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Joined: 2009-08-30
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Roderick T. Long is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University; President of the Molinari Institute; Editor of the Libertarian Nation Foundation newsletter Formulations; and an Adjunct Scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.  He received his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1992.  His last book was Reason and Value: Aristotle versus Rand; his next book will be Wittgenstein, Austrian Economics, and the Logic of Action.  He maintains a blog on his website, Praxeology.net.

 

RECENT COMMENTS BY Roderick Long

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Columns by Roderick Long

Anti-Gouging Idiocy
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Roderick Long 2004-08-15 16:00
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 In the wake of Hurricane Charley, we're seeing the usual...
Flaming Swords, Devilish Anarchists, and Boolean Logic: The First War on Terror
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Roderick Long 2004-07-27 16:00
On September 6th, 1901 ' almost exactly 100 years before the 9/11 attacks ' President William McKinley was fatally shot by a somewhat bewildered Polish anarchist named Leon Czolgosz. The results were in fact eerily similar to those of the 9/11 attacks: nationwide hysteria, fueled by the government and its claque, was unleashed against immigrants and ideological dissidents. All...
Libertarianism in One Sentence
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Roderick Long 2004-05-30 16:00
David Bergland once offered Libertarianism in One Lesson. I would like to offer libertarianism in one sentence. The most succinct formulation of libertarianism I can think of is this: Other people are not your property. In other words: They are not yours to boss around. Their lives are not yours to micromanage. The fruits of their labour are not yours to dispose...
Just Ignore Them
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Roderick Long 2004-04-15 16:00
Here's a cheery thought on this gloomy Tax Day: government is one of the few problems that can be gotten rid of by ignoring it. In this respect it compares favourably with such hardier ills as tornadoes, swarming piranhas, and male pattern baldness. There's a catch, of course. If only a few people ignore the government, it won't go away; instead it will come down on those few people...
The Power of Language and the Language of Power
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Roderick Long 2004-04-14 16:00
Geekery Today reminds us of the following marvelous quotation from George Orwell's 1946 essay 'Politics and the English Language': In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments...
This Land Is Mine
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Roderick Long 2004-03-29 16:00
There have always been those, even (or perhaps especially) within the libertarian movement, who have argued that land is a legitimate exception to the liberal presumption in favour of unencumbered private property. A number of different grounds, varying in cogency, have been advanced on behalf of this claim (the best one is Herbert Spencer's, though it doesn't persuade me ' I'll explain...
Xenophon on Law and Violence
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Roderick Long 2004-03-22 17:00
The Greek philosopher Xenophon, pupil of Socrates, was certainly no libertarian; but his writings contain a number of delightful passages pointing in a libertarian direction. Two of the best follow. In his Memorabilia, or Recollections of Socrates, Xenophon reports what scholars generally agree is his own invented conversation between the complacent democratic politician Pericles and his...
The Great Divorce
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Roderick Long 2004-03-15 17:00
As readers of this web journal know, I have long defended the anarchist version of libertarianism against its minarchist critics. Tibor Machan, however, has recently argued (in 'Anarchism and Minarchism: A Rapprochement,' Journal des 'conomistes et des 'tudes Humaines 12, no. 4 (December 2002), pp. 569-588) that the opposition between anarchism and minarchism represents a false dichotomy. Dr....
Egoism and Anarchy
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Roderick Long 2004-02-26 17:00
During the late 1880s, a fierce debate broke out in the pages of the libertarian periodical Liberty over egoistic versus natural-rights approaches to anarchism. (The various contributions to this debate will eventually be available in the Molinari Institute's online library; in the meantime, for details see Frank H. Brooks' The Individualist Anarchists: An Anthology of Liberty (1881-1908) or...
Today Baghdad, Tomorrow Barsoom?
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Roderick Long 2004-01-20 17:00
On January 10th, the London Telegraph, in a story titled 'George W. Bush boldly goes to Mars,' hailed Bush's plans for a manned Mars mission as an expression of 'mankind's loftiest ambitions.' Now I'm as big a fan of space exploration as anyone. I long to see Mars and other planets visited, colonised, even terraformed. I've watched the progress of the latest Mars rover with fascination....
Anarchism as Constitutionalism, Part 2
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Roderick Long 2004-01-05 17:00
In response to my column Anarchism as Constitutionalism: A Reply to Bidinotto, Robert Bidinotto writes: Dear Roderick Long: Your online critique of my anarchism piece was just called to my attention. Let me assure you that I still stand firmly behind what I wrote in 'The Contradiction In Anarchism.' Briefly, I don't believe your commentary begins to satisfactorily address...
Anarchism as Constitutionalism
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Roderick Long 2003-12-14 17:00
I was recently pointed to, or reminded of, Robert J. Bidinotto's article The Contradiction in Anarchism. The article is nearly a decade old, so I don't know whether Bidinotto still stands by everything in it; but his criticisms of Market Anarchism are nonetheless worth addressing. Bidinotto contrasts Market Anarchism unfavourably with constitutionally limited government. Because 'conflicting...
An End to Allegiance
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Roderick Long 2003-10-21 16:00
The Pledge of Allegiance is in the news again, but as usual, the only part that is regarded as controversial is the reference to God. In fact the entire Pledge is a repellent statist credo (as befits its author, 'Christian Socialist' Francis Bellamy, brother of the Edward Bellamy who wrote the tiresome utopian-collectivist science-fiction novels Looking Backward and Equality).
Children of the State
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Roderick Long 2003-10-06 16:00
When a Kucinich supporter recently hacked the CBSNews.com website to gain more attention for the Democratic presidential candidate, Kucinich's official campaign denied any knowledge of or responsibility for the incident. According to CBS, campaign spokesman David Swanson said, 'Our campaign would never do such a thing or condone such a thing. We are not interested in taking over someone else's...
The Lesson of 9/11
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Roderick Long 2003-09-14 16:00
I've argued against intellectual property elsewhere. But here's a short and sweet version of the argument: Suppose I compose a poem and recite it to you. As a result, you learn the poem by heart. In effect, there is now a copy of the poem stored in your brain. Who owns that copy? The only answer must be: you do. You own yourself; you own your brain and the contents of your...
The Lesson of 9/11
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Roderick Long 2003-09-11 16:00
Today is the second anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. What should that mean to us? For me, the chief lesson of 9/11 is the simultaneous power and impotence of government. 9/11 vividly demonstrated how powerless government is to protect us and make us safe. The United States government is the most powerful organisation that has ever existed in human history. It possesses untold wealth...
Jesus Wants Your Money
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Roderick Long 2003-08-31 16:00
On September 9, Alabamians will go to the polls to vote on a proposed tax increase. Like a 21st-century Son of Sam, Governor Bob Riley has claimed that his support for the measure is based on instructions from Jesus.
The Stone Idol
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Roderick Long 2003-08-27 16:00
Libertarians are divided over Alabama Justice Roy Moore and his two-and-a-half-ton Ten Commandments monument. Those who favour the monument's removal from the courthouse rotunda see it as an issue of the separation of church and state. Those who favour allowing the monument to stay see it as an issue of states' rights. In the end I come down on the side of favouring removal; but the issues...
Who Defends Marriage?
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Roderick Long 2003-08-25 16:00
One popular argument against same-sex marriages is a linguistic one: marriage, it is alleged, is by definition a relationship between a man and a woman, so whatever legal relation gay couples may wish to establish for themselves, it shouldn't be called marriage.
A Double Standard?
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Roderick Long 2003-03-18 17:00
In response to my column 'An Open Letter to Osama bin Laden,' Free Rabeman writes: I feel sorry to say that while the arguments would have been proper within a discussion between libertarians only, such a letter supposed to be addressed to one of the most evil criminal in this world and history is an absolute outrage. Such a letter can not pass the test of a Randian analysis. Never...
An Open Letter to the Peace Movement
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Roderick Long 2003-03-10 17:00
Dear Peace Activists:All honour to you. In your opposition to the United States' impending war on Iraq, you represent a welcome voice for sanity and civilisation, lifted up against the incessant baying of the dogs of war.But I want to urge you to follow the logic of your position just a bit further.Much has been said, and eloquently so, about the need, in dealings between nation and nation, to...
Shades of Grey (and Blue)
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Roderick Long 2003-02-19 17:00
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...
An Open Letter to the Peace Movement
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Roderick Long 2003-03-10 17:00
Dear Peace Activists:All honour to you. In your opposition to the United States' impending war on Iraq, you represent a welcome voice for sanity and civilisation, lifted up against the incessant baying of the dogs of war.But I want to urge you to follow the logic of your position just a bit further.Much has been said, and eloquently so, about the need, in dealings between nation and nation, to...
Libertarianism in One Sentence
10
Roderick Long 2004-05-30 16:00
David Bergland once offered Libertarianism in One Lesson. I would like to offer libertarianism in one sentence. The most succinct formulation of libertarianism I can think of is this: Other people are not your property. In other words: They are not yours to boss around. Their lives are not yours to micromanage. The fruits of their labour are not yours to dispose...