There are things I don’t approve of but don’t have the right to stop others from doing. I may tolerate these behaviors for my own peace of mind while doing what I can to protect myself; including self-defense when necessary.
The COVID-19 pandemic and, especially, the actions governments have taken in response to it have been, both directly and indirectly, enormously destructive of life, liberty, and wealth. But another tremendously significant aspect of these terrible events has been the lapse into what we might call ideological insanity on both sides of the lockdown divide.
In June, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order providing for sanctions against persons who “have directly engaged in any effort by the [International Criminal Court] to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any United States personnel without the consent of the United States.”
Someone else having a billion dollars does no harm to you. Fight for freedom, not against others having arbitrary amounts of money.
Episode 309 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following aphorisms written by Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski: “A bad economist believes that he knows what to do to make the world prosperous. A good economist believes that he knows what to do to let the world make itself prosperous.”; “A barbarian believes in coercion as a means to establish cooperation. A civilized person believes in cooperation as a means to eliminate coercion.”; “A civilized person believes that what matters is not whether wealth is equally distributed, but whether it is justly acquired. A barbarian believes that the latter depends on the former.”; “Achieving peace of mind is the dual process of maximizing self-awareness and minimizing self-consciousness.”; “A commercial culture is a tautology. A political culture is an oxymoron.”; and “A civilized person uses reason to evaluate his instincts. A barbarian uses reason to justify his instincts.”
Kids – especially young boys – are infinitely willing to play, infinitely willing to try new games, infinitely willing to suspend disbelief if it means they can compete and practice. Seeing this is one of the most charming things in the world.
This episode features a lecture by academic economist Bruce Benson from 1997. He talks about the origin and subsequent development of legal systems. He starts by reviewing Franz Oppenheimer’s distinction between two means to wealth- economic and political- and theorizes about the development of cooperation in society and the creation of systems of private property.
I don’t believe the “United States” has very much to do with a good vision of America. The bureaucrats and the enforcers typically just control, manipulate, and harass. The politicians grandstand, and the legislation corrupts and impoverishes. The corporate types join in. But there’s a whole lot more to America than the government, the big corporations, or the culture wars. I catch little glimpses of this “hidden America” here and there.
At this time of year especially, the wide variety of individual human preferences and interests becomes abundantly clear. My children’s Christmas lists display this diversity: Molly (13) wants a doughnut pan to feed her baking passion, Jack (11) wants anything tech-related, Abby (9) wants drawing supplies, and Sam (6) wants Lego pieces and stuffed animals. How do the elves satisfy these assorted preferences? It’s the miracle of the market.
My eight-year-old daughter Abby recently started reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was prompted, in part, by watching the Little House on the Prairie television episodes with her great-aunt. Coincidentally, I have been reading more lately about some of the key women in history who promoted the ideals of individual freedom, limited government, non-coercion, and voluntary cooperation through trade. Rose Wilder Lane is one of these women. She was born on this day in 1886.