Murray Rothbard (awesome video, 10 mins)
Justice Without the State by Bruce L. Benson (short 3 min intro to private order)
How a Free Society Prevents the Re-emergence of a Government by Stefan Molyneux
The Stateless Society and the Protection of Children by Stefan Molyneux
Pollution by Murray Rothbard
Outlaw Protectors by Murray Rothbard (text of Criminal Private Courts)
Collective Defense by Stefan Molyneux
Against Intellectual Property by Stephan Kinsella ( Audio Book ) added 6/15/11
Polycentric Governance by Bruce L. Benson added 6/15/11
Anarchy Unbound, Or: Why Self-Governance Works Better Than You Think by Pete Leeson added 6/15/11
The Possibility of Private Law by Robert P. Murphy added 6/15/11
Law and Appeals in a Free Society by Robert P. Murphy added 6/15/11
Warring Defense Agencies and Organized Crime by Morris and Linda Tannehill added 6/15/11
Private Defense Is No Laughing Matter By Robert P. Murphy added 6/15/11
Legislation and Law in a Free Society by Stephan Kinsella added 6/21/11
Legislation and the Discovery of Law in a Free Society by Stephan Kinsella added 6/21/11
State or Private Law Society? by Hans-Hermann Hoppe added 6/21/11 (video)
Answering the Warring Defense Agencies Objection by Murray Rothbard added 7/22/11
Legislation and Objective Law by Morris and Linda Tannehill added 8/02/11
The Market for Security by Robert Murphy (video) added 8/12/11

Social Contract Debate: + + + added 8/14/11

Historical Examples

Medieval Iceland and the Absence of Government by Thomas Whiston
The Mild, Mild West by John Tierney
An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West by Terry L. Anderson and P.J. Hill
Ireland's Success with the Free Market and Anarchism from For a New Liberty, I think.
Property Rights In Celtic Irish Law by Joseph R. Peden
Pennsylvania's Anarchist Experiment: 1681-1690 by Murray Rothbard added 6/16/11


Living in a State-Run World by Murray Rothbard
May a Libertarian Take Money From the Government? by Walter Block
Is there a Human Right to Medical Insurance by Walter Block
Hobbes, Minarchism, and Anarchy by Stephen Krogh (short audio, 12 mins)
Anarchy and Democracy by Stefan Molyneux (video)
Taking Care of the Poor in a Free Society by Stefan Molyneux (video)
Mises Panel Discussion Live FAQ with Roderick Long, Walter Block, Jacob Huebert, Yuri Maltsev and Doug French (video)
Wage Slavery by Stargazer5781 (video)
The Immaculate Conception of the State by Murray Rothbard (The most important attempt in this century to rebut anarchism and to justify the State fails totally and in each of its parts.-Rothbard)
Somalia by Pete Leeson (short video.)
The Unconstitutionality of Slavery by Lysander Spooner added 6/10/11
Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau added 6/10/11
Vices Are Not Crimes by Lysander Spooner added 6/15/11
Anarchy in Somalia by Bob P. Murphy added 6/30/11
Understanding Somalia and Anarchy (1:10:00 to 1:32:00) by Peter Leeson (The whole presentation is great, highly recommended.) added 6/30/11
The Tale of the Slave by Robert Nozick added 7/05/11
The Inner Contradictions of the State by Murray Rothbard (video) added 8/10/11

Various Informative Forum Discussions and Posts

How might child abuse be handled in a stateless society?
Minarchists or Anarchists?
Some problematic scenarios (for anarchy)
Two reputable courts producing different decisions
Short FAQ (funding,children,roads)
Dispute Resolution System in a Libertarian Society
Somalia, Criminal Courts, Anarchic Ireland
Help me understand anarcho-capitalism... (basically a FAQ thread)
Voluntary Law Society Questions Answered and and added 8/06/11
Law Without Government and added 8/06/11

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Two Near-Universally Accepted (but Incompatible) Propositions

Quote from Hans Hoppe:

First off, among economists and philosophers two near-universally accepted propositions exist.

First: Every "monopoly" is "bad" from the viewpoint of consumers. Monopoly is here understood in its classic meaning as an exclusive privilege granted to a single producer of a commodity or service, or as the absence of "free entry" into a particular line of production. Only one agency, A, may produce a given good or service, X. Such a monopoly is "bad" for consumers, because, shielded from potential new entrants into a given area of production, the price of the product will be higher and its quality lower than otherwise, under free competition.

Second: The production of law and order, i.e., of security, is the primary function of the state (as just defined). Security is here understood in the wide sense adopted in the American Declaration of Independence: as the protection of life, property, and the pursuit of happiness from domestic violence (crime) as well as external (foreign) aggression (war).

Both propositions are apparently incompatible with each other. This has rarely caused concern among philosophers and economists, however, and in so far as it has, the typical reaction has been one of taking exception to the first proposition rather than the second. Yet there exist fundamental theoretical reasons (and mountains of empirical evidence) that it is indeed the second proposition that is in error.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Everybody Likes Ron Paul (video)

A new Ron Paul mashup. This one demonstrates how things have changed since Ron Paul's 2008 campaign.