Archive for the ‘#liberty’ Tag

Founders on Property   Leave a comment

A friend commented the other day that Americans have become so self-centered, not willing to share from their “excess” and the Founders would be so ashamed. I quoted the highlighted section of this James Madison document, but she didn’t believe me. “That’s one of those made up quotes,” she said. I found it for her, but here you go … all you people who have swallowed the socialist statist propaganda. Not only is the quote not made up, but the larger context gives weight to the singular quotes. Property, to the Founders (to THE Founder who mostly wrote the Constitution) was something inherent in an individual and that property included not just houses and lands, but rights.

 

29 Mar. 1792Papers 14:266–68

This term (Property) in its particular application means “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

In its larger and juster meaning, it embraces every thing to which a man may attach a value and have a right; and which leaves to every one else the like advantage.

In the former sense, a man’s land, or merchandize, or money is called his property.

In the latter sense, a man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them.

He has a property of peculiar value in his religious opinions, and in the profession and practice dictated by them.

He has a property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person.

He has an equal property in the free use of his faculties and free choice of the objects on which to employ them.

In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.

Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.

Where there is an excess of liberty, the effect is the same, tho’ from an opposite cause.

Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.

According to this standard of merit, the praise of affording a just securing to property, should be sparingly bestowed on a government which, however scrupulously guarding the possessions of individuals, does not protect them in the enjoyment and communication of their opinions, in which they have an equal, and in the estimation of some, a more valuable property.

More sparingly should this praise be allowed to a government, where a man’s religious rights are violated by penalties, or fettered by tests, or taxed by a hierarchy. Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that, being a natural and unalienable right. To guard a man’s house as his castle, to pay public and enforce private debts with the most exact faith, can give no title to invade a man’s conscience which is more sacred than his castle, or to withhold from it that debt of protection, for which the public faith is pledged, by the very nature and original conditions of the social pact.

That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest. A magistrate issuing his warrants to a press gang, would be in his proper functions in Turkey or Indostan, under appellations proverbial of the most compleat despotism.

That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where arbitrary restrictions, exemptions, and monopolies deny to part of its citizens that free use of their faculties, and free choice of their occupations, which not only constitute their property in the general sense of the word; but are the means of acquiring property strictly so called. What must be the spirit of legislation where a manufacturer of linen cloth is forbidden to bury his own child in a linen shroud, in order to favour his neighbour who manufactures woolen cloth; where the manufacturer and wearer of woolen cloth are again forbidden the oeconomical use of buttons of that material, in favor of the manufacturer of buttons of other materials!

A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species: where arbitrary taxes invade the domestic sanctuaries of the rich, and excessive taxes grind the faces of the poor; where the keenness and competitions of want are deemed an insufficient spur to labor, and taxes are again applied, by an unfeeling policy, as another spur; in violation of that sacred property, which Heaven, in decreeing man to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, kindly reserved to him, in the small repose that could be spared from the supply of his necessities.

If there be a government then which prides itself in maintaining the inviolability of property; which provides that none shall be taken directly even for public use without indemnification to the owner, and yet directly violates the property which individuals have in their opinions, their religion, their persons, and their faculties; nay more, which indirectly violates their property, in their actual possessions, in the labor that acquires their daily subsistence, and in the hallowed remnant of time which ought to relieve their fatigues and soothe their cares, the influence [inference?] will have been anticipated, that such a government is not a pattern for the United States.

If the United States mean to obtain or deserve the full praise due to wise and just governments, they will equally respect the rights of property, and the property in rights: they will rival the government that most sacredly guards the former; and by repelling its example in violating the latter, will make themselves a pattern to that and all other governments.


The Founders’ Constitution
Volume 1, Chapter 16, Document 23
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch16s23.html
The University of Chicago Press

The Papers of James Madison. Edited by William T. Hutchinson et al. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1962–77 (vols. 1–10); Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1977–(vols. 11–).

Regulators Are Trying to Derail the Success of our Private Railroads | Ian Adams   Leave a comment

Found on FEE

By virtually any measure, America’s freight rail system is one of the best in the world. In fact, rail transports a full 40 percent of freight moved in the United States. But rogue federal regulators may change that.

Image result for image of a freight train

Since 1981, when a bipartisan congressional effort largely deregulated the nation’s freight rail providers, Americans have enjoyed a 45 percent decrease in rates for transport by freight train.

That means nearly twice as much freight can be moved on the rails today, compared to 35 years ago, for roughly the same cost. New rules under review by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, however, largely would undo those striking gains.

The Rail Industry Doesn’t Need Micro Conductors

The Surface Transportation Board is considering implementing a “reciprocal switching arrangement” rule, better known as “forced access,” which would require railroads to grant competitors a right to use their rails.For decades, railroads have negotiated terms among themselves for interchanging traffic.

Supporters of the rule maintain the measure would improve competition. However, they seek to do so by reinstating the kind of pre-1981 regulatory regime that brought the railroads to the brink of financial ruin.

Before passage of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, railroads were unable to account for the true costs of their services because of regulations that restricted their rates and practices. Similarly, forced access would prescribe how railroads interact, independent of the public’s interest in competition.

The case for forced access is built on two seemingly reasonable, but ultimately incorrect assumptions.

The first incorrect assumption is that rail lines are public property and should be treated the same as roads; they aren’t, and they shouldn’t be. In fact, for the most part rail lines are owned by private firms.

The second misconception is that railroads can’t already coordinate the use of each other’s rail lines on their own, even though they do it all the time.

In fact, for decades, railroads have negotiated terms among themselves for interchanging traffic. The Surface Transportation Board is asked to intervene only when one railroad complains that another is charging rates that are excessive.

Why Fix What Ain’t Broken?

This system has worked well. The public benefits from rails being held in private hands, as that arrangement has provided incentives for private capital to be invested in maintaining those lines.Forced Access would lead to less private railroad investment, and consumers would feel the pain.

Compared to other major industries, railroads invest one of the highest percentages of their own revenues to maintain and add capacity to their systems, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. This has saved taxpayers billions.

Compelling railroads to open their routes to other operators under terms dictated by the government would render railroads’ billions in private investment less valuable. Over time, they would have less and less reason to invest, and consumers would feel the pain.

Of course, proposals for forced-access regulations would be unthinkable were the railroads in the state they found themselves in before the Staggers Rail Act’s reforms, in the wake of eight large railroads filing for bankruptcy.

As is often the case, memories of past foibles fade quickly. The cost of forgetting the past, and the great benefits that liberalization has brought, would be a return to worse service, expensive taxpayer subsidies, and, perhaps, outright nationalization of our railroads.

That would be a move in the wrong direction.

Source: Regulators Are Trying to Derail the Success of our Private Railroads | Ian Adams

Posted October 7, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in economics

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Adopt A Highway   Leave a comment

Image result for image of a gravel roadMy friend Mila sent this to me via email and it was intriguing enough that I researched it. Mila lives here in Alaska, but she was born in the Ukraine. Her husband Alex is from Russia. They escaped the USSR about two years before perastroika, so they know a thing or two about risking all for the chance at freedom. Maybe someday they will let me interview them.

Anyway … back to the subject at hand

 

The Moscow Times:

“Smugglers have transformed the gravel track in the Smolensk region in order to help their heavy goods vehicles traveling on the route, said Alexander Laznenko from the Smolensk region border agency. The criminal groups have widened and raised the road and added additional turning points, he said.

The road, which connects Moscow to the Belarussian capital of Minsk, is known to be used by smugglers wishing to avoid official customs posts and is now under official surveillance.

A convoy of trucks was recently stopped on the road carrying 175 tons of sanctioned Polish fruit worth 13 million rubles ($200,000). The produce was subsequently destroyed, TASS reported.

Local border guards, customs and police officers have checked over 73,000 vehicles entering Russia from Belarus this year, Laznenko said, claiming that the number of heavy goods vehicles crossing the border from Belarus has increased dramatically in the last year, he said.”

 

So, as I work on the 3rd book in Transformation Project (yeah, that’s right, I’m working on it even though the 2nd book is more than a month from launch), I’ve been asking myself these questions, trying to see beyond my marginally statist myopia.

Who will build the roads if the government doesn’t?

Apparently criminals will, if they need to and it benefits their own interests. And, catch what they’re bringing in — fruit.

Image result for image of truckload of fruitOh, the horrors of black marketing! Someone might get addicted to bananas.

The smugglers adopted a gravel road from Moscow to Minsk, raised it, widened it and added turning points. The secret project increased traffic and prompted a government takeover, complete with customs abuses.

So, let’s just take a pause and think about this. A company builds roads. By the way, the government does not build roads. The government gives money to companies to build roads. So the government goes away (or at least stops being able to fund roads) and the company does what?

Well, the statist answer is that they would go bankrupt because no roads would be built. The capitalist solution would be that they either build the road themselves and recoup the cost through tolls or they contract with the people who need to road to get their goods to market and build the road on their behalf.

See! No government needed! Just enlightened self-interest and a dump truck and grader.

Dear Regressives: Crackdown Is Not an Effective Way to Deal with Dissent | T.J. Brown   Leave a comment

While I know private companies have every right to do this, I still propose that they shouldn’t.

Source: Dear Regressives: Crackdown Is Not an Effective Way to Deal with Dissent | T.J. Brown

Image result for image of free speechOver the last several years, the far cultural authoritarian left – termed today as the regressive left – has been launching a militaristic online campaign against free speech; one that aims to make the web into an ideological safe space. And, as with any war, whether physical or digital, the victim count is growing more and more each day.

Today’s headline casualty? Leslie Jones.

What Actually Happened

As any competent social media user under the age of 79 knows, you never feed the trolls.Like most Millennials, I spent about 60% of the day yesterday scrolling through Twitter. Eventually, I saw it: Leslie Jones’ nudes as the number one trending topic in the United States.

Immediately, a single word popped into my head as I contemplated the motivations behind this act: Milo. For those who don’t know, in the month of July, conservative media personality Milo Yiannopoulos became the first person ever to be permanently banned from Twitter. Not “Your account is gone and you have to start all over” banned, but “You as an individual can never use this platform again” banned.

Milo has had run-ins with the Twitter police before, most notably when he had his verification badge removed after jokingly pretending to be a Buzzfeed employee. In this most recent event, Milo exchanged a single tweet with Leslie Jones as she was battling a wave of trolls online after her Ghostbusters release. Granted, his tweet was provoking and catty, per Milo’s reputation, but it was in compliance with Twitter’s terms of service.

But because Leslie continued feeding the trolls (never feed the trolls), she attracted even more harassment which caused even more of a scene for the website. This embarassed Twitter, and led to their need to make an example of this situation to prove to the world they were on the side of safe space advocates. So they banned Milo.

Deleted tweets & temporary suspensions are common, but never banning. It shocked Milo’s 300,000+ fans, including yours truly, that he was indefinitely evicted from his most domineering platform. It also made Milo into a martyr for the libertarian/conservative/classical liberal sphere of the internet. And as with any martyr, some supporters will seek revenge against their martyr’s antagonist. This would unfortunately become to be Leslie Jones.

The Regressive Left’s Role in Endangering Leslie

Remember, the outcome via free markets will always yield better results than that of central planning and authoritarian regulation.Through perhaps her own volition, Leslie made herself into a target for harassment the second she showed emotional vulnerability to her trolls. I don’t intend to victim-blame her for the disgusting, hateful criticism regarding her movie or the recent photo leak, which, again, is indefensible. But as any competent social media user under the age of 79 knows, you never feed the trolls.

That’s why the block button exists. You would think a professional comedian would be more aware of this fact than anyone, but I digress. Whether she bared conscious responsibility or not, her approach to criticism was directly correlated to the harassment she received. And in a way, it’s kind of ironic.

With her calls for rescue and intervention by Twitter, I theorize that the company and her SJW allies actually made her online experience less safe than it otherwise would have been had Twitter simply left its internal marketplace free to take its spontaneous course and allow the situation to resolve itself. Remember, the outcome via free markets will always yield better results than that of central planning and authoritarian regulation.

The regressive left claims to be interested in making the internet a safe space for minorities, but in the end, through their obsession to control speech and interaction, they made the situation ten times worse than before. They’re facilitating the rise of political conflict online. And this isn’t just limited to Milo Yiannopoulos: several additional examples have surfaced both before and after this particular event.

In 2009, Mozilla’s CEO was forced to resign after pressure surfaced from the left to oust him for his political opinions on gay marriage. Granted the CEO is no less culturally authoritarian, seeing as he contributed money to promoting a government act to ban gay marriage in California, but that’s not to say the left is any more libertarian.

Free Speech

In the end, it was a major declaration against free speech. Particularly free right-wing speech. Not the legislative writing backed by the constitution, mind you, but rather the philosophical principle backed by morals and ethics.

Backtrack to 2015, when the war on gamers was at its peak, known as #GamerGate. In the midst of trying to free this entertainment genre of problematic content, the left managed to get video games removed from shelves or outright banned. Notable examples were Dead or Alive xtreme 3 and Grand Theft Auto 5. Oh, and just so progressives can know how much of an influence they had, the misogynistic Islamic theocratic patriarchs of Saudi Arabia agree with you about combatting problematic sexual indecency. Hence their banning of Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Fast forward to “current year” to witness the onslaught of censorship in full swing, which many have had the unfortunate pleasure of experiencing first hand. Multiple individual libertarian-leaning personalities and commentators have been targeted. Reputable names like Lauren Southern, Blaire White, Liberty Memes, Milo Yiannopolus, Gregory Alan Elliott, and not-so-famous names like Peyton Smith,Anarchyball, and so many other individual or collective outlets for what has been deemed “politically incorrect” commentary have been directly influenced by these censorships.

Ignoring the examples of actual physical assault, doxing threats and social media harassment (arguably sometimes more severe than that of Leslie Jones), these people have been on the receiving end of attempted censorship efforts from far-left camps like AntiFa, Intersectional Feminism, BlackLivesMatter, and so on.

This war on ideas is about to boil over.

The Free Market Has Had Enough

With fierce attack comes fierce resistance. A new generation of online pioneers are seeking to remove the monopoly on ideology the left currently holds in mainstream academia, entertainment, news, and social media. Prepared to launch swift defensive strategies when confronted with the threat of censorship. But since many of these organizations are in the ideological pocket of Big Leftism, dissenters can’t rely on conventional methods of fair internal resolutions.

As a result, we’re seeing the creation of voluntary cyber militias, prepared to defend their fellow free speech advocates during this crusade of so-called social justice. News outlets like Breitbart, Drudge, Rubin Report, and Rebel Media, as well as a frontline division of non-media individual parties, are all protecting each other, raising awareness of unfair censorship and redirecting the pressure onto the companies and their bias representatives.

While I know private companies have every right to do this, I still propose that they shouldn’t.But with black market vigilante defense comes more impassioned and negligent defensive actions – including the latest shameful example of Leslie Jones’ private photos being hacked and leaked as a humiliation attack.

None of us who support the free exchange of ideas should support this kind of silencing. But at the same time, it’s time for companies and the greater authoritarian left to realize their ideological Ecclesiocracy is not making the internet a safer place. And by failing to provide users a trustworthy avenue for impartial enforcement of regulations, they have created cells of betrayed consumers who are determined to seek justice through primarily cooperative, though unfortunately sometimes disgraceful, tactics.

Get Authoritarianism out of Social Media

If you’re really interested in making the internet a safer place for users, and a more respectful place of discourse, consider cultural liberty. We’ve seen the effects that ideological authoritarians have had on our governmental system, fighting to arbitrarily enforce what they think is right. Ask yourself, do you honestly want to see that system duplicated in one of the most populated, innovative, and arguably anarchic industries of the Information Age?

While I know private companies have every right to do this, I still propose that they shouldn’t; not only because I’m a genuine free speech absolutist, but also because I care about the safety and comfort of all individuals – even those like Leslie Jones who would be just fine with silencing me.

Posted August 26, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Liberty

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Who Is a Libertarian? | Dean Russell   1 comment

5c5a0-caThis article goes back to the early era of the libertarian movement. It was also right around this time that the conservative movement found a voice with National Review. Apparently, there was more going on in 1955 than we learned in high school. Lela

Those of us who favor individual freedom with personal responsibility have been unable to agree upon a generally acceptable name for ourselves and our philosophy of liberty. This would be relatively unimportant except for the fact that the opposition will call us by some name, even though we might not desire to be identified by any name at all. Since this is so, we might better select a name with some logic instead of permitting the opposition to saddle us with an epithet.

Source: Who Is a Libertarian? | Dean Russell

Some of us call ourselves “individualists,” but others point out that the opposition often uses that word to describe a heartless person who doesn’t care about the problems and aspirations of other people.

Some of us call ourselves “conservatives,” but that term describes many persons who base their approval of an institution more on its age than on its inherent worth.

Many of us call ourselves “liberals.” And it is true that the word “liberal” once described persons who respected the individual and feared the use of mass compulsions. But the leftists have now corrupted that once-proud term to identify themselves and their program of more government ownership of property and more controls over persons. As a result, those of us who believe in freedom must explain that when we call ourselves liberals, we mean liberals in the uncorrupted classical sense. At best, this is awkward and subject to misunderstanding.

Here is a suggestion: Let those of us who love liberty trade-mark and reserve for our own use the good and honorable word “libertarian.”

Webster’s New International Dictionary defines a libertarian as “One who holds to the doctrine of free will; also, one who upholds the principles of liberty, esp. individual liberty of thought and action.”

In popular terminology, a libertarian is the opposite of an authoritarian. Strictly speaking, a libertarian is one who rejects the idea of using violence or the threat of violence—legal or illegal—to impose his will or viewpoint upon any peaceful person. Generally speaking, a libertarian is one who wants to be governed far less than he is today.

A libertarian believes that the government should protect all persons equally against external and internal aggression, but should otherwise generally leave people alone to work out their own problems and aspirations.

While a libertarian expects the government to render equal protection to all persons against outright fraud and misrepresentation, he doesn’t expect the government to protect anyone from the consequences of his own free choices. A libertarian holds that persons who make wise choices are entitled to enjoy the fruits of their wisdom, and that persons who make unwise choices have no right to demand that the government reimburse them for their folly.

A libertarian expects his government to establish, support, and enforce the decisions of impartial courts of justice—courts which do not recognize or refer to a person’s race, religion, or economic status. If justice is to be rendered, the decisions of these courts must be as binding upon government officials and their actions as upon other persons and their actions.

A libertarian respects the right of every person to use and enjoy his honestly acquired property—to trade it, to sell it, or even to give it away—for he knows that human liberty cannot long endure when that fundamental right is rejected or even seriously impaired.

A libertarian believes that the daily needs of the people can best be satisfied through the voluntary processes of a free and competitive market. And he holds the strong belief that free persons, using their own honestly acquired money, are in the best possible position to understand and aid their fellow men who are in need of help.

A libertarian favors a strictly limited form of government with many checks and balances—and divisions of authority—to foil the abuses of the fearful power of government. And generally speaking, he is one who sees less, rather than more, need to govern the actions of others.

A libertarian has much faith in himself and other free persons to find maximum happiness and prosperity in a society wherein no person has the authority to force any other peaceful person to conform to his viewpoints or desires in any manner. His way of life is based on respect for himself and for all others.

A libertarian doesn’t advocate violent rebellion against prevailing governments—except as a last resort before the concentration camps. But when a libertarian sees harm rather than good in certain acts of government, he is obligated to try his best to explain to others who advocate those measures why such compulsory means cannot bring the ends which even they desire.

The libertarian’s goal is friendship and peace with his neighbors at home and abroad.


It is not the difference in taste between individuals that Libertarians object to, but the forcing of one’s tastes upon another.

Charles T. Sprading


The idea of governing by force another man, who I believe to be my equal in the sight of God, is repugnant to me. I do not want to do it. I do not want any one to govern me by any kind of force. I am a reasoning being, and I only need to be shown what is best for me, when I will take that course or do that thing simply because it is best, and so will you. I do not believe that a soul was ever forced toward anything except toward ruin.

Samuel Milton Jones


Liberty for the few is not liberty. Liberty for me and slavery for you means slavery for both.

Samuel Milton Jones


The institutions of civil liberty leave each man to run his career in life in his own way, only guaranteeing to him that whatever he does in the way of industry, economy, prudence, sound judgment, etc., shall redound to his welfare and shall not be diverted to someone else’s benefit. Of course it is a necessary corollary that each man shall also bear the penalty of his own vices and his own mistakes.

We are told what fine things would happen if every one of us would go and do something for the welfare of somebody else; but why not contemplate also the immense gain which would ensue if everybody would do something for himself?

Wherever collective standards, codes, ideals, and motives take the place of individual responsibility, we know from ample experience that the spontaneity and independent responsibility which are essential to moral vigor are sure to be lost.

William Graham Sumner

Posted August 25, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Liberty

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Must a Jew Bake a Nazi Cake? | Jeffrey A. Tucker   Leave a comment

Jeffery Tucker wrote this back in April, so the decision of who should be the Libertarian presidential candidate had not yet been made. And it is Gary Johnson’s reply to this question that is one of the reasons I will vote for him as an alternative to the main parties, but I can’t love him and support him wholeheartedly.  But Tucker, largely quoting Mises (who has a Jew in Austria just prior to World War 2 knew a thing or two about discrimination), does an excellent job of explaining why we ought to resist the “anti-discrimination” laws that are so prevelant today. Lela

 

The freedom to choose implies the freedom to decline any particular choice on any grounds.

Source: Must a Jew Bake a Nazi Cake? | Jeffrey A. Tucker

At the first-ever nationally televised debate between candidates for the Libertarian Party, the subject turned to a fundamental issue: the freedom not to associate. The subject concerned anti-discrimination law, particularly as it affects religion.

Gary Johnson was asked whether he, as president, would retain laws that prohibit discrimination based on religion. He said he would, especially given the current political climate in this country. There’s so much anger out there, he said, that he would be concerned about Muslims being denied access to basic utilities, for example.

Opponent Austin Petersen immediately seized on this compromise of principle. People must have the freedom to associate or disassociate based on whatever criterion. If they do not, he said, a Jewish baker would be forced to bake a cake for Nazis. Johnson agreed that non-discrimination would imply exactly that.

It was the best moment of the debate, and it sparked a thousand Reddit and Facebook discussions.

Who is right?

One objection is that this hypothetical is wholly unlikely in any case. Why would a Nazi demand such a thing from a Jew? If the Jewish baker really refused a Nazi, could he actually expect to be prosecuted for doing so?

However unlikely this scenario would be in the United States today, it is not entirely ahistorical. In the early years of the rise of the Nazis, party members demanded boycotts of Jewish businesses. This was part of their propaganda to whip up the public into scapegoating Jews for all the sufferings of the German people. Over time, public antagonism intensified to more direct forms of attacks and exclusions, from lootings, pogroms, ghettoization, concentration camps, and finally gas chambers.

A Slippery Slope?

Supporters of anti-discrimination law cite this as a case in point. If you let people refuse service based on a religious criterion (or race, sex, disability, and so on) you create a slippery slope. What starts as a bigoted choice ends in more violent modes of exclusion. Yes, this can lead to weird results such as forbidding a black-owned hotel from barring a Klan member, and a Jewish baker forced to service to a Nazi based on religion. But this is a small price to pay, they say, for a more generalized atmosphere of tolerance.

Let’s consult the great economist Ludwig von Mises, a Jew himself, who was actually present in interwar Vienna and personally affected by the rise of anti-Semitism. It kept him from obtaining a position at the city’s great university, and it eventually drove him out of his beloved Austria. Eventually arriving in the United States, he wrote what might be considered the most anti-Nazi book ever: Omnipotent Government (1944). It opposed Nazi racism and anti-Semitism but also the entire Nazi economic policy that itself was rooted in a form of legal discrimination of some producers over others.

Choice and Coercion

Where did Mises stand on the issue of discrimination? He distinguished two kinds: that extending from choice and that imposed by law. He favored the former and opposed the latter. He went even further. He said that a policy that forces people against their will creates the very conditions that lead to legal discrimination. In his view, even speaking as someone victimized by invidious discrimination, it is better to retain freedom than build a bureaucracy that overrides human choice.

“In an unhampered market society there is no legal discrimination against anybody,” he wrote. “Everyone has the right to obtain the place within the social system in which he can successfully work and make a living. The consumer is free to discriminate, provided that he is ready to pay the cost.”

What might this principle imply?

A Czech or a Pole may prefer to buy at higher cost in a shop owned by a Slav instead of buying cheaper and better in a shop owned by a German. An anti-Semite may forego being cured of an ugly disease by the employment of the ‘Jewish’ drug Salvarsan and have recourse to a less efficacious remedy. In this arbitrary power consists what economists call consumer’s sovereignty.

These choices are up to the consumer, and, presumably, the producer too.

In a world in which people have grasped the meaning of a market society, and therefore advocate a consumer’s policy, there is no legal discrimination against Jews. Whoever dislikes the Jews may in such a world avoid patronizing Jewish shopkeepers, doctors, and lawyers.

And yet, if you have a social movement that is just dead-set against a certain group, and pushes a strategy of boycotts and exclusions, does it eventually end in harming people in devastating ways? So long as markets are working, Mises says the answer is no.

Many decades of intensive anti-Semitic propaganda did not succeed in preventing German “Aryans” from buying in shops owned by Jews, from consulting Jewish doctors and lawyers, and from reading books by Jewish authors. They did not patronize the Jews unawares—’Aryan’ competitors were careful to tell them again and again that these people were Jews. Whoever wanted to get rid of his Jewish competitors could not rely on an alleged hatred of Jews; he was under the necessity of asking for legal discrimination against them.

Mises is arguing, in other words, that voluntary discrimination tends not to create permanent disabilities for groups. It might be wrong. It might be ugly. It might be intended to create harm. But so long as the market is working, exclusion does not work over the long run. The benefits of the division of labor are too great, and the costs of pervasive discrimination are too high, to make it worth it.

As Mises wrote elsewhere:

The market does not directly prevent anybody from arbitrarily inflicting harm on his fellow citizens; it only puts a penalty upon such conduct. The shopkeeper is free to be rude to his customers provided he is ready to bear the consequences. The consumers are free to boycott a purveyor provided they are ready to pay the costs. What impels every man to the utmost exertion in the service of his fellow men and curbs innate tendencies toward arbitrariness and malice is, in the market, not compulsion and coercion on the part of gardeess, hangmen, and penal courts; it is self-interest.

Power Will Be Used

What’s more, argues Mises, society needs a market society that includes a full range of freedom to choose precisely to prevent political violence against groups. Nazi economic policy punished importers against domestic producers, large stores against shopkeepers, large-scale industry against startups, and so on. The machinery was already in place legally to punish Jewish businesses against non-Jewish businesses.

Sacrificing principle for the sake of marginalized groups is short-sighted. If you accept the infringement of human rights as an acceptable political weapon, that weapon will eventually be turned on the very people you want to help. As Dan Sanchez has written, “Authoritarian restriction is a game much better suited for the mighty than for the marginalized.”

Commerce has a tendency to break down barriers, not create them. In fact, this is why Jim Crow laws came into existence, to interrupt the integrationist tendencies of the marketplace. Here is the hidden history of a range of government interventions, from zoning to labor laws to even the welfare state itself. The ruling class has always resented and resisted the market’s tendency to break down entrenched status and gradually erode tribal bias.

Indeed, commerce is the greatest fighter against bigotry and hate that humankind has ever seen. And it is precisely for this reason that a movement rooted in hate must necessarily turn to politics to get its way.

The real danger is not human choice but a regime that overrides it. The market is rooted in choice, which also means the right to discriminate. But so long as the state stays out of it, the discriminatory intent can’t last.

The freedom to choose implies the freedom to decline any particular choice on any grounds.

What about the Johnson scenario of a public utility that denies service to a Muslim community? One can easily imagine a private power generation company using that as an opportunity for profit.

As for the Nazis, they will just have to find someone else to bake their cakes.

Posted August 12, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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The GOP Implosion and the Rebirth of (Classical) Liberalism | Jeffrey Tucker   Leave a comment

This is a great article that does a wonderful job explaining the history of the two-party system in both Europe and America and why a third party represents true liberalism rather than the phony version espoused by the Democrats and Republicans.

What we have developing here is a new epoch in American politics: an authentically liberal (in the classical sense) political movement in the US is being born as an alternative to a deeply corrupt and ideologically dangerous mainstream dominated by two parties that have trended inexorably socialist and fascist.

Found on FEE – Source: The GOP Implosion and the Rebirth of (Classical) Liberalism | Jeffrey Tucker

 

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