"Government can either deliberately subsidize by giving a service away free, or it may genuinely try to find the true market price, i.e., to "operate on a business basis." This is often the cry raised by conservatives — that government enterprise be placed on a "business footing," that deficits be ended, etc. Almost always this means raising the price. Is this a solution, however? It is often stated that a single government enterprise, operating within the sphere of a private market, buying from it, etc., can price its services and allocate its resources efficiently. This, however, is incorrect. There is a fatal flaw that permeates every conceivable scheme of government enterprise and ineluctably prevents it from rational pricing and efficient allocation of resources. Because of this flaw, government enterprise can never be operated on a “business” basis, no matter what the government’s intentions.
What is this fatal flaw? It is the fact that government can obtain virtually unlimited resources by means of its coercive tax power. Private businesses must obtain their funds from investors. It is this allocation of funds by investors on the basis of time preference and foresight that rations funds and resources to the most profitable and therefore the most serviceable uses. Private firms can get funds only from consumers and investors; they can get funds, in other words, only from people who value and buy their services and from investors who are willing to risk investment of their saved funds in anticipation of profit. In short, payment and service are, once again, indissolubly linked on the market.
Government, on the other hand, can get as much money as it likes. The free market provides a “mechanism” for allocating funds for future and present consumption, for directing resources to their most value-productive uses for all the people. It thereby provides a means for businessmen to allocate resources and to price services to insure such optimum use. Government, however, has no checkrein on itself, i.e., no requirement for meeting a profit-and-loss test of valued service to consumers, to enable it to obtain funds. Private enterprise can get funds only from satisfied, valuing customers and from investors guided by profits and losses. Government can get funds literally at its own whim.”
"Libertarianism, as I see it, is an extremely limited philosophy. It’s a political philosophy, not a philosophy of life. As a political philosophy, it states that people have the right to use physical violence only in response to those who break the libertarian code and initiate violence. It’s not a philosophy of life stating how one can live the good life, setting out in fine detail how one may act in every conceivable situation.
Practically the sole concern of libertarianism is that everyone keep his mitts off everyone else, unless, of course, he has that person’s permission. The beauty of this version of libertarianism is that it allows for an amazing diversity.
Only libertarianism gathers together all who believe in this limited philosophy. We’ve all seen businessmen with suits, ties, and vests mingling with flower children. We’ve all seen teetotallers and alcohol drinkers at libertarian functions. We’ve all seen pot smokers, acid heads, drug freaks - together with Murray Rothbard, the straightest of them all.
We’ve seen priests, monogamists, family men, as the fellow libertarians of the gays, the sado-masochists, the leather freaks, and those into what they call “rational bestiality.” As Ralph Raico stated in his keynote address to the FLP state convention, only libertarianism could gather together the homosexual motorcycle gang, the acid dropper fascinated by the price of silver, and the Puerto Rican nationalist immersed in the Austrian School of economics.”
Jeffrey Tucker landing in Brisbane with style. Potential new cover for the 2nd Edition of Bourbon For Breakfast, which is to now be known as Gin For Breakfast.
Member of EU parliament Godfrey Bloom quotes Murray Rothbard, spits hot fire*:
"Oh, well, Mr. President, I’m minded actually to quote the great American philosopher Murray Rothbard here that the state — the state is an institution of theft writ large. Tax is just about a system where politicians and bureaucrats steal money from their citizens to squander in the most disgraceful manner. This place is no exception. Fascinatingly, and I really don’t know how you manage to keep a straight face when you’re talking about tax evasion, the whole Commission and the Commission bureaucracy avoid their taxes. You don’t pay taxes like citizens pay taxes; you have all sorts of special deals. Composite tax rates, high tax thresholds, non-contribute pension schemes. You are the biggest tax avoiders in Europe, and here you sit pontificating. Well, the message is getting home to the people of the European Union. You’re going to find that euroskeptics are coming back in June in ever greater numbers — in ever greater numbers. And I can tell you worse, as the people get your number, it won’t be long before they storm this chamber and they hang you, and they’ll be right.”
Regarding the last passage Bloom should have consulted Rothbard further:
- "…Another contradictory means would be to commit aggression (e.g., murder or theft) against persons or just property in order to reach the libertarian goal of nonaggression. But this too would be a self-defeating and impermissible means to pursue. For the employment of such aggression would directly violate the goal of nonaggression itself.”
Of course the politicians are apart of an aggressive institution, and yet that doesn’t throw out the concept of proportionality, causality and due process. As Rothbard elucidates in his Ending Tyranny Without Violence—an introduction to Étienne de La Boétie’s brilliant The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude;
- "…La Boétie concludes his exhortation by assuring the masses that to overthrow the tyrant they need not act, nor shed their blood. They can do so “merely by willing to be free.” In short,
Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.
I can’t help but think the majority of the public will only remember the parting words of violence, as opposed to the preceding comments regarding the state as an institution of injustice. Tactically to the uninitiated it paints us as the aggressors. As Benjamin Tucker points out in Men Against the State;
- “Violence is the power of darkness. If the revolution comes by violence … the old struggle will have to be begun anew.”
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
The Australian Mises Seminar is named in honour of Ludwig von Mises, perhaps the most gifted economist and philosopher of the 20th century.
Mises was a prolific author who spawned a global movement dedicated to carrying on his tradition. One of his students, F.A. Hayek, went on to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics. Another of his students, Murray N. Rothbard, extended Mises’ ideas and founded what is now the modern libertarian movement. A living proponent of Mises’ ideas is Congressman Ron Paul who ran for the office of President of the United States, sparking an international and intellectual revolution.
The spirit of the seminar is best encapsulated by Mises’ lifelong motto taken from Virgil’s Aeneid: “Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito” — ‘Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it’. We look forward to you joining the rest of the remnant this December at this not to be missed event!
The Benevolence Of The Market
The eclectic Jeffrey Tucker addresses the benevolence of the free market. Hear him speak at the Australian Mises Seminar 2013 in Brisbane on the 30th Nov - 1st December. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit: mises.org.au.
- “The market economy safeguards peaceful economic cooperation because it does not use force upon the economic plans of the citizens. If one masterplan is to be substituted for the plans of each citizen, endless fighting must emerge.”
— Ludwig von Mises
There’s a few ways I could take this. Since I am unsure of your persuasion I’ll try cover all bases. It obviously depends on how you define it. The term is generally used synonymously and interchangeably with the state. Upon understanding the true nature of such an institution I’m not sure how someone who is intellectually honest, curious, open to reason, logicallyconsistent and free from cognitive dissonance could ever support such an ‘entity’… unless they’re either ‘a joker and mentally unstable’, chimerical, or personallybenefiting in some way.
For the laymen it is often best to avoid the boogeyman of “anarchy” which means “no rulers” although that does not mean “no rules”. There is nothing wrong with calling it ‘governance’ as long as it is voluntary. I support self-government, which is just one of the numerous labels that support the same idea of self-ownership and original appropriation. Other labels include: voluntarism, private law society, anarcho-capitalism, market anarchism, libertarianism, natural order etc.
Mind blown? Carry on.
- "Government is an agent external to society, a "third party" with the power to coerce all other parties to relations in society into accepting its conceptions of those relations. … However, that the idea of Government exists is no proof of its empirical existence. … That societies may have some form of organization they call the “government” is no reason to conclude that those “governments” are empirical manifestations of the idea of Government. … A closer look at these earthly “governments” reveals that they do not get us out of anarchy at all. They simply replace one form of anarchy by another and hence do not give us real Government. Let’s see how this is so…”
— Alfred G. Cuzan, Do We Ever Really Get Out of Anarchy?
- "[T]he crucial question is not, as so many believe, whether property rights should be private or governmental, but rather whether the necessarily ‘private’ owners are legitimate owners or criminals. For ultimately, there is no entity called ‘government’; there are only people forming themselves into groups called ‘governments’ and acting in a ‘governmental’ manner. All property is therefore always ‘private’; the only and critical question is whether it should reside in the hands of criminals or of the proper and legitimate owners."
—Murray N. Rothbard, Ethics of Liberty, Chapter 9.
- "There is no existing entity called ‘society’; there are only interacting individuals. To say that ‘society’ should own land or any other property in common, then, must mean that a group of oligarchs — in practice, government bureaucrats — should own the property, and at the expense of expropriating the creator or the homesteader who had originally brought this product into existence."
—Murray N. Rothbard, For A New Liberty
Well where does that leave one then? We always live in a state of anarchy. The real question is what kind of anarchy we live under, market anarchy or non-market (political) anarchy. It is either voluntary or aggressive interpersonal relations. Only the former is justifiable.
Intro to Austrian Business Cycle Theory
How the GFC happened. Click the image to enlarge.
Rothbard on Nuclear Weapons
- Murray Rothbard speaking at the 1981 National Libertarian Party Convention. This is an excerpt from the Q & A session where he answers a question as to what is the libertarian position on nuclear weapons.
This footage is particularly vindicating and confirms exactly what I stated several years ago—contrary to Nielsio and others—as discussed in this excellent Mises Forum thread on Nuclear Disarmament. It is also a prelude of sorts to Bob Murphy’s argument on gun control.