Liberty & Power: Group Blog
Has the NSA spying ceased pending the debate?
The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies begins a new era this year: a collaboration with Pennsylvania State University Press, which will manage all aspects of design, production, distribution, and subscription fulfillment, while leaving the Editorial Board in full charge of the intellectual side of this grand adventure. As I state in the "Editor's Introduction: Change and Continuity," which appears in the new July 2013 issue: "In embarking on this new arrangement, the journal unveils a new look, but retains its commitment to introducing new writers to the ever-expanding world of Rand studies." And what a new look it is!
Check out the Notablog entry here.
[This article was originally published at The Dollar Vigilante which I urge you to browse at length. Click here.]
Two events recalled a passage from the Irish poet William Butler Yeats:
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world....
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”
Yeats (1865-1939) wrote “The Second Coming” in 1919 to describe the moral devastation of post-WWI Europe. The “mere anarchy” is not the laissez-faire version of contract and consent between free individuals which produces good will and prosperity. The “mere anarchy” is chaos, a Hobbesian society of all-against-all that comes in the wake of sustained violence. It is a society that guts decency, loots productivity, and rewards the worst within men.
Yeats could be describing America today. Or, at least, the America that might well be tomorrow. The center cannot hold.
For more commentary and analysis, visit www.wendymcelroy.com
I've been asked to post my list of readings in revisionist history separately so the link can be distributed. I haven't read all these books, but those I haven't gotten to yet come highly recommended by people I respect. I will add to the list from time to time.
- We Who Dared to Say No to War: American Antiwar Writing from 1812 to Now, edited by Murray Polner and Thomas E. Woods Jr.
- The Failure of America's Foreign Wars, edited by Richard M. Ebeling and Jacob G. Hornberger
- America's Second Crusade, by William Henry Chamberlin
- Great Wars and Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal, by Ralph Raico
- Why American History Is Not What They Say: An Introduction to Revisionism, by Jeff Riggenbach
- War Is a Lie, by David Swanson
- War Is a Racket, by Smedley D. Butler
- Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War, by Paul Fussell
- Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War, by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
- The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, by William Appleman Williams
- The Civilian and the Military: A History of the American Antimilitarist Tradition, by Arthur Ekirch
- The Politics of War: The Story of Two Wars which Altered Forever the Political Life of the...
Over at PJ Media, J.Christian Adams tells us why Calvin Coolidge is important
I have been enjoying episodes from "The Fugitive" on ME TV from the 1960s starring the great, but vastly underrated, David Janssen. The show communicates a highly subversive message and reveals some interesting contrasts between the 1960s and today. The main character, Richard Kimball, a respected physician in his community, has been convicted of first-degree murder by a jury of his peers but escapes on his way to the death house.
Throughout the run of the series, dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people brazenly lie to the police and otherwise commit potential felonies to protect him. They make most "extreme" anti-government folks of 2013 look like wimps by comparison in their willingness to defy authority in the service of a higher moral cause.
Revealingly, Kimball, for his part, is able find a wide range of jobs without, apparently, once being asked to provide his social security number! Federal law enforcement authorities are almost completely absent and Kimball's pursuit seems to be completely a matter for local police departments.
From J.R. Dunn: Philip K. Dick and Our Predicament
What is this but a Philip K. Dick universe?
Dick, it seems, was a far superior prophet than the colleagues who disdained him, because, unlike many of them, he had a line on human nature, which never changes.
So what does Dick have to say about surviving and prevailing in this world?
Dick had no political solutions. His personal politics was as convoluted as the rest of his personality. He was a man of the "left," but, like Orwell, very much a left of his own devising. He was once thrown out, within a period of weeks, of meetings by the local GOP and the Communist Party, in both cases for asking penetrating questions. He had no use for authoritarian systems. (His short story "Faith of our Fathers" is one of the eeriest condemnations of communism ever written, in which the leader of a victorious worldwide communist party is indistinguishable from death itself. When he grips the protagonist's arm, he leaves stigmata that continue bleeding and refuse to heal.)
I have great admiration for the Koch brothers who seem to be arch villains to the academic and news media elite who spend their time relentlessly spewing out disingenuous and ultimately destructive propaganda supporting the idea that organizing principle of our society should be the use of force and coercion, the methodology of government and the condition of slavery, rather than cooperation for mutual benefit, the methodology of the free market and the condition of free men.
The liberal animosity towards the brothers exists not because the Kochs believe that government’s purpose is to impose the conservative’s vision of just and prosperous country on us but rather because they believe people should to make their own life decisions which will always have the best chance of being in the person’s own best interests. The scholarships they gave me to attend the Institute for Humane Studies summer seminars twice provided with me with far more valuable education than the years I spent pilling up student loan debt listening to the argument that more government is always the answer for everything. You see liberals and conservatives advocate this same solution but the Koch brothers advocate a different one and that is why the liberal elite is so disturbed by the prospect that that some of their control of the media (http://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2013/04/30/will-the-koch-brothers-save-los-angeles/?singlepage=true) may slip from their hands.
Viewing this is quite an experience. Larry, Moe, and Curly capture several menacing men who "escaped" from a Japanese "relocation camp" during World War II. The actors, who are all Asian, wear false buck teeth. They are dressed like convicts, thus better fitting the private comment of Franklin D. Roosevelt (the Teflon president in nearly every history department) that his executive order would create "concentration" rather than "internment" camps.
The Manchin-Toomey expansion of background checks to private gun sales was reasonable legislation, its advocates insist, because it would have forbidden the creation of a federal registry and exempted transfers of guns between family members and between friends.
Those features appear to be in the bill, but why should that matter? The champions of Manchin-Toomey would have us believe that once the bill passed, no more gun laws would ever be proposed again. That is, they’re either naïve or dishonest. I don’t think they’re naïve.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former member of the House and self-styled Second Amendment man who supported Manchin-Toomey, is an egregious example of this dishonesty. He spent weeks mocking opponents for not being mollified by the bill’s compromises. Can he be unfamiliar with the legislative tactic of gradualism? Start a program small to minimize opposition, then expand it in later years when people have become inured.
It’s not as though this tactic has never been used. The income tax started small in 1913 and applied only to the richest Americans. Those who expressed concern that the tax would expand were ridiculed as paranoid. Sen. William Borah, an Idaho Progressive Republican said, “No sane man would take from industry its just reward or rob frugality of a fair and honest return.”
As I wrote in Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must...
It’s often been speculated that Paul-Émile de Puydt’s 1860 essay Panarchy might have been influenced by his fellow Belgian Gustave de Molinari’s similar ideas about competitive security services in his 1849 works The Production of Security and Soirées on the Rue Saint-Lazare.
Well, I don’t have new light on that question, exactly, but I have discovered that De Puydt’s essay received a highly favourable review in a journal edited by Molinari. I’ve just translated and posted the review, here.
Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has died "peacefully" at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke, her family has announced. Read/view more at BBC News.
When I say that market failure is a myth, I don’t mean to deny that ... regrettable situations can occur. I only mean to deny that they are peculiar to the market.Read: "The Myth of Market Failure."
NBC chief diplomatic stenographer Andrea Mitchell noted yesterday that President Obama embarks today on his visit to Israel and the West Bank. This is incorrect. Obama will visit Israel and Israeli-occupied Palestine. The state of Palestine declared independence almost 25 years ago and has since been recognized by 131 of the UN's 193 member states. That the U.S. government doesn't recognize Palestine is part of its long-standing policy of enabling Israel's oppression of the Palestinians.
That question has received a very thoughtful and l think positive reply (http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/03/02/is-marijuana-a-medicine/?singlepage=true on the conservative website PJ Media and I see this as a very good sign.. Historically the notion of drug prohibition including medicines such as opium has been in the program of the Progressives while Libertarians and even some Conservatives have opposed it.. Perhaps the most eloquent and effective person on the subject was William F. Buckley