Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘progressive’

On Slavery @ 9:30 to 11:00

Posted by M. C. on May 26, 2022

~You can’t say slavery is wrong unless you also believe in individual sovereignty and individual intrinsic value~. Marxist/progressive rants on slavery can’t make sense other than to score political points.

This episode was recorded on April 4, 2022. I discussed gratitude, faith, and suffering in this conversation at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. How can we be sure that pain is a solid guiding principle as we navigate the world? What is the underlying structure of pain, and what does it point at? We also touched on a myriad of topics around those central themes, such as sin and the symbol of the snake, giving advice, resurrection, the relationship between faith and suffering, evil, the effect we have on others, and sunsets.

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Leftists Have It Wrong on Rights

Posted by M. C. on February 7, 2022

Not even the crafters of the Bill of Rights believed that. A careful reading of the First Amendment reveals that it doesn’t purport to give any rights to anyone. Instead, the wording states that Congress (and implicitly the rest of the federal government) is prohibited from infringing on people’s right of free speech. 

Thus when the government enacts a law or adopts a measure that infringes on freedom of speech, leftists are relegated to saying, “We understand that you have given us this important privilege but please be nice and don’t infringe on it.” Libertarians, on the other hand, say, “You have no legitimate authority to do that and so stop it immediately or else we will alter you or abolish you!”

by Jacob G. Hornberger

One of the central defects among leftists (that is, “liberals,” progressives, socialists, or interventionists) is their wrong-headed view of the nature of people’s rights. Their belief on this issue is one of the distinguishing characteristics between leftists and libertarians.

Leftists believe that people’s rights come from the government or from the Constitution. As such, they view rights not so much as rights but rather more as government-granted privileges.

Libertarians, on the other hand, believe that people’s rights are endowed in them by nature and God and, therefore, that people’s rights preexist government and the Constitution. We hold that the main purpose of government is to serve as our servant whose job is to protect the exercise of our natural, God-given rights. 

A good example of this leftist mindset was recently expressed in a fundraising letter I received from a leftist group called the Daily Kos. The letter stated that freedom of speech is “one of those rights granted to us in Bill of Rights.” It went on to refer to “our First Amendment rights.”

Not even the crafters of the Bill of Rights believed that. A careful reading of the First Amendment reveals that it doesn’t purport to give any rights to anyone. Instead, the wording states that Congress (and implicitly the rest of the federal government) is prohibited from infringing on people’s right of free speech. 

In other words, unlike American leftists today, our American ancestors didn’t believe that people’s rights come from the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or from the government. They believed in what the Declaration of Independence stated — that man’s rights come from nature and God and that it is the responsibility of government to protect, not destroy, the exercise of such rights.

We are not just talking about a semantical difference here. The difference between how leftists and libertarians view the nature of rights has profound consequences. 

Given that leftists believe that their rights come from the government, they necessarily put themselves in a position of pleading, or perhaps even begging, that government go easy on them — that is, that government officials give them more latitude in exercising their “rights.” 

Thus, leftists view freedom as living on a leash — they just want the government to let them have a longer leash. What happens when the government begins reining in the leash? Leftists have no principled argument to make against what the government is doing. Since people’s rights come from government, leftists believe, then government can legitimately rein in the leash whenever it wants. 

Not so with libertarians. Unlike leftists, we are not relegated to pleading with or begging the government to treat us nicely. That’s because for us our rights don’t come from government. They preexist government. Government officials are nothing more than our servants whose job is to protect our rights. If they fail or refuse to do so — or if they use their power to destroy or infringe our rights — we have the right to alter or even abolish government and restore its rightful responsibility — the responsibility to behave as our servants whose job is to protect the exercise of our preexisting natural, God-given rights.

Thus when the government enacts a law or adopts a measure that infringes on freedom of speech, leftists are relegated to saying, “We understand that you have given us this important privilege but please be nice and don’t infringe on it.” Libertarians, on the other hand, say, “You have no legitimate authority to do that and so stop it immediately or else we will alter you or abolish you!”

The leftist view of the nature of rights is one reason why you can never count on leftists to protect our rights and liberties. Anyone who wants a genuine defense of our rights and liberties needs to join up with us libertarians. 


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The Swiss Way – Taki’s Magazine – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on January 12, 2022

Impartiality is now an unknown word to young journalists, who have been brainwashed to see only diversity or lack thereof. Which brings us to the surreal misinformation world that the Zuckerbergs, Dorseys, and Soroses of our society control. This world is the ultimate tyranny, the victory of evil over good, the end of the greatest civilization ever‚ that of Christian Europe and America.


A revisionist-historian-anthropologist-anarchist, whose name is not important because his works are based on personal assumptions and prejudices, insists in a book he co-wrote before his recent death that agriculture was to blame for the sorry state humanity finds itself in at present. According to the departed, hunter-gatherers lived happily in bands, then agriculture was invented, and that led to surpluses, population growth, private property, tribes, cities, chiefs, tyrants, bureaucrats, kings, capitalism, and so on.

I could have told him as much—and I’m no genius, far from it, unlike the departed, who has been called an intellectual superstar by those sandal-wearing (with socks) bearded horrors of the left, otherwise known as professors. The anarchist virtuoso claims that long before the Athenians, in Mesopotamia, councils and citizen assemblies had real power and authority. Another genius, the great classical scholar Taki, disputes that particular theory based on his close friendship with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. “These tales originate with con men who spread fake news for profit in the agora and have been and will be around forever,” according to the three wise Greeks. Read The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and the rest of the lefty media for con men.

Any theory, however outlandish and ridiculous, is grist for publicity-hungry wannabes nowadays, so I won’t go on about how magnificently people in Tarzan loin skins democratically managed their affairs. What I will do is praise the Athenian system because it was selective democracy, the purest of the pure of all systems as far as my direct ancestor Taki the elder was concerned.

Not too long after Jimmy Carter had vacated the White House, at a rather rowdy New York party, I posed the question of selective democracy to him. Admittedly I was in my cups, but my question was valid: “Why should a violent drug dealer have the same right to vote as a brilliant doctor or scientist who has benefited society?” “It’s an interesting question,” said Jimmy, before signaling to his Secret Service people to gently remove me. The ancients had no doubts about this, nor did the Brits until recently. One had to show responsibility before earning the right to vote. As I write, in New York, the state assembly has passed a law permitting noncitizens to vote in local elections.

See the rest here

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American Cities Are Socialist Nightmares

Posted by M. C. on December 11, 2021

 They want people to accept oppression and hopelessness as their lot in life, as Medieval lords of old rode roughshod over the peasants and ground them to dust

by Scott McPherson

America’s cities are petri dishes of “progressive” governance. Anyone who cares to see the consequences of radical left-wing policies need look no further than our country’s urban centers. From the monstrous modernist architecture to decaying infrastructure, they look more like Soviet hell than the once-thriving metropolises that were the envy of the modern world.A genuine Renaissance in our cities is possible, if only today’s “progressives” would get out of the way.
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The English historian James Bryce called Medieval cities “centers of … intellect and freedom.” Peasants flocked to urban environments. Now the stream flows the other way. City denizens today labor under oppressive, insouciant regimes more akin in spirit to those suffered by the struggling, land-bound serfs of the past.

Students aren’t receiving anything remotely close to an adequate education in crumbling government-run schools dominated by unions more interested in feathering their nest than teaching. Any talk of change sends these tax-funded minions into the street, screaming about more tax funding and, of course, “the children”—despite the already astronomical costs associated with “public” education and its long-running record of failure. Kids don’t learn the basics, but they do learn to be treated like prisoners.

City governments penalize hardworking adults with large bureaucracies that micro-manage private businesses and require a license to engage in virtually every trade. Zoning laws prevent cottage industries. Rent control gives landlords an incentive to let their buildings fall apart. Income, sales, and property taxes take from the productive to fund a welfare system providing substandard housing in impoverished neighborhoods. Generations live in indigence.

The drug war keeps police officers chasing dealers and consumers instead of murderers, rapists, and robbers. City streets have been turned into war zones, where drug gangs kill each other over “their” territory and law-abiding citizens—the overwhelming majority—are caught in the crossfire. Continuous run-ins with police, especially in poor neighborhoods, leave residents feeling like they are under the heel of an occupying army. Even worse, gun control laws keep them disarmed and powerless.

Politicians are utterly clueless. Their campaign promises to fix roads, “fix our schools,” deal with rising crime, and “restore trust” in elected officials are quietly forgotten the day after every election, lost in the midst of all the cocktail parties. Wealthy elites, working hand-in-glove with local governments, boast of “proudly” paying their exorbitant taxes, congratulating themselves for caring so much despite the continued and growing hardships suffered by those (much) further down the socio-economic ladder. Few question the role played by government in keeping out competition and innovation.

These failures are not accidental. What you see is a natural consequence of intentional government meddling in virtually every part of people’s lives. Officious bureaucrats, prison-like schools, onerous taxes and regulations, and a heavy police presence are baked into the leftist mindset. They want people to accept oppression and hopelessness as their lot in life, as Medieval lords of old rode roughshod over the peasants and ground them to dust.

Predictions abound that the United States is on the decline, that we are entering a period of rising crime and continued social and economic deterioration. Many have completely given up on cities, abandoning them to criminal gangs and Democratic Party machines (often one and the same); in despair, they retreat to the suburbs or rural settings. One thing is certain: If we continue on the present course, our once-thriving, beautiful, safe, and exciting cities will collapse in ruins. However, this is not a foregone conclusion—if we instead embrace the principles of freedom and the free market.

Our broken education system can be fixed, if we separate school and state; parents, extended families, and even whole neighborhoods can unite to provide instruction in private homes or rented spaces. Free from the yoke of unions and politicians, kids can learn and thrive. The elimination of zoning laws would free people to open businesses close to home, or even to utilize areas of the city abandoned by the political class. Abolishing barriers to entry, like occupational licensing laws, would open up every industry to competition; consumers, not city employees (who often act to protect entrenched interests), would decide for themselves if a tradesman was honest, competent, and dependable. Police resources can be used to catch actual criminals; a private citizen engaged in peaceful commerce should never fear the gendarmes at his door. Finally, the dignity of all people should be acknowledged by repealing laws that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. The armed, free citizen is the surest way to take back city streets from the criminal class.

A genuine Renaissance in our cities is possible, if only today’s “progressives” would get out of the way.

This post was written by: Scott McPherson

Scott McPherson is a policy adviser at the Future of Freedom Foundation, and author of Freedom and Security: The Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. An advocate of the Free State Project, he lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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Yes, They Are Coming for the Oil Companies | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 20, 2021

William L. Anderson

n his first year in office, President Joe Biden has made it absolutely clear that he wants to make the oil and natural gas industries disappear. While even a progressive like Biden knows that it would be economically (and, one would hope, politically) disastrous to destroy those industries during his brief term, nonetheless Biden is setting things into motion in which the regulatory and law enforcement apparatus of the central government are quietly but effectively declaring war on what has been one of the most productive industries in US history.

The Biden administration and its allies are looking at a multipronged approach, with the first being efforts at trying to starve the industry of capital. As Biden appointees take over the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), they are turning what once was an agency that regulated capital markets into an environmental regulator:

Under the Biden administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will require public companies to disclose how operations contribute to climate change and what is being done to comply with greenhouse gas emission guidelines.

Former Acting SEC Chair Allison Herren Lee released a statement in July that laid out the update to disclosure requirements. The SEC will evaluate how companies follow climate change guidelines from 2010, discuss the climate-related disclosures with companies, then examine the impact of climate risks on the stock market. The commission will then update the guidelines, most likely resulting in an expansion of disclosure from companies on how their business affects the environment. (emphasis mine)

While some have called this “regulatory overreach,” there is nothing surprising or shocking about this. The Biden administration response to anything it can tie to “climate change” is going to be heavy-handed and expansive, especially since regulators now believe they have been near-divinely appointed to bring better weather to planet Earth.

(For numerous reasons, I am not going into the actual scientific claims regarding climate change, except to say that given the history of governmental initiative failures, I am not optimistic that the Biden administration through heavy-handed edicts can reduce hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters that the ancients once called “acts of God.” Furthermore, no logical person can make a direct connection between Biden’s “Build Back Better” program and better weather.)

One only can imagine how far the SEC will take these so-called disclosure requirements. The idea is to mandate actions that appear to make firms look as though they are “fighting climate change.” For example, Amazon has been advertising that it will engage in corporate “responsibility” by making its delivery fleet all electric in the coming year. Likewise, Ford Motor Company has announced plans to spend billions of dollars on new plants that will make batteries and electric vehicles.

Whether these are “wise” business decisions is another matter. Certainly, they are politically wise in that Ford and Amazon will receive praise from the usual progressive suspects for their investment decisions, although I doubt that the progressive ruling class will let up on either company. Amazon’s so-called commitment to “fighting climate change” still is not going to keep the company from being accused of monopolistic behavior and union busting, along with the usual hysterical attacks that emanate from both the New York Times and the New Republic on the left and the American Conservative on the right, and one can be sure that sooner or later, the US Department of Justice and/or the Federal Trade Commission will be filing lawsuits against Amazon.

But investments must have a certain return in order to be worth undertaking, and given the current state of the US electric grids and the reach of present (and near-future) technology, it is doubtful that this multibillion-dollar turn toward going electric is going to have a return on investment that would come close to buying and building conventional gas- and diesel-powered vehicles. One doubts seriously that if the political climate were not so hostile to oil and gas, Ford and Amazon would be running on batteries.

But there is an even bigger threat to the oil industry than just Ford and Amazon wanting to go electric: there is a movement from the left to charge oil and gas executives with “crimes against humanity” that almost surely will engulf the Democratic Party as it continues to become radicalized. For now, those calling for imprisonment of energy industry leaders are publications like Jacobin, Common Dreams, Gizmodo, and The Guardian, but as the Left continues to march through all of the major institutions in Europe and North America, such a scenario easily could become mainstream in a short time.

Of course, the notion that oil executives “knew” something about “climate change” that was hidden from everyone else is sheer nonsense. There is no other way to describe that belief, but we already know from modern experience that nonsense has become the ruling ideology of progressives in this country. For those that believe that justice or the “rule of law” would prevail in an ideological climate, one is reminded of a quote from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago: If the intellectuals in the plays of Chekhov, who spent all their time guessing what would happen in twenty, thirty, or forty years, had been told that in forty years interrogation by torture would be practiced in Russia; that prisoners would have their skulls squeezed with iron rings; that a human being would be lowered into an acid bath; that they would be trussed up naked to be bitten by ants and bedbugs; that a ramrod heated over a primus stove would be thrust up their anal canal (the ‘secret brand’); that a man’s genitals would be slowly crushed beneath the toe of a jackboot; and that, in the luckiest possible circumstances, prisoners would be tortured by being kept from sleeping for a week, by thirst, and by being beaten to a bloody pulp, not one of Chekhov’s plays would have gotten to its end because all the heroes would have gone off to insane asylums.

While progressives have not (at least yet) reached the depths of the commissars Bernie Sanders used to admire (and probably still does), nonetheless they understand something about the destruction of a society and its economy and seem eager to do what they can. From the Green New Deal, in which progressives believe they can centrally plan an entire economy, to the current “divestment” movement to keep new capital from the oil and gas industries, progressives believe they can somehow improve American lives by making them substantially poorer.

And it is not just the Far Left that is looking to find ways to throw oil and gas executives in prison. The New York State attorney general’s office is currently “investigating” oil companies and Massachusetts also has launched a “probe” into the question of whether oil executives “misled the public” about the horrors of climate change. One can expect other blue state attorney generals to do the same as the divide continues to grow between progressives and the people that are harmed by progressive governance.

The rush to destroy the oil and gas industries is coming from the political, academic, religious, corporate, and entertainment elites in this country, and they don’t care about the ramifications of their actions, and why should they? As elites, they are in the upper-income echelons of society, live in gated communities, and can afford the inconveniences of electric vehicles, which are a symbol to others of their “commitment” to “fighting climate change.”

Nonelites, however, do not have the same privileges, and they are the ones that would face the empty shelves in stores, the shortages, freezing in their homes in the winter, and dealing with summer heat without air conditioning. People in rural areas would find themselves back in the throes of poverty that they left decades ago, thanks to those fossil fuels that the progressives regularly demonize.

Not that the elites would care. Despite their claims that destroying the oil and gas industries would “improve the lives of working-class Americans,” there is no way to keep up even a semblance of our present standard of living without adequate electricity and fuels. Windmills, solar panels, and other renewables cannot replace what already exists no matter how much rhetoric comes from Joe Biden’s office.

Without getting into arguments about fossil fuels and climate change, one of the so-called smoking guns has been the series of massive wildfires on the West Coast. While progressives blame climate change, perhaps they should look in the mirror. Having been successful for the past few decades in setting off vast tracts of forests in the name of “protecting” the lands and forbidding logging, they forget that when there is no land management, trees grow closer together, they die, and they are easier victims of blight and insect damage. The result is that the forests become extremely combustible, and when they inevitably burn, the fires become conflagrations. But it always is easier to blame Exxon. Author:

Contact William L. Anderson

William L. Anderson is a professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

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A Left Turn Toward Biased Ignorance – Issues & Insights

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2021

“In other words, voters were twice as likely to believe certain progressive myths than conservative ones,” according to the report. No doubt that’s a residual effect from our left-leaning media, which now spews socialist “narratives” instead of facts.

I & I Editorial Board

With the extreme left culturally ascendant, many of our most treasured and valuable national institutions have become houses of progressive Groupthink. Meanwhile, our nation’s founding principles, basic morality, values and even science have come under sustained hostile ideological assault by both the media and academia. Bias and ignorance have been institutionalized. Sadly, according to a new report, voters bear much of the blame for this.

No question, America is a mess. But how did it get that way? The simple answer, the poll of voters suggests, is ignorance, along with pervasive media and political bias.

The study is based on a survey of voters taken shortly after the 2020 presidential election by Just Facts, which describes itself as “a non-profit institute dedicated to publishing comprehensive, straightforward, and rigorously documented facts about public policy issues.”

The group’s most recent study is eye-opening.

It shows, Just Facts says, “that the vast bulk of voters have embraced false and harmful dogmas that accord with their political views.” This, it adds, is largely due to what’s called confirmation bias, “the human tendency to reflexively accept anything that accords with one’s preexisting beliefs and ignore or twist everything that defies them.”

It’s true that both sides of the political debates have their biases.

For instance, among Trump voters, some 76% believe that incomes for the middle class fell during the Obama years. In fact, on average they rose by $5,300.

No group is perfect. But those on the left show themselves to be, well, delusional about what they know and don’t know.

For instance, among Biden voters, 88% believe police are more likely to use deadly force when arresting black Americans than white ones. Wrong. In fact, they’re 42% less likely to use deadly force against blacks.

This, as much as anything, might illustrate why cities around the nation now are wracked by race riots and political violence by far-left extremists like BLM and Antifa. Ignorant voters decry the violence and property destruction, but then excuse it and vote for those who propagate it.

As for the impacts of climate change, only about 38% of Trump voters but 86% of Biden voters believe that the number of powerful, destructive tornadoes has increased since the 1950s. This, by the way, is part of the left’s narrative that global warming has created far-reaching climatic changes, among them violent tornadoes.

Not true. In fact, the average number of violent hurricanes has fallen somewhat.

We could go on. Just Facts asked 21 such questions of 1,000 randomly selected people in their survey, enough for a 3% margin of error.

The average voter correctly answered just 38% of the questions, were wrong 51% of the time, and unsure 10% of the time. A majority could only answer four of the 21 questions correctly.

Think of that when an HR1 supporter says we need more uninformed people voting to “perfect our democracy.”

Perhaps showing the effects of a pervasively left-biased mainstream media, wrong answers strongly correlated to partisan agendas. The data clearly showed this: An average of 57% of the incorrect answers were liberally misinformed, while just 28% were conservatively misinformed.

“In other words, voters were twice as likely to believe certain progressive myths than conservative ones,” according to the report. No doubt that’s a residual effect from our left-leaning media, which now spews socialist “narratives” instead of facts.

And therein lies the rub.

Because, as it turns out, the left are far more likely to believe things and propagate ideas that are factually false than are people on the right. That’s of course completely contrary to the media’s repeated claims that leftists and progressives are more attuned to “science” and “fact-based” reality than conservatives are.

“For all 10 of the questions in which the electorate was most deluded, the wrong answers they gave concurred with progressive narratives propagated by the media,” the voter study showed. “Moreover, the false answers they gave were often far removed from reality, not just slightly mistaken.”

As an example, Just Facts noted, some 66% of voters thought that by doubling the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, poor families would see their average incomes rise by 25% or more. The real number, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office from actual labor market and income data, is about 1%.

One final point. Here’s the breakdown for the rate of wrong answers given to the survey’s questions, by demographic and voting group. The numbers speak for themselves.

  • 61% for Biden voters
  • 56% for 18- to 34-year olds
  • 53% for females
  • 51% for 35- to 64-year olds
  • 51% for 65+ year olds
  • 49% for males
  • 42% for Trump voters

Please remember this the next time some leftist in the media tries to convince you how bright, humane and enlightened the sinistral side of the political spectrum is. And you can expect this delusion to get even worse as the Democratic Party continues its very own political gender “transition” to becoming a straight-up, no-apologies Socialist Party.

As President Reagan said, oh-so politely, years ago, “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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Progressive Christian Hopes Heaven Will Feature Segregated Spaces For Every Tribe, Tongue, Nation

Posted by M. C. on March 22, 2021

Heaven has responded and confirmed Jenks’s worst fears but also said Jenks won’t be there anyway, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

MONTEREY, CA—Local progressive Christian Charlie Jenks was pondering the promise of Scripture that in the new heaven and the new earth there will be people from every tongue, tribe, and nation worshiping Jesus. Jenks prides himself on accepting all cultures and races that aren’t white, but the verse troubled him nonetheless.

“I’m cool with all the tribes, tongues, and nations — but I hope they each have their own segregated spaces,” he remarked Friday while taking a stroll along the beach. “Can you imagine all the races melted together as one big multitude worshiping Christ? Ugh. Gives me the willies.”

In fact, Jenks says, having all the races together without their own safe spaces to be separated from the colonizing oppressor races, would be more like hell than heaven.

“Frankly, if it’s going to be all the races together and we can’t have separate and segregated Wedding Feasts of the Lamb for each and every culture on earth, then I don’t want any part of it.”

Heaven has responded and confirmed Jenks’s worst fears but also said Jenks won’t be there anyway, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

“Well, that’s a relief,” the man said.

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After Long Day Of Burning Books, Progressive Unwinds By Calling People Nazis

Posted by M. C. on March 9, 2021

PORTLAND, OR—It’s been a busy day for progressive Stuart Garner. After spending most of the day fighting to have certain books banned and trying to stop unfettered free speech, he wound down by accusing those opposed to him of being Nazis.

“There’s just so much to do,” Garner said. “There are all these books no one should be allowed to read, and yet bookstores keep selling them. And then people say lots of dangerous, unregulated things, and it all needs to be taken offline. But of course, we have these Nazis against such things saying, ‘People should be able to buy whatever books they like and say what they think.’ Typical Nazi rhetoric.”

The situation has gotten so dire that Garner has sometimes turned to destruction of property and attacking people to get his way. “We have to stop all this problematic stuff by whatever means necessary. But you know what Nazis think of political violence. They hate it.”

Garner worries that there are too many Nazis out there — probably because they didn’t ban books and regulate speech quickly enough. He’s starting to wonder if the only way to fight them will be to round them up and reeducate them. “Of course I can hear those Nazis now,” he added. “‘You can’t round people up into camps.’ Those Nazis are the worst.”

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Progressive Surprised To Learn He Can Still Wear Mask Even Without Government Forcing Him To

Posted by M. C. on March 6, 2021

Progressives across the state, however, began to grow worried that they would now have to start to make their own decisions about their health. What’s worse, they would have to take responsibility for their actions when it comes to where they go, whether or not they mask, and whether or not they social distance.

AUSTIN, TX—As Texas removed its mask mandate this week, many progressives were shocked to learn that they could still wear masks. Having been led to believe that the end of the mask mandate would mean all masks everywhere would disappear like all those people in Infinity War, he was surprised to find that his mask hadn’t yet been dusted from existence.

“It’s so weird — I can still wear 2, 3, or even 4 masks at once. Bizarre!” said Austin progressive activist Frank Miles as the sun rose and his mask was still firmly in place on his face, exactly as it had been all night. “I don’t know what to think about this! Sometimes I just sit around and wait for a notification to pop up on my phone with the l latest government advisory on how many masks I should wear, if I should get the vaccine, and whether I should wear pants.”

Progressives across the state, however, began to grow worried that they would now have to start to make their own decisions about their health. What’s worse, they would have to take responsibility for their actions when it comes to where they go, whether or not they mask, and whether or not they social distance.

“If the government doesn’t force me to wear a mask, how will I ever make my own decisions about what’s best for me and my health? Oh no!” said one woman as she looked outside and saw children playing. “Children! Having fun! I’m staying inside today!”

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Murray Rothbard on War and “Isolationism” | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 4, 2021

Well, the Progressive period begins around 1900 with Teddy Roosevelt and so forth. Woodrow Wilson cements it with his so-called reforms, which totally subject the banking system to federal power, and with the Federal Trade Commission, which did for business what the Interstate Commerce Commission did for the railroads. In other words, he imposed a system of monopoly capitalism, or corporate state monopoly, which we now call the partnership of the government and of big business and industry, which means essentially a corporate state, or we can call it economic fascism. It culminated in World War I economic planning, for the war consisted of a totally collectivized economy headed by the sainted and revered Bernard Mannes Baruch, head of the War Industries Board.

Murray N. Rothbard

[These edited extracts, from an interview in the February 1973 issue of Reason magazine, first ran in the June 1999 issue ofthe Rothbard-Rockwell Report.]

Q: Why, in your view, is isolationism an essential tenet of libertarian foreign policy?

A: The libertarian position, generally, is to minimize state power as much as possible, down to zero, and isolationism is the full expression in foreign affairs of the domestic objective of whittling down state power. In other words, interventionism is the opposite of isolationism, and of course it goes on up to war, as the aggrandizement of state power crosses national boundaries into other states, pushing other people around etc. So this is the foreign counterpart of the domestic aggression against the internal population. I see the two as united.

The responsibility of trying to limit or abolish foreign intervention is avoided by many conservative libertarians in that they are very, very concerned with things like price control—of course I agree with them. They are very, very concerned about eliminating taxes, licensing, and so forth—with which I agree—but somehow when it comes to foreign policy there’s a black out. The libertarian position against the state, the hostility toward expanding government intervention and so forth, goes by the board—all of a sudden you hear those same people who are worried about government intervention in the steel industry cheering every American act of mass murder in Vietnam or bombing or pushing around people all over the world.

This shows, for one thing, that the powers of the state apparatus to bamboozle the public work better in foreign affairs than in domestic. In foreign affairs you still have this mystique that the nation-state is protecting you from a bogeyman on the other side of the mountain. There are “bad” guys out there trying to conquer the world and “our” guys are in there trying to protect us. So not only is isolationism the logical corollary of libertarianism, which many libertarians don’t put into practice; in addition, as Randolph Bourne says, “war is the health of the state.”

The state thrives on war—unless, of course, it is defeated and crushed—expands on it, glories in it. For one thing, when one state attacks another state, it is able through this intellectual bamboozlement of the public to convince them that they must rush to the defense of the state because they think the state is defending them.

In other words, if, let’s say, Paraguay and Brazil are going to get into a war, each state—the Paraguayan government and the Brazilian government—is able to convince their own subjects that the other government is out to get them and loot them and murder them in their beds and so forth, so they are able to induce their own hapless subjects to fight against the other state, whereas in actual practice, of course, it is the states that have the quarrel, not the people. The people are outside the quarrels of the state and yet the state is able to generate this patriotic mass war hysteria and to call everybody up to the colors physically and spiritually and economically and therefore, of course, aggrandize state power permanently.

Most conservatives and libertarians are very familiar with—and deplore—the increase in state power in the American government in the last 50 or 70 years, but what they don’t seem to realize is that most of these increases took place in giant leaps during wartime. It was wartime that provided the crisis situation—the spark—which enabled the states to put on so-called emergency measures, which of course never got lifted, or rarely got lifted.

Even the War of 1812—seemingly a harmless little escapade—was evil, and also in the domestic sense, in that it ruined the Jeffersonian Party for a long time to come, it established federalism, which means monopoly state-capitalism in essence, it imposed a central bank, it imposed high tariffs, it imposed domestic federal taxation, which never existed before, internal taxation, and it took a long time to get rid of it, and we never really did get back to the pre–War of 1812 level of minimal state power.

Then, of course, the Mexican War [Mexican-American War, 1846–48] had consequences of slave expansion and so forth. But the Civil War was, of course, much worse—the Civil War was really the great turning point, one of the great turning points in the increase of state power, because with the Civil War you now have the total introduction of things like railroad land grants, subsidies of big business, permanent high tariffs, which the Jacksonians had been able to whittle away before the Civil War, and a total revolution in the monetary system so that the old pure gold standard was replaced first by greenback paper, and then by the National Banking Act—a controlled banking system. And for the first time we had the imposition in the United states of an income tax and federal conscription. The income tax was reluctantly eliminated after the Civil War as was conscription: all the other things—such as high excise taxes—continued on as a permanent accretion of state power over the American public.

The third huge increase of power came out of World War I. World War I set both the foreign and the domestic policies for the twentieth century. Woodrow Wilson set the entire pattern for foreign policy from 1917 to the present. There is a total continuity between Wilson, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, and Nixon—the same thing all the way down the line.

Q: You’d include Kennedy in that?

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Murray N. Rothbard

Murray N. Rothbard made major contributions to economics, history, political philosophy, and legal theory. He combined Austrian economics with a fervent commitment to individual liberty.

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