Democracy’s Road to Tyranny

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

Plato, in his Republic, tells us that tyranny arises, as a rule, from democracy. Historically, this process has occurred in three quite different ways. Before describing these several patterns of social change, let us state precisely what we mean by “democracy.”

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Forced Vaccinations in France Bring Both Repression and Protest

Mihai Macovei

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

In a speech to the nation just ahead of Bastille Day on July 14 celebrating the French Revolution, President Emmanuel Macron delivered a paradoxical blow to the Republic’s famous slogan: Liberté, égalité, fraternité. He announced a series of measures to speed up the pace of covid-19 vaccinations which undermine individual liberties and threaten a strong political and economic backlash. Already during the covid-19 pandemic, the French had to cope with some of the most severe lockdowns in the world, which curtailed both economic freedom and important civil liberties.

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Portrait of an Evil Man: Karl Marx

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

In the “German Democratic Republic” they tell the story about a weary old man who tries to gain entrance into the Red Paradise. A Communist Archangel holds him up at the gate and severely cross-questions him:

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Consumer Expectations Don’t Tell Us Much about the Real State of the Economy

Frank Shostak

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

In order to gain insight into the current and future state of an economy, many economists hold that it is helpful to get the view on this from consumers and businesspersons. Randomly selected consumers and businesspersons are asked to provide their views about the current and the future state of the economy.

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Fiat Money Economies Are Built on Lies

Thorsten Polleit

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

Now and then, it pays to take a step back to get a broader perspective on things, to look beyond the daily financial news, to see through the short-term ups and downs in the market to find out what is really at the heart of the matter. If we do that, we will not miss the fact that we are living in the age of fiat currencies, a world in which basically everything bears their fingerprints: the economic and financial system, politics—even people’s cultural norms, values, and morals will not escape the broader consequences of fiat currencies.

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The Roots of “Anticapitalism”

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

In many minds, “capitalism” has come to be a bad word, nor does “free enterprise” sound much better. I remember seeing posters in Russia in the early nineteen-thirties depicting capitalists as Frankenstein monsters, as men with yellow-green faces, crocodile teeth, dressed in cutaways and adorned by top hats. What is the reason for this widespread hatred for capitalists and capitalism despite the overwhelming evidence that the system has truly “delivered the goods”? In its mature stage it indeed is providing, not just for a select few but for the masses, a standard of living cordially envied by those bound under other politico-economic arrangements. There are historic, psychological and moral reasons for this state of affairs. Once we recognize them, we might come to better understanding the largely irrational resentment and desire to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

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Sticks, Not Carrots: Vaccines Must Be Forced, Says Indiana University Health Chief

Alice Salles

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

Vaccine mandates are coming. Good, said Indiana University chief health officer Aaron E. Carroll. 

“When it comes to incentives, most people like carrots,” Carroll wrote in his New York Times essay. “Sometimes, though, people need sticks.”

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The Twilight of the Antifederalists

Murray N. Rothbard

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

New York was the toughest nut for the Federalists to crack. For here was one state where not only was the population overwhelmingly opposed to the Constitution, but the opposition was also in firm and determined control of the state government and the state political machinery. Here was a powerful governor, George Clinton, who would not, like Hancock and Randolph in the other critical states, yield to a sellout under pressure. Clinton had been a highly popular governor since the formation of the state, had a strong political machinery based on the mass of upstate yeomanry, and was determined to organize and defeat the Constitution.

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What Is the Purpose of the Economy? Carl Menger Explains.

Antony P. Mueller

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

This second part of the series about the Principles of Economics treats Menger’s exposition of the economy. In continuation of the first part, which covered the general concept of goods, the part on the economy treats the role of economic goods in relation to human wants. Based on the original version in German, published in 1871 as Grundsätze der Volkswirthschaftslehre, the following exposition tries to capture the spirit of the work, with all direct quotes in the text freshly translated for this article.

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Investors Are on the Lookout for a Crash. But Prices Keep Going Up.

Doug French

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

An insider confided to a friend that all he is doing right now is transaction work for real estate holders who are selling now before the market crashes. His clients, members of Sin City’s illuminati, once bitten by the ‘08 crash, believe they’ll beat the crowd to the sales window before the local retail and office market collapses.

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Will the Feds Try Price Controls to “Fix” Price Inflation?

Joseph Solis-Mullen

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

As it began rapidly expanding the money supply early in 2020, the Fed confidently assured the public there would be no unanticipated or serious rise in inflation. Now that their projections have failed to materialize (in fact, their forecasts were off by almost 40 percent), they assure us that this will be but a temporary spike.

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The Fed Says It Stabilizes the Economy. I’m Skeptical.

Bill Bergman

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

Before, during, and after the 2007–09 financial crisis, the masthead of the Federal Reserve Board’s main webpage included the following assertion right below its name at the top of the page:

The Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, provides the nation with a safe, flexible and stable monetary and financial system.

This statement is still there today. Can we all breathe easier now? Maybe not, if we endured one of the worst financial crises ever while the Fed was championing itself as a source of stability.

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If the US Wants to Beat China, Why Is It Copying China’s Socialism?

Mihai Macovei

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

Under the Biden administration the US continued escalating the economic and geopolitical frictions with China. At the recent G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, President Biden sought to rally a “united front” against China with traditional G7 allies and new ones such as Australia, India, South Korea, and South Africa and rebuked China on economic policies, human rights, and tensions in the East and South China Seas. The US also persuaded its G7 allies to back a massive infrastructure support package for developing countries. The so-called Build Back Better World Partnership (B3W) is a de facto rival to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). But it is far from obvious what the West stands to gain by emulating China’s exorbitant and highly controversial modern “Silk Road” venture.

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Government Debt Is Starting to Look Almost as Sketchy as Payday Loans

Malachy McDermott

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

If there is one thing every honest money-saving advisor would agree on, it’s that a payday loan is a bad idea. Taking a high interest loan backed by nothing but your word to pay off your current account to fuel consumption with no capital investment is just leading you on the road to ruin.

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My Case against Minimum-Wage Laws

George C. Leef

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

Minimum-wage laws are again in the news, as Joe Biden and his political allies in Congress seek to push the national minimum from its current level of $7.25 per hour up to $15 per hour. Some politicians, Sen. Bernie Sanders for one, declare that people can barely survive even on $15 per hour. If the law takes the minimum up to $15, we can expect pressure to raise it still further in the future.

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The Electoral College as a Restraint on American Democracy: Its Evolution from Washington to Jackson

Randall G. Holcombe

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

When the American colonies declared their independence from Britain in 1776, the fundamental principle underlying the new government they created was the principle of liberty. To the Founders, liberty meant freedom from government oppression, because at that time, government was the primary threat to the liberty of individuals. The Declaration of Independence contains a long list of grievances that the colonists had against the Bang of England to document how King George had infringed upon the liberty of the colonists, and those grievances provided their justification for creating a new government, independent of Britain. At that time, the concept of liberty was a relatively new and truly revolutionary idea, and it provided the fundamental principle for the design of the new American government. Two centuries later, the principle of liberty has been replaced by the principle of democracy, and most Americans at the end of the twentieth century surely would view the fundamental principle of American government to be democracy, not liberty.

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Crypto Scammers Rip Off Billions as Pump-and-Dump Schemes Go Digital

Billions are getting pilfered annually through a variety of cryptocurrency scams. The way things are going, this will only get worse.

(Originally posted on Bloomberg.com)

By Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou and Charlie WellsJuly 8, 2021

Listen to The Money Chant of the Wolves of Crypto.

You remember The Money Chant: Matthew McConaughey thumping his chest, talking fools and money before — sniff! — a little lunchtime “tootski.”

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Cryptocurrencies and China Imperil the Reserve Currency Status of the US Dollar

Alexander Herborn Gunther Schnabl

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

In his book Denationalisation of Money, F.A. Hayek argued that governments have never devoted their power to provide proper money over time. They “have refrained from grossly abusing it only when they were under such a discipline as the gold standard imposed.”1 The gold backing of the US dollar as the global reserve currency was lifted in the early 1970s, and paper currencies, so-called fiat currencies, have since become the norm. Following this decision, the paper currencies have dramatically lost value against gold (figure 1). Since the turn of the millennium, this process has substantially accelerated.

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Keynes Said Inflation Fixed the Problems of Sticky Wages. He Was Wrong.

Robert Blumen

Originally posted on Mises.org)

Britain’s economy had been suffering chronic unemployment for a decade prior to 1936. Economic theory as it was then understood clearly showed that the cause of a market surplus was sellers asking a price in excess of what buyers are willing to pay.

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Classical Natural Law and Libertarian Theory

Carlo Lottieri

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

If libertarianism wishes to give up modern political categories, it has to think about law in a different way. Murray N. Rothbard, the most important exponent of the radical libertarian school, is right when he rejects the historicism and relativism of legal realism and when—for the same reasons—he criticizes Hayek and Leoni.

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