Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Left-Rothbardians, Part I: Rothbard

by Kevin Carson

In “Libertarianism: What’s Going Right,” I mentioned Left-Rothbardianism as one possible basis for finding areas of agreement between market libertarians and the Left. I’d like to go into that in more depth now.

In 2004, I was extremely heartened by the “Era of Good Feelings“ between the Libertarian Party’s Michael Badnarik and the Green Party’s David Cobb. It gave me some hope for the revival of an even more hopeful project of some 30-odd years before. Continue reading

Beware Splits in UKIP

by Stephen Crowther

Note: As a matter of policy, the Libertarian Alliance does not endorse or support any political party. However, so far I can tell, every one of our Officers is a UKIP voter or even member. We therefore draw this notice to the attention of our readers. UKIP may not be perfect, but it is our only mainstream political party with any degree of libertarianism in its policies. Nigel Farage is our only mainstream politician who remotely counts as a libertarian. We take a very dim view of efforts to disrupt UKIP. SIG Continue reading

The Joke of Democratic Accountability

by Kevin Carson

Note: Since I don’t have to pay his taxes, or be beaten up by his uniformed thugs, or impoverished by his money printing, or live through his cultural revolution, I can appreciate Mr Obama’s comparative lack of enthusiasm for starting wars. SIG Continue reading

The “Football Association” is now a “Court” – official.

David Davis

A private “Sports Governing Body” (whatever that is for) has set itself up as a “Sondergericht”. It has issued a “judgement – a Fatwah, if you like -  and attached a “fine” – a strange sum: £220,000….Makes you wonder how it was arrived at? No?

When I’m Principal Secretary of State For War, in the Democratic-People’s-English Revolutionary-Liberalist-Party’s*** first government (minimal-statist, conservative, libertarian) private institutions that have previously and triumphalistically-set themselves up as “judges and juries” under the current climate of rampant GramscoFabiaNazism, will find themselves “under investigation”.

I do not believe in amnesties for socialist behaviour, adopted and deliberately pursued with malice-afforethought, and in the face of all empirical evidence that such behaviour was designed on purpose to kill, destroy the effective lives of or otherwise harm as many people as possible.

The FootBallAssociatioNazis will be “hauled in for questioning” by the War Secretariat’s “Operational Services Department Personnel (Domestic Division)”. A version of a reverse-PPI-Claim will be applied to their staffs, who will be “invited to re-imburse John Terry the sum of £220,000 plus interest plus 8% plus a “sum to be decreed” for “damages”.”

I said something similar on Facebook a couple of minutes ago. In case any blogreaders here can’t read Facebook, I have posted the text of my piece there:- Continue reading

Twin Demons

by Lew Rockwell

[This talk was delivered at the Mises
Circle in New York City
on September 14, 2012.]

The 20th century was the century of total war. Limitations on the scope of war, built up over many centuries, had already begun to break down in the 19th century, but they were altogether obliterated in the 20th. And of course the sheer amount of resources that centralized states could bring to bear in war, and the terrible new technologies of killing that became available to them, made the 20th a century of almost unimaginable horror. Continue reading

Book Review: The DIM Hypothesis

by David Gordon

DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out
By Leonard Peikoff. New American Library, 2012. xvi + 378 pages]

Whatever the failings of this book, its author has a sense of humor. Peikoff writes of his unusual name for his main hypothesis,

In order to refer to all three modes [of integration] together, I have coined the acronym DIM.… Given my symbolism, I myself can be identified, even ridiculed, as a DIM-wit, “wit” in the old sense of intelligence. I accept this designation and even boast of it on my license plate. (p. 65) Continue reading

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies: The Best is Yet to Come

by C.M. Sciabarra

The new issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies will be on its way to subscribers within the next couple of weeks. And with it comes an announcement of a major breakthrough for the journal and for Rand scholarship as well.

First, let’s take a look at the new issue, which is coming out in the thick of the U.S. Presidential campaign, and which includes a few essays that try to make sense of contemporary politics: Continue reading

Thirdhand E-Cig Vapour: Yes, It’s Apparently A Concern

by Disk Puddlecote

Thanks must go to the kind fellow jewel robber who forwarded me a copy of the aforementioned unavailable study which Raving Mad Stan tweeted about on Friday.

On first skim, it takes itself very seriously so I’ll have a closer look at it when I get time. But, for now, I thought you’d like to see this stand-out gem from the preamble. Continue reading

New book by Libertarian Alliance Author

N.G. Meek: Conservative Party Politicians at the Turn of the 20th/21st Centuries.
(London, Civic Education & Research Trust, 2012, 390 pages, ISBN 9781471700804.)

The book is an objective, quantitative, multi-focus analysis of the attitudes, behaviour and background of Conservative politicians at the turn of the 20th/21st centuries. Respondents were MPs, Peers, MEPs, Scottish MPs, Welsh and Greater London Assembly members, and local councillors in Scotland, Wales and England. Topics include: business, labour relations, welfare and the economy; the environment; Britain, Europe and the wider world; the United Kingdom, ethnicity, citizenship and national identity; society and culture; the conduct of politics; the political parties; religion; the 2001 Conservative Party leadership contest; and general political ideology.

There is a foreword by Dr Syed Kamall MEP.

It is already on the shelves of leading academic institutions. It is now available for sale from Amazon and other online retailers priced £55:


by D.J. Webb

Libertarians support low taxation on principle, in order to free people and the economy from the burden of the state. If the writings of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill are anything to go by, however, there is an important exception: land taxation. Land taxation is not just a necessary evil that affords the state some revenues with which to perform the very few necessary functions of government; it is a positive good, in that it tackles monopoly and speculation, and should ensure efficient use of land. If land taxation had remained the key source of government revenue in the UK, the current economic crisis would not have taken place. Continue reading

Politically incorrect film reviews – God Bless America

by Robert Henderson

Note: Mrs Gabb and I hve not been to the kinematograph since 1999. We do not seem to have missed much. SIG

Politically incorrect film reviews – God Bless America

Main Cast
Joel Murray as Frank Murdoch
Tara Lynne Barr as Roxanne “Roxy” Harmon
Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait

This is a very confused film . At one level it is a shoot ‘em up murderfest, on another a road movie, on a third a political polemic. There are elements of Michael Douglas in Falling Down, Bonnie and Clyde and a Michael Moore documentary. Continue reading

A Month Of Australian Miserablism

by Dick Puddlecote

Note: I’m rather glad I never did emigrate Down Under. It seems an even nastier place than the Imperial Motherland. If I had my time again, and I were single, I think I’d settle in somewhere like the Republic of Filtheria – a place in the sun that had its “revolution” three generations ago, and where the unshaven pigs slouch round in dark sunglasses, contenting themselves with the occasional bribe from pimps and streetvendors. Sadly, the Americans appear to have bombed all such places into prohibitionist tyrannies even more joyless than their own accursed lair.

There are several dozen pieces by Kipling that put a lump in my throat. Here’s one of them:

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would be —
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

He’d never seen modern Singapore. SIG Continue reading

The Regulatory State — Behind the Myth

by Kevin Carson

A colleague at Center for a Stateless Society recently brought to my attention a story from late last year about unusually high concentrations of severe illness in the area surrounding a Crossett, Ark. paper mill. Members of eleven out of fifteen homes on Penn Road have died of cancer, and respiratory distress is common. Continue reading

Digital Technologies vs. Truth Suppression

Digital Technologies vs. Truth Suppression
Gary North
Reality Check (Sept. 21, 2012)

I am going to tell you some stories. To make it interesting, I will begin with one which could make one of my readers the deal of a lifetime. It ends on September 30. He who hesitates is lost.

I begin with the obvious: the falling cost of Internet communications is revolutionizing the spread of knowledge. In doing so, it is undermining every establishment. Every establishment rests much of its power on official views of the past. This is seen in the novel by George Orwell, “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” The tyrant who enforces the totalitarian state says this. “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

The cost of controlling the past has risen exponentially since 1995: the year that the graphics browser was introduced. Then came Google.

I know Orwell said this, because I just verified it on several websites. That took under one minute. There is some debate over punctuation: period, colon, or semicolon. I think I will not go to the trouble of looking it up in my library, which is in a special room miles away. Continue reading

Should British Citizens ever be Extradited? Flash Animation

Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, debating with Alex Carlile on BBC Radio 5 on the 25th September 2012.

Also, in the same hour, Sean on BBC Radio London, arguing alone:

Also on BBC Radio Wales:

The question was whether British citizens should ever be extradited to face trial in other countries. This was prompted by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights not to block the extradition of several men, including Abu Hamza and Babu Ahmad, to the United States for alleged terrorism offences.

Sean argues these points: Continue reading

Sock Puppetry 101 (More on Fake Charities)

by Dick Puddlecote

Busy times at Puddlecote Towers so content will be sparse, but this IEA ‘bite-size’ infographic on state-funded Sock Puppetry was worth reproducing, I thought (click to enlarge).

Government lobbying government is a phenomenon which should be more widely known, so please do share generously.

The Funniest YouTube Video of the Year

Actvists – probably lefties, but so what? – gatecrashing a dinner held to honour the retiring head of HMRC – a man who has personally let rich corporations off £25bn of tax, while making sure the rest of us are squeezed like grapes in a press.

“You will depart immediately, before we set the dogs on you” – a classic ruling class line!

Of course, the scumbag bureaucrat should be stripped of his cushy pension and left to find out what life is like for the superannuated serfs he and his sort have been milking. SIG

Thanks to D.J. Webb for bringing this to my attention.

And here’s an article from The Daily Mail, kindly supplied by Peter Watson: Continue reading

Obituary: David Alec Webb, 1931-2012

David Alec Webb, Actor and Legal Reform Campaigner,
6th March 1931-30th June 2012
Prepared by Sean Gabb
First published in The Libertarian Enterprise


David Alec Webb, wit, raconteur, well-known actor on stage, screen and television, and tireless – and ultimately successful – opponent of the laws against pornography, died on the 30th June this year, at the age of 81

The son of a car worker, he was born in Luton in 1931. He attended LutonGrammar School, where he did well academically and became Head Boy. After national service in the Army Education Corps, where he became a sergeant, he got a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). From here, he embarked on a long and successful career that began on the West End stage, but soon migrated to television. He was a prominent character in the early days of Coronation Street. Worried about the dangers of typecasting, he soon moved on, and, between the 1960s and the beginning of the present century, made well over 700 appearances in television programmes. These included Upstairs, Downstairs, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Tales of the Unexpected, Doctor Who, and The Avengers. He also found time for the cinema, appearing in, among much else, The Battle of Britain. In a profession which, notoriously, has an unemployment rate of 80 per cent, he was never out of work. Continue reading

And the War Came

by Ralph Raico

Note: I’d have ignored Belgium and stuffed the French. By now, we might have planted the Union Flag on Mars! SIG Continue reading

The Scandal of Foreign Aid

Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, debating with Tom Levitt of Concern Worldwide (UK) on BBC Radio Ulster on the 23rd September 2012. He makes these points against foreign aid: Continue reading

Libertarians for Redistribution

Libertarians for Redistribution was originally published March 20, 2010, on Liberal Law Blog, written by Gary Chartier.

Libertarianism is a redistributive project. That’s another way in which radical market anarchism is rightly seen as part of the socialist tradition.

Statists on both the left and the right favor the redistribution of wealth. Libertarians, by contrast, are often assumed to be dead-set against all varieties of redistribution. But it’s important to see that whether this is really the case or not depends on how we answer several questions: Continue reading

Corporate Personhood, Limited Liability, and Double Taxation

by Stephan Kinsella

Note: I don’t accept Stephan’s argument against joint and several liability of shareholders if a corporation cannot pay damages awarded against it for torts. In the first place, some kind of vicarious liability is perfectly just – perhaps not the full degree seen in the common law. In the second, Stephan seems to regard shareholders as similar to citizens in a democratic state. There is no similarity. Stephan and I cannot reasonably be held responsible for what was done in Iraq. We opposed it. We may have voted against it in various elections. But we are members of compelled associations. We could not opt out. A shareholder, on the other hand, is a member of a voluntary association. It is up to him to keep an eye on what his servants or agents are doing. If he cannot control them, he should think twice before buying or keeping his shares.

Corporate Personhood, Limited Liability, and Double Taxation

by Stephan Kinsella on October 18, 2011 @ 2:56 pm · 65 comments

in Anti-Statism, Business, Corporatism, Libertarian Theory

The politics of the left-oriented Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, like that of the right-oriented modern Tea Party movement, is not very well defined. But one of the things some of the OWS participants are calling for in their list of “demands” is an end to “corporate personhood.” In this they echo the views of left-libertarians who contend that state-chartered “corporations” are the source of grave social ills.1 Continue reading

Thoughts on Limited Liability

Thoughts on Limited Liability
by Sean Gabb
(26th September 2006)

I was approached yesterday—Monday the 25th September 2006—by an American friend who had just read a piece I wrote in 2005 against limited liability (Free Life Commentary, issue 135: Because his enquiry was private, I will not give his name. [Is is  Stephan Kinsella, and you can find further discussion of the  issues raised here] But I feel it would be useful to make my reply public.

I will begin with an edited publication of his enquiry: Continue reading

“Public” vs. “Private” Sector

by Kevin Carson

Note: I like this phrase: “the corporation in practice is simply a free-floating aggregation of unowned capital, controlled by a self-perpetuating managerial oligarchy which exercises all the material rights of control without ever having acquired an “ownership” right by any legitimate means (i.e., by actually buying into the equity it controls and uses to feather its own nest). SIG Continue reading

Klaus criticises prohibition

Note: I was wondering when Vaclav Klaus would open his mouth about his government’s attempted alcohol ban. He seldom disappoints. SIG

Klaus criticises prohibition

20 September 2012

Prague, Sept 19 (CTK) – President Vaclav Klaus said the introduction of prohibition in the Czech Republic was an unreasonable and exaggerated solution to the spread of bootleg alcohol and it will be difficult to lift it, during his visit to Italy yesterday. Continue reading

The Big Stick Is Brought Out To Beat E-Cigs With

by Dick Puddlecote

If this blog had a motto, it would be the much-repeated refrain “it’s never been about health”. ‘It’ being the current western obsession with banning – or hugely hindering – any substance not approved of by trouser-filling health lobbyists and snobby elitists.

Nowhere is this more blatant than the recent escalation of aggression towards e-cigs. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Urban Outfitters Regarding Their Che Guevara Merchandise

via Attack the System

Thor Halvorssen lays the smack down….


Ted Marlow
CEO, Urban Outfitters
30 Industrial Park Blvd.
Trenton, SC 29847

Dear Mr. Marlow,

The Human Rights Foundation recently became aware of the sale of merchandise at Urban Outfitters emblazoned with the image of communist leader Che Guevara, at times accompanied by the word “revolución.” As a nonprofit organization dedicated to the defense of human rights, we would like to bring your attention to Guevara’s bloody and anti-democratic legacy. Continue reading

Dark Satanic Cubicles – It’s time to smash the job culture!

Note: O Loompanics! When will we see thy like again? SIG

Dark Satanic Cubicles was originally published in 2005 on Loompanics Unlimited, written by Claire Wolfe.

You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
St. Peter don’t you call me, ’cause I can’t go.
I owe my soul to the company store.
Merle Travis, chorus of the song Sixteen Tons

Back in 1955, thunder-voiced Tennessee Ernie Ford recorded that song as the B-side of a single. Soon, nobody could even remember what the A-side was. DJ’s all over the country began flipping the disc – and within two months of its release Sixteen Tons had become the biggest single ever sold in America.

Sixteen Tons is a John Henry style fable about a coal miner who’s tough as nails – one fist of iron, the other of steel.

He’s able to do the most back-breaking job and slaughter any opponent. But even though he’s been working in the mines since the day he was born, he can’t get ahead. Merle Travis wrote and recorded the song in 1946. But until Ford covered it, Sixteen Tons hadn’t done Travis a bit of good.

Far from it. Although Travis was a patriotic Kentucky boy, the U.S. government thought any song complaining about hard work and hopeless debt was subversive. The song got Travis branded a communist sympathizer (a dangerous label in those days). A Capitol record exec who was a Chicago DJ in the late 40s remembers an FBI agent coming to the station and advising him not to play Sixteen Tons.

Pretty big fuss over one little song. Continue reading

Should there be Video Cameras in School Toilets?

Note: This is not one of my most sparkling performances. I was got out of bed by the BBC to argue against a proposal so bizarrely evil that I was almost lost for words. SIG Continue reading

The allure of socialism, or “Fighting Zombies”.

David Davis

I shamelessly reblog this from The Last Ditch.

When the Wall fell most of us thought that, even if history had not ended, Socialism was dead. Those of us who went to the East to build on the ruins wrought by decades of it little thought it still had legs. Its central thesis – that centralised economic planning would produce fairer and more effective results than the operation of market forces – had been tested to destruction. My grandfather’s trucking business was run better by himself and his brothers than it ever was by British Road Services, when expropriated by a British Socialist government.

More than half of mankind experienced socialism in the twentieth century. Almost all of us experienced some less full-blooded implementations than were tried behind the Berlin Wall. There has never been a greater experiment in all human history and It led to the deaths of millions and the impoverishment of billions. If ever an idea was ready for the dustbin of history, surely this one was? Yet it marches on. A zombie ideology; dead but still a threat.

I can see that it’s seductive. As we face the usual struggle in competition with others to Continue reading

The Art of Being Free

The Art of Being Free, by Wendy McElroy [Laissez Faire Books, 2012]

By Wally Conger

Long ago, when I was an evangelical libertarian punk, there were two tomes I hauled around in my book bag to help lure passers-by into the movement — Radical Libertarianism by Jerome Tuccille and Murray Rothbard’s monumental For A New Liberty. Continue reading

Epicurus: Father of the Enlightenment

Epicurus: Father of the Enlightenment[1]
by Sean Gabb

 Epicurus (341-270 BC) was, with Plato and Aristotle, one of the three great philosophers of the ancient world. He developed an integrated system of ethics and natural philosophy that, he claimed and many accepted, showed everyone the way to a life of the greatest happiness. The school that he founded remained open for 798 years after his death. While it lost place during the last 200 of these years, his philosophy held until then a wide and often decisive hold on the ancient mind.

The revival of Epicureanism in the 17th century coincided with the growth of scientific rationalism and classical liberalism. There can be no doubt these facts are connected. It may, indeed, be argued that the first was a leading cause of the second two, and that we are now living in a world shaped, in every worthwhile sense, by the ideas of Epicurus. Continue reading

We’re All Agreed Then

by Dick Puddlecote

With a consultation on plain packaging underway in New Zealand, the tobacco control industry’s lucratively pliant friends at the University of Otago have been happily producing ‘science’ to order.

Their latest offering comes to a stunning conclusion. Continue reading

Did Darwin Destroy the Design Argument?

From The International Philosophical Quarterly, 28 (1988), 95-104.

Did Darwin Destroy the Design Argument?

James A. Sadowsky, S.J.

Richard Dawkins claims that

. . . although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.1

This is because Darwin presented an alternative explanation for the apparent design in the biological world. The apparent design is there not because somebody wanted it to be there but rather because of the operation of natural selection upon random variations. Dawkins claims that Continue reading

England not the only country run by nutters

Note: Not fifty people down with methanol poisoning, and the authorities are banning strong drink across the whole Czech Republic. It’s like banning sex because a few people have caught the pox. It won’t work, of course. Like Slovakia, the country is awash in domestic slivovica. Since our own authorities are doubtless watching this exercise in prohibition, I call on the Czech people to respond as they always have to tyranny. SIG Continue reading

Father James A. Sadowsky, SJ, RIP

by David Gordon

Note: 87 is a good age. But in the midst of life, we are in death.SIG

No one who met Jim Sadowsky could ever forget him. I first saw him at a conference at Claremont University in California in August 1979; his great friend Bill Baumgarth, a political science professor at Fordham, was also there. His distinctive style of conversation at once attracted my attention. He spoke in a very terse way, and he had no patience with nonsense, a category that covered much of what he heard. If you gave him an argument and asked him whether he understood what you meant, he usually answered, “No, I don’t.” He once said to a fellow Jesuit, “that’s false, and you know it’s false.”

Behind that gruff exterior was a very kind and warm person, with a delight in humor. I knew I would get along with him at that conference when he said to a small group of people, “I may not look like a cup of coffee, but I certainly feel like one.” I was the only one who laughed, and he said to me, “You have a discerning sense of humor.” We were friends from then on.

He delighted in paradoxical remarks, such as “The word philosophy comes from the Greek word philosophia, which means philosophy.” “We wouldn’t have the concept of free will, unless we had it.” “A student of mine once objected to Ockham’s razor, on the grounds that it’s unnecessary.”

He told me that a student in one of his philosophy classes at Fordham wore a tee-shirt that said, “I don’t need your drugs.” He said that he asked him, “Does this mean you get enough of your own?” The student answered, “Drugs are a very serious subject; you shouldn’t tell jokes about them.” He said to me, “I don’t understand. If he didn’t think it was funny, how did he know it was a joke?” After he told me that he sometimes played contract bridge, I asked him whether he was a good player. “Yes,” he answered, “but I play with better players.” One of my favorites among his comments was, “I like to get to the desserts first, ahead of all the greedy and selfish people.”

As one might expect of someone with this cast of mind, his specialty was logic, and he taught this subject at Fordham for over 40 years. He began teaching there in 1960 and continued giving courses in logic long after his retirement; he also taught logic for several years at Blackfriars Hall in Oxford University. He was very popular with the Oxford dons and once brought down the house with his instant response to the question “What would be the appropriate penalty for attempted suicide?” “Execution,” he said.

As many readers of Mises Daily will know, he was in political philosophy and economics a follower of Murray Rothbard, who esteemed him highly. He had come across Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression shortly after its publication in 1963. He soon sought out the book’s author and became part of a group that frequently gathered at Rothbard’s Manhattan apartment.

What attracted him to the libertarian point of view was its individualism: libertarianism rejects the notion of a collective interest apart from that of individual persons. In this he found echoes of one of his favorite thinkers among the scholastics, Francisco Suarez, who maintained that political authority rests on consent. If this idea were followed to its full implications, Sadowsky thought, it would lead to anarchism, an implication he fully accepted. Once, sitting on the floor on Rothbard’s living room, he said, “I hear that Roy [Childs] is in danger of lapsing into archy.” He would never be in this danger.

Sadowsky’s distinctive approach to political thought is best summed up in the last paragraph of his most influential article among libertarians, “Private Property and Collective Ownership.” He says, “If there is a lesson to be learned from this paper it is that the only enlightening way of analyzing economic and property problems is by always returning to the individual who, alone, is real. People are ill-served by the manufacture of spurious entities.” (A number of other papers by Sadowsky are available on this site, maintained by Tony Flood. It was Tony who telephoned me on the morning of September 7 with the sad news of Jim’s passing, and he has his own memorial notice here.)

Sadowsky’s article first appeared in the Autumn 1966 issue of Rothbard’s journal Left and Right, under a slightly different title and under the pen name “Eric Dalton.” Jim was somewhat crestfallen when he showed the article to his great friend and colleague in the Fordham philosophy department, Father W. Norris (“Norrie”) Clarke. Clarke said, “It sounds just like you, Jim.”

He had extremely high standards of rigor and as a result did not publish very much, but he held distinctive opinions on a wide variety of philosophical topics. One of the most important to him was “strict finitism,” a position he had learned from his friends Morris and Alice Ambrose Lazerowitz. In this view, there cannot be an actually existing infinite number of physical objects. As he often said to me, “the world is a totality.” He used this view to support an argument for the existence of God called the “kalam cosmological argument”; but it was the standard cosmological argument that he deemed the strongest proof for God. He rejected the design argument but argued in a paper he deemed one of his most important — “Did Darwin Destroy the Design Argument?” — that the theory of evolution was irrelevant to its truth. He also held that it was possible to know what someone will in future freely decide to do: there is, he held, no difference in principle between knowledge of the past and knowledge of the future. He also rejected “middle knowledge,” but I don’t think this is the place to explain the idea to those unfamiliar with the controversy.

$30.00 $25.00

In the fall of 2011, he had surgery to relieve the pressure of blocked arteries in his neck. Owing in part to his advanced age — he was then 87 — he never fully recovered from this operation; but he was still anxious to discuss philosophy in our almost daily telephone conversations. In the last few months, I could tell that a lung complaint was causing him severe difficulty, and he was unable to talk over the telephone very much. In our last talk, he complained that broadcasts of the London Olympics were interfering with Days of Our Lives, his favorite soap opera, but he was still looking forward to his two scoops of chocolate ice cream after lunch and dinner every day. Now my dear friend is gone, and I’ll never be able to tease him about the ice cream again.

Comment on this article.

David Gordon covers new books in economics, politics, philosophy, and law for The Mises Review, the quarterly review of literature in the social sciences, published since 1995 by the Mises Institute. He is author of The Essential Rothbard, available in the Mises Store. Send him mail. See David Gordon’s article archives.

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Copyright © 2012 by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided full credit is given.


The Impending Minimum Alcohol Price Escalator

by Dick Puddlecote

Sadly, it looks like exactly what we have been predicting from our appalling government is coming true.

I’ve mentioned many times that the campaign for minimum pricing of alcohol is just a further means of control. Once the feet are under your living room table, they’ll be ramping the price up at every possible opportunity. Continue reading

The Immorality of Foreign Aid

Sean Gabb, speaking on BBC West Midlands Radio on the 18th September 2012. He makes these points against foreign aid: Continue reading

Time to come home, and throw out the trash

David Davis

I just caught this now. Here is what I have just facebooked in my exasperation:-

Everybody knows that a society full of armed police is a police state. And yet, we are “training” the bastards. Here we have the planet’s most professional army, trying to do what is really a policing job, and being murdered sequentially by “police” in “training”, while the Police in the UK behave like an occupying army a lot of the time. Truly, the world is upside down.

This is now getting ridiulous. Every so often, an “Afghan Policeman in training” murders one or more _/specifically/_ British or American Continue reading

Politically incorrect film reviews – The Sweeney

by Robert Henderson

Main cast Ray Winstone, Ben Drew, Damian Lewis, Hayley Atwell and Steven Mackintosh.

Robert Henderson

The latest filmic incarnation of the 1970s TV series the Sweeney is a serious mess. (For those unfamiliar with the TV series, the Sweeney is rhyming slang for the Flying Squad = Sweeney Todd – an elite (London) Metropolitan Police unit dealing with armed robberies and other serious armed crime). The film, as with the TV series, is built around the operational head of the Flying Squad Detective Inspector Jack Regan (Ray Winstone) and his second in command Detective Sergeant George Carter (Ben Drew). Continue reading


by the Rev Dr Alan Clifford


Dr Alan C. Clifford

What a sickening fiasco. French, Irish and now the Italians are cashing in on the hapless Duchess.

But are the British entirely without blame because we refuse to publish the pictures? No. Because this whole incident is but a symptom of our Europe-wide immoral, immodest culture, a culture where promiscuity, pornography and perversion flow unchecked. Indeed, our entire entertainment industry thrives on adulterous sex in particular and a mocking disregard for the Ten Commandments in general. Continue reading

Contract Feudalism: Reply to a Reply

Further Thoughts about “Contract Feudalism”: A Response to Paul Marks
Kevin Carson

Economic Notes No. 109

ISSN 0267-7164 ISBN 9781856377560

An occasional publication of the Libertarian Alliance,
Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, Mayfair, London W1J 6HL.

© 2008: Libertarian Alliance; Kevin Carson.

Kevin Carson lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He works as a hospital orderly and operates a lawn-mowing service. He belongs to the Voluntary Cooperation Movement (a mutualist affinity group), and the Industrial Workers of the World. He also maintains the Mutualist.Org website and recently published the book Studies in Mutualist Political Economy.

The views expressed in this publication are those of its author, and not necessarily those of the Libertarian Alliance, its Committee,
Advisory Council or subscribers.


Critique of Contract Feudalism

A Critique of a Critique: An Examination of Kevin Carson�s Contract Feudalism, by Paul Marks

A Critique of a Critique: An Examination of Kevin Carson’s Contract Feudalism
Paul Marks

Economic Notes No. 108

ISSN 0267-7164 ISBN 9781856377515

An occasional publication of the Libertarian Alliance,
Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, Mayfair, London W1J 6HL.

© 2007: Libertarian Alliance; Paul Marks.

Paul Marks is a researcher and commentator with a background in teaching (both at school and university level) and the security industry. He is a regular contributor to the Samizdata blog (, focusing on economics, history, politics and philosophy. In May 2007 he was elected as a Conservative member for the Brambleside ward of Kettering Borough Council ( Continue reading

Contract Feudalism

by Kevin Carson
Note: Hans-Hermann Hoppe distinguishes between “clean” and “dirty” capitalism. He regards only clean capitalism as worth defending at the level of abstract principle, and says this: “ To be sure, Marx, in the famous twenty-fourth chapter of the first volume of his Kapital, titled  The So-called Original Accumulation,   gives a historical account of the emergence of capitalism that makes the point that much or even most of the initial capitalist property is the result of plunder, enclosure, and conquest. Similarly, in chapter 25, on the  Modern Theory of Colonialism,  the role of force and violence in exporting capitalism to the-as we would now say-Third World is heavily emphasized. Admittedly, all this is generally correct, and insofar as it is there can be no quarrel with label­ing such capitalism exploitative.”  I often find the differences between the Austrians and the left-libertarians to be more of emphasis and terminology than of substance. Indeed, in people like Roderick Long and Thomas Knapp, the two movements shade into each other. SIG Continue reading

Drink, Be Merry, Get A Better Pension

by Dick Puddlecote

“Invest in another glass, gorgeous”

Those with prohibitionist fantasies can bang on as much as they like about costs to the NHS of unhealthy lifestyles, but then it’s not their own money which is being discussed, is it?

If their salaries were linked to truthfulness of their statements, I think we’d see an entirely different rhetoric. After all, their current abject failure is simply not being punished, sadly.

The opposite applies to industries where proper, accurate economics – as opposed to the fairy tales told by ASH and Alcohol Concern, for example – decide what level of profit and pay actuaries are entitled to. Continue reading

Libertarianism: What’s Going Right

by Kevin Carson

In “Libertarianism and Liberalism: What Went Wrong,” I gave my opinion of what was wrong with both mainstream libertarianism and mainstream liberalism (”wrong” in the sense to presenting an obstacle to an anti-authoritarian coalition of liberals and libertarians). In my last post, “Liberalism: What’s Going Right,” I discussed some reasons for hope within movement liberalism: some individuals who show signs of thinking outside the box when it comes to abandoning the worst features of the liberal establishment and finding common ground with free market libertarians. Now I’d like to do the same thing on the libertarian side. Continue reading

And if it’s true…

I wouldn’t be surprised.

David Davis

£150 billion a year for what the EUSSR costs the UK is probably accurate. I can’t seem to post the link: it just deletes my draft, but here it is:-

On leaving, I think something like a PPI-claim will be instituted. We’ll get back the entirety of the monies, plus interest, in a way that would “place us in a financial position like that as if we had not signed up in the first place.”

The really will have to offer Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy on eBay as a “buy it now” for £4.99. It’s the only way we’ll ever earn the money back.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s assets

by DJ Webb

Flat-chested women all over the world will sympathize with Kate Middleton today, after her assets – or lack of them – were captured on camera.

Why should Buckingham Palace be thinking about suing the French magazine that published the photographs? They were taken with a telephoto lens – but it is clear that Kate Middleton does like to relax topless. Would Queen Alexandra or Queen Mary have relaxed topless (with or without the intrusion of telephoto lenses)? Continue reading

Richard Blake in The Baltic Review

Man, Economy, and State at 50

by Robert Murphy

[This review originally appeared in the Freeman,
September 2012.]

Based on art by Tim Kelly done for

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1962 publication of Murray Rothbard’s grand treatise, Man, Economy, and State (MES). I was humbled when asked to write an appreciation of this indispensable work of Austrian economics. Rather than discussing the book’s obvious role in the modern revival of Austrian ideas, I decided to focus on the book itself.

Rothbard originally intended his work to be a textbook treatment of Ludwig von Mises’s own magnum opus, Human Action, which had come out in 1949. Indeed, Herbert C. Cornuelle, president of the Volcker Fund, was the one to pitch this idea to Rothbard that very year. Rothbard prepared an outline and a sample chapter on money, then received the blessing of Mises himself to go forward.

However, as Joseph Stromberg chronicles in exquisite detail in his introduction to the Mises Institute’s Scholar’s Edition of MES (2004), upon embarking on the project Rothbard eventually realized that a mere textbook would not be adequate. Cornuelle had visited Rothbard and asked if he thought the work should become a treatise in its own right. Rothbard pondered the question and eventually wrote in response (in February 1954), Continue reading