Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Murray N. Rothbard’ The Government Shutdown and The Fallacy of the “Public Sector”

Posted by M. C. on January 22, 2019

Below is a reprint of a Murray Rothbard essay particularly relevant at this time of the partial government shutdown. It was originally appeared in the New Individualist Review (Summer, 1961)

The Fallacy of the “Public Sector”
By Murray N. Rothbard

We have heard a great deal in recent years of the “public sector,” and solemn discussions abound through the land on whether or not the public sector should be increased vis-à-vis the “private sector.” The very terminology is redolent of pure science, and indeed it emerges from the supposedly scientific, if rather grubby, world of “national-income statistics.” But the concept is hardly wertfrei; in fact, it is fraught with grave, and questionable, implications.

In the first place, we may ask, “public sector” of what? Of something called the “national product.” But note the hidden assumptions: that the national product is something like a pie, consisting of several “sectors,” and that these sectors, public and private alike, are added to make the product of the economy as a whole. In this way, the assumption is smuggled into the analysis that the public and private sectors are equally productive, equally important, and on an equal footing altogether, and that “our” deciding on the proportions of public to private sector is about as innocuous as any individual’s decision on whether to eat cake or ice cream. The State is considered to be an amiable service agency, somewhat akin to the corner grocer, or rather to the neighborhood lodge, in which “we” get together to decide how much “our government” should do for (or to) us. Even those neoclassical economists who tend to favor the free market and free society often regard the State as a generally inefficient, but still amiable, organ of social service, mechanically registering “our” values and decisions.
One would not think it difficult for scholars and laymen alike to grasp the fact that government is not like the Rotarians or the Elks; that it differs profoundly from all other organs and institutions in society; namely, that it lives and acquires its revenues by coercion and not by voluntary payment. The late Joseph Schumpeter was never more astute than when he wrote, “The theory which construes taxes on the analogy of club dues or of the purchase of the services of, say, a doctor only proves how far removed this part of the social sciences is from scientific habits of mind.”1…

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The Freedom Crisis | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 18, 2018

The Freedom Crisis

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[This talk was delivered at the Mises Institute’s 2018 Ron Paul-Mises Circle In Lake Jackson, Texas.]

There is a crisis, and only you, and people like you, can get us out of it.

What is this crisis? On the one hand, the statist order is collapsing all around us. America is mired in a futile war in Afghanistan. A belligerent policy toward Iran threatens to bring about a new war in the Middle East. And let’s not forget about North Korea, where the danger of a nuclear war is by no means over.

On the domestic front, the Fed continues the manipulation of our economy which led to the 2008 crisis. Government debt is rising to an unprecedented level.

Thanks to the works of great thinkers and scholars like Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard, we know the solution to the problems that the State causes. Freedom is the answer. Only a completely free market economy and a non–interventionist foreign policy can solve our problems.

And people want to hear our message. The magnificent success of Dr. Ron Paul inspires all of us. His books, including End the Fed and The Revolution: A Manifestoare best sellers.

Now we are in a position to understand the crisis I spoke about earlier. Freedom means the right to hold controversial, un-PC opinions, and to act on these opinions, so long as you don’t commit aggression. But today the lunatic left is trying to suppress those who hold opinions like ours. If they had their way, we would be completely silenced. Unfortunately, there are so-called left “libertarians” who have joined this campaign of suppression. They demand that libertarians embrace the complete PC agenda. It is because of this sad situation that we need to support alternative media.

Here is a sample of what we are up against. Jeremy Waldron is a well-known legal academic who has taught at Oxford and now teaches at NYU Law School. In The Harm in Hate Speech, he calls for suppression of so-called “hate speech,” which really means anything that is un-PC.

Hate speech, Waldron tells, us, consists of “publications which express profound disrespect, hatred, and vilification for the members of minority groups”

Why should we restrict hate speech? Waldron says it is like environmental pollution:

tiny impacts of millions of actions — each apparently inconsiderable in itself — can produce a large-scale toxic effect that, even at the mass level, operates insidiously as a sort of slow-acting poison, and that regulations have to be aimed at individual actions with that scale and that pace of causation in mind.

But why does contagion operate only with bad effects? Will not the cumulative effects of a series of individual encounters in which members of minority groups are treated with equal respect generate a positive atmosphere of assurance, in precisely the same way that Waldron postulates for the amassing of hate messages? Waldron assumes without argument a quasi–Gresham’s law of public opinion, in which bad opinion drives out good.

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How Our Freedom Developed – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2017

Murray N. Rothbard has infuriated me! I learned exponentially more from this text than from every American history class I have ever taken and every history text book I was forced to purchase – combined. I paid $4 American (in 2014 dollars) for this collection on eBook. When compared to the several thousand I spent in college courses and American History text books, this has to be the greatest value ever. If Rothbard had only expanded his scope to include math, physical science, and engineering…well, I could have gotten my entire undergraduate education for less than $20. How dare he stick to the social sciences! Read the rest of this entry »

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