To better understand the nature of government, one can think of it as an agency that sells or, more precisely, rents power to others. The greater the power and the wider its scope, the more opportunities the state’s agents will have to sell access to it in return for favors.
When the Israeli government describes the conflict over the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem as just a “real-estate dispute,” it has a point.
The Israelis ignored Deif’s warning and continued their abuses. The rockets flew. And, in the name of “self-defense,” prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the war he badly needs to distract from his recent election defeat and his ongoing corruption trial.
Louis XIV had hundreds of servants who prepared him dinner. Today, my supermarket offers me a buffet Louis XIV couldn’t imagine. Thanks to trade and property rights and markets, each of us lives as if we had more servants than kings. We also live longer.
People who seek to rule over and control others learned long ago that controlling money and trade is the best way to do it. On a global level, there are open conspiracies among controlling interests that go about doing just that.
In February 2020, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal with the Taliban, giving US forces 15 months to get out of Afghanistan. Nearly a year later, with the withdrawal nearly complete and only 2,500 US armed forces members remaining on Afghan soil, incoming President Joe Biden took the oath of inauguration and instantly began complaining that the May 1 deadline would be “hard to meet.”
When discussion turns to how to make government “better,” however any particular person would conceive that condition, libertarians understand that we are in the fraught world of second-bests. In other words, because of the nature of the state, no solution that merely attempts to reform it will be or could be truly satisfying. The system will continue to feature exploitation, rent-seeking, public-choice and knowledge problems, and worse.
The last 25 years have delivered amazing economic and technological progress for humanity. *Political* progress, in contrast, is hard even to detect during this period.
While draft registration does involve unequal treatment of men and women, the larger issue is Selective Service registration itself.
In 1943, as collectivist policies were ascendant, an extraordinary thing happened. Three women published three books that year that would jolt Americans from their socialist stupor and remind them of the fundamental American values of individual liberty, limited government, free-market capitalism, and entrepreneurship. This Women’s History Month is an ideal time to reflect on how Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, and Ayn Rand helped to catalyze the 20th century libertarian movement.