Consent of the Governed?

Consent of the Governed?

What gives some people the right to rule others? At least since John Locke’s time, the most common and seemingly compelling answer has been “the consent of the governed.” When the North American revolutionaries set out to justify their secession from the British Empire, they declared, among other things: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.” This sounds good, especially if one doesn’t think about it very hard or very long, but the harder and longer one thinks about it, the more problematic it becomes. One question after another...

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Pressure-Release Valves in Participatory Fascism

Pressure-Release Valves in Participatory Fascism

Almost every nation in the world has adopted a system of participatory fascism, whereby nominally representative governments can abridge and restrict someone’s nominally recognized private-property rights. Participatory fascism may enjoy the appearance of popular legitimacy, but its formal procedures for relief from government abuses are too slow, cumbersome, costly, and ineffective to do anything reliably except to give those who lack much political clout the short end of the stick. Nearly every country in the world currently has an economic system I have long called “participatory fascism”...

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Nationalism, the Ideological Delusion at the Heart of Protectionism

Nationalism, the Ideological Delusion at the Heart of Protectionism

Every economic entity, whether it be an individual, a family, or a firm, faces a constant choice with regard to how it will secure the goods and services it desires in order to carry out its economic plans: make or buy? Most individuals and families give little conscious thought to their making this choice. Yet they make it all the same. Many individuals do many things for themselves, such as house cleaning, home maintenance, personal care of various sorts, meal preparation, and so forth. They do not pause often to consider whether they would be better off to purchase these things, although...

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The Tangled Web of Anti-immigration Argumentation

The Tangled Web of Anti-immigration Argumentation

Probably the most often voiced objection to open immigration of all peaceful people is that “you can’t have open immigration and a welfare state.” (Even people as smart as Milton Friedman have made this objection.) But why can’t you? Well, people claim, if you have a welfare state, the masses of the world will flood into the USA just to collect the welfare state’s “free stuff.” But why let them? Even under currently existing rules, undocumented immigrants are ineligible for nearly all welfare-state benefits. If a flood of immigrants will break the welfare-state bank, why not simply make...

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Two-way Trade in the “Same” Commodity

Sunday, when my grocery guy Lucio came to my gate, his truck contained, along with the usual variety of produce and other foodstuffs, a box of beautiful strawberries, which I snatched up along with my other purchases. As often in the past, these berries came from Driscoll’s in Watsonville, California, where—interestingly enough—they were almost certainly harvested by Mexican and Central American workers. Out of curiosity, I looked up more information about this firm and found it to be even more interesting and entrepreneurial than I had previously imagined. My access to this product, here at...

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The Balance of International Payments Is Economic Nonsense

Let us define the set of all human beings whose height is greater than 170 cm and less than 180 cm. Call this set A. Now let us collect data on all the dealings between members of set A and members of set B, which consists of all human beings whose height is less than or greater than those in set A. What economic significance can we ascribe to the aggregate of monetary flows between members of set A and members of set B? Correct answer: none. This aggregation of persons who trade with persons in the complementary set has no economic meaning; the sets are arbitrary so far as economic...

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Roving Bandit, Stationary Bandit, and Income Tax

Many libertarians have embraced the slogan “taxation is theft.” I myself think it is more precise to say that taxation is extortion. But even saying that fails to capture how egregious taxation really is, especially income taxation. When a mugger or a home invader accosts you, he points a gun at you or waves a knife in your face and demands your wallet or some other property. In most cases, if you surrender your property to him as he demands, he takes it and flees, and you will most likely never see him again. He is, in the classic phrase, the roving bandit. In contrast, the state is, in...

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No More Great Presidents

Originally published in the March 1997 issue of The Free Market, Volume 15, Number 3 My idea of a great president is one who acts in accordance with his oath of office to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Not since the presidency of Grover Cleveland has any president achieved greatness by this standard. Worse, the most admired have been those who failed most miserably. Evidently my standard differs from that employed by others who judge presidential greatness. In the New York Times Magazine for December 15, 1996, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., presented the...

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News

This Week At The Libertarian Institute

The Empire never sleeps – but neither do we. Missed a story? We got you covered. This week in review at the Libertarian Institute: News   June 24, 2022 – Senate Dems Press Biden to Investigate Killing of Palestinian-American Journalist Ahead of Israel Trip Senate...

News Roundup 6/24/2022

US News The State Department will pay employees who alleged they suffer from ‘Havana Syndrne’ six-figure payouts. State is making the payments in accordance with the HAVANA Act. [Link] Haiti At least eight prisoners died from starvation in a prison in Haiti. [Link]...

State Department ‘Illegally Obstructing’ Afghanistan Probes, Watchdog Says

The US government’s top oversight official for Afghanistan has accused the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) of stonewalling ongoing investigations, saying they have refused interviews with staff and even failed to provide “basic information” to assist the probes.

Blog

Week of Action on Yemen

Scott Horton and the Libertarian Party, among others, are whipping up support for a week of action to end US involvement in the Yemen War. And you can help. H.J. Res. 87 was introduced on May 31. The bill would "direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from...

Actually, Socialism IS When The Government Does Stuff

https://youtu.be/_-6CyEYetxM How is something to be owned by “the community as a whole?” Ownership means that you get to decide what is done with something. If you and I disagree on who gets to eat your apple, then whatever you decide will take precedence, because it...

The Scott Horton Show

Conflicts of Interest

Don't Tread on Anyone

6 Progressive Myths About History (w/ Lawrence W. Reed)

https://youtu.be/HsXj83JNUb4 In May 1939, Treasury Secretary Henry J. Morgenthau Jr., one of Franklin Roosevelt's best friends, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee: "I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as...

Liberty Weekly Podcast

Proxy Wars…The Punishment Due Ep. 221

https://youtu.be/51gBx3rE7zw In this week's episode, I take the audience on an even deeper dive into my most recent piece for the Libertarian Institute. Episode 221 of the Liberty Weekly Podcast is Brought to you by: LibertyWeekly.club Join my membership and...

National Review Senior Editor Turns Rothbardian Ep. 220

https://youtu.be/sJXF9jgj1L4 Managing Editor of the Libertarian Institute and longtime friend and guest of the show Keith Knight joins me in this week's episode to review an article by Joseph Sobran. Sobran was the Senior Editor of the National Review, but questioned...

Patrick MacFarlane on the Hrvoje Moric Show Ep. 219

https://youtu.be/yI1ND-TJR8g This week's episode is a mirror of my recent appearance on the Hrvoje Moric Show on Tnt Radio. We discuss the war in Ukraine, China, and the brave new world we are sleepwalking into. Hrvoje is the host of Geopolitics and Empire Podcast....

Empire of Death: America’s Moral Bankruptcy Ep. 218

https://youtu.be/7yZEk73JdVo In this episode, I take a deeper dive on my latest editorial up at the Libertarian Institute, share my experience at Chillderburg, introduce my new newsletter website, and thank several outlets that have started reprinting my Libertarian...

Year Zero

A Deep Dive w/Monica Perez

Monica Perez joined me for an in depth conversation on culture, religion, ESG, WEF, the future, and how the 21st Century is different than the 20th Century. Monica Twitter Discord Libertarian Institute 19 Skills Pdf Autonomy Course Critical Thinking Course Donate...

Love and Fear w/Courtenay Turner

Courtenay and I talk ESG, intentional communities, motivations, elites, and the future. Courtenay Twitter Courtenay Turner Podcast Discord Libertarian Institute 19 Skills Pdf Autonomy Course Critical Thinking Course Donate Patreon...

Shadowy Figures Surrounding 9/11 w/Adam Fitzgerald

Adam Fitzgerald joined me to discuss the less talked about aspects of 9/11. We spent most of our time discussing the characters involved and around the event. We could have gone for hours on this subject, but as you will hear, I hit a wall at the 2 hour mark. Adam...

A Conversation with Patrick MacFarlane

Patrick joined me again. In this episode we discuss Ukraine Russia, China, culture, democrats, republicans, and traditional family. Liberty Weekly Discord Libertarian Institute 19 Skills Pdf Autonomy Course Critical Thinking Course Donate Patreon...

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