Dec 3, 2016

Robert Higgs on the 2016 election

In effect, the election was above all a referendum on political correctness. People who had tired of being called every sort of insulting name—racist, sexist, ignorant, backward, religious, in short everything that the Clinton crowd fancied it was not—rose on their hind legs and began to buck vigorously. One suspects that Trump himself must have been surprised by the magnitude and enthusiasm of the following he attracted. After all, he is not a sociologist, a political scientist, or even an experienced politician. However one might label him, though, he had stumbled onto a cultural time-bomb waiting for a detonator. Thus, he was not so much the man of the hour as he was the right tool for the task a great many people yearned to see carried out.

~ Robert Higgs, "Ideology, Identity Politics, and Politico-Cultural Conflict," The Beacon, November 30, 2016

Nov 28, 2016

Chubb and Moe on democracy and public schools

Democracy is essentially coercive.  The winners get to use public authority to impose their policies on the losers.

~ John E. Chubb and Terry M. Moe, Politics, Markets & America's Schools (1990), p. 183

Nov 25, 2016

Doug Casey makes the case for anarchy

There are very few things a government should do. That’s because the essence of government is force. And, in a civilized society, force should be kept to a minimum. So the only legitimate function of government is to protect you from force. Which implies an army to protect you from violence from outside of its borders, police to protect you inside of its borders, and a court system to allow you to adjudicate disputes without violence.

But those three functions are actually far too important to be left to the state or the kind of people that inevitably go to work for it. So the only three things that it can legitimately do are the very three things that are too important to trust it with. It’s almost a contradiction of terms. In point of fact, there’s nothing the State does that shouldn’t be left to entrepreneurs and a voluntary market.

~ Doug Casey, "Doug Casey on Globalism and the Worldwide Populist Revolt," LewRockwell.com, November 25, 2016

Nov 22, 2016

Ludwig von Mises on nationalism and socialism, two sides of the same divisiveness coin

Nationalist ideology divides society vertically; the socialist ideology divides society horizontally.

~ Ludwig von Mises

Murray Rothbard on liberty, power and civilization

My own basic perspective on the history of man...is to place central importance on the great conflict which is eternally waged between Liberty and Power... I see the liberty of the individual not only as a great moral good in itself (or, with Lord Acton, as the highest political good), but also as the necessary condition for the flowering of all the other goods that mankind cherishes: moral virtue, civilization, the arts and sciences, economic prosperity. Out of liberty, then, stem the glories of civilized life.

~ Murray Rothbard

Chinatown's Noah Cross on aging

'Course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.

~ Noah Cross, Chinatown (1974)

Nov 20, 2016

New York Times publisher tells Henry Hazlitt that it can no longer fight Bretton Woods

Now Henry, when 43 governments sign an agreement, I don't see how the [New York] Times can any longer combat this.

~ Arthur Sulzberger, New York Times publisher, mid-1960s?