Archive for January, 2011

Lew Rockwell and Unthinking Libertarians on "The Unthinking Right"

January 9th, 2011 No comments

Lew Rockwell has a curiously perceptive yet blind post out yesterday (The Unthinking Right, Friday, January 7) on how far the Right has drifted from its principles on matters of “Defense”; he fails to see the glaring dynamic of “defend America” corporate statism involved. This oversight is not surprising, as it is reflected in the role that most of the libertarian community plays in defending our corporate-statist complex on environmental and other matters.

I tried to leave the following comment on the LvMI comment thread for Lew’s post (but curiously don’t see it posted [I see it up now]) (emphasis and embedded links added):

Lew, a great piece, but your ending is feeble and unenlightening.

You say that ‘”it is hard to make sense of why people on the Right are so solidly proimperialist” and can come up with only two possible explanations – explanations that barely scratch the political economy/statism/kleptocracy surface and ignore our tribal proclivities and ability to self-deceive.

The Right loves “defense” because it’s a great tool of theft by those in power and the military-defense kleptoelites who support them; great because it allows them to deceive themselves and voters on the Right that they are defending all that’s good and holy while ripping us all off.

But it’s not surprising that you and others on this comment thread miss this; it’s of a piece with the reflexive defense by you and other libertarians of BP and fossil fuel interests while attacking ‘enviro-fascists’, scientists, and common folk who are injured/threatened by statist corporations that, via the grant of limited liability of shareholders, embody moral hazard that has fuelled the growth of a regulatory state that corporations have since captured.




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To Tom Lorenzo: when explicating "Lincoln and the Growth of Statism", don't forget Lincoln and the Growth of Corporate-Statism

January 8th, 2011 No comments

I left the following comments recently at Thomas L. Lorenzo‘s December 15, 2010 Mises Daily post, The Great Centralizer: Lincoln and the Growth of Statism in America:

TokyoTom January 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

Tom, great post/precis of your book.

I do hope you’ll also take note in your lectures and further writings of how the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment (agreed to by southern states as a condition of ending the Reconstruction) was perverted by the railroads and then other corporations to further liberate shareholders from the control of the states, by preventing states in which they were foreign corporations from treating them differently from locally established (and locally-owned) corporations. (I’ve read that something like 95% of “Equal Protection” jurisprudence involves corporations, not actual persons.)

The result was further expansion :

– of corporate power,
– of the moral hazard they embody via the grant of limited liability of shareholders for injuries to third persons,
– of mass torts by corporations,
– of unions to balance the power of executives,
– of efforts by citizens to run to Washington to seek regulations to rein in corporate excesses,
– of the weakening of the states and the expansion of “Commerce Clause” and “General Welfare” doctrines and
– of the capture of the Federal government by corporate insiders.

More here:

Yours in striking at the root,



TokyoTom January 6, 2011 at 6:07 am
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Does the LRC post on "When Goliath Is the ‘Victim’" refer to BP?

January 5th, 2011 No comments

So I wondered when I saw William Grigg’s “When Goliath Is the ‘Victim’” post at LRC last month.

The first paragragh hinted at the answer, while leaving me hopeful:

How does one simultaneously swagger and simper? Is it possible for someone to beat pridefully on his chest, even as his lip quivers in self-pity? Apparently so, given the evidence provided in Charles Krauthammer’s column today (December 3).

A little more reading left me disappointed, as I couldn’t help recalling the sympathies expressed by Lew Rockwell and Stephan Kinsella for poor li’l BP:

But I keep forgetting that we love statist corporations here, and hate the foolish “enviros” and other citizens who think that their only recourse against them is a bigger government.

Will I ever learn? Here’s to hope in the New Year!

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Larry Lessig sounds Libertarian; says it's time to "strike at the root" of evil of a corporate-funded "marionette government"

January 5th, 2011 2 comments

I’ve discussed previously other pieces of commentary by Harvard Law professor Larry Lessig (now director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard; formerly internet guru at Stanford Law School). Lessig is now focussed on how corporate influence is skewing our reporesentative democracy. 

This time I note his October 16, 2010 presentation at TEDxSan Antonio, which was recently posted on YouTube; I recommend it to readers:


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