The Left, the Right, and the State
Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.
Lew Rockwell's new manifesto is a clarion call—creative and thought-provoking on every page—for a principled liberty in our time. There are very few books in which you can open up any page and immediately find a quotable and inspiring passage that will make you think hard, laugh out loud, or see things a completely new way. This is certainly one of them.
He covers every topic related to economics and politics, from the business cycle, to trade, to the drug war, to environmentalism. His central thesis is that the threat to liberty comes from both the Left and the Right, and that neither really offers a consistent way out. The real problem is much deeper than either the Right or the Left recognizes. It is the institution of the state itself, which everyone seems to want to use to his own philosophical advantage.
The problem, he writes, is not that we have chosen the wrong flavor of public policy but that we have public policy at all. All forms of policy—decisions made by state institutions that affect the uses of private property according to political priorities—amount to invasions of liberty. Relentlessly moving from left-wing to right-wing and back to left-wing policy is not progress; it means continued movement down the road to serfdom.
Beautifully edited and pristinely argued, this is a work in applied Austro-libertarian theory, tracking issues and headlines as they occur and bringing the light of logic and evidence to bear on the question at hand. The articles collected can be read in a matter of five minutes each, and they are organized along topical lines.
He is especially good in dealing with issues of national crisis, such as weather disasters, terrorist attacks, and economic downturns. He shows that liberty is more important in these times than any other. And while others back away during these times, he has consistently been out front, calling for peace when the masses are screaming for war, calling for freedom when the politicians demand a crackdown, and urging a free market when everyone else seems to be clamoring for state solutions.
If you have read Lew Rockwell's articles and speeches over the years and wished for a single collection, it has finally arrived in a beautifully bound hardback that is a real treasure to own and study. It makes a lasting impact.
Rockwell is the founder and president of the Mises Institute, and the editor of his own site LewRockwell.com. He has played an important role in the shaping of libertarian theory for a quarter of a century. This book shows how and why. Subtle, radical, and compelling, Rockwell's book is a great addition to the legendary literature of political dissidents.
Part I: The State
- Times Change, Principles Don't
- Freedom Is Not "Public Policy"
- Legalize Drunk Driving
- Society Needs No Managers
- Declaration Confusion
- Anatomy of an Iraqi State
- Why the State Is Different
- Which Way the Young?
- Absorbed by the State
- Working Around Leviathan
- Why Politics Fail
- President Who?
- Know Your Government
- Private life?
- Despotism and the Census
- Take Not Insults From Campaigns
- Liberty Yet Lives
Part II: The Left
Section 1: Socialism
- The New Communism
- The New Fabians
- The Violence of Central Planning
- National Treasures
Section 2: Regulation
- Regulatory-Industrial Complex
- The Incredible Stuff Machine
- Wal-Mart Warms to the State
- The Trouble With Licensure
- Illusions of Power
Section 3: The Environment
- Government Garbage
- Gross Domestic Bunk
- My Vice: Hating the Environment
Section 4: Free Trade & Globalization
- Bastiat Was Right
- Does World Trade Need World Government?
- Should the Magi Have Bought Bethlehem?
- Why They Hate Us
Section 5: Culture
- Capitalism and Culture
- Who's the American Taliban?
- Mises On The Family
- Why Professors Hate the Market
Section 6: Civil Rights
- How Government Protects Potential Workplace Killers
- The Trial of Lott
- The Economics of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Part III: The Right
Section 1: Fascism & The Police State
- The Reality of Red-State Fascism
- Which Way for Liberty?
- Slouching Towards Statism
- Economic Ignorance
- Drug War Death Toll
Section 2: War
- False Glory
- My Speech at the Anti-War Rally
- Anything for a Buck
- Was Lenin Right?
- War and the Economy
- Iraq and the Democratic Empire
- Even Conservatives Need the Anti-War Movement
Section 3: 9-11
- What Not To Do
- Forgotten Victims of 9-11
- Counterterrorism (by Government) is Impossible
- An Inevitable Bog
- The Meaning of Security
- A Tribute to Trade
Part IV: The Market
Section 1: Capitalism (and Mercantilism)
- The Millennium's Great Idea
- The Legitimacy of Capitalism
- Art, Faith, and the Marketplace
- Capitalism and the Burger Wars
- In Praise of Failure
- The Blessings of Deflation
- Are Markets Boring?
- Do Food Makers Want to Kill You?
- In Praise of Shoddy Products
- The Super-Rich Tax Themselves
- The Steel Ripoff
- The Bridge of Asses
- Can the Market Deliver Letters?
- Bethlehem's Economic Lessons
- The Faith of Entrepreneurs
Section 2: Economics & Economists
- What Economics Is Not
- Economics: The Weather-Vane Profession
- Keynes Rules From the Grave
- Myths of the Mixed Economy
- A Marxoid "Oops"
- Still the State's Greatest Living Enemy
Section 3: Banking & The Business Cycle
- The Case for the Barbarous Relic
- Those Bad Old Buttoned-Up Days
- The Political Business Cycle
- Y2K and the Banks
- Bank Privacy Hypocrisy
- Unplug the Money Machine
- The Dot-Com Future
- Blaming Business
- Define It Away
- What Made the Next Depression Worse
Section 4: Natural Disasters
- War on Gougers?
- Weapon of Mass Creation
- The State and the Flood
- Part V: What To Do
- The Mal-Intents
- What We Mean by Decentralization
- What Should Freedom Lovers Do?
- Strategies for the Battle Ahead
- The United Front Against Liberty
- The Definition and Defense of Freedom