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Did Andy Duncan steal my reading list?


I just finished Jesús Huerta de Soto’s Socialism, Economic Calculation and Entrepreneurship, only to find that the Cobden Centre’s Andy Duncan has already produced a review. Since his review explains how he went from Marxist to Austrian-school free-marketeer, I shall let him do all the hard work, in his own inimitable style: Although my self-education had kicked socialism back into the envious schoolyard nursery where it belongs, all the books I had read had never clarified one last question, which […]

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Rousseau’s Form of Socialism – Alexander Gray – Mises Daily


A fascinating article on Rousseau’s Form of Socialism, discovered today, which reproduces this quote: The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say: “This belongs to me,” and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would have been spared the human race by him who, snatching out the stakes or filling in the ditch, should have cried to his […]

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Blast from the Past: A Warning about Socialism – Gene Epstein – Mises Daily


Last week, I had occasion to attend a meeting with some proper old-fashioned Marxists. They should be reminded where full-blooded state socialism leads: Pictures of the Socialistic Future tells an engrossing story about a socialist paradise that swiftly degenerates into a societal dungeon. Originally published in an English translation back in 1893 — which adds immeasurably to its resonance — it has been reissued recently in paperback by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a research center on free-market economics. … […]

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HS2 meeting with Rt Hon Philip Hammond


I attended an HS2 meeting with Philip Hammond in Amersham tonight. My impression is that the consultation is sincere and that the Secretary of State is willing to engage meaningfully. However, I believe the government is also sincerely committed to the programme. My main point was that rational economic calculation is not possible without the unhampered formation of prices and that prices in transport today are subject to a range of interventions. That is, far from knowing that HS2 would revitalise […]

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On the anniversary of Imjin River


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Today is the anniversary of one of the most extraordinary battles fought during the Cold War. The battle by the (Glorious) Gloucester Regiment against an entire Chinese army at the Imjin River was one of the most exceptional moments of the war against totalitarian socialism. So, please, if you are minded, do join me to remember what price people paid on all sides in the battle between freedom and state control. You can find a related video here. I will […]

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Soviet Britain


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Via the Institute for Economic Affairs, we discover the state devouring the economy – ie, the cooperative actions of free people – for over a century: See also The Times Online, ‘Soviet’ Britain swells amid the recession: The state now looms far larger in many parts of Britain than it did in former Soviet satellite states such as Hungary and Slovakia as they emerged from communism in the 1990s, when state spending accounted for about 60% of their economies. And […]

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Credit – Frederic Bastiat – Mises Institute


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Via the Mises Institute, a little Bastiat demonstrating how little is new under the sun: In all times, but more especially of late years, attempts have been made to extend wealth by the extension of credit. I believe it is no exaggeration to say, that since the revolution of February, the Parisian presses have issued more than 10,000 pamphlets, crying up this solution of the social problem. The only basis, alas, of this solution, is an optical delusion — if, indeed, […]

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“Sex and drug lessons from age 5”


Via Sex and drug lessons from age 5 – Telegraph, another forcible attempt to reengineer society, irrespective of the wishes of responsible parents: Under the new curriculum, pupils as young as seven will learn about puberty and the facts of life and five-year-olds will be taught about parts of the body, relationships and the effects of drugs on the body. Once they reach secondary school, pupils will learn about contraception, HIV and Aids, pregnancy and different kinds of relationships – […]

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bella gerens: That’s right, whip the libertarian


From bella gerens, an excellent explanation and defence of libertarianism: The truth is that advocates of freedom are found all over the political spectrum, but the only true libertarians are the ones who advocate it at all times in all circumstances, from the bedroom to the wallet – who believe that ‘freedom from’ is the only state of being consistent with the dignity and majesty of humankind. ‘Freedom from’ is the most important part of that ideology. Freedom from coercion. […]

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Moral Markets and Honest Money


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Revised and updated: reconciling our conflicting views of the market through consistent principle and morality. A Christian friend is an avowed socialist and another associate is determinedly left wing. I asked them recently what socialism meant to them. The answer was essentially “people being good to one another”: kindness, compassion, fairness and justice, even liberty. Who would oppose that? But can force make it so? Though I write with great affection for my friends, when I hear or read “socialism”, […]

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