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Friday, December 16, 2005

Lew Rockwell, and why I respect him

Lew does some stuff that I think is bad use of language, like calling the free market "capitalism", when he actually means, a free market. Other stuff of that ilk, too. He gives Wal-mart far too much credit...

But he has a lot of guts (being one of the first libertarians with any following to use the "F" word consistently about both FDR-style interventionism, and the neo-con republicans, for example) and a good eye for how things are actually going down.

He posted something on mises.org that I really like, because it gets to the core point really well:
Society Needs No Managers
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Some nice quotes(emphasis mine):
Libertarianism doesn't propose any plan for reorganizing government; it calls for the plan to be abandoned. It doesn't propose that market incentives be employed in the formulation of public policy; it rather hopes for a society in which there is no public policy as that term in usually understood.

The nation needed no Caesar, nor president, nor single will to bring about the blessings of liberty. Those blessings flow from liberty itself, which, as American essayist Benjamin Tucker wrote, is the mother, not the daughter of order. This principle was illustrated well during the whole of the Colonial Era and in the years before the Constitution.

There are many examples of this awful concession operating today. In policy circles, people use the word privatization to mean not the bowing out of government from a particular aspect of social and economic life, but merely the contracting out of statist priorities to politically connected private enterprise.
Indeed, the contracted-out state has become one of the most dangerous threats we face. A major part of the Iraq war has been undertaken by private groups working on behalf of government agencies. Republicans have warmed to the idea of contracting out major parts of the welfare state by putting formerly independent religious charities on the public payroll.
After the abysmal performance of FEMA after hurricane Katrina, many lawmakers suggested that Wal-Mart play a bigger role in crisis management. The assumption here is that nothing important is happening unless government somehow blesses the effort through a spending program that goes directly to a particular group or interest.


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