Political Theater

Tom Woods on Bitcoin

3:43 pm on December 17, 2013

Weigel On World War I Books

In a recent post on the First Things blog, the well-known Catholic neocon George Weigel recommends in a column titled “Books For Christmas” several books on the origins of World War I. He says this: “Three new books try to explain how this civilizational disaster happened. Sean McMeekin’s July 1914: Countdown to War (Basic Books) lays primary blame on Austria-Hungary; Christopher Clarke’s The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (Harper) and Max Hastings’ Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War (Knopf) spread the responsibility around, with both Clarke and Hastings assigning Wilhelmine Germany the decisive role amidst a desperately inept performance by the Great Powers”

In fact, the book by Christopher Clark (not Clarke) challenges rather than affirms the thesis that Germany bore primary responsibility for the onset of war. His divided verdict on war responsibility recalls the classic treatment of Sidney Fay, The Origins of the World War (1928, second edition 1930), a book Clark cites favorably. His account of McMeekin’s book is also wrong. Though McMeekin notes mistakes by Austria-Hungary, his primary emphasis is on French and Russian responsibility.

Neocons are not known for their care with facts, but this is a little too much.

1:30 pm on December 12, 2013

I Don’t Know How He Did It . . .

. .  but my former student and former Mises Fellow Vedran Vuk has had an entire day named after him.  Everywhere I go today people are saying “Happy Vedran’s Day, Happy Vedran’s Day.”

6:26 am on November 11, 2013

Hollywood’s Favorite Regime Propagandist

USA Today ran a fawning, slobbering, puff piece on the confessed plagiarist Doris Kearns-Goodwin today to help publicize her latest piece of statist propaganda, this time a book on Teddy Roosevelt.  The crack USA Today reporters somehow missed the fact that she was forced to admit to plagiarism several years ago, which got her kicked off the Pulitzer prize committee and PBS (temporarily).  When you’re a court historian you can get away with everything — and get rich doing it.

12:39 pm on November 4, 2013

John Allison Speaking in Baltimore Next Monday, November 4


The most successful and famous Randian businessman in America, John Allison, former CEO and Chairman of BB&T and current President and CEO of the Cato Institute, will present a lecture about his book, The Financial Crisis and the Free-Market Cure at Loyola University Maryland on Monday, Nov. 4.

Time:     7 PM – 8 PM

Place:       Loyola University Maryland, 4501 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21210.  McGuire Hall in the  Andrew White Student Center, next to the Lacrosse stadium.

Free and open to the public.  Free copies of The Financial Crisis and the Free-Market Cure will be given to all attendees.  Book signing to follow the lecture.  Pay parking next to the lacrosse field, and free parking on adjacent Cold Spring Lane and North Charles St.


3:54 pm on October 30, 2013

Why Statists Love Lincoln and Hate Nullification, Secession, Federalism, and Freedom

“For fully developed imperialism, the individual no longer has value.  He is valuable to it only as a member of he whole, as a soldier of an army.  For the [classical] liberal, the number of fellow members of his nationality is no unduly important mater.  It is otherwise for imperialism.  It strives for the numerical greatness of the nation.  To make conquests and hold them, on must have the upper hand militarily, and military importance always depends on the number of combatants at one’s disposal.  Attaining and maintaining a large population thus becomes a special goal of policy.  The democrat strives for the unified national state because he believes that this is the will of the nation.  The imperialist wants a state as large as possible; he does not care whether that corresponds to the desire of the peoples.”

“The imperialistic people’s state scarcely differs from the old princely state in its interpretation of sovereignty and its boundaries.  Like the latter, it knows no other limits to the expansion of its rule than those drawn by the opposition of an equally strong power.  Even its lust for conquest is unlimited . . . .  Foreign peoples are in its eyes not subjects but objects of policy.”

–Ludwig von Mises, “The Roots of Imperialism”

My five-week online Mises Academy course on “Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism” begins this evening.  It’s not too late to enroll.

9:39 am on September 9, 2013

“If a Dictator Can Gas Hundreds of Children to Death . . .

. . . in front of everyone,” O-bomb-Ya said today, “then what kind of world do we live in?”

Good question.  The answer is:  The kind of world where the U.S. government murders more than 80 people in their own home, including dozens of children, in Waco, Texas during the Clinton administration with deadly CS gas and  hour after hour of tear gas bombs.

8:24 pm on September 2, 2013

“If a Dictator Can Gas Hundreds of Children to Death . . .

. . . in front of everybody,” O-bomb-Ya said today, then “what kind of world do we live in?”

Good question.  Here’s the answer.

8:04 pm on September 2, 2013

Outrage in Missouri: Teacher to be Fired for using Mises Materials

To all of my colleagues, I received this email today from a history teacher in Missouri who is about to be fired because he uses some of our material, and because the history that the LVMI has produced does not square with the ideological beliefs of this teacher’s principal. I will let his email speak for itself:

I’ve written you in the past but, considering the number of people you meet and talk with, I wouldn’t expect you to remember. I graduated from Frostburg State way back in 1978 with a degree in history and later a degree in education and a Masters in history. I am in my 21st year as a public high school teacher. I used to teach U.S. Government and advanced studies until I was demoted for being too “conservative.” Last year the principal “wrote me up,” the process for firing tenured teachers. My crime? I was divisive and used too many free market sources in the endnotes of articles I used in class. I used articles you authored, including “The Progressives 100 Year War,” and “Bully In the Pulpit.” My colleagues teach Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle as fact. When asked by a colleague my opinion, I explained the book was a novel, fiction, and its purpose by Sinclair was to generate support for socialism through the erection of a governmental regulatory apparatus. I added that for Progressives, it was a vehicle used by them to continue the transformation of the U.S. from a federal to a national government. She forwarded my views, in response to her solicitation, to the principal. He went ballistic, told me I should consider finding another job, if I taught such a view he couldn’t support me teaching the course, and then he wrote me up pointing out it was step one in a three step process to terminate a tenured teacher. There is more but all along the same lines, One cannot question the statist orthodoxy of the curriculum.

My question, can you refer me to other sources relative to your articles I cited. I am required to turn into the principal copies of every assignment, quiz, test, and so forth for review and censoring. As an historian, I can’t in good conscience teach what I know to be false. The principal believes my views on Sinclair and the Progressives, especially The Jungle, are shared by no one else in the history or similar fields. I want to build a data base to demonstrate this is not true if and when I am confronted with Step Two. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

I would like for anyone who can help to contact me. This is not going to stand.

4:41 pm on August 30, 2013

D.C.’s Temple of Jupiter Vandalized and Closed Down

Someone threw paint on the Temple of Statism. (Thanks to Travis Holte).

10:10 am on July 26, 2013

President Pillary

Dr. Steve Finger writes a column called “The Pointing Finger“; it appears off and on in several local newspapers around New York City, including the Canarsie Courier. I loved his take on Pillary’s globetrotting — all at our expense, of course — and the analogy to utterly useless, wasteful government he saw in it:

Vote For Hillary

       Last week, it was announced that Hillary Clinton is to receive the Liberty Medal in a ceremony at the Constitution Center in historic Philadelphia in recognition of a lifetime spent in public service.

       Mrs. Clinton is often praised for having been the most widely traveled Secretary of State in history having visited over 100 countries during her term in office. And yet, no one has been able to name a single region, a single country…a single city block…that has been in any way improved by all those travels.


4:27 pm on July 8, 2013