October 5, 2003
Liberty, War & Politics
Discusses the benefits of “price gouging” in conserving scarce resources.
…there was Premier Ernie Eves, warning of more blackouts and pleading with us all to conserve electricity. We had to laugh. We had just seen the effectiveness of the price system as a way of conserving scarce resources. Yet, thanks to Premier Eves, there is no price system for electricity in Ontario.
In addition to the one above, there are other interesting articles in the latest Libertarian Bulletin on the blackout and different topics.
Note that Premier Ernie Eves is now gone after the provincial election on October 2 (1).
1,200 weapons inspectors spent 90 days in Iraq.The exercise cost $300m.And the number of weapons found? 0
by Rupert Cornwell and Paul Waugh, The Independent, news.independent.co.uk, October 3, 2003
Five months after the end of the war in Iraq, a CIA adviser has admitted that his 1,200-strong team of inspectors has discovered none of Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction…
How public education cripples our kids, and why
by John Taylor Gatto, news.independent.co.uk, September, 2001
Discusses the history and philosophy behind public education.
…Maturity has by now been banished from nearly every aspect of our lives. Easy divorce laws have removed the need to work at relationships; easy credit has removed the need for fiscal self-control; easy entertainment has removed the need to learn to entertain oneself; easy answers have removed the need to ask questions. We have become a nation of children, happy to surrender our judgments and our wills to political exhortations and commercial blandishments that would insult actual adults…
Includes quote from Mencken:
…The aim … is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality…
***Richard Weaver: Historian of the South***
by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., lewrockwell.com, September 30, 2003
…The Southerner, said Weaver, “accepts the irremediability of a certain amount of evil and tries to fence it around instead of trying to stamp it out and thereby spreading it. His is a classical acknowledgment of tragedy and of the limits of power.” Weaver pointed out that such a mentality was utterly incompatible with another character type with which we are all too familiar. This other character type is “unhappy unless he feels that he is making the world over…”
…Professor Donald Livingston of Emory University has described the modern unitary state precisely as
one of the most destructive forces in history. Its wars and totalitarian revolutions have been without precedent in their barbarism and ferocity. …has persistently subverted and continues to subvert those independent social authorities and moral communities… Its subversion of these authorities, along with its success in providing material welfare, has produced an ever increasing number of rootless individuals whose characters are hedonistic, self-absorbed, and without spirit…
Comments on above article – Especially with respect to my interest in cults
For me, the point is not to defend Christianity or particular religions, but to emphasize the importance of preventing government interference in other social structures: churches, schools, families, clubs, businesses etc. The law – administered locally – needs to be always there for protecting the rights of isolated individuals who are being coerced.
But the existence of diverse opinions within the same extended family and diverse churches within the same community can and do act as protective influences that help individuals to make value judgments and provide choices in the face of abuse from their own church or family.
These institutions – if healthy – can provide accountability and moral training to their members. They can also hold public officials accountable. Individuals can judge what is healthiest for themselves and learn from their experiences – becoming stronger – granting “authority” only to those who are worthy of it, thus choosing between competing authorities, and influencing others in the process.
I feel this is a description of how we behave naturally at our best, and if the government ceased interfering and enforcing conformity – if we granted no single institution all power – a healthier, just – but never perfect – society would come about – voluntarily and cooperatively through peaceful trade and spiritual interaction. This is a long way off as long as there are efforts to criminalize free expression and engineer peoples’ belief systems. Liberal democracies are headed in the wrong direction – away from classical liberalism and into a nightmare world of arbitrary laws, increased central planning and violent “humanitarian” interference in the conflicts of other nations.
The Mess in Potamia
by Fred Reed, lewrockwell.com, September 30, 2003
…Kicking in doors in the night and holding women at gunpoint poses the same difficulty. If you don’t do these things, you don’t catch the resistance. If you do, you recruit for them…
Blood for Unity
by David Gordon, Mises.org, Fall, 2003
Review of Why We Fight: Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism by William J. Bennett.
…There is the little matter of the criterion of last resort, which requires us to seek a peaceful resolution of a dispute before using force, but this does not faze Bennett. He omits to mention it altogether…
by Burton S. Blumert, LewRockwell.com, September 29, 2003
About Lew Rockwell’s new book: Speaking of Liberty