Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
And we are on the verge of a rerun of this disastrous program, which included many elements of fascism.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
An excellent review of an excellent book.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
For me, World War I was the most tragic 20th Century conflict. It was triggered by Serbia and Austro-Hungary. After Russia and France began gearing for war, Germany was dragged into the conflict by the doomsday machine of troop mobilization schedules. Britain could have halted the war, or let the continental powers fight until they came to a truce. But Churchill and his fellow imperialists determined to destroy Germany, a new rival to Britain’s wealth and power.
World War I should have ended in 1917 when both sides were exhausted and stalemated. America’s entry into the war resulted in Germany’s defeat and ensuing postwar suffering. The German, Habsburg, and Ottoman Empires were torn apart by the lupine victors and reduced to ruin, creating today’s unstable Balkans and Mideast.
Had Germany and its allies not been defeated, had a Carthaginian Peace not been imposed upon them at Versailles and Trianon, there might never have been a Hitler, Communist Russia or World War II. Europe’s Jews may have escaped destruction.
Churchill made the fatal error in World War II of backing Poland’s hold on Danzig even though Britain could do nothing to defend Poland, Yugoslavia, or Czechoslovakia from Hitler’s attempts to reunite million of Germans stranded in these new nations by the dreadful Versailles Treaty. Britain’s declaration of war on Germany over Poland led to a general European war. After suffering 5.6 million dead, Poland ended up occupied by the Soviet Union.
My thinking is that had the US not entered World War I, we might very well have been spared the rise of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler and the German National Soclialists (Nazis), WWII, all the various other wars we have been involved in (all undeclared, starting with Korea) , and there would have been no nuclear arms race, among others. But Woodrow Wilson (under whom Franklin Roosevelt served as assistant Secretary of the Navy) was jonesing to get us dragged into a European war. I have grown to consider him a war criminal.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Professor Mark Thornton is interviewed by Lew Rockwell.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Here's Lew Rockwell's take:
A McCain victory would have been perceived at home and abroad as a ratification of the past eight years, and it is hard to imagine a worse course of events than that. The Obama victory symbolizes a well-deserved repudiation of this ghastly experience.
Of course, the Obama victory elicits its own spin, which is also highly dangerous. The main message concerns race. All the headlines blared that a racial barrier had been broken. The subtext here is impossible to miss: heretofore America has been a hopelessly racist country that put up barriers to the advance of people of color.
But why should politics be the standard for what constitutes a barrier or a barrier broken? The ability of individuals in a group to navigate the murky and treacherous waters of electoral politics has no necessary connection to the status of the group as a whole.
A much better indicator concerning the status of any group – racial, religious, sexual, or otherwise – is commerce, which is the real engine that makes society work. And here we see that there are no such barriers in existence. We need only look at the status of black-owned businesses to see that there are more than one million in the United States, generating revenue of some $89 billion per year, which is more than the GDP of 140 countries around the world, and growing (according to most recent data) at a faster pace than all businesses.
Tragically, Obama does not seem to see that expanding this trend is a pathway forward. For him, the answer is the failed politics of redistribution, a pathway that can only exacerbate racial tension. Far from being a healing force in American life, his success at taking from one group to give to another will only increase conflict.
Conflict is the critical word here, for the conflict view of society is what is really behind the hysterical claims that Obama's real contribution is to have broken through barriers. To understand this view, we must examine the implicit social philosophy held by those who write the headlines and put the political spin on all important events.
Lacking any kind of serious training in economics or liberal political philosophy, these people assume a soft-Marxist approach to social observation, believing that all important steps forward grow out of great clashes between intrinsically antagonistic groups.
Step back in history and try to understand how the Marxists came to understand the Industrial Revolution and all subsequent steps forward in economic development. There were ever more people benefiting from economic exchange and investment, and the standards of living of the working class were rising year after year, while the population was living longer and better. But the Marxists refused to see this or understand its meaning. All they could see came from their fixed frame of mind that posited a conflict between capital and labor. All the gains of one came at the expense of the other. If there were rich capitalists living luxuriously it could only be due to their having robbed surplus value from labor. The only way forward was to turn the tables: to expropriate the expropriators.
Now, this old-fashioned mindset is not much on display today, but other versions of the conflict view of society are all around us. There is the view that the relationship between men and women is inherently antagonistic, and the only way to overturn this and push history forward is to unseat the economically dominant group and exalt via state intervention the economically weaker group. (In case you are wondering which is which, the convention asserts that women are the exploited group.)
Hey, Mr. President-Elect, how 'bout civil liberties, eh?