Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on August 6, 2011

in Myths and Fallacies, Other People's Money, Politics, Property Rights, Reality Is Not Optional

… is from page 66 of Sir Henry Sumner Maine’s Popular Government (1885):

Yet nothing is more certain, than that the mental picture which enchains the enthusiasts for benevolent democratic government is altogether false, and that, if the mass of mankind were to make an attempt at redividing the common stock of good things, they would resemble, not a number of claimants insisting on the fair division of a fund, but a mutinous crew, feasting on a ship’s provisions, gorging themselves on the meat and intoxicating themselves with the liquors, but refusing to navigate the vessel to port.

Who can doubt that Maine would be completely unsurprised by today’s events in Washington, DC?

It’s a shame that it is necessary to point out here that oppostion to what Maine calls “benevolent democratic government” – by which Maine means largely unlimited democracy – does not imply support for dictatorship, oligarchy, or any other form of top-down, centralized command.  Rather, by far the best alternative to unlimited democracy is a system based upon respect for private property rights and for the patterns of market activities that such rights give rise to.

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Narcissus Blinked August 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

The ship looters are the government consumption class you can liken to the bootleggers, they prefer to take and confiscate rather than labor to create value themselves.
Equally destructive are the Baptists one always finds among these Looters. They prevent the building of new ships and any actual rational production and instead summon armed soldiers to guard against any individual disorder to accomplish personal ends while they await the emergence of utopia from the drunken destruction of the looters.

Invisible Backhand August 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm

No no, the tin woodsman is the working man, the scarecrow is the farmer, Dorothy is the innocent, the cowardly lion is William Jennings Bryan, the wicked witch is wall street, and the whole movie syncs to a Pink Floyd album.

But seriously, “a mutinous crew”? And you call the liberals elitist.

SheetWise August 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm

“… and the whole movie syncs to a Pink Floyd album.”

No need to be cryptic — it’s “Wish You Were Here”

“… mental picture which enchains the enthusiasts …”

A beautiful concatenation.

“… the best alternative to unlimited democracy is a system based upon respect for private property rights and for the patterns of market activities that such rights give rise to.”

Equally beautiful.

Krishnan August 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

1885? Why is it that no matter what history tell us about top down, centralized systems – there are always some who want to go to a top down, centralized system – believing that if only we had very good people to run such top down, centralized systems?

The problem we face is the use of the exception to prove a rule … and the ability of the wanna be tyrants/control freaks to use such exceptions to prove whatever they want to prove …

“There is no free market and Government MUST control it” (using egregious examples of cronyism and ignoring the overwhelming evidence that free markets and free peoples have been the only solution to helping economies grow)

“See how this person A got rich? By using lobbyists and using the free market to his advantage by eliminating competition” – So, instead of calling for end to cronyism and lobbying by so called capitalists to eliminate their competition, they make it worse – in the name of “protecting the people”

Seems like there are things we humans do not learn. We are indeed destined to repeat the mistakes of history – I can only hope that over time, we make fewer and fewer mistakes and that the population wakes up and demands that markets be kept free from intervention and that people be free to pursue their goals without some bureaucrat telling them how to

“The pursuit to perfection? Err. But less and less and less” (my best recollection of this quote is Piet Hein (?) – and apparently as seen on the door/office of Donald Knuth (TeX Fame))

I hope we learn from our mistakes in history.

vidyohs August 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Humanity never has, we don’t, and we most likely never will.

There is nothing in humanity and the way enculturation or inculcation is passed that encourages it or maybe even permits it.

One big problem is humans have babies while they are smart, instead of waiting until they are wise.

Krishnan August 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I wonder if you would rephrase what you wrote (!) … since obviously any idiot can have babies (!) … unless of course the self styled “smart” are indeed idiots and so adding their genes to the gene pool does not help …

If indeed those that believe the world has too many people were to STOP reproducing, THAT would be a terrific first step … problem is that THEY tend to make more and demand that others make less (babies I mean)

vidyohs August 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

You have a good example here on the Cafe. Does muirduck know that he is an idiot. No, he thinks he is smart. However, in his case, I seriously doubt he will ever be wise.

The fact is though that muirduck had his kids while he thought he was smart.

How many of us on the Cafe are in their late 50, 60s, or 70s, and look back on ourselves at age 21 to 31 and realize that we were oh so smart, but dead wrong about so many things? So many things that did not become clear until we lived long enough to see just how wrong we were, and then in our 40s we began to pick up some wisdom……..now that is when we should be having children.

Tom August 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Humans are kleptoparasites by nature.

Political Observer August 6, 2011 at 11:06 am

This was the wisdom the founding fathers in their deliberations and writing of the constitution. The political continium in their view was between anarchy and tryanny. Their classical educations taught them the lessons of tryanny whether it be the monarch or the absolute rule of the majority as understood in their history lessons of ancient Athens. Their solution to this problem ws to design a central (federal) government with limited, enumerated powers and mulitple checks and balances to those powers (including providing the states with a direct voice in this government through the Senate). Over the last 100 years, the “progressives” have systematiclly dismember the constituion either through ill conceived amendments or the ‘enlightened’ reading of the document to find through the courts unique and expansive interpretations of the document (both what is there in words and what is not). Alas today we have a government that is out of control and a state that is rapidly moving to a failed state.

DG Lesvic August 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

Still you all are asking why the drunken sailor socialism in the face of all our experience and common sense.

Mises, Hayek, Boudreaux and many many others have answered the question.

the desire for plunder and Redistribution.

My question is why all of you good people not only avoid that issue, but fight tooth and nail to do so, to invent every imaginable excuse to to do so, and try to destroy the only person here trying to get you to face that issue, and as deeply and thoroughly as possible.

That’s the real problem for the cause of freedom. The problem is not from without but within, not the faults of its enemies but its friends.

The fight doesn’t begin with its enemies but its friends, and is being waged right here between the No, not me too people, or person, and the Ya me too people who feel that they must destroy them, or him.

Krishnan August 6, 2011 at 11:31 am

Unless I missed something, you are criticizing a post that seems to be in good agreement with friends at this cafe …

DG Lesvic August 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm

You’ve missed a lot.

vidyohs August 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Humans are humans with all the foibles of our species, and no one who seeks public office is immune to that. Power corrupts, some enter public service because the are corrupt, while others enter and become corrupt.

“Their solution to this problem ws to design a central (federal) government with limited, enumerated powers and mulitple checks and balances to those powers (including providing the states with a direct voice in this government through the Senate).”

Look at Art 1. Sec5 Para 2, 1st phrase, “Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings”

For all the intelligent and careful work of the founders that little flaw is like the founders saying, “We built the strongest most escape proof corral that humans could construct, and then we gave the gate key to the horses.”

If anyone lacks the imagination and/or the historical knowledge to comprehend the corruption of congress the little flaw made inevitable, then allow me to point out the biggest: The corruption of the concept of equal representation through the creation of the committee system as it is presently constituted.

Next is that members of congress enjoy freedom from laws that will put you in jail: That the courts they have created will use to put you in jail.

Next is the enjoyment of a retirement system that pays 100% of salary upon completion of just one term in either house.

Next is a health care system and on-site clinc and doctors to care for them cost free. This also means that congress also has to have an on-site complete health and exercise facilities.

Free travel, junkets for family and friends on military aircraft at taxpayer expense.

The list is endless.

Gil August 7, 2011 at 5:07 am

What wisdom? After fighting a revolution to oust one government they simply set up another one. According to Libertarians, ideally the Founders should have refrained from starting another government and simply let private landowners decide for themselves how they would rule their land. Failing that if the Founders did form a government it should’ve only been there to enforce crimes against people and property and the Constitution be worded that way to stop the new government from seizing any more power.

John Sullivan August 7, 2011 at 7:55 am

The libertarian rhetoric of our founders was just that, rhetoric.

Ken August 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Standard strawman. Still ejaculating the falsehood that the basis of libertarianism is no government, instead of limited government, Gil? I guess when you have no legitimate critique of libertarianism, you have to equate it with anarchism, right?

Regards,
Ken

DG Lesvic August 6, 2011 at 11:45 am

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in today’s Wall Street Journal:

“The ‘philosophical starting point’ of today’s Democrats, as Mr. Cantor sees it, is that they ‘believe in a welfare state before they believe in capitalism. they promote economic programs of redistribution to close the gap of the disparity between the classes. That’s what they’re about: redistributive politics.”

It isn’t just the economy, stupid.

It’s redistribution, stupider!

Krishnan August 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm

You should have added this

“The assumption . . . is that there is some kind of perpetual engine of economic prosperity in America that is going to just continue. And therefore they are able to take from those who create and give to those who don’t.”

As long as those that are able continue to work and agree to give up whatever those that demand demand, there is no end to this nightmare. I am just surprised that Ayn Rand was not quoted anywhere in that OpEd …

DG Lesvic August 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm

When did Ayn Rand ever say that taking from the rich to give to the poor could not reduce but only increase income inequality and “social injustice?”

Krishnan August 6, 2011 at 1:09 pm

You missed the point I was trying to make. “Atlas Shrugged” is indeed about reminding us that there are looters who think that there is some kind of perpetual engine of economic prosperity that will always work no matter how abused the creators are …

But, never mind. I regret now that I responded to your post. I do learn from the error of my ways.

Greg Webb August 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Krishnan, I know how you feel and sympathize with you.

JWH August 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm

@DG Lesvic
My reading of Ms. Rand has her faulting her definition of Altruism contributing to the “moral” basis for taking private property from one group to give to another group. Do you have any comment. For the record, I agree with her. Thanks.

DG Lesvic August 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm

I think she’s nuts.

DG Lesvic August 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

You deserve a better answer than that.

I have never been able to understand her appeal. I tried reading one of her novels just to see what all the fuss was about, and couldn’t get past the first page. But appeal she sure had, and you can’t argue with that fact, and have to give her credit for it, whether you get it or not. But I think she may make more enemies than friends for her free market point of view by confirming what it’s enemies say about it, that it’s all about selfishness, the “virtue” she extols.

It’s repugnant to me too. Concern and care for others is what makes life beautiful for any but libertarian fanatics.

But her “morality” is beside the point that the economic case against “compassion” is a moral argument against it as well, and the strongest possible, that it’s immoral as well as uneconomic, and by its advocates own moral standard.

By focusing on the morality of it alone she concedes its utility, whereas those who would challenge its economics best challenge its morality as well.

You have to give her credit for reaching a lot of people, but I still see a great deal in her that I don’t like and am wary of.

Krishnan August 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm

JWH – You got it … that is what she did write about …

JWH August 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm

@Krishan
Thanks, I have read Atlas Shrugged and couldnt put it down- all 1000 pages plus. I am re-reading Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, which discusses many of the ideas I see here. I also learned from the Virtue of Selfishness which gives her such a bad name but had many very good points for me. But no writer is perfect and I understand that others find her grotesque. If you have not read We The Living, it gives an insight into why she was who she was, but it’s not well written I am afraid.

vidyohs August 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm

@DG Lesvic,

For the first time old boy I have to tell you that I am beginning to think of you as some kind of one trick pony. And possible not a very good one trick either.

“. But I think she may make more enemies than friends for her free market point of view by confirming what it’s enemies say about it, that it’s all about selfishness, the “virtue” she extols.

It’s repugnant to me too. Concern and care for others is what makes life beautiful for any but libertarian fanatics.”

Concern and care is just empty air when there is no ability to provide any actual aid. I am surprised that you miss this DG.

How do we accumulate the necessary goods to offer real aid to some one instead of empty air? By first being selfish and taking care of our own business and drive to profit.

If I haven’t made diddly squat in the way of profit in my own life I will not have a single penny of money or of necessary goods to offer any other. I must first be selfish and take care of myself.

As Rand said when asked what best could be done to help the poor, “Don’t be one”.

Josh S August 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Since you’ve read exactly one page of one novel, your opinion of Rand is worthless. Contrary to popular belief, merely being a progressive is not sufficient to imbue you with knowledge of all things. You have to actually find things out the old-fashioned way.

Richard Stands August 7, 2011 at 1:08 am

Vids,

I like to make your same point to my altruist friends. I simplify it using an “airline oxygen mask” analogy. Put your own mask on first, or you’ll be useless for that child.

Richard Stands August 7, 2011 at 1:09 am

Here’s the first bit of her introduction to “The Virtue of Selfishness”. For those actually interested in why she phrased it that way, this may begin to be informative:

The title of this book may evoke the kind of question that I hear once in a while: “Why do you use the word ‘selfishness’ to denote virtuous qualities of character, when that word antagonizes so many people to whom it does not mean the things you mean?”

To those who ask it, my answer is: “For the reason that makes you afraid of it.”
But there are others, who would not ask that question, sensing the moral cowardice it implies, yet who are unable to formulate my actual reason or to identify the profound moral issue involved. It is to them that I will give a more explicit answer.

It is not a mere semantic issue nor a matter of arbitrary choice. The meaning ascribed in popular usage to the word “selfishness” is not merely wrong: it represents a devastating intellectual “package-deal,” which is responsible, more than any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind.

In popular usage, the word “selfishness” is a synonym of evil; the image it conjures is of a murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own ends, who cares for no living being and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of any immediate moment.

Yet the exact meaning and dictionary definition of the word “selfishness” is: concern with one’s own interests.

This concept does not include a moral evaluation; it does not tell us whether concern with one’s own interests is good or evil; nor does it tell us what constitutes man’s actual interests. It is the task of ethics to answer such questions.

There’s much more in that collection of essays, but one has to read past the first page to evaluate it.

Dan J August 7, 2011 at 1:40 am

In accordance with the dictionary definition, which is how Rand expresses her perspective on it, selfishness is natural behavior and you nor any other person can deny that you act put in our own self interest.
The acceptance of man acting in his own self
interest is why capitalism is successful. Even, those declared as living in poverty can only be said to be unhappy by third parties. But, in capitalism, one man must appeal to other men for trade. Each individual must volunteer to exchange. And with competition, each trader must make their barter more appealing than the other. And, with each need or want that is exclaimed as needing to be fulfilled, there is opportunity. No higher authority, central planner who organizes, is needed to direct. People serve one another thru their own self interests. Naturally, each party who exchanges is excepted to trade the fruit of their labor. So, in order to serve self interest all parties will remain productive. But, in socialism or worse, a committee or council is given authority to coerce or use compulsory measures to fortify the position of the unproductive. Thereby, incentivizing the unproductive to remain in their static state.

DG Lesvic August 7, 2011 at 1:57 am

Vid,.

I asked,

“When did Ayn Rand ever say that taking from the rich to give to the poor could not reduce but only increase income inequality and “social injustice?”

Well, when did she? And, if she didn’t, what did she say that was as good?
.

John Sullivan August 7, 2011 at 8:24 am

Ayn Rand had a shallow understanding of altruism. She was correct in recognizing that rational egoism (called selfishness for affect) was the driving force for life, and for that reason, the ultimate virtue. She claimed that altuism (selflessness) was directly opposed to ‘life’, a contractiction to life.

Here is the correct view:

There is no such real thing as selflessness, and altrusim is completely misunderstood for how it appears to be to outside observers of people’s actions and why they are really performing them.

Our human nature is totally selfish and can’t be anything but that way. It is the way we evolved, which was necessary for survival. For those interested in an elaboration of this, look up the principles of ‘psychological egoism’ or more commonely thought of as ‘self love’. Then read the maxims of “La Rochefoucauld’ and the “Fable of The Bees” by Mandeville to learn how acts of altruism are derived from selfishness, mainly to please the ego as well as others.

One of the tenants of our human nature, as Hobbes explained, is our ego’s need for what he described as ‘recognition’. This recognition must come socially. We need to be loved in order for us to reinforce the love we have for ourself. Further, our emotions(pride, shame, guilt, etc.) have been ‘educated’ to certain ways of thinking and acting. We are conditioned to feel good about ourselves when we help others, and especially so when our ‘goodness’, or our so-called ‘sacrifice’, is recognized by other humans.

Therefore, altruim is rooted in selfishness, more related to our ego and our conditioned feeelings of ‘self worth’, which change over time as values evolve, than it is to overt acts made just to improve our physical circumstances for ourselves.

The height of calculated selfishness is when someone already wealthy and comfortable in life decides that it just isn’t enough. They seek even more adulation and greatness, so they posture on behalf of those whose circumstamces aren’t as good as everyone else’s. They become altruistic in the eyes of others and they subscibe to modern ‘liberal’ poltitical ideology to further enhance their reputation for having ‘compassion’, etc.

Going back to Rand. She was a philosophical leightweight. Attacking ‘altruism’ was attacking selfishness, but she was too stupid to understand what she was doing.

Mandeville, in the early 18th century, said it well: “Man is not interested in virtue, per se, but only in the appearance therefof.”

DG Lesvic August 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

John,

I don’t care what Ayn Rand or anybody else really meant by selfishness. All I care about is what the public means by it, and what it’s going to think about liberty when you tell them that it’s all about selfishness. With friends like that, it won’t need enemies.

Richard Stands August 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

“Here is the correct view”

I wasn’t aware there was a correct view. I can stop searching now. Thank you!

JWH August 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Thanks for your thoughtful answer and from what I can tell you are in the majority in your opinion. I flatter myself in thinking I get some of her stuff. It’s been said she’s the gateway drug to the libertarian way of thinking, which she disparaged vociferously during her later life.

Krishnan August 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Re: JWH. Looks like you have read some of Ayn Rand … if you have not, I would recommend Atlas Shrugged – yes, there is a story – but it is really more about different principles she has worked on … I am aware she spoke with disdain about “Conservatives” – with specifics on why … She may have spoken/written about this/that “libertarian” (I am not aware of such) – but she did not respond to just a label … but what came attached with the label

If you cannot go through the entire Atlas Shrugged, you can start by reading the speech about money by Francisco D’Anconia – and next the John Galt Speech … these encapsulate much of what she stood for and explained in her novels

Free markets, free peoples, voluntary exchange, the importance of private property – she wrote about that and a lot more … Do not judge (as some seem to) a novel of 1000+ pages by reading the first paragraph or the first page – your time will be well spent.

There is a reason why so many people were attracted to some simple ideas she so powerfully wrote about – that one individual does not have a right to another individual’s life/work and things/etc … that we all do benefit when each of us work towards our own goals and exchange voluntarily …

The word “selfish” today means “evil” – read her “Virtues of Selfishness” to understand what it means … Remember this the next time when some public “servant” talks about “public service” and how “unselfish” he/she is and watch that person make more money by living as a parasite while claiming virtue … Words are not what they mean today – I would recommend you go back and read her books, novels – make up your own mind as to what she is really talking about …

Krishnan August 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Re: JWH … Yes, We the Living is not well written. Her english language skills were rather limited when she started – I remember reading a biography (or some such) where I learned that she did struggle to write – but kept at it – and got better and better. Fountainhead for example is but a preview of her ideas – there are elements of her philosophy in Fountainhead, but she achieved her best work with Atlas Shrugged – fully developed characters and simply a better novel and fully developed ideas.

Richard Stands August 7, 2011 at 1:20 am

Also, for those who don’t have the inclination to read her very long novel, she gave a paper called “The Objectivist Ethics” which was a nice summary (though still just over 100 short paragraphs).

It can be read here.

Dan J August 7, 2011 at 9:27 am

When was the ‘Libertarian’ party or group established? When was the term coined?

@krishnan. Your quote…… Was that part of the article? For many, that is absolutely the mindset. That the US is a magical land where no harm can be done by socialistic policies and that the wealth will just continue to be supplied like a magic water well that never runs dry.

Tom August 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm

The bald eagle is a kleptoparasitic bird. The bald eagle was selected to be our national bird because of the belief that the bird would be emblematic of The United States of America.

A prescient choice.

beetrave August 7, 2011 at 6:53 am

And yet Cantor voted for TARP, which only helped to make the big banks bigger and even more certain that they can act with impunity, because they know all branches of government will come to their aid with public money (or borrowed public money) if needed. Where are the cries about redistribution in this regard? And, FWIW, I don’t give a whit if he said later that he regretted it — what’s he been doing to make sure the spigot of public money will never be opened again to anyone other than holders of FDIC-insured accounts?

I want to take many of the arguments I see here seriously, but the self-induced amnesia about gov’t intervention from the likes of Cantor and other darlings of the Tea Party makes me want to fold and walk away from the table.

Dan J August 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

Indeed, they too must be held accountable. But, as it is now, ‘the enemy of my enemy,is my friend’. The demoncrats are the enemy.

Dan Phillips August 6, 2011 at 11:48 am

You said: “Rather, by far the best alternative to unlimited democracy is a system based upon respect for private property rights and for the patterns of market activities that such rights give rise to.”

I’m curious. What would such a system be called? And how, exactly, would it work?

Greg Webb August 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Dan, it’s called a Constitutional Republic, which is what the Founding Fathers intended to create.

Single Acts Of Tyranny August 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I agree entirely.

Dan Phillips August 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm

OK, you gave it a name. How has it worked out?

rbd August 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Dan: the answer to that depends upon your political lenses. Government has done some good in protecting our constitutional freedoms, but often at the expense of our economic ones. Simultaneously, it has created a large flock of dependent sheep that it now appears it cannot afford to feed.

Dan Phillips August 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm

So, what you’re saying is that it hasn’t worked out very well?

vikingvista August 7, 2011 at 4:32 am

Dan–

Correct. The victorious Founders (as opposed to the Founders who lost the debate) planted the seeds of its own destruction.

Greg Webb August 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm

It has worked out imperfectly as it is run by imperfect people. And, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, it is the worst form of government, except for all the rest.

DG Lesvic August 7, 2011 at 2:04 am

With that famous statement, Churchill simply displayed his ignorance. A constitutionl democratic republic is not the best form of government but of the state. The free market is not the only the best but the only real form of government, and, interference with it, whether by a constitutional republic or totalitarian dictatorship, interference with government, and not itself government but anti-government.

Dan J August 7, 2011 at 3:06 am

Cmon, so many people really need to jump off of their smarter-than-thou soapbox. DG, inferring Churchill as ignorant for his remark is……. Ignorant. To really spend effort going over ‘govt’, ‘state’ , ‘state govt’, ‘govt state’, blah, blah, and a yadda, yadda……….. Who the hell would listen to someone rambling on for twenty minutes explaining what you just wrote means will be of little consequence to many of millions who did not spend countless hours philosophizing. At some point, a message must be short and sweet, not filled with jargon for the post graduate.
Margaret Thatcher could have rambled on for thirty minutes about the failures of socialism, but was bright enuf to use a quick simple sentence to get the point across and have that message reverberate for decades, “sooner or later you run out of other people’s money”.
Most of he voting public, and a huge majority of the public are looking for messages much more succinct (suck what?).
Hope and change……..
All of your words in that post is drivel for most. VV, Vidyohs, Webb, Boudreaux, etc.,.. May get it, agree or disagree, but is an exercise in academia and useless for anyone trying to influence as many as possible.
Can we go to essays written by Churchill, which have time for him to be thorough on his philosophy?
Relax……. Must u pooh-pooh everyone?

DG Lesvic August 7, 2011 at 4:03 am

Dan,

You’re absolutely right about the need for a succint message.

How about this one:

Taking from the rich to give to the poor cannot reduce only increase income inequality and “social injustice.”

Dan J August 7, 2011 at 9:21 am

@DG
Use of coercion or compulsory measures to take from one and give to another by justification of ‘social justice’ and creating equality achieves neither.

( in Ed McMahon’s voice) – Yes! You are correct, sir!

Greg Webb August 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I am pleased to be in such august, intelligent, and logical company as Winston Churchill and Ayn Rand. Thanks for vindicating my abilities.

Greg Webb August 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm

And, DG’s comment, as usual, makes no sense. Churchill was an intelligent and great man. Ayn Rand was a brilliant author and philosopher. DG is really just a dumb guy.

Gil August 7, 2011 at 5:10 am

No it wouldn’t rather it would be a continent made up of private landowners who answer to no one but do business with other private landowners.

DG Lesvic August 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm

It would be called the free market and would figure out how best it would work without any libertarians telling it how to do so.

Krishnan August 6, 2011 at 1:30 pm

“No engineers……no calculations O r load studies. No checklist or inspections. No modifications. No insurance. No pumps. No ballast studies. No tow master, no manuals, work permits. No certifications, no contingency plans. No government interference”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyaThzxyMgU

How could they do it without a) Government b) OSHA c) EPA d) … e) … f) … g) …??

rbd August 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm

That’s awesome. When a man sets his mind to do something…..

Dan J August 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm

No new regulation requiring farm equipment operators to have a CDL.
What the he’ll is wrong with people when they get elected to office? They have too much free time to sit and think about how to create job security or expand govt reach?

Narcissus Blinked August 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

From the day when the first members of councils placed exterior authority higher than interior, that is to say, recognized the decisions of men united in councils as more important and more sacred than reason and conscience; on that day began lies that caused the loss of millions of human beings and which continue their unhappy work to the present day. – L. Tolstoy.

Every thought that runs through your head is a lie. There is no Saturday, it is not August. There is no weather. There is no news. The names of every object you see explains nothing. The words for every action you might take are meaningless and inaccurate. Weights, measures, money, color, none of this memorized value scales is useful.

Walk out of your dwelling and disregard all that is seen. Be a daylight astronomer and visualize the countless whirling milky way suns that are all shining on you at once.

Before you can learn to use the mirrors of Mises or Rand to see the true reality of human cooperation, experience your neighborhood with a primitive senses of your toddler self, before you began to believe all the lies.

On this atomic anniversary, remember that millions are murdered by councils and committees. It is a lie that you can deshoulder your individual responsibility for mob violence on a government or hired soldiers. It is you who is responsible for the millions of Americans kept in cages, often for nothing more than political reasons. It is you whose ingenuity and labor is harnessed to enslave most of the citizens of this world.

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