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Some Confusions of Language in Economic Thought

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Fifty years ago, in 1968, Austrian (and Austrian school) economist Friedrich A. Hayek published a monograph called The Confusion of Language in Political Thought. Hayek argued that the words we use and the meanings we give to them greatly influence how we think about the political system and the wider social order in which we live. This is no less so, I would suggest, in the language and the meanings of words used in economics. Hayek’s focus was on the misunderstanding created by the false notion that society is the product of design. He emphasized that many, if not most, of the institutions of the social order are not the result of human design, but are the cumulative results of multitudes of people interacting over many generations. Social Order Without Political Design This is a theme in social analysis that has been a part of Austrian economics since the founding of the Austrian school by Carl Menger. He explained ...

Ron Paul – Non-Interventionism: America’s Founding Foreign Policy

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This speech was presented at a conference entitled "Non-interventionism: America’s Founding Foreign Policy" in Charleston, South Carolina on April 29. 2018. The event was co-sponsored by The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity and The Future of Freedom Foundation. Our country is enmeshed in permanent, ongoing foreign wars and interventions. The results of foreign interventionism have been catastrophic, not only in terms of massive death and destruction abroad, but also in terms of ongoing, ever-growing destruction of liberty, privacy, and prosperity here at home. It is time for America to do some serious soul-searching. The best place to begin is by examining first principles — especially the founding principle of non-interventionism on which our nation was founded and which remained its guiding principle for more than a century. There are few forces in the universe more powerful than ideas on liberty. They have the potential to sweep across a nation and bring monumental paradigm ...

Iran: Another U.S. War of Aggression?

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I am getting that Iraq deja vu feeling again, only this time with respect to Iran. You’ll recall the build-up to the U.S. war of aggression against Iraq: WMDs. Mushroom clouds. Charts and graphs. Preventive war. The anti-Iraq propaganda from U.S. officials was overwhelming, so much so that by the time U.S. officials initiated their war of aggression against Iraq, many Americans had completely accepted the notion that the United States was an innocent victim about to come under nuclear attack from Saddam Hussein and that the U.S. government needed to initiate a massive military attack and invasion of Iraq in order to defend the United States. Of course, as everyone learned afterward, the propaganda was entirely bogus. There were no WMDs and even if there were, the last thing that Iraq was doing to do with them was start a war against the most powerful military in history. The entire propaganda build-up was designed to get the American people on board ...