the myth of FDR

It’s John T. Flynn weekend at Mises.org, starting with an abridged version of Justin Raimondo’s “John T. Flynn: Exemplar of the Old Right”Download PDF from the Journal of Libertarian Studies and followed by Ralph Raico’s great introduction to Flynn’s groundbreaking The Roosevelt Myth.Download PDF

This is especially timely with the deadly Keynesian religion on the rise. High priest Paul Krugman recently resurrected this coprocephalic canard:

The fact is that war is, in general, expansionary for the economy, at least in the short run. World War II, remember, ended the Great Depression. The $10 billion or so we’re spending each month in Iraq mainly goes to US-produced goods and services, which means that the war is actually supporting demand. Yes, there would be infinitely better ways to spend the money. But at a time when a shortfall of demand is the problem, the Iraq war nonetheless acts as a sort of WPA, supporting employment directly and indirectly.

Bastiat, anyone?

Update: How man of us had a history class that would have helped us understand this political cartoon from the 1930s?

Maybe your schooling was a lot better than mine. I remember being taught that Hoover was a do-nothing and that FDR offered the hope of a more activist government. Raimondo writes:

When Roosevelt was swept into office, Flynn welcomed him, sharing the hope that the new president would get the country moving again. Flynn supported the Democratic Party platform of 1932, which called for an end to the extravagant spending of the Republicans, a balanced budget, and the abolition of the many government bureaus and commissions.

But Flynn was soon disillusioned. In fact, the New Deal that Roosevelt sold to the American people in 1932 bore absolutely no resemblance to the one he immediately imposed on an unsuspecting nation. During the first 100 days of his administration, Roosevelt racked up a deficit larger than the one it took Hoover two years to produce. Worse, from Flynn’s viewpoint, was the blizzard of new government agencies the president created — agencies that sought to regulate every aspect of economic life — and the billions in borrowed money that financed them.

the rarest of all things on earth

“Moral courage is the rarest of all the rare things of this earth. The war has shown that millions have physical courage. Millions were willing to face rifle and cannon, bombardment, poison gas, liquid fire, and the bayonet; to trust themselves to flying machines thousands of feet in air, under the fire of anti-aircraft guns of enemy planes; to go into submarines, perhaps to meet a horrible death. But how many had the courage merely to make themselves unpopular? The bitter truth must be told: the many enlisted or submitted to the draft on both sides of the conflict not because they were convinced that they were helping to save the world, not because they had any real hatred for the enemy, not to uphold the right, but simply that they hadn’t the moral courage to face the stigma of “slacker” or “conscientious objector.” … Fear of death? No; the soldiers faced death bravely. But they feared unpopularity. They dreaded the suspicion of their fellows. What was needed in war is needed no less urgently in peace. How many persons in public or even in private life have the courage to say the thing that people do not like to hear?” – Henry Hazlitt, The Way to Willpower (via blog.Mises)

Radio Rockwell

Lew Rockwell does great radio. He’s really at his best as a public speaker. Here’s Lew talking with Scott Horton of Antiwar Radio about the intellectual and political legacy of the New Right founded by the recently departed William F. Buckley, Jr. (1, 2, 3).

Play here:

or download MP3 here. (53:27)

(via blog.Mises)

cowboys and communists

This is by far the most interesting piece of Christian spam that has found its way to my inbox:

funnier sans cat

From garfieldminusgarfield.tumblr.com:

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolor disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life?

Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against lonliness and methamphetamine addiction in a quiet American suburb.

(Thanks to neural for pointing me to this.)

Hegel in '08

I think Lew Rockwell’s editorial this morning is critically important. Only libertarians have held onto the classical-liberal insight that so-called “class interests” are only in conflict in the context of coercion. Civil society (i.e., voluntary cooperation, e.g., the free market) will harmonize all peaceful interests — race, sex, language, religion, wealth, etc.:

If the political prediction markets are right, we are going to end up with a presidential contest between two people who agree on the pressing need to expand the entire welfare-warfare state.

They can argue about priorities, but they agree on the overall goal.

With the campaign lacking serious issues, something tells me that the great American obsession over race is going to play a major role, which is gravely unfortunate since the discussion is unlikely to be enlightening. But it does raise important questions: what is racism and how can we tell if it exists? FULL ARTICLE

[Update: See Anthony Gregory's note to Lew on racism and liberalism.]

See also: “Triumph of the Red-State Fascists”:

Every Republican I’ve spoken to is mystified that John McCain has sewn up the Republican nomination. Of course I’m not talking to the run-of-the-mill Republican. There are vast hordes of these people who have never read a book and vote only by the most sordid political instinct known to man. McCain is their candidate. FULL ARTICLE

superfluous


Robert Higgs to Jörg Guido Hülsmann

Robert Higgs shares with us this note to the author of Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism:

I have finally finished reading your great book about Mises. When I use the word “great,” I mean not simply that it weighs at least a kilo and contains more than 1,000 pages. I mean most of all that it is a magnificent scholarly achievement. I can’t remember when I have taken more pleasure from a book. It is a joy to read, in every way. The English is precise and polished, and everything is put just right. The research is amazingly broad, yet deep, too. The judgments are sensible and mature. The coverage — from the personal details to the content of Mises’s ideas to the context in which he lived and worked — is extraordinary, and the organization puts everything into comprehensible order. The bibliography is more than impressive. All in all, the book is simply an amazing accomplishment, and a fitting tribute to its great subject.

The Mises Institute deserves great credit, too, not only for its support of your work on this project, but also for producing a book that is a fine example of the publisher’s art: the typeface is clean and clear, and large enough to permit effortless reading; the layout is spacious and proper; the footnotes are where they should be, and they, too, are large enough to be read without a magnifying glass; the illustrations are splendid complements to the text; and the indexes are terrific. The work is thus not simply beautiful intellectually, but beautiful physically, as well.

If I had ever written anything half so wonderful — and I recognize that I lack the abilities to do so — I would consider my career a complete success, and feel myself justified in taking my ease, to rest on my laurels. I do not perceive that you have this plan in mind for yourself, and therefore the world will be the better, not only for your great book on Mises, but also for all the great achievements that lie in your future. I salute you, my friend, not without a touch of envy, but with my whole heart.

hope for the next generation

On LRC this morning, Gary North offers this non-negotiable list of demands, followed by some very encouraging commentary.

Serious, no-nonsense libertarians, whether anarchist or minarchist, demand the abolition of

    1. Wars that have not been declared by Congress
    2. The maintenance of military bases outside the United States
    3. Military defense treaties (NATO, CENTO, etc.)
    4. America’s membership in the United Nations Organization
    5. Graduated (“progressive”) income taxation
    6. Tax-funded education at any level
    7. Government licensing of the right to keep and bear arms
    8. The Federal Reserve System’s monopoly over money
    9. The Social Security system
    10. Medicare and Medicaid
    11. The Central Intelligence Agency
    12. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
    13. The National Parks system
    14. The Post Office
    15. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    16. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
    17. The Food and Drug Administration

North adds, "This list of things to abolish is so far outside of mainstream politics that anyone proposing more than one of them is dismissed as a kook."

But he goes on to say,

Yet I contend that most of these demands will be met within the lifetime of my children. Why am I so optimistic about this list? Because I am optimistic about the costs of continuing to operate everything on the list. They will bankrupt the central government.

I hope for Benjamin’s sake that he’s right.

Read the rest.

Money, Banking, and the Federal Reserve: the Complete Transcript

Politicians espouse numerous theories about the cause of this country’s economic woes; seldom however do these officials look below the surface: the roots of our economic ills can be traced to central banking and our present monetary system.

The Federal Reserve claims to manage our money; instead it makes our money worth less and less every day. It has generated continuous and worsening business cycles and lowered our living standards.

FULL TRANSCRIPT


See the Entire Video on YouTube
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