Text 26 Aug 5 notes Two Facts of Nature: Inequality and Variety

"Historically division of labor originates in two facts of nature: the inequality of human abilities and the variety of the external conditions of human life on the earth. These two facts are really one: the diversity of Nature, which does not repeat itself but creates the universe in infinite, inexhaustible variety….

These two conditions … are indeed such as almost to force the division of labor on mankind. Old and young, men and women cooperate by making appropriate use of their various abilities. Here also is the germ of the geographical division of labor; man goes to the hunt and woman to the spring to fetch water. Had the strength and abilities of all individuals and the external conditions of production been everywhere equal the idea of division of labor could never have arisen … No social life could have arisen among men of equal natural capacity in a world which was geographically uniform….

Once labor has been divided, the division itself exercises a differentiating influence. The fact that labor is divided makes possible further cultivation of individual talent and thus cooperation becomes more and more productive. Through cooperation men are able to achieve what would have been beyond them as individuals….

The greater productivity of work under the division of labor is a unifying influence. It leads men to regard each other as comrades in a joint struggle for welfare, rather than as competitors in a struggle for existence.”

          — Ludwig von Mises

Quote 25 Aug 79 notes
Every man must have freedom, must have the scope to form, test, and act upon his own choices, for any sort of development of his own personality to take place. He must, in short, be free in order that he may be fully human.
Quote 23 Aug 1 note

Rothbards natural rights theory is sound, it is essentially the same in content as Hoppe’s from my perspective. Hoppe’s preface of TEOL is glowing with admiration for Rothbard. Hoppe is a disciple of Rothbard writing in the tradition.

Rothbard only fails in his defense of ‘natural rights’, not in his expositions of them, of what they entail, of how they are to be understood. He provides a tour de force in these areas.

Rothbard falls short by relying on the Aristotelian teleology, and appeal to the ‘objective’ value of ‘life’ which he said could not be contradicted. He comes close to, without reaching the Hoppean stance… From my perspective he is groping in the direction of it without seeing what it is. Naturally without it, he flails and seems weak to his critics.

Hoppe’s approach appeared novel to Rothbard, and excited him. Hoppe provides the superior defense.



The above is comment from a Mises Forum discussion. I would clarify that Rothbard fully accepted Hoppe’s argumentation ethics with open arms. Calling it a major breakthrough. I would also agree with him in that: 

  • "…As a natural rightser, I don’t see any real contradiction here, or why one cannot hold to both the natural-rights and the Hoppean-rights ethic at the same time. Both rights ethics, after all, are grounded, like the realist version of Kantianism, in the nature of reality. Natural law, too, provides a personal and social ethic apart from libertarianism; this is an area that Hoppe is not concerned with…"

However given the power of praxeology à la argumentation ethics I no longer bother to specifically defend natural law and natural rights expositions.

Quote 22 Aug 5 notes
These considerations are not a plea for opening America and the British Dominions to German, Italian, and Japanese immigrants. Under present conditions America and Australia would simply commit suicide by admitting Nazis, Fascists, and Japanese. They could as well directly surrender to the Führer and to the Mikado. Immigrants from the totalitarian countries are today the vanguard of their armies, a fifth column whose invasion would render all measures of defense useless. America and Australia can preserve their freedom, their civilizations, and their economic institutions only by rigidly barring access to the subjects of the dictators. But these conditions are the outcome of etatism. In the liberal past the immigrants came not as pacemakers of conquest but as loyal citizens of their new country.
— Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government, p. 114
Quote 21 Aug 21 notes
Attempts to justify on economic grounds the policy of restricting immigration are therefore doomed from the outset. There cannot be the slightest doubt that migration barriers diminish the productivity of human labor. When the trade unions of the United States or Australia hinder immigration, they are fighting not only against the interests of the workers of the rest of the countries of the world, but also against the interests of everyone else in order to secure a special privilege for themselves. For all that, it still remains quite uncertain whether the increase in the general productivity of human labor which could be brought about by the establishment of complete freedom of migration would not be so great as to compensate entirely the members of the American and Australian trade unions for the losses that they could suffer from the immigration of foreign workers.
— Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism
Video 20 Aug 20 notes

Why Deflation Isn’t Harmful — Jörg Guido Hülsmann

This is lecture 8 in a series of talks about the Introduction to Austrian Economics which was recorded September 2005, Klampenborg - Denmark. You can see the full lecture here. There is also the great and concise: “Deflation: The Biggest Myths”:

  • Myth #1: You cannot earn a living and make profits when the price level falls
  • Myth #2: While falling prices are good, lacking aggregate demand is bad
  • Myth #3: You cannot earn a living and make profits when the money supply shrinks
  • Myth #4: Deflation entails slower economic growth than inflation
  • Myth #5: Deflation is particularly burdensome for lower-income groups
  • Myth #6: Deflation destroys the credit of the state
  • Myth #7: Deflation creates unemployment
  • Myth #8: Deflation entails unequal and arbitrary burdens for the citizens
  • Myth #9: It will take decades to settle deflation-induced legal disputes
  • Myth #10: Deflation confers no positive net benefit
  • Myth #11: Letting deflation happen is “passivism”
Text 19 Aug 10 notes Mr. Libertarian

"Before closing, I want to render a sense of something that history books will not capture and future generations may not understand: namely, the profound and benevolent impact of Murray Rothbard’s charisma on young scholars. Although reprints of his work will display the stunning breadth of his scholarship, they will give no clue as to the humor that made his listeners literally laugh for hours in after-conference sessions and gatherings at his home. When people finally walked away from Murray – reluctant to leave a world in which ideas were so much fun – they scattered to libraries and typewriters to research and write up the articles he had inspired. Murray Rothbard believed that ideas mattered. He infused you with that belief. I still hear his voice – admittedly a bit squawky – insisting that a certain insight was "Key! It’s key to the issue!," and admonishing me to write it up.

Murray had a habit of sitting with his right arm draped over his head, the elbow resting about five inches above ear level. I remember walking into a room where Murray was holding court for three young men who sat attentively before him, lined up on the couch. Each one had his right arm draped over his head. Not one realized they were mimicking him. A whole generation of libertarian theorists wanted to be Murray Rothbard. We adopted his slang terms, his gestures, his eccentricities… hopefully some of his intellectual magic has rubbed off as well.”

          — Wendy McElroy

Text 18 Aug 6 notes
"To adopt an excellent strategem of Ludwig von Mises in abstracting from contemporary emotions: Let us postulate two contiguous Nation-States, "Ruritania" and "Fredonia." Let us assume that Ruritania has suddenly invaded eastern Fredonia, and claims it as its own. Must we automatically condemn Ruritania for its evil "act of aggression" against Fredonia, and send troops, either literally or metaphorically, against the brutal Ruritanians and in behalf of "brave, little" Fredonia? By no means.
For it is very possible that, say, two years ago, eastern Fredonia had been part and parcel of Ruritania, was indeed western Ruritania, and that the Rurs, ethnic and national denizens of the land, have been crying out for the past two years against Fredonian oppression. In short, in inter-national disputes in particular, in the immortal words of W. S. Gilbert:
  • Things are seldom what they seem,
    Skim milk masquerades as cream.

The Beloved international cop, whether it be Boutros Boutros-Ghali or U.S. troops or the New York Times Editorialist had best think more than twice before leaping into the fray…”

          — Murray Rothbard
Text 17 Aug 2 notes The Data of History

"The data of history are logically compatible with any of such rival interpretations, and historians, insofar as they are just historians, have no way of deciding in favor of one or the other. If one is to make a rational choice among such rival and incompatible interpretations, this is only possible if one has a theory at one’s disposal, or at least a theoretical proposition, whose validity does not depend on historical experience but can be established a priori, i.e. once and for all by means of the intellectual apprehension or comprehension of the nature of things.

In some circles this kind of theory is held in low esteem; and some philosophers, especially of the empiricist-positivist variety, have declared any such theory off-limits or even impossible. This is not a philosophical treatise devoted to a discussion of issues of epistemology and ontology. Here and in the following, I do not want to directly refute the empiricist-positivist thesis that there is no such thing as a priori theory, i.e., propositions which assert something about reality and can be validated independent of the outcome of any future experience.

It is only appropriate, however, to acknowledge from the outset that I consider this thesis—and indeed the entire empiricist-positivist research program, which can be interpreted as the result of the application of the (egalitarian) principles of democracy to the realm of knowledge and research and has therefore dominated ideologically during most of the twentieth century,—as fundamentally mistaken and thoroughly refuted.”

          — Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Intro to TEOL

Quote 16 Aug 13 notes
Albert Jay Nock was not a reformer and found offensive any society with a “monstrous itch for changing people.” He had “a great horror of every attempt to change anybody; or I should rather say, every wish to change anybody; for that is the important thing.” Whenever one “wishes to change anybody, one becomes like the socialists, vegetarians, prohibitionists; and this, as Rabelais says, ‘is a terrible thing to think upon.’” The only thing we can do to improve society, he declared, “is to present society with one improved unit.” Let each person direct his efforts at himself or herself, not others; or as Voltaire put it, “Il faut cultiver notre jardin.”
Text 15 Aug 9 notes Mises as Voluntarist

"How far would Mises push the principle of secession, of self-determination? Down to a single village, he states; but would he press beyond even that? He calls the right of self-determination not of nations, “but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit.” But how about self-determination for the ultimate unit, for each individual? Allowing each individual to remain where he lives and yet secede from the State is tantamount to anarchism, and yet Mises comes very close to anarchism, blocked only by practical technical considerations:

If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done. This is impracticable only because of compelling technical considerations, which make it necessary that the right of self-determination be restricted to the will of the majority of the inhabitants of areas large enough to count as territorial units in the administration of the country.

That Mises, at least in theory, believed in the right of individual secession and therefore came close to anarchism can also be seen in his description of liberalism, that “it forces no one against his will into the structure of the State.”

And Mises did believe in a vigorous right to secede, Liberalism pp. 109-10:

The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with. This is the only feasible and effective way of preventing revolutions and civil and international wars. … However, the right of self-determination of which we speak is not the right of self-determination of nations, but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit. If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done.

(Source: stephankinsella.com)

Photo 7 Aug ARITA Qld Division Conference & Dinner #DivineMotown #Bentleys #Insolvency #CorpRecovery (at Brisbane City Hall)

ARITA Qld Division Conference & Dinner #DivineMotown #Bentleys #Insolvency #CorpRecovery (at Brisbane City Hall)

Photo 3 Aug 2 notes Oops… I’m in a race? #unregistered #running #Brisbane #RtRTC  (at Coronation Drive Bikepath)

Oops… I’m in a race? #unregistered #running #Brisbane #RtRTC (at Coronation Drive Bikepath)

Text 30 Jul 5 notes Independence From Politics?

"The standard reply of the Fed and its partisans is that any such measures, however marginal, would encroach on the Fed’s "independence from politics," which is invoked as a kind of self-evident absolute. The monetary system is highly important, it is claimed, and therefore the Fed must enjoy absolute independence.

"Independent of politics" has a nice, neat ring to it, and has been a staple of proposals for bureaucratic intervention and power ever since the Progressive Era. Sweeping the streets; control of seaports; regulation of industry; providing social security; these and many other functions of government are held to be "too important" to be subject to the vagaries of political whims. But it is one thing to say that private, or market, activities should be free of government control, and "independent of politics" in that sense.

But these are government agencies and operations we are talking about, and to say that government should be “independent of politics” conveys very different implications. For government, unlike private industry on the market, is not accountable either to stockholders or consumers.

Government can only be accountable to the public and to its representatives in the legislature; and if government becomes “independent of politics” it can only mean that that sphere of government becomes an absolute self-perpetuating oligarchy, accountable to no one and never subject to the public’s ability to change its personnel or to “throw the rascals out.”

If no person or group, whether stockholders or voters, can displace a ruling elite, then such an elite becomes more suitable for a dictatorship than for an allegedly democratic country. And yet it is curious how many self-proclaimed champions of “democracy,” whether domestic or global, rush to defend the alleged ideal of the total independence of the Federal Reserve.”

          — Murray N. Rothbard, The Case Against the Fed

Quote 29 Jul 13 notes
Marx’s economic teachings are essentially a garbled rehash of the theories of Adam Smith and, first of all, of Ricardo.
— Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History, pp. 124–25

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