Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Libertarian’

Libertarian Lessons from the Super Bowl

Posted by M. C. on June 16, 2022

Sports teams are businesses. They are in the entertainment business. An entertainment business, like any other business, should not be promoted, subsidized, supported, protected, or financed by government any more than any other type of business. And especially when the owners of sports teams are some of the richest Americans. Government has no money of its own. It either prints it, borrows it, or confiscates it from taxpayers. 

by Laurence M. Vance

Even most non-sports fans like me know that the Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It is one of the world’s most watched sporting events, and it has the most expensive commercials (lately $7 million for 30 seconds). Some people watch the game just to see the commercials and the halftime show. Super Bowl Sunday in February is also one of the most gluttonous days of the year. In the most recent Super Bowl — number LVI, played in Inglewood, California — the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 23 to 20. The important lessons to be learned from this game, however, have nothing to do with linebackers, wide receivers, quarterbacks, penalties, touchdowns, sacks, field goals, blitzes, punts, or interceptions, but instead have to do with libertarianism.Libertarianism alone is the philosophy of freedom.
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Behind the scenes 

While the Super Bowl festivities were taking place, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), joined by more than 80 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and task forces, arrested 214 sex workers and 201 sex seekers during the seventh annual “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild.” The ostensible mission of the operation was “combating human trafficking.” Yet, according to the LASD, the vast majority of those arrested were attempting to engage in consensual sexual activities. Over 400 of the arrests involved misdemeanor prostitution, loitering for prostitution, escorting without a license suspicions, or supervising prostitution. Only seven of the 49 felony arrests involved unspecified sexual felonies related to a minor.

Up until May of 2018, before the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, betting on most sporting events was illegal across the country, except in a few states. Since that time, a number of states have legalized online sports betting. But not Texas. This is why wealthy businessman Jim McIngvale had to drive two hours from Houston to Louisiana to place a $4.5 million bet on the Cincinnati Bengals to win the Super Bowl. He later placed a similar bet for $5 million. In Louisiana, one can legally bet on sports using a mobile device, which is what McIngvale did. It has been estimated that over 31 million people placed a bet on the Super Bowl. PlayUSA (a sports betting news website) estimated that people would wager $1 billion on the Super Bowl. And that doesn’t count “illegal” wagers.

Even though California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana, in 1996, the NFL and the network that televised the Super Bowl, NBC, refused an attempt by a company located an hour from the stadium, Weedmaps — founded in 2008 to help California medical marijuana users locate dispensaries — to run a commercial that Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals said would have tried to “push the dialogue forward around cannabis.” Although the NFL and NBC prohibit marijuana-related commercials, hard liquor has been advertised during the Super Bowl since 2017. Anheuser-Busch’s Super Bowl beer commercials are well-known and celebrated. The NFL last year announced that it would no longer test players for marijuana during the off-season and is even funding research on marijuana’s health benefits.

I did not see the Super Bowl halftime show, but I am told that it featured famous hip hop singers, including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, and Eminem. The New York Times called it “a halftime spectacular heavy on nostalgia and California pride.” Some prominent conservatives, who seem to have forgotten the existence of the First Amendment, had a rather different opinion. Charlie Kirk, co-founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, remarked: “The NFL is now the league of sexual anarchy. This halftime show should not be allowed on television.” Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT! for America, commented: “The Super Bowl halftime show was basically pornography on television. Absolutely disgusting. It shouldn’t have been permitted for cable television.”

The Super Bowl was played in the most expensive stadium ever constructed. But what is even more incredible is that SoFi Stadium was built entirely with private funds. The new $5 billion stadium — which is also rented out to another NFL team, the San Diego Chargers — is part of a complex with a concert hall, a shopping center, office buildings, condos, a luxury hotel, and a 25-acre park that altogether is three times larger than nearby Disneyland. The owner of the Los Angeles Rams, billionaire businessman Stan Kroenke, helped move the Rams from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995. In St. Louis, the Rams played in the Edward Jones Dome, a $280 million stadium built with government subsidies. Even though the St. Louis stadium had not yet been paid for, Kroenke moved the Rams back to Los Angeles to begin the 2016 football season, playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until the new SoFi Stadium was completed.

So, what do prostitution, gambling, marijuana, the First Amendment, and government subsidies have to do with libertarianism?


The libertarian case against prostitution laws is straightforward. It is not the responsibility of government to legislate morality. 

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Card Carrying Member Since 1988

Posted by M. C. on June 14, 2022

I was amazed how ridiculous the Dukakis/Bush was, then I saw an LP article in the American Rifleman magazine.

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The Right to Self-Defense

Posted by M. C. on May 13, 2022

If there can be no compulsion against jurors or witnesses, then a libertarian legal order will have to eliminate the entire concept of the subpoena power. Witnesses, of course, may be requested to appear. But this voluntarism must also apply to the defendants, since they have not yet been convicted of crime.

Murray N. Rothbard

If every man has the absolute right to his justly-held property it then follows that he has the right to keep that property—to defend it by violence against violent invasion.

Absolute pacifists who also assert their belief in property rights—such as Mr. Robert LeFevre—are caught in an inescapable inner contradiction: for if a man owns property and yet is denied the right to defend it against attack, then it is clear that a very important aspect of that ownership is being denied to him. To say that someone has the absolute right to a certain property but lacks the right to defend it against attack or invasion is also to say that he does not have total right to that property.

Furthermore, if every man has the right to defend his person and property against attack, then he must also have the right to hire or accept the aid of other people to do such defending: he may employ or accept defenders just as he may employ or accept the volunteer services of gardeners on his lawn.

How extensive is a man’s right of self-defense of person and property? The basic answer must be: up to the point at which he begins to infringe on the property rights of someone else. For, in that case, his “defense” would in itself constitute a criminal invasion of the just property of some other man, which the latter could properly defend himself against.

It follows that defensive violence may only be used against an actual or directly threatened invasion of a person’s property—and may not be used against any nonviolent “harm” that may befall a person’s income or property value. Thus, suppose that A, B, C, D … etc. decide, for whatever reason, to boycott the sales of goods from Smith’s factory or store. They picket, distribute leaflets, and make speeches—all in a non-invasive manner—calling on everyone to boycott Smith. Smith may lose considerable income, and they may well be doing this for trivial or even immoral reasons; but the fact remains that organizing such a boycott is perfectly within their rights, and if Smith tried to use violence to break up such boycott activities he would be a criminal invader of their property.

Defensive violence, therefore, must be confined to resisting invasive acts against person or property. But such invasion may include two corollaries to actual physical aggression: intimidation, or a direct threat of physical violence; and fraud, which involves the appropriation of someone else’s property without his consent, and is therefore “implicit theft.”

Thus, suppose someone approaches you on the street, whips out a gun, and demands your wallet. He might not have molested you physically during this encounter, but he has extracted money from you on the basis of a direct, overt threat that he would shoot you if you disobeyed his commands. He has used the threat of invasion to obtain your obedience to his commands, and this is equivalent to the invasion itself.

It is important to insist, however, that the threat of aggression be palpable, immediate, and direct; in short, that it be embodied in the initiation of an overt act. Any remote or indirect criterion—any “risk” or “threat”—is simply an excuse for invasive action by the supposed “defender” against the alleged “threat.” One of the major arguments, for example, for the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s was that the imbibing of alcohol increased the likelihood of (unspecified) people committing various crimes; therefore, prohibition was held to be a “defensive” act in defense of person and property. In fact, of course, it was brutally invasive of the rights of person and property, of the right to buy, sell, and use alcoholic beverages.

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Watch “Hayek’s Contribution to Liberty” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on March 6, 2022

What were Friedrich Hayek’s major contributions to the principles of the free market and the free society? Join FFF president Jacob G. Hornberger and Citadel professor Richard M. Ebeling as they address that question in this week’s episode of The Libertarian Angle.

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Fellow Libertarians – If You Like RFK, Jr., You’ll Also Like Del Bigtree – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 2, 2022

By Davis Taylor

On-line shoppers often receive product suggestions, telling them that, because they liked X, they may like Y. Below is a similar kind of suggestion.

If you’re one of those libertarians who recently discovered RFK, Jr. and you like him, you’ll probably also like Del Bigtree.

The libertarian world is slowly waking up to both the importance of vaccine freedom and the importance of RFK, Jr.’s work to that issue. Amen, and long overdue, on both counts! This author has been harping on the importance of vaccine freedom, and the significance of RFK, Jr’s work, for a long time. Such harping is contained in my May 16, 2020 article, “The COVID-19 War on Liberty Has Been Brewing for Years” and in other articles written before and after that date.

RFK Jr.’s new book, The Real Anthony Fauci, seems to be playing a big part in why he is finally receiving mass attention from libertarians.

I came to understand, long before COVID-19 arrived, and to a large extent through material put out by RFK, Jr.’s organization (Children’s Health Defense (CHD)) and Bigtree’s organizations (Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN)/ The HighWire (HW)), that society was headed toward a rights crushing crisis that would center on the issue of infectious disease and vaccines.

In the pre-COVID-19 era, when many libertarians were ignoring the issue of vaccine freedom, RFK, Jr. and Bigtree were busy: gathering evidence of corruption perpetrated by the state and its corporate cronies related to infectious diseases and vaccines; organizing opposition to that corruption; using the courts to oppose the corruption; and opposing legislation aimed at expanding vaccine mandates. Their pre-COVID-19 activity in these areas allowed them to hit the ground running when COVID-19 showed up and the government added a new infectious disease and a new vaccine to its shenanigans.

The already impressive efforts of RFK, Jr. and Bigtree to stop health-related tyranny can be supercharged by collaboration with the libertarian community and by adding expertise within libertarians’ bailiwick (on nullification, decentralization, private membership associations, mutual aid societies, private certification agencies to protect consumers, free market solutions for meeting health care needs, etc.). RFK, Jr. and Bigtree have identified and exposed the problem (state/government cronyism and corruption) and are fighting it, but collaboration with libertarians will help them to identify the best solutions to it (i.e., private health care and consumer protection solutions, not more government regulation and bureaucracy to “fix” the problem).

Libertarians now seem to widely recognize that the powers that be are perpetrating a rights-grabbing scam under the pretext of protecting us from COVID-19, and that collaboration with RFK, Jr. will assist us in defeating that scam. This is progress and it fulfills a couple of my hopes. However, I would like for two more of my hopes to be met: that libertarians will widely collaborate with Bigtree like they are now doing with RFK, Jr., and that libertarians will broaden their battle against COVID-19 vaccine mandates to include fighting the existing childhood vaccine mandates.

The libertarian world will benefit from collaborating with Del Bigtree.

1. Bigtree has a weekly internet show, the HighWire, which is solely donor funded, so it has no advertisers. Because it is not Big Pharma funded like most of the MSM, the Jaxen Report, the news portion of the show, provides the news of the week related to health and health-related tyranny, without Big Pharma’s spin. Bigtree interviews scientists, medical professionals, investigative journalists, freedom advocates and others with information critical for sorting out where the true weight of the scientific evidence lies with respect to infectious diseases and vaccines and for understanding the dystopian world we’re living in.

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The Poor Forgotten Baker – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 10, 2021

The libertarian position on discrimination has nothing to do with racism, sexism, prejudice, bigotry, hate, intolerance, homophobia, or xenophobia and everything to do with freedom.

Anti-discrimination laws are an attack on property rights, freedom of association, the free market, and freedom of thought.

By Laurence M. Vance

Earlier this year, Colorado baker Jack Phillips got in trouble again for exercising what he thought was his right in a free country to discriminate. Some libertarians have been strangely quiet about his plight.

In 2013, Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, was accused by Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission (CCRD) of discriminating against a homosexual couple because he refused to bake them a cake for their “wedding.” An administrative law judge found in favor of the couple, and this was affirmed by the Commission. The decision was appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which again affirmed the Commission’s decision in 2015. A petition for a writ of certiorari was filed with the Supreme Court in 2016, and was granted in 2017. The Court, in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018), in a 7-2 vote, ruled in favor of Phillips because “the Commission’s actions here violated the Free Exercise Clause.”

But the radical left wasn’t done with Phillips.

Soon after the Supreme Court decision, Autumn Scardina—who was born and remains a man no matter how many left-libertarians call him a woman—requested that Phillips bake him a cake pink on the inside and blue on the outside to celebrate his birthday and seventh anniversary of his “gender transition” from male to female.

Phillips refused, so Scardina filed a complaint with the CCRD.

CCRD director Aubrey Elenis concluded that there was probable cause that Phillips had unlawfully denied Scardina “equal enjoyment of a place of public accommodation,” and ordered the two to enter mediation. Phillips, represented again by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), sued the state of Colorado in U.S. District Court in Denver for renewing its “crusade” again him because he again refused to bake a cake that would have violated his religious beliefs.

In March 2019, the state Attorney General’s office announced that it and Phillips’ attorneys had “mutually agreed to end their ongoing state and federal court litigation,” including the CCRD action against Phillips.

So Scardina filed a civil suit of his own in state court.

In June of this year, Denver District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones ruled that Phillips violated Colorado anti-discrimination law by refusing to bake the special cake and fined him $500. (I wonder if the judge would have likewise ruled that a Jewish baker who refused to bake a cake for Nazis in honor of Hitler’s birthday and a seamstress who refused to monogram robes for Klan members violated Colorado anti-discrimination law? Of course he wouldn’t.)

For months now I have been watching carefully the libertarian reaction to Phillips’ recent plight. It is almost non-existent from some quarters. And when the right of Phillips to discriminate is mentioned, it is usually tempered by some statement implying that his beliefs are wrong. As one prominent libertarian said back in June: “You may not agree with Phillips’ beliefs—I don’t—but a liberal, pluralistic society requires tolerance for people of different moral beliefs coexisting without using the state to crush dissent out of one another.”

CDC libertarians are so enamored with the Covid-19 vaccine that they have forgotten about the poor baker. They have been so busy telling us that private businesses have the right to require that their customers wear masks, social distance, and get the Covid-19 vaccine that they have ignored Jack Phillips. Never in their life have they talked as much about the right of businesses to discriminate as they have during the past year. But it is usually always in reference to the right of businesses to discriminate against the unmasked and the unvaccinated.

Since CDC libertarians rarely make an unequivocal case for the absolute freedom of discrimination, let me state the libertarian position on discrimination as clearly and succinctly as I can: Since discrimination—against anyone, on any basis, and for any reason—is not aggression, force, coercion, threat, or violence, the government should never prohibit it, seek to prevent it, or punish anyone for doing it.

The libertarian position on discrimination has nothing to do with racism, sexism, prejudice, bigotry, hate, intolerance, homophobia, or xenophobia and everything to do with freedom.

Anti-discrimination laws are an attack on property rights, freedom of association, the free market, and freedom of thought.

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TGIF: Who’s the Aggressor? Who’s the Victim? | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on July 17, 2021

If the point of rights theory is to enable human beings to flourish as they live side by side peacefully and cooperatively in society, then any theory that regards land and other scarce resources as jointly owned by all of humanity is in for problems. The moral is the practical.

The principle of nonaggression is universal: you may not interfere with me, and I may not interfere with you. Liberty for all means no one is aggressed against. Society should be based on consent and cooperation.

by Sheldon Richman


When a libertarian says that the most basic individual right is the right not to be aggressed against, a clever interlocutor may accuse the libertarian of begging the question, of stuffing the rabbit into the hat. The trick, the critic will say, is in the word aggress: libertarians allegedly rig the game by restricting the category of aggression to only the actions they disapprove of, thereby institutionalizing many corrupt activities.

For example, If Jones tells Smith to get off land to which Jones has legal title, is it really clear that Smith is in the wrong and Jones is in the right? The critic will offer a counter-narrative: it’s considered Jones’s land because the political system arbitrarily defines property rights in a certain way. It might have defined rights differently so that Smith could walk on the land as wishes. So why not see Jones as the aggressor against Smith?

If the libertarian responded that Jones transformed the hitherto unowned parcel by mixing his labor with it, perhaps by clearing and fencing it, the critic might respond that Jones’s act constituted aggression because, unlike yesterday and the day before, no one now may step on the land without Jones’s permission. Jones, in other words, restricts everyone else’s freedom. Who’s right and who’s wrong would depend on one’s point of view.

This case against libertarian property rights implies that land has never been unowned because it has always been owned by humanity in common. Such a position was taken most famously by Henry George. While George did not oppose individuals’ use of parcels of land, he said that users ought to have to pay land rent to the community, the true owners. This was George’s “single tax.” Murray Rothbard rebutted George’s case in both its moral and economic dimensions. (See also Rothbard’s Power and Market.)

If the point of rights theory is to enable human beings to flourish as they live side by side peacefully and cooperatively in society, then any theory that regards land and other scarce resources as jointly owned by all of humanity is in for problems. The moral is the practical. So imagine the impracticality of determining how a piece of land is to be used if everyone is to have a say in the matter. Yet if human beings are to prosper, decisions about how to use scarce resources are crucial. No one is infallible or has a monopoly of wisdom about the “best” use of resources, but we have the next best thing: the market and its price system. The market provides indispensable signals about ever-changing supplies and consumer preferences. Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek made their marks as great economists by, among other things, showing that market prices are the only things we have to relieve, insofar as possible, our ignorance about how scarce resources can be used best to serve everyone’s welfare. Private property and free markets expand rather than contract the public’s access to resources.

The critic of libertarianism may listen and nod but continue to insist that we have no objective way to tell who is the aggressor: Smith or Jones. But maybe we do.

Life is not an abstraction. Individual people are beings who live day to day through the pursuit of projects, which usually involve the cooperation of others. Since we are physical beings, that pursuit requires control over things, including land, and therefore noninterference by other people. How could we live and plan long term if our activities could be interfered with and the fruits of our efforts could be appropriated by others? I take for granted that each person is a self-owner because denial of this principle collapses in absurdity. Lincoln wrote that “if slavery isn’t wrong, nothing is wrong.” Abolitionists called slave owners “man-stealers.” If self-ownership isn’t right, then nothing is right.

The principle of nonaggression is universal: you may not interfere with me, and I may not interfere with you. Liberty for all means no one is aggressed against. Society should be based on consent and cooperation.

In the story above, if we assume Jones acquired the land justly through homesteading, purchase, or gift, then the land is part of his project, and Smith’s trespass constitutes interference with Jones’s life. (Of course, trespass can be trivial, and methods of prevention or redress would have to be proportional to the offense. Put bluntly, Jones can’t shoot Smith merely for setting foot on his land.)

Yes, in a physical sense, Jones’s ownership “interferes” with Smith’s freedom, although not his ability to live as a human being (except perhaps in an emergency). But human action is never merely physical. Justice is relevant. The same physical act can be just or unjust depending on the circumstances.

I think this demonstrates that the libertarian case does not pack its conclusions into its definition of aggression. Hard cases of course can arise, but generally we can determine who is the rightful owner and who is wrongfully interfering.

Finally, I have not tried to sort out the case of ownership clouded by historical injustice, namely, theft. What to do about this is a complicated matter, in part because of the variety of cases, on which I claim no particular wisdom. Those who wish to delve into the problem can begin by looking at what Rothbard had to say in The Ethics of Liberty.

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Classical Natural Law and Libertarian Theory | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2021

I love philosophy up to the point where I start treading it. Lottieri

Carlo Lottieri

If libertarianism wishes to give up modern political categories, it has to think about law in a different way. Murray N. Rothbard, the most important exponent of the radical libertarian school, is right when he rejects the historicism and relativism of legal realism and when—for the same reasons—he criticizes Hayek and Leoni.

But unfortunately, he does not really grasp the function of the evolution into classic natural law. Furthermore, his idea of building a libertarian code is completely inconsistent with his frequent references to the Greek and Christian legal heritage.1

In For a New Liberty, Rothbard points out that the history of a changing and evolving law can be useful in order to find just rules: “since we have a body of common law principles to draw on, however, the task of reason in correcting and amending the common law would be far easier than trying to construct a body of systematic legal principles de novo out of the thin air.”2

But the relationship between common law and natural law must be seen differently. Common law is not only an interesting tool for discovering natural law: it has its specific role. Positive law needs to interact with natural law principles, but even the latter cannot be considered as self-sufficient.

Moreover, in his defense of rationality, Rothbard does not realize that law cannot be entirely read into the praxeological framework, which is axiomatic and deductive. The division of theory and history puts some disciplines into opposition with others, but above all it makes a distinction within any single field of study.

Economics, for instance, is a theoretical science if considered as political economics, but a historical and empiric activity if it analyzes what happened in the past.3 This is also true for legal studies, because they have a theoretical part but, at the same time, include many other aspects which, on the contrary, are historical and cannot be examined using logical and a priori methods.

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Carlo LottieriCarlo Lottieri is an Italian political philosopher with the University of Siena and Istituto Bruno Leoni whose main interests are in contemporary libertarian thought. Most recently he edited an anthology of writings by Bruno Leoni.

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Four Libertarian Principles to Guide Childcare Policy

Posted by M. C. on June 28, 2021

by Laurence M. Vance

Just as many conservatives believe that the federal government should have an education policy, so many conservatives believe that the federal government should have a childcare policy.In a free society, the government would be completely indifferent as to whether anyone had children or not. It would not concern itself with their education, health care, or upbringing.
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A case in point was an event held last March held by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) titled “Should Conservatives Favor Child Allowances?,” as well as a recent article by Lyman Stone on the AEI website titled “More Choice, Fewer Costs: Four Key Principles to Guide Child Care Policy.”

According to its website, AEI

is a public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world. The work of our scholars and staff advances ideas rooted in our belief in democracy, free enterprise, American strength and global leadership, solidarity with those at the periphery of our society, and a pluralistic, entrepreneurial culture.

AEI scholars are committed to making the intellectual, moral, and practical case for expanding freedom, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening the free enterprise system in America and around the world.

Lyman Stone “is an Adjunct Fellow at AEI, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, and a former International Economist at the US Department of Agriculture.”

At the AEI event, two conservative scholars argued against a government child allowance, and one argued for it. This was followed by a panel discussion in which three conservative scholars argued against a government child allowance and two argued for it, including Stone.

In his remarks, Stone posited four “key principles that should guide policymakers as we debate childcare policies and the increase in spending in this area: choice, compensation, fairness, and cost.”

1. Choice. The government should “do more to support school choice by providing vouchers to families.” But it should also support childcare choice. Any new government spending “should give parents more choice about childcare, not less, and correspondingly should not discriminate between different parental choices.”

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This post was written by: Laurence M. Vance

Laurence M. Vance is a columnist and policy advisor for the Future of Freedom Foundation, an associated scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and a columnist, blogger, and book reviewer at He is the author of Gun Control and the Second Amendment, The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom, and War, Empire and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy. His newest books are Free Trade or Protectionism? and The Free Society. Visit his website: Send him e-mail.

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A Libertarian Look At Land, Fear, And Life After Covid – With Guest Jeff Deist

Posted by M. C. on June 4, 2021

Mises Institute president and former Rep. Ron Paul chief-of-staff Jeff Deist joins today’s Liberty Report to discuss the prospects for libertarianism and a non-violent approach to seemingly intractable disputes over land, control, and government coercion. Is the post-Covid US ripe or barren for the ideas of liberty to take hold?

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