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Author Topic: Bitcoin Austrian Economic Study Group  (Read 12317 times)
kiba
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December 08, 2010, 08:08:28 PM
 #1

Hmm...since bitcoin needs economists who can think accurately about problem, how about we set up a study group to motivate each other and learn.

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December 08, 2010, 08:11:50 PM
 #2

 Huh

A you asking for recommendations on study resources, or something else?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
kiba
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December 08, 2010, 08:13:16 PM
 #3

Huh

A you asking for recommendations on study resources, or something else?

No, it's a study group comprised of bitcoiners.

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December 09, 2010, 04:10:26 AM
 #4

I hope your talking about the Austrian School, not austria.

If its the austrian school, I'm down, Its always great to discuss economics with like minds.
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December 09, 2010, 06:16:47 AM
 #5

How do you propose this group should work?

I have some ideas regarding the ideas of "free banking" of Selgin and White and the problems bitcoin would have once it reaches its "coin" limit, and how to solve this problem.
kiba
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December 09, 2010, 06:22:39 AM
 #6

How do you propose this group should work?

I don't know. We could have a round-table on a book. Let say, each of us pledge to read a book about economic. Then we get together and talk about the particular chapter with questions like....

What is true and not true, economic implication, and so on.

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December 09, 2010, 07:46:12 AM
 #7

How do you propose this group should work?

I don't know. We could have a round-table on a book. Let say, each of us pledge to read a book about economic. Then we get together and talk about the particular chapter with questions like....

What is true and not true, economic implication, and so on.

Mmm, is this a virtual round table? I am in Europe.
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December 09, 2010, 12:19:26 PM
 #8

http://www.goodreads.com

That is a great site for what you want.
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December 09, 2010, 01:05:53 PM
 #9

Mmm, is this a virtual round table? I am in Europe.

If we get some Asians and Austrialians on board, it can be a real (but 6000 km radius) round table that slices through the Earth.
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December 09, 2010, 01:23:08 PM
 #10

I hope your talking about the Austrian School, not austria.

The Austrian School is a bit like The Sound of Music - the only thing that many non-Austrian nationals will ever associate with Austria, but paradoxically, almost completely forgotten in Austria itself.

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kiba
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December 10, 2010, 06:56:48 AM
 #11

Anybody have a book that they want to suggest?

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December 10, 2010, 07:46:24 AM
 #12

I suggest the book that started the modern Austrian school: Human Action by Ludwig von Mises.  It's available for free (legally) on the Internet in several formats (including PDF, ePub, and MP3) and can be purchased in paperback for about $10 USD. 

There's also a recent study guide written by Robert Murphy which is also freely available.

Links to Human Action:


Study Guide links:

-Dave

P.S. There are four editions of Human Action.  The first edition is in the public domain and is also called the "scholars edition."  Although later editions would usually be preferred, I've read that the first edition is the best and, since it is freely available, I suggest we use that one.  All the links above point the first edition/scholars edition.
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December 10, 2010, 02:34:40 PM
 #13

Human Action isn't exactly light reading.  I would suggest that aspiring Austrians start with books aimed at for the general public, such as Economics in One Lesson and the 'Uncle Eric' series starting with Whatever Happened to Penny Candy.  The former is aimed at lay adults, the latter at teens and pre-teens; but those without prior experience can stand to learn much from the 'Uncle Eric' series quickly.  My recommended order is Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, Whatever Happened to Justice and The Clipper Ship Stradgety; after that the series gets off the topic, because it's a series about Praxeology in general, not Economics in particular.  Any of these titles should be available at the public library.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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December 10, 2010, 05:41:00 PM
 #14

Human Action isn't exactly light reading.  I would suggest that aspiring Austrians start with books aimed at for the general public, such as Economics in One Lesson and the 'Uncle Eric' series starting with Whatever Happened to Penny Candy.  The former is aimed at lay adults, the latter at teens and pre-teens; [...]

I do love Economics in One Lesson, but what bitcoin user needs help understanding books written for lay adults and children?  Those books stand on their own--that is their purpose.

If the point of this group is to help us learn more together than we would learn by ourselves, then a challenging book must be selected.  Human Action is challenging; it is not light reading--but it is damn informative; it has changed the thinking of some of the best thinkers; it brought back to life a dead school of economics; and it is today the rock upon which the entire Austrian School stands.  I can think of no better book with which to begin this group's studying.

-Dave
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December 10, 2010, 06:09:11 PM
 #15

Why not Rothbard's Man, Economy and State?  He has integrated the sum total of Austrian economics better than anyone.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
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December 10, 2010, 07:32:21 PM
 #16

Why not Rothbard's Man, Economy and State? [...]

We do not need to choose between Human Action and Man, Economy, and State--we can choose to read both in sequence.
kiba
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December 10, 2010, 07:43:40 PM
 #17

Both book are extremely hardcore, however Man, Economy, and the State is a book that teach you from the foundation. Human Action assume a lot of knowledge.

The knowledge of bitcoiners probably vary widely despite we are probably one of most economic sophisticated laymen. So it's good to get a super solid foundation.

Start with MES, then we can tackle Human Action.

kiba
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December 11, 2010, 11:10:22 PM
 #18

If anybody don't object, the book we will focus on is Man, Economy, and the State. Read chapter 1 by 12/18. Be prepared to discuss it next week.

Also, PDF is available online from mises.org.

The deadline: 12/18 Saturday.

In the meantime, I suggest we come up with a guide on how to approach our reading...

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December 12, 2010, 05:16:15 AM
 #19

In the meantime, I suggest we come up with a guide on how to approach our reading...

While reading, if you have any questions or doubts, write them down.  Then continue reading to the end of the chapter and see if your questions are answered and your doubts eliminated.  If either remain, post them here.

At the end of each chapter, each participant should post here at least one paragraph about what they thought was most important in that chapter.  (More than one paragraph is fine.)

I suggest for convenience that we reference the in-text page numbers and paragraphs in the PDF edition at http://mises.org/books/mespm.pdf.
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December 12, 2010, 05:31:19 AM
 #20

On the moral side of the coin, I suggest people to read http://www.fee.org/pdf/books/MarxismUnmasked.pdf  It is very good introduction for somebody wanting to understand what freedom is, and why the free-market is so important.

One off NP-Hard.
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December 12, 2010, 05:53:46 AM
 #21

the book we will focus on is Man, Economy, and the State. Read chapter 1 by 12/18. Be prepared to discuss it next week.
OK, I'm in.  Thanks for organizing this, kiba.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
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December 12, 2010, 09:34:52 AM
 #22

... to understand what freedom is, and why the free-market is so important.

For that purpose I would recommend Stefan Molyneux's "Everyday Anarchy" which is written in very readable modern language. It takes a while to get going, but it's a compelling read:
http://www.freedomainradio.com/FreeBooks/EverydayAnarchy.aspx
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December 16, 2010, 05:52:28 AM
 #23

I visited the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama USA today.  I got a tour of the facility and spoke with Doug French (the president) about Bitcoin.  It is a very nice campus that includes student housing, several classrooms and lecture halls, a library, garden and retail bookstore.  I picked up a copy of Study Guide to Man, Economy and State.  Smiley  The library is very nice as it has original books that were owned by Mises, Rothbard and others.  I looked through a book that had Rothbard's underlining and handwritten notes in the margins.  The people there were very nice, and I encourage anyone who has a chance to visit the Institute.

Mr. French was not too receptive about Bitcoin because he thought it might be hard for the accountants to handle the receipt of donations that way.  Even though they share our ancap philosophy, they have to play everything by the book.  I suggested that they treat Bitcoin just like receiving cash donations.  He said he would take a look at it.  I will follow up with an email in a few days.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
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December 16, 2010, 06:09:47 AM
 #24

Thanks to kiba for launching this.  I am just now seeing this post so apologies for being a few days behind.  IMO, the reading material needs to be at a more 'granular and focused level' for direct relevance to bitcoin.  Human Action is indeed a powerhouse, but that can be read on one's free time/beach time.

The Austrians have been very specific in monetary theory, for instance:

1. Mises, The Theory of Money and Credit
2. Rothbard, What Has Government Done to Our Money?
3. Hayek, The Denationalization of Money and Competition in Currency

Additionally, I have painstakingly gone through all of the academic journals (1990-2010) for articles related to digital currency/digital cash/precursors to bitcoin/etc and the links are hosted at the right-hand side of the blog page for http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com

You can find it by scrolling down to the middle under the heading:
Selected Digital Currency Articles and Academic Papers (2000-current); and
Selected Digital Currency Articles and Academic Papers (1990-1999)


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kiba
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December 19, 2010, 02:51:24 AM
 #25

Doh! I forgot this study group. Will read up on chapter one tonight(or morning if necessary).

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December 21, 2010, 06:07:19 AM
 #26

Blah, is anybody still reading the book?

The first chapter of MES is sure dense.

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December 21, 2010, 07:28:52 AM
 #27

Blah, is anybody still reading the book?

The first chapter of MES is sure dense.

I tried to warn others that, although I can understand the desire to aim high, most of the books mentioned were far from casual reading.  I recommended the 'Uncle Eric' series, which is targeted at teens, for just that reason.  They are though provoking, can be digested in distinct portions, and have a mild plot of sorts intended to keep the reader engaged.  The average forum member may be better educated in this field than the average Joe, but that does really say much.  If you desire to learn by group studies, then you should choose a reading list that respects the common skillset among the forum membership, at least in the begining.

Baby steps.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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December 21, 2010, 07:33:25 AM
 #28

I don't have time to start reading the week before Christmas, but I'm in for next week.

Also, I think these chapters are too long for one chapter a week.  What do you think about reading a constant 20 or 30 pages a week?  (Or 21 and 28 pages a week for 3 or 4 pages a day.)

-Dave
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January 24, 2011, 07:25:45 AM
 #29

Hey, I just discovered this thread.  Is this still happening or did it die?  I think it's a great idea and would love to join, especially if it focuses on monetary issues. 
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January 24, 2011, 09:10:14 PM
 #30

I think Bob Murphy's Lessons for the Young Economist is a much better starting point than Human Action of MES. I've read the latter two several times over though and can help if anyone has questions.

Praxeology goes beyond economics and I spend much more time working on the legal aspects and epistemology (when I even have time to do that), rather than economics, but I can try.

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January 24, 2011, 09:54:37 PM
 #31

Just because someone supports bitcoins that doesn't mean the person is an Austrian as far as their economic beliefs.

I feel that government stimulus does have a place in revitalizing the economy and that the reason for the recent stimulus failing was not because Keynes was fundamentally wrong but because it was aimed at the wrong people, the rich, who chose to save it, not the poor, who would have spent immediately and started money circulating.

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January 24, 2011, 11:33:26 PM
 #32

Just because someone supports bitcoins that doesn't mean the person is an Austrian as far as their economic beliefs.

I feel that government stimulus does have a place in revitalizing the economy and that the reason for the recent stimulus failing was not because Keynes was fundamentally wrong but because it was aimed at the wrong people, the rich, who chose to save it, not the poor, who would have spent immediately and started money circulating.

That's fine.  There's no assumption that all bitcoiners follow the Austrian school of economic thought.  If it was assumed that all bitcoiners were Austrians then the post would probably be titled "Economic Study Group", with the implicit understanding that all the books to be read were Austrian.  However, the post title clearly states it is for those who are interested in Austrian economics.  If you disagree with Austrian economics you don't have to post on this thread.  If you would like to learn about Austrian economics and are open-minded enough to seriously consider its ideas then by all means stick around. Smiley
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January 25, 2011, 12:10:40 AM
 #33

Yeah, monetary debasement is still monetary debasement. You just get a different flavor of malinvestment if government plays Robin Hood. Look at consumption in houses and cars leading up to and after the car and home credits. If government really followed Keynesian doctrine they would cut spending during booms. In reality their counterfeiting is targeted at their rich cronies much more so than the poor they "represent". It seems gullible to me to foresee them ever doing any drastic cuts in spending without a serious crisis already fully underway, and then it's too late.

It seems like most I've encountered who are opposed to Austrian economics are also ignorant of it. Please educate yourself Babylon. Money not "flowing" was only a proximate cause of trouble in the past two years. Ultimately, various forms of government intervention only either cause crises or exaggerate normal business cycles. In this crisis, you have safety nets offered to those engaged in recklessly trading MBS's, legislation passed enabling looser loan underwriting than would have otherwise been in place and the manipulation of interest rates by central planners, to just name the big ones. Any recovery we experience will be in spite of, not because of, government intervention in the economy. With the second round of quantitative easing, the US is now inflating the money supply in order to support government's spending habits. It's the last out for any banana republic.

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."–Murray N. Rothbard.


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January 25, 2011, 12:36:05 AM
 #34

It seems like most I've encountered who are opposed to Austrian economics are also ignorant of it.

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."–Murray N. Rothbard.




+1
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January 25, 2011, 01:09:36 AM
 #35

Yeah, monetary debasement is still monetary debasement. You just get a different flavor of malinvestment if government plays Robin Hood. Look at consumption in houses and cars leading up to and after the car and home credits. If government really followed Keynesian doctrine they would cut spending during booms. In reality their counterfeiting is targeted at their rich cronies much more so than the poor they "represent". It seems gullible to me to foresee them ever doing any drastic cuts in spending without a serious crisis already fully underway, and then it's too late.

It seems like most I've encountered who are opposed to Austrian economics are also ignorant of it. Please educate yourself Babylon. Money not "flowing" was only a proximate cause of trouble in the past two years. Ultimately, various forms of government intervention only either cause crises or exaggerate normal business cycles. In this crisis, you have safety nets offered to those engaged in recklessly trading MBS's, legislation passed enabling looser loan underwriting than would have otherwise been in place and the manipulation of interest rates by central planners, to just name the big ones. Any recovery we experience will be in spite of, not because of, government intervention in the economy. With the second round of quantitative easing, the US is now inflating the money supply in order to support government's spending habits. It's the last out for any banana republic.

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."–Murray N. Rothbard.



I don't have a problem with inflation of the dollar either.  Inflation is good for people that are in debt and a debt jubilee is long overdue in American society.  With tightening of bankruptcy regulations the only way out ends up being through inflation.

My understanding of Austrian economics is that markets are self correcting and government should not tamper in them.  They tend to favor a hard currency reserve to back government money and oppose government spending in general.

By enforcing debt collections, protecting private property, and spending on inevitable things like military and police however the government already has a significant effect on the market. Choosing not to direct this effect is simply irresponsible.

I agree that there should have been cuts during boom times and that government stimulus has been directed at the rich and has thus done no good whatsoever in the current crisis. 

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January 25, 2011, 01:31:39 AM
 #36


I don't have a problem with inflation of the dollar either.  Inflation is good for people that are in debt and a debt jubilee is long overdue in American society.  With tightening of bankruptcy regulations the only way out ends up being through inflation.

My understanding of Austrian economics is that markets are self correcting and government should not tamper in them.  They tend to favor a hard currency reserve to back government money and oppose government spending in general.


Inflation is bad for retired people, people with savings and people on fixed incomes.  Technically inflation is good for relieving debt, but not if the government changes the laws to favor those who are owed the debt (as might happen). 

Quote
By enforcing debt collections, protecting private property, and spending on inevitable things like military and police however the government already has a significant effect on the market. Choosing not to direct this effect is simply irresponsible.

Which is why a lot of Austrians are anti-government. 

Quote
I agree that there should have been cuts during boom times and that government stimulus has been directed at the rich and has thus done no good whatsoever in the current crisis. 

Which is inevitably what happens when government 'directs' the economies.  The rich bankers and special interests who influence the government benefit while everyone else loses.  This happens time and time again.  Furthermore, government stimulus and bailouts are fundamentally flawed, because by definition government has to take this money from the people themselves (through either taxes or inflation).  So the logic is essentially to take money from the people in order to give it back to them to "help" them.  Except that when the government redistributes it, it gets spent in ways that the people wouldn't have chosen to: to the bankers and other government favorites.  If you want to help people, leave them with their money so they can choose how to spend it (or save it) to help the economy. 

I've also heard arguments that if people are left with their money they will choose to not to spend it "hurting" the economy.  This is also flawed thinking, because the majority of people when they save their money do not keep it in a bag under their bed, but rather in a bank.  This increases the banks' reserves allowing them to loan out more to entrepreneurs who need capital to start or expand businesses.  This is how an economy grows.
   

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January 25, 2011, 02:44:54 AM
 #37

If people don't see anything worth more to them than their money this is a very important signal; it will manifest through a higher value of money if the government does not or cannot destroy the signal by printing to compensate.

In our present situation a time of increased savings gives the government excellent cover; they can print and most of the devaluation is 'hypothetical'; it manifests itself mostly through lack of deflation and not explicit inflation (I mean inflation in the price sense, obviously the money supply increases immediately). Only later when spending moves back to previous levels does the damage become apparent.

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January 25, 2011, 02:50:12 AM
 #38

Quote
By enforcing debt collections, protecting private property, and spending on inevitable things like military and police however the government already has a significant effect on the market. Choosing not to direct this effect is simply irresponsible.

This is the most important error out of all his silliness. If we're to presuppose as "good" things like protecting property rights, enforcing contracts, punishing crimes like rape, murder and theft (and I agree), then we can say that government is able to perform some of these "good" functions; however, none of these "good" things ever take place without the people taking part in government doing "bad" things. Mostly we're talking about extortion and robbery (AKA taxes), but it includes things like military conquest as well here.

This is the first thing any statist is going to struggle with, simply acknowledging the reality of the essential nature of states. If they can even start to do that, then it becomes a matter of thinking that these aggressive actions are justified on some sort of utilitarian grounds. At this stage comes a lot of wishful thinking along with whatever pseudo-economics, "If we just elect the right people, they'll be handing out new counterfeited notes to the poor next time."

After that, we're to the classical "But who will build the roads?" stage. Much more so in law than in economics is there work to be done in showing how problems are solved. Libertarian theory is in some ways quite new and still developing, though in some others time-tested, age-old wisdom. So, I agree that not only is not "directing" my actions toward (at least paying for) the protection of private property irresponsible, but knowingly directing my actions toward an inferior means (i.e. a state) of accomplishing the goals in mind is irresponsible. States only do "good" things by doing "bad" things first, so if we can figure out how to do more good with less bad, I'm for it, and bitcoin is an example of a way.

This is not to disparage solely you Babylon, the anti-capitalistic mentality is a common affliction, but I am really not interested in the type of faulty arguments you are putting forth. I'm not here to debate someone who isn't going to learn about what they wish to argue against. Please try to read some of the books people have suggested because there is a wealth of information out there. Bitcoin is a real life experiment regarding Gresham's law, viz. bad money driving away the good. See here for instance, What Has Government Done to Our Money? -- Fiat Money and Gresham's Law.

Even this is really an advanced concept. I suggest again Murphy's book or the first couple hundred pages of Mises' Human Action in order to understand the fundamentals.

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January 26, 2011, 11:40:36 PM
 #39

Quote
By enforcing debt collections, protecting private property, and spending on inevitable things like military and police however the government already has a significant effect on the market. Choosing not to direct this effect is simply irresponsible.

This is the most important error out of all his silliness. If we're to presuppose as "good" things like protecting property rights, enforcing contracts, punishing crimes like rape, murder and theft (and I agree), then we can say that government is able to perform some of these "good" functions; however, none of these "good" things ever take place without the people taking part in government doing "bad" things. Mostly we're talking about extortion and robbery (AKA taxes), but it includes things like military conquest as well here.

This is the first thing any statist is going to struggle with, simply acknowledging the reality of the essential nature of states. If they can even start to do that, then it becomes a matter of thinking that these aggressive actions are justified on some sort of utilitarian grounds. At this stage comes a lot of wishful thinking along with whatever pseudo-economics, "If we just elect the right people, they'll be handing out new counterfeited notes to the poor next time."

After that, we're to the classical "But who will build the roads?" stage. Much more so in law than in economics is there work to be done in showing how problems are solved. Libertarian theory is in some ways quite new and still developing, though in some others time-tested, age-old wisdom. So, I agree that not only is not "directing" my actions toward (at least paying for) the protection of private property irresponsible, but knowingly directing my actions toward an inferior means (i.e. a state) of accomplishing the goals in mind is irresponsible. States only do "good" things by doing "bad" things first, so if we can figure out how to do more good with less bad, I'm for it, and bitcoin is an example of a way.

This is not to disparage solely you Babylon, the anti-capitalistic mentality is a common affliction, but I am really not interested in the type of faulty arguments you are putting forth. I'm not here to debate someone who isn't going to learn about what they wish to argue against. Please try to read some of the books people have suggested because there is a wealth of information out there. Bitcoin is a real life experiment regarding Gresham's law, viz. bad money driving away the good. See here for instance, What Has Government Done to Our Money? -- Fiat Money and Gresham's Law.

Even this is really an advanced concept. I suggest again Murphy's book or the first couple hundred pages of Mises' Human Action in order to understand the fundamentals.

Assuming that I have not read these books does no credit to your arguement.  I'm not a statist, I am an anti-capitalist only in that I am opposed to state power and do not see capitalism being possible without state protection of capital.

I won't deny that a state does bad things as a prerequisite for any other action and I am far more of a Marxist than a Keynesian as far as economics are concerned (his political theories meanwhile are garbage IMO) Using an Austrian economic approach coupled with a plutocratic government system however leads to concentration of wealth with he rich, who will alternate their monetary policies between Austrian and Keynesian in whichever combination keeps the real assets flowing to them.  By properly alternating deflation and inflation they are able to manipulate the currency and acquire a greater and greater share of the assets.

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kiba
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January 26, 2011, 11:52:49 PM
 #40

How do we know when to inflate and when to deflate?  Huh

We don't. Let the market which kind of money/currency/etc is the best in the world.

Ya know why I like bitcoin? I can save and not have to worry about it losing value due to someone printing it. Why would I want to store my saving in inflatecoin?

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January 27, 2011, 12:47:53 PM
 #41

Quote
By enforcing debt collections, protecting private property, and spending on inevitable things like military and police however the government already has a significant effect on the market. Choosing not to direct this effect is simply irresponsible.

This is the most important error out of all his silliness. If we're to presuppose as "good" things like protecting property rights, enforcing contracts, punishing crimes like rape, murder and theft (and I agree), then we can say that government is able to perform some of these "good" functions; however, none of these "good" things ever take place without the people taking part in government doing "bad" things. Mostly we're talking about extortion and robbery (AKA taxes), but it includes things like military conquest as well here.

This is the first thing any statist is going to struggle with, simply acknowledging the reality of the essential nature of states. If they can even start to do that, then it becomes a matter of thinking that these aggressive actions are justified on some sort of utilitarian grounds. At this stage comes a lot of wishful thinking along with whatever pseudo-economics, "If we just elect the right people, they'll be handing out new counterfeited notes to the poor next time."

After that, we're to the classical "But who will build the roads?" stage. Much more so in law than in economics is there work to be done in showing how problems are solved. Libertarian theory is in some ways quite new and still developing, though in some others time-tested, age-old wisdom. So, I agree that not only is not "directing" my actions toward (at least paying for) the protection of private property irresponsible, but knowingly directing my actions toward an inferior means (i.e. a state) of accomplishing the goals in mind is irresponsible. States only do "good" things by doing "bad" things first, so if we can figure out how to do more good with less bad, I'm for it, and bitcoin is an example of a way.

This is not to disparage solely you Babylon, the anti-capitalistic mentality is a common affliction, but I am really not interested in the type of faulty arguments you are putting forth. I'm not here to debate someone who isn't going to learn about what they wish to argue against. Please try to read some of the books people have suggested because there is a wealth of information out there. Bitcoin is a real life experiment regarding Gresham's law, viz. bad money driving away the good. See here for instance, What Has Government Done to Our Money? -- Fiat Money and Gresham's Law.

Even this is really an advanced concept. I suggest again Murphy's book or the first couple hundred pages of Mises' Human Action in order to understand the fundamentals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c

And as Babylon stated, you presume far too much by assuming that he hasn't heard your arguments before. I know I have.

It is my opinion that the idea should be to use the currently existing infrastructure as a tool for the demise of its unjust parts. Democratic states are inherently structures of power and violence. However, they are the only power centers which still respect the will of the people, to at least some degree. In a true democracy, states must justify their actions to the people they claim to represent. Private corporations are not subject to people at all. Free markets, almost by definition, cannot exist in the presence of unchecked private control over capital, which is what you are advocating. This is why I wince every time the "free market" is invoked as an argument either for or against something.

I cannot understand the idea that because a tool (in this case, government) is being used for injustice by private power that we should eliminate the tool. Would you outlaw firearms because criminals use them? Or would you take steps to prevent crime?

We should use the tool to dismantle the source of the abuse - which is private concentrations of power and capital, which eventually coalesce for the purpose of distorting and controlling economies (mega mergers, collusion). In doing so, the process will necessarily lead to a more democratic society. In the distant future, it may be possible to be free of states and create free and fair markets (which require perfect freedom and perfect information, according to Adam Smith), but that is not a problem that we can even hope to address now. More pressing and realistically addressable are the needs to improve the better parts of the current system, such as democracy and the parts which support justice and human dignity. This means using the existing political system and changing policy via popular democratic means - just as every historical example (civil rights, women's rights, etc) clearly demonstrates.

This process should include a serious discussion about the role of private power in economies, both in terms of market manipulation and the policies for which they lobby. I think most people can see immediate remedies for these problems: abolish corporate bailouts at the expense of the population and ensure the policy reflects the wishes of the people rather than the wishes of the economic elite. This is democracy.

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January 27, 2011, 12:58:17 PM
 #42

Quote
By enforcing debt collections, protecting private property, and spending on inevitable things like military and police however the government already has a significant effect on the market. Choosing not to direct this effect is simply irresponsible.

This is the most important error out of all his silliness. If we're to presuppose as "good" things like protecting property rights, enforcing contracts, punishing crimes like rape, murder and theft (and I agree), then we can say that government is able to perform some of these "good" functions; however, none of these "good" things ever take place without the people taking part in government doing "bad" things. Mostly we're talking about extortion and robbery (AKA taxes), but it includes things like military conquest as well here.

This is the first thing any statist is going to struggle with, simply acknowledging the reality of the essential nature of states. If they can even start to do that, then it becomes a matter of thinking that these aggressive actions are justified on some sort of utilitarian grounds. At this stage comes a lot of wishful thinking along with whatever pseudo-economics, "If we just elect the right people, they'll be handing out new counterfeited notes to the poor next time."

After that, we're to the classical "But who will build the roads?" stage. Much more so in law than in economics is there work to be done in showing how problems are solved. Libertarian theory is in some ways quite new and still developing, though in some others time-tested, age-old wisdom. So, I agree that not only is not "directing" my actions toward (at least paying for) the protection of private property irresponsible, but knowingly directing my actions toward an inferior means (i.e. a state) of accomplishing the goals in mind is irresponsible. States only do "good" things by doing "bad" things first, so if we can figure out how to do more good with less bad, I'm for it, and bitcoin is an example of a way.

This is not to disparage solely you Babylon, the anti-capitalistic mentality is a common affliction, but I am really not interested in the type of faulty arguments you are putting forth. I'm not here to debate someone who isn't going to learn about what they wish to argue against. Please try to read some of the books people have suggested because there is a wealth of information out there. Bitcoin is a real life experiment regarding Gresham's law, viz. bad money driving away the good. See here for instance, What Has Government Done to Our Money? -- Fiat Money and Gresham's Law.

Even this is really an advanced concept. I suggest again Murphy's book or the first couple hundred pages of Mises' Human Action in order to understand the fundamentals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c

And as Babylon stated, you presume far too much by assuming that he hasn't heard your arguments before. I know I have.

It is my opinion that the idea should be to use the currently existing infrastructure as a tool for the demise of its unjust parts. Democratic states are inherently structures of power and violence. However, they are the only power centers which still respect the will of the people, to at least some degree.

No. Democracies are a tool to take away the power from the people. Democracy is political darwinism, where only the better liers and charlatans prosper at the expense of the people that do actual work.

Quote
In a true democracy, states must justify their actions to the people they claim to represent.

What is this true democracy you talk about? We are living in a true democracy and that is why things dont work.

Quote
Private corporations are not subject to people at all.

First, corporations are a creation of the government. Corporations are a special enterprise with government given privileges.

What you meant to say is that private enterprises are not subject to the people. Which is completely false. Private enterprises are way more subjected to the people than any governments. Private firms can not force you to do or buy something against your will. Government can. All a private enterprise can do is offer you a better product in the hope that you will want to buy it. Democratic governments just need to put a gun in your head and you must obey.

Quote
Free markets, almost by definition, cannot exist in the presence of unchecked private control over capital, which is what you are advocating. This is why I wince every time the "free market" is invoked as an argument either for or against something.

The free market is absence of regulation. If there are government regulations is not a free market.

Quote
I cannot understand the idea that because a tool (in this case, government) is being used for injustice by private power that we should eliminate the tool.

Huh I dont know why you would abolish slavery just because some abuse their slaves...

Quote
Would you outlaw firearms because criminals use them? Or would you take steps to prevent crime?

We should use the tool to dismantle the source of the abuse - which is private concentrations of power and capital, which eventually coalesce for the purpose of distorting and controlling economies (mega mergers, collusion). In doing so, the process will necessarily lead to a more democratic society. In the distant future, it may be possible to be free of states and create free and fair markets (which require perfect freedom and perfect information, according to Adam Smith), but that is not a problem that we can even hope to address now. More pressing and realistically addressable are the needs to improve the better parts of the current system, such as democracy and the parts which support justice and human dignity. This means using the existing political system and changing policy via popular democratic means - just as every historical example (civil rights, women's rights, etc) clearly demonstrates. This should include a serious discussion about the role of private power in economies, both in terms of market manipulation and the policies for which they lobby. I think most people can see immediate remedies for these problems: abolish corporate bailouts at the expense of the population and ensure the policy reflects the wishes of the people rather than the wishes of the economic elite. This is democracy.

Democracy is a system so the elite can get their way. Democracy is political darwinism. You are dreaming.

The concentration of power happens because of the government, not because of the market.
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January 27, 2011, 01:20:22 PM
 #43

No. Democracies are a tool to take away the power from the people. Democracy is political darwinism, where only the better liers and charlatans prosper at the expense of the people that do actual work.

[...]

What is this true democracy you talk about? We are living in a true democracy and that is why things dont work.

I'll go with the definition by Webster. I don't know where you live, but I challenge you to demonstrate how western societies are democracies - where the population (not just elites) are discussing, proposing, and implementing policies.

Quote
First, corporations are a creation of the government. Corporations are a special enterprise with government given privileges.

Yes. This can be changed, of course. It wasn't always this way.

Quote
What you meant to say is that private enterprises are not subject to the people. Which is completely false. Private enterprises are way more subjected to the people than any governments. Private firms can not force you to do or buy something against your will. Government can. All a private enterprise can do is offer you a better product in the hope that you will want to buy it. Democratic governments just need to put a gun in your head and you must obey.

Or a company can make a certain important product with no competition via collusion and other means, which are well known to anyone with even a cursory understanding of history. The end result can be quite the same. That's what monopolies do. It is trivial to show how your assertions are false.

Quote
The free market is absence of regulation. If there are government regulations is not a free market.

What is to compel a powerful company to disclose perfect information regarding its products or practices? What do you think the advertising industry is all about?

Quote
Huh I dont know why you would abolish slavery just because some abuse their slaves...

The institution of slavery is itself inherently undemocratic and unjust. This should be obvious.

I notice you dodged the question immediately following:

Quote
Would you outlaw firearms because criminals use them? Or would you take steps to prevent crime?

Care to try?

Quote
Democracy is a system so the elite can get their way. Democracy is political darwinism. You are dreaming.

War is peace (and all that). You and I use different meanings for words. I'll go with Noah Webster. Oxford English is just as good, I suppose.

Quote
The concentration of power happens because of the government, not because of the market.

The market doesn't even exist in the way Adam Smith defined it. You have missed the point spectacularly.

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January 27, 2011, 01:42:41 PM
 #44

What is to compel a powerful company to disclose perfect information regarding its products or practices? What do you think the advertising industry is all about? ... The market doesn't even exist in the way Adam Smith defined it.

Most of us are not interested in Smith's market, which was required to be free and "fair", for a definition of "fair" that conflicts with "free".

We're interested in markets that are free of violence or the threat thereof. Nothing more, nothing less. As far as we're concerned, such markets also happen to be fair.
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January 27, 2011, 01:59:27 PM
 #45

Quote
Most of us are not interested in Smith's market, which was required to be free and "fair", for a definition of "fair" that conflicts with "free".

We're interested in markets that are free of violence or the threat thereof. Nothing more, nothing less. As far as we're concerned, such markets also happen to be fair.

I don't see how you expect contracts to be enforced. A sufficiently large company can contract their own private forces (mercs) to support their "economic interests." This already happens.

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January 27, 2011, 02:08:36 PM
 #46

Or a company can make a certain important product with no competition via collusion and other means, which are well known to anyone with even a cursory understanding of history. The end result can be quite the same. That's what monopolies do. It is trivial to show how your assertions are false.

History proves that monopolies are a creation of government. There can not be a sustainable monopoly without regulations.

The big companies and accumulation of wealth happen because of regulations and government intervention.

Quote
What is to compel a powerful company to disclose perfect information regarding its products or practices? What do you think the advertising industry is all about?

Perfect information does not exists. Its stupid to define something with impossible demands. Free market does not involve perfect nothing.

Quote
The institution of slavery is itself inherently undemocratic and unjust. This should be obvious.

I dont think you understand what a democracy is. Slavery is perfectly valid under a democracy if the majority of the people votes to legalize it.

Quote
I notice you dodged the question immediately following:

Quote
Would you outlaw firearms because criminals use them? Or would you take steps to prevent crime?

Care to try?

No, I would not outlaw firearms. I dont understand what it has to do though.

Quote
The market doesn't even exist in the way Adam Smith defined it. You have missed the point spectacularly.

I dont like Adam Smith too much, that is true.

I really think you dont know what democracy is. Democracy is the rule of the majority. And in real life is a system where the more politically adapted get their way imposed over the rest.
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January 27, 2011, 02:23:44 PM
 #47


Or a company can make a certain important product with no competition via collusion and other means, which are well known to anyone with even a cursory understanding of history. The end result can be quite the same. That's what monopolies do. It is trivial to show how your assertions are false.


No cartel had ever win with collusion in the marketplace. They all eventually self-destruct.

"Anti-trust" laws are used against smaller companies rather than large corporations because it is easier to bully smaller companies into submission.

Then the government turns around and give companies monopolies via patents and copyright. Now, they have a much easier time to maintain their cartel.

Government doesn't protect competition. It squashes competition.

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January 27, 2011, 02:34:56 PM
 #48


History proves that monopolies are a creation of government. There can not be a sustainable monopoly without regulations.

The big companies and accumulation of wealth happen because of regulations and government intervention.


That is your conjecture, with which I disagree. Singular control over an important resource does not require a government; it simply requires force. The source of force can stem from economic power, accumulated in the absence of what we know recognize as a state.

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Perfect information does not exists. Its stupid to define something with impossible demands. Free market does not involve perfect nothing.


I wonder then, what are the benefits of the "free market" if they don't include at least enhanced information regarding products and practices? Wouldn't you like to know that there isn't poison in milk? Or that slave labor wasn't involved in production? In the absence of the state, what is to compel a powerful economic entity (for example, an extra-legal monopoly) to keep from making money via dangerous products or coercive conditions?

You cannot simply state that the absence of the state will result in the collapse of large private power concentrations. How will this happen? What is to keep private power from filling the void? How do we know that this won't result in some modern form of feudalism? You have taken on a heavy burden of proof.

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I dont think you understand what a democracy is. Slavery is perfectly valid under a democracy if the majority of the people votes to legalize it.


I do understand. I also understand that, at least where I live, slavery is considered a gross obscenity, and I trust people to formulate policy appropriately.

Quote

No, I would not outlaw firearms. I dont understand what it has to do though.


Because you understand the difference between the tool and the injustices brought on by the wielder of the tool. You understand the tactic of retaining a dangerous tool because it can still be used towards a worthy end.

Quote
I dont like Adam Smith too much, that is true.

I really think you dont know what democracy is. Democracy is the rule of the majority. And in real life is a system where the more politically adapted get their way imposed over the rest.

I know what a democracy is. The core disagreement here is that you seem to think less of people that I, in which case you are in even bigger trouble in the face of private power without the moderating effect of the state.

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January 27, 2011, 02:41:04 PM
 #49


No cartel had ever win with collusion in the marketplace. They all eventually self-destruct.

"Anti-trust" laws are used against smaller companies rather than large corporations because it is easier to bully smaller companies into submission.

Then the government turns around and give companies monopolies via patents and copyright. Now, they have a much easier time to maintain their cartel.

Government doesn't protect competition. It squashes competition.

Then your best bet is to regain control of the government. Don't disarm yourself by eliminating the only tool at your disposal. You are doomed to failure if you think you can start from scratch against power that already controls the resources you require for survival.

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January 27, 2011, 02:44:30 PM
 #50


Assuming that I have not read these books does no credit to your arguement.  I'm not a statist, I am an anti-capitalist only in that I am opposed to state power and do not see capitalism being possible without state protection of capital.


Then you do not understand what capitalism actually is.  The word, ironicly, was coined by Karl Marx.  He made it and 'ism' because he wanted to paint it as an ideology.  It's not an ideology, it's a collective description of the free exchanges of individuals within a working free market.  There is no example of true capitalism anywhere in the world that I can point to, because the closest thing to capitalism that still exists is the illicit drug trade.  State capitalism isn't capitalism, it's merely a soft form of national socialism.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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January 27, 2011, 02:56:02 PM
 #51

Then your best bet is to regain control of the government. Don't disarm yourself by eliminating the only tool at your disposal. You are doomed to failure if you think you can start from scratch against power that already controls the resources you require for survival.

All these things happen is because government create bad incentives and there's little incentives for government to abide by the rule of law. Well, there are incentives, but these incentives get eroded by the way government is structured and the way governments work. The power of coercion tends to lead to nasty things.

It have little to do with libertarians not taking control of power.(Which is by the way, nigh impossible. Libertarians and power don't mix.)

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January 27, 2011, 02:56:35 PM
 #52

Then your best bet is to regain control of the government. Don't disarm yourself by eliminating the only tool at your disposal. You are doomed to failure if you think you can start from scratch against power that already controls the resources you require for survival.

There is nothing to regain. The government has always been and always will be a tool of opresion to favour a few at the expense of the many. By supporting it and justifying it you are just giving legitimization to the abuse.

Quote
Then you do not understand what capitalism actually is.  The word, ironicly, was coined by Karl Marx.  He made it and 'ism' because he wanted to paint it as an ideology.  It's not an ideology, it's a collective description of the free exchanges of individuals within a working free market.  There is no example of true capitalism anywhere in the world that I can point to, because the closest thing to capitalism that still exists is the illicit drug trade.  State capitalism isn't capitalism, it's merely a soft form of national socialism.

This is not entirely true. The word capitalists had been used before Karl Marx by some market anarchists and in a pejorative way. I dont like much the word capitalism. I prefer free market. Its more clear and less politically charged. But a word is just a word, it really does not matter. Ideas its what's important.
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January 27, 2011, 02:59:30 PM
 #53


There is nothing to regain. The government has always been and always will be a tool of opresion to favour a few at the expense of the many. By supporting it and justifying it you are just giving legitimization to the abuse.


This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

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January 27, 2011, 03:02:16 PM
 #54


This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

A direct democracy kill Socrates for corrupting the youth and for not believing in the gods!

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January 27, 2011, 03:04:06 PM
 #55

This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

Democracy is a form of opresion. I think democrats and facists are inmoral people. Democracy is just a lighweigth facisms.

I like political discussions, but this is not one. I leave it here for today.
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January 27, 2011, 03:28:30 PM
 #56

Democracy is a form of opresion...

...with a good Public Relations Department.
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January 27, 2011, 03:31:05 PM
 #57

This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

Democracy is a form of opresion. I think democrats and facists are inmoral people. Democracy is just a lighweigth facisms.

I like political discussions, but this is not one. I leave it here for today.

Fascism. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Interestingly, corporatism is more closely associated with fascism as in Mussolini's Italy.

I'll invoke Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

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January 27, 2011, 03:31:54 PM
 #58

Democracy is a form of opresion...

...with a good Public Relations Department.

Hahahaha, nice one.
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January 27, 2011, 03:35:46 PM
 #59


I'll invoke Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

We have this thing called voluntarism and the freedom of association. Try it sometime.

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January 27, 2011, 03:41:11 PM
 #60

This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

Democracy is a form of opresion. I think democrats and facists are inmoral people. Democracy is just a lighweigth facisms.

I like political discussions, but this is not one. I leave it here for today.

Fascism. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Interestingly, corporatism is more closely associated with fascism as in Mussolini's Italy.

I'll invoke Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

By the way, I forget to tell you that the first times that I discover this ideas and real critiques to democracy, I had the same emotional response you are having. I tried to defend it. The system and the politicians repeat the word democracy and associate it with good things all they can (there is a reason for that), so its hard to de-attach yourself from that indoctrination. I went through the same process. Maybe you end up with another conclussion, but really, using violence to impose your will its not moral just because its a big group of people deciding instead of a small one.
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January 27, 2011, 03:53:51 PM
 #61

... the first times that I discover this ideas and real critiques to democracy, I had the same emotional response you are having

Me too.

It took me 15 years to understand the merits of Libertarianism, then another 35 to understand the merits of Voluntarism. I'm a slow learner.
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January 27, 2011, 03:55:46 PM
 #62

This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

Democracy is a form of opresion. I think democrats and facists are inmoral people. Democracy is just a lighweigth facisms.

I like political discussions, but this is not one. I leave it here for today.

Fascism. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Interestingly, corporatism is more closely associated with fascism as in Mussolini's Italy.

I'll invoke Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

By the way, I forget to tell you that the first times that I discover this ideas and real critiques to democracy, I had the same emotional response you are having. I tried to defend it. The system and the politicians repeat the word democracy and associate it with good things all they can (there is a reason for that), so its hard to de-attach yourself from that indoctrination. I went through the same process. Maybe you end up with another conclussion, but really, using violence to impose your will its not moral just because its a big group of people deciding instead of a small one.

You assume too much. I appreciate your epiphany and am quite aware of how the term is abused. I still recognize that democracy is the most just form of society. Advocating systems which can only result in concentrations of private power seems short-sighted and a quick path to industrial feudalism. I would rather that not occur.

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January 27, 2011, 04:01:00 PM
 #63

... the first times that I discover this ideas and real critiques to democracy, I had the same emotional response you are having

Me too.

It took me 15 years to understand the merits of Libertarianism, then another 35 to understand the merits of Voluntarism. I'm a slow learner.

Haha.

Quote
You assume too much. I appreciate your epiphany and am quite aware of how the term is abused. I still recognize that democracy is the most just form of society. Advocating systems which can only result in concentrations of private power seems short-sighted and a quick path to industrial feudalism. I would rather that not occur.

The system you advocate is what creates the concentration of power in a few hands. The concentration of wealth that you see around is because of the laws aproved by the will of the majority.
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January 27, 2011, 04:19:14 PM
 #64


The system you advocate is what creates the concentration of power in a few hands. The concentration of wealth that you see around is because of the laws aproved by the will of the majority.


Really? I challenge you to support that statement. Do the majority of Americans support NAFTA? Do they support the war in Iraq? What percentage of Americans supported a war in Iraq before 2003? When did they support the war, and why?

Note that I could pick almost any issue and make the same point: that what most Americans want (absent enormous propaganda) is nearly diametrically opposed to implemented policy in most any topic of importance. That condition does not satisfy my definition of democracy.

Somebody mentioned PR. What role does it play in shaping opinion?  Who pays for PR and psych research into propaganda? And why? Who owns the media? The answer: private companies.

I can give references, but I encourage anyone to not take my word. Go look for yourselves. Please show that I am wrong, if you can.

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January 27, 2011, 04:21:20 PM
 #65

You're getting boring, gene.
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January 27, 2011, 04:23:31 PM
 #66

I am fortunate enough to take on libertarian and voluntaryist thought in the first few years of my adult life.
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January 27, 2011, 05:25:05 PM
 #67

I don't see how you expect contracts to be enforced. A sufficiently large company can contract their own private forces (mercs) to support their "economic interests." This already happens.

You are absolutely correct, this already happens, with the state taking the place of "private forces". As a private entity grows in size and wealth, the cost to secure its property increases. In a stateless society, this entity would have to pay for every cent of security services it consumed out of its own pocket. This, I think is obvious, would act as a limiting factor on the size of private entities. However, when there is a state, the larger the entity, the less they pay per capita for security services - the police are subsidized by the rest of the citizens. The state as a provider of security for the people is a sham, it's all about those with wealth paying bottom dollar for protecting their assets.
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January 27, 2011, 05:34:35 PM
 #68

I don't see how you expect contracts to be enforced. A sufficiently large company can contract their own private forces (mercs) to support their "economic interests." This already happens.

You are absolutely correct, this already happens, with the state taking the place of "private forces". As a private entity grows in size and wealth, the cost to secure its property increases. In a stateless society, this entity would have to pay for every cent of security services it consumed out of its own pocket. This, I think is obvious, would act as a limiting factor on the size of private entities. However, when there is a state, the larger the entity, the less they pay per capita for security services - the police are subsidized by the rest of the citizens. The state as a provider of security for the people is a sham, it's all about those with wealth paying bottom dollar for protecting their assets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Outcomes

Quote

Executive Outcomes was a private military company founded in South Africa by former Lieutenant-Colonel of the South African Defence Force Eeben Barlow in 1989. It later became part of the South African-based holding company Strategic Resource Corporation.

[...]

Executive Outcomes had contracts with multinational corporations such as De Beers, Chevron, JFPI Corporation, Rio Tinto Zinc and Texaco.


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January 27, 2011, 05:37:26 PM
 #69


The system you advocate is what creates the concentration of power in a few hands. The concentration of wealth that you see around is because of the laws aproved by the will of the majority.


Really? I challenge you to support that statement. Do the majority of Americans support NAFTA? Do they support the war in Iraq? What percentage of Americans supported a war in Iraq before 2003? When did they support the war, and why?

Note that I could pick almost any issue and make the same point: that what most Americans want (absent enormous propaganda) is nearly diametrically opposed to implemented policy in most any topic of importance. That condition does not satisfy my definition of democracy.

Somebody mentioned PR. What role does it play in shaping opinion?  Who pays for PR and psych research into propaganda? And why? Who owns the media? The answer: private companies.

I can give references, but I encourage anyone to not take my word. Go look for yourselves. Please show that I am wrong, if you can.

Thats democracy. You are proving my point. You keep claiming that democracy is for the people, I keep saying that democracy is to take the power away from the people. Look around you and tell me which one it is.

Bush run an anti-interventionist campaign and then became the war president. Obama promised the sky... Democracy is political darwinism, the best lier wins.

And if you start talking about direct democracy lets check California. They voted to ban gay marriage and to ban marihuana. Why should gay people not be able to marry just because the majority decides its not ok? Thats democracy baning gay marriages. I think its inmoral, and anyone with half a heart can see it. Same with marihuana.
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January 27, 2011, 05:38:58 PM
 #70

I don't see how you expect contracts to be enforced. A sufficiently large company can contract their own private forces (mercs) to support their "economic interests." This already happens.

You are absolutely correct, this already happens, with the state taking the place of "private forces". As a private entity grows in size and wealth, the cost to secure its property increases. In a stateless society, this entity would have to pay for every cent of security services it consumed out of its own pocket. This, I think is obvious, would act as a limiting factor on the size of private entities. However, when there is a state, the larger the entity, the less they pay per capita for security services - the police are subsidized by the rest of the citizens. The state as a provider of security for the people is a sham, it's all about those with wealth paying bottom dollar for protecting their assets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Outcomes

Quote

Executive Outcomes was a private military company founded in South Africa by former Lieutenant-Colonel of the South African Defence Force Eeben Barlow in 1989. It later became part of the South African-based holding company Strategic Resource Corporation.

[...]

Executive Outcomes had contracts with multinational corporations such as De Beers, Chevron, JFPI Corporation, Rio Tinto Zinc and Texaco.


You forget that all this corporations rised thanks to regulations and privileges from the governments.
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January 28, 2011, 04:49:03 AM
 #71

You're getting boring, gene.

QFT

I like Mises' somewhat odd definition of democracy, 'secession down to the level of the individual'. Then, we don't have full-frontal majoritarianism in these places we say have "democracy". Following democracy-worship and various collectivist ideologies to their conclusion gets pretty absurd. Democratic republics are pretty much just a blip on the map of history so far and seem doomed to failure to me. What we have in this type of "democracy" is a popularity contest for "our" rulers. The economic consequences of this nice-sounding doctrine are laid out nicely in Hoppe's Democracy the God that Failed, which I highly recommend to those interested. You did read this one eh gene and Baby? I mean, I'm not pointing out your ignorance to prove anything, just saying that it is apparent from what you are writing and I don't really care.

The other error I noticed skimming through here is covered in Long's Response to 10 Objections. See #8 "the rich will rule", a statist fav, yawn.

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January 28, 2011, 10:11:35 AM
 #72



So, anyway, about this Austrian economic study group.......
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January 28, 2011, 10:58:57 AM
 #73


Quote
Private corporations are not subject to people at all.

First, corporations are a creation of the government. Corporations are a special enterprise with government given privileges.

What you meant to say is that private enterprises are not subject to the people. Which is completely false. Private enterprises are way more subjected to the people than any governments. Private firms can not force you to do or buy something against your will. Government can. All a private enterprise can do is offer you a better product in the hope that you will want to buy it. Democratic governments just need to put a gun in your head and you must obey.


Why can't a private enterprise put a gun to your head?  Not only has it happened, it has happened often.

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January 28, 2011, 11:03:43 AM
 #74


Assuming that I have not read these books does no credit to your arguement.  I'm not a statist, I am an anti-capitalist only in that I am opposed to state power and do not see capitalism being possible without state protection of capital.


Then you do not understand what capitalism actually is.  The word, ironicly, was coined by Karl Marx.  He made it and 'ism' because he wanted to paint it as an ideology.  It's not an ideology, it's a collective description of the free exchanges of individuals within a working free market.  There is no example of true capitalism anywhere in the world that I can point to, because the closest thing to capitalism that still exists is the illicit drug trade.  State capitalism isn't capitalism, it's merely a soft form of national socialism.

I know the word was coined by Karl Marx,  I've read his works (if you didn't notice, I did state that economically I am a Marxist)  Capitalism is not free trade. Capitalism is control of the means of production and the products created by those means by those with capital.  That's not free, it's a particular type of control.

I hate to turn around the words that were used on me, but you might do well to read the works you are criticizing.  Especially if you are going to proclaim yourself in support of a word defined by those works.  I'd suggest Das Kapital.

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January 28, 2011, 11:31:15 AM
 #75


I'm not a Moderator or a Hero Member, but aren't you all off-topic for this thread?  I just want to know if anyone is still interested in starting an Austrian economic study group.

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January 28, 2011, 12:30:38 PM
 #76

I like Mises' somewhat odd definition of democracy, 'secession down to the level of the individual'. Then, we don't have full-frontal majoritarianism in these places we say have "democracy". Following democracy-worship and various collectivist ideologies to their conclusion gets pretty absurd. Democratic republics are pretty much just a blip on the map of history so far and seem doomed to failure to me. What we have in this type of "democracy" is a popularity contest for "our" rulers. The economic consequences of this nice-sounding doctrine are laid out nicely in Hoppe's Democracy the God that Failed, which I highly recommend to those interested. You did read this one eh gene and Baby? I mean, I'm not pointing out your ignorance to prove anything, just saying that it is apparent from what you are writing and I don't really care.

The other error I noticed skimming through here is covered in Long's Response to 10 Objections. See #8 "the rich will rule", a statist fav, yawn.

As before, I will mention that none of your arguments or references are particularly clever or original; I have heard and considered them, with some small variations, over the course of decades.

You give the terrible impression of someone who hasn't taken time to notice fundamental incongruities in your ideological framework. None of the various academics and intellectuals advocating anarcho-capitalism have been able to demonstrate how the elimination of a democratic state could lead to a situation in which singular control over a valuable resource is to be avoided. This is a rather heavy burden of proof, which I suspect cannot be satisfied. None of the posts by the impressively well-read anarcho-capitalists here even attempt to address this issue.

Here is an example, from your reference:

Quote
Whereas, if you were the head of some private protection agency and I'm trying to get you to do something that costs a million dollars, I'd have to bribe you more than a million.

It is trivial to propose a realistic case for which this is untrue, although I suppose it depends if "the market" thinks that feeding my family is worth "more than a million [dollars]." Control over a critical resource does not require the intervention of any particular kind of state and will give rise to some new form of tyranny. It is embarrassing to have to even point this out.


I love this part:

Quote
Well, could [cartel collusion] happen? Sure. All kinds of things could happen. Half the country could commit suicide tomorrow.

A philosopher employing a sophism. How quaint.

Quote
That doesn't mean that it's impossible that a cartel succeed. After all, people have free will. But it's unlikely because the very incentives that lead you to form the cartel also lead you to cheat on it — because it's always in the interest of anyone to make agreements outside the cartel once they are in it.

Yet cartels exist today.

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January 28, 2011, 12:34:53 PM
 #77


I'm not a Moderator or a Hero Member, but aren't you all off-topic for this thread?  I just want to know if anyone is still interested in starting an Austrian economic study group.



I am offering a critique of the Austrian school of economics. Does this not qualify?

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January 28, 2011, 01:10:48 PM
 #78


I'm not a Moderator or a Hero Member, but aren't you all off-topic for this thread?  I just want to know if anyone is still interested in starting an Austrian economic study group.



I am offering a critique of the Austrian school of economics. Does this not qualify?

Not if you don't know what you are trying to critique.  And complaints about various political ideologies is a weak critique of an economic theory.  You have pulled this thread way off topic.  Go start your own tread elsewhere so that the rest of us can properly ignore you.  Also, you keep saying that it is trivial to prove us wrong.  If it's trivial, why don't you actually offer evidence in support of your positions?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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January 28, 2011, 01:18:31 PM
 #79


I'm not a Moderator or a Hero Member, but aren't you all off-topic for this thread?  I just want to know if anyone is still interested in starting an Austrian economic study group.



I am offering a critique of the Austrian school of economics. Does this not qualify?

Not really, no.  The original proposal was to read books and discuss them.  Are you interested?
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January 28, 2011, 01:28:59 PM
 #80


Assuming that I have not read these books does no credit to your arguement.  I'm not a statist, I am an anti-capitalist only in that I am opposed to state power and do not see capitalism being possible without state protection of capital.


Then you do not understand what capitalism actually is.  The word, ironicly, was coined by Karl Marx.  He made it and 'ism' because he wanted to paint it as an ideology.  It's not an ideology, it's a collective description of the free exchanges of individuals within a working free market.  There is no example of true capitalism anywhere in the world that I can point to, because the closest thing to capitalism that still exists is the illicit drug trade.  State capitalism isn't capitalism, it's merely a soft form of national socialism.

I know the word was coined by Karl Marx,  I've read his works (if you didn't notice, I did state that economically I am a Marxist)  Capitalism is not free trade. Capitalism is control of the means of production and the products created by those means by those with capital.  That's not free, it's a particular type of control.

The right to keep what you produce is a fundamental human right.  It may be control, but no one else loses any honest freedoms when the owner does what he will with his own property.  There is no such thing as collective property, even in the former USSR the trucks may have been bought by the government, but the drivers held *possession*.  Real capitalism existed in the USSR, it exists everywhere, because it's not an ideology.

When you boil it down, there are only two laws of civilization...

"Do all that you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on another's person or property."  (Mayberry's Laws)

This is the whole of the law.   Notice, also, that these are laws concerning individuals, not all of society.  Ideologies aside, any society that generally honors and supports these two laws, tends to prosper.  Yet, once a society no longer honors these two laws, it tends to decline.  They are not absolutes, and can be violated often before the society begins to show it's rot, but they never will be denied.  Marxism cannot exist, simply because it fails to honor these two laws.  Democracy fails this test also.  Capitalism, even as defined in the context of control of the means of production, does not neccessarily violate these laws.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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January 28, 2011, 01:34:45 PM
 #81


I'm not a Moderator or a Hero Member, but aren't you all off-topic for this thread?  I just want to know if anyone is still interested in starting an Austrian economic study group.



I am offering a critique of the Austrian school of economics. Does this not qualify?

Not if you don't know what you are trying to critique.  And complaints about various political ideologies is a weak critique of an economic theory.  You have pulled this thread way off topic.  Go start your own tread elsewhere so that the rest of us can properly ignore you.  Also, you keep saying that it is trivial to prove us wrong.  If it's trivial, why don't you actually offer evidence in support of your positions?

The constant implications that I am unfamiliar with what is called "libertarianism" in the US are tiresome.

I have offered several examples of how private tyranny can emerge in the absence of government in this thread and others. The retorts essentially amount to links to mises.org (or some other Auburn intellectual) accompanied with arguments that are logically equivalent to "because the government is evil, then evil cannot exist without government." If you don't believe me, just read this thread.

Since you are proposing a new form of society of which many people are extremely suspicious, I must point out that the burden of proof is on you to show how it won't be worse than what we currently have. I hold myself to the same standard when supporting my ideas in the face of those who support the status quo.

I have asked for an outline of how private tyranny can be suppressed without a state. I quoted a website, which was presented as an authoritative source, and pointed out that the author's response to my question is lacking and why.

If nothing else, I can't be accused of not supporting my position.

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January 28, 2011, 01:40:48 PM
 #82

It is trivial to propose a realistic case for which this is untrue, although I suppose it depends if "the market" thinks that feeding my family is worth "more than a million [dollars]." Control over a critical resource does not require the intervention of any particular kind of state and will give rise to some new form of tyranny. It is embarrassing to have to even point this out.


From my perspective, it merely looks like you had not done your homework. If you are at any good at refuting libertarianism, than you would have cause cognitive dissonance by now, and I felt a rush of emotional anger. I don't.

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January 28, 2011, 01:42:33 PM
 #83


I'm not a Moderator or a Hero Member, but aren't you all off-topic for this thread?  I just want to know if anyone is still interested in starting an Austrian economic study group.



I am offering a critique of the Austrian school of economics. Does this not qualify?

Not if you don't know what you are trying to critique.  And complaints about various political ideologies is a weak critique of an economic theory.  You have pulled this thread way off topic.  Go start your own tread elsewhere so that the rest of us can properly ignore you.  Also, you keep saying that it is trivial to prove us wrong.  If it's trivial, why don't you actually offer evidence in support of your positions?

The constant implications that I am unfamiliar with what is called "libertarianism" in the US are tiresome.


I'm sure that's true, but considering that libertarianism isn't part of the thread topic, you still don't know what you are talking about.  Hell, you don't even know what you should be talking about.

Quote

I have offered several examples of how private tyranny can emerge in the absence of government in this thread and others. The retorts essentially amount to links to mises.org (or some other Auburn intellectual) accompanied with arguments that are logically equivalent to "because the government is evil, then evil cannot exist without government." If you don't believe me, just read this thread.


I would have to read a different thread, the only ideology in this one followed you here.
Quote

Since you are proposing a new form of society

I'm not.  I'm not an anarchist, nor a Marxist.  I have proposed nothing, and if others have, it is only in response to your thread highjacking.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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January 28, 2011, 02:12:44 PM
 #84


I have asked for an outline of how private tyranny can be suppressed without a state. I quoted a website, which was presented as an authoritative source, and pointed out that the author's response to my question is lacking and why.



If you mean Executive Outcome, could you explain their activities in depth? They worked for governments and multinational, which is a negative in my book but I don't know what they actually did in the services of these governments and multinational.

Since, Executive Outcome employed by government and corporations(which are directly a creation of the state), so it isn't exactly a prime example of private tyranny.

One positive note is their activities in the Blood Diamond War. They fought against the Revolutionary United Front, which had been raping women and making soldiers out of children, as well enslaved people to work in the diamond mines. However, they are probably primary the result of being employed by a lesser evil compared to the more insidious and evil RUF statist thugs.(It parallels the communist Vietnamese fighting against the more evil Khmer Rogue for invading and killing off whole Vietnamese villages)

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January 28, 2011, 02:29:23 PM
 #85

I'm sure that's true, but considering that libertarianism isn't part of the thread topic, you still don't know what you are talking about.  Hell, you don't even know what you should be talking about.

Education of Austrian Economic. Yes, we should return to that topic.

It seem that the study group is not taking off because I choose a particularly heavy book. This does not bodes well for the economic literacy of market anarchists.

IF there is one civic duty in an anarchist society, it's the study of economic. With economic, we can make the decision to be on the side of civilization.

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January 28, 2011, 02:43:20 PM
 #86

How about something shorter, such as What Has Government Done to Our Money? I've already read it but would read it again. It's available in html or PDF form on Mises.org.
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January 28, 2011, 03:13:43 PM
 #87

How about something shorter, such as What Has Government Done to Our Money? I've already read it but would read it again. It's available in html or PDF form on Mises.org.

I think that's a bit over the basic.

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January 28, 2011, 11:13:51 PM
 #88


Assuming that I have not read these books does no credit to your arguement.  I'm not a statist, I am an anti-capitalist only in that I am opposed to state power and do not see capitalism being possible without state protection of capital.


Then you do not understand what capitalism actually is.  The word, ironicly, was coined by Karl Marx.  He made it and 'ism' because he wanted to paint it as an ideology.  It's not an ideology, it's a collective description of the free exchanges of individuals within a working free market.  There is no example of true capitalism anywhere in the world that I can point to, because the closest thing to capitalism that still exists is the illicit drug trade.  State capitalism isn't capitalism, it's merely a soft form of national socialism.

I know the word was coined by Karl Marx,  I've read his works (if you didn't notice, I did state that economically I am a Marxist)  Capitalism is not free trade. Capitalism is control of the means of production and the products created by those means by those with capital.  That's not free, it's a particular type of control.

The right to keep what you produce is a fundamental human right.  It may be control, but no one else loses any honest freedoms when the owner does what he will with his own property.  There is no such thing as collective property, even in the former USSR the trucks may have been bought by the government, but the drivers held *possession*.  Real capitalism existed in the USSR, it exists everywhere, because it's not an ideology.

When you boil it down, there are only two laws of civilization...

"Do all that you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on another's person or property."  (Mayberry's Laws)

This is the whole of the law.   Notice, also, that these are laws concerning individuals, not all of society.  Ideologies aside, any society that generally honors and supports these two laws, tends to prosper.  Yet, once a society no longer honors these two laws, it tends to decline.  They are not absolutes, and can be violated often before the society begins to show it's rot, but they never will be denied.  Marxism cannot exist, simply because it fails to honor these two laws.  Democracy fails this test also.  Capitalism, even as defined in the context of control of the means of production, does not neccessarily violate these laws.

Capitalism means that the trucks are not owned by the drivers, they are owned by the trucking company.  The trucking company receives the profits from operating the trucks, the drivers are employed by the company.    In Soviet Russia the trucking company was part of the government, in the US it's an independent company, both are forms of capitalism because control is exercised not by the workers but by those with capital.  Ownership of the trucks by the drivers is worker ownership, also known as Marxism.  The issue with Mayberry's law is who gets to define exactly what is one person's property and what is another's.  So long as ownership is determined by capital we are operating in a capitalist system, capital however is not possible without government to enforce it.

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January 29, 2011, 01:07:34 AM
 #89

Capitalism means that the trucks are not owned by the drivers, they are owned by the trucking company.  The trucking company receives the profits from operating the trucks, the drivers are employed by the company.    In Soviet Russia the trucking company was part of the government, in the US it's an independent company, both are forms of capitalism because control is exercised not by the workers but by those with capital.  Ownership of the trucks by the drivers is worker ownership, also known as Marxism.  The issue with Mayberry's law is who gets to define exactly what is one person's property and what is another's.  So long as ownership is determined by capital we are operating in a capitalist system, capital however is not possible without government to enforce it.

The trucks are owned by the trucking company because the owners of the company risked their own savings to purchase capital (trucks) and employ others. The workers benefit from the risk of the owners by being able to trade a potentially higher salary for a more stable paycheck. If they wanted the higher salary and higher risk, they could start their own company. However, in order to do that, they will need savings, in order to invest in capital.

When the state intervenes in the economy, it picks winners and losers. It regulates, subsidizes, taxes, creates barriers to entry, becomes corrupted and is captured by the biggest members of the sector in which it seeks to create order. Those entities then use the government for their own means, and the result is what you see before you today.
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January 29, 2011, 01:10:02 AM
 #90

Capitalism means that the trucks are not owned by the drivers, they are owned by the trucking company.  The trucking company receives the profits from operating the trucks, the drivers are employed by the company.    In Soviet Russia the trucking company was part of the government, in the US it's an independent company, both are forms of capitalism because control is exercised not by the workers but by those with capital.  Ownership of the trucks by the drivers is worker ownership, also known as Marxism.  The issue with Mayberry's law is who gets to define exactly what is one person's property and what is another's.  So long as ownership is determined by capital we are operating in a capitalist system, capital however is not possible without government to enforce it.

The trucks are owned by the trucking company because the owners of the company risked their own savings to purchase capital (trucks) and employ others. The workers benefit from the risk of the owners by being able to trade a potentially higher salary for a more stable paycheck. If they wanted the higher salary and higher risk, they could start their own company. However, in order to do that, they will need savings, in order to invest in capital.

When the state intervenes in the economy, it picks winners and losers. It regulates, subsidizes, taxes, creates barriers to entry, becomes corrupted and is captured by the biggest members of the sector in which it seeks to create order. Those entities then use the government for their own means, and the result is what you see before you today.

Without the state to enforce their ownership the trucking companies would not be able to exist.

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kiba
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January 29, 2011, 01:12:57 AM
 #91


Without the state to enforce their ownership the trucking companies would not be able to exist.

Oh, you don't know that. It's a matter of diseconomy of scale versus economy of scale. Some companies in a free market may be quite large.

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January 29, 2011, 01:18:05 AM
 #92


Without the state to enforce their ownership the trucking companies would not be able to exist.

Oh, you don't know that. It's a matter of diseconomy of scale versus economy of scale. Some companies in a free market may be quite large.

Why would it be in the interest of the truckers to accept just their wages and not simply claim ownership of the means of production that they are controlling and operating?

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January 29, 2011, 01:37:59 AM
 #93


Why would it be in the interest of the truckers to accept just their wages and not simply claim ownership of the means of production that they are controlling and operating?

You get out-competed by companies who can operate much more efficiently.

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January 29, 2011, 11:38:48 AM
 #94


I have asked for an outline of how private tyranny can be suppressed without a state. I quoted a website, which was presented as an authoritative source, and pointed out that the author's response to my question is lacking and why.



If you mean Executive Outcome, could you explain their activities in depth? They worked for governments and multinational, which is a negative in my book but I don't know what they actually did in the services of these governments and multinational.

Since, Executive Outcome employed by government and corporations(which are directly a creation of the state), so it isn't exactly a prime example of private tyranny.

One positive note is their activities in the Blood Diamond War. They fought against the Revolutionary United Front, which had been raping women and making soldiers out of children, as well enslaved people to work in the diamond mines. However, they are probably primary the result of being employed by a lesser evil compared to the more insidious and evil RUF statist thugs.(It parallels the communist Vietnamese fighting against the more evil Khmer Rogue for invading and killing off whole Vietnamese villages)

The companies hired soldiers (the definition of mercenaries) to protect their economic interests. Sometimes these interests are the same as those of the people, other times not.

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January 29, 2011, 11:40:10 AM
 #95


Why would it be in the interest of the truckers to accept just their wages and not simply claim ownership of the means of production that they are controlling and operating?

You get out-competed by companies who can operate much more efficiently.

I maintain that without the legal fiction of a company they could not.  Companies are not real things, they are legal fictions.

They externalize cost, through government, without government they could not function more efficiently.

If you've ever been involved in a co-op, they tend to operate extremely inefficiently.

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January 29, 2011, 04:02:34 PM
 #96

I maintain that without the legal fiction of a company they could not.  Companies are not real things, they are legal fictions.

They externalize cost, through government, without government they could not function more efficiently.

If you've ever been involved in a co-op, they tend to operate extremely inefficiently.

If you're arguing that corporations as we know them would not exist without government, I completely agree with you. Subsidized security is the best thing the state has to offer the mega corporation. The more geographically dispersed resources you have, the more benefit you gain from having the state protect those resources, versus if you had to explicitly pay to have them protected. That said, if there were no state, I don't think the world would turn into an anarcho-socialist commune. I think you would see the large corporations dissolve or break up into smaller businesses, some of which might be run by the workers.

Babylon, gene...

It seemed earlier like you guys were arguing for the state, now it seems like you're arguing against it, and for something like anarcho-socialism. If that is the case, why are we arguing? We both agree that society would be better served without a state. The only difference is that you think the best society is one where there is no private ownership of property (MoP), whereas we do. If you try to enforce your opinion on how society should form lacking a state, how are you acting any differently than the state itself? Lacking states, there will be more than enough room in this world for all sorts of different voluntary organizations of society.
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January 29, 2011, 04:18:40 PM
 #97


If you've ever been involved in a co-op, they tend to operate extremely inefficiently.

I expect you to argue about the merit/non-merit of organizational setups without governments screwing up the equation.

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January 29, 2011, 04:23:21 PM
 #98


Babylon, gene...

It seemed earlier like you guys were arguing for the state, now it seems like you're arguing against it, and for something like anarcho-socialism. If that is the case, why are we arguing? We both agree that society would be better served without a state. The only difference is that you think the best society is one where there is no private ownership of property (MoP), whereas we do. If you try to enforce your opinion on how society should form lacking a state, how are you acting any differently than the state itself? Lacking states, there will be more than enough room in this world for all sorts of different voluntary organizations of society.

I think I am still being consistent. I see the state as a necessary tool in the transition away from state capitalism. Others here have more faith in the tools of private capital. I maintain that if we disarm ourselves by getting rid of the tool of the democratic state, then we are at the mercy of private tyranny. Ideally, we can approach a point in which the state is unnecessary, but that point is very far away - perhaps not entirely attainable; I definitely can't envision it. But I strongly suspect that the only way we can improve our human condition is to progressively dismantle the worst parts of the systems in place and to build the kinds of systems that we think will lead to a better condition within the remaining scaffolds - the shells of the existing unjust systems. All the while, building more just societies which are based on enlightenment and democratic principles.

Because of where we place our faith for the best tool for the transformation (private capitalist power vs. democratic state power), and I won't presume to speak for Babylon, there are sharp differences between what anarcho-capitalists believe and what I believe, as is evident in this thread. You call it "the only difference," but this is fundamental. To be honest, I don't consider "libertarianism" or what is called anarcho-capitalism to be anarchist philosophies. My experiences and intuition lead me to suspect that the endpoints of these approaches are vastly different: that the endpoint of anarcho-capitalism is a nightmarish condition of industrial feudalism.

I'll end the post with a quote by Immanuel Kant:

"one cannot arrive at the maturity for freedom without having already acquired it"

I think the same applies to democracy. Perhaps the people of Tunisia and Egypt will show us how it is done.

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January 29, 2011, 04:44:07 PM
 #99


I think I am still being consistent. I see the state as a necessary tool in the transition away from state capitalism. Others here have more faith in the tools of private capital. I maintain that if we disarm ourselves by getting rid of the tool of the democratic state, then we are at the mercy of private tyranny. Ideally, we can approach a point in which the state is unnecessary, but that point is very far away - perhaps not entirely attainable; I definitely can't envision it. But I strongly suspect that the only way we can improve our human condition is to progressively dismantle the worst parts of the systems in place and to build the kinds of systems that we think will lead to a better condition within the remaining scaffolds - the shells of the existing unjust systems. All the while, building more just societies which are based on enlightenment and democratic principles.


Time to stop derailing the thread with annoying long wall of texts. We're trying to learn economic analysis, not teach people of the "democratic" faith or "private capital" faith.

Political philosophy should now be put away so that we can learn some real science.

(Yes, that include me too)

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January 29, 2011, 04:50:13 PM
 #100

I think democracy is a poor institution for decision making. You decided to sweep it under the floor "democracy sucks, but all others are worse".

No, I asserted it. Big difference.

Quote
We already have pointed out how private tyranny persists, which is through regulatory capture.

In this industrial world, it can also emerge via centralized control over productive capital.

Quote
BTW, bitcoin is "undemocratic". I am working my butt off to secure more and more bitcoin. This is an example of private capitalistic "power". I don't know why you persists on this forum.

Bitcoin is a neutral tool - just like money; it is not an end to itself. If you "don't know why [I  persist] on this forum," then all I can do is comfort you by saying "don't worry about it."

EDIT: just noticed you changed your entire post. I was replying to a thoughtful and well-formulated question by BitterTea. Sorry if you can't appreciate my posts.

Quote
Political philosophy should now be put away so that we can learn some real science.

You consider economics to be real science? If only...

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January 29, 2011, 04:55:52 PM
 #101


No, I asserted it. Big difference.
While I would love to discuss this with you, this is not the thread to do it.(Not to mention, a hint of emotional response which tell me that there's merit!)

So, start your own damn thread.

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January 30, 2011, 07:48:08 PM
 #102

I maintain that without the legal fiction of a company they could not.  Companies are not real things, they are legal fictions.

They externalize cost, through government, without government they could not function more efficiently.

If you've ever been involved in a co-op, they tend to operate extremely inefficiently.

If you're arguing that corporations as we know them would not exist without government, I completely agree with you. Subsidized security is the best thing the state has to offer the mega corporation. The more geographically dispersed resources you have, the more benefit you gain from having the state protect those resources, versus if you had to explicitly pay to have them protected. That said, if there were no state, I don't think the world would turn into an anarcho-socialist commune. I think you would see the large corporations dissolve or break up into smaller businesses, some of which might be run by the workers.

Babylon, gene...

It seemed earlier like you guys were arguing for the state, now it seems like you're arguing against it, and for something like anarcho-socialism. If that is the case, why are we arguing? We both agree that society would be better served without a state. The only difference is that you think the best society is one where there is no private ownership of property (MoP), whereas we do. If you try to enforce your opinion on how society should form lacking a state, how are you acting any differently than the state itself? Lacking states, there will be more than enough room in this world for all sorts of different voluntary organizations of society.

Different sorts of Anarchists often seem to be arguing for a state when debating since we have different ideas as to what constitutes bad power. 

The main reason that, IMO, Capitalist and Socialist anarchists need to keep debating is that I doubt that corporations would simply wither away if the framework of government were removed.  Yes, a Democratic government is far from an ideal solution, and yes the corporations do capture it and use it to enrich themselves.  However it is still preferable to the corporations ruling directly, which is what will happen if they are left in possession of all the resources that they currently possess without the government to keep them in line.

I have no problem with market anarchists, in fact I am one, as are many of you who label yourself capitalist, but as long as there is support for ownership of capital determining production, rather than actual use of production determining production then there is support for government.

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January 30, 2011, 08:01:51 PM
 #103

I have no problem with market anarchists, in fact I am one, as are many of you who label yourself capitalist, but as long as there is support for ownership of capital determining production, rather than actual use of production determining production then there is support for government.

Great, but please start your own thread.

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January 30, 2011, 08:46:45 PM
 #104

[...] but as long as there is support for ownership of capital determining production, rather than actual use of production determining production then there is support for government.

This concisely encapsulates the essence what I see as the fundamental contradiction in "libertarianism," which I have never seen addressed by the Auburn crowd.

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January 30, 2011, 09:04:47 PM
 #105

[...] but as long as there is support for ownership of capital determining production, rather than actual use of production determining production then there is support for government.

This concisely encapsulates the essence what I see as the fundamental contradiction in "libertarianism," which I have never seen addressed by the Auburn crowd.

This is still offtopic. Please start your own thread.

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January 30, 2011, 10:39:13 PM
 #106

I've started a new thread for discussing the private ownership of capital.
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February 02, 2011, 02:27:03 AM
 #107


So, back to the Austrian economics study group....  Tongue   If anyone is still paying attention to this thread and is still interested I would recommend either "The Case Against the Fed" by Murray Rothbard or "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlett.  I realize these are "introductory" books and not full-fledged Austrian classics, but as the previous attempt aimed too high perhaps this is the best way to start.  These books are not too long nor very heavy reading and yet have excellent applicable concepts.  Let me know if anyone is on board with this.



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February 02, 2011, 04:42:32 PM
 #108

I still suggest Lessons for a Young Economist, now available in HTML too here. I really think that it is better to learn about praxeology first and start small before really tackling the problems we have today. Certain philosophical doctrines are so dominant today that people are unable to even consider that we could get genuine scientific knowledge from the social sciences, so I think it goes a long way to see why what we're doing is scientific and not just mere opinion or wordplay.

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February 03, 2011, 08:29:36 AM
 #109

I've already suggested even simplier, by recommending Whatever Happened to Penny Candy from the Uncle Eric series, which is also based on praxeology, but no one would bite.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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February 03, 2011, 09:04:07 AM
 #110

The form of biting implemented in browsers by clicking on the displayed string doesn't seem to work, which seems to detract from the biteableness of the referred text. Wink

My browser did however bite on an earlier recommendation but I have not yet gotten to the thusly created browser-tab to actualy digest bitten-off tabful of data.

-MarkM- (And it's the one claiming to be html I 'bat', not pdf or suchlike (those would have lower priority for technical reasons.)

(Thinking of html versus other formats reminds me Bucky Fuller's "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth" is html. What the heck brand of economics if any would that fall into? Un-austrian? Somewhat austrian? Anti-austrian? Not-economics? Pseudo-economics? Etc...)

(Yes I know, I too failed to make my mention biteable. What for would a link to the BFI be wanted here if e.g. it is totally alien to all things austrian?)



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February 04, 2011, 05:21:43 AM
 #111


I would be fine with "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy".  I'm just very poor so was trying to find books I knew were free online in PDF form.  However, it is possible my local library would have a copy I can check out.  Let's do it.  I keep getting more and more opportunities to argue with Keynsianists and Statists.  I need to fill in the holes in my Austrian education.  I will find a copy somewhere I can read.  We can discuss it focusing on praxeology and then move on to something a little more complicated.  Let's DO this.  Who's in?

kiba
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February 04, 2011, 04:14:28 PM
 #112


I would be fine with "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy".  I'm just very poor so was trying to find books I knew were free online in PDF form. 

You don't need to worry about finding Austrian economic books because mises.org offered some of the largest selection of free economic books.

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February 04, 2011, 04:15:08 PM
 #113

If the library doesn't have it, request it through inter-library loan.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
austinlorenz
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February 27, 2011, 08:43:15 PM
 #114

http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2010/07/why-graduate-students-not-only-should-but-must-read-rothbards-man-economy-and-state.html

Quote
When I teach my PhD course in the Austrian Theory of the Market Process I assign four required books that in my opinion students must master to make a contribution to the this literature --- Mises, Human Action; Hayek, Individualism and Economic Order; Kirzner, Competition and Entrepreneurship; and Rothbard, Man, Economy and State.


marcus_of_augustus
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February 28, 2011, 12:26:40 AM
 #115


F. Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" is a bit of a foundation stone to get one started with.

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February 28, 2011, 07:38:43 AM
 #116

Its a very good idea to have group of bit coiners where we can discuss with each other . I think this forum is the best to share our ideas in shape of groups as bit coiners . Are you ready for it ?

Vishal Bhatia (http://www.vishalbhatia.com/Training.htm)
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March 01, 2011, 06:26:17 PM
 #117

How do you propose this group should work?

I have some ideas regarding the ideas of "free banking" of Selgin and White and the problems bitcoin would have once it reaches its "coin" limit, and how to solve this problem.

LOL look who I found. You are the same hugolp as on ronpaulforums right? Cheesy I guess it's true what they say about great minds and all that.. Grin


Damn it, a day should have more hours cause now I have to get up to speed on this thread and join in Tongue

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

If however you enjoyed my post: 15j781DjuJeVsZgYbDVt2NZsGrWKRWFHpp
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March 01, 2011, 06:45:20 PM
 #118

I just bought Tom Wood's Rollback. I read the first couple of chapters so far and it is quite excellent.

I was sold after watching this video.
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March 04, 2011, 05:11:27 AM
 #119

I just bought Tom Wood's Rollback. I read the first couple of chapters so far and it is quite excellent.

I was sold after watching this video.

Ha, nice.  My Austrian economics group is reading this book in the next two weeks.  I'm looking forward to it.
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