Enlightened insights taken from the past week’s reading:
"Abraham Lincoln’s original battle plan was called 'The Anaconda Plan' because its goal was to strangle the economy of the South by blocking international trade. The only difference is that with protectionist tariffs we do to ourselves in peacetime what our enemies try to do to us in wartime: Harm us by blocking valued imports from other countries.Protectionist tariffs are the quintessential anti-populist, monopolistic policy because they are the result of a price-fixing conspiracy between small groups of greedy, rent-seeking corporations (with the help of their unions) and pandering politicians. They do legally what the antitrust laws are supposed to prevent. They line the pockets of plutocrats and politicians at the expense of all consumers, including corporate consumers who utilize such products as steel and aluminum to manufacture their own products. Twenty-five percent tariffs on steel and aluminum will not make your next new car, washing machine, or anything else made of metal cheaper, contrary to what tinfoil hat economic commentators like Pat Buchanan say. Even higher taxes will not 'make America great again' but will only enlarge the power and purse of the corrupt, criminal state. Americans should be sickened at Donald Trump’s pontifications yesterday about how wonderful it supposedly is that, thanks to his new tariffs, the Washington 'swamp' will now be tens of billions of dollars richer, and American consumers that much poorer. The same swamp that works devilishly, day in and day out, to try to get rid of Trump himself by any means possible. He and Buchanan should be wearing Abe Lincoln style stovepipe tinfoil hats."
"It is striking that new competition often takes the form of entirely new and different ways of doing things. New industries arise. Cars replace horses. Stores refrigerate milk and replace the milkman. Computers replace typewriters and paper files. This entry of the new is what checks the older industries. As long as entry is free, monopoly is held in check.
Government regulation prevents free entry. It supports monopoly and cartels. It prevents competition from arising. This is the bad outcome to be avoided. This is what will occur if internet speech is regulated, and worse, much worse. Regulating speech is bound in this case to crimp political competition and idea competition."
"Throughout history, governments arise to address problems, sometimes involving defense against attack, sometimes to handle social conflicts involving disputes over property and other conflicts, sometimes to hand down law. We have yet to find ways to live with either very limited government or no government at all, but these are the only two paths to escape the great infirmities of government that we impose on ourselves."
"Really, reparations is just the logical culmination of the new forms of discrimination, that were given a legal imprimatur with Affirmative Action. Most Americans don’t realize that 'race norming' of qualification tests provided unimaginable assistance to blacks trying to get well-paid, benefits-laden government jobs. Quotas and Affirmative Action mandated that race, especially one particular race, was considered first and foremost for virtually every job in the work force. Don’t get caught without your 'We are an equal opportunity employer' logo."
"So here’s my prediction of what’s going to happen over the next couple of generations. Many nation states will simply collapse or disappear. Incidentally, I don’t think the U.S. will be a survivor. The country used to share a common culture, albeit with quaint regional variations. That’s no longer the case. The election of Trump has crystalized long-simmering, and growing antagonisms. It’s not that Americans just have a political difference of opinion. It now boils down to mutual cultural hatred, and on a visceral level. It’s only been exacerbated by the push for 'multiculturalism,' always a stupid and destructive concept, from the usual suspects."
"Knowing libertarian theory — the rules of peaceful interactions — is like knowing the rules of logic — the rules of correct thinking and reasoning. . . just as every logician who wants to make good use of his knowledge must turn his attention to real thought and reasoning, so a libertarian theorist must turn his attention to the actions of real people. Instead of being a mere theorist, he must also become a sociologist and psychologist and take account of 'empirical' social reality, i.e., the world as it really is."
"The real questions for the politically correct crowd are: (1) why isn’t war politically incorrect, and (2) why isn’t it politically incorrect for the politically correct arbiters of language to call the rest of us names? The real racists in America are those who call white people racist."
Paul Craig Roberts
"The corporatist, globalist elites and their partners in government want you to think that all rights, all economic activity and all power flows from government to you. That you must go to college, learn the ways of the state, and be sent forth from the Ivory Towers as a good little globalist.
The opposite is true. We are the producers. Government is there to steal the fruits of it from us first by creating fiat money, which must go through the government where those in power receive it and use it before it is debased through inflation, and stolen from us again via taxation.
Fiat money is a lie that supersedes political party. It is now outside the law. The only way the dollar — or any currency that replaces it — will lose the power of control is if a currency exists outside of the corruption of the state and government."
"I abhor war. I have little use for those who revel in war and killing, and I have much contempt for the voluntary military. This does not mean that I did not have empathy for those young men drafted into slavery during past wars, those who were lied to and told they were fighting for good. They were confused and scared, and in many cases just trying to get out alive. The fact that they were put into that position in the first place is an abomination, and exposes the evil of the ruling elites and the politicians they control who care nothing about other people’s children.
There is no honor in war, and there never has been any honor in killing for the state."
Gary D. Barnett
"Every technology breakthrough going back to the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution has been met with cries of, 'But what about the masses who will be thrown out of work?' And every time, there’s always more work to be done on the other side of the disruption caused by the technology breakthrough.
Why would now be any different?"
"The American Revolution was unique in history because it made possible the establishment of a government based on a new and untried principle, namely, that the government has no power except what the governed have granted it. That was a shift in power that had never occurred before.
A new American revolution was initiated in 1913, when the government was invested with the power to confiscate private property… that this power over the economy of the country put into the hands of the American government a means of liquidating the sovereignty of the citizenry."
"The principle that the end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule."
Friedrich von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom