Sunday, January 30, 2011

Even Constitutionally-limited government permits taxation to fund state or federal monopolies in policing, dispute resolution and national defense. But taxation is extortion and monopolies are inherently inefficient, not to say tyrannical.

That's why Dr. Higgs does well to recommend Dr. Glaeser read Dr. Rothbard. Forced to be free is a contradiction in terms. All we have left for a political system, morally, is natural order anarchy. I know it sounds risky. But what can possibly be riskier than a state-sanctioned protection racket, even if it purports to be limited?

Even on the minarchists own terms, limited government never stays limited. Neither parchment nor eternal vigilance does anything to constrain it. How can it? The parchment's alive and the masses are readily distracted.

No, we have to put the kibosh to the very concept itself. Put the parchment out of its misery. Kill the State.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Does a senseless act of mass murder qualify as a "terrorist attack"? What political ends did that lunatic in Tucson seek to advance?

"Blood libel" refers only to a specific anti-Semitic slander? So what do we call it when Iraqi soldiers are unjustly accused of yanking Kuwaiti babies from their incubators and tossing them onto the cold, hard floor to writhe in pain and die? How about evil German scientists turning human flesh into soap and lampshades in concentration camps? Why, for that matter, isn't it a blood libel to accuse a ditz like Sarah Palin of understanding the term "blood libel"?

I like to think words have meaning. "Terrorism" and "blood libel," apparently, have no meaning. In happy contrast, the words making up my subject line fairly ooze meaning.

And Simon Greer of the Jewish Funds for Justice declared:

"We are deeply disturbed by Fox News commentator Sarah Palin's decision to characterize as a 'blood libel' the criticism directed at her following the terrorist attack in Tucson. The term 'blood libel' is not a synonym for 'false accusation.' It refers to a specific falsehood perpetuated by Christians about Jews for centuries, a falsehood that motivated a good deal of anti-Jewish violence and discrimination. Unless someone has been accusing Ms. Palin of killing Christian babies and making matzoh from their blood [emphasis added], her use of the term is totally out-of-line. [...]


Saturday, January 08, 2011

"I think it is pretty silly to consider a fetus to be an "invader". Sheesh, people! If some people want to be able to kill their unborn, they should live in places where that is considered acceptable. If others don't like that, they should live where it is unacceptable. In either case, they should have some control over their own behavior. Problem solved!"

~Paul, Strike-the-Root, January 6, 2011

As someone with strong pro-life sympathies, this seems an eminently reasonable position to me, and it probably lies at the heart of the societal order that would spontaneously arise under an anarcho-capitalist society--this being the kind of society the ostensibly pro-choice Rothbard (whom I admire) recommended. There's a market for safety, liberty and order. Under anarcho-capitalism, people--or, more likely, their insurance companies--would hire private security agencies (PSAs) and dispute resolution organizations (DROs) to meet the demand for safety, liberty and order.

PSAs would defend rights to life and property. DROs would resolve conflicts revolving around those rights. There will be conflicts. After all, even if we're all anarcho-capitalists, we don't all agree on what constitutes a right. Even if we agree on what constitutes a right, we don't know how to act when confronted with a situation in which fundamental rights conflict. That's what makes abortion such an excruciating issue.

The fetus bears a striking resemblance to a miniature human being. Does it have a right to life? Without regard to its mother's rights? Does the fetus' right to life trump the mother's right to privacy and personal sovereignty? Does the mother's privacy rights trump the fetus' right to life? Is there a timeline where one party's right outweighs the other's? Who decides? Using what criteria?

Under anarcho-capitalism, some of us will fund PSAs whose mission includes the forcible protection of fetus' lives. We won't be entirely happy with the forcible part, but we'll condone it as reasonable defense of an innocent life. Conversely, others of us will fund competing PSAs whose mission includes protecting the rights of pregnant women to do whatever they want with their own bodies. These PSAs will be charged with forcibly repelling those who would abridge a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy. Again, we won't be happy with the forcible part, but we'll condone it as reasonable defense of an adult's privacy and personal sovereignty. Still others of us will find ourselves torn on the issue, or crassly interested only in paying lower insurance premiums, and thus fund PSAs that take a completely hands-off position on the issue--neither protecting fetuses from "pro-choice" PSAs nor protecting pregnant women from "pro-life" PSAs.

What will the DROs do when confronted with PSAs with conflicting consumer interests? As Paul suggests, the DROs' resolution will probably involve geography. If you want to have an abortion, you'll have to live in Ruritania. If you want to live where you and your neighbors can't have an abortion, you'll have to live in Outer Ruritania.

Granted, the stalwarts on either side won't be happy with this resolution. The fact remains the most diehard American right-to-lifer today is interested only in banning abortion in the U.S. He doesn't want to wage war against pro-choice nations to make them right-to-life. By the same token, the most diehard pro-choicer doesn't want to enforce reproductive rights in right-to-life nations. Maybe pro-choice and pro-life by geography is the best we can do.


Tony, we are of the same mind. Thanks for this.

New book: Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century:

On Sat, Jan 8, 2011 at 11:21 AM, wrote:

My Austro-libertarian views are well known in my circle of associates, which includes a number of traditionalist Catholics. I find their attacks startling in their banality. Invariably, they fall under one of two logical fallacies: ad hominen ("Mises and Rothbard were Jewish atheists!") or appeals to authority ("If you read Chesterton or Belloc, you'll see why the free market conflicts with Catholic morality!").

I have to wonder whether finding beauty and truth in calculus likewise puts one's soul in peril. Raised Anglican, Sir Isaac Newton came to reject orthodox Christianity. He embraced Arianism and dabbled in the occult, claiming weird gnostic insights into Scripture. Clearly, no good can come from studying this branch of mathematics, as Newton did so much to develop it.

Tony Pivetta
Royal Oak, Michigan


Friday, January 07, 2011

Maybe disassembling and reassembling the Hoover Dam won't work--but waging war on another two-bit country will! Make-work jobs are the key! That's how the American colonialists transformed the howling wilderness into an envy-of-the-world industrial machine!

Forget Bastiat's Broken Window. Goods and services have nothing to do with the creation of wealth.

Move over, China! Your days of closing the gap are over!,18727/

Revamped WPA To Create 50,000 New Jobs By Disassembling, Reassembling Hoover Dam

WASHINGTON—In an effort to boost the economy and promote job growth, representatives from the newly revived Works Progress Administration announced Thursday their plan to dismantle, piece by piece, the 3.25 million cubic yards of concrete forming the Hoover Dam, and then immediately rebuild it. "This is a vital initiative," said WPA director Ted Doogan, who was appointed last week. "Systematically tearing down such a massive edifice will create at least 25,000 jobs over the next five years. And then reassembling it, using all the same pieces in the exact same configuration, will employ another 25,000 workers. America is back." Other public works projects currently underway include the bulldozing of libraries, the burning of national forests, and the defacing of public murals, which will be followed by a massive plan to rebuild libraries, revive national forests, and repaint public murals.


"Regulatory capture"? What does this mean, "regulatory capture"? Sounds like good old-fashioned TReason-Catoite dynamism to me.

So Flint wields political capital. What's wrong with that? Don't you want free exchange backed by guns backed by badges? What are you, some sort of anarchist?

Without political capital, Flint execs would be lurking in alleys, wielding guns without badges, waiting to mug us. In a free society, the EPA does it for them.

Grow up. Order is just another word for centralized chaos.