“The less government we have, the better.”[1] So declared Ralph Waldo Emerson, a man not usually treated as a classical liberal. Yet this man—the Sage of Concord—held views that cannot be described as anything but classical liberal or libertarian. His is a pastoral libertarianism that glorifies nature as a source of insight and inspiration for those with a poetical sense and a prophetic vision. None other than Cornel West, no friend of the free market, has said that “Emerson is neither a liberal nor a conservative and certainly not a socialist or even a civic republican. Rather he is a petit bourgeois libertarian, with at times anarchist tendencies and limited yet genuine democratic sentiments.”[2] “Throughout his career,” Neal Dolan adds, “Emerson remained fully committed to the Scottish-inflected Lockean-libertarian liberalism whose influence we have traced to his earliest notebooks.”[3] An abundance of evidence supports this view. Dolan himself has written an entire book on the subject: Emerson’s Liberalism (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009). Emerson extolled the “infinitude of the private man”[4] and projected a “strong libertarian-liberal emphasis”[5] in his essays and speeches. He was not an anarchist: he believed that “[p]ersonal rights, universally the same, demand a government framed on the ratio of the census” because “property demands a government framed on the ratio of owners and of owning.”[6] Nevertheless, he opined that “[e]very actual State is corrupt”[7] and that, if the people in a given territory were wise, no government would be necessary: “[W]ith the appearance of the wise man, the State expires. The appearance of character makes the State unnecessary.”[8] One need only look to one of Emerson’s most famous essays, “Self Reliance,” for proof of his libertarianism. “Self‑Reliance” is perhaps the most exhilarating expression of individualism ever written, premised as it is on the idea that each of us possesses a degree of genius that can be realized through confidence, intuition, and nonconformity. “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,” Emerson proclaims, “that is genius.”[9] Genius, then, is a belief in the awesome power of the human mind and in its ability to divine truths that, although comprehended differently by each individual, are common to everyone. Not all genius, on this view, is necessarily or universally right, since genius is, by definition, a belief only, not a definite reality. Yet it is a belief that leads individuals to “trust thyself”[10] and thereby to realize their fullest potential and to energize their most creative faculties. Such self‑realization has a spiritual component insofar as “nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind”[11] and “no law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.”[12] According to Emerson, genius precedes society and the State, which corrupt rather than clarify reasoning and which thwart rather than generate productivity. “Wild liberty develops iron conscience” whereas a “[w]ant of liberty […] stupefies conscience.”[13] History shows that great minds have challenged the conventions and authority of society and the State and that “great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good‑humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side.”[14] Accordingly, we ought to refuse to “capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.”[15] We ought, that is, to be deliberate, nonconformist pursuers of truth rather than of mere apprehensions of truth prescribed for us by others. “Whoso would be a man,” Emerson says, “must be a noncomformist.”[16] Self‑Interest and Conviction For Emerson as for Ayn Rand, rational agents act morally by pursuing their self‑interests, including self‑interests in the well‑being of family, friends, and neighbors, who are known and tangible companions rather than abstract political concepts. In Emerson’s words, “The only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.”[17] Or: “Few and mean as my gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony.”[18] It is in everyone’s best interest that each individual resides in his own truth without selling off his liberty.[19] “It is,” in other words, “easy to see that a greater self-reliance must work a revolution in all the offices and relations of men.”[20] It is not that self‑assurance equates with rightness or that stubbornness is a virtue; it is that confidence in what one knows and believes is a condition precedent to achieving one’s goals. Failures are inevitable, as are setbacks; only by exerting one’s will may one overcome the failures and setbacks that are needed to achieve success. Because “man’s nature is a sufficient advertisement to him of the character of his fellows,”[21] self-reliance enables cooperative enterprise: “Whilst I do what is fit for me, and abstain from what is unfit, my neighbor and I shall often agree in our means, and work together for a time to one end.”[22] Counterintuitively, only in total isolation and autonomy does “all mean egotism vanish.”[23] If, as Emerson suggests, a “man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if everything were titular and ephemeral but he,”[24] how should he treat the poor? Emerson supplies this answer: Do not tell me, as a good man did to‑day, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong. There is a class of persons to whom by all spiritual affinity I am bought and sold; for them I will go to prison, if need be; but your miscellaneous popular charities; the education at college of fools; the building of meeting‑houses to the vain end to which many now stand; alms to sots; and the thousandfold Relief Societies;—though I confess with shame I sometimes succumb and give the dollar, it is a wicked dollar which by and by I shall have the manhood to withhold.[25] These lines require qualification. Emerson is not damning philanthropy or charity categorically or unconditionally; after all, he will, he says, go to prison for certain individuals with whom he shares a special relationship. “I shall endeavor to nourish my parents, to support my family, to be the chaste husband of one wife,” he elaborates.[26] Emerson is, instead, pointing out, with much exhibition, that one does not act morally simply by giving away money without conviction or to subsidize irresponsible, unsustainable, or exploitative business activities. It is not moral to give away a little money that you do not care to part with or to fund an abstract cause when you lack knowledge of, and have no stake in, its outcome. Only when you give money to people or causes with which you are familiar,[27] and with whom or which you have something at stake, is your gift meaningful; and it is never moral to give for show or merely to please society. To give morally, you must mean to give morally—and have something to lose. The best thing one can do for the poor is to help them to empower themselves to achieve their own ends and to utilize their own skills—to put “them once more in communication with their own reason.”[28] “A man is fed,” Emerson says, not that he may be fed, but that he may work.”[29] Emerson’s work ethic does not demean the poor; it builds up the poor. It is good and right to enable a poor man to overcome his conditions and to elevate his station in life, but there is no point in trying to establish absolute equality among people, for only the “foolish […] suppose every man is as every other man.”[30] The wise man, by contrast, “shows his wisdom in separation, in gradation, and his scale of creatures and of merits as wide as nature.”[31] Such separation and gradation are elements of the beautiful variety and complexity of the natural, phenomenal world in which man pursues his aims and accomplishes what he wills. Dissent Emerson famously remarks that a “foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”[32] Much ink has been spilled to explain (or explain away) these lines. I take them to mean, in context, that although servile flattery and showy sycophancy may gain a person recognition and popularity, they will not make that person moral or great but, instead, weak and dependent. There is no goodness or greatness in a consistency imposed from the outside and against one’s better judgment; many ideas and practices have been consistently bad and made worse by their very consistency. “With consistency,” therefore, as Emerson warns, “a great soul has simply nothing to do.”[33] Ludwig von Mises seems to have adopted the animating, affirming individualism of Emerson, and even, perhaps, Emerson’s dictum of nonconformity. Troping Emerson, Mises remarks that “literature is not conformism, but dissent.”[34] “Those authors,” he adds, “who merely repeat what everybody approves and wants to hear are of no importance. What counts alone is the innovator, the dissenter, the harbinger of things unheard of, the man who rejects the traditional standards and aims at substituting new values and ideas for old ones.”[35] This man does not mindlessly stand for society and the State and their compulsive institutions; he is “by necessity anti‑authoritarian and anti‑governmental, irreconcilably opposed to the immense majority of his contemporaries. He is precisely the author whose books the greater part of the public does not buy.”[36] He is, in short, an Emersonian, as Mises himself was. The Marketplace of Ideas To be truly Emersonian you may not accept the endorsements and propositions here as unconditional truth, but must, instead, read Emerson and Mises and Rand for yourself to see whether their individualism is alike in its affirmation of human agency resulting from inspirational nonconformity. If you do so with an inquiring seriousness, while trusting the integrity of your own impressions, you will, I suspect, arrive at the same conclusion I have reached. There is an understandable and powerful tendency among libertarians to consider themselves part of a unit, a movement, a party, or a coalition, and of course it is fine and necessary to celebrate the ways in which economic freedom facilitates cooperation and harmony among groups or communities; nevertheless, there is also a danger in shutting down debate and in eliminating competition among different ideas, which is to say, a danger in groupthink or compromise, in treating the market as an undifferentiated mass divorced from the innumerable transactions of voluntarily acting agents. There is, too, the tendency to become what Emerson called a “retained attorney”[37] who is able to recite talking points and to argue the predictable “airs of the bench”[38] without engaging the opposition in a meaningful debate. Emerson teaches not only to follow your convictions but to engage and interact with others lest your convictions be kept to yourself and deprived of any utility. It is the free play of competing ideas that filters the good from the bad; your ideas aren’t worth a lick until you’ve submitted them to the test of the marketplace. “It is easy in the world,” Emerson reminds us, “to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”[39] We can stand together only by first standing alone. Thus, “[w]e must go alone.”[40] You must “nsist on yourself”[41] and “peak the truth.”[42] You must channel your knowledge and originality to enable others to empower themselves. All collectives are made up of constituent parts; the unit benefits from the aggregate constructive action of motivated individuals. Emerson teaches us that if we all, each one of us, endeavor to excel at our favorite preoccupations and to expand the reach of our talent and industry, we will better the lives of those around us and pass along our prosperity to our posterity. [1] Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Politics,” in Emerson: Essays & Poems (The Library of America, 1996), p. 567. [2] Cornel West, The American Evasion of Philosophy (University of Wisconsin Press, 1989), p. 40. [3] Neal Dolan, “Property in Being,” in A Political Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson, edited by Alan M. Levine and Daniel S. Malachuk (The University Press of Kentucky, 2011), p. 371. [4] Ralph Waldo Emerson, correspondence in The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 16 vols., ed. William H. Gilman, Ralph H. Orth, et al. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960-1982). This quote comes from Vol. 7, p. 342. [5] Neal Dolan, Emerson’s Liberalism (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009), p. 182. [6] Emerson, “Politics,” at 560. [7] Emerson, “Politics,” at 563. [8] Emerson, “Politics,” at 568. [9] Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” in Emerson: Essays & Poems (The Library of America, 1996), p. 259. [10] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 260. [11] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 261. [12] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 262. [13] Emerson, “Politics” at 565-566. [14] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 259. [15] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 262. [16] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 261. [17] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 262. [18] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 263. [19] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 274. [20] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 275. [21] Emerson, “Politics,” at 566. [22] Emerson, “Politics,” at 567. [23] Emerson, “Nature,” in Emerson: Essays and Poems, p. 10. The original reads “all mean egotism vanishes” rather than “vanish.” [24] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 262. [25] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 262-63. [26] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 273. [27] “Consider whether you have satisfied your relations to father, mother, cousin, neighbor, town, cat, and dog,” Emerson says. Emerson, “Self Reliance,” at 274. [28] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 276. [29] Emerson, “Nature,” at 13. [30] Emerson, “Nature,” at 27. [31] Emerson, “Nature,” at 27. [32] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 265. [33] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 265. [34] Ludwig von Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality (Auburn: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2008), p. 51. [35] Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, at 51. [36] Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, at 51. [37] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 264. [38] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 264. [39] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 263. [40] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 272. [41] Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” at 278. [42] Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Divinity School Address,” in Emerson: Essays & Poems (The Library of America, 1996), p. 77. This article was originally published on January 7, 2015 at The Literary Lawyer: A Forum for the Legal and Literary Communities. The featured image is in public domain (CC0 — photoshopped).  

Since most libertarians are information-based thinkers (traditionally called “left-brained”), and poetry is creativity-based (traditionally called “right-brained”), it comes as no surprise that poetry seems to have very little traction with libertarians. Certainly, not much attention is paid to it. It is also largely ignored by the mainstream of our culture, as well, leading one to believe that it is perhaps a dead and useless art form for everyone save a few extremely right-brained and flighty weirdos and artsy-fartsy types. And yet. Here on D-Block, I explore the intersection between art (usually in written form) and libertarian ideals. Today, I offer this little audio poem, which contains a parable-ish lesson on life and also some sound effects and clips from the greatest-ever TV show, THE WIRE. Make of it what you will… http://frankmarcopolos.liberty.me/wp-content/uploads/sites/136/2015/01/warningtheflame.mp3 **** Hat tip to @leannebaker for putting THE WIRE back on my mind.

That which is partial cannot describe the whole. Science and religion are the two tools for human discovery of reality but when these are not appreciated to be in harmony then the end result will be incomplete, and unsatisfying to human reason. The atheistic leanings in some anarcho-capitalist circles will ring hollow to those people who have a more inclusive understanding of the workings of the world as perceived by subjective beings – us. An improved definition of praxeology: The study of purposeful human action by spiritual beings. Twitter @DivineEconomy Sign up for my very appealing newsletter! @ https://www.rebelmouse.com/Bruce_Koerber/ http://bruce-koerber.squarespace.com http://divineeconomytheory.wordpress.com/ RSS Feed

The admins of some of the most popular liberty-minded pages on Facebook continue their weekly live video show called Beer and Bastards! This week, we’re gonna discuss our favorite economists and talk about celebritarians. Matt Palumbo of Being Classically Liberal Corey Iacono of Being Classically Liberal Mike Lee of Being Liberal Logic Jason Hubbard of We Are Capitalists David Lee of We Are Capitalists Will Ricciardella of The Analytical Conservative Kevin Ryan of Unbiased America We’ll be discussing the issues of the day and pounding beers in an attempt to see who is the most intelligent and who has the strongest liver. We’ll also be joined by some of the best known personalities, talking heads, and pompous windbags in America. Each and every Wednesday at 7:00pm EST. B.Y.O.B.

Some of the free market’s opponents have gone out of their way to demonize it by arguing that the free market is an economic system that is incompatible with democracy, and that market-oriented institutions and reforms have historically been forced upon unwilling populations by despotic autocrats. This criticism is primarily derived from those who consider themselves to be “democratic socialists”, which is an ideology which advocates the democratic management of the economy and society in general. The most frequently cited evidence in favor of the belief that free markets are incompatible with democracy is the fact that in the 1970’s, General Augusto Pinochet lead a military coup which resulted in his becoming the dictator of Chile. Using the iron fist of the military he was able to force free market reforms upon the Chilean economy. Those who opposed him were tortured and killed. Based on examples like this, journalist Naomi Klein has gone so far as to say that “[f]rom Chile to China to Iraq, torture has been a silent partner in the global free-market crusade.” (p.15 of The Shock Doctrine) Case closed right? Not exactly. While it is true that there are some instances in which totalitarian states force market reforms on their people, these occurrences are few and far between and are not representative of the manner in which most countries adopt free market reforms (also known as economic liberalization). In fact, the data shows that democracies are more likely to undergo economic liberalization than autocracies/dictatorships. Research by Italian economists Francesco Giavazzi and Guido Tabellini used data from 140 countries over the time period 1960-2000 and came to the conclusion that “very few autocracies have pursued economic liberalizations…most economic liberalizations tend to be preceded by [democratic] political reforms, perhaps imposed by a struggling population on an unwilling leader”. Similarly, research published by the International Monetary Fund using data from 150 countries over the 1960-2004 time period concluded that: “Democracy has a positive and significant impact on the adoption of economic reforms [such as trade liberalization, privatization, and the overall reduction of state control over the economy] but there is no evidence that economic reforms foster democracy.” Using data from a 2006 survey of citizens in 28 formerly communist countries, economists from UC Berkeley and the Paris School of Economics found that “[there is] a positive and significant effect of democracy on support for a market economy”. It should come as no surprise then that in these formerly communist countries, research has found that “democracy facilitates economic liberalization.” A more recent (2014) survey conducted by Pew Research Center found that: “More than half in 21 of the 25 countries surveyed agree that most people are better off in a free market system even if there is some inequality… A global median of 66% say most people are better off under capitalism, even if some people are rich and some are poor.” Considering the fact that the data indicates that democracy is the political system most compatible with capitalism, it’s ironic that organizations such as the Young Democratic Socialists of America assert that: “Democracy and socialism go hand in hand.” Also, as noted earlier, individuals like Naomi Klein have advanced the argument that the spread of capitalism has been facilitated by human rights violations. Like the belief that capitalism is incompatible with democracy, this argument too has been refuted by the evidence. Art Carden and Robert Lawson used data from one hundred countries over six years to test the hypothesis that there is a relationship between economic liberalization and the use of torture. According to the economists, “…[our] results suggest that human rights abuses reduce rather than increase the pace at which countries adopt liberal economic institutions.” Moreover, economists Indra de Soysa and Krishna Chaitanya Vadlammanati conducted an analysis of the relationship between economic liberalization and human rights violations. Using data from 117 countries over the time period 1981-2006 they found that market-oriented economic reforms (economic liberalization) were associated with increases in respect for human rights. According to Soysa and Vadlammanati: “Using the best available data and empirical methods, we find positive effects of market-economic policy reforms on government respect for human rights…Our results support those who argue that freer markets generate better economic conditions and higher levels of social harmony and peace…” Ultimately, the claims that free markets are not compatible with democracy, or that liberal economic reforms are associated with increased human rights violations, are flatly untrue. Curiously enough, the data indicates that the empirical truth is exactly the opposite of what socialists would like, namely, that democratic countries are more likely to adopt capitalist institutions than autocracies.    

As an introductory article I thought it would be a good idea to provide a brief overview of the subject of longevity, why I think it is important and how it relates to the ideal of Liberty. Since ancient times mankind has been preoccupied if not obsessed with the idea of immortality, be it of the spirit or of the body the spirit inhabits. The pic of Gilgamesh is the oldest known recorded story, and in it we are told of a man’s quest for immortality (there is more to it of course, but for the sake of brevity I will leave it at that) and how after many trials and tribulations he was able to secure this elusive prize. Alchemists throughout the ages and across cultures have also sought immortality; in the West this quest became shrouded in mystery and hidden behind symbols and complex allegorical constructs to lead astray those who were not sincere in their hearts. In the far East Taoist developed Inner alchemy as a companion to the more external type, here the mind and the spirit took central roles, and our own bodies became the laboratories for our secret endeavors. East and West have several stories of “Immortals”, men and women who through hard work and dedication have unlocked the secrets of longevity and became immortal; thus acquiring true freedom, not only from time itself but from the constraints society places upon us. With the advent of the 21st century some in the scientific community have turned their sight on aging itself as a thing to be cured. Where the diseases we associate with growing old are nothing but symptoms of the actual disease “Aging”. Seven core elements have been identified that cause the physical body to age, and curing or “fixing” these will cure aging itself; thus prolonging our lifespans by dozens if not hundreds of years. New supplements created with this new-found knowledge can halt or slow down the aging process in our cells and in our bodies, buying us important time as the other causes for aging are addressed. Now, combine these supplements and modern treatments to slow down and even halt the aging process with the Internal techniques developed over thousands of years by the Taoist sages and Western Alchemists, and we have a profoundly powerful resource to live longer and better in ways never before available to our ancestors. If we are free from the constraints of a short and limited lifespan we are able to accomplish so much more, more productive years creating products and services and businesses. What if Edison, Tesla, Einstein, Dali or any number of great luminaries could have continued producing and creating value for a couple hundred years? If the skills and knowledge acquired over the first 50 years could be used productively for another 100 years, before old age sets in, what marvels and wondrous things we will be able to accomplish.

Bitcoin is great, say Bill Gates and Frederic Suares’ friends who actually understand it or have used it a bit (by the way, there is strong overlap between these two groups), but it’s still a nascent technology and an economic experiment. It has come far, but it’s still volatile, it’s still developing, and any merchant “accepting” it usually just means the merchant is converting the BTC to fiat instantly through a trusted third party. Frederic Suares learned about this the hard way after years of keeping tabs on the Bitcoin price, news, and merchant adoption cycle (spoiler alert: price affects news which affects merchant adoption). Creator of BrickAndCrypto.com, he has now taught dozens of people about the advantages of Bitcoin. San Diego, CA (Liberty.me) January 31st, 2015. “Wasn’t the point of Bitcoin to be simple to use, and even preferable to use because of the amazing cost-saving properties it has? So how does Bitcoin actually grow to that point? That is, what industries must start using Bitcoin and how in order to lower volatility and have merchants actually hold on to the bitcoins after they receive them from consumers?” Frederic Suares, expert author and independent digital currency consultant, says we will get there, but it will not be easy and it will take time: “as a payment solution for consumers, Bitcoin isn’t great. It’s hard for something to be a good investment and a stable currency. Because of the way Bitcoin payment processors work, merchants are given a set price by the payment processor for which Bitcoin can be sold for USD. This is helpful for merchants, but the buy-side pricing forces the consumer to pay up the full amount, and removes any chance of Bitcoin’s cost-saving properties to give the consumer a discount. Yes, there are services such as Gyft, which give you 3% back on Bitcoin gift card purchases (vs. 2 or 1% for Paypal and credit cards, respectively), but it’s often not enough to make up for Bitcoin’s volatility and items being sold at bid-side prices. Additionally, while Gyft does have a large selection of merchants, we all know and understand the limitations of gift cards, chiefly, there is only one place to spend your money, and trying to use any remnants of credit left on a gift card after the main purchase is a pain.” Pretty terrible for a “global Internet currency”. One Bitcoin CEO has recently explained: Payment processors, he said, could encourage merchants to offer consumers discounts, but he suggests they would face pressure from merchants who want to avoid added costs. Rather, Lukasiewicz believes the true potential of bitcoin in this industry will lie in helping credit card users to pay with their preferred brand in more places. “Allowing card payers to pay with their AmEx more places and things like that,” he said. For consumers, revolutionizing the last mile of a Bitcoin purchase or transaction could therefore be a big deal. Frederic Suares has talked about the global remittance industry and the impact Bitcoin could have on it before: “one of the most immediately recognizable ways in which Bitcoin can help the world is by helping the unbanked of the world (around half the global population) become their own bank and have access to that kind of infrastructure. Therefore, the remittance industry will be impacted heavily. There are several ways to go about this, such as unbanked Bitcoin ATMs, creating Bitcoin-only remittance services (for cost saving purposes… the trade off is ease of use), or just making current physical remittance businesses use and convert Bitcoin on both ends of the transaction (for ease of use… the trade off is less cost savings). Business to business (B2B) transactions completed all in Bitcoin will also help to grow the network, but there are a few flaws here too. For example, if you’re a business involved in the last step of selling a product, i.e. the consumer point of sale, and you convince your reseller to accept Bitcoin for whatever product you buy from him, that is an excellent first step, but there are few benefits to that transaction, and more than likely, especially if you are a large business, the Bitcoin B2B tools and the Bitcoin B2B liquidity aren’t there yet for you to reap any sort of significant benefits from this. For there to be benefits to giving your reseller bitcoins, you also need the reseller’s manufacturer to accept Bitcoin. So it is actually necessary for an entire supply chains to accept Bitcoin in order for anyone to receive these benefits. In fact, if this were the case, the savings would end up being passed down to consumers and would result in a significantly cheaper product.”2015 is promising for these reason, as we are beginning to see improvements in B2B tools and liquidity for institutional users and investors, such as Bitcoin ATM manufacturers. This is a major step forward in aggregating cost-savings down the supply chain, ultimately resulting in benefits to consumers and the world as a whole, all while cutting out the middleman, all of which are very real applications of one of Bitcoin’s core value propositions: frictionless transactions. For more information, or to receive Bitcoin consulting services, please visit brickandcrypto.com Sources: http://www.coindesk.com/coinsetter-ceo-taking-credit-cards-isnt-bitcoins-big-opportunity/ http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-b2b-payments/ http://www.coindesk.com/bill-gates-bitcoin-alone-wont-solve-global-payments-challenges/

This is the 4th and final part of a collection of quotes from Jeffrey Tucker’s collection of classics in the liberty tradition. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click here. Here’s part 2. Here’s part 3. I downloaded the entire collection to my tablet before leaving for my travels and have been collecting great quotes as I go. There isn’t any general theme here except that everything included has made me smile, balk or given me any other kind of strong reaction. My supporting comments should lend some context. An honest admission: there are no quotes here from A Theory of Capitalism and Socialism, Against Intellectual Property or Anthem, simply because I had read them before and couldn’t be bothered to go through them again looking for good quotes. Sorry! I had also read The Law before, but it’s so short it was worth the time quoting the timeless Bastiat zingers. And to Jeffrey: 25 more? As We Go Marching by John T. Flynn Systematic and enlightening, this book is highly recommended. “Some form of spending must be found that will command the support of the conservative groups. Political leaders, embarrassed by their subsidies to the poor, soon learned that one of the easiest ways to spend money is on military establishments and armaments, because it commands the support of the groups most opposed to spending.” The conservatives hate big government spending so long as it’s not on the military. In that case, there is no upper limit on big government spending. A century later and nothing as changed, and the state still exploits it. “One of the most baffling phenomena of fascism is the almost incredible collaboration between men of the extreme Right and the extreme Left in its creation. The explanation lies at this point. Both Right and Left joined in this urge for regulation. The motives, the arguments, and the forms of expression were different but all drove in the same direction. And this was that the economic system must be controlled in its essential functions and this control must be exercised by the producing groups.” This is a prescient insight. If left and right only disagree on administration details, it’s not at all surprising that the long-term outcome is fascism. “great numbers began to harbor the impression that the men who led Italy did not know what they were doing.” Hahahah what else is new? “alas, the most terrifying aspect of the whole fascist episode is the dark fact that most of its poisons are generated not by evil men or evil peoples, but by quite ordinary men in search of an answer to the baffling problems that beset every society.” “It is not easy, perhaps, to eat one’s words about balancing the budget. But it is easier than facing all these angry forces with no plan. It is easier to spend than not to spend. It is running with the tide, along the lines of least resistance. And hence Mr. Roosevelt did what the premiers of Europe had been doing for decades. Only he called it a New Deal.” “Fascism will come at the hands of perfectly authentic Americans, as violently against Hitler and Mussolini as the next one, but who are convinced that the present economic system is washed up and that the present political system in America has outlived its usefulness and who wish to commit this country to the rule of the bureaucratic state; interfering in the affairs of the states and cities; taking part in the management of industry and finance and agriculture; assuming the role of great national banker and investor, borrowing billions every year and spending them on all sorts of projects through which such a government can paralyze opposition and command public support; marshaling great armies and navies at crushing costs to support the industry of war and preparation for war which will become our greatest industry; and adding to all this the most romantic adventures in global planning, regeneration, and domination all to be done under the authority of a powerfully centralized government in which the executive will hold in effect all the powers with Congress reduced to the role of a debating society. There is your fascist.” Powerful. Socialism by Ludwig von Mises “Every collectivist assumes a different source for the collective will, according to his own political, religious and national convictions.” What a coincidence! “All economic change, therefore, would involve operations the value of which could neither be predicted beforehand nor ascertained after they had taken place. Everything would be a leap in the dark. Socialism is the renunciation of rational economy.” “The greater productivity of work under the division of labor is a unifying influence. It leads men to regard each other as comrades in a joint struggle for welfare, rather than as competitors in a struggle for existence. It makes friends out of enemies, peace out of war, society out of individuals.” Capitalism is not ‘dog-eat-dog’, it is about peace and welfare. Conscience of an Anarchist by Gary Chartier “Anarchy is what happens when social order flows, not from the state’s gun barrels, but from peaceful, voluntary cooperation.” The almost universal perception of anarchy as widespread chaos is not merely unfounded, the truth is precisely the opposite. “The state preserves the power and wealth of the exploitative class—not only by creating cartels and monopolies but also through subsidizing the inefficient activities of its cronies.” That struck me as a very pithy way one might explain the reality if state power to a leftist. Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism and the Division of Labour by Murray N. Rothbard “It is the fact of each person’s uniqueness — the fact that no two people can be wholly interchangeable — that makes each and every man irreplaceable and that makes us care whether he lives or dies, whether he is happy or oppressed.” I think my heart just moved. Stop reading now and think about this for 5 minutes. Economics of Illusion by L. Albert Hahn “The people of a country do not have a common pocket, and the difficulty of getting money from the pocket of one into the pocket of the other is distinctly greater than that of getting it from the right into the left pocket of a single individual.” “war activity is not and cannot be called a productive activity. From a strictly economic point of view, it means being busy, struggling, making efforts, even if and just when these efforts are very hard.” “A free economy does not work like a machine at a given speed. It is a living organism in which cells are born and die continually.” “I fear that a generation deluded by the belief that national income depends on spending for consumption and, even more grotesque, on the amount of circulating paper money, will have to learn the hard way that it can only be increased through work, thrift, and technical progress.” The Art of Being Free by Wendy McElroy Now readers of these books have been armed with the necessary knowledge, McElroy is here to tell us to get going and create freedom. “Instead of storming the Bastille, the masses today should storm the ivory towers of universities. We should yank theory out of academia and throw it back into the streets where it belongs. It belongs there alongside truth because that is where injustice happens, it is where the marketplace feeds people, it is where those who struggle are seeking answers to why the world is falling apart. Theory and principles were never meant to be the playthings of an elite class who tell the masses that they are too ignorant to understand sophisticated concepts like justice, economics, or even their own self-interest. Justice, economics and the public good must be fed through their own elite understanding and regurgitated in understandable form. And, yet, the elites do not even know what the price of bread is.” “America is now a police state. It happened overnight and it happened with next to no protest. Since then, every day seems to bring an acceleration in the tumult, political corruption and economic insanity that is choking the world.” “One of the political beauties of libertarianism is that it is a populist ideology. It deals with fundamental rights that are possessed by all human beings; it defends everyone’s life, liberty, and property equally. It says to the poorest, most disadvantaged person in society, “You have the same due process rights as a billionaire.” Libertarianism is a profoundly non-elitist. It is profoundly the politics of the everyman.” “Thoreau objected to majority rule because the views of the majority do not always coincide with what is morally correct. Every human being has a fundamental obligation to discover for himself what is just and then to act according to his conscience, even if it contradicts the majority or the law” “Open your eyes. Because you are one of the good people upon whom the rest of us are relying.” Let each of us commit to presenting society with one improved unit. The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude by Étienne de la Boétie “whenever a ruler makes himself a dictator, all the wicked dregs of the nation — I do not mean the pack of petty thieves and earless ruffians who, in a republic, are unimportant in evil or good — but all those who are corrupted by burning ambition or extraordinary avarice, these gather around him and support him in order to have a share in the booty and to constitute themselves petty chiefs under the big tyrant.” Absolute power attracts the most power hungry. “Friendship is a sacred word, a holy thing; it is never developed except between persons of character, and never takes root except through mutual respect; it flourishes not so much by kindnesses as by sincerity.” I’m not sure why this was relevant but it’s profound nonetheless. “there is nothing so contrary to a generous and loving God as tyranny — I believe He has reserved, in a separate spot in hell, some very special punishment for tyrants and their accomplices.” And on that religious note we shall end. I hope you enjoyed these quotes, which are but a smattering of the wisdom contained in their respective books. I hope, in turn, that if you have not read the books these quotes have given you sufficient inspiration to do so. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

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