Economic Indicators

Spencer and Hayek’s Liberal Evolutionism, and Why It Should Omit the Nation-State

ABSTRACT: Herbert Spencer and F.A. Hayek developed bodies of liberal political thought that stress the importance of evolutionary social adaptation as a type of spontaneous order. An evolutionary social theory, properly understood, can form part of a liberal theory of politics. Improperly understood, it has been employed to form defenses of the modern nation-state, and […]

Economic Indicators

Stealing from Thieves

ABSTRACT: The libertarian nonaggression principle (NAP) enjoins us from messing with other people or their property. This means that theft (removing owned items from the control of their proper owners) is not acceptable. Major libertarian writers (Murray Rothbard, Walter Block) have however opined that if an item is currently held by someone other than the […]

Economic Indicators

It Belongs to Me! A Libertarian Analysis of Property Rights in Nigeria

ABSTRACT: In this article the nature of private property rights in Nigeria is analyzed and a case is made for basing property rights in natural rights libertarian political philosophy. The issues of land and natural resource ownership and control in Nigeria are analyzed from a Rothbardian point of view. A Rothbardian framework of property ownership […]

Economic Indicators

Inflation Is Great If You’re Already Rich

We’ve seen pictures of empty shelves in Venezuela. Meantime, the one-year return on the Caracas stock exchange is 1,804.92 percent. If you’re already rich in assets, inflation is a big nothing burger. But it’s a problem if you’re poor. Original Article: “Inflation Is Great If You’re Already Rich“ This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored […]

Economic Indicators

A Defense Against Attacks on Negative Liberty

ABSTRACT: Isaiah Berlin made the distinction between negative liberty and positive liberty. Since then, prominent contemporary philosophers including Charles Taylor and Martha Nussbaum have declared negative liberty insufficient or incoherent. This is a critique of those declarations, which have been unduly accepted to a large extent. The critique primarily focuses on Taylor, who made the […]

Economic Indicators

Subjectivism Exposed the Limits of Political Will. Statists Hated It.

In Human Action, Mises suggests that opposition to economic theory intensified as the theory developed. When the subjectivist school showed that economics isn’t limited to a separate sphere, but rather that all human action can be studied scientifically, the opposition went so far as to challenge reason itself. Before economic theory got started, philosophers studied […]

Economic Indicators

Decentralization: Why the EU May Be Better than the US

Over the years, I’ve been pretty hard on the European Union. Both as an editor and a writer, I’ve published articles criticizing its central bank and its unelected, bureaucratic central government. Especially objectionable is the EU ruling class’s propensity for cynical politics built around threatening and intimidating voters and national governments who don’t conform to […]

Economic Indicators

Enforced Equality or—Justice?

Volume 8, Number 1 (1986) I In the Preface to The Mirage of Social Justice, the second volume of his trilogy on Law, Legislation and Liberty, F. A. Hayek explained that “circumstances have contributed to delay the publication of the second volume of this work.”1 The chief circumstance was “dissatisfaction with the original version of […]

Economic Indicators

Law Order vs. Lawyer Order: Analyzing the Development of Jury Independence

ABSTRACT: This essay develops a model to analyze jury independence. Jury independence can be seen as a game between elites and the citizens who make up the jury. This essay first presents a historical look at jury independence by looking at jury nullification. Then using the model developed, the evolution of jury independence is analyzed […]

Economic Indicators

More Evidence the American Economic “Recovery” Will Disappoint

The University of Michigan consumer confidence index fell to 82.8 in May, from 88.3 in April. More importantly, the current conditions index slumped to 90.8, from 97.2 and the expectations index declined to 77.6, from 82.7. Hard data also questions the strength of the recovery. April retail sales were flat, with clothing down 5.1 percent, general merchandise […]