‘Oil wars.’ Is this an accurate summary of US-led interventions in the Middle East of the 21st century?
“America is addicted to oil”
So said President George W Bush, echoing a contemporary cover of The Economist, in his State of the Union Address on January 31st 2006.
Although President Bush’s speech was a lament for the fact that the United States is the world’s biggest consumer of oil (reaching 19.4 million barrels per day by 2015), this candid admission by the architect of American interventionism lent support to the notion that his country’s forays into the Middle East have been either wholly or mostly motivated by the desire to have a greater, physical control over oil. In this essay we will, however, conclude that this theory is, at best, incomplete, and, at worst, false and misleading, and that America’s interventionist efforts can be best understood through the explanation of three distinct, yet connected objectives:
- To maintain the petrodollar system and the global reserve status of the US dollar;
- To appease and promote the interests of the US’s biggest regional allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia;
- To serve as proxy wars against Russia and China and to contain and minimise Sino-Russian influence in the region.
Congratulations to Duncan Whitmore, the winner of the Mises 2017 Essay Prize.
Congratulations also to runners-up Swithun Dobson and Tom Rogers.
Essays to follow in due course.
Libertarian Media of the Year 2017
Warning – Spoilers Abound!
By Richard Storey
Movie: Bladerunner 2049! Never mind if you’re unfamiliar with the original masterpiece; this tech-noir classic is still perfectly viewable as a standalone. The reason being its timeless theme which explores human nature, free will and the evil of meddling with the natural order of the human world. Many will intuitively think the libertarianism I am celebrating here is the absolute capitalism of the universe of Bladerunner. Not at all! The stygian hellscape of the city is a cold sea of favelas and countless disregarded economic units. This is not for a lack of socialism but, rather, a lack of personalism. Let me explain. Read more
We note recent comments on Twitter from Godfrey Bloom. We declare that his comments do not in any sense reflect the opinions of Mises UK or any of its other officers. We do not wish to be associated with them. We therefore remove him with immediate effect as President.
By Richard Storey
“When accordingly it is inquired, whence is evil, it must first be inquired, what is evil, which is nothing else than corruption, either of the measure, or the form, or the order, that belong to nature.” (Augustine)
The study of Western Civilization has been all but eradicated. This was no accident but, rather, an aggressive policy of leftist academe which has used exclusionary tactics to dominate and pervert the culture and purpose of our universities since the 1960s and 70s. But, for us students, driven underground, Western history is the greatest treasure trove of almost every faculty. Not least of these is natural law. Read more
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Libertarianism and the Alt-Right.
In Search of a Libertarian Strategy for Social Change
(Speech delivered at the 12th annual meeting of the Property and Freedom Society in Bodrum, Turkey, on September 17, 2017)
We know the fate of the term liberal and liberalism. It has been affixed to so many different people and different positions that it has lost all its meaning and become an empty, non-descript label. The same fate now increasingly also threatens the term libertarian and libertarianism that was invented to regain some of the conceptual precision lost with the demise of the former labels.
However, the history of modern libertarianism is still quite young. It began in Murray Rothbard’s living room and found its first quasi-canonical expression in his For A New Liberty. A Libertarian Manifesto, published in 1973. And so I am still hopeful and not yet willing to give up on libertarianism as defined and explained by Rothbard with unrivaled conceptual clarity and precision, notwithstanding the meanwhile countless attempts of so-called libertarians to muddy the water and misappropriate the good name of libertarianism for something entirely different. Read more