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.