Text 21 Jul 12 notes Saving The State From Itself

"It is not so patently evident, however, that advancing the health of the state is good for the rest of us. Indeed, this conclusion rests on several whopping assumptions: that the state’s interest coincides with the interest of every one of its subjects, that there is harmony between state and society, and that there is no ruling class dominating and exploiting the rest of us.

Would anyone really say that it is self-evidently good and “value-free,” for example, for social scientists to advise a government on how most efficiently to set up concentration camps, or how best to reduce opposition to such camps on the part of the public? Is our highest objective really to see to it that those who are “meant to govern” keep the allegiance of the bulk of their subjects under any and all circumstances?

If not, and if Rose and Peters would draw the line at the most outrageously despotic of states, then what principles would they set forth to guide them? In short, when, if ever, does the exercise of political authority become for them a worse evil than its enfeeblement?

No book on political authority that does not even address such questions is worthy of serious attention. The major interest of this book, in the last analysis, is in its revelation of the parlous state of the profession of political science.”

          — Murray Rothbard

Video 11 Jul 4 notes

Hans Rosling’s famous lectures combine enormous quantities of public data with a sport’s commentator’s style to reveal the story of the world’s past, present and future development. Now he explores stats in a way he has never done before - using augmented reality animation. In this spectacular section of ‘The Joy of Stats’ he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers - in just four minutes. Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine.

Quote 10 Jul 18 notes
The charm of group egalitarianism for the intellectual-tech-nocratic-therapeutic-bureaucratic class, then, is that it provides a nearly endless and accelerating supply of oppressed groups to coalesce around the egalitarians’ political efforts. There are, then, far more potential supporters to rally around the cause than could be found if only “the poor” were being exhorted to seek and promote their “rights.” And as the cause expands, of course, there is a multiplication of jobs and an acceleration of taxpayer funding flowing into the coffers of the Procrustean ruling elite, a not-accidental feature of the egalitarian drive. Joseph Sobran recently wrote that, in the current lexicon, “need” is the desire of people to loot the wealth of others; “greed” is the desire of those others to keep the money they have earned; and “compassion” is the function of those who negotiate the transfer. The ruling elite may be considered the “professional compassionate” class. It is easy, of course, to be conspicuously “compassionate” if others are being forced to pay the cost.
Text 8 Jul 22 notes Looking for a Quote…



It’s either by Frank Chodorov, or Leonard E. Read… or someone similar:

  • The point is about politicians always attempting to reform.. like they’re on their fiftieth reform, and still haven’t got it right. Perhaps they should try freedom?

Along those lines. Any ideas?

Have you ever noticed how statists are constantly “reforming” their own handiwork? Education reform. Health-care reform. Welfare reform. Tax reform. The very fact they’re always busy “reforming” is an implicit admission that they didn’t get it right the first 50 times.

- Lawrence w. Reed

Not Leonard E. Read, but Lawrence W. Reed


For those who are interested the article is called “Where Are the Omelets?”. The quote continues:

The list is endless: Canadian health care, European welfarism, Argentine Peronism, African postcolonial socialism, Cuban communism, on and on ad infinitum. Nowhere in the world has the statist impulse produced an omelet. Everywhere—it yields the same: eggs beaten, fried, and scrambled. People worse off than before, impoverished and looking elsewhere for answers and escape. Economies ruined. Freedoms extinguished.

It is a telling conclusion that statists have no successful model to point to, no omelet they can hold up as the pièce de résistance of their cuisine. Not so for those of us who believe in freedom. Indeed, economists James Gwartney, Robert Lawson, and Walter Block in their survey, Economic Freedom of the World: 1975–1995, conclude that;

  • “No country with a persistently high economic freedom rating during the two decades failed to achieve a high level of income. In contrast, no country with a persistently low rating was able to achieve even middle income status… . The countries with the largest increases in economic freedom during the period achieved impressive growth rates.”

Perhaps no one explained the lesson of all this better than the French economist and statesman Frédéric Bastiat more than 150 years ago:

  • “And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty”
Text 7 Jul 22 notes Looking for a Quote…

It’s either by Frank Chodorov, or Leonard E. Read… or someone similar:

  • The point is about politicians always attempting to reform.. like they’re on their fiftieth reform, and still haven’t got it right. Perhaps they should try freedom?

Along those lines. Any ideas?

Photo 6 Jul 1 note A clear day for Clear Mountain Adventures — 120km, 2.5km vert

A clear day for Clear Mountain Adventures — 120km, 2.5km vert

(Source: app.strava.com)

Text 1 Jul 20 notes Libertarianism Ain’t “Left” nor “Right” Wing

"In addition to our re-evaluation of the origins and nature of the Cold War, we engaged in a thorough reassessment of the whole “left-right” ideological spectrum in historical perspective. For it was clear to us that the European Throne-and-Altar Conservatism that had captured the right wing was statism in a virulent and despotic form; and yet only an imbecile could possibly call these people “leftists.” But this meant that our old simple paradigm of the “left Communist/total government … right/no government” continuum, with liberals on the left of center and conservatives on the right of center, had been totally incorrect. We had therefore been misled in our basic view of the spectrum and in our whole conception of ourselves as natural “extreme rightists.” There must have been a fatal flaw in the analysis. Plunging back into history, we concentrated on the reality that in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, laissez-faire liberals, radicals, and revolutionaries constituted the “extreme left” while our ancient foes, the conservatives, the Throne-and-Altar worshippers, constituted the right-wing Enemy. Leonard Liggio then came up with the following profound analysis of the historical process, which I adopted.

First, and dominant in history, was the Old Order, the ancien régime, the regime of caste and frozen status, of exploitation by a war-making, feudal or despotic ruling class, using the church and the priesthood to dupe the masses into accepting its rule. This was pure statism; and this was the “right wing.” Then, in seventeenth and eighteenth-century Western Europe, a liberal and radical opposition movement arose, our old heroes, who championed a popular revolutionary movement on behalf of rationalism, individual liberty, minimal government, free markets and free trade, international peace, and separation of Church and State-and in opposition to Throne and Altar, to monarchy, the ruling class, theocracy, and war. These-“our people”-were the Left, and the purer their libertarian vision the more “extreme” a Left they were. So far, so good, and our analysis was not yet so different from before; but what of socialism, that movement born in the nineteenth century which we had always reviled as the “extreme left”?

Where did that fit in? Liggio analyzed socialism as a confused middle- of-the road movement, influenced historically by both the libertarian and individualist Left and by the conservative-statist Right. From the individualist Left the socialists took the goals of freedom: the withering away of the State, the replacement of the governing of men by the administration of things (a concept coined by the early nineteenth-century French laissez-faire libertarians Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer), opposition to the ruling class and the search for its overthrow, the desire to establish international peace, an advanced industrial economy and a high standard of living for the mass of the people. From the conservative Right the socialists adopted the means to attempt to achieve these goals: collectivism, state planning, community control of the individual. But this put socialism in the middle of the ideological spectrum. It also meant that socialism was an unstable, self-contradictory doctrine bound to fly apart rapidly in the inner contradiction between its means and its ends. And in this belief we were bolstered by the old demonstration of my mentor Ludwig von Mises that socialist central planning simply cannot operate an advanced industrial economy.

The Socialist movement had, historically, also suffered ideologically and organizationally from a similar inner contradiction: with Social Democrats, from Engels to Kautsky to Sidney Hook, shifting inexorably rightward into accepting and strengthening the State apparatus and becoming “left” apologists for the Corporate State, while other socialists, such as Bakunin and Kropotkin, shifted leftward toward the individualist, libertarian pole. It was clear, too, that the Communist Party in America had taken, in domestic affairs, the same “rightward” path-hence the similarity which the “extreme” red-baiters had long discerned between Communists and liberals. In fact, the shift of so many ex-Communists from left to the conservative Right now seemed to be not very much of a shift at all; for they had been pro-Big Government in the 1930s and “Twentieth Century American” patriots in the 1940s, and now they were still patriots and statists.”
          — Murray N. Rothbard, Betrayal of the American Right

Text 30 Jun 7 notes The Clash of the Positivists

"The clash of the positivists with praxeology resulted from their theory of meaning.[20] Briefly put, they held that deduction cannot give us any knowledge about the empirical world. All necessary truths are analytic; they are tautologies that are empirically meaningless. Since praxeology proceeds by deduction from a necessarily true axiom, the threat posed by positivism is apparent. Economics is supposed to apply to the world: it is not "an unearthly ghostdance of bloodless categories." If the method it uses must fail of its purpose, Misesian economics is ruined.

Mises’s most important argument against the positivists was a simple one. They purport to banish metaphysics and follow science, but their own position is metaphysical. “[T]he epistemology of positivism is itself based on a definite brand of metaphysics.”[21] If positivists accurately took note of praxeology, they would be forced to abandon their views.

Praxeology is a deductive discipline that, contrary to positivist dogma, does give us knowledge of the real world. To declare illegitimate an existing science because it violates a philosophical doctrine is itself illegitimate: Metaphysics cannot overturn science.

The force of Mises’s point is twofold. First, he himself agrees with the positivists that philosophy is subordinate to science. When he claims that a philosophic doctrine cannot overturn a conclusion of science, he speaks on his own behalf. But, more fundamentally, his argument works against the positivists even if one disagrees with Mises’s view about the relation of science to philosophy. The positivists do agree with him here: his argument is thus an effective ad hominem retort against them. They, the opponents of metaphysics, are themselves engaged in metaphysics if they reject praxeology.[22]”

Mises uses the same response to Karl Popper’s falsifiability criterion. Popper, unlike the positivists, did not take all metaphysical statements to be meaningless. He instead adopted the more limited position that all scientific statements must be capable of being proved false. The theorems of praxeology, insofar as they are deductively derived from a self-evident axiom, fail this test: nothing can falsify them.

Mises’s reply is characteristically forthright. If Popper wishes to classify praxeology as unscientific, that is his affair. The proper tests of praxeology are the truth of its axioms and the validity of its arguments. Why should it matter whether praxeology meets the criterion of science proposed by a particular writer? Why does it count against a statement that it is metaphysical in Popper’s sense? Here once more Mises uses an ad hominem argument. Like the positivists, Popper contended that definitions do not describe real essences: they are arbitrary proposals for the use of a term.[23] Mises cleverly uses this view against Popper to show that his own characterization of scientific statements is an arbitrary proposal.”

David Gordon, The Philosophical Contributions of Ludwig von Mises

Text 28 Jun 171 notes Under a laissez-faire system of private charity:
  1. The productive rich are richer, so they have more to contribute to charity.
  2. The productive poor are richer, so they are less reliant on charity, thus leaving more charitable help for the involuntarily non-productive poor.
  3. All productive individuals, being able to keep all the fruits of their labor and thus feeling that their liberty and dignity is genuinely respected, have not only the means, but, more importantly, also a genuine incentive to contribute to charity.
  4. The voluntarily non-productive poor, knowing that they have no right to live at the expense of others, have a strong incentive to become productive, thus leaving more charitable help for the involuntarily non-productive poor.

In sum, under the system in question there is less poverty, both involuntary and voluntary, and more means to eliminate it.

Under a statist system of “public welfare”:

  1. The productive rich are poorer, so they have less to contribute to the “welfare fund”, let alone to private charity.
  2. The productive poor are poorer, so they are more reliant on “public welfare”, thus leaving less “welfare aid” for the involuntarily non-productive poor.
  3. All productive individuals, being regularly expropriated of a large part of the fruits of their labor and thus feeling that they are treated like slaves or milking cows, have not only hardly any means, but, more importantly, also hardly any incentive to contribute to the “welfare fund”, let alone to private charity, or even to continue being productive.
  4. The voluntarily non-productive poor, believing that they have a right to live at the expense of others, have a strong incentive to remain non-productive, thus leaving less “welfare aid” for the involuntarily non-productive poor.

In sum, under the system in question there is more poverty, both involuntary and voluntary, and less means to eliminate it.

Make your choice wisely.”

(Source: facebook.com)

Link 18 Jun 8 notes Does Iraq Show That We Need a State?»
The excerpt below is as relevant now as it was when first published in 2003:

The same goes with ISIS and any further US intervention.

Video 12 Jun 44 notes

Making the World Safe From Democracy

Hans-Hermann Hoppe discusses why internally liberal states tend to be Imperialist powers and how the spirit of Democracy has contributed to the de-civilization in the conduct of war.

More specifically Hoppe explains the rise of the United States to the rank of the world’s foremost Imperial power, as a consequence of the transformation, from the beginnings of an Aristocratic Republic to a mass Democracy, and the role of the United States as an increasingly arrogant war monger. What stands in the way of peace and civilization is above all the state and democracy.

0:23 — Transformation of the United States
1:12 — Democratic Peace Theory
  1. Democracies do not go to war against each other
  2. Hence, entire world must be made democracy
  3. Many states are not democratic today
  4. Hence, war must be made to create lasting peace
2:10 — The Critique of the Premise and Conclusion
  • Do Democracies go to war with each-other?
4:03 — What the Post War Period Proves
4:45 — What about Democracy as Solution?
5:30 — Only Democracy and Non-Democracy?
6:43 — Transition from Monarchical to Democratic Age
7:10 — World War I
8:22 — The Results and thus World War II
  • The Mistreatment of Minorities
  • Democracy does not work in multi-ethnic societies, does not create peace but promotes conflict and has potentially genocidal tendencies
9:54 — Democracy is a stable equilibrium?
  • Oppression and extermination of minorities
11:07 — Class Warfare, Economic Crises, & Dictatorship
12:38 — Making the World Safe From Democracy

This is an excerpt from a speech entitled The Origin And Nature Of International Conflict, presented by Hans-Hermann Hoppe recipient of the 2006 Schlarbaum Award For Lifetime Defense of Liberty, Seminar: “Imperialism: Enemy of Freedom.”

Chat 10 Jun 39 notes
  • Friedman: "In my view, the fundamental conflict is not between bad men and good men but between mistaken beliefs and correct beliefs."
  • Rothbard: "Granted that life is more pleasant following this tack, but alas, it misses the crucial point. Also, it is unpleasantly reminiscent of the tactic of all ruling classes in history: criticize inflation, but never the inflators; price controls, but never the people doing the controlling, etc. The point is that sins, errors, evils, etc. are not just floating abstractions; they are committed by real persons in the real world, and therefore they cannot be combatted unless people know what is going on in the concrete and who is doing it. Who is inflating and regulating, and for what purpose? It is at that point that we realize that not just abstract error but conscious evil is being perpetrated for the sake of ill-gotten money and power." (From the Jan '81 edition of the Libertarian Forum)
Quote 8 Jun 42 notes
If a prominent politician hires a hall to make a speech, stay away; the absent audience will bring him to a realization of his nothingness. The speeches and the written statements of a political figure are designed to impress you with his importance, and if you do not listen to the one or read the other you will not be influenced and he will give up the effort. It is the applause, the adulation we accord political personages that registers our regard for the power they wield; the deflation of that power is in proportion to our disregard of these personages. Without a cheering crowd there is no parade. Social ostracism alone can bring down the top layer of political skullduggery to its moral level.
— Frank Chodorov

(Source: http)

Video 7 Jun 1 note

Justice — ‘New Lands’

The Sport of the Future. Tron meets Rollerball meets Flash Gordon.

Video 1 Jun 1 note


Hugo Redrose always delivers. Exceptional music paired with telling visuals. Images from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011).

(Source: soundcloud.com)

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