Over on the Mises Institute blog, Stephan Kinsella blogs about this miserably inadequate post from a blogger who claims that the breaking-and-entering on the part of the thugs and thieves from ACORN, along with the assistance of their trained parasite squatters, is “libertarian.” He asks everyone to please support ACORN’s efforts to allow freeloaders to live in houses they cannot possibly finance via their own means. Read Stephan’s post for his interesting take on foreclosure resistance, legalese, and Ayn Rand.
I really didn’t want to give him any more attention, but it gets worse than the post Kinsella links to. This post is even more comical. First the blogger says that it is “particularly sad to see Karen DeCoster continually gushing about [Rick] Santelli.” Actually, “continually gushing” = exactly two posts where I mentioned him. Outside of enjoying Rick Santelli’s wild speech on CNBC, I don’t continually gush. Google will prove that well enough. Perhaps Mr. Brad should put away the thesaurus. Second, he says that I “so easily disregard the clear implications of Rothbardian property theory.” He builds in a link to “implications of Rothbardian property theory,” yet the link he builds in points to this post, by him, that does not explain how ACORN antics are “Rothbardian property theory.” He just states “the homes in question are property of the banks have no merit in terms of libertarian theory. Resistance to foreclosures is thus fully libertarian.” That’s it. It is because he says so. The reason he doesn’t support his point with actual links or scholarship from Rothbard is because there is no such thing that exists, from Rothbard, that can support such nonsense.
Of course, those of us who have studied Rothbard, or even those who have known him intimately – like a few people on this site – know that Murray Rothbard would not place himself side-by-side with the ACORN gang of thugs, cheering on their pathetic property grabs at the expense of legitimate owners.
Another important point is that the blogger completely ignores the dismal record of the squatter in question, Donna Hanks, a perpetual ne-er-do-well and professional property plunderer who attempted to live way, way beyond her means at the expense of everyone else, including her creditors. In this post, I linked to the place where you can find the legal records online. The blogger has no quarrel about her refusal to make her mortgage payments even after she refinanced her ATM house and took out $200,000 in cash to blow it on….well, who knows.
The blogger is one of a small group of left-wing (self-described), autarkist, “free-market”-but-anti-capitalist, mutualist, anarcho-syndicalist, agorist, socialist non-libertarians who call their doctrine the real “libertarianism.” They post all kinds of cute, little banners and sayings and signage and logos on their blogs. And for some reason, some of them try to hold up Rothbard as one of their own. To them, Lew Rockwell.com is a brand of “vulgar libertarianism,” meaning people who don’t “correctly apply libertarian principles.”
They are pro-union, favor the proletariat, and hate corporations. They think corporations are illegitimate entities. Perhaps their most farcical claim is that those of us who work wage jobs are wage slaves. (See my post on this.) If you voluntarily contract with a company or individual to produce goods or services for wages, you are a part of the wage-slavery society. This is based on their hatred of formal organization and hierarchy (even if voluntary), as well as envy of careerists and people who earn a high wage. Rothbard spent his entire career fighting these types – he called them the luftmenschen. In fact, Ben O’Neill took apart their “wage-slavery” myth in an article for Mises.org in January 2009.
It’s actually too zany to take seriously, but people should know how this splinter group could possibly come to support the hideous group ACORN and claim that they are acting upon libertarian principles.
bosco… your take?
While I get what Mr. Spangler is getting at it’s very vague and as said above I doubt very much Rothbard (from my readings) would support any such action. Simply because banks are little less than a branch of the government in many respects that does not negate any legitimacy in their property titles. Criminals still have property rights. Rights to those things otherwise legitimately obtained. And in the case at hand where the home had been sold to a new couple it seems they have no case. Even if you subscribe to usage based property rights it was obvious that this property while not being currently lived in was being worked on. Any system which legitimizes that type of usage policy would get very little support in general.
Oh… I’m sorry. Obama is the savior now. Either way I recommend taking some time and reading up on the real Abraham Lincoln, the man we didn’t read about in grade school.
In no particular order of importance a select few.
- Lord Acton Writes to Robert E. Lee
The great classical liberal was, of course, pro-Confederacy. And see Lee’s prediction of the course of the US government after Lincoln’s conquest.
- The Great Centralizer
George Crispin on Abe’s real legacy.
- Happy Birthday, Abe
You son of a b____. Card from Karen De Coster.
- Six Myths About Lincoln
Thomas DiLorenzo explodes them.
Thomas DiLorenzo on fake Lincoln quotes.
- Happy Dictator Day
Thomas DiLorenzo on Lincoln.
- Lincoln Libertarians
Further tales of what Murray Rothbard called “big-government libertarians.” Article by Stephan Kinsella. And see Thomas DiLorenzo on The Real Lincoln.
- The Truth About the ‘Civil War’
The worst disaster for liberty in our history.
Posted by Stephan Kinsella at January 22, 2009 06:59 AM
The Mises Institute is proud to announce the launch of a new, online journal today: Libertarian Papers. Edited by yours truly and boasting a impressive and geographically- and academically diverse Editorial Board, Libertarian Papers is publishing its first seven articles today, one per hour starting at 8:00 a.m. CST. These include articles by two eminent libertarian thinkers, Jan Narveson (writing on Nozick, justice, and restitution) and Robert Higgs (on depressions and war). These are followed by two, count ‘em, two, previously unpublished memos from … Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard. Mises’s is a memo dated New Year’s Eve, 1946, to F.A. Hayek, relaying his concerns and advice about the then-nascent Mont Pèlerin Society. Rothbard’s is a 1961 “confidential” memo the Volker Fund, about libertarian tactics and strategy. Provocative, fascinating stuff.
The last three articles to be published today are a fascinating three-part exchange between Nicolás Maloberti and Joshua Katz about libertarianism, positive rights, and “Possibility of the Legitimate State.”
Argh… more stuff to read.
Given the recent passage and signing of H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, I think it’s appropriate to give Murray Rothbard’s take on what they are doing.
From America’s Great Depression, page 19 and 20:
If government wishes to see a depression ended as quickly as possible, and the economy returned to normal prosperity, what course should it adopt? The first and clearest injunction is: don’t interfere with the market’s adjustment process. The more the government intervenes to delay the market’s adjustment, the longer and more grueling the depression will be, and the more difficult will be the road to complete recovery. Government hampering aggravates and perpetuates the depression. Yet, government depression policy has always (and would have even more today) aggravated the very evils it has loudly tried to cure. If, in fact, we list logically the various ways that government could hamper market adjustment, we will find that we have precisely listed the favorite “anti-depression” arsenal of government policy. Thus, here are the ways the adjustment process can be hobbled:
- Prevent or delay liquidation. Lend money to shaky businesses, call on banks to lend further, etc.
- Inflate further. Further inflation blocks the necessary fall in prices, thus delaying adjustment and prolonging depression. Furthercredit expansion creates more malinvestments, which, in their turn, will have to be liquidated in some later depression. A government “easy money” policy prevents the market’s return to the necessary higher interest rates.
- Keep wage rates up. Artificial maintenance of wage rates in a depression insures permanent mass unemployment. Furthermore, in a deflation, when prices are falling, keeping the same rate of money wages means that real wage rates have been pushed higher. In the face of falling business demand, this greatly aggravates the unemployment problem.
- Keep prices up. Keeping prices above their free-market levels will create unsalable surpluses, and prevent a return to prosperity.
- Stimulate consumption and discourage saving. We have seen that more saving and less consumption would speed recovery; more consumption and less saving aggravate the shortage of saved capital even further. Government can encourage consumption by “food stamp plans” and relief payments. It can discourage savings and investment by higher taxes, particularly on the wealthy and on corporations and estates. As a matter of fact, any increase of taxes and government spending will discourage saving and investment and stimulate consumption, since government spending is all consumption. Some of the private funds would have been saved and invested; all of the government funds are consumed.15 Any increase in the relative size of government in the economy, therefore, shifts the societal consumption–investment ratio in favor of consumption, and prolongs the depression.
- Subsidize unemployment. Any subsidization of unemployment (via unemployment “insurance,” relief, etc.) will prolong unemployment indefinitely, and delay the shift of workers to the fields where jobs are available.
These, then, are the measures which will delay the recovery process and aggravate the depression. Yet, they are the time-honored favorites of government policy, and, as we shall see, they were the policies adopted in the 1929–1933 depression, by a government known to many historians as a “laissez-faire” administration.
Since deflation also speeds recovery, the government should encourage, rather than interfere with, a credit contraction.
15In recent years, particularly in the literature on the “under-developed countries,” there has been a great deal of discussion of government “investment.” There can be no such investment, however. “Investment” is defined as expenditures made not for the direct satisfaction of those who make it, but for other, ultimate consumers. Machines are produced not to serve the entrepreneur, but to serve the ultimate consumers, who in turn remunerate the entrepreneurs. But government acquires its funds by seizing them from private individuals; the spending of the funds, therefore, gratifies the desires of government officials. Government officials have forcibly shifted production from satisfying private consumers to satisfying themselves; their spending is therefore pure consumption and can by no stretch of the term be called “investment.” (Of course, to the extent that government officials do not realize this, their “consumption” is really wastespending.)