First things first.
I had planned to spend last week recording podcast episodes with the faculty at the Mises Institute's Mises University program. Instead, I just attended the sessions and enjoyed myself.
My 14-year-old, Regina, showed such interest in the program that I decided to join her even at the introductory sessions. I took notes on my computer that translated the sometimes challenging concepts into language easier for a 14-year-old, albeit a bright one, to understand.
The lectures covered subjective value, marginal utility, economic method, capital theory, the division of labor, money, banking, monopoly, business cycles, and a great many other topics. Austrian economics, in other words.
(I have no idea what the Mises haters actually think goes on at the Mises Institute, but I can tell you: instruction in economics, as anyone can see from three or four clicks on its website, and a quick scan of topics covered in its academic journals and scholars' conference.)
This also meant I didn't send out my regular emails. I took the week off.
But man, the bad guys sure are getting me revved up to mail again.
Last week Jeff Deist, former chief of staff to Ron Paul, delivered an excellent speech making some important points about how libertarianism might succeed in the real world.
He began by recalling the basics:
Rothbard’s conception of liberty has held up quite well over nearly half a century. Humans are sovereign over their mind and body, meaning you own yourself. From this flows the necessary corollary of property rights, meaning individuals have a valid claim to the byproducts of their minds and bodies--axiomatically we know that humans have to act to survive. And from self-ownership and property rights we arrive at a theory of when force is permissible, namely in self-defense. And these ideas of self-ownership, property rights, and non-aggression ought to apply to everyone, even when a group bands together and call themselves “government.” Since governments by definition use force (or threaten force) in many ways that are not definable as self-defense, they are invalid under the Rothbardian paradigm.
He went on to say that pushing for decentralization in a world that agrees on very little, and then making progress from there, makes more sense than trying to push for transgender rights in Saudi Arabia.
Jeff also noted that a free society would likely be a more culturally conservative one, "for the simple reason that as the state shrinks in importance and power, the long-suppressed institutions of civil society grow in importance and power. And in a more libertarian society, it’s harder to impose the costs of one’s lifestyle choices on others. If you rely on the family or church or charity to help you, they may well impose some conditions on that help."
He went on to add that lived experience, including place and kin, continue to have great purchase on the minds and hearts of many people, and that it makes no sense for libertarianism to act as if these sentiments are irrational and bizarre, or do not exist.
Left-libertarians are using the word "Nazi" to describe the speech. After all, he mentioned "blood and soil" in a list of things people care about! He must be a Nazi!
No normal person did or would respond that way, I'm sure it's unnecessary to point out.
(No way Jeff was simply responding to a recent article that used those words in its title! Let's just assume NAZI!!)
In my private Facebook group, people who apparently once had at least grudging respect for the left-libertarians in question are shocked at the hysteria and dirty pool.
I'm not shocked at all. This group has been part of the "everyone who disagrees with me is Hitler" crowd for a long time.
We're dealing with the "Ron Paul is a racist" libertarians -- who, if phone booths still existed, could hold their convention inside one.
I'll be responding on the show this week. I'll be naming names, and enjoying myself.
Some people will say, "Woods, why do you engage in infighting?"
And I'll respond: when my friends get attacked leftist style -- and yes, throwing around "Nazi" and "Hitler" like a low-IQ leftist is a leftist thing to do -- I'm going to respond.
Take it up with the emotional hypochondriacs who started it.
In the meantime, take refuge from the "everyone's a Nazi" screechers -- which it's extremely embarrassing to find within our own ranks -- in my Supporting Listeners group, where you'll find smart libertarians who roll their eyes at idiots like this.
Entry is this way: