Category Archives: Philosophy

A Hard-Line Libertarian in a Classical Liberal’s Clothes

Yesterday, Richard Epstein published an article entitled “My Rand Paul Problem,” with a tagline that read “why classical liberalism is superior to hard-core libertarianism.” The thrust of the article is more or less as follows. The renewed attention to Paul … Continue reading

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Thomas Pynchon’s New Novel, Anarcho-Capitalism, and Insurance Companies

For those readers who are unaware, Thomas Pynchon–author of V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity’s Rainbow, Vineland, Mason & Dixon, Against the Day, Inherent Vice, and, most recently, Bleeding Edge–is by far one of my favorite authors. In fact, he probably takes second place at the moment, … Continue reading

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The New York Times has published an editorial today echoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s accusation that House Republicans represent an anarchist movement within the United States government. Until now, the only House Republicans pushing for a government shutdown and …

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Bob Murphy posts on “The Intellectual Bankruptcy of (Mainstream) Macroeconomics” and it is well worth reading. The post will no doubt be controversial to some, but I think that taken with a grain of salt it does a good job …

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Utilitarianism favors activist government mainly because it is constructed to ignore a whole class of reasons for hastening slowly. Although this sounds like a flippant remark, the following analysis in Anthony de Jasay’s The State is original, nuanced, and, in my opinion, …

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In Misunderstanding Financial Crises: Why We Don’t See Them Coming, Yale economist Gary Gorton discusses “the Quiet Period” of the American economy from 1934 to 2007: The Quiet Period shows that properly designed bank regulations can prevent financial crises for a …

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Although de Jasay is often associated with libertarian strands of political philosophy, it should be noted that the context of each of the following quotes is descriptive, and not prescriptive. In other words, the author is describing what he perceives a situation to …

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Can We Ever “Prefer” the State of Nature?

Last night, I posted a quote from The State (Anthony de Jasay) arguing that states exist, in relation to one another, in a situation that bears a strong resemblance to a Hobbesian “state of nature.” Despite this–the fact that there is no … Continue reading

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States Exist in a State of Nature

Persons are in states, have been there for many generations, and would have no practical means of getting out if they wanted to. States are in the state of nature; many of them have known something approaching the security offered by the … Continue reading

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Money Makes You a Payable Slave

As I was doing some Christmas shopping on Newbury Street–Boston’s major commercial area–this morning, I noticed some interesting graffiti:   Money makes you a payable slave   Although this sounds profound, in its sort of sidewalk philosophy way, it demonstrates … Continue reading

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