What Killed the Four Horsemen?
George F. Smith
Once upon a time, in the first half of the 1800s, we had something called a free economy. It was not fully free, only nearly so. But freedom brings little glory to the politicians, so they decided to get more involved. In return for favors, they gave taxpayer loot to their friends to build railroads. During the latter part of the 19th century, the economy thrived but so did corruption. The...
Why Support the State?
I've been baffled for a long time as to why support for the State remains so high, despite its obvious inefficiency and waste, not to mention violence and oppression. Certainly this is a complex phenomenon, the individual causes of which cannot be easily disentangled. Ultimately, any State must enjoy support (or at least resigned acceptance) from a large portion of its population in order to...
So Smash the State, Already!
Thomas L. Knapp
Let me get right to the point: I am not an 'anarcho-capitalist,' nor am I an 'individualist anarchist' or a 'philosophical anarchist' or even, in the way the term tends to be understood, a 'rational anarchist' (although I am both rational and an anarchist). I'm not a 'socialist anarchist' or 'communist anarchist' or an 'anarcho-syndicalist' (although I am both an anarchist and, in some respects,...
NoFly Takes Off!
The headlines are grim: At American Airline's St. Louis hub, departing flights are down from 361 to 226. Fliers have 58 destinations to choose from, compared to 82 in 2000. One hundred and thirty four big jets serve the city, down from 193. As you read these headlines, you undoubtedly remember my thoughtful presentation of a solution to the economic plight of the airlines a couple of years ago:...
Federal Register Watch
What freedoms have you lost this week?
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents. This column attempts to summarize the highlights (or lowlights) of the Federal Register during the preceding week.
Instructions for subscribing to the Federal...
Famous Preachers or Invertebrate Bootlickers?
Christians have an amazing ability to disengage their intellects. Let me relate an innocuous story in order to illustrate my point.
I recently received a few e-mails about a White House lunch attended by several "famous preachers," including the author Max Lucado. According to Lucado, Bush attributed his strength to the prayers of the American people. Bush also asked for prayers for his wife and...
Shades of Grey (and Blue)
1Some readers have asked me to explain the reference to the 'sea-green banner of liberty.' The sea-green banner was the emblem of the Levellers, the first mass libertarian movement in history. The Levellers came to prominence in the 1640s, during the English Civil War, when ' to their credit ' they found themselves at odds with both King and Cromwell. They had a crucial influence on later...
Wars are seductive as women in the night. Past midnight in February of 1967 we stood, the platoon and I, on the flight line at El Toro Marine Air Station, gateway to Asia. On the tarmac big jets howled and moaned. The smell of burned jet fuel blew in the Pacific breeze. We felt the exhilaration of being part of something huge moving in the darkness, of going to the action, of leaving the mundane...
Bushes, Shrubs, and Other Dangerous Tinder
So, . . . . I'm freshly arrived at work the other evening with a nice, positive, philosophical and industrious attitude about being there. For me, achieving this sort of mindset is no small feat and it requires a good deal of mental effort and forced self-discipline. Naturally, I was feeling just a little bit proud of myself for getting there. Then I spied the disturbing image of a pointing and...
What About Uncivil Liberties
One of the things that has caught my eye over the last few years is the notion of "civil" liberties. In the beginning, it was just liberties, or libertarianism, or a one-word phrase to describe liberty that was seen. Do you remember "freedom"? I have fond memories of it.