Rothbardian history

December 28, 2008

Government as a gang of criminals:

If anything is simultaneously obvious and brilliant, it is Rothbard's insight that governments are glorified gangs of criminals.  How can anyone who knows the basic facts of history disagree?  If you strip virtually any chapter of world history down to a postcard, it's a story of vicious murderers killing each other in order to enslave nearby civilians.  Nearly every guy nicknamed "the Great" was a serial killer on a massive scale – and not the nice kind, either.

If all this is so obvious, why don't most works of history have a Rothbardian flavor?  The answer, in short, is that most historians are serious.  When they tell the story of William the Conqueror, for example, they take a considered, pompous tone, and treat all the key historical players with respect.  They've usually got their facts straight, of course.  But they don't want to write the "story of William the Mass Murderer," so they briefly mention his body count, then move on to William's land titling policy.


Paleos and protectionism

December 28, 2008

In my journey from generic libertarianism to paleo-libertarianism or even into Reactionism, I've found a lot to like at The American Conservative.  That said, I really don't understand the logic of this.

How is continuing to bailout the auto companies different from say the CCC?  For the amount that the US has spent bailing out the auto companies, we could have just paid all their workers to stay home.  These companies have the ability to destroy wealth on a monumental scale.  I can understand wanting to protect American workers.  But these people aren't workers anymore, they are on the dole.  The paleos should be able to see that these workers are paid by government, specifically Democrats in government, in exchange for continued union support of the Democratic party.

Class and recession

December 28, 2008

Our elites:

In short, all of these people – the journalist, the economist, and the government bureaucrat-lifer — belong to the meritocratic elite, the best and the brightest, the people with SATs high enough to go to Georgetown, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, GWU. They are fully credentialed members of the New Class expertocracy. None of them has apparently ever held a non-New Class job or run their own business and depended on it for a living, and I doubt if any of members of their social circle have, either.

Is it really so surprising that they just don’t get the clear class bias inherent in our current trade, manufacturing and economic situation? Clearly, the 2-3 million jobs lost to our brilliant globalization policy (still clutched dearly to the chest of all right-thinking economists, and, of course The Economist) didn’t really matter…to the people who matter.

And, of course, criticism of this class is going to be pretty limited in a social order in which all of the authority and all of the media and, increasingly, all of the money are controlled by New Class members, popping up to block every exit like the multiple characters played by Peter Sellers in "Dr. Strangelove."

Race and recession

December 28, 2008

This sort of thing seems to happen to Mr Sailer a lot.

Ponzi schemes

December 28, 2008

from Skeptic

Banking Regulation

December 26, 2008

This is some crazy shit at the OTS.  So based on how things have been going, they should get a lot more regulatory responsibility from Congress, right?

Rethinking Deep Throat

December 22, 2008

From Stratfor, which has some amazing analysis:

In our view, Nixon was as guilty as sin of more things than were ever proven. Nevertheless, there is another side to this story. The FBI was carrying out espionage against the president of the United States, not for any later prosecution of Nixon for a specific crime (the spying had to have been going on well before the break-in), but to increase the FBI’s control over Nixon. Woodward, Bernstein and above all, Bradlee, knew what was going on. Woodward and Bernstein might have been young and naive, but Bradlee was an old Washington hand who knew exactly who Felt was, knew the FBI playbook and understood that Felt could not have played the role he did without a focused FBI operation against the president. Bradlee knew perfectly well that Woodward and Bernstein were not breaking the story, but were having it spoon-fed to them by a master. He knew that the president of the United States, guilty or not, was being destroyed by Hoover’s jilted heir.

This was enormously important news. The Washington Post decided not to report it. The story of Deep Throat was well-known, but what lurked behind the identity of Deep Throat was not. This was not a lone whistle-blower being protected by a courageous news organization; rather, it was a news organization being used by the FBI against the president, and a news organization that knew perfectly well that it was being used against the president. Protecting Deep Throat concealed not only an individual, but also the story of the FBI’s role in destroying Nixon.