Another full chapter of Libertarianism Today is now online for free — this one on why libertarianism is antiwar. This is my favorite chapter of the book, so I’m especially glad I could make it available through Antiwar.com.
Other parts of the book you can read for free online:
Roger Ebert gives his two cents (for what that’s worth these days; thanks Fed!) on the Occupy Wall Street movement, if you care to subject yourself to the inane political views of a mainstream-leftist movie reviewer. What I found interesting was the comic at the end of his article:
One would think the left-liberals in this country would understand that better than most. Obama was their great Hope-and-Change candidate, an alleged outsider destined to change the way corrupt Washington works, and look how he turned out: Bush 2.0. But I guess the memories of unthinking, incorrigible statists are short — extremely short. Their great self-delusion: If only we can get the right people into power…
My fellow TLS blogger Norman Horn’s recent speech, What you can do to promote liberty, called to mind some things I’ve blogged about before. In Nock and Leonard Read on “One Improved Unit” and the Power of Attraction, blogged previously here, I discussed the idea advocated by Albert Jay Nock and Leonard Read, that your primary task is to improve yourself–to strive for excellence in yourself. Then you become a bright light that attracts people; they see you are good, and successful, and worth emlating or listening to–so you win people over by the power of attraction. They come to you, and then you have more success spreading the ideas of liberty than if you go around being a boor. More detail, including excerpts from Nock and Read, are in that post.
The other post, previousyl blogged elsewhere, is reproduced in full here:
Career Advice by North
Gary North delivered a wonderful lecture last month during Mises University 2009 (the same day I gave my own speech), “Calling and Career as an Austrian School Scholar” (a shorter version of this was in the LRC podcast 127. Gary North: Making a Difference, Making a Living, which is also excellent). North talks calling and occupation. Calling is “the most important thing you can do with your life in which you are most difficult to replace.” Occupation is “how you put food on the table.” Occasionally they are the same, but often not; but there is no reason not to arrange your life so as to have both. He talks about how to combine them or at least have both in your life, and centers his talk around some examples, notably Burt Blumert and William Volker.
Also see Paul Graham’s “What You’ll Wish You’d Known (“I wrote this talk for a high school. I never actually gave it, because the school authorities vetoed the plan to invite me.”)
English libertarian Sean Gabb recently gave an excellent speech, “Libertarianism: Left or Right?”, to the Manchester Liberty League; his blogpost is reproduced below. The the audio file is here, and also streaming below.
Sean Gabb, speaking to the Manchester Liberty League on the 2nd December 2011.
In early 19th century England, radical liberals – who may be regarded as libertarians on account of their views - were often in sharp opposition to conservatives. As such, always allowing for the overall lack of meaning to the term, these people were on the “left.”
By the end of the 19th century, people holding the same views had often closely associated themselves with the conservatives.
The reason was that the growth of municipal socialism and the increasing volume of collectivist legislation – usually brought in by Liberals. The Liberty and Propery Defence League was set up by conservatives and classical liberals to resist this growth of statism; and our libertarian ancestors became identified, and identified themselves, as on the “right.”
This identification was completed by the state socialist revolution in Russia. Between 1920 and 1990, politics became a tug of war. You could choose your ideological views. Once this was chosen, however, you gave up all control over which end of the rope you would be pulling. You also gave up any choice of allies.
This has changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The tug of war is over. We are free at last to have a good look at our allies; and big business is not particularly libertarian. Actually existing capitalism is largely the economic wing of an exploitative ruling class. It benefits from limited liability laws, infrastructure subsidies, and tax and regulatory systems that favour large scale business.
Now that we no longer risk becoming useful idiots for the Communist Party, we should be reaching out to ordinary working people and explaining how big business and big government stand in their way.
So far as left and right have any real meaning, libertarians should align themselves on the left as well as on the right.