Tag Archives: libertarianism

Solomon and Mann on Global Warming

Glenn Fox sent this out to the Free Market Environmentalist group on Facebook today. It’s an interchange by Lawrence Solomon and Michael Mann on global warming. It’s a fairly serious interchange. If anything, it confirms that consensus does not exist on the issue.

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If Gilles Duceppe was Frederic Bastiat, I’d Vote Bloc

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Ron Paul on Abortion, Markets and Power

If I could have had my way in the US elections, I would have seen Congressman Ron Paul elected as President. One of the reasons has to do with his stance on abortion. As a libertarian, he argues that abortion is not congruent with principles of freedom. In this piece, he even argues that the market suffers with legalised abortion and that there is a correlation between the pro-abortion position and the centralisation of governmental power.

Read “Abortion and the Centralization of Power” at RonPaul.com.
As a physician who has delivered over 4,000 babies I am very
disturbed by the continued efforts of those on the left to establish absolute
rights to abortion. However, even more distressing is the notion that taxpayers
should be forced to subsidize life-ending procedures such as abortion and
embryonic stem cell research.

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Walter Block on Free Market Environmentalism

Thanks to Brandon for offering a link in a comment on an earlier post on free market environmentalism. The link is to a YouTube video of Walter Block discussing the relationship between the environment and economics. Check it out:

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Market and the Environment

Two side interests of mine over the past number of years have been economics and environmental issues. In my mind, both fall under the rubrick of Genesis 1:26 and the command to humans to have stewardship over the earth. What’s sad is that often economics, especially the free market variety, and the environment fail to cohere in an amicable way. That’s why I have been excited to read about “free market environmentalism.” This may sould like a contradiction in terms, but I think that if you were to delve deeper into the subject you’ll see that the two fit together quite snugly.
Check out libertarian writer Walter Block’s “Environmentalism and Economic Freedom” hosted at the Mises Institute’s website. It gives you a taste.
Another good resource is the University of Guelph’s Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics group, in particular the writings by Glenn Fox – a self-styled “free market environmentalist.”
See also this interview with Ron Paul who ran for the Republicans in their primary last year:

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Francis Wayland – Classical Liberal?

One of the great things about studying history is seeing when a figure that you admire shares similar views on subjects other than what he is known for. Francis Wayland is one of the great American Baptists who upheld liberty of conscience when it came to religious conviction, was a supporter of the mission movement and wrote against slavery (for more on Wayland, see Dr. Haykin’s post). It therefore should come as no surprise that his political views run along the same lines. My friend Mark has a seven-point summary of Wayland’s views on private property.

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Doug Jones and Capitalism

Douglas Jones is an author that I like to keep my eye on – who could forget his hilarious The Mantra of Jabez? It’s a genius satire of The Prayer of Jabez. His contributions to the church are significant. For instance, the work he has done on the apologetic front, bringing the Christian worldview to bear on forms of unbelief has been helpful in my own theological development.

Jones is a pastor at Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho, the same one Doug Wilson pastors. He is also a Senior Fellow at New St. Andrew’s College, oversees the Sabbath House and editorial director of Canon Press.
Recently, Jones started blogging at Scribblative Agincourting, and I must say, that I have been surprised at some of what he has written. Jones has long had association with the newer wave of Christian Reconstruction, a part of which is the philosophy of libertarian economics and political thought. Reading his blog, one sees a certain shift in Jones’ thought. Although I’m not sure if it’s necessarily a shift in the wrong direction.
Whether one agrees with Jones’ shift, he definitely gives pause for thought. He is an insightful writer, who pulls no punches, yet shows balance and conviction in his expression. Personally, as one with libertarian leanings, I find a lot that I agree with in Jones (it strikes me that he’s critical of conservatism more than he is of libertarianism). Whether he is a libertarian or not, he is worth listening to. This is why I’m posting links to some of his posts and the discussion that followed as a result:
I’ll start with the post that has sparked a small controversy in the blogosphere:
And the responses by Andrew Sandlin and David Bahnsen
And here is Jones’ recent response to Bahnsen.
It may be worth noting that Doug Wilson is slowly posting his way through Schneider’s book himself.

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Windsor Liberty Seminar Report

Sadly I had to miss the Windsor Liberty Seminar held at the University of Windsor last Saturday, but I am thankful to my friend and fellow member of Grace Baptist Church, Codex Markianus, for giving us the scoop. The three speakers at the event were Fred McMahon, Jan Narveson and Bruce Walker. It was hosted by the Institute for Liberal Studies. I had a good time preaching in Toronto, however, and am thankful to the Lord for that.
Check out his very thorough review of the three lectures here. I hope Mark scored me some free stuff!

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Markets and Miracles

At the Evangelical Outpost there is an interesting article called Markets and Miracles that discusses the roll of God in relation to market control. Here’s a key quote:

Progressives, fearing that no one is in control and that powerful will take
advantage of the weak, believe the state must step in to prevent inequitable and
unjust outcomes. Conservatives (as we would define them today), by contrast, put
their faith in the system itself and believe that left unhindered by the state,
is sufficient to lead to the best possible end result. Libertarians, who view
markets as morally neutral, contend that the individual, when allowed total
liberty, will usher in the ideal end state. While all of these positions have
some merit, they all ultimately fail when they leave out the most significant
reason for putting our trust in the markets: because all control ultimately
belongs to God.

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Windsor Liberty Seminar

The Institute for Liberal Studies will be hosting the annual Windsor Liberty Seminar at the University of Windsor on March 15, 2008 between 9:30am – 4pm. It will be held in the CAW Student Centre – the ironies I’ll hold off from pointing out. For more information contact info@liberalstudies.ca.

Speakers:
Dr. Jan Narveson (University of Waterloo) – Revitalizing Liberalism
Bruce Walker (Mackinac Centre for Public Policy) – Renting Your Land From the Government: The Property Rights Battle
Fred McMahon (The Fraser Institute) – The Effects and Mysteries of Economic Freedom

Afterparty at Phog featuring music by Lindy! and Wax Mannequin.

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Capitalism-Mercantilism Distinction

Doug Wilson has a good post on “secular libertarianism.” In it he makes a helpful distinction between capitalism and mercantilism. It leads me to think that mercantilism is what most people are actually against when they rail against capitalism. I’d like to explore this more.
Here’s a good quote:

The fat cats despise genuinely free markets because it generates the only
true accountability they will ever get. So the market ought to be kept out of
the hands of regulators, managers, and federally-mandated ninnyhammers because
it is not a collection of impersonal forces. The market is personal, not
impersonal. But the personality resident in it is way beyond the capacity of any
bureaucrat to even begin to comprehend.

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Libertarian Links

Here are some things on libertarianism that have appeared on blogs I frequent:
Doug Wilson offers some positive thoughts on Presidential hopeful (emphasis on hope) Ron Paul. See here for reasons why not to vote Huckabee.
Justin Taylor offers a four part interview series with Robert P. George who teaches jurisprudence at Princeton Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

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50 Year Anniversary of Atlas Shrugged

As a libertarian I have been interested in the writings of Ayn Rand. I was surprised that today marked the fiftieth anniversary of her influential book Atlas Shrugged. It was a delight to read of John Piper’s thoughts on her work – I saw that he and I shared the same struggles and feelings. Though she was a champion of capitalism and individualism, she was an ardent atheist and hedonist. In some senses, her views tend towards bolstering the misconceptions many have about capitalism, as she was rigorously self-centred (note her views on abortion). I sometimes think that if someone like Rand became the leader of a country, the poor would have some problems. Granted, I don’t know enough about her thought to really back the statement up!

Yet, in a strange way, it is her atheism that I am intrigued by. She is a living example that a capitalist system that is based on the autonomous rationality of men and women provides no real incentive to do good. The poor would get left behind, not because of capitalism, but because the atheism behind it (in her case) provides no foundation for ethics. Capitalism, in my opinion, needs an objective authority (more than Smith’s ‘invisible hand’) that changes the naturally selfish inclinations of people. Of course, I argue that the only objective authority for this is Christ and his Word.
Anyways, after that ramble, don’t get dissuaded from reading Piper’s note. It’s very good. And while you’re at it, read this evaluation of Rand’s ethics also written by Piper some years ago.

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Rothbard on Myths about Libertarianism

In keeping with my previous post, I thought this might be informative. Late Chicago economist Murrary Rothbard has a good article, called “Six Myths About Libertarianism” dispelling the misguided beliefs that some people have about libertarianism.

1) Libertarians believe that each individual is an isolated, hermetically sealed atom, acting in a vacuum without influencing each other.
2) Libertarians are libertines: they are hedonists who hanker after “alternative life-styles.”
3) Libertarians do not believe in moral principles; they limit themselves to cost-benefit analysis on the assumption that man is always rational.
4) Libertarianism is atheistic and materialist, and neglects the spiritual side of life.
5) Libertarians are utopians who believe that all people are good, and that therefore State control is not necessary.
6) Libertarians believe that every person knows his own interests best.
Click the link above to read Rothbard’s answers to these myths.

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Free Books

That title ought to get your attention, if you’re like me that is. But no, sadly, Amazon.com is not giving away free books. Rather, there is a helpful website I wanted to bring to your attention. It doesn’t mail you free books (how great would that be?), but allows you to download pdf’s of good books. Of course, your friendly theonomist, Gary North, runs the site. It’s a treasure trove of good stuff (with the odd bad). I was chatting with my friend Scott about it, and thought I’d post, just so he wouldn’t forget.
I personally enjoyed the following books from this site (not that I endorse everything about the site or their books!):
Marx’s Religion of Revolution – Gary North. An excellent, excellent study of the life and thought of Karl Marx. A must read if you’re interested in that kinda thing.
Introduction to Christian Economics – Gary North. I think that North is at his strongest on economic issues, as he is a trained economist. A very helpful book.
Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators – a critique of Ron Sider. This is a classic.
Trial and Error – George Grant. Against the ACLU – you gotta love that.
Killer Angel – George Grant. A biography of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.
By This Standard – Greg Bahnsen. While I am not a theonomist, I do have sympathies. I don’t agree with everything in this book, but I do find it very helpful in many ways.
Bringin in the Sheaves – George Grant. A book on the Christian response to poverty. Very thought provoking.
An absolutely horrific book (and introduction) on this site, whose spirit I definitely don’t endorse, even though I’m not a Keynesian is Hodge’s Baptised Inflation. They take Doug Vickers to task on his economic theory. It is a disgusting book that drags Vickers through the mud. It should not have been written by Christians. Sad.
Also available are a number of different newsletters and periodicals done by North, et. al.
To be able to view the documents, you have to first download DjVu, a link is provided on the site. In all honesty, it’s been a while since I’ve downloaded anything from here, so I can’t guarantee that all of the links work. It’s a trial and error thing I guess.

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Windsor Liberty Seminar – March 24, 2007


Sadly, I won’t be able to make it down for the upcoming Windsor Liberty Seminar. I wasn’t even sure if they were doing it this year, so I didn’t set the time aside this month for it. If it is anything like last year’s event, it is sure to be great.

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