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The Motte and Bailey Doctrine in Mainstream Economics

Friday, March 27th, 2015 by posted in Economics, Epistemology, Uncategorized.
motte-and-bailey

A “motte and bailey doctrine” is a style of argument (and informal fallacy) that’s based on a motte-and-bailey castle. The bailey is a big courtyard and where people live and work and generally want to be. The motte is a mound

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Conservatism Against Rolling Back the State

Monday, March 16th, 2015 by posted in Epistemology, Philosophy, Politics.
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American historian Robert Conquest is getting up there in years. The Hoover Institution fellow is just three years shy of the big 1-O-O. Despite having received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (and various other awards from different countries), few people

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In Further Defense of Political Dynasty

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 by posted in Philosophy, Politics.
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When the chatter heads in Washington are uptight about something, you can usually bet it’s good. The recent brouhaha amongst the political class was sparked by a Washington Post column trollishly titled “In Defense of Political Dynasties.” Written by George

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The Delusions of the Left

Friday, March 6th, 2015 by posted in History, Philosophy, Politics.
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Reprinted from Liberty.me I recently published the results of some detailed reading I had done in early 20th century intellectual history as it pertained to the minimum wage. In order to grasp the full horror of the thing, you need

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It’s About Envy, Stupid

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 by posted in Philosophy, Politics.
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Reprinted from Casey Research It seems on every commercial break, we see handsome and charismatic Rob Lowe pushing DirecTV, while introducing us to another Rob Lowe who has cable: paranoid Rob Lowe, super creepy Rob Lowe, a meathead version, a

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Praxeology in Many Disciplines

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 by posted in Economics, Education, Philosophy.
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A great strength of the Austrian School of Economics is the breadth of academic scholarship that it can enrich.  The philosophic underpinnings of the Austrian economists, and specifically of Ludwig von Mises, universalize the principles of economic activity to all

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The Common Sense of Progress Part 2

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 by posted in Economics, Philosophy, Politics.
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Reprinted from The Constitution of Liberty by F. A. Hayek via Freeman Short-term Gain: Long-term Loss Therefore, there must be two different ways of looking at the possibility of reducing inequality and abolishing poverty by deliber­ate redistribution—that is, from a

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The Common Sense of Progress Part 1

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 by posted in Economics, Philosophy, Politics.
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Reprinted from TheConstitution of Liberty by F. A. Hayek via Freeman If today in the United States or western Europe the relatively poor can have a car or a refriger­ator, an airplane trip or a radio, at the cost of

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Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig Fails to Take Down Libertarianism over Children’s Rights

Monday, February 16th, 2015 by posted in Law, Philosophy.
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If you ever want to disrupt a room of libertarians, you should bring up the topic of children’s rights. Similar to intellectual property and private law enforcement, the rights of the smallest, most defenseless among us is contentious. It’s so

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Property Rights as Social Justice Part III

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Law, Philosophy.
fence-and-snowy-field-in-Knox-Farm-State-Park-East-Aurora-NY

Given the essentiality of peace and prosperity to the quality of human life, the significance of private property can hardly be ignored. Its greatest significance in the eyes of commentators, however, seems rooted in the impetus it gives to the

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The Case for Freedom

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 by posted in Philosophy, Politics.
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Reprinted from The Constitution of Liberty via The Freeman The case for individual freedom rests chiefly on the recognition of the inevitable ignorance of all of us concerning a great many of the factors on which the achievement of our ends

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The Life and Works of Ludwig von Mises

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 by posted in Economics, History, Philosophy.
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Reprinted from The Independent Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) was one of the most important economists of the twentieth century. Even if he had made no other contribution over a professional lifetime that spanned seven decades, his place in the history

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Take Back the Word “Liberal”

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Law, Philosophy.
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Reprinted from The Freeman For 2015, I would like to pick up an old campaign to take back the word “liberal” for the cause of human liberty. Or perhaps that’s too ambitious. Perhaps it is enough for each of us

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Leftists become incandescent when reminded of the socialist roots of Nazism

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 by posted in Economics, History, Philosophy, Politics.
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Reprinted from The Telegraph On 16 June 1941, as Hitler readied his forces for Operation Barbarossa, Josef Goebbels looked forward to the new order that the Nazis would impose on a conquered Russia. There would be no come-back, he wrote,

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The Revolt against Rationalism

Friday, December 19th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Epistemology, Philosophy.
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This article is excerpted from The Clash of Group Interests, “The Clash of Group Interests,” part 4 (1945; 2011). Reprinted from Mises.org The most remarkable fact in the history of our age is the revolt against rationalism, economics, and utilitarian

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A Bit More about Equality and Liberty

Monday, December 15th, 2014 by posted in Philosophy, Politics, Regulation.
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Logan Albright suggests that equality is “a very, very broad term, with myriad meanings and interpretations.” But it isn’t really very broad in meaning, although its applications are indeed very wide – just as the term ‘red’ refers to the same

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Is Secession a Right?

Friday, December 12th, 2014 by posted in Philosophy, Politics, Regulation.
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Reprinted from Mises.org Grant defeated Lee, the Confederacy crumbled, and the idea of secession disappeared forever, or at least that’s what the conventional wisdom says. Secession is no historical irrelevance. Quite the contrary, the topic is integral to classical liberalism.

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How Far are you Willing to Go?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties, Law, Philosophy.
eric-garner-police-brutality-ramsey-orta

When I was in college (at the progressive stronghold Oberlin College in Ohio), the most profound influence I received was the tutelage of philosophy professor Tim Hall, a libertarian whose area of expertise was ethics. In his Philosophy and Values

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Kingdom Come: The Politics of the Millenium

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 by posted in History, Philosophy, Politics.
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[First published in Liberty Magazine, 1990] Reprinted from Mises.org Christianity has played a central role in Western civilization and contributed an important influence on the development of classical-liberal thought. Not surprisingly, Christian beliefs about the “end times” are very important

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The Skillful Professor Rothbard

Thursday, December 4th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Philosophy.
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[This introduction to two essays by Murray N. Rothbard — “The Mantle of Science” and “Praxeology as the Method of the Social Sciences ” — was published in a 1979 edition published by the Cato Institute.] All in all, I

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