Category Archives: Economics (Austrian)

Busted: Scripture-Twisting Reverend Pushing Borderless West


By Ilana mercer

When preaching immigration leniency and lawlessness in America, immigration bleeding hearts should lay off the Hebrew Bible, Leviticus 19:34, in particular.

The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

One Rev. Ryan M. Eller, on Tucker Carlson’s show, gave a dissembling and misleading reading of the tract, in mitigation of the immigration status of Kate Steinle’s killer.

The reverend glibly translated the word “sojourn” to mean citizens living among you, the latter having created, presumably, an immutable reality on the ground.

In appropriating the Hebrew text to his humanistic ends, Rev. Eller left-out that Leviticus 19:34 is a reference to strangers who are temporarily in your country.

A “sojourn” is a “temporary stay; a brief period of residence.” The Hebrew word “ger” means alien, stranger, not citizen.

The Hebrew Testament is not the New Testament. It’s not the text you want to use in spreading the Christian, “We Are The World” dogma. For it revolves around distinguishing the Jews and their homeland from the nations of the world.

What is commonly called the Old Testament, I read in the Hebrew, free of the bowdlerization that often accompanies the Christianized translations. As I read it, our Bible was not meant to meld the Jewish People with the world.

The opposite is true.

While it evinces ground-breaking exploration of natural, universal justice—and a lot of not-so-merciful meting out of “justice”—the Hebrew Bible is something of a parochial document.

Undergirding what Christians call the Old Testament is a message of particularism, not universalism. The ancient Hebrews would have been appalled by many a modern, left-liberal Jew who has betrayed the nationalistic message underlying the 24 best-written books ever.

Mercy and justice are all Leviticus 19:34 exhorts. The tract reminds the Hebrews only that they suffered in Egypt as slaves to the Egyptians. Consequently, the people of Israel are to be kind to the strangers living temporarily among them.

Were the biblical author to have added a parenthetic statement, it would’ve been: “Fear not, the stranger will soon be on his way, or chased away.”

The Christian Saint Joan of Arc was certainly steeped in a sturdy nativism.

“Jeanne, does God love the English,” Joan of Arc‘s pro-English inquisitor demanded to know. Said Saint Jeanne d’Arc about the invaders of her homeland, France:

“Yes, God loves the English … but in their own land.”

Can you think of a hero in the distant past who galvanized his countrymen around the idea that their country was no more than an economy? Alas, there are oodles of them around, today.

Lite libertarians like Ilya Somin and Katherine Mangu-Ward, for example.

On Tucker’s too, Somin, professor of law at George Mason University, had stated  that “free migration throughout the world could potentially double world gross domestic product.”

Relying on the GDP measure to motivate for open borders is typical of the arguments made by lite libertarians.

The GDP measure is itself a state-driven metric. Official GDP numbers are deceptive because they chart—and include—the growth of government debt. In order to come to grips with America’s real economic prognosis, one would need to tease apart the indubitably modest economic growth from the monstrous accretion of public debt.

Defined, tracked and manipulated by the D.C. political machine, GDP is a political construct. It statistically conflates the growth of debt with economic growth.

When it comes to alienating more than captivating potential adherents to libertarianism, Somin has nothing on Katherine Mangu-Ward, editor of the lite libertarian publication, “Reason.”

Ms. Mangu-Ward gets my award for the stupidest statement made to Saint Tucker Carlson, this year.

She told Tucker that, “If we had a billion people in America, America would be unstoppable. That would be amazing.”

There’s a method to the open-border religion, preached, invariably, from the alternate universe of the TV studio or creature comforts of a stately home.

According to the Somin and Mangu-Ward “a country is no more than GDP” theory, high population density is just dandy as it increases the division of labor—and with it, specialization.

Witness the densely populated Cairo is all its innovative productiveness! Another splendid model for squalor is Calcutta. So yes, do let’s continue densely packing our country with anyone who washes ashore.

If American history (circa 1894) is anything to go by, the scarcity and high cost of labor helped propel this country into its position as the world’s leading industrial power.

In a word, ignore the Svengali who relies on one statist scam, GDP, to promote another: the centrally planned, divide-and-conquer stratagem of mass immigration.

And beware of fools and knaves who appropriate ancient scripture for their own political ends.

**

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & YouTube.

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Godfrey Bloom: Sex, Interest Rates, & Stock Market Crashes


In a wide-ranging interview, our Honorary President Godfrey Bloom spoke this afternoon to Jon Gaunt about several interrelated topics, including sexual scandals, the overseas aid budget, the raising of interest rates by the Bank of England, and the possibility of an economic crash brought about by central bank money manipulation, as predicted by Austrian Business Cycle Theory.

If you would like to listen to the interview, please click on the audio link below:

WHY LIBERTARIANS AND TRADITIONALISTS ARE NATURAL ALLIES


Why Libertarians and Traditionalists are Natural Allies
Christian Robitaille

A version of this article appeared in French in January 2016 (Contrepoints.org).

christianIn this article, I will identify the reasons why it is essential to build a solid alliance between libertarians and traditionalists.[1] As a libertarian, it appears to me that it is now of utmost importance to insist on a strict separation between libertarianism and various ideologies that are increasingly plaguing the libertarian movement. Indeed, when one notices the feminist, queer, relativistic, and hippie excesses characterising the cultural leftist turn of the libertarian movement, one realises that it is not without utility to remind libertarians of some traditionalist implications of an application of the libertarian doctrine to Western societies. It is also appropriate to remind traditionalists that the State is not a good tool in order to implement and maintain a traditional social order. Although few libertarians, to my knowledge, have formulated such analyses in French, it is important to indicate that the ideas that follow have already been expressed in English by various writers. Given the current state of the libertarian movement, however, restating these ideas is not, I believe, a useless endeavour. Read more

The Austrian Approach to Economic History


The Austrian Approach to Economic History
Dr Matteo Salonia, Associated Scholar of Mises UK at King’s College London

matteoIt is safe to assume that most of the readers of Mises UK are not admirers of the Marxist historiographical school, and the defects and inadequacies of Marxian reconstructions of the past are by now well-known, even though a large percentage of academics in the Humanities insists in perpetuating Marxian myths and in using a Marxist vocabulary in textbooks and lectures. Yet, for all the shortcomings of the Marxist school, it is important to recognize that the narrative that it proposes has a strong relationship with economic theory. It is perhaps not by chance that after the crisis of Marxism the relation between economic theory and economic history has become quite tormented. The problem today is not simply that the two disciplines of history and economics do not speak to each other. Rather, it seems that many economic historians, in principle, do not accept the necessity of theoretical analysis when looking at the past. Some of them actually seem to believe that distancing themselves from any economic theory is the appropriate thing to do. The trouble comes when, in order to say anything meaningful, eventually they must say something about the causes of economic development or the economic structure of a certain society. But, as Sudha Shenoy has warned, “Those actions that historians actually find in the contexts they study, can be fitted together into ‘social complexes’ only if historians make use of the ‘schemes of structural relationships’ that theory provides ready-made. Without such developed theories, historians may implicitly use contradictory or unsustainable reasoning in their accounts.” This is why, for instance, in a recent book on the history of Japan, one reads that the growth of certain local industries and the beginnings of specialization in the Tokugawa period supposedly happened thanks to the intervention of regional political powers. But correlation is not causation, and the author does not even try to explain to the reader (let alone convince him) that, having shown the presence of government intervention, it is indeed theoretically safe to assume that this alone accounts for specialization in production – or even that specialization in production would not have happened without some sort of coercive action favoring it from above. Economic history textbooks and monographs are sprinkled with such problematic statements, and I want to stress once more that the issue here is not holding a wrong economic theory, but rather not holding a theory at all: in fact, it has become not unusual to find in the same article or volume scattered assumptions that seem taken from many different (and irreconcilable) economic theories. Read more

On Discrimination


ON DISCRIMINATION
By Christian Robitaille

The following is a translation of a speech delivered in French on the 5th August 2017 at the occasion of the 2nd edition of the Montreal Free Market Seminar.

Today, I will talk about a phenomenon that is increasingly decried as unfair or evil by Canada’s and Québec’s mass media and by the most vocal leftists of our society. I will talk about discrimination. However, I will not talk about it in a conventional way, i.e., by decrying as unjust any form of discrimination whatsoever and by demanding that the State intervenes in order to reduce or eliminate it. Rather, I will take advantage of the fact that I am speaking in front of a civilised audience to talk about the true nature of discrimination and to show that it is, in and of itself, a useless concept insofar as one seeks to find in it the ultimate criterion of injustice. Read more

Praxeology and a priori truth: an interview with David Gordon


By Richard Storey

The following is an interview I conducted with the brilliant philosopher, Dr. David Gordon, who has been described as the semiofficial reviewer of the libertarian community.  There is hardly a better mind to help us understand ‘praxeology’ and the basis for Austro-libertarian thinking in the school of von Mises, Rothbard, Block and Hoppe et al.  Please follow the links for helpful resources to understand the definition of some philosophical terms and to access useful materials mentioned by David.

R: David, you have divided up two schools of thought in philosophy and economics – the German school, which I think stems from the Vienna circle, influenced greatly by the British empiricists, such as Locke and Hume; and the Austrian school spearheaded by Ludwig von Mises who was influenced by Menger and Böhm-Bawerk.  Now, Mises was somewhat of a rationalist; at least, he used the language of Immanuel Kant to show we need some sort of dualism when we engage in the empirical, physical sciences (which use the scientific method and the historical method).  That is, in order to gain knowledge from the world, we must use rationalistic thinking as well.  In that sense, would you say Mises’ thinking hearkens back to Aristotle by ascertaining those irrefutable axioms we can determine rationally for ourselves? Read more

Brexit and Free Trade


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

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