Today is the birthday of the late Ludwig von Mises, who along with Carl Menger, and Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk developed what is now known as the Austrian school of economic thought, following the tradition of Frederic Bastiat, Richard Cantillon, Nassau Senior, J.S. Mill, and others. For the most part, ardent liberals in the ancient sense of the word, the Austrian doctrine has always been about freedom. So then it is no great surprise that other members of the “school” include Friedrech Hayek, Murray N. Rothbard, Llewellyn Rockwell, Israel Kirzner, Henry Hazlitt, and Robert Higgs are among its ranks. I encourage you to visit Mises.org, the website of an academic think-tank founded by his friends and colleagues, where you can find a vast library of eBooks free for viewing or downloading in .PDF, archives of lectures and presentations in streaming audio, and daily updates on current events of public policy and economics.
With the commemoration out of the way, I’m pleased to present the Seventh monthly edition of the Market-Anarchist/Voluntarist Blog Carnival. I’ve received far more submissions than we have in the past, although many had nothing to do with economics or anarchy or anti-state or individualism – there was even one blog-spammer who was advertising his graphic design website. Here are the chosen representatives, organized loosely by subject matter:
++++ Economics ++++
FSK’s Reality Guide offered several submissions, of which I’ve selected two. In honor of Mises’ birthday, here’s a handy guide debunking myths about the Federal Reserve System:
Another way to eliminate business cycles is to eliminate government. There are no business cycles in a truly free market. Business cycles are an artificial creation of a coercive government. Business cycles are a tool for confiscating wealth.
Via Sterling Newberry at The Agonist, we have a wonderfully irreverent indictment of Alan Greenspan – which although not exactly anti-State is worthy of a read, if you want to know why the economy seems to be going to hell in a handbasket:
So let’s talk about some stuff. Uncle Alan’s thick book more or less admits what realists have seen for a long long time about a lot of issues. That Iraq was about oil. That the Republican Party is a bunch of free spending crude Keynesians with a hard on for gay and brown people.
My own submission in honor of the Austrian tradition of recognizing that the entrepreneurial spirit is of paramount importance to the survival of man as a species, deals with the the entrepreneurship and socialism. I offer my critique to the anarcho-communists who still cling to the “productive property is communal property” argument:
…But, according to the socialist doctrine, the spear must become communal property by virtue of its having been made productive.
By what measure, though, was this spear brought into existence, other than man’s own productive capacity? To assert that the spear made by man is communal property is to assert that man’s labor, and likewise his body which directs that labor, is also communal property. We can draw no alternative conclusion.
++++ Theory & Ponderings ++++
Regular contributor, Olly at Without Hyphens, discusses property rights in an anarchic framework, and although he prefaces the essay as self-clarifying, you should check it out if you’ve got any doubts or misgivings about voluntarism as opposed to syndicalism:
So as I see it any discussion that involves property rights is usually talking about one of three things: Property as Land, Personal Possessions, and Intellectual Property. While all three are certainly considered forms of property, I think it’s important to understand the major differences they possess, and thus understand why we might treat them differently accordingly.
FSK also presents a primer on Agorist philosophy, in which he discusses the benefits of extra-legal markets:
An agorist revolution has a legitimate chance of succeeding. The agorist market participants would be profiting from their activity. They would be undermining the government and making a profit at the same time.
++++ Politics & Policy ++++
Tom Hanna demolishes socialized medicine in his rant on Hillary-care:
In other words, we have to believe that involving the government, adding bureaucracy, injecting additional money into the system and removing meaningful incentive to cut costs will make things cheaper. Hillary wants us to believe that there is such a thing as a free lunch. If you buy that one, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona I’d like to sell you and I’ll throw in a Bridge to Nowhere free.
This month’s empirical refutation of the anti-anarchist argument “But wouldn’t corporations just take over the world?” is brought to us by The Agonist, a Canadian observer of the U.S. Government, citing a recent paper, which suggests that – gasp! – the Government is for sale! That’s right, corporations are buying your government, or more precisely, buying favorable legislation.
If the business of America is to be business, then business must succeed or fail not because a favorable bill was passed, but because they have a great new product or service that people want and need – both in America and overseas.
++++ Anti-War ++++
Franc’s infamous and scathing “Dear Troop Supporters” letter, in response to which one commenter equated him with Goebbels, is well worth your time if you’ve ever thought that the big retarded child’s Imperialism is making the entire world a more dangerous place:
I do not believe that killing innocent mothers and children helps “my freedom.” I believe that many Iraqi people hate “your troops” because they have killed their father, mother, sister or husband. I believe they are justified in killing “your troops.” You would not think ONE SECOND against doing the same if the situation was reversed and your loved ones were exterminated by an army of Arabs. You are a hypocrite, and I hate the ignorance that you represent.
The Picket Line’s David Gross urges anyone unhappy with the government to resist taxes – resist, and redirect. Give the money to some charity that actually puts it to good use. Gross’s commentary seems to be directed at only the “war tax,” as if there were such a thing – unfortunately, withholding a portion of your taxes does not mean that fewer bombs will be built. His challenge should go a step further, as he suggests in closing:
[T]the next time somebody complains to you about the War or about the government, ask them if they’ve stopped paying for it yet.