How I Bamboozled Thousands of Conservatives into Thinking Like Anarchists | Robert P. Murphy



as the title for tonight's lecture is I believe it's how I bamboozled thousands of conservatives into thinking like anarchists and I'm sure what that what they want me to talk about is my book the politically incorrect guide to capitalism but before I get into that I want to just sort of explain my relationship with modern-day conservatives and of course we're already I know if somebody's listening online they're going to email me your someone's going to pounce on the eater in the social hour and so you shouldn't have called them conservatives because they're not conservatives they're really neo-cons and I'm just in the interest of brevity I'm not going to keep using the term neoconservative but just so you understand right now I realize that they're not true conservatives with the way I use that term that they're not people who necessarily believe in the principles that used to uphold this country but we all know what I mean people who listen to Rush Limbaugh Sean Hannity those are the people I mean when I'm saying conservative for the rest of the talk tonight and as I say I used to be one of them I don't think I ever considered myself a Republican with a capital R but I certainly one point my life I think early on in high school thought I was a conservative or I would have identified myself as that my dad listen to Rush Limbaugh and so did I and and then I think at some point I switched and realize no no actually I'm a libertarian and then it was in college when I finally took the plunge in the deep end and said no I'm an anarcho-capitalists and you know there was 15 people in the world who knew what that term meant so it's kind of safe at the time you know people would just think there's some sort of medical condition but uh so so anyway I just in case there are conservatives listening to this and they think that you know I wouldn't have chosen the term bamboozled I would have used hoodwinked or something like that it's again this is this really is in the spirit I I don't think that I'm trying to be deceptive or anything and you'll see that come out in the talk I just want to stay at the up at the outset that I i do have I am friendly with modern-day conservatives some of them in my in my family in my my friends so as I say I like Rush Limbaugh I even listen to him now and it's funny it's not that I even disagree with all that much of what he says this stuff on the the Iraqi abuses with the Abu gorab and things like that where he's now come on these troops just blowing off steam obviously that I just was shocked that he was saying that but when you hear him saying it you know you can picture it say yeah that is I could see him saying that now you know when you read it in print it's shocking and then when you hear the way it actually came out on the air it's like yeah that was rush okay but it's even not listening to him in all things what he did like with the attorney general stuff if those of you have been following that I mean it's really funny if you catch these senators grilling the guy i mean gonzalez he'll he'll say what was the one it was really hilarious they had a clips of course on NPR because they're so anti Gonzalez there but he said something they they said you said that when you went to this guy's hospital room it wasn't about the certain matter and but it turned out it was and he said yes well I clarified with the reporter reporter soon after that and so I clarified ok well what exactly did you say the reporter and he said well I didn't speak with the reporter and I said ok what did your spokesperson say to the reporter and he's I don't know and then I'm not making this up this is almost verbatim and then in it and so then he said woolen how you know how do you know that he clarified the ok so that's the kind of thing and you could actually hear these senators just sighing and looks sort of defying and it's that's pretty good when you can get senators what a liar this guy is you know so so that's always impressed so anyway but my point is with rush you know his commentary in this it's not that he's so much defending Gonzalez's statements but he'll he'll say can you believe these Democrats look at Janet Reno look and he'll go through all the Democratic attorneys general Dan in and show how they're hypocritical for attacking the Republicans which gen is true so it's it's just funny that you know these the Conservatives a lot of what they they write you know if you go to their websites or whatever a lot of it I actually agree with it's just they're so focused on it's us versus them and if my opponent is wrong on something if Ted Kennedy is on the opposite side of the issue on something that means I must be right and that's their mentality and of course that's the kind of thing that I think places like the Mises Institute needs to combat that we need to show Americans and everyone else around the world to know there is there is a different option there's things to choose between what us Republicans and US Democrats are offering us now if I'm talking about my relationship with conservatives I can't skip over the episode with Jonah Goldberg and so let me just briefly recapitulate what happened there some of you may have made remember what I'm talking about one my from my sort of angry young man days when I used to start writing for Lew Rockwell calm what had happened was Jonah Goldberg was the editor of national review online he wrote a piece called i think was libertarians under my skin and he just had to get it off his chest because these you know idiot libertarians over here I mean they you don't need to take him seriously but he was so well informed he was gonna let his readers know about us and he starts out the pieces and so there's this site Lew Rockwell calm you haven't heard of it well most people haven't either and then he proceeded to go go from there and he was criticizing I don't even it was the issue was about hi grow some some ad stirs point about straße teens and hike i think and whether he was a conservative or not and that's what they're talking but the thing that really just annoyed me was first of all he was attacking Jean Callahan it was my personal friend and as I told gene after the fact I said no in a physical fight if someone goes up to you i'm not going to be anywhere near you but someone you know fight you on the internet I got your back I'm like there so so that was that was one thing was just that he was attacking gene and but they and just again you would need to go it's on you can find it if you want to it's still online somewhere or at least you can find my article that quotes from it if you want to see exactly what set me off so much but it was just he so he was attacking Kelly and just the very idea that the jonah goldberg thought that he was more politically sophisticated and he knew political theory more than these children over at lrc you say we could we meet put children no he was calling he was saying things like these libertarians are in their high chair and slamming on it and saying we want liberty now and like these are the types of reasons arguments that he was using against us so you can see it got me mad and the thing they'll bit more than him attacking gene because in a gene a lot of times says things that would provoke a tax on the thing that that really got me mad though was that jonah goldberg thought that he was witty and he thought he was cooler than the people writing for lrc when we're all just complete nerds right that i mean it's it's not like he was he's the editor of playboy or something you know he's the editor of national review on life you're going to sell out you might as well get money and power don't become the editor of national review online so that's what my take was on that so that that's why I'm and then so I had my response and I I don't think it's on my archives right now because as I got older and look back at some my youthful indiscretions I asked people let's let's put some of this aside but if you do come up to me afterward I'll tell you there is a way you can read these things online still but you got to know the secret password so i will tell you afterward but I don't want to broadcast it to the whole world as to how to find this stuff but in any event in response to that jonah goldberg a this is probably my proudest moment milo well I mean my wedding and the birth of my son and then number three number three is when Jonah Goldberg on that review online referred to Mike me but you know Bob Murphy and called me a no-talent assclown and you know as I said yeah thank you so it insulted me because I told you I'm not a clown you know that's just and then but what's funny is this this just epitomizes the difference because someone pointed out to me later he said you realize that jonah goldberg took that from office space the movie office but he didn't invent that term so here I was thinking okay that's kind of a clever term you know okay and he took it from a movie all right so that mean doesn't that just epitomise that you'll here we are on this brawl of words and then he's going to use it a term that he just stole from a fairly popular movie whereas you know if Jean Callahan were going to criticize him and use a term he would have picked something I obscure from page 340 of ulysses or something you know that david gordon would take two weeks and go oh I get the joke right that's that's the difference between gene calhan and jonah goldberg and that's it was just I was just so mad because Jonah wouldn't even get it you know you wouldn't even see the difference so anyway okay I'll move on so as far as my personal progression what what is it about the concerns when did I actually break with him and realize that no I can't identify myself with these guys I mean besides uh let's say the doctrine of course I had moved beyond being up calling myself a conservative in the libertarian and I realized that now I'm an anarchist of the variety of Murray Rothbard people in that tradition but the thing that really made me realize that oh wow the right in terms of modern American politics really I don't know if if I side with them anymore because it used to be that I'd say okay I I don't like the spectrum the way it is but I mean come on those Democrats are just crazy and they're they're thieves and Liars where the Republicans yeah they sell out and they don't actually live up to their ideals but at least I like the rhetoric and so I I'm ashamed to say I don't think I actually prayed for it just because that seems so unseemly to pray for a political outcome but I was really nervous when i went to bed when George Bush and Al Gore when that was still up in the air because I was so terrified that if l bor one we would just have all this environmental legislation and that would cripple us industry and as you can imagine now in retrospect maybe that wouldn't have been such a bad thing head head george bush lost that first election but so i'm just trying to show you my mentality and at that point of course i was still a it was an anarchic capitalist but yet I was still rooting for the Republican in that particular race so what really turned me around the bush illusion would would let you realize this well the whole Iraq invasion and the WMDs you and I again this is so naive to admit this that I was I was so naive at the time but when it was leading up to the invasion and Bush and his subordinates were saying how we have all this credible intelligence about Iraq's WMDs I totally believe that and I just thought the issue was I said okay I'm going to right now use this as a litmus test to see is the u.s. really this domineering foreign power this imperialist power that the left says it is or are we basically the good guys and sometimes we go too far and we overstep we're basically still you know the Freedom Fighters of the world kind of thing and so I said okay if if it looks like to me that Saddam Hussein really does try to do what the US wants and turns over his weapons and then you know and we avert war then I'll say that the u.s. is basically the good guys whereas if it looks like you know the United States invades when Saddam did what he could to try you know turn over the weapons let inspectors through then I'm going to think that the US are the bad guys just like the left says and so you can imagine it didn't occur to me wait a minute what if there are no weapons what what happens then what does that make the us if we invade when there are no weapons the first because I thought the issue was okay they've got weapons and do we invade or not because they might at some point use them against us and I thought well no we shouldn't but let's see how it plays out so and if you just to defend myself a little bit it wasn't that I thought the u.s. president his advisers were above lying it's that I thought well if you took over another country based on reasons that turned out to be dead wrong you would probably get in trouble like something would happen to you wouldn't it like you wouldn't you wouldn't do that and surely and it turns out well no there's nothing what happens you get reelected that's what happens so so that's that's the was a fly my reasoning is I didn't take the analysis far enough and I just assumed that the American people surely wouldn't reelect somebody who led them into war on the base of things that turned out to be wrong whether you thought they were lies or not yeah that's a thing what's 22 is how the conservatives spin that and say no every other agency thought that and well okay but you know when it comes to things like when the left makes arguments about well every other European country has much higher taxes on gasoline of course the rights response well we don't want to be like those idiot Europeans you know look if the French have more syphilis than we do too hahaha you know we don't want to copy them but yet that's exactly the argument they use and I don't know if the French do or not I'm just right so but that's you see what I'm saying that that sort of ragging that's that's a throw off line and you know that's it's stupid when the left uses arguments about comparing us to the rest of the world but yet when we want to explain what gee why do we just take over this country on things for reasons to turn out to be completely wrong that's not an indictment of our intelligence agencies that's just well as far I mean everybody else thought that too right so it any event that's um that's what really turned me around the WMD thing and and why I started to agree with the left and so now it's I can listen to NPR whereas before I hated NPR you know Terry Gross just turns my stomach I can't stand these people but now it's you know and it's it's really it's just interesting when you I'm grateful in that sense that that I've lived through this because now I I can see the merits in both sides so just like I can understand now where conservatives are coming from when a rail against the welfare policies left by the same token I totally get now I live listen to a quote unquote liberal commentator and how they rail against the religious right and bushes America and fascism and things like that I see where they're coming from too so it was sort of an educational experience one last thing I want to point out about the the similarities between the the pundits defending bush what I noticed is with this WMD issue that they saw it coming so at first when we went in there we didn't find any weapons and Rumsfeld was saying things like you know the press conferences they say where the WMD he said we know where they are they're there around Tikrit and there you know north of bases in Tikrit we have solid evidence of course they're not going to have them right on the border when we first cross into their it's going to take a while and they would say stuff like you know look at our racks the size of the compared to u.s. state and say do you think you could go find weapons in two days in the state the size and and so they would they would just you keep laughing at the left in these these lunatics for expecting so much from the US troops and don't worry I'll turn up but as the months passed on the think that you know the right-wing pundits they started to realize wait a minute we need to change our position because this is at some point we're going to have to admit there are no weapons there and so it's just interesting how it morphed over time and I I do have it i don't like i said i don't think it's online right now but in a series of our lou rockwell article i did point out i caught this guy think it was national review online writer he wasn't like their regular was one of the guys they had occasionally and he had an article i think it was Clifford may but i'm not sure but i think it was him it was one week to the next likely release i think seven days had elapsed and he was talking about the yellowcake uranium and all that issue and it was it was amazing how the first week's column it was just totally against what these liberal democrats were talking about just completing all the administration's been completely exonerated on this and this idiot anti board leftists are just hurting our troops cause over there demoralizing troop and then one week later he like toned everything down by ten percent and all his points then open up the door so that in the future it could just be told ya we knew all about that stuff and no one had ever said otherwise and it was that that's the way it worked and it was it struck me that it was exactly similar to what the leftist pundits did during the Clinton administration when the Monica Lewinsky stuff came out because if you remember right when those allegations were first made in Clinton denied it famously saying I didn't have relations with those of that woman the leftist pundits where they were just all over the place they were saying things like oh come on you right wing conspiracy like Clinton's a very charming man do you really think he would have picked that in turn to have an affair with if he wanted to have an affair was I mean they were saying stuff like this like this I was ludicrous and it was a right-wing conspiracy but then as time went on and you know they started getting all that hard evidence they's this okay we're going to have to do something about this we can't just flip one day to the next and say yeah he did it like so they started morphing it over time and same thing with these you know and the eventually of course to position was this doesn't rise to the level of an impeachable offense and these you know right wingers are concerned about sexual immorality whereas look at all the prime ministers in Europe and so on o have mistresses right you need to remember this stuff how that's not what they said initially they didn't say initially well whether he had the affair now it's not a big deal and they denied he said he did not have that affair because he said he didn't you guys have no proof this is crazy and then once they realized the way he probably did or they knew okay he did we got to do something they just slowly morph their position their defensive him into what is now in the history books and so the the right wing puns the exact same thing with his WMD issue that if you went back and read what they initially said they weren't saying things like whether or not Saddam has WMD we needed to invade to give Iraqis freedom and to depose Saddam Hussein he posed it they didn't say that they said no there's WMD clearly the president said it in the state of the union that I did it and then it was only months and months later that they realized okay we need to change what the rhetorical justification for the invasion was so again all that it really and I this is so cliche to people who are older and already knew this they're going to think why are you harping on this but again it just really it was a learning experience for me that all the reasons I didn't like the left the right does the exact same thing for their own pet projects and its really there's an interesting comparison it can just go through it but what is it that the left does they advocate of course government power and money for their pet projects they think that they're smart enough and that they have the right to take your money and spend it on projects they want to remake society and as we know is Austrian economist the things that they're trying to fix the social problems they're trying to fix are actually caused by previous such interventions in the first place all right and when I'm not going to bother going through it because you guys are familiar with it but the right does the exact same thing that it's just they care about defense issues not social issues and so they are extremely arrogant and naive and they think that the power of Washington DC we can remake the Middle East they may actually think that that's going to work and they're not afraid to go in there and try to remake it just like the left isn't afraid to try to go in and remake an inner city and their proposals again with the solution to everything is always will just increase our budget we just need to do more of the same we didn't have enough money last time or someone so you know stabbed us in the back and that would have worked except where we didn't have the right people in charge only we had a different general than it would have worked right that's their mentality the same way the left thinks that yeah there's nothing wrong with inner city housing projects just the particular person who was in charge was corrupt and he didn't oversee the construction properly but we just get the right person in there where we'll build some more right so that's that's their mentality and again the things that we're trying to fix the fact that while these people around the world hate us so much and we're sitting there minding our own business and all of a sudden Japan attacks us out of nowhere and then some okay we got to reluctantly go over there and take over Europe and and you know put troops over there and then where's my in our own business again all of a sudden these crazy arabs coming bombers well okay we got to go over there and fix the Middle East and you know in all these terrorists so all these issues you can again go through and see that it's precisely because of prior interventions that are causing or at least exacerbating the things that now allegedly require a response from our military so it's again it's very interesting and I like to just tell people that what's what's the stereotype of American politicians in terms of Republicans and Democrats it's that the Democrats are weak on defense you know they're very pacifistic but they like to spend a lot on social programs and they're very interventionist to in terms of the domestic economy whereas the Republicans are supposed to be the opposite there were big war hawks they go around blowing people up but they are least good in terms of free market economics by view said okay well which you know where the presents that were the biggest war mongers in the 20th century start listing them they're all Democrats I mean who is the one political ruler in human history whose used nuclear weapons against innocent civilians was a Democrat and in terms of the Republicans Richard Nixon what did he do took us off the gold standard he imposed peacetime wage and price controls and then II visited China right so it's just funny that when you did the stereotypes we had they're not even right or correct you know so it's it's just really frustrating and when you realize that it's a makes you wanna go vote for Ron Paul but oh yeah that's that was a throwaway that's like how you doing Auburn all right it's good to be here you guys got a good football team huh so alright so I should probably talk about my book at least a little bit so the politically incorrect guide to capitalism uh what I did there and I think this is where the title for tonight's talk is coming from is of course that was addressed to a modern conservative audience and you know when I was at Regnery the publishers sitting at the table where they were debating whether they were going to publish it or not you know I was looking around and at the on the bookshelves you know there was an Coulter's latest book and there was all this stuff you know and and it was a newt gingrich and things like that and i was really it was kind of scary because I so much wanted this them to agree with a book project I mean if they had said well are you going to pledge your personal loyalty to Dick Cheney I would have said sure thing sure thing just you know give me a book and so it was it was sort of scary I'm not gonna lie to you but uh so don't ever give me that ring from Lord of the Rings because I don't know what I would do with it but slightly weird but I will say and I was nervous that they were going to pressure me to put stuff in the book that I didn't agree with in it and I'm glad I said that didn't happen that all jokes aside I really did have a very nice relationship and I had smooth sailing with with their editors they did take some things out but I think most it was just because of space constraints and and and just I didn't you know I was making it too geeky and they had a day to take stuff out they there are two things i'll mention that that didn't make it into the book one of them i think was just again because of space constraints the other one may have been because they thought their audience wouldn't go for it so the first one I think was just space constraints was in the chapter on slavery which I to their credit I couldn't believe they let me put in a chapter not defending slavery but blaming slavery on the government and saying under a free market there wouldn't be slavery because that's that's pretty politically incorrect you know that's that's pretty crazy to be talking about that you would think they would say well let's tighten it it's also very abstract and sort of hyper that's that's something to have in the past is it supposed to talking about reparations or something that's more mainstream but I was here talking about slavery and I said to their credit they they didn't chop that chapter out but what they did take out was this good quote by Gordon Tulloch and again I think it was just because it was too long but he went through and I and I got a lot of this stuff from mark Thornton's paper and I do quote from him heavily in the chapter but I just want to it's very interesting that the more research I did the more convinced I became that yes slavery really could not last under a free market now there's the sort of tautology where you could say well if you had slavery it's not what I mean by a free market I mean so there's that there's that obvious sense but even beyond that if you had a lazy fair economy where it just so happened that the way people thought that they thought you people could own cows if I people can own houses and they also thought that this group of people had the legal ability to own this group of people over here and that's the way it started in the beginning at time 0 just over time if you from that point on head strict enforcement of property rights and everything we're voluntary given that definition it's it's really inconceivable that over time those people wouldn't end up owning themselves right so that they would have self-ownership now you could say would be it's unfair that they would have to buy themselves out of slavery but that's clearly the only efficient outcome and Mises talks about this in human action but it's a little bit oblique it's hard he doesn't come out and say as clearly as Tulloch had done in this miss passions that I quoted but just to recapitulate the argument it goes like this that the difference between human beings and animals like donkeys or whatever the animals that you're going to have doing work around a plantation is that the human beings are actually they're not very physically strong a lot of their contribution comes in from the fact that they're intelligent and so unfortunately it's hard just from looking at somebody to tell how what their capabilities are and even beyond just mere intelligence just you know your attitude or just if whether you're clever or not just if you have an aptitude for whatever the problem is to be solved on the plantation or whatever the job happens to be and so looking at a group of people if you picture if you're a slave owner and you're going to use force to motivate them to work for you what do you have to do you have to set a bare minimum and say if you do let's say it's picking cotton if you pick less cotton in this bear amount that I'm going to whip you or whatever the punishments going to be and of course they can set different standards looking at you that if you're a 25 year old male and you're physically strong they might expect you to pick more to avoid a whipping then you know some woman who's nine months pregnant okay fair enough that but the point is even among males who are comparable build and they're both healthy one of them might be just a much harder worker if you had the right incentives whereas under the slave system he's just going to do the bare minimum he needs in order to avoid the physical punishment and so if somebody down the street says to the first plantation owner he says okay why don't I rent from you some of your slaves but I don't want all of them let me ask them I'm going to come up with a proposal and say to them I'll tell you what I'll rent your services from your owner and if and then so let's say they're picking whatever it is 100 bushels of cotton for whatever the time frame is to make that feasible and I expect you to pick 120 but if you do that and you're going to volunteer self-select yourselves and volunteer for this proposal if you do that then not only are going to avoid a whipping but I'll also give you more food or I'll do whatever it is that they would value and so they sort of pay them to volunteer to come forward and so if you think about it and it would be worthwhile to the original owner because this person would say to him and I'll pay you for that I'll rent them out for more than it's worth to you than what they're contributing with your current system where you're just punishing them all right so if you think it through like that that it's eventually you wouldn't have this the system the way originally was set up and over time of course you would have the slaves would just would just buy their freedom from from their original owner and again it you could say that's not fair they shouldn't have to do that but the point is they wouldn't persist there wouldn't be generations of slavery that couldn't possibly persist now you could say well why didn't that happen in the real world and we do address i do address this in the book and mark Thornton's article talks about it's because the government had laws restricting manumission for one thing a lot of owners went on their deathbed they would you know in there will they would say I'm going to give the farm to my children according to these proportions and a lot of times they would want to free their most trusted servants and then you know give them their freedom that was what they did on their deathbed and there were a lot restricting that there are also laws restricting educating your slaves because if you think about it in terms of just pure profit and loss if everything is private property but it has ownership of other human beings certainly it's going to be an every plantation owners interest to educate his own slaves now what happens is that the government and the you know the wise men of the town set back and they realize well wait a minute we've got all these slaves who now can read right they're going to get funny ideas in their head and this is kim is going to be a nightmare down the road so let's just prevent everybody from educating their slaves but you can see that would never have happened if you didn't have government interfering with the rights of property owners to teach their property how to read and write okay so it's just it's people don't realize that they think that it's a perverse outcome of the free market that you had human slavery but no it's actually because of restrictions of those property rights which we are offensive to us that perpetuated the entire system so that was one thing like I said they did leave most of the chapter intact but I really in the initial manuscript had really driven home the economics behind it but I think they thought that was a bit too highbrow the other thing where I suspect they may have pulled it because of their intended audience was I hit him to be in the beginning the first chapter i think i had a section called we won the Cold War or did we and what I was going through there was the point out that capitalism has just hands-down been the most successful system and we beat the Soviets and you think that we would be cheering ourselves and paying ourselves on the back and just you know saying hey our way of life is better but of course that's not what happened we still have major universities socialists and and people make apologies for the Soviet Union and say well it's because they had bad people in charge but it really was a nice idea and one of the ways i went to illustrate that so this is where you could say i was trying to bamboozle the conservative as i was trying to get them to realize that our way of life is so much better than those idiot soviets that our military could have kicked their butt you know and so they that's on the one hand it appeals to their patriotism that yeah we know it's sort of like in dr. Strangelove if you remember the scene where it's not jack ripper what's the other guy they want to remember the other the other general but anyway he's he's talking to the president and you say I mean you can't expect these these Russians to know how to operate an anti-aircraft machinery and he's like really just criticizing these poor peasant Soviets compared to our boys flying the Bombers over there went throughout the whole movie he had been the biggest Hawk about how we need to build up our defense because these Soviets could invade us at any minute and I think that tension exists in the modern conservative mind that the one hand they really want to praise our you know US military might and there's our economy is the best system in our government is much better than that system they have over there and yet we have to be ever vigilant because we're at any day now where the mercy of being invaded and taken over by these people and so that's why I was trying to do and I had a quote from Daniel Ellsberg who was the author of the pentagon papers or the one who released the Pentagon Papers to the public and so and I think that's why this this quote may have got nixed because he's a sort of dirty name for a lot of right-wingers because he's associated with selling us out the Vietnam War and things like that but he had this great quote where he was talking about the missile gap and that was something we're in the 1950s you know the CIA had these reports and the Pentagon was concerned that the United States had this I think it was ten to one missile gap with the Soviet Union where they thought the Soviets had ICBMs 10 times in excess of what the u.s. head and so that's why we need to have more defense funding we need to build up our ability withstand a Soviet first strike and then Ellsberg goes on to say we found out later on that yes indeed there was a missile gap but it was in our favor but actually which is based on crazy Kremlin reports that they had intercepted and that no the Soviets didn't have 10 times the main missile as we did we had more missiles of course there are system we can produce more with our resources and and then Ellsberg goes on to say it I didn't put this part in but he goes on to say how but that didn't seem to change anyone's consensus in terms of the need for more for higher budgets that they still thought well you know why take chances let's have a hundred times more missiles than those guys do so so I included that thinking that here was a way too short to congratulate ourselves and to say that look it you know it's good thing that we fought the Cold War a good thing we had around rig and leading us but it turned out we didn't even you know we were going to kick their butt anyway if it ever came down to it to a fight and and like I said they took that out so I think that was the one part where I had tried to sort of get the conservatives to to see the inner tension in their own views let me let's see I've got about 10 minutes left let me spend five minutes because I think some of you thought I was going to talk about Anarchy so we'll talk about it really quickly it was with with hop and not being here this week or you're missing out on that part of the because really i think that the advertisements it should be Mises university where libertarians become anarchists that's really what I think this this conference should be called so let me just very quickly go through some of the arguments and I'll take questions the last five minutes or so when it comes to anarcho-capitalism or what you might call market anarchy the thing to remember if you have a solid base if you're a libertarian with a small al and you understand the arguments for privatizing education or privatizing roads or privatizing the post office if you understand those arguments it's very easy to then extrapolate them to these other areas and the first time you do it it's going to sound little just look at analogy and it's cute not high yeah I can see how somebody could think that but you're going to have reservations and think but in the real world that would never work that would be crazy and and it's that's why I say it's instructive with the war on terror to just it really drives home the fact that no the government the types of mistakes that the government makes in these other areas and it would just be better if the government kept its hands off the issue in the first place and let spontaneous forces play out it really just reinforces that that come that's the same thing is true when it comes to military issues so my comes to when you say well privatizing the military people say well you know what how exactly would that work very briefly I think one obvious route would be you'd have insurance companies and so what they would do is they would insure against earthquakes and heart attacks and things like that fire for your house and one thing they would insure against is what happens if an enemy aggressor comes in from from outside of military foreign power comes in and blows up your house with a bomb well insurance companies could offer policies against that just like they offer against earthquakes or fire and that's where I think in terms of a modern economy a sophisticated Western nation like the United States that's how I view a lot of the defense money being generated that insurance companies would be the ones paying for it ultimately of course they would get the revenue from property owners paying their premiums on insurance policies but I think the people who would actually be ordering military jets and things like that are buying services from defense agencies i think the actual customer would be big insurance companies and they might have policies over all the houses in a certain region or particularly major coastal cities like manhattan and other places like that surely some of the major property owners would get together they'd have insurance and they would provide incentive for them to fund military defense now again I've got to be very brief one big objection to this is people say well that wouldn't raise enough money because you've got the free rider problem and so my my quick response to that there's a couple things you could say one is that even if it's true that private voluntary contributions to providing military defense don't have the advantage that you can't use the government to force everyone to contribute even if you don't have that option nonetheless there's an offsetting difference which is that the the prices that the Pentagon has to pay for military hardware I think are inflated several times because there's no competition so in other words what the Pentagon pays for an anti-aircraft battery or what they pay for a cruise missile or a stealth bomber is much more than what I think firms in the free market would have to pay for comparable equipment are in fact equipment that would perform much better because it would be an open competition it wouldn't be just corrupt relationships between the government and military contractors so that's one offsetting thing that yeah maybe they could spend one one-hundredth of what the government spends in its military budget but the same time they would have to pay perhaps 150th of the prices for comparable hardware and the other advantage is that the anarcho-capitalist community doesn't need to police the world right they don't need to have aircraft carriers overseas they don't need to have hundreds of thousands of troops of garrison across the world all they need to do is make it just prohibitively costly to try to invade them they don't even have to make it so that they would win the war innocence they just have to make it the case that nobody in his right mind is going to try to take us over because it's going to be too painful the same way that the Nazis didn't take over Switzerland during World or two they could have if they wanted to but what was the point Switzerland wasn't posing a threat to them and you know there is one of my Russian professors at Hillsdale so used to say he said these people have tanks in their garages oh they're crazy no one ever invade them right that I don't know if that's true but he was claiming that he went to this his buddy's house and the guy had a tank like in with plastic over in his garage he really I'm not making up to he claimed that I know if it's true all right so now it comes to private law and so yeah I think in two minutes I can do private law hang on okay so private legal system again use the analogy I think privatizing the military is really it's straightforward it's not it's just like privatizing education or other so-called public goods it's really not that hard thing the thing that's really tricky is to try to figure out if we didn't have this sort of collective arrangement where we all decide is a community what the law is going to be you know where the heck are these are rules going to come from where where's property rights going to come from who's going to find what these things are as Milton Friedman says you need the government to define the rules of the game and then you go ahead and let people transact freely among those rules but you need some monopolistic agency to define a thing in the first place and no that's that's not true and just to see it there's all sorts of arenas where we see that that's not true when it comes to the spoken language for example there's no group of people who decide what the rules of grammar are or they decide what the definitions of English words are nobody decides that or in a sense we all decided to our usage you might say that the writers of dictionaries or of style books define what the rules of writing are and definitions but no they don't if Webster published a dictionary and it said you know next to the word up you know tending towards the floor it wouldn't be that all of a sudden they change though they just got it wrong that they so the writers of dictionaries they just codify what the rules are as its practice by the people in society and so by the same token I think people writing the law books in an anarcho-capitalist community they would just be kata fying the prevailing customs and usages as they were playing out and the last thing I'll say on this and I'll have time for probably two questions is the the basic mechanism that I think would happen how would law be promulgated where would the precedent be set is there would be private judges and they wouldn't social people would have conflicts you know somebody would would you would throw a party at 3am and i would think that no he shouldn't have the right to do that it's interfering with my sleep and he said no it's my property so people have conflicts how do they settle it well they would go to people who over time had just shown they make wise decisions and their job would be to render their opinion on something and in a community I think where everything was voluntary there would eventually arise and demand for these services so you could go to an expert in this matter and you could present your case and he might say yeah the way the community I've ruled on similar cases and yeah past 3am you can't be throwing parties like that in this type of arrangement and so then the aggrieved party could say the other person I want you to stop doing what you're doing and if he didn't he could then say to the community look what I've done I've gone to this reputable judge we all know the fairness of his past ruling and he's agreeing with me so this guy over here is an outcast right and we in you know you can talk about should you have the right to be able to use force and that's a whole different issue but the point is where the legal rules come from I think they'll ultimately come from judges just giving decisions and again the ones who would get authority in quotation marks perhaps that some render such verdicts will be the ones who over time people voluntarily submitted their cases too okay why don't we have two questions yep I said no it's not I yeah I mean you could go skull through you can point out all the ways that I mean Ron Paul's great thing against Giuliani I think he did a great job of summarizing all the things the US has done to provoke people and I am again I'm not going to be able to do it justice right now one minute but I think you could just go through and list all the different ways the u.s. is intervening and has caused people to hate us and I don't think it's the case you know you could say well these people aren't necessarily attacking other countries they really hate the US and its I think because the US has come to stand for imperialist power and you can list all the troops we have all over the place all of our military bases that it's it's really not the case that we've just been sitting in our borders minding our own business and all of a sudden these nutjobs attack us yeah um he watched office space so okay I think it's time for dinner so thanks a lot




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