Monday, June 29, 2020

Fight Authority, Unless


Young people today have been so effectively brainwashed that they don't even realize that the leftists are the authority now. Leftists control the schools, the universities, the media, social platforms, the entertainment industry, most all large cities, and many large companies.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Do you really want liberty?

Roman historian Sallust observed that, " Most men do not desire liberty; most only wish for a just master. This desire for simple answers to complex questions forms a perpetual clamor for Masters with Answers, and Masters must have slaves."  
Liberty is messy.  While order exists, it is not centrally planned order; it is an order that spontaneously comes about when the plans of others collide when people interact, trade and strive.  And just when the emerging order settles down the forces of creative destruction redoes it all over again.  Most people are not comfortable with change.  They like order and control.  They may not admit it but their clamor for government control of almost every aspect of society is their way of admitting it.  
Liberty means mostly that you are responsible for you (and whomever you choose to be responsible for).  With that responsibility comes the recognition that failure is your fault and success is your choice.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Statists Play the Indoctrination Long Game



On Christmas Eve, I went to a chain bookstore looking for a box set of the Little House books for a friend's young daughter. While I was there I noticed a section of biographical and historical books for children. As I looked closer I noticed there were plenty of books on America's founders like Washington and Jefferson, but no Madison or Mason. There were also a few books on entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Edison and sports figures like Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali. But there were also many books lionizing liberal icons such as Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Gloria Steinem and Obama. Then I saw a book on The Great Depression. I quickly scanned it. Not surprising, it was the usual “unfettered capitalism failed and FDR, using the power of the federal government, came to the rescue” narrative. It even promoted the standard claim that, while FDR's programs were turning the corner, ultimately it was World War 2 that finally got the US out of The Great Depression.

These books only reinforce the indoctrination from schools that those who used the power of government are the heroes and those that fought for less government were standing in the way of progress. What is puzzling to me is why don't teenagers and college students revolt against the indoctrination that they have been force fed since preschool? They certainly did in the '60s. Why has the statist worldview continued to be cool while liberty not so much? I believe it is mostly due to libertarian voices being lumped in with conservative voices who have become easy targets of leftist social media activists. Maybe a separation of social conservatives and interventionists from libertarians is coming. But without being able to make the case for liberty through social media, libertarian ideas will not stand a chance. 


Saturday, October 11, 2014

“If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.” – Mark Twain


Monday, December 2, 2013

No to Open Borders: When Immigrants Undermine Liberty


In one of my previous posts I made the argument that open borders was not always the practical libertarian position.  In my Two Islands post, I argued that statist-minded immigrants could and likely would destroy liberty if allowed to immigrate in large numbers.  Here is what I said: 

Let’s suppose there are two island nations. One is named Liberty Island and the other one is Statist Island. Both are democracies. Neither have a constitutionally constrained government. Both practice open immigration. Since both island nations are democracies, the people get the government they vote for.

On Liberty Island, the people prefer smaller government, one which protects life, liberty, and property. In general, the government doesn’t interfere unless a citizen violates someone else’s right to life, liberty, and property. For the most part, the role of government is to provide a small, defensive military. Consequently, the tax rates are very low. The people of Liberty Island are very prosperous.

On Statist Island, the people want their government to provide a wide range of services and to regulate the affairs of its citizens and companies. Consequently, the government consumes a very large proportion of the wealth. Statist Island has high unemployment and low growth rates. Over the past few years, things have been so bad that many have migrated to Liberty Island, not in search of liberty but primarily as a way to feed their families. They have brought with them many of their customs and culture which have made Liberty Island a more vibrant and diverse island.

Unfortunately, they have also brought with them their statist political philosophy.
The new arrivals join with a minority of Liberty Island voters and start winning elections. These elected representatives encouraged more and more Statist Islanders to migrate to Liberty Island. Soon the statists were in control of the Liberty Island legislative branches and the presidency. They then enacted statist policies and liberty was no longer to be found on Liberty Island.


Over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen links to a study of U.S. Immigrants' Attitudes Toward Libertarian Values by Hal Pashler which found that immigrants to the US generally are hostile toward libertarian ideas.  Here is the abstract:

While there has been much discussion of libertarians’ (generally although not universally favorable) attitudes toward liberal immigration policies, the attitudes of immigrants to the United States toward libertarian values have not previously been examined. Using data from the 2010 General Social Survey, we asked how American-born and foreign-born residents differed in attitudes toward a variety of topics upon which self-reported libertarians typically hold strong pro-liberty views (as described by Iyer et al., 2012). The results showed a marked pattern of lower support for pro-liberty views among immigrants as compared to US-born residents. These differences were generally statistically significant and sizable, with a few scattered exceptions. With increasing proportions of the US population being foreign-born, low support for libertarian values by foreign-born residents means that the political prospects of libertarian values in the US are likely to diminish over time.
While there has been much discussion of libertarians’ (generally although not universally favorable) attitudes toward liberal immigration policies, the attitudes of immigrants to the United States toward libertarian values have not previously been examined. Using data from the 2010 General Social Survey, we asked how American-born and foreign-born residents differed in attitudes toward a variety of topics upon which self-reported libertarians typically hold strong pro-liberty views (as described by Iyer et al., 2012). The results showed a marked pattern of lower support for pro-liberty views among immigrants as compared to US-born residents. These differences were generally statistically significant and sizable, with a few scattered exceptions. With increasing proportions of the US population being foreign-born, low support for libertarian values by foreign-born residents means that the political prospects of libertarian values in the US are likely to diminish over time. - See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/12/u-s-immigrants-attitudes-toward-libertarian-values.html#sthash.9gnQg64r.dpuf
While there has been much discussion of libertarians’ (generally although not universally favorable) attitudes toward liberal immigration policies, the attitudes of immigrants to the United States toward libertarian values have not previously been examined. Using data from the 2010 General Social Survey, we asked how American-born and foreign-born residents differed in attitudes toward a variety of topics upon which self-reported libertarians typically hold strong pro-liberty views (as described by Iyer et al., 2012). The results showed a marked pattern of lower support for pro-liberty views among immigrants as compared to US-born residents. These differences were generally statistically significant and sizable, with a few scattered exceptions. With increasing proportions of the US population being foreign-born, low support for libertarian values by foreign-born residents means that the political prospects of libertarian values in the US are likely to diminish over time - See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/12/u-s-immigrants-attitudes-toward-libertarian-values.html#sthash.9gnQg64r.dpuf

If the primary purpose of government is to protect liberty, which most libertarians believe, then a government is justified in restricting immigration of individuals who hold views contrary to a constitutionally constrained government.  Furthermore, if a group of immigrants has been shown to be overwhelmingly anti-libertarian in their views, then government is justified in limiting entry of individuals from that group just because they are from those countries where the people are hostile toward liberty.  

Unfortunately, the US government's policy has been to encourage immigration from countries where there is little support for limited government, free exchange of ideas and products, and the rule of law.  When a country is fairly evenly divided, these statist voters will have a huge impact in the future direction of the US.

EDIT: The original title of this post was "Libertarian Case Against Open Borders."     

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tea Party vs Occupy Wall Street

Senator Rand Paul recently made some insightful points about the differences between The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.  Sen. Paul said, “The Tea Party, I always say, is more like the American Revolution, and Occupy Wall Street is more the French Revolution.  . . . We (The Tea Party) weren’t unhappy with people just because they were rich; we weren’t happy with you (the banks) if you were making money off of our taxes and we were bailing you out. If you were making $100 million, your bank goes bankrupt and all of a sudden we bail you out and you’re still making $100 million — that upset us.”

The Tea Party hated the big bank bailouts because it violated the rule of law and would only encourage risky behavior in the future with taxpayers' underwriting the loses. Occupy Wall Street just hates rich people and corporations. Big difference. Liberals see the world as a clash between oppressors and the oppressed. Libertarians see the world as a clash between coercion and free choice. A political philosophy based on envy will not lead to win-win solutions, it will only give us lose-lose outcomes.