A Defense of Mutual Aid Societies

A Defense of Mutual Aid Societies

The libertarian community is unique on account of its ability to ignore standard political and social conventions. Libertarians value freedom and understand why it needs free markets. However, libertarians do not possess a conservative loyalty to the system as it is today. When the left critiques the system, libertarians are always skeptical about calls to reduce freedom. However, libertarians also listen, and agree that we have many problems. Centralized economic power can hurt the little guy. The hope would be for the little guy to do better by offering him more freedom, rather than taking...

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No More ‘Better Mousetraps’: How Financialization Discourages Technological Improvement

No More ‘Better Mousetraps’: How Financialization Discourages Technological Improvement

Capitalism is a social technology that directs resources toward valuable uses, increasing the total wealth in society. As a social technology, it organizes people and resources into systems and processes. When capitalism directs resources toward processes that discover valuable knowledge, it becomes revolutionary. There are many sub-technologies associated with capitalism. Double-entry bookkeeping, joint stock corporations, fractional reserve banking, compound interest, legal contracts, and so forth are all technological sub-systems integrated into modern capitalism. The modern model...

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Capitalism is a Machine of Subjective Value

Capitalism is a Machine of Subjective Value

What is economics and why do we care about it? The economy is what we do and why we do it. Reality introduces scarcity to that equation, and competition results. Our desires and values translate into actions, and competition translates those actions into strategies and compromises. Economics is a question of how we do what we choose to do, and how our way of doing things evolves. We all want what we want, but what’s our praxeology? More importantly, how do we improve it? That’s what economics seeks to answer. I have previously asked whether capitalism, thought of as an engine, might yet...

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Imagining a Revived, Twenty-First Century Capitalism

Imagining a Revived, Twenty-First Century Capitalism

The death of capitalism has been a common topic of conversation lately. Millennials seem resigned to it, the younger generations can’t wait for it. Bastions of global capitalism—alleged capitalism—such as the World Economic Forum in Davos are quite eagerly promoting the concept of post-capitalism, and Wall Street for whatever its reasons follows in lockstep. Whether it’s socialism, localism, techno-feudalism, red anarchism, or state capitalism, whatever is advanced as the replacement for capitalism includes a firm rejection of markets and their role in social organization. Across the...

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Traffic Lights, Risk Assessment, and Social Distancing in a COVID-19 World

Traffic Lights, Risk Assessment, and Social Distancing in a COVID-19 World

The summer in America’s South was somewhat incredible. People were refusing to wear masks, refusing to socially distance, and COVID-19 cases were increasing tremendously. Many hospitals were stressed and sending patients to other hospitals, then to other states. As the problem grew, with some version of it appearing in Texas, Arizona, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and hints of the problem in Arkansas, Georgia, and the Carolinas, the obvious question was, “Where will we send overflow patients now?” This is the biggest concern with COVID-19. Not its raw death rate, but its ability...

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Sam Eagle vs. The Feds

Sam Eagle vs. The Feds

The Michigan State Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (and drive through donut joints, but that doesn’t fit in the title) has the job of patrolling the shores and skies over Lake Michigan. This summer, an “environmental quality analyst” was operating a $950 drone, examining the natural conditions under his purview. It was going fine, until the bald eagle showed up. It began with a poor connection being reported between the control device and the drone. The operator sent the return command. The video feed showed the drone turn widely back towards the beach from which it had...

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Evil Blossoms Where Conscience Shrinks: The Unforgivable Tragedy of Bush’s Iraq War II

Evil Blossoms Where Conscience Shrinks: The Unforgivable Tragedy of Bush’s Iraq War II

During Iraq War II (2003–2011), in addition to thousands of American soldiers and contractors who died, more than 100,000 Iraq civilians were killed. This number is consistent with independent counts as well as leaked Pentagon data (sources available at Wikipedia). However, more sophisticated studies which combined data sets and methodologies from multiple independent efforts have produced a total estimate of deaths (from 2003-2018) of 1.5-3.4 million people. This does not count the combatants who died fighting against what many consider to have been a foreign invader conducting an illegal...

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Liberty and Slavery

Liberty and Slavery

Among the common beliefs of libertarians, opposition to slavery is one of the least controversial. Yet, the moral argument against slavery is one of libertarian philosophy’s most enlightening topics. Considering the “why” of libertarian opposition to slavery is profoundly instructive. Libertarianism approaches the question of individual rights in a unique way.  In my opinion, the cornerstone of libertarian philosophy lies with its answer to the is-ought dichotomy presented in David Hume’s skepticism. From the far right, idealism is an absolute that tramples upon those who are different. From...

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