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Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the 15th session of the V-50 Lectures. This evening I’m going to explain the seemingly impossible problem of influencing the masses. Today, as I’m sure you recognize by now, the masses demand the state, but just who are these masses of people? Who are they? Are they bricklayers? Schoolteachers? Truck drivers? Are they medical doctors? Secretaries? Engineers? Housewives? Are they all of these people? Do they fall into the category we call the masses?

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Meet the hosts

For more than half a century Jay Stuart Snelson studied, thought, lectured, and wrote about freedom; personal, individual freedom. Snelson envisioned a viable solution to build a sustainable society based on win-win interaction: In order for one party to win, the other must win. This is diametrically opposed to the way it has always been done.

discussions

  • What role (if any) should the gov’t play in the continued funding of cutting-edge scientific research? According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development), approximately 10% of all R&D conducted globally is directly funded by governments, with approximately 60% done by private industry and 20% by educational institutions. Granted, this number probably doesn’t take into account indirect gov’t funding through tax subsidies and incentives. That 10% goes towards projects on the cutting edge of science, such as NASAs various space ventures and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (funded through the governments of the member states). Proponents of big gov’t science, such as Neil Degrasse Tyson, have stated in the past that projects like these are unlikely to be privately funded due to their high risk, high cost, and lack of return on investment. Gov’t, claims Tyson, is required to make the initial step and take all the risk so that private firms can follow in its wake with a clear picture of the requirements of such endeavours. TAM 2011: Our Future in Space Would such high risk, high cost projects be possible without gov’t backing?

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  • It can be a challenge to keep up with all the taxes one needs to pay throughout the year, and than to deal with all the paperwork that needs to be filed can be frustrating. What would be a good way to simplify the Tax Code? Below is a list of some of the taxes that we the people need to pay, or at least we experience their effects at one time or another. -Medicare, Medicare, Social Security, Federal Inocme Tax, State tax, Local Tax, Corporate tax, Sales Tax, Property Tax, estate tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax, gift tax, tariffs on imports and exports, etc. Would a simple flat or consumption tax do the trick?

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  • Venezuela has the highest violent crime rate in the world. Though it is not moral or justified, people choose violence over starvation when there are no alternatives. Of course, “we” libertarians all know that this situation was created by government/s coercion’s consequences, but so few among the greater population seem to recognize that. It seems like a similar fate faces the whole world.

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  • Perhaps you will find this magnificent BBC documentary interesting. It tells the story of the ancient city of Caral, a little north of Lima on the coast of Peru, which is arguably the oldest city in and the beginning of civilization in the Americas. The Lost Pyramids Of Caral There are two points I would like to make about the story told therein of Caral which I think are relevant to libertarians. 1) The early civilization of Caral apparently arose purely out of commerce. This confirms the insights of the Austrian school of economics. And it may be an example of a commercially organized cooperative human society that antedates the rise of any state. 2) This contradicts the presumptions brought to the study by the archaeologists. For one example, at 7:20 one states the following. You can’t build … on the basis of consensus. You have to have leaders and followers. You have to have specialists. You have to have people who are in charge. People who can tell individual groups, alright, today you will be doing this. This group you are going to be doing something different. In other words, in his academic world, the possibility is inconceivable of that human cooperation could be organized by trade — the marketplace — rather than authority.

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  • I was watching a comedy and these various communist quotes were mentioned by one of the characters. I tried to question these quotes but have been unable to ask myself the right questions. Some suggestions would be very much appreciated: “You’ve got to fight the system. You are falling victim to an oppressive bourgeois dictatorship which has been subjugating the masses and their struggle for dignity, equality and basic human rights.” “It’s a common excuse [it’s just family only] for the exclusion of the proletariat from the festivities of the capitalist middle-class elite.” “I was becoming of those bourgeoisie proletarians that need to exercise our right to self-expression in defiance of the ruling classes.” This quote was from a different comedy (3rd Rock from the Sun) but I still don’t know what question or questions I should be asking myself regarding this quote: “You’re an inspiration to all neo-Trotskyite anti-Stalinist Marxists.”

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