Video: Hoppe on a Populist Strategy for Libertarian Change

Hans-Hermann Hoppe outlines specific steps in a populist strategy for libertarian change in his highly-anticipated 2017 talk for the Property and Freedom Society. He does not disappoint. Watch the video below and/or read my transcription in the video notes.

Video Notes:

“Now, taking our cues from the Buchannan, the Ron Paul, and the Trump movement, on to the specifics of a populist strategy for libertarian change. In no particular order except for the very first one, which has currently assumed the greatest urgency in the public mind:

  1. Stop mass immigration. The waves of immigrants currently flooding the Western world have burdened it with thwarts of welfare parasites, brought in terrorists, increased crime, led to the proliferation of no-go areas, and resulted in countless ‘bad neighbors’; who, based on their alien upbringing, culture, and tradition, lack any understanding and appreciation of liberty and are bound to become mindless future supporters of welfare statism. No one is against immigration and immigrants per se, but immigration must be by invitation only. All immigrants must be productive people and hence, be barred from all domestic welfare payments. To ensure this, they or their inviting party must place a bond with the community in which they are to settle and which is to be forfeited and lead to the immigrant’s deportation, should he ever become a public burden. As well, every immigrant-inviting party or employer should not only pay for the immigrant’s upkeep or salary, but must also pay the residential community for the additional wear and tear of its public facilities that is associated with the immigrant’s presence, so as to avoid the socialization of any and all costs incurred with his settlement. Moreover, even before the admission, every potential immigrant invitee must be carefully screened and tested not only for his productivity, but also for cultural affinity or ‘good neighborliness,’ with the empirically predictable result of mostly, but by no means exclusively, Western-wide immigrant candidates. And, any known communist or socialist of any color, denomination, or country of origin must be barred from permanent settlement. Unless, that is, the community where the potential immigrant wants to settle officially sanctions the looting of its residents’ property by new foreign arrivals, which is not very likely to say the least, even with already existing ‘commie’ communities. Now, a brief message to all open border and ‘liberlalala’ libertarians who will surely label this – you guessed it – as fascist. Now, in a fully privatized libertarian social order, there exists no such thing as a right to free immigration. Private property implies borders and the owner’s right to exclude at-will. And, public property has borders as well. It is not unowned property, it is the property of domestic taxpayers and most definitely not the property of foreigners. While it is true that the state is a criminal organization and that to entrust it with the task of border control will inevitably result in numerous injustices to both domestic residents and foreigners, it is also true that the state does something when it decides not to do anything about border control. And that, under the present circumstances, if the state won’t do anything about border control, that this will lead to more and much graver injustices in particular to the domestic citizenry than any other policy.
  2. Stop attacking, killing, and bombing people in foreign countries. A main cause, even if by no means the only one, of the current invasion of Western countries by hordes of alien immigrants are the wars initiated and conducted in the middle east and elsewhere by the United States ruling elites and their subordinate Western puppet elites. As well, the by now seemingly normal and ubiquitous terrorist attacks in the name of Islam across the Western world are in large measure a blow-back of these wars and the ensuing chaos throughout the middle east and northern Africa. There should be no hesitation on our part to call these Western rulers responsible for this for what they really are: murderers or accessories to mass murder. We must demand and cry out loud instead for a foreign policy of strict non-interventionism, withdraw from all international and supranational organizations such as the United Nations, NATO, and the European Union that intricate one country into the domestic affairs of another. Stop all government-to-government aid and prohibit all weapons sales to foreign states. Let it be America first, England first, Germany first, Italy first, Turkey first, and smaller Bavaria first,  and Venito first, and so forth. Each country trading with one another and no one interfering in anyone else’s domestic affairs.
  3. Defund the ruling elites and its intellectual bodyguards. Expose and widely publicize the lavish salaries, perks, pensions, side deals, bribes, and hush monies received by the ruling elites, by the higher-ups in government and governmental bureaucracies of supreme courts, central banks, secret services, and spy agencies, by politicians, parliamentarians, party leaders, political advisors and consultants, by crony capitalist public educrats, university presidents, provosts, and academic stars. Drive home the point that all of their shining glory and luxury is funded by money extorted from taxpayers and consequently urge that any and all taxes be slashed; income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, inheritance taxes, and on and on.
  4. End the Fed and all central banks. The second source of funding for the ruling elites, besides money extorted from the public in the form of taxes, comes from the central banks. Central banks are allowed to create paper money out of thin air. This reduces the purchasing power of money and destroys the savings of average people. It does not and cannot make society, as a whole, richer. But, it redistributes income and wealth within society. The earliest receiver of the newly-created money, that is usually the ruling elites, are thereby made richer and the later and latest receiver, that is the average citizen, are made poorer. The central bank’s manipulation of interest rates is the cause of boom-bust cycles. The central bank permits the accumulation of ever-greater public debt that is shifted as a burden onto unknown future taxpayers or is simply inflated away. And as a facilitator of public debt, the central banks are also the facilitators of wars. This monstrosity must end and be replaced by a system of free, competitive, banking built on the foundation of a genuine commodity money such as gold and silver.
  5. Abolish all affirmative-action and non-discrimination laws and regulations. All such edicts are blatant violations of the principle of the equality before the law that, at least in the West, is intuitively sensed and recognized as a fundamental principle of justice. As private property owners, people must be free to associate or disassociate with others; to include or to exclude; to integrate or to segregate; to join or to separate; to unify and incorporate or to disunite, exit, and secede. Close all university departments for black, Latino, women, gender, queer, studies and so forth, as incompatible with science and dismiss its faculties as intellectual imposters and scoundrels. As well, demand that all affirmative-action commissars, diversity and human resource officers from universities down to schools and kindergartens, be thrown  out onto the street and be forced to learn some useful trade.
  6. Crush the ‘anti-fascist’ mob. The trans valuation of all values throughout the West, the invention of ever-more victim groups, the spread of affirmative-action programs, and the relentless promotion of political correctness has led to the rise of an ‘anti-fascist’ mob. Tacitly supported and indirectly funded by the ruling elites, this self-described mob of ‘social justice warriors’ has taken upon itself the task of escalating the fight against ‘white privilege’ through deliberate acts of terror directed against anyone and anything deemed ‘racist,’ ‘right-wing,’ ‘fascist,’ ‘reactionary,’ ‘incorrigible,’ or ‘unreconstructed.’ Such enemies of progress are physically assaulted by the ‘anti-fascist’ mob, their cars are burned down, their properties are vandalized, and their employers are threatened to dismiss them and ruin their careers. All the while, the police are ordered by the powers that be to stand down and not to investigate the crimes committed or persecute and punish the criminals. In view of this outrage, public anger must be aroused and there must be clamoring far and wide for the police to be unleashed and this mob beaten into submission. Now, a query again for ‘liberlalala’ libertarians and the ‘stupids for liberty’ who are sure to object to this demand on the ground that the police asked to crush the ‘anti-fascist’ mob are state police. Question to them: do you also object on the same grounds that the police arrest murderers or rapists? Aren’t these legitimate tasks performed also in a libertarian order by private police? And, if the police are not allowed to do anything about this mob, isn’t it ok then that the target of these attacks, namely the so-called ‘racist right,’ should take the task upon itself of giving the social justice warriors a bloody nose?
  7. Crush the street criminals and gangs. In dispensing with the principle of the equality before the law and awarding all sorts of group privileges, except to the one group that I mentioned, the ruling elites have also dispensed with the principle of equal punishment for equal crime. Some state-favorite groups are handed more lenient punishment for the same crime than others and some especially favorite groups are simply let run wild and go practically unpunished at all, thus actually and effectively promoting crime. As well, no-go areas have been permitted to develop where any law enforcement has essentially ceased to exist and where violent thugs and street gangs have taken over. In view of this, public furor must be provoked and it be unmistakable demanded that the police crackdown quick and hard on any robber, mugger, rapist, and murderer, and ruthlessly clear all current no-go areas of violent gang rule. Needless to say that this policy should be colorblind, but if it happens to be as it in fact is, that most street criminals or gang members are young black or Latino males or in Europe, young immigrant males from Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, or Eastern Europe, then so be it in such human specimen then should be the ones that most prominently get their noses bloodied. And, needless to say also that in order to defend against crime, whether ordinary street crime or acts of terrorism, all prohibitions against the ownership of guns by upstanding citizens should be abolished.
  8. Get rid of all welfare parasites and bums. To cement their own position, the ruling class has put the underclass on the dole and thus made it the most reliable source of public support. Allegedly to help people rise and move up from the underclass to become self-supporting actors, the real and actually intended effect of the state’s so-called ‘social policy’ is the exact opposite. It has rendered a person’s underclass status more permanent and made the underclass permanently grow and with this, of course, also the number of tax-funded social workers and therapists assigned to help and assist this group for in accordance with exact economic law, every subsidy awarded on account of some alleged need or deficiency produces more, not less, of the problem that it is supposed to alleviate or eliminate. Thus, the root cause of the person’s underclass status, that is, his low impulse control and high time preference, that is, his uncontrolled desire for immediate gratification and the various attendant manifestations of this cause, such as, permanent unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, divorce, female-headed households, out-of-wedlock births, rotating checkup male companions, child abuse, negligence, and petty crime is and are not alleviated or eliminated, but systematically strengthened and promoted. Instead of continuing and expanding the increasingly unsightly social disaster, it should be abolished and loudly demanded that one takes heed of the biblical exhortation that he who can, but will not work also shall not eat and that he who truly cannot work due to severe mental or physical deficiencies be taken care of by family, community, and voluntary charity.
  9. Get the state out of education. Most, if not all, social pathologies plaguing the contemporary West have their common root in the institution of public education. When the first steps were taken well more than 200 years ago in Prussia to supplement and ultimately replace a formerly completely private system of education with a universal system of compulsory public education, the time spent in state-run schools did in most cases not exceed 4 years. Today, throughout the entire Western world, the time spent in institutions of public education is at a minimum around 10 years in many cases and increasingly so, 20 or even 30 years. That is, a large or even the largest part of time during the most formative period in a person’s life is spent in state-funded and state-supervised institutions whose primary purpose from the very beginning, it was not to raise an enlightened public, but to train good soldiers and later on good public servants, not independent and mature [German Phrase], but subordinate and servile [German Phrase]. The result: the indoctrination has worked. The longer the time a person has spent within the system of public education, the more he is committed to leftist egalitarian ideas and has swallowed and wholeheartedly internalized the official doctrine and agenda of political correctness. Indeed, in particular among social science teachers and professors, people not counting themselves as part of the left have practically ceased to exist. Consequently, it must be demanded that the control of schools and universities be arrested away from the central government and in the first step be returned to regional, or better still, local and locally funded authorities and ultimately be completely privatized so as to replace a system of compulsory uniformity and conformity with a system of decentralized education that reflects the natural variation, multiplicity, and diversity of human talents and interest.
  10. Don’t put your trust in politics and political parties. Just as academia and the academic world cannot be expected to play any significant role in a libertarian strategy for social change, so with politics and political parties. After all, it is the ultimate goal of libertarianism to put an end to all politics and to subject all interpersonal relations and conflicts to private law and civil law procedures. To be sure, under present or pervasively politicized conditions and involvement in politics and party politics cannot be entirely avoided. However, in any such involvement, one must guard against the corrupting influence of power and the lure of money and perks that comes with it. And to minimize the risk and temptation that comes from this, it is advisable to concentrate one’s effort on the level of regional and local, rather than national politics and they are to promote a radical agenda of decentralization, of nullification, and peaceful separation, segregation, and secession. Most importantly, however, we must take heed of Ludwig von Mises’s life motto: do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it. That is, we must speak out whenever and wherever, whether in formal or informal, in gatherings against anyone affronting us with a by now only all-too-familiar political correct drivel and left egalitarian balderdash and unmistakably so no, hell no, you must be kidding. And in the meantime, given the almost complete mind control exercised by the ruling elites, academia, and the mainstream media, it already requires a good portion of courage to do that. But, if we are not brave enough to so now, and thus set an example for others to follow, matters will become increasingly worse and more dangerous in the future and we and Western civilization and the Western ideas of freedom and liberty will be wiped out and vanish. Thank you, very much.”

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Libertarianism and the “Alt-Right” (PFS 2017)

Please like and share:

On the Birth Control Mandate

The US Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules regarding an Obamacare birth control mandate.

According to CNN:

The rules would let a broad range of employers — including nonprofits, private firms and publicly traded companies — stop offering contraceptives through their health insurance plans if they have a “sincerely held religious or moral objection,” senior agency officials said on a call about the implementation and enforcement of the new rules.

Republicans want to make this about religious freedom while Democrats want to make this a women’s issue. Naturally, both parties miss the mark. I want to make this an issue of economics and property rights, two things both parties tend to ignore.

Again, from CNN:

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Friday. The organization’s senior staff attorney Brigitte Amiri called the administration’s rules “blatantly unconstitutional.”

I’m not so sure the Obamacare mandates were constitutional in the first place! How can it be constitutional to force employers to cover their employee’s health insurance? This is a blatant violation of property rights. Just as I can’t force my neighbor to pay for my health care, neither should the government be able to force people to pay for other’s health care.

Of course, these new rules alarmed many women who have been getting birth control paid for by their employer through insurance. They would have been better off paying out of pocket for their own birth control all along. When a good or service is provided through insurance rather than paying out of pocket, the consumer is less worried about the cost of that good or service. Because insurance companies are covering the costs instead of individuals themselves, drug companies and other health care providers can increase prices. I would expect that the cost of birth control has increased since the mandate took effect. The increase in demand due to the mandate would surely continue to increase prices as more and more women gained access to insurance-covered birth control. So, any women who lose their insurance coverage for birth control will likely pay more out of pocket than if the mandate was never implemented.

The Trump administration is doing a good thing by changing the rules to accommodate for religious freedom. However, the mandate should be completely repealed and everyone should be exempt from being forced to provide insurance for anyone. This would be a start toward dismantling the regulatory monstrosity that is the US health care system.

More liberty is a good thing. If women wish to be free to choose, then they should respect their employer’s right to choose what insurance plan, if any, to provide as a benefit. I mean, nothing says independence and equality like using the state to force your employer to pay for birth control, right?

Please like and share:

Mike Pence: Conservative in Name Only

Vice President Pence left the Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday, October 8th apparently outraged at the national anthem protest that occurred. Some are speculating that this outrage was planned, to make a political statement.

According to Pence’s Twitter account:

According to Trump’s Twitter account:

It seems that Trump and Pence had planned this outrage as it was extremely likely that players would kneel during the anthem. According to MarketWatch.com:

That players would kneel during the anthem was a near certainty. The protest movement that has swept the league began with then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year, and some 49ers players have knelt during the national anthem every game for the past two seasons.

There have even been reports that media was told to wait in a van because Pence would be leaving the game early:

According to a CNN White House Reporter, the cost for Pence to fly was upwards of $30,000 per hour. He flew 2.5 hours from Las Vegas to Indianapolis and another 2.5 hours to Los Angeles after leaving the game. This political activism, if you will, likely cost taxpayers more than $150,000. Trump and Pence are showing that they are conservative in name only. Repeal Obamacare and cut taxes rather than spending tax dollars on this nonsense.

Please like and share:

5 Reasons why the Left Blames the Gun

Almost immediately after the attack in Las Vegas, some left-leaning politicians and  public figures pushed gun control as a solution to stopping mass violence. Some even tried to argue that Republicans and the NRA are responsible for these continuing tragedies. Here are 5 reasons why the left blames the gun:

  1. Political Points/Popularity/Ratings – Politicians, celebrities, entertainers, media, etc., are all quick to appeal to the populous by making emotional appeals to the gun control agenda in the wake of mass shootings. Regardless of how the individual feels about the issue, these appeals are easy points  for politicians and the media to garner public support. Of course, they can’t resist the opportunity to capitalize on a tragedy.
  2. To Hide the Government Failure – Apparently, Stephen Paddock bought his weapons legally. Many are quick to say that no one could have stopped this. But, wait… I thought the reason for mass surveillance on U.S. citizens was to prevent acts of terrorism and other mass murders like the one in Las Vegas. What good is all the police, military, intelligence, etc., funding if preventing attacks like this one is out of government’s hands? Of course, events hire private security inside the event. In the future, event producers shouldn’t assume the perimeter and nearby areas are secure even though the government is supposed to be responsible for security and defense.
  3. To Remove the Responsibility from Friends and Family – By blaming the gun, leftists can distance the debate from the idea that family plays a larger role in one’s life than the government. By blaming the gun, leftists somewhat remove the blame from the friends and family of the attacker. Whether friends and family ignored or missed warning signs, or if the attacker was influenced by an abusive or neglecting upbringing, blaming the gun puts these issues aside. There is no doubt that government policies have eroded the institution of family. Not only do welfare and other government policies lead to broken families, but children are forced to spend most of their day in government schools, away from family. Just as public school attempts to fill the family’s responsibility of raising children, gun control laws and others attempt to fill the individual’s responsibility of being responsible for themselves and their actions.
  4. To Promote Moral Relativism It is not enough that murder is illegal, we must ban guns as well! This is the implication when you promote moral relativism and deny an objective morality based on self-ownership. The left cannot say that murder is wrong and anyone who does it would face consequences. Rather, they go after the fact that the individual had the liberty to make the bad decision. Of course, most leftists will say that murder is immoral. However, the whole ideology is essentially predicated on the idea that violence is justified against peaceful individuals in certain situations. For example, some leftists will go as far as to say violence is justified to carry out the worker’s revolution and seize the means of production to be owned in common. More often, leftists say violence is justified in collecting taxes to from individuals. Another example is abortion. While most people recognize murder is wrong and that individuals must be held accountable, not the objects they use to carry out the murder, the left must blame the gun.
  5. Remove Responsibility from the Attacker – This ties in with numbers 2, 3, and 4. People on the left were talking about gun control long before any motive has been suggested. This skirts the responsibility from the shooter to the gun.

Please like and share:

Jimmy Kimmel: Reality doesn’t Care about your Feelings

Jimmy Kimmel made another emotional appeal on his show after the tragic event in Las Vegas. Whether he is crying for socialized medicine or gun control, Kimmel needs to realize: Reality doesn’t care about your feelings.

Reason, rationality, and logic must be used when we discuss matters of economics and politics. Two emotionally-charged issues that frequently come up in the media are health care and gun control. All the crying in the world cannot reconcile the facts that gun control doesn’t work and that socialism doesn’t work.

First, to address the universal health care delusion. Nothing on earth is free. We live in a world of scarcity. There are limited resources to be used to reach desired ends or goals. Universal health care does not address this. Implementing universal health care doesn’t change the reality that we live in a world of scarcity.

Because resources are scarce, they must be rationed in some way. Resources are rationed in markets by prices. Highly-demanded goods in low supply are more expensive so as to ration the available supply. For example, surgeries performed by a specialist will cost more money than a routine check-up. Prices help ensure that scarce resources be allocated efficiently. Because of the high price, less people will demand that good or service.

If medicine becomes socialized, it is “free” in that there are no prices for consumers. However, there must still be a rationing mechanism. In a universal health care system, goods and services are rationed by the government instead of by prices like in a market economy. So, rather than being in control of you and your family’s future, the government decides who gets what health care at what time. Of course, people would feel less compelled to stay healthy if they aren’t bearing the costs of their healthcare and there are  other problems with universal health care. Unfortunately, these concerns aren’t addressed by the weeping leftists on TV. This shouldn’t be surprising. Jimmy Kimmel is an entertainer whose job is to entertain and keep people watching, not bust people’s bubble regarding their utopian delusions.

Murder is illegal, but that doesn’t stop people from committing murder. As we can see in the UK and elsewhere around the globe, banning guns and other weapons doesn’t prevent violence. Rather, it only ensures that good-willed people won’t be able to defend themselves. Criminals don’t care about gun laws. They buy them illegally or steal them. Or, they use knives, automobiles, acid, etc., instead. The reality is that bad people will do bad things regardless of the law. Disarming the good people doesn’t prevent bad people from doing bad things.

Please like and share:

College Students: Watch out for 3 Marxist Myths from Progressive Professors

A few ideas with Marxist roots to watch out for to avoid indoctrination at college: white privilege, the patriarchy, and the problem of income inequality.

According to Wikipedia,

“White privilege is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. Academic perspectives such as critical race theory and whiteness studies use the concept of “white privilege” to analyze how racism and racialized societies affect the lives of white or white-skinned people.”

One issue with this idea of white privilege is in its definition. What exactly are the, “societal privileges” that white people receive over, “non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances?” If a group of white people and non-white people are all living, “under the same social, political, or economic circumstances,” then where is the discrepancy regarding privilege? How can one have privilege over another person of the, “same social, political, or economic circumstances?”

More often, white privilege is used to shame white people into thinking everything they have and anything they can accomplish is due to their privilege rather than any effort of theirs. This serves to justify income redistribution from supposedly rich white people to poor non-white people, which is quite a racist assumption. This is one of the ways the left has renewed Marx’s idea of class struggles. Instead of proletariat and bourgeoisie, it’s non-white and white.

According to Wikipedia,

“Feminist theory defines patriarchy as an unjust social system that enforces gender roles and is oppressive to both men and women. It often includes any social, political, or economic mechanism that evokes male dominance over women.”

So, this is the idea that masculine men rule the world and subject everyone else to their gender roles. Occam’s razor would say that perhaps gender roles exist and continue to exist for a simpler reason. Anyway, it is not uncommon for young women to be taught by so-called “feminists” that every problem they have is due to institutionalized patriarchy and they are powerless. Again, this is a revamping of Marxist rhetoric. The point is to teach young women that they are powerless and there are always bad men right around the corner, so they better rely on the state to protect them.




Income inequality is another thing that professors use to indoctrinate students into an anti-capitalist mentality. They will blame the 1% for everyone’s problems. They will treat profit as if it is inherently evil. They will treat profit as a zero-sum game and they’ll treat government as the divine solution to all the world’s problems.

PDF Version

Jason Stapleton Program 652: Check Your White Privilege

Please like and share:

Policing, Calculation, and Free Markets

A recent incident involving a hot dog vendor on the UC Berkley campus should make people question how policing works in the U.S. How would policing work in free markets and what insights can we draw from Mises’s work regarding calculation and socialism?

According to a statement from Public Affairs at UC Berkeley:

“We have instructed our officers to monitor illegal vending outside our event venues. This action has been motivated at least in part by issues of public health, the interests of local small businesses and even human trafficking. In addition, while I cannot comment on the specifics of this particular case, our practice is to issue warnings before giving a citation. In a case such as this, it is typical to collect any suspected illegal funds and enter them into evidence.”

From the FAQ’s in the same statement:

“$60 was seized as evidence of the suspected proceeds of the violation and booked into evidence. There were no other items taken as evidence.”

Well, at least they didn’t take the poor guy’s hot dog cart. In all seriousness, are incidents like this one really worth the police resources and time? Should police be cracking down on so-called “crimes” in which there is no victim to be compensated? Would resources be allocated toward fighting victimless “crimes” in a free market?

This article by Tate Fegley, 2016 Mises Institute Fellow, helps answer these questions by applying the socialist calculation problem to policing. Fegley explains the calculation problem:

“Mises’s argument was that without private property in the means of production, there can be no market prices for capital goods and therefore no way of calculating the opportunity costs of using capital goods to produce certain goods instead of others. The decisions of central planners of what to produce and by what means would be arbitrary and chaotic.”

Public policing is an example of how central planners’ decisions are mostly arbitrary and are not based in consumer demand like private institutions are. Because police departments don’t have profit and loss mechanisms to tell them the opportunity costs of operating one way versus another, resources allocated to public policing are likely to be wasted on things of which there is no consumer demand.

Fegley states:

“Because government policing is provided bureaucratically, without market prices and profit and loss, there is no way for police to know whether they have allocated resources to their most highly valued uses. Instead of consumers determining what problems police focus on, bureaucrats and politicians decide.”

Public and private institutions operate very differently. If policing were done privately, there wouldn’t be consumer demand to prosecute victimless “crimes” like drug laws, unlicensed food vending, selling untaxed cigarettes, etc. In a free market, policing would likely only enforce crimes of people’s property and/or person such as theft, assault, rape, trespass, murder, etc.

Fegley gives a good example:

“Three days prior to the death of Eric Garner, who died shortly after his arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes, New York governor Cuomo’s website bragged about how much revenue his Cigarette Strike Force had generated. It is highly doubtful that the citizens of New York demanded that the NYPD allocate resources to tobacco tax enforcement.”

Not only is the prosecution of victimless “crimes” not demanded by consumers (who would be willing to pay for police to crack down on so-called “crimes” that have no impact on them whatsoever?) but, prosecuting victimless crimes is incentivized because of the ability of the police to seize property from citizens.

Fegley continues:

“Just like everyone else, police respond to incentives. According to economist Bruce Benson, the War on Drugs did not really start to escalate into what we know it as today until Congress passed the 1984 Crime Control Act, allowing police to take a cut of the revenue from drug crime through civil asset forfeiture. Benson found in Florida, as did many others replicating his study elsewhere, that when police allocate more resources to drug enforcement, they use fewer resources to defend property, and property crime goes up.”

It is in the interest of police departments to allocate resources fighting victimless “crimes” such as drug offenses. Money, cars, homes, etc., can be seized by the police department and used as revenue for the department. The first step in police reform is to remove civil asset forfeiture and decriminalize all non-violent and victimless “crimes.”

PDF Version

Help Support Lessons in Liberty by making purchases through:

Get the best web hosting through:



Please like and share:

The Myth of Voluntary Socialism

Are sharing and worker-owned businesses examples of voluntary socialism? I argue that if you have a right to decide whether to share or keep your things, it is capitalism. Likewise, if an employee in a worker-owned business can cash out his or her share and start his or her own business, it is capitalism.

First, I want to clearly define capitalism and socialism. Capitalism is an economic system in which means of production are privately owned among individuals. This allows for the voluntary collective ownership among consenting individuals. Socialism is an economic system in which means of production are collectively owned among all people. This does not allow for an individual to privately own means of production. So, socialism can only be voluntary within the context of a larger capitalist society, where people are free to choose to own means of production privately or share them.

Because means of production can only be owned privately (where 1 or more individual has exclusive ownership) or in common (where no one has exclusive ownership) there cannot be a mixture of capitalism and socialism. Within a larger socialist system, those who attempt to privately own means of production would be treated as criminals. However, within a larger capitalist system, people would be free to voluntarily collectivize their own property that is justly acquired in line with private property norms.

In order for socialism to be voluntary, it must exist in a capitalist society. The act of sharing is not socialism. Sharing requires the exclusive ownership of property in the first place, which is prohibited in a socialist system. A worker-owned company is not socialism. If an employee is free to cash out of the company, to go home to private property, and to start his or her own company, then that worker-owned company exists within a larger capitalist system where means of production can be owned privately. Again, this isn’t socialism.

In conclusion, anyone speaking of “voluntary socialism” isn’t speaking of socialism at all. In order for collective ownership to be truly voluntary, there must be private property norms in the first place. Only in a libertarian society based on private property norms can “voluntary socialism” exist.

Please like and share:

Government Sets a Bad Example for the Rest of Us

With the U.S. government nearing $20 trillion in debt, why should its citizens be self-sufficient, productive, and fiscally responsible? The federal government sets a bad example for the rest of us in various ways.

 

According to an article from the New York Times,

“The Republican-led Senate on Thursday approved legislation to raise the debt limit…. Republican leaders had wanted a longer-term extension of the debt limit, but were left with little recourse when Mr. Trump sided with the top Democrats in Congress…”




It seems some Republicans are justifying the raising of the debt limit because the aid is so desperately needed to help after hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters happening now. However, raising the debt limit likely wasn’t necessary to provide relief to the victims of hurricane Harvey. Also from that New York Times article,

“Before approving the legislation, the Senate rejected a proposal by Mr. Sasse to pass only the hurricane relief measure that had sailed through the House, without the debt limit or stopgap spending measure as part of it. Lawmakers also rejected a proposal by Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, to pay for hurricane relief using funds intended to be spent on foreign aid.”

So, Senator Ben Sasse and Senator Rand Paul both had ways to provide relief without raising the debt limit. Because Trump worked with Democrats to make this very liberal fiscal policy approved, his voter base should feel betrayed yet again by his actions that are contrary to his campaign rhetoric and promises.

The politicians in Washington right now would rather allow for more debt to be placed on the heads of future generations than to have the responsibility of cutting some other part of the budget to be able to pay for the disaster relief. They won’t face any consequences except maybe not getting reelected. If any household was struck with a budget emergency, simply extending their debt limit could be disastrous. Because us average people can’t print money, borrow money, or simply take it through taxation, in a budget emergency we would have to make difficult cuts to out budgets to be able to pay for the emergency.

If everyone ran their lives the way the federal government runs the country, there would be absolute chaos and turmoil. For one, government relies on the threat of force to collect taxes. If any person did this, it would be considered extortion. If everyone ignored the economic realities of the world and printed their own money, there would quickly be hyperinflation and an economic collapse. The government does things that would be inconceivable for a private individual to do.

Pay attention to who acts fiscally responsible in Washington. Don’t vote for politicians who won’t uphold libertarian principles.

PDF Version

Please like and share: