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  Going out with my three kids during a morning on a regular week day could get me into trouble, annoying questions

One of the most baffling phenomena in the modern world is the gullibility of that small class of people who regard thems

It’s no secret that human liberty is in grave danger, perhaps more than any time in generations. Look at whom the two

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  • Back in 1975 I promoted my investment newsletter in Australia with a very successful ad headlined: How To Open A Swiss Bank Account. At the time, thanks to Australia’s exchange controls, sending or just h [Read story]
  • Bruce Koerber posted an update 10 minutes ago

    Socialism is just a variation of statism on the one end of the spectrum with fascism on the other. All of these are run by ego-driven interpreters and ego-driven interventionists.

  • it is a little off-topic, but my son started out at about the same age with less technical tools like sketchup (a free 3d modeling tool) that gave him some very useful skills later on.  When he got to High School he entered an engineering program and naturally took to autodesk and moved into java programming, video editing and web development.  F…[Read more]

  • Michael Bunch‘s article Bastiat and the Force of Law has a new comment 53 minutes ago

    lf1573-01_figure_001The law become the tool of every kind of avarice, instead of being its check! With these words Frédéric Bastiat (49) describes the perversion of law in his times, and which continues into our own. Indeed, his i [Read story]
  • Isn’t the real question who is required to defend an “indefensible” person against agression, be it exploitation or violence?  No moral person should exploit anyone– defensible or indefensible! But, knowing that an “indefensible” person will, in fact, eventually be exploited if not protected who then is required to take on the obligation to…[Read more]

  • Elmer Connor just joined Liberty.me 1 hour, 8 minutes ago

  • Mike Reid‘s article The Myth of Primitive Communism has a new comment 1 hour, 31 minutes ago

    Juhoansi02All my students starved to death. Again. Here’s what they learned the hard way: generosity today can be a way of saving for tomorrow. They were survivors of a plane crash on a desert island. They knew they’d be [Read story]
    • This is a great simulation, answering an age-old question about prehistoric tribes. So often I’ve tried to explain to others that there is no such thing as “altruism”, and that every action anyone takes is for his own purposes — including when he gives away his time or possessions and seemingly receives nothing in return. Here is the proof that even that seemingly most-selfless act itself stems from man’s constant objective to improve his situation. Bravo!

    • Thanks, Michael!

    • No, it’s not like socialism. The primitives share voluntarily. The productive people in a socialist society have their stuff taken from them. All the difference in the world.

    • Yes! It’s not socialism! Gift exchange is a real economic third way (or, actually, the FIRST way!)

      Another difference I’ve noticed between socialism and gift-exchange economies is that socialists talk about a person’s duty to collectivistic generalities like “the revolution” or “the working class” or “the fatherland.”

      Gift-exchangers like the Ju/’hoansi talk about their specific responsibilities to their specific relationships: sons-in-law, grandparents, mothers brothers, owners of the land, medicine men, etc.

    • I think that this development was absolutely crucial for man to evolve as an economic species, which necessitated an entirely new kind of thought process that was a crucial part of the evolution of humanity into the thinking creatures we are today, so it’s a fascinating subject.

      However, I don’t see why you’re not casting this as explicitly *economic* activity: these people aren’t “giving away” anything, they’re not “sharing”; they are creating a *contract*, maybe not with paper and pen, but it’s a contract nonetheless: I will trade you food today for your contractual obligation to trade food back to me at a later date. Why do you make no mention of this in your article or class? To be frank, the way it sounds, you’re basically saying “yes, it’s communism… but they choose to be communists for their own self-interest.” But this isn’t communism, it’s *trade*.

    • By this logic, we can volunterialy agree to contracts in which each of us give away “exess” savings to others who have voluntarily agreed to the same contract as a Universal Basic Income and this voluntarily trade would be in each individual’s self-interest because it would provide future financial security.

    • @andycleary
      In this case we need to think of reciprocal informal agreements as an informal bank, providing a mechanism for a successful hunter to ” save” food he could neither consume, or preserve. The “withdrawal “occurs when he is unsuccessful, and another has surplus.

    • Mike, I concur with may of the comments above…you are close, but you are not clear on the important differences — and the best lesson of all is being lost. One system uses force against another to essentially plunder, and the other is voluntary…please explain what happens to all the “goodness” in these great self-learned systems that rely on smart voluntary action, when they are institutionalized and are now by force. That is the lesson of all lessons…it doesn’t matter what name you give it.

    • The argument of this article seems to be “this system is in the Ju/’hoansi’s self-interest, therefore it can’t be communism.” It seems like there’s a missing premise.

    • The thoughts above are wonderful. I also think that for modern people, putting money into a savings account is a way to share unused wealth. The savings institution uses that money to help others. That is one thing that really is missing in today’s economy. Zero or negative interest rates discourage sharing through savings. Instead, people have to use debt and the only winners are those who make debt possible.

    • Good point!
      Thanks, @rckelsey !

    • The innovation I would promote in response to that is that, in financial system with law that applies to all the same, is to allow every individual to issue credit to the same degree. Then every individual agreeing to the contract would be able to win by making debt possible. The way the state limits the issuance of credit to the Fed and Commercial Bank N.A. is comparable to the limiting of election suffrage to only the banking management.

      When banks create new money they essentially levey a “negative interest rate” on deposits via inflation.

    • Yes that would be an invaluable addition to ways to keep the value of money intact.

    • I think I am of the times,
      Share and do not,
      So much depends,
      On place and got.

    • The commenters are right to say that sharing is like savings in a bank, because in a small community peer pressure and ostracism force out the free-riders. However, it’s pretty imperfect. Notwithstanding my ignorance of this subject, I will venture to say that these guys would benefit from inventing money. Maybe arrow-tips?

    • The anthropologist Richard Lee once asked a Ju/’hoan friend what a fair exchange would be: an arrowhead for a necklace? A bracelet for a bow? After a long conversation, his friend finally laughed and explained, “Richard, we do not trade with things! We trade with people!”

      In other words, the Ju/’hoansi and other nomadic foragers do not keep careful track of who owes how much to whom. This complicates (though it does not invalidate) the bank metaphor.

      I don’t know about money. That’s a great question!

    • Obviously we do keep careful track of who owes who with money. The ironic thing is that the trade of a Dollar tracks who owes who a economic debt. The man spending the Dollar owes the economic debt to the market or some individual in it. The Dollar spender is essentially issuing economic credit which will be repaid when he earns the money back via labor.

      The Ju/hoasni seem to have it correct that a human life is the ultimate unit of value measurement. In today’s democracy we call this unit a Ballot, but policy is used to limit it’s use to only one day per term and majority rule further perverts the market. If you divide the MZM stock of existing money by the population you get about $42,000/Ballot.

    • Thanks for sharing such an interesting piece of history and ingenious activity. It’s very difficult to unpack all of the lessons that can be gained from a study of this culture in a short article. It’s also very difficult for people to see the differences between ostracism/condemnation/economic pressure and physical force. Most naturally equate the two and think what instinctively works for the family/tribe should work for the entire species. When we examine things closely, and with clear thinking, we can see how people are self interested and voluntarily exchanging even in a hunter gatherer setting, where others see an ideal version of self sacrifice and forced compliance.

    • Yes, ostracism/condemnation/economic pressure are natural human or market behaviors. No policy prohibiting such things could realistically be implemented. This is why using the state’s physical force in an attempt to do so is so destructive. It is impossible for a few state representatives to rightfully act on behalf of a collective of independent/interdependent individuals. The existence of the non-voluntary state skews the balance of power among individual market traders.

    • interesting article. in their situation the best way to “save” excess wealth (food) is to share it with your close friends and family upon whom you rely for your day-to-day survival. In this unique situation, sharing is obviously in each individual’s self-interest.

  • Fidelius A. Kazam replied to the topic Open Source Android App? in the forum Suggestion Box 1 hour, 39 minutes ago

    slightly off topic, but the site works great via TOR from a tails-bootable live-linux secure usb drive (not mobile).

  • Robert Nickles II posted an update 1 hour, 43 minutes ago

    Downloaded the application and every time I click on a click able icon it takes me to the liberty.me site on chrome. This is on a Samsung Galaxy

  • Nicholas Sinard‘s article Why Minimum Wage Will Cause Unemployment has a new comment 1 hour, 45 minutes ago

    minwageMany of us have heard some variation of this from progressives, and the claim is absolutely ridiculous. They will pull out many studies and many articles attempting to show otherwise, but no matter how many they [Read story]
    • well said! Also, i would content that those currently working at the minimum wage will end up being replaced and likely unemployed by more capable people if the minimum wage is, in fact, raised to $15. idiots advocating for their own unemployment!

  • Kevin Forrester‘s article Property is a Human Right has a new comment 1 hour, 47 minutes ago

    cornerstone3Timothy Sandefur reminds us that property is a human right in his “Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century America” which contains the following passage: Thomas Jefferson rephrased the classic [Jo [Read story]
    • You quoted Sandefur, “According to Jefferson, ‘[T]he first principal of association’ is ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.'”

      The question is, “guaranteed by whom?” There is no such guarantee. Of course one is morally right to keep and enjoy the product of his own effort, but there is no guarantee he will be able to. It is one of the things one most provide themselves, not something to be provided by others, such as some agency (unless one pays for it) or some government, which it cannot do in any case.

      The real issue is the notion of rights. No Such Thing As Rights. Just click the link if you want to know why.

  • Robert Nickles II posted an update 1 hour, 47 minutes ago

    Hello Liberty. Me!

  • Properal replied to the topic Open Source Android App? in the forum Suggestion Box 2 hours, 8 minutes ago

    The mobile version of the website works very well, unless you use TOR then it asks you for a CAPTCHA every few minutes.

  • Jorge Trucco published a new article, ¿Qué es gobernar? – Mayo Von Höltz, on the site Individuo Libre 2 hours, 12 minutes ago

    VOTEHablando con un amigo sin darme cuenta doy la definición de gobierno -o de acto de gobernar mejor dicho-, y aunque tal definición sea una obviedad para cualquier persona pensante que viva bajo la órbita de al [Read story]
  • Properal replied to the topic Where should I start? in the forum General 2 hours, 23 minutes ago

    Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

    Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell

    Chaos Theory by Robert P. Murphy (Audio)

    Anatomy of the State by Murray N. Rothbard

    For A New Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard (audiobook)

    The Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman (e-book) and (audiobook).

    The Market for Liberty by Morris and Linda Tannehill…[Read more]

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