A Dozen Dangerous Presumptions of Crisis Policymaking

Congress and the president have adopted many critically important policies in great haste during brief periods of perceived national emergency. During the first “hundred days” of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration in the spring of 1933, for example, the government abandoned the gold standard, enacted a system of wide-ranging controls, taxes, and subsidies in agriculture, and set in motion a…

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Elections in the Bicameral Congress

[Chapter 14 of Rothbard's newly edited and released Conceived in Liberty, vol. 5, The New Republic: 1784–1791.] The nationalists who went into the convention agreed on certain broad objectives, crucial for a new government, all designed to remodel the United States into a country with the British political structure. They had the ultimate advantage of any group that knows what it wants in…

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The Enemy Is Always the State

The web loves nothing more than a good brawl, so people often write me to ask me to respond to a critic of LRC or the Mises Institute. There's certainly no shortage of them, and they come from the Left, the Right, and everything in between. My first thought on the request is that the archive speaks for itself, and…

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The Problem with "Just Do What the Cops Say and You Won't Get Hurt"

New evidence has emerged in the case of 73-year old Karen Garner, an 80-pound woman with dementia and sensory aphasia. Newly-released video shows Garner was beaten to the point of having her arm broken and her shoulder dislocated while being arrested for an alleged attempted theft of $13.88. In June 2020, Garner, had apparently attempted to leave a Wal-Mart in Loveland, Colorado with…

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The Political Economy of Fear

[S]ince love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.  — Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513 All animals experience fear—human beings, perhaps, most of all. Any animal incapable of fear would have been hard pressed to survive, regardless of its size, speed, or other attributes. Fear alerts…

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The Right to Ignore the State

[This essay is taken from chapter 19 of Spencer's first major work of political philosophy—Social Statics: or, The Conditions essential to Happiness specified, and the First of them Developed (1851)—in which his first principle is equal liberty: "that every man may claim the fullest liberty to exercise his faculties compatible with the possession of like liberty by every other man."]…

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America’s "Great Men" and the Constitutional Convention

[Chapter 13 of Rothbard's newly edited and released Conceived in Liberty, vol. 5, The New Republic: 1784–1791.] From the very beginning of the great emerging struggle over the Constitution the Antifederalist forces suffered from a grave and debilitating problem of leadership. The problem was that the liberal leadership was so conservatized that most of them agreed that centralizing revisions of the Articles were…

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The Bigotry of the Literati

[Excerpted from The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality (1954).] A superficial observer of present-day ideologies could easily fail to recognize the prevailing bigotry of the molders of public opinion and the machinations that render inaudible the voice of dissenters. There seems to be disagreement with regard to issues considered as important. Communists, socialists, and interventionists, and the various sects and schools of these…

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