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Individual Responsibility in the Drug War

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Among the fascinating aspects of America’s decades-long drug war is how drug-war proponents never take individual responsibility for the adverse consequences of their program. Instead, they inevitably say, “Judge us by our good intentions rather than by the actual consequences of our program.” Consider robberies, burglaries, thefts, and muggings. It is impossible to know how many of them are drug-war related but there is no doubt that many of them are. Yet, one never sees drug-war proponents apologizing or showing any remorse for the mayhem their program produces among victims of drug-war violence. When drugs are made illegal, their prices inevitably go up. It’s just a basic law of supply and demand. Making something illegal artificially limits the supply of it. Less supply means artificially higher prices. The more the government cracks down with strict enforcement, the higher the prices go. Drug addicts and ...

Wasserman’s Twisted Tale About the Austrian School of Economics

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The Austrian School of Economics has been one of the most original and insightful approaches to economic understanding over the last century and a half. The Austrian School is also widely identified with the classical liberal ideal of individual liberty and free markets. Indeed, several of the Austrian economists have been considered to be among the most consistent and persuasive defenders of personal and economic freedom. It is of note, therefore, when a book appears that is devoted to tracing out the history of these Austrian economists and their ideas from the founding of the School in 1871 to the present time. Janek Wasserman, a professor at the University of Alabama, undertakes this task in his recent work, The Marginal Revolutionaries: How the Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas (Yale University Press, 2019). The author attempts to blend brief intellectual biographies of several of these Austrian economists with an interpretation of the social, political and economic ...

Why Do They Hate Us?

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The recent shootings of three U.S. soldiers in Florida at the hands of a Saudi citizen raises a standard question in the U.S. government’s perpetual “war on terrorism”: “Why do they hate us?” Soon after the 9/11 attacks, the official mantra began being issued: The terrorists just hate us for our “freedom and values.” No other explanation for motive was to be considered. If anyone suggested an alternative motive — such as “They are retaliating for U.S. governmental killings over there” — U.S. officials and interventionists would immediately go on the attack, heaping a mountain of calumny on that person, accusing him of treason, hating America, loving the terrorists, and justifying their attacks. It happened to me and other libertarians who dared to challenge the official motive behind the 9/11 attacks. Shortly after the attacks, I spoke at a freedom conference in Arizona consisting of both ...

Gun Seizures Could Lead to Civil War

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“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” declared “Beto” O’Rourke at a Democratic party presidential candidate debate in September. Compelling Americans to surrender their so-called assault weapons is “the newest purity test” for Democratic presidential candidates, according to the Washington Post. O’Rourke and other Democratic presidential candidates, including Cory Booker, Kristin Gillibrand, and Bill de Blasio (now withdrawn ...

Unlibertarian Libertarianism

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Just like liberals, conservatives, progressives, populists, and constitutionalists — but certainly not as bad — libertarians are not always consistent when it comes to libertarianism. In fact, what some libertarians propose is unlibertarian libertarianism. Libertarianism Libertarianism is the philosophy that says that people should be free from individual, societal, or government interference to live their lives any way they desire, pursue ...