Archive for Freedom

Free audio version of “Anatomy of the State” by Rothbard

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , on April 11, 2014 by cavalier973

Listen here.

Jesus and Pope Francis and the Free Market

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2013 by cavalier973

I posted this over on reason.com.

Jesus was clearly in favor of property rights; in the parables He told, the landowner was the good guy and the rabble who conspired to steal the landowner’s property were eventually thrown into hell.

The parables of the talents and the pounds puts “financial speculation” in a positive light; the guy who doesn’t engage in financial speculation gets thrown into hell.

His parable of the workers in the marketplace is interesting, too; a rich guy goes to the Ancient Near East’s equivalent of the temp agency several times during the day to hire workers. He contracts with each set of workers separately, and they all agree to the same wage–a penny for the day’s work. The guys who were hired in the morning started complaining that they had to work the whole day for a penny, while the guys hired at the end of the day got the same amount for only a couple of hours’ work. The rich guy (who represents God in the parable) is basically like, “Dudes, you agreed to this wage, and besides, it’s my money, so shut up!”

Even the celebrated case of Jesus telling the Rich Young Ruler to “sell everything he had, and give to the poor” is followed up with “and you shall have treasure in heaven.” Jesus wasn’t telling the RYR to be altruistic; he was telling him to make a wise investment!

No, I’m afraid that when Francis walks through the pearly gates, he will be surprised that everyone who sees him automatically does a facepalm.

 

The two branches of American libertarianism

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2013 by cavalier973

Read the article here.

The author is basically relabelling the “Yokeltarian/Cosmotarian” argument that is being perpetually debated over at reason.com (Hit and Run).  The argument goes something like this: there is a group of people (“Yokeltarians”, or, according to this author, “Calhounians”, after the former US Vice-President John C. Calhoun) who are culturally Southern and rural; they distrust the Federal Government because of the Civil War, and so are motivated to limit central government.  The worldview of such folk is generally Christian and traditional; they tend to study the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, oppose “social rights” like legal abortion and “same-sex marriage”, and are generally recognized by those living outside their inbred society as neo-luddite morons.

Then, there is another group of people (“Cosmotarians”, or, per the author, “Heinleinians”, after Robert Heinlein, an engineer and science fiction writer), who tend to be culturally urban and sophisticated, not to mention astonishingly intelligent and good-looking, who recognize that people need the “freedom” to murder children in the womb and invent new meanings for words like “marriage”.  These people tend to study Science!, see the future, and are working on using science and technology to create utopia on earth, where there will be no disease or scarcity, and where “mother earth” will be cared for as she ought to be, and where death itself will someday be conquered.

The author (he calles himself “Hamilton”), makes some interesting assertions.  For example, he describes President Obama as “sort of, kind of” libertarian, because he doesn’t seem to want to regulate the activities of the tech-savvy cosmotarians.  He wonders how Christians can square what’s in the Bible with “what’s going on in Silicon Valley”.  He asserts that technology, via the atomic bomb, “saved millions of American lives” (and thus shows a need for a strong central government that can arrange the creation and construction of atomic bombs).  He is critical of Romney for scorning Newt Gingrich’s plan to colonize the moon.  He points out that there is a reason why “gay marriage and free trade are always advancing”.

Well, President Obama isn’t regulating cosmotarian technology–yet.  Just give him time.

What’s going on in Silicon Valley that I would need to “square” with the Bible?  He mentions a proposal to fuse human consciousness with computers (my paraphrase).  Well, it’s a proposal, not a reality, and I seriously doubt it could ever become a reality because, despite the adamant assertions of the Delusional Darwinoids, we humans are not just a mass of chemicals that exist due to a cosmic accident.  Life has never been shown to come from non-living materials through natural processes.  A better hypothesis is that life was created, by a Creator.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that human consciousness will never be stored in a computer.

As for the atom bomb, I doubt that it really saved “millions of American lives”.  Japan had already been trying to surrender for about a year; Douglas MacArthur, the commander in the Pacific, opposed the use of atomic bombs to “get Japan to surrender”.  In reality, the atomic bombs were to show Russia that 1.) we had them, 2.) we weren’t afraid to use them, and 3.) Russia better be satisfied with the portion of Europe it had already grabbed.  I guess, in a sense, one could argue that the atomic bomb *did* save millions of American lives, by preventing a war with the Soviet Union, but such an argument would be, in the end, merely speculation.

Newt Gingrich also said that the people on the moon would vote to make the moon the 51st state.  I recall a “Simpsons” cartoon where the children in Lisa’s class were shown a 1950-era film in which the claim was made that the moon “belongs to America.”  Life imitates “The Simpsons”!  In reality, Romney was quite right to criticize Newt’s idea: it was a stupid idea.

And the bit about “gay marriage advancing”?  Well, while three states have had “same-sex marriage” approved by popular vote, the rest of the states that have legalized “same-sex marriage” have done so through legislatures or the courts.  29 states still have “bans” on the practice instilled in their state constituitons (though I doubt that a same-sex couple in Tennessee that decides to go ahead and “get married” without a state license will be going to jail).

About Free Trade, we don’t have it, except perhaps among the various states.  All “free trade agreements” are actually government-managed trade treaties, so it’s a bit naive to think that Free Trade is “advancing”, even though that would be awesome.  Also, trade is the one activity that almost all economists of varying political philosophies agree is unequivocably beneficial to all parties involved.  It’s not a “left-right” issue, in other words.

He posits four “problems” with Calhounism.  1. The threat of foreign invaders necessitates a strong central government.  2.  You can’t have the internet without a strong central government.  3.  Calhounians are luddites.  4.  Calhounians are ignorant luddites.

The challenge for Heinleinians is: 1. That they’re so darned smart.  I’m talking wicked smart.  These guys are going to figure out how to become immortal, for crying out loud.  Also, they’re going to mine asteroids in space.  2.  They’re so freaking rich, that, even when they inevitably discover the technological secret to immortality, they will be the only ones able to enjoy it, which will be a problem.  3.  They sort of, kind of, like Progressivism, and would call themselves Progressives.  4. They just might turn into real-life versions of James Bond villains, which would make some people uncomfortable.
My reaction to all this?  Meh.  “Hamilton” is obviously a Cosmotarian, but he realizes that there aren’t that many Cosmotarians, and that for his movement to succeed, it needs to join with the icky neo-Confederate Sky-Daddy Worshippers.  His preferred method would be to persuade the nCSDW crowd to drop the opposition to antepartum infanticide and preposterous notions like “apple pies” made with peaches “same-sex marriage”.  Sorry, but if you want people to join you, it is you who must drop the evulz, Ham.

 

 

On Ayn Rand

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2013 by cavalier973

Ultimately, Rand’s egoism is irreconcilable with both Christianity and capitalism. In fact, since the system fails to have any true explanatory value, it’s difficult to find any reason to adopt Objectivism at all. Fortunately, we don’t have to buy into Rand’s philosophical errors in order to appreciate her fiction. We just have to keep in mind that instead of reading a “novel of ideas”, we are reading a work of fantasy.

Walter Block on Free Trade

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2013 by cavalier973

Selling Obamacare

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by cavalier973

Anarchy in the Aachen

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2013 by cavalier973

http://mises.org/daily/6145/

 

Just putting this here so that I don’t lose it again.

 

“Can a community without a central government avoid descending into chaos and rampant criminality? Can its economy grow and thrive without the intervening regulatory hand of the state? Can its disputes be settled without a monopoly on legal judgments? If the strange and little-known case of the condominum of Moresnet — a wedge of disputed territory in northwestern Europe, and arguably Europe’s counterpart to America’s so-called Wild West — acts as our guide, we must conclude that statelessness is not only possible but beneficial to progress, carrying profound advantages over coercive bureaucracies.”

Reason Article on why “Same-sex marriage” won’t curb religious liberty

Posted in For God with tags , , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by cavalier973

The author’s a moron, of course, as the comments below the article show.

Accept “Same-sex marriage” or pay the penalty

Posted in For God with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by cavalier973

“Marriage Equality”, a “right” not even remotely mentioned in the Constitution, now trumps “Freedom of Religion”, a right laid out in the First Amendment.

Vote in the Arena!

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2013 by cavalier973

At the FEE website.

I voted for “Open Borders”.  I know that a lot of people might be shocked at that, but anyone who has read more than a few posts of this blog should not be surprised.

What are the arguments against illegal immigration?
#1 would certainly be something along the lines of “they’re stealing our jobs.”  Well, a job is not a tangible item that one can own.  You can’t take your job to the marketplace and sell it.  A job is actually a contract where one person sells his labor to another for a specified amount.  If someone comes and offers a lower price, or higher quality labor for the same price (as in, someone with prior experience or specialised education), then the contract with the first person may be ended and a new contract made with the second person.  Illegal immigrants have an unfair advantage in the labor marketplace, because they are willing and able to offer their labor for a lower price than U.S. Citizens are willing or able to.  This advantage is due to Federal intervention in the labor market, but instead of people trying to roll back Federal regulation, they urge even more regulatory power be given to their oppressor (for example, fines for businesses that hire illegals, even if they were tricked by false papers and such).  The expense of these new regulations will make it less likely that entrepreneurs will enter the marketplace, and will cause those firms that are just barely making a profit to fail, which will result in fewer opportunites to sell one’s labor (i.e. “jobs”).

The #2 argument against immigration would be related to the differing cultures of the native peoples and the immigrants.  Well, the Latino culture already permeates American society, and has since the nation’s early years, so I’m not sure what one should be afraid of.  Political differences?  The answer to that is to enter the marketplace of ideas, and seek to persuade and teach others the value of limited government and expanded individual liberty.  It takes longer to see success through this method, but the effects are longer-lasting.

Most people do not value liberty, however.  They do not understand, and therefore fear, the Free Market, even (sometimes especially) self-described political conservatives.  Even those who support Free Trade may seek a sort of “labor protectionism”.  Those who claim to be very concerned with illegal immigration are, in truth, unserious about the problem.  Why do I say this?  Because they seek government to redress the problem. They fail to see that the problems with which they are concerned are wholly created by the same Federal Government that they petition to “fix” the problem.  I’m sorry, but expecting the FedGov to solve the “illegal immigration problem” is a little like expecting Elmer Fudd to catch you a rabbit.

If conservatives (or liberals who find immigration disturbing) were truly serious about solving illegal immigration, then they should put their money where their mouth is. They should start a fund to finance the purchase of all the land on the north bank of the Rio Grande, and turn the area into a giant Pit Bull and Rottweiler puppy farm/reserve.  But why would someone spend his own money, when he can use the political process to force others to finance whatever anti-illegal-immigration scheme he thinks will succeed?

George Gilder, in one of his books (either Wealth and Poverty or The Spirit of Enterprise, I don’t remember which, so you should read both of them), talks about the Cuban refugees who fled to Miami when Castro (may his beard be forever infested with lice) took over that island nation.  They didn’t speak English, they had no real skills, and yet they turned that sleepy Southern town into an economic powerhouse.  Wealth, in reality, does not reside in material goods, but in human knowledge, skills and abilities.  Castro (may his flatulence ever cause embarrassment and offense) thought he had seized the wealth of Cuba when he stole the houses and valuables of the Cuban people who escaped from his oppression; in reality, he had chased Cuba’s wealth to the USA.  To put it another way, suppose that we found out that Mexico was secretly transporting large quantities of gold, silver, light sweet crude oil, and technologically advanced capital equipment to the U.S., and placing it in some unprotected place where anyone could go and take it.  Would people be angrily demanding that Mexico retrieve all those valuables and take it back to Mexico?  I hope not.   But in the same way, Mexico is “exporting” to us another, more valuable, sort of wealth when Mexicans immigrate to the U.S.

An objection (and one that I once used) is that with the current welfare state in the U.S., the immigrants are actually stealing wealth from native citizens by living on the dole.  Not hardly.  If Bill steals your t.v., and Jose accepts an invitation from Bill to watch the superbowl on your televsion, why are you mad at Jose instead of Bill?  You need to deal with Bill’s thieving ways, and then the “problem” with Jose goes away.  Besides, even if illegal immigrants get a check from the government, they are spending it somewhere, likely in the U.S. marketplace.  Better the money go to Taco Hut (oh, I am so racist!  What I meant to say, was Burger Hut) than to some government-financed study of the sexual indiscretions of the warbled slug, says I.

There are other arguments concerning terrorism and such, but I’m out of time at the moment, and will try to address these arguments in the near future.

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