Secession and the Production of Defense

[Chapter 11 of The Myth of National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production, edited by Hans-Hermann Hoppe (Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 2003), pp. 369–413.] Few people object to the private production of shoes or rock concerts. But almost everybody believes that certain goods cannot be produced on a purely voluntary basis. Cultural goods such as classical music and opera, welfare services, and in particular the definition and enforcement of law have to be entrusted to compulsory organizations like the modern state. According to a school of…

Read More

Portrait of an Evil Man: Karl Marx

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: “Where were you born?” “In an ancient bishopric.” “What was your citizenship?” “Prussian.” “Who was your father?” “A wealthy lawyer.” “What was your faith?” “I converted to Christianity.” “Not very good. Married? Who was your wife?” “The daughter of an aristocratic Prussian officer and the sister of a Royal Prussian Minister of the Interior…

Read More

Getting to Galt’s Gulch: Everyday Secession

This month, the United States once again celebrated her independence on the Fourth of July. After a year of lockdowns, masks, and now even mandatory vaccinations in workplaces and universities, the idea that the USA is a beacon of freedom to the rest of the globe seems far-fetched. This attitude was reiterated in the new Toby Keith song “Happy Birthday America.” Keith’s downtrodden lyrics reflect on his observed disappearance of the American patriotism which had been present not long ago.  The problem with the version of national pride of the…

Read More

Bidenomics | Mises Institute

Contact Robert P. Murphy Robert P. Murphy is a Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute. He is the author of many books. His latest is Contra Krugman: Smashing the Errors of America’s Most Famous Keynesian. His other works include Chaos Theory, Lessons for the Young Economist, and Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action (Independent Institute, 2015) which is a modern distillation of the essentials of Mises’s thought for the layperson. Murphy is cohost, with Tom Woods, of the popular podcast Contra Krugman, which is a weekly refutation of Paul Krugman’s New York Times column.…

Read More

Why “Public Goods” Don’t Justify Taxation

Eric Mack is one of the foremost contemporary philosophers who support the free market. He has for many years been concerned with the “anarchist-minarchist” dispute. In a “state of nature” in which people’s rights to self-ownership and private property are generally recognized, most individuals would find it in their interest to hire private protection agencies to defend their rights rather than handle disputes about rights themselves. Robert Nozick argues in part 1 of Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974) that competing private protection agencies in a given area would tend to…

Read More