"Wherefore We must interrupt a silence which it would be criminal to prolong, that We may point out...as they really are, men who are badly disguised." Pope St. Pius X, September 8, 1907, Pascendi Dominici Gregis

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I wanted to name this blog "nation building," but that address is taken by some former Haitian presidential candidate turned farmer.  After a great deal of thought about exactly what constitutes the world around me, I became a dedicated free marketeer.  But I didn't leave it at a mere embrace of the free market economic system. As a believer in natural law, it seemed to me that if I truly had a proper understanding of the natural law, which as a libertarian I believe I did, that I had to somehow account for the fact that the world is not libertarian.  For certainly if I truly understood natural laws, these laws indeed carry some weight and they support the libertarian political thesis, then how do I live on a planet monopolized by non-libertarian entities, i.e., governments?  Eventually I came to realize that this particular naive notion of libertarianism and natural law was really a reification.  In fact, we already live in a state of total anarchism. As Murray Rothbard said, 'the state is just a gang of thieves writ large.'  Or put a little more concretely, "there’s no such thing as the government, but there are a bunch of guys in  uniforms with guns who will get angry if you don’t pretend there is."

After this realization, a few things fall into place.  The world is already libertarian; it is just not self-consciously so.  As a few people in the Middle East recently found out, at even the hint that people will exercise their full  intelligence and discretion years of tyranny can disappear in the matter of days.  The power is entirely in our hands, and we need not have any regard for the government more than we might have for the mob: sometimes for the sake of your life or well-being, it's smart to do what they say.  This does not violate natural law.  The trick then becomes to exercise your discretion and will in such a way that minimizes your interaction with these unsavory elements.  Indeed, as those affiliated with the Mises Institute so often point out, the biggest libertarian project is education.  If we can help our fellows to realize that the government has no more power than we allow it, we are one step closer to acting on that proposition and realizing a world where competing defense services and legal systems are recognized as legitimate by society.  At the same time, however, we cannot become so hung up on education and merely discussing the problem that we fail to take the actions we can towards pushing the world in a more consciously libertarian direction.  That has become my focus in recent years and will be the primary subject matter of this blog.  Hence, my desire for the title 'nation building,' as nations or civilizations are not built by governments, but by the cumulative effect of our daily actions.  But perhaps an admission that anarchy is

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