Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3 On the show: Georgia’s new gun rights law Poll suggesting Georgians don’t want this law. The great Suzanna Gratia Hupp tells Congress what guns are for… Former Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, Robert Reich, tells the shocking truth about Obamacare… “the Great Leap Forward” in China killed tens of (more…)
I recently found Our Enemy the State, by Albert Jay Nock, under a chair in my kids’ playroom–I must have bought it long ago and misplaced it. I flipped the book open to a chapter: “Politics and Other Fetiches,” and despite the unpromising chapter heading I was immediately riveted. Although written in 1935, Our Enemy (more…)
Recently I was asked by Eric Bigelow of I Am An Individual to write an essay on my libertarian awakening, and here it is….
Several years ago, perhaps after seeing the Soviet-style campaign posters for Obama in 2008, I began to realize that the American Experiment had failed and tried to figure out why. I wondered: If the Founders had put an express right to secede in the Constitution, would the federal government have respected States’ rights more? If Lincoln had not been elected or if he had let the South go, would the federal government have been checked, giving rise to two truly federalist (rather than nationalist) governments, or to a peacefully reunited country whose government respected the voluntary nature of the Union? If Wilson had not been elected or if we had entered the First World War on the side of Germany (a distinct possibility), would classical liberalism have been saved? If we had never gotten ourselves involved in any foreign entanglements as President Washington had advised, would we now be a free society shining a beacon of hope to the rest of the world?
Unfortunately, with every question I asked myself, the obvious answer kept popping up: no matter what the Founders could have done, no matter what change could have been made to the Constitution, no matter what politician was or wasn’t elected, the experiment of liberty-preserved-by-government would have failed. I concluded that if there is a seat of power, eventually that seat will be filled and enlarged by those who desire power and its rewards, rather than occupied by those who wish to limit government and promote liberty.
I distinctly recall having this epiphany while vacuuming my bedroom–it was like when the Twin Towers fell, or as the older generation say, when JFK was shot–I remember the exact instant, it was so momentous to me. My despair was total but at the same time, liberating. I knew my quest for liberty and justice was utterly hopeless, that man was destined for servitude, but I didn’t have to worry about it anymore because there was nothing anyone could do. I actually thought I had come to the end of my quest for truth the way the guy in the commercial a few years ago, bleary-eyed and unshaven, clearly having just spent days surfing the web, got a message on his screen: “You have come to the end of the Internet.” That was me. I had come to the end of the metaphorical Internet, or so I thought.
Does social power mismanage banking-practice in this-or-that special instance–then let the State, which never has shown itself able to keep its own finances from sinking promptly into the slough of misfeasance, wastefulness and corruption, intervene to “supervise” or “regulate” the whole body of banking-practice, or even take it over entire.-Albert Jay Nock, 1935
Nothing irritates me more than a government-created problem that prompts cries for more government action. A great example of this is the horrible crises, fiscal and monetary, caused in Europe by socialism and central banking, respectively. George Soros and so many others respond to the European Debt Crisis with cries for greater political union and more central government control in Europe. Historical examples of government growth in the wake of government injustice include the response to bans on unionization with laws unfairly favoring unions, or the response to government-mandated segregation with laws that infringe on private property rights under the false guise of pursuing racial justice. (Want racial justice? End the Drug War.)
The latest example of this maddening phenomenon is, generally speaking, the constant demand for more regulation of the financial sector, and specifically, calls for more regulation of trading in the wake of JP Morgan’s recent losses. The fact is, like coal mining, oil drilling and nuclear power, the financial sector is one of the most highly regulated industries in the history of humanity, yet calamities that bring us to the brink of physical, financial and planetary destruction seem to be occurring in these fields at an accelerating pace.