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Liberty and Power

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  • Glenn Greenwald Shows What Progressives Fear Most of All in the Election

    by Sheldon Richman

     

    It’s themselves.

    Paul’s candidacy forces progressives to face the hideous positions and actions of their candidate, of the person they want to empower for another four years. If [Ron] Paul were not in the race or were not receiving attention, none of these issues would receive any attention because all the other major GOP candidates either agree with Obama on these matters or hold even worse views….

    Paul scrambles the comfortable ideological and partisan categories and forces progressives to confront and account for the policies they are working to protect. His nomination would mean that it is the Republican candidate — not the Democrat — who would be the anti-war, pro-due-process, pro-transparency, anti-Fed, anti-Wall-Street-bailout, anti-Drug-War advocate (which is why some neocons are expressly arguing they’d vote for Obama over Paul).


  • Government Officials Want You to Know that Your Earnings Belong to Them

    by Robert Higgs

    Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, recently created a media flap when she said:

    There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you!

    But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea—God bless.


  • Dissolving the State

    by Roderick T. Long

    I'm dissolving in the economic organism!

    Newly translated and added to the Molinari Institute online library: an excerpt from chapter 10 of Gustave de Molinari’s 1888 Political Evolution and the Revolution. This extract includes the following passage, whose wording – despite its dismissive reference to “anarchists” – is clearly inspired by Proudhon’s call for the “absorption” and “dissolution” of the state “in the economic organism”:

    Thus it is that, instead of absorbing the organism of society according to the revolutionary and communist conception, the municipality and the State are dissolved into this organism.


  • Obama and the End of the War in Iraq

    by Sheldon Richman

     

    I hope to say more about this, but I wanted to draw attention to this passage in Barack Obama’s remarks to troops regarding the end of the war in Iraq.

    The war in Iraq will soon belong to history.  Your service belongs to the ages.  Never forget that you are part of an unbroken line of heroes spanning two centuries –- from the colonists who overthrew an empire, to your grandparents and parents who faced down fascism and communism, to you –- men and women who fought for the same principles in Fallujah and Kandahar, and delivered justice to those who attacked us on 9/11.

    You’d never know that a signature of Obama’s 2008 campaign was his assertion that the invasion/occupation of Iraq was a bad mistake.


  • A Land Without People?

    by Sheldon Richman

    Someone posted this on Facebook. I thought it was worth passing along.
     


  • A Land Without People?

    by Sheldon Richman

    Someone posted this on Facebook. I thought it was worth passing along.
     


  • Iraq

    by Sheldon Richman

    Anyone who thinks there's anything to celebrate about the U.S. involvement in Iraq hasn't been paying attention. Even the "exit" is essentially a lie. The Pentagon calls it "reposturing."

     

  • Some Distinctions and Clarifications

    by Roderick T. Long

    I want to talk a bit a bit some of the ways in which left-libertarian claims are susceptible of misinterpretation. (Note: when I use the term “right-libertarian” below, I mean “libertarians who deviate rightward from the C4SS/ALL plumbline”!)

    1. Right-libertarians sometimes accuse left-libertarians of misrepresenting right-libertarians’ relation to corporatism. “They say we support government favouritism toward big business,” they complain, “yet no libertarian supports any such thing.”

    To answer this, I need to invoke the de re / de dicto distinction.

    Suppose I’m reading Ozma of Oz, and I think, “hey, this guy Baum is a good author.” Assume I don’t know that Baum also wrote a novel (a lousy one, in fact, though that doesn’t matter for the example) called The Master Key. Would it be true or false to say, “Roderick thinks the author of The Master Key is a good author”?


  • Newt Gingrich: Demagogue, Pseudointellectual

    by Sheldon Richman

    Newt Gingrich says the Palestinian people were invented. That’s very funny coming from a man who has reinvented himself a few times in his life. We didn’t need more evidence of Gingrich’s status as a rank demagogue and pseudointellectual, but he’s furnished it anyway.

    Gingrich, in his typically arrogant manner, says this:
     

    And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places.

    By “chance to go many places” he means that while being expelled from their homes by Zionist/Israeli forces in 1947-48, they were free to relocate in any Arab country they chose. If I were to mimic Gingrich’s style, I’d say that’s a pro-FOUND-ly racist statement. Since these people are generic Arabs, why should it matter that someone else decides that they may no longer remain in Palestine where they and their families have lived and worked for a thousand or more years?


  • TGIF: Fearing Hayek

    by Sheldon Richman

     

    I’m sensing some panic in the air. Certain people seem mighty concerned that other people are . . . discovering Hayek. As a W. S. Gilbert character might say, Oh horror!

    Read the full TGIF here.


  • Why Do So Many People Automatically and Angrily Condemn Historical Revisionism?

    by Robert Higgs

    I surely do not consider myself immune to errors, of course. But if my facts are incorrect, the critic has an obligation to say why my facts are incorrect and to state, or at least to point toward, the correct facts. If my logic has run off the rails, the critic has an obligation to state how I fell into fallacious reasoning. More often than not, however, the critic resorts immediately to name-calling and to wild characterizations of my statements and my person.


  • What I Learned from Climategate

    by Lester Hunt

      I am still struck by how many intelligent people, some of whom I respect, say that the Climategate emails are a ho-hum matter. They apparently know a lot more about how "mainstream" climatologists work than I do. I actually learned four things that I did not know before. Apparently, they did know these things. At the risk of boring someone, and in the spirit of getting on the same page, let me list these things:   1. I had thought the the famous hockey stick graph and other global temperature information represented in some direct way readings of actual thermometers in the real world. In fact, these results do not directly report such raw data. Rather, climatologists nudge and tweak the raw data in various ways. This is understandable, in and of itself.

  • The Government Is Expropriating Private Wealth at a Rapid Rate

    by Robert Higgs

    About a month ago, I posted in regard to what I called “the euthanasia of the saver.” This comment had to do with the fact that nominal interest rates in the United States for financial investments such as bank certificates of deposit and bank savings accounts—the kinds of investments traditionally employed by retired persons and small savers, who wish to gain income without exposing their funds to great risk of capital loss—now fall considerably below the rate of inflation, and hence the real (or inflation-adjusted) yield on such investments is negative. That is, the nominal payoff is insufficient to offset the loss of purchasing power of the money invested.

    About a month before I wrote my commentary, my old friend Richard Rahn had, without my noticing, written on the same issue in a commentary article published in the Washington Times, but he had gone beyond the simple point I made.

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