Category: Liberty’s Labors Lost

The Invisible Hand, Without Shame

That cynical men will exploit a human problem for their own petty advantage, without concern for ultimate outcomes beyond their own immediate gain, is obvious. This cynicism explains most of what is called “foreign policy,” most of what is called “medicine,” most of what is called “education,” most of what is called “entertainment,” and most of what is called “lawmaking.” But none of...

Libertarians, Drugs, and Voting

Libertarians, in their twin obsessions with freedom understood as carte blanche to do anything one wants, and a desperate search for more votes, have increasingly defined themselves as the party of recreational drug use. There is nary an issue that a libertarian cannot eventually bring around to a discussion of basic individual liberties, and nary a discussion of basic individual liberties that will...

Two Rules of Thumb Regarding the Aims of Government

Rulers, like the rest of us, always do what they believe is best for themselves. They may also, as per their actual mandate, do what is best for the society and citizenry; but this latter motive is not the norm, and is entirely contingent on their judgment, in any given situation, that what is best for the society and citizenry happens to coincide...

How To Reason Like A Loser

I just read a very sober and balanced assessment of the conceivable outcomes in Ukraine, written by one Andrew Latham, a very sober professor of International Relations and member of a very sober-sounding Washington think tank calling itself “Defense Priorities.” For “Defense” in that name, read “Surrender”; for “Priorities,” read “Rationalizations.” For Professor Latham’s short essay is a wonderful object lesson in that...

Perspective on Guns and Freedom

I just did a quick online search, and found exactly what I expected to find. In Ukraine, gun ownership is not regulated by statute, the country enjoys high rates of private gun ownership, and “Citizens are permitted to own non-fully automatic rifles and shotguns as long as they are stored properly when not in use.”  Meanwhile, Ukraine is the only country on the...

Random Reflections on America’s Weekly Mass Shooting Show

There has been another mass shooting at an American school. Thus, there has inevitably been another uninterrupted news cycle focusing everyone’s rapt and mock-mournful attention on every titillating detail of the “terrible day”: The crying children, the traumatized parents, the heroic individuals who did their best to save lives, and of course every available tidbit on the killer’s identity, grievances, and personal story....

On Libertarians

The problem with libertarians is that they believe that if everyone were left to live as he pleases, human life in general would improve. But when did men in general ever improve themselves through the unrestricted pursuit of what pleases them? Is pleasure happiness? Is comfort the good? Is greatness achieved through living without limits, without conflict…

John Bolton Reveals the Ugly Truth of U.S. Foreign Policy

John Bolton, the career bureaucratic climber who has, shall we say, “forged” a reputation for himself as a fearless, tough-as-nails military man, has decided, as usual, to add his two cents to America’s current foreign policy discussion, and in the process revealed everything you needed to know — or were hoping not to have to admit — about the U.S. government’s true aims...

A Small Torrent

There is a sense of everything closing in or coming to a head. It is palpable. But this sense does not answer to simplistic and tribally convenient conspiracy theories. It belongs to the more complex realm of historical inevitabilities….

First Thoughts After Watching the Trailer for “2000 Mules”

I just watched the trailer for the new docudrama that Donald Trump is touting as the smoking gun which, so far, not a single one of his lawyers has managed to present persuasively in front of a real judge. The movie, called 2000 Mules, is the work of Dinesh D’Souza, and alleges to provide evidence of largescale 2020 election fraud, in the form...