The Libertarian Standard » Education Property - Prosperity - Peace Sat, 16 May 2015 17:42:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A new website and group blog of radical Austro-libertarians, shining the light of reason on truth and justice. The Libertarian Standard clean The Libertarian Standard (The Libertarian Standard) CC-BY Property - Prosperity - Peace The Libertarian Standard » Education TV-G Libertarian Fiction Authors Association and Short Story Contest Fri, 07 Feb 2014 17:55:11 +0000 Libertarian Fiction Authors Association

It’s been a long time since I blogged on The Libertarian Standard. I’ve been busy with other projects, one of which is the subject of this post. I recently launched, in November 2013, the Libertarian Fiction Authors Association.

If you’re like me, you enjoy reading fiction but have a difficult time finding stories that truly reflect your values and interests. This discovery problem affects everyone, but is particularly acute for niche markets like ours. There are individuals and organizations (including Amazon) attempting to solve the problem for authors and readers in general, but no one was really catering to libertarians specifically.

How many libertarians out there have published fiction? How many more are aspiring authors, who are either writing their first novel or are thinking about it but need some encouragement and guidance? I had no idea, but I was sure there were far more than I knew about personally.

As an activist, I also think that dramatizing our values through fiction is an important way to spread the message of liberty.

As an aspiring fiction author myself, I wanted to form a group made up of fellow libertarian writers who could learn from, encourage, and push each other to accomplish their goals and continually reach for new heights — and, eventually, to get my stories into the hands of new readers.

So I started first an email list, then a full-blown association complete with a professional website, in order to provide

  1. a writing group and mastermind that will both nurture new talent and hone the skills of more seasoned pros,
  2. a platform for libertarian fiction authors to promote their work, and
  3. a central location for readers to find fiction written by libertarian authors.

And already, thanks to the association, in a mere few months, I have discovered many more libertarian authors than I had heard of before.

Basic membership in the association is and always will be free. At a minimum, members get a public member directory listing; their books listed and displayed on the site; a link and image-rich profile page; free promotion; and access to a private email list and social network groups.

As our first major promotional endeavor, the association has teamed up with Students for Liberty to hold a libertarian short story contest. The contest is open to everyone, except the judges and SFL staff, and the deadline to submit a story is March 4, 2014. Entrants stand to win up to $300, supporting membership in the association free for a year, and publication. Check out our announcement and the official contest page for more information.

If you’re an avid reader, check out our work and follow us to be updated about new releases and special promotions. If you’re a writer too, join us and enter the short story contest.

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Hutchinson, homeschooling, Harvard, and heresy Sun, 28 Apr 2013 21:47:27 +0000 AnneHutchinson2Last month, I mentioned America’s first individualist anarchist, Anne Hutchinson. She’s a hero of mine, for obvious reasons, despite my not sharing her religious beliefs.

One of the several reasons I’m enjoying Sarah Vowell’s The Wordy Shipmates is that I’m learning more about Hutchinson. For example, I love this detail:

The daughter of a persecuted Puritan minister who helped her cobble together the best education possible for female children (who were denied university attendance), Anne Hutchinson is one of the brainiest English-women of the seventeenth century. Yet she is no stranger to the goopy fluids of female biology. Besides birthing her own litter [of 15 children, by the way!], she works as a midwife, delivering babies and no doubt serving the brew imbibed before and after labor, the wonderfully named “groaning beer.”

Here’s my favorite detail within the detail:

By aiding Boston’s new mothers, Hutchinson quickly befriends a lot of women. She starts leading the women in a regular Bible study in her large, fine home.

These Bible-study group became the seedbed of antinomianism: a new religious individualism (and heresy) within New England Puritanism. It also became the basis of political and philosophical individualism more generally, thus Murray Rothbard’s description of Hutchinson in Conceived in Liberty as America’s first individualist anarchist.

She preached the necessity for an inner light to come to any individual chosen as one of God’s elect. Such talk marked her as far more of a religious individualist than the Massachusetts leaders. Salvation came only through a covenant of grace emerging from the inner light, and was not at all revealed in a covenant of works, the essence of which is good works on earth. This meant that the fanatically ascetic sanctification imposed by the Puritans was no evidence whatever that one was of the elect. Furthermore, Anne Hutchinson made it plain that she regarded many Puritan leaders as not of the elect.

The Massachusetts powers that be understood that Hutchinson’s Bible-study sessions were central to the dissemination of her religious and political heresies and so, as Sarah Vowell relates,

In September of 1637 … [t]hey resolve, writes Winthrop, “That though women might meet (some few together) to pray and edify one another,” assemblies of “sixty or more” as were then taking place in Boston at the home of “one woman” who had had the gall to go about “resolving questions of doctrine and expounding scripture” are not allowed.

"The Bill of Rights," Vowell comments, "with its allowance for freedom of assembly, is a long way off."

Rothbard again:

Winthrop then called for a vote that Mrs. Hutchinson “is unfit for our society — and … that she shall be banished out of our liberties and imprisoned till she be sent away.…” Only two members voted against her banishment.

When Winthrop pronounced the sentence of banishment Anne Hutchinson courageously asked: “I desire to know wherefore I am banished.”

Winthrop refused to answer: “Say no more. The court knows wherefore, and is satisfied.” It was apparently enough for the court to be satisfied; no justification before the bar of reason, natural justice, or the public was deemed necessary.

The Wordy ShipmatesAs good as Rothbard’s account is, I find Vowell’s even better:

“What law have I broken?” she asks.

“Why the fifth commandment,” answers Winthrop. This is of course the favorite commandment of all ministers and magistrates, the one demanding a person should honor his father and mother, which for Winthrop includes all authority figures. Wheelwright’s sermon was an affront to the fathers of the church and the fathers of the commonwealth.…

When she presses him once again to point out the Scripture that contradicts the Scripture she has quoted calling for elders to mentor younger women, Winthrop, flustered, barks, “We are your judges, and not you ours.”

Winthrop really is no match for Hutchinson’s logic. Most of his answers to her challenges boil down to “Because I said so.”

In fact, before this trial started, the colony’s elders had agreed to raise four hundred pounds to build a college but hadn’t gotten around to doing anything about it. After Hutchinson’s trial, they got cracking immediately and founded Harvard so as to prevent random, home-schooled female maniacs from outwitting magistrates in open court and seducing colonists, even male ones, into strange opinions. Thanks in part to Hutchinson, the young men of Massachusetts will receive a proper, orthodox theological education grounded in the rigorous study of Hebrew and Greek.

The US attorney general recently announced that homeschooling is not a fundamental right, thereby denying asylum to a German family that had fled their home country, where the 1938 Nazi-introduced ban on home education is still enforced. The American homeschooling community is understandably outraged at the current presidential administration’s position on the question, but we shouldn’t be at all surprised. Why would any government willingly relinquish the authority to indoctrinate? The need to prevent random, homeschooled maniacs from outwitting political leaders and seducing citizens into strange opinions — such as individual freedom and responsibility — is essential to the health of the state. And if we question too vociferously the logic of their decision, they may well reply in essence that they are our judges and not we theirs.

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Complete Liberty: The Demise of the State and the Rise of Voluntary America, by Wes Bertrand Tue, 05 Feb 2013 02:03:53 +0000 I recently came across the website and podcast “Complete Liberty,” by Wes Bertrand, also featuring Bertrand’s 2007 book Complete Liberty: The Demise of the State and the Rise of Voluntary America (print; PDF). The podcast has some excellent episodes, including a whole series on IP—episodes 89–99.

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Free European Students for Liberty Webinar with Jeff Tucker TODAY 2PM Eastern Time: “Commerce and the Commons: How Enterprise Will Survive and Thrive the Death of Intellectual Property” Tue, 29 Jan 2013 13:17:53 +0000 jefftucker

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeff Tucker of Laissez Faire Books is giving a free Webinar this afternoon: “Commerce and the Commons: How Enterprise Will Survive and Thrive the Death of Intellectual Property“. This event is sponsored by European Students For Liberty, and appears to be open to anyone. Info below:

Tuesday, January 29, at 20:00-21:00 CET/2:00PM-3:00PM EDT

Where? On your Computer!

Speaker:  Jeffrey Tucker

Topic: Commerce and the Commons: How Enterprise Will Survive and Thrive the Death of Intellectual Property

Register here:

Intellectual Property Rights have always been a hot topic among libertarians. One of the main arguments in favor is the belief that these rights are essential for entrepreneurship. Businesses wouldn’t be able to innovate without the financial fruits of their intellectual labor. But exactly how essential is intellectual property in this regard? Would an end of these rights mean an end of commerce? Or the reverse? Find out during this upcoming webinar!

Jeffrey Tucker is executive editor of the newly refurbished Laissez Faire Books, a leading publisher of libertarian books, and founder and head of the Laissez Faire Club. He also author of Bourbon for Breakfast (2010), It’s a Jetsons World (2011), and Beautiful Anarchy (2012).


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Launching the Kinsella on Liberty Podcast Wed, 23 Jan 2013 15:36:36 +0000 Kinsella On Liberty

As many of my readers know, I often lecture and speak and give podcast or radio interviews on various libertarian topics and issues, such as intellectual property (IP), anarcho-libertarians, Austrian law and economic, contract theory, rights and punishment theory, and so on. I also blog and comment regularly on such matters in various blogs (primarily The Libertarian Standard, on general libertarian matters, and C4SIF, on IP-related matters), Facebook, and so on—often posting my take on a given issue in response to a question emailed to me or posted online.

This month I am launching a new podcast, Kinsella on Liberty. I expect to post episodes once or twice a week. The podcast will include new episodes covering  answers to questions emailed to me (feel free to ask me to address any issue of libertarian theory or application) as well as interviews or discussions I conduct with other libertarians. I’ll also include in the feed any new speeches or interviews of mine that appear on other podcasts or fora, as well as older speeches, interviews, and audio versions  of my articles, which  are collected for now on my media page). Audio and slides for several of my Mises Academy courses may also be found on my media page, and will also be included in the podcast feed later this year. Feel free to iTunesSubscribe in iTunes or RSSFollow with RSS, and spread the word to your libertarian friends. I welcome questions for possible coverage in the podcast, as well as any criticism, suggestions for improvement, or other feedback. My general approach to libertarian matters is Austrian, anarchist, and propertarian, influenced heavily by the thought of Ludwig von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. My writing can be found in articles here and blog posts at The Libertarian Standard and C4SIF, such as:

On IP in particular, which I’ll also cover from time to time in the podcast, see:


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Anarchy 101 at Lebanon Valley College Sun, 11 Nov 2012 00:42:53 +0000 Well, technically, Anarchy 100, a seminar at Lebanon Valley College. I was alerted by a friend to this interesting course by Michael Kitchens, an Assistant Professor of Psychology. The reading materials include many articles and books from Austro-anarchists such as Roderick Long, Bob Murphy, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Walter Block, Anthony Gregory, Tom DiLorenzo, Lew Rockwell, Rothbard, and myself. This is cool. The reading list would make a good book. From the course page:



Introductory Essays on Anarchy

The State & Anarchy 

Market Anarchy

Justice Anarchy

Defense  & Security

Roads & Highways

Civilization, Culture, & Life

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When Will the Voters Learn? Fri, 19 Oct 2012 22:05:07 +0000 Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” ~ Clay Shirky

You know the slavery Kool-Aid is working well when those who are oppressed petition their oppressors for more of that which helps keep them oppressed.

For instance, public education is a tool that was designed–specifically and directly–as a means of controlling the hoi polloi.  The educational system of compulsory public education championed by Horace Mann, chock-full of multiple-choice testing perfected by Frederick J. Kelly, feeding into statistical models based upon the work of (eugenicist) Sir Francis Galton, was (and is) designed to fulfill the need for employees who are primed and ready to inhabit factories where efficiency can be measured in ways developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor. (The fact that so few of such factories currently exist in America should also be telling, but that’s a different discussion.) Mann believed “universal public education was the best way to turn the nation’s unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens.” The whole thing was designed to produce a seething throng of people ready to take orders, stand in line, ask few questions, and install bumpers all day–accepting the interminable boredom of such a life–while their over-lords made a ton of money.  Free and compulsory public education was never intended to create inquisitive, risk-taking, leaders. Or entrepreneurs and/or business owners.  Or frankly, owners of anything! Yet, people clamor that “education is a right” and “we need more funding for our schools” despite the inescapable fact that these same crap holes are doing their best at producing children incapable of independent thought and unable to read a book (or a blueprint), solve a simple mathematics problem, or devise a new strategy.  It’s damned sad, really.

A similar conclusion can be drawn regarding government job creation. Throughout the current election season, you’ll hear people clamoring that Obama will do all he can to create jobs while Romney won’t, or some such simplistic foolishness. Any president who claims to create jobs, uses tax dollars and government debt to pay people wages that are too high, for work that otherwise likely would not be done. In other words, the money is wasted on boondoggles. This action has at least two negative side-effects.  One, it takes money from those who produce it and gives it to someone else. (That’s the taxation piece.) That might sound good to the recipient unless he realizes that he is only getting the proverbial fish that feeds him for a day, if that long. Secondly, this stolen–they call it stimulus nowadays–money results in those at the top having more real income than the supposed beneficiaries of those government-created jobs. (That’s the inflation piece.) The people who think they benefit from the government-created-jobs are worse off in the long term, despite all appearances to the contrary in the short term. Ludwig von Mises spoke of this phenomenon in, “On Current Monetary Problems” with:

The advocates of annual increases in the quantity of money never mention the fact that for all those who do not get a share of the newly created additional quantity of money, the government’s action means a drop in their purchasing power which forces them to restrict their consumption. It is ignorance of this fundamental fact that induces various authors of economic books and articles to suggest a yearly increase of money without realizing that such a measure necessarily brings about an undesirable impoverishment of a great part, even the majority, of the population.

An injection of money into the economy by the government generally results in a transfer of wealth towards the top—real income transferred from those who can least afford it to those who already have plenty. (I already noted some time ago that this phenomenon seemed to get rolling in 1980.  The chart below is instructive.) One might even suppose this state-facilitated income transfer is the reason why statists in power so strongly support government control of the money supply, but that’s another discussion. Bottom Line:  Those who clamor for a president who cares about them get the same treatment and results as they would from some random bastard who openly scorned them. (No offense to the random bastard you support!)

And yet, here we are at election time, and the clarion calls continue to go up, from both sides of the ostensible aisle.

Cross-Posted at LRCBlog.

Five-Year Average Increase in Real Wages

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Welcome Mises Institute Estonia Fri, 06 Jul 2012 21:34:16 +0000 My friend Paul Vahur has just announced the formation of the Mises Institute Estonia. As their introductory notes explains:

We are glad to announce about the creation of Mises Institute Estonia (in Estonian: Misese Instituut). The founders were 10 members of Mises Circle Tallinn which was created in 2009. Mises Institute Estonia is politically independent and funded only by private donations.The purpose of the Institute is to promote and advance in Estonia the theories of Austrian School of Economics and classical liberal and libertarian political theories. To achieve these goals, the Institute will regularly publish articles on its website, it will also hold conferences, educational courses and lectures. The Institute publishes books in Estonian popularizing economic science and libertarian political theory.

The Institue will be headed by Paul Vahur. The members of supervisory board are Risto Sverdlik, Urmas Järve and Paul Keres.

Mises Institute Estonia is named after Ludwig von Mises, a renowned Austrian economist whose biggest contribution was to explain the cause of economic crises and why state’s economic intervention is doomed to failure. First Mises Institute was founded in 1982 in USA. Thanks to their great success many other Mises Institutes have been founded in recent years in other countries such as Poland, Brazil, Sweden and Canada.

It is heartening to see the growing ranks of counterparts to the US Mises Institute or others similar or related to or inspired by same, such as the Cobden Centre in the UK and others, to help spread the message of private property, individual liberty and Austrian economics.

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What’s Your Favorite Nonfiction Book? Tue, 12 Jun 2012 19:50:55 +0000 There are several useful bibliographies and recommended reading lists out there. See, e.g.:

I also published my own list, The Greatest Libertarian Books, a few years ago, and expanded on it in the post Top Ten Books of Liberty and Other Top Ten Lists of Libertarian Books..

Of the books I’ve read, I’d have to say the most important, significant, and influential one I’ve ever read is Hans-Hermann Hoppe, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism. As I wrote in my LRC piece:

Topping my list is A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, as well as a host of other works, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, our greatest living intellectual. Hoppe’s other influential works include Democracy: The God That Failed, The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, and Economic Science and the Austrian Method. Sure, Hoppe stands on the shoulders of giants — primarily Mises and Rothbard — but to my mind his edifice of thought is the pinnacle of Austro-libertarian thinking. Somewhat sobering is the realization that Hoppe was only forty when he wrote Capitalism. Gulp.

This is one reason I did an extensive review essay of the The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, in 1994. And used it for my own theories, e.g. on rights, contract, IP, and the like. And conducted a whole Mises Academy course around Hoppe’s thought. TSC is systematic, lucid, dense, stimulating, and solidly anchored in Misesian praxeology and economics and Rothbardian political radicalism, while extending both. My copy is peppered with marginalia and notes. Such an amazing book. If you can only read part: Chapters 1, 2, and 7. But you must read the whole thing.

What are your favorites, more important, most influential?

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New Book: Everything Voluntary: From Politics to Parenting Fri, 25 May 2012 18:14:41 +0000 A new book has just been released, Everything Voluntary: From Politics to Parenting. Edited by Skyler Collins, it’s also free on Scribd and for PDF download. Here’s my back-cover blurb:

This book contains a very useful, well-organized, and carefully selected set of essays centered around the idea of human liberty, what Hazlitt called “cooperatism” [Foundations of Morality, p. xii] and what the editor calls “voluntaryism.” In addition to covering the basics of politics and economics, the book contains a large number of essays devoted to education and parenting. This decision makes pertect sense, when we realize that our children and the ideas they are exposed to are the greatest hope for liberty in generations to come. I highly recommend this excellent volume, for beginners, activists, and seasoned libertarians.

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