In July 1853 a four ship US Navy squadron commanded by Commodore Matthew Perry entered Edo Bay. Perry put on a terrifying show to prove the devastating power of Western technology by razing a number of buildings in Edo harbor. As a result Japan, an “isolationist” country, opened up to the world. Or so it’s what school textbooks say.
Starting in 1633 the shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu , issued a number of edicts collectively called sakoku (chained islands) to reduce to the minimum contact between Japan and outside world. Trade was heavily regulated: for example the only Western traders allowed to operate in Japan were Portuguese, replaced in 1641 by the Dutch, and they could only deal with Japanese on the artificial island of Dejima in Nagasaki Bay, Chinese traders could only operate in a specially designated area inside Nagasaki proper, and so on.
Once upon a time, there was a naughty little boy named Timmy. Timmy was Webster’s own definition of a brat – spoiled without a trace of gratefulness in his demeanor, and a hateful bully to his parents at that. Finally, little Timmy pulled the last ma ‘n’ pa hamstring, and hit his father over the head with a plastic doll, bruising him. That was it – violent little Timmy was going to juvy, after countless beatings and bruises liberally administered by him. Or was he? Perhaps not, for you can imagine little Timmy’s parents’ confusion when the friendly neighborhood police handcuffed not the rugrat, but the plastic doll instead.
[This is the first article in the left-leaning LBRT101 section of the Guided Study at Liberty HQ]
The Past 12 Years
A foreign policy of war
The past twelve years have seen the US enter numerous new military engagements, many of which show no signs of fading. Iraq and Afghanistan are well known to everyone, but are far from the only ones. Despite strong evidence that the US intervention would not improve our national security − and, in fact, would worsen it − we continued to remain, at both a high human cost − all the lives lost (American and foreign) − and a high financial cost (with conservative estimates at $1.5 trillion). Besides throwing the US into these wars, Bush passed into law the Patriot Act, escalating the level of government invasion of the personal lives of the public. Suddenly, everyone became a suspect in the hopeless War on Terror. How does this square with the respect for individual freedom that Bush is supposed to have? Continue reading →
Perhaps you wrote a letter to Santa Claus when you were a child. “Dear Santa”, you wrote. You poured your energies into it in the expectation of receiving many blessings. When you finished, you mailed it away to be read by the magical man who can deliver all the world’s toys in a single night. But, alas, you never heard back from him. You are to rest assured that he got your letter – he reads all the letters of all the little girls and boys. Of course, your parents will have read it and taken upon themselves the costs of providing the real toys that you actually received on Christmas day.
Santa, in many ways, is an excellent metaphor of the popular conception of government. It’s how government wants to be perceived. All-capable and hyper-competent, government accomplishes feats that surpass the ability of the individual to even conceive of doing through non-governmental means. Governments build eternal, awe-inspiring pyramids. They launch men to the Moon. They build massive dams. They implement vaccination regimes affecting vast, uncountable populations. A touch of the nose and a wink, and it’s done.
“Current events and news opinion/discussion from a libertarian perspective. Featuring interviews with authors, experts, and leaders within the American liberty movement. The show is decidedly anti-establishment and likely to deeply offend doctrinaire Republican and Democrat lock-steppers as well as those indoctrinated by government schools or otherwise unable to think critically.”
In my previous posts I’ve tried to paint the vision of a future where the technological reality of nuclear conflict will bring us towards a Free Society. Here I try to show that the concept needed for such a society to exist has already been created in the form of the State, here that the coupling the concept of the State with the reality of nuclear escalation will ultimately produce a world run by market-driven law, and here why I think we should have some reason to expect that market-driven law would approach Rothbard’s vision of libertarian law. I will try, in this last post, to address a few objections that I can imagine brewing in most minds.