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Liberty and Power



  • Part of an Original Crowd

    by Liberty and Power

    Sheldon has a nice post on why proper individualism is not atomistic – wherein he cites Aristotle, Spencer, and … me!

    In related news, I’ve argued elsewhere that it is the least atomistic forms of individualism that have the strongest claim to be called radical individualism.


  • Part of an Original Crowd

    by Liberty and Power

     Sheldon has a nice post on why proper individualism is not atomistic – wherein he cites Aristotle, Spencer, and … me!

    In related news, I’ve argued elsewhere that it is the least atomistic forms of individualism that have the strongest claim to be called radical individualism.


  • Constitutionally Impaired?

    by Liberty and Power

     

    I agree with most of what Walter Williams says here, so let me churlishly focus on the bit I disagree with:

    You might say, “Williams, while there are gray areas in the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court would never brazenly rule against clear constitutional prohibitions!” That’s nonsense. The first clause of Article 1, Section 10 mandates that “No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts.” During the Great Depression, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Minnesota law that restricted the ability of banks to foreclose on overdue mortgages, thereby impairing contracts made between lender and borrower.


  • Government Stimulus: Polishing the Rotten Apples

    by Liberty and Power

    Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was a country famous for its apples. In fact, it produced nothing but apples and so was called Appleonia. The people ate many apples in many different ways: raw apples, baked apples, apple pies, apple fritters, and candied apples, to name just a few. They found lots of different ways to use their apples, even as fuel.

    But Appleonians didn’t consume all of their apples. They saved lots and lots of apples for their seeds so they could enlarge their orchards and grow more and more. For hundreds of years, the Appleonians consumed lots of apples and made their orchards bigger and bigger. Everyone in Appleonia worked in the apple business and prospered.

    It turned out though that not every place in Appleonia was perfect for growing apples. Some areas were filled with worms that just loved apples. Little by little, the worms began to infest the orchards.


  • The Berlin Wall

    by Liberty and Power

     Since there are numerous mentions of the anniversary of the Berlin wall I thought I'd share my experiences. In 1961 I was an exchange student in Paris and decided to go to see the wall for myself. (Berlin in December was the coldest I have ever been.) Passing through Checkpoint Charlie I  entered Communist territory for the first time. It was as I'd expected: the universal hopeless shabbiness of the city and the people. I spoke with as many as I could. No one criticized the regime, of course. One old man said, gratefully, "Sie geben uns alles was wir brauchen." (They give us everything we need.) I maliciously asked another man where THEIR Kurfürstendamm, the Fifth Avenue of West Berlin, was. He replied, abashed, "Well, we don't have anything EXACTLY like that." I visited a few bookstores, noting the endless shelves of works by Marx, Lenin, and the then East German leader, Ulbricht. I was hoping that they might have Mises's Socialism, misled by the title, but they weren't fools—they knew their enemy. I had a crummy lunch at one of their elite restaurants, and decided to go back.


  • What if the Americans Had Established Six Nations, Rather than One?

    by Liberty and Power


    Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague.

    In the standard U.S. history course in high schools and universities, students are usually taught that until the Spanish-American War, the United States had followed for the most part the advice of Washington and Jefferson to steer clear of foreign entanglements.  Americans had devoted themselves overwhelmingly to building their civilization here at home, whereas from 1898 onward, they began to “look outward” and to embrace the “large policy” of national greatness and foreign empire favored by such leading figures as Henry Cabot Lodge, John Hay, and Theodore Roosevelt.  This way of dividing U.S. history into two epochs–before and after the onset of overseas imperialism–is fundamentally misleading.


  • Ron Paul Exposes Media Bias

    by Liberty and Power

    And that's the left-leaning and politically correct Guardian newspaper in London! Paul Harris explains why "[t]he Texan libertarian won't win the GOP nomination, but we lose by treating him as a pariah for asking hard questions of America."


  • Social Cooperation

    by Liberty and Power

    My latest TGIF laments that libertarians haven't emphasized social cooperation, a la Mises, instead of individualism and self-reliance.


  • You Hear That?

    by Liberty and Power

    Media message to candidates: It's okay to oppose government spending and debt, but if you oppose war and empire, we'll marginalize the crap out of you.


  • Obama and Hoover: Two "Smart" (Stupid) Presidents

    by Liberty and Power

    Jonathan Bean is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor of History at Southern Illinois University, and editor of the book, Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader.

    [Crosspost from Beacon]

    For the past year, I have been researching how the housing bubble of the 1920s contributed to the Great Depression.  My study involves reading many articles and speeches by Herbert Hoover, first as Commerce Secretary (1921-1928) then as president (1929-1933).  As the nation endures the Obama presidency, I see much in common between the two men, both seen as "smart" by their supporters.


  • Secessio Plebis

    by Liberty and Power

     Have you noticed that whenever mention is made of secession, establishment types always say, “that issue was settled in 1865”?


  • The Thin Black Line

    by Liberty and Power

     

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    In Britain, street gangs queue up to loot shops.

    The linked article is wittily titled “Anarchy in the U.K.” Of course the most anarchistic thing the gangs did was the queuing, not the looting. All the same, there is an anarchistic moral to be drawn from the story: it’s an example of how social mores continue to produce social order in the absence of government police.


  • Why Lawrence O’Donnell Is Not a Real Journalist Either

    by Liberty and Power

     Lawrence O'Donnell


  • The Decision to Bomb Hiroshima

    by Liberty and Power

    Gar Alperovitz explains why it was not necessary to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to persuade Japan to cede defeat. Even General bombs-away-with-Curtis LeMay was dismayed. Shortly after the bombings he stated publicly: "The war would have been over in two weeks. . . . The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all."


  • Drink, Don’t Drive: How Obama’s Green Obsession Led me to Drink (and it’s good for the planet!)

    by Liberty and Power


    Get ready for life in ultra small cars, shorn of spare tires and other unnecessary weight. The Obama administration has set the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 54.5 mpg! There will be fines (read: added costs) if you choose the wrong kind of vehicle or buy from an auto company that fails to meet this standard by 2025.

    One thing that most didn’t see coming with Obama: he has defined his jobs agenda as one focused on “green” jobs. He talks about nothing else. Most Americans would prefer any jobs, but green jobs are the “jobs of the future,” so saith the Wizardly Lecturer from Hyde Park, Chicago.