Randoms of the day

Further proof that a purely libertarian society would be highly conservative.

Don Colacho: "A bureaucracy ultimately always ends up costing the people more than an upper class."

Simon Grey reviews Rollback. This is high praise: "I doubt that even Rothbard could write so perfect a book." The review makes it clear that Woods explains what needs to happen, but it sounds like Woods doesn’t explain how to make it happen. The problem is that democratic governments don’t get smaller.

Aretae on politics. I agree that politics are inevitable. Though – unlike Aretae – I don’t think there is any way "to substantially dispense with politics." If you have people, you have politics. Moldbug helpfully reminds us today (in an intense post – even by his standards) that, "Sovereignty is conserved. You can spread it around, though, but don’t expect to enjoy the result."

Handle has an essay up at In Mala Fide.

Matthew Yglesias discovers the Sailer strategy.


A friend who spent nearly four hours walking home from his central Tokyo office on Friday said that there was not a single broken pane of glass in the buildings along the route even though the quake Tokyo experienced was very strong. Furthermore, the people hurrying home were all walking in an orderly way. He said that even at the convenience stores along the way, people were lining up in front of the cash registers as usual. Many families along the way also offered the use of their restrooms to those who were walking home. My friend was impressed anew by the high standards of Japanese construction technology and the high degree of civility or “norm consciousness.”

I myself was stuck in a taxi for five hours in the worst traffic jam I have ever experienced trying to reach home from Tokyo’s Haneda airport. During that excruciating five hours, I never heard anyone use the horn in his or her car. The taxi driver was also nice enough to charge me only for the distance traveled, not for the time it took to reach the destination.

In short, the view overseas is that a country with these national characteristics and this level of technical prowess is bound to recover.


10 Responses to Randoms of the day

  1. Lester Hunt says:

    Japanese civility: In John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” he relays reports of voices from those trapped and probably dying under the radioactive rubble saying (in Japanese of course) “Help me! If you please!”

  2. Gian says:

    “a purely libertarian society would be highly conservative.”

    Does this mean, to put into less abstract terms, that a society with a limited government will be less open to change. That it, it is only an expansive government that drives the change and the people at large prefer less or no change.

    • Foseti says:

      To me, it means that if free, people would be highly prejudicial. Patri, for example, would like to live somewhere that prohibits alcohol.

      Hoppe says it best ( https://foseti.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/review-of-democracy-the-god-that-failed-by-hans-hermann-hoppe/ ):

      “The restoration of private property rights and laissez-faire economics implies a sharp and drastic increase in social discrimination and will swiftly eliminate most if not all of the multicultural-egalitarian life style experiments so close to the heart of the left libertarians. In other words, libertarians must be radical and uncompromising conservatives.”

      • Gian says:

        Are conservatives more prejudicial than liberals?

        Are libertarians conservative on sexual mores?

      • Foseti says:

        No, everyone is prejudicial. If given the choice, almost everybody will choose to live in a community that enforces some standards of decency.

  3. Kalim Kassam says:

    A purely libertarian society would be highly conservative–or else highly dysfunctional.

  4. Tschafer says:

    My money’s on “highly dysfunctional”, but I’d be willing to take my chances on libertarianism, as opposed to the anarcho-tyranny operating in many parts of the Western World today.


  5. Simon Grey says:

    “The review makes it clear that Woods explains what needs to happen, but it sounds like Woods doesn’t explain how to make it happen.”

    The fault is entirely mine. The last chapter in particular provides some details as to the how, but it was too dense to summarize. The biggest thing is that elected officials need to pass the necessary legislation, and so voting and exerting political pressure are pretty much the main things to do. Also, Woods has separate book, which he references and quotes, on nullification, which he views as the most hands-on solution. Again, this book is pretty packed, so summarizing would yield a rather lengthy post.

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