L. Neil Smith
Sometimes I wish that my soapbox were just a little bit taller.
Over the past two or three decades, I have more-or-less accidentally made a number of historically significant predictions in various of my books and essays that have turned out to be correct. In 1977, for example, in my first novel, The Probability Broach, I predicted the Internet, wall-sized computer/television screens, laptop/tablets, computer-aided forensics, and laser designators for handguns. Some time around the same period, I talked about what would become known as the “Strategic Defense Initiative” or “Star Wars” (in an article for Reason/Frontlines, and I predict now that the concept is coming around again). In 1981, in The Gallatin Divergence, I said that the Marxist regime in Russia would not survive to celebrate its 100th anniversary. My editor at the time, supposedly an expert on Soviet affairs, dismissed that as “wishful thinking”. In numerous books and articles, I insisted that Global Warming is a crooked scam, that the very notion of “peak oil” was absurd, and that our species would be far better off emphasizing travel to and exploitation of the Asteroid Belt than the Moon or Mars. Read more
By Richard Storey
It is my firm belief that the state is the embodiment of collective irresponsibility and that, for this reason, it incentivises its own growth. Having to maintain a good reputation in a community can be hard work; but, we live in a time of declining birth rates and a growing nanny state – our communities are all but dead as the growth of the state presents an increasingly hostile environment to them. Read more
To join me on this journey, imagine if you will that this book was written and published in 2024. It owes much to futuristic fiction, both utopian and dystopian, but it is not a novel. There are no imagined characters, no dialogue, no focussing on the affairs of any one person or group of persons. Nor is it a formal history, stuffed with references and footnotes. There is no focus on the details of policy, no costing of alternatives, no effort to deal with objections. Rather, we look back together at crises of the past and use their lessons to transit to a new order for the future.
I hope you will gain much from this book. I do not expect you to agree with all that you find. Perhaps you do not share my view of the world. Perhaps, even if you agree that my view of what will happen, you will find what I regard as a future world on the edge of utopia as a world on the edge of nightmare. More likely, you will simply disagree with my opinion of where things are heading and how they can be overcome. If this is the case, you will find me in partial agreement with you. Read more
By Richard Storey
I’ve noted two basic responses to terror attacks from my fellow Englishmen. I imagine these pitiable reactions must be the same across Europe but the matter has been more pronounced for me in light of the two recent terror attacks on what is still called English soil – the ‘2017 Manchester Arena Bombing’ and the latest London Bridge attack. The two reactions are: 1. Deluded patriotism; and 2. New Age prayer. I want to convince you that both these impotent attempts at social unity are symptoms of a spiritual sickness which we can readily cure. Read more
Some years ago, the Austrian School libertarian Conservative MP Steve Baker addressed a conference of the Libertarian Alliance. At this conference, Mr Baker showed himself to be a sound Austrolibertarian and a supporter of property, freedom, free trade, sound money, and peace. Mr Baker has since become a Government minister. The mainstream media [see this ridiculous article at The Independent] is now using all of its usual tactics to attempt to smear him.
The article at The Independent includes a quotation from the Shadow Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer. Mr Starmer says that “there should be no place” for Mr Baker’s views. The Ludwig von Mises Centre disagrees; Steve Baker’s views are those which will ensure a clean Brexit is delivered.
Put succinctly at the 2010 Libertarian Alliance conference, Mr Baker believes that:
…the European Union needs to be wholly torn down.
As successor to the Libertarian Alliance, the “right-wing think tank” named in the linked article, Mises UK fully endorses the views expressed by Mr Baker in 2010. The European Union is a protectionist trade bloc with authoritarian and centralising tendencies and dangerous geopolitical ambitions; it must be wholly torn down.
Mises UK does agree, however, with one statement by Keir Starmer: “It is extraordinary that Theresa May has put such an extreme Brexiteer at the heart of the Government.” It is indeed extraordinary. And it is surely a good sign. Mises UK is proud to stand with Steve Baker.
By Swithun Dobson
The handling of the post EU referendum has been pitifully slow and bumbling for two main reasons: the first, which is obvious, no-one close to the reins of power actually wants to leave and the second is the belief that Britain must secure a free trade deal with the EU in a post-Brexit world. Almost all economists, even Paul Krugman, believe that a world entirely shorn of tariffs would be a better place. Each country would be able to specialise where it has its comparative advantage (a situation of having a lower opportunity cost than another country in producing that good), leading to lower prices, more innovation and overall greater welfare. This is even in the case where you have predominantly agricultural third world economies trading with leading world economies, such as the UK. The principle is sound. Read more
By Richard Storey
The state, being a judicial monopolist, is an irrational system of government because of the self-contradictory violation of private property rights required to establish or maintain it. Praxeological jurisprudence and the doctrine of dialogical estoppel provide the rational framework to show that, where there is incentive for rational consistency in the law, estopping the activities of state government and, rather, employing private judicial services is the only rationally viable option. The state, qua adjudicator of and/or party to civil disputes, seeks to protect private property rights, yet it must violate these rights to maintain its territorial monopoly; therefore, it cannot rationally claim a right to prevent competitors providing judicial services or delegitimize any act by private courts to estop state activities. This would necessarily result in a performative contradiction – a rights violating rights protector is a contradiction in terms. Only private systems of governance, that is, private courts enforcing private law through voluntary interactions, can be consistent with the presuppositions of argumentation.
The conventional definition of a ‘state’ is a person or group maintaining a territorial monopoly of ultimate decision-making and, so, ultimate adjudicative power, even in disputes involving itself. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe put it, the state ‘allows no appeal above and beyond itself. Furthermore, the state is an agency that exercises a territorial monopoly of taxation. That is, it is an agency that unilaterally fixes the price private citizens must pay for its provision of law and order.’ This definition applies equally to states which exercise a separation of powers; an independent judiciary, for instance, is nevertheless an interdependent body of state government, exercising a monopoly of judicial services and receiving its funding from the same source of taxation. Read more