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The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 2, No. 18, September 15, 1970


Part of the complete Libertarian Forum archives. This issue is also available as a PDF format facsimile.




A Semi-Monthly Newsletter

THE


Libertarian Forum


Joseph R. Peden, Publisher Murray N. Rothbard, Editor

VOLUME II, NO. 18 SEPTEMBER 15, 1970 35¢


FALL READING

Anarchism.

Great News! The outstanding history of individualist anarchism in America, the superb and scholarly James J. Martin, Men Against the State: The Expositors of Individualist Anarchism in America, 1827-1908, is back in print! (paperback, Ralph Myles, Publisher, Colorado Springs, Colo., 315 pp., $2.50). This edition is remarkably inexpensive, yet excellently printed—in contrast to the 1953 original. The footnotes are actually at the bottom of the page! Also photographs are added of the leading individualist anarchists: Josiah Warren, Benjamin R. Tucker, Lysander Spooner, and Ezra Heywood. A must book.

Minor correction: the updated Martin bibliography omits to mention the recent reprints by Burt Franklin, New York, of Stephen Pearl Andrews, The Basic Outline of Universology (1967), Andrews, The Primary Synopsis of Universology (1967), Josiah Warren, Equitable Commerce (1965), and Warren, True Civilization... (1965).

Daniel Guérin, Anarchism: From Theory to Practice (New York: Monthly Review Press, $6.00, 166 pp.), is a concise, highly lucid work that deals with the history of anarchist theory (European, there is no mention or seeming knowledge of the American individualists) topically rather chronologically, and with a history of the outstanding examples of anarcho-syndicalism. This French anarchist is clearly influenced primarily by the quasi-individualist Frenchman, Proudhon, and so his exposition of anarchist theory gives little offense to the individualist or even the believer in the free-market. However, Guérin's version of the collectivist-communist anarchists Kropotkin and Bakunin, as well as of the amoral might-makes-rightist Max Stirner, considerably prettifies and distorts their views, to make them appear to be almost reasonable men. The unfortunate introduction by Noam Chomsky goes far beyond Guérin to assert that an anarchist must be a socialist (!) Professor Chomsky would be well-advised to steep himself in the Martin book, and then see if he will maintain this view. An appreciative review of Guérin can be found in the Liberated Guardian (July 14) by Leonard P. Liggio. There is, alas, no index.

Spencer H. MacCallum, The Art of Community (Institute for Humane Studies, 1134 Crane St., Menlo Park, Calif. 94025, paperback, $2.00; hardcover, $4.00; 118 pp.), is also well calculated to disquiet Professor Chomsky. This is the first systematic presentation in print of what might be calIed the "Heathian" sub-variant of anarchism, after its creator, Mr. MacCallum's grandfather, Spencer Heath. The Heathian goal is to have cities and large land areas owned by single private corporations, which would own and rent out the land and housing over the area, and provide all conceivable "public services": police, fire, roads, courts, etc., out of the voluntarily-paid rent. Heathianism is Henry Georgism stood on its head; like George, Heath and MacCallum would provide for all public services out of rent; but unlike George, the rent would be collected, and the land owned, by private corporate landlords rather than by the government, and the payment therefore voluntary rather than coercive. The Heathian "proprietary community" is, of course, in stark contrast to the scruffy egalitarian commune dreamed of by anarchists of the Left.

William O. Reichert, "Anarchism, Freedom, and Power", Anarchy (London, May, 1970. Available for 40¢, or $5.00 per year from Freedom Press, 84B Whitechapel High St., London, E. 1, England.) A pleasant article on anarchism, reprinted from the American philosophical journal, Ethics.

Libertarianism and Libertarians.

Carl Bode, Mencken (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press). While Bode does not give much space to Mencken's deep and pervasive libertarian views, this is a thorough and sympathetic biography of the great wit and individualist. The best biography of Mencken in English, it will probably not be surpassed until the French biography by Guy Forgue is translated.

Hugh Gardner, "The New Gypsies" (Esquire, September, 1970, $1 per copy, $7.50 per year, pp. 109-10). A scathingly satirical report on the libertarian retreatists, the "nomads" and "troglodytes", a group that richly deserves satire.

Middle-aged libertarians who enjoy wallowing in nostalgia, as well as the young who are eager to read of the history of their movement in the 1950's, will find indispensable Eckard Vance Toy, Jr., Ideology and Conflict in American Ultraconservatism, 1945-1960 (Unpublished doctoral dissertation in history, University of Oregon, 1965; available in Xeroxed paper-bound copy from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan.). Based solely on the extensive correspondence of the conservative Seattle industrialist James Clise, this study focusses on the activities and problems of the Foundation for Economic Education and Spiritual Mobilization. Anyone who had anything to do with either organization in those days will find himself prominently in these pages, usually fairly portrayed. One interesting point is a reminder of how Spiritual Mobilization was wrecked by a peculiar, right-wing variant of the drug culture (usually mescaline in those days) and mystical personality-cult centered around the English-born guru Gerald Heard.

Milton Mayer, Man v. The State (paperback, Santa Barbara,

(Continued on page 2)


2 The Libertarian Forum, September 15, 1970

FALL READING — (Continued from
page 1)

Calif.: Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, $2.25, 191 pp.) is a beautifully written essay on behalf of liberty and in opposition to the State by a veteran and consistent opponent of war. Discussion of law, dissent, and civil disobedience, with praise for such seemingly disparate libertarians as Thoreau and the "right-wing anarchist" publisher R. C. Hoiles. It is obvious that his discussants at the Center, in the Epilogue of the book, have completely missed the point, and these include the New Left communitarians.

Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus The State (paperback, Baltimore: Penguin Books, $1.95, 350 pp.) First reprint in eighty years of this classic by one of the outstanding libertarian theorists of the nineteenth century. Also includes four other essays by Spencer.

Women's "Liberation".

Murray N. Rothbard, "The Great Women's Liberation Issue: Setting It Straight", The Individualist (May, 1970. 75¢ the issue, $7.50 per year, from 415 Second St., N. E., Washington, D. C. 20002). Ironically for the argument that women are "oppressed", this is the only systematic, hard-hitting critique of women's "liberation" that has ever been published. This article has already brought forth a stream of hysterical abuse and vituperation from various (male) libertarian youth leaders, who seem particularly offended by favorable references to heterosexuality.

William Davis, "Let's Have Equality for Men", Punch (England, November 12, 1969). Delightful article, taking the position that it is the men, not the women, of the world who are the "niggers". Davis writers: "Man is the nigger of the world, condemned to slavery so that the privileged sex can have its baubles, bangles, and beads." This is the speech that turned the tide against the Women's Lib resolution before the Oxford Union.

Nancy R. McWilliams, "Feminism and Femininity", Commonweal (May 15, 1970), pp. 219-221. A highly sensible, most welcome article on Women's Lib by a young psychologist.

Youth and Youth-Culture.

John W. Aldridge, In the Country of the Young (Harper Magazine Press, $5.00). Highly perceptive critique of the herd, or tribal, mentality of the current generation of youth.

Richard Hofstadter, "The Age of Rubbish", Newsweek (July 6). The eminent historian perceptively pin-points the crucial problem of the current youth-culture: the sudden loss of a sense of "vocation", of craftsmanship and purposeful work. Hofstadter points out that: "Young people don't have anything they want to do ... I think this is one of the roots of the dissatisfaction in college. Students keep saying that they don't know why they are there. They are less disposed than they used to be to keep order partly because the sense that they are leading a purposeful life is gone. They have the feeling that ... they don't have any say about their lives. The truth is that all too often they haven't decided what they want their lives to say."

Education.

James D. Koerner, "The Case of Marjorie Webster", The Public Interest (Summer, 1970, $1.50 the copy, $5.00 per year.), pp. 40-64. An excellent report and discussion on the case of Marjorie Webster Junior College for girls in Washington, a proprietary, profit-making college victimized by regional accrediting associations, nominally private but tied in to the federal government bureaucracy, and which refuse to accredit profit-making colleges as a matter of "principle".

James M. Buchanan and Nicos E. Devletoglou, Academia in Anarchy (New York: Basic Books, $5.95, 187 pp.). A hard-hitting critique, from a Chicago School, free-market economic point of view, of our peculiar higher educational system in which the consumers do not buy the product, the producers do not sell it, and the "owners" do not control the process. A well-balanced review of the book can be found in the Dartmouth Conservative Idea for June, 1970, by Professor Edwin G. Dolan.

Anti-Egalitarianism.

One of the most important books in years is Helmut Schoeck, Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, $7.50, 408 pp.). This lengthy, erudite work by a conservative-libertarian German sociologist focusses on the overriding problem of the envy of one's betters (in any way—achievement, intelligence, good fortune, etc.). He demonstrates that the heart of socialism and communism is an overwhelming desire to eliminate envy by appeasing its aggressive appetites: by rendering everyone uniform and equal. Schoeck demonstrates that this is a vain dream, that envy cannot be appeased out of existence. He uses anthropological findings to show that egalitarian tribal and peasant communities, happy, loving and sharing in the fantasy world of Left-intellectuals, are actually worlds driven by hate, suspicion, envy, and the fear of the envy of one's neighbors. Much of the current drive for egalitarianism, Schoeck indicates, comes from affluent intellectuals driven by guilt and therefore shame over the supposed envy of others. The supposedly idyllic Israeli kibbutz is also cut down to size. This book will give a firmer and more rigorous perspective to opponents of socialism, communism, and communalism.

George P. Elliott, "Revolution Instead—Notes on Passions and Politics", The Public Interest (Summer, 1970), pp. 65-89, is a discursive but fascinating series of notes on the political scene. Professor Elliott calls himself a "libertarian", is highly critical of hippies, youth culture, and child-centeredness, and has an original critique of "getting stoned". Elliott, too, zeroes in on egalitarianism as a vain and destructive attempt to appease envy, only to aggravate it.

Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd (paperback, New York: The Viking Press, $1.45). Reprint of the classic turn-of-the-century critique by a French sociologist of crowd behavior, and of the herd-mentality.

Ethnic Politics.

It was only as recently as the 1950's that Samuel Lubell became the first political analyst with the courage to break the iron taboo against the acknowledgment of the great importance of the ethnic in politics: of the Jewish vote, the Irish vote, etc.—something, of course, that every working politico knew full well. Now, Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan, in their sparkling 95-page introduction to the second edition of their classic Beyond the Melting Pot (2nd ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The M. I. T. Press, $1.95, 458 pp.), achieve another breakthrough: the zeroing in on the new alliance of Jews, upper-class WASPs, and lower-class Negroes, that has achieved power in New York City, at the expense of everyone else, particularly the mass of working-class and lower-middle-class Irish and Italian Catholics.

Murray Schumach, "Neighborhoods: 69 Homes in Corona at Stake", New York Times (August 11, 1970), p. 35. The touching story of how the New York City government is preparing to bulldoze the homes of several blocks of

(Continued on page 4)


The Libertarian Forum, September 15, 1970 3


A Not So Radical Guide


A Radical's Guide to Economic Reality. By Angus Black. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1970. 87 pages.


Angus Black is a pseudonym, but the word is out that the book was written by a Ph.D. candidate in economics at the University of Chicago. The Chicago influence is strong. In fact, in many ways, A Radical's Guide to Economic Reality is a "hip" version of Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom. Black is apparently trying to appeal to participants in the drug culture, and other such "dropouts." He seems to be making an honest effort to educate his audience to economic reality by speaking about subjects that they're likely to have special interest in, and in terms that they will understand. However, Black has adopted an exceedingly patronizing attitude toward his readers. One doubts that any of the people to whom he is ostensibly appealing will either appreciate his style, or accept his arguments (indeed, some of his readers may be impervious to any form of argument, but that is another matter).

A more fundamental weakness is the intellectual tradition within which the book is written. The Chicago School is not generally characterized by any insight in the basic problems which beset the United States today. Milton Friedman, titular head of the school, thinks Richard Nixon is a profoundly intelligent man who is leading this country back to laissez-faire. The real meaning of the Vietnam War (the war was not a mistake) is lost on the Chicagoites. Analyzing the American economy through the rosy glasses of a model of "perfect competition," they are unable to see the brute reality of the military-industrial complex. Moreover, their economic analysis is faulty in certain other respects, so that on key questions (e.g., inflation), they fail to come up with the fundamental objections to current policy. A Radical's Guide suffers from all of these deficiencies, and some of its own.

Still, the book is a beginning—an attempt to communicate free market solutions to specific problems, to classes of people usually inimical to this approach. Would that Black had written less flippantly, though. Len Liggio has an article on Anarchism in the July 14 Liberated Guardian, written in plain English, and devoid of a patronizing attitude, which is far more likely to bridge the gap with the Left.

The book is short. A glimpse at the chapter titles gives an indication of what is in order for the reader: "Big Business or Screw the Customer and Full Speed Ahead"; "Our Tax System—A Field Day for the Rich"; and so on. Black is particularly good on some points. On the California grape boycott:

I want to help the grape pickers, so I eat grapes for breakfast, grapes for midmorning snack, grapes for dinner, and grapes for that midnight raid on the ice box. In this way, besides the makers of Keopectate, I help grape pickers. How? Simply by raising the value of grapes and therefore increasing the demand for grape pickers.

Besides taking up the grape boycott, Black examines the problem of unions in general, pointing out the necessarily discriminatory nature of unions. But he pulls his punches on major issues, and often comes up with "compromise" solutions which perpetuate the very problem he concerns himself with. In taking on the tax system, Black makes a telling point as to who really pays the taxes, and then lamely suggests a flat 20% income tax (plus a negative income tax for the poor). No analysis is attempted of why the tax system is set up the way it is presently. Surely Black doesn't believe that the electorate, given fresh insight by a reading of Black's book, could go off to Washington, and change the tax system. This is to overlook the vested interests who are responsible for the system as it is now; it is also to assume naively that power is wielded by the general populace in the country. It is to fail to analyze the situation realistically.

More importantly, one must ask why there is no critique of the federal income tax per se (à la Frank Chodorov's classic essay, "Taxation is Robbery"). One would think that anyone with pretentions to being a libertarian would at least take up the issue of the morality of taxation. Black does not.


Like most Chicagoites, Black is reasonably good in his critique of economic fallacies, but has a penchant for discovering "problem" areas where the market is alleged not to work. Thus, to solve the problem of poverty, we need a negative income tax. There is "underinvestment" in education, so we need educational vouchers. No analysis of why the market sometimes "fails" is offered (on the alleged problem of market failure, see Murray Rothbard's new work, Power and Market).

Alas, one suspects that there may be a problem of class interest in all this. The idea of educational subsidies is generally a favorite of Chicagoites. This despite their critiques of so many other subsidy ideas. One feels that their position on this matter may be colored by a beneficial interest in the subject of education.

The last chapter is perhaps the most curious, as it is titled: "A Plea for Anarchy." Certainly if one had bought Black's basic critique (even though it is not flawless), he might be on his way to a position of anarchy. But, "No," says Black, we can't have anarchy because:

There would be open season on wops, wetbacks, kikes, niggers, hippies, redheads, and cripples if the constitution didn't exist ... Anarchy is not the answer. We would therefore keep government, but reduce its power over our economic, moral and social lives.

For anarchy to work, according to Black, "all members of society must be fairly homogeneous." Now, the arguments in this book are, at times, deficient, but nowhere else are they as bad as the above.

The argument as stated by Black is an old canard. Only, in fact, if the population were (absolutely) homogeneous could government be justified (Why one would be desired is a separate question). Only in a heterogeneous world (such as we have) is there a problem of individual liberty. If we all thought alike, and desired exactly the same ends, then living under an absolute "dictatorship" would not involve an infringement on individual liberty; ex hypothesi, the dictator would merely be telling us to do what we wanted to do. In a heterogeneous world, on the other hand, people do not think alike. Therefore, any authority which would coerce man is a violation of individual liberty. John Stuart Mill put it perceptively:

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.

(From On Liberty)

It took thinkers more perceptive than Mill to see that the existence of any government, however limited, is inconsistent with individual liberty.

In sum, A Radical's Guide to Economic Reality is worthy of the attention of libertarians; it could and should have been a better book. For a better book, see Jerry Tuccille's Radical Libertarianism.

—Gerald P. O'Driscoll, Jr.


4 The Libertarian Forum, September 15, 1970

FALL READING —
(Continued from
page 2)

independent but politically powerless Italian homeowners in Corona, Queens, while an upper-class Jewish country club, using city-owned land, thumbs its nose nearby.

Father Andrew Greeley, "The Intellectuals as an Ethnic Group", New York Sunday Times Magazine (June 15). Father Greeley, a sociologist with a uniquely witty, intelligent, and orthodox role in Catholic journalism, here wields the rapier against the snobbishness and cultism, the ethnic "in-group"-ism, of the fashionable liberal intellectuals.

Revolutions.

John Womack, Jr., Zapata and the Mexican Revolution (New York: Afred A. Knopf, $10.00, 456 pp.). A model of an historical work: thorough, definitive, scholarly, and beautifully written. The saga of the libertarian, peasant Zapatista revolution, centered in the Mexican state of Morelos.

K. S. Karol, "The Two Honeymoons of Fidel Castro", Scanlan's Monthly (September, 1970, $1.00 a copy, $12.00 per year). Critical overview of the peregrinations of Castro's Cuba.

Thomas L. Blair, The Land To Those Who Work It (Garden City, L. I.: Doubleday Anchor paperbacks, $1.95). The history of the quasi-syndicalist "self-management" experiment in Algeria during the Ben Bella regime, and before Colonel Boumedienne imposed the current Stalinist system.

Military-Industrial Complex.

Seymour Melman, Pentagon Capitalism (New York: McGraw-Hill, $8.50). Critical study of the increasingly "state-managed" military-industrial complex.

Murray L. Weidenbaum, The Modern Public Sector (New York: Basic Books, $5.95). Sophisticated but clearly written. On the new ways by which government has penetrated and permeated the "private" sector, especially in military and space areas.

U. S. Foreign Policy.

Peter Dale Scott, "Laos: The Story Nixon Won't Tell", New York Review of Books (April 9); Scott, "Cambodia: Why the Generals Won", New York Review of Books (June 18). Excellent, scholarly information on our newest plague-spots; shows the duplicity of the CIA toward even our own government leaders.

I. F. Stone, "A Century of Futility", New York Review of Books (April 9); "Theatre of Delusion", ibid. (April 23); "The Test Ban Comedy", ibid. (May 7). Excellent and thorough review of America's disarmament duplicities over the past generation. Particularly important is the April 23 article, which highlights the crucial but generally unknown decision of the United States to rescind completely its own offer of general disarmament with inspection, after Khrushchev had accepted it on May 10, 1955.

Murray N. Rothbard, "Review of David Horowitz, ed., Corporations and the Cold War", Ramparts (September). Review of new book of essays which presents studies of the responsibility of U. S. corporations for American imperialism and the Cold War, as well as the growth of the military-industrial complex. Particularly interesting are the articles by Professors Domhoff and Eakins on the foreign policy roles of such "corporate liberal" organizations as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Committee for Economic Development.

Big Business and Politics

Warren Hinckle, "The Law Firm That Runs California", Scanlan's Monthly (September). The story of the sinister and pervasive role of the Los Angeles law firm of O'Melveny and Myers in running California politics.

European History.

A. J. P. Taylor, "Scarred Monuments", New York Review of Books (April 9). The witty, iconoclastic English historian comes out squarely against Tories, and in favor of revolutionary 18th-century liberalism.

Crime Revisionism.

For generations, it was an article of emotional faith among Left-liberals that Sacco and Vanzetti, in the famous murder-and-robbery case of the 1920's, were innocent martyrs. Then, only a decade ago, Sacco-Vanzetti Revisionism was launched by R. H. Montgomery and by Francis X. Busch, and then by David Felix and especially Francis Russell in his Tragedy at Dedham. Now, Francis Russell, in "Sacco-Vanzetti: The End of the Chapter", National Review (May 5), finds new evidence which confirms his thesis that Sacco was definitely guilty, while Vanzetti was not—but knowingly shielded the guilty party.


A Correction

Sorry: in Jerome Tuccille's article in the September 1 issue, the word "ethology" was misspelled "ethnology" in a typographical error.


HTML formatting and proofreading by Joel Schlosberg.