If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group
of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly.
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The State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion.
Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrarypower, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God bath provided for all men against force and violence.
Since the U.S. went completely off gold in August 1971 and established the Friedmanite fluctuating fiat system in March 1973, the United States and the world have suffered the most intense and most sustained bout of peacetime inflation in the history of the world. It should be clear by now that this is scarcely a coincidence.
THE LIBERTARIAN CREED rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. This may be called the “nonaggression axiom.” “Aggression” is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else. Aggression is therefore synonymous with invasion.
This book is a manual for a new way of looking at the world. After you master the lessons contained within these pages, you will be able to understand events in ways that your untrained peers will miss. You will notice patterns that they will overlook. The ability to think like an economist is a crucial component of your education. Only with sound economic thinking will you be able to make sense of how the world works. To make responsible decisions regarding grand political ideas as well as your occupation and mundane household finances, you must first decide to learn basic economics.
The beauty of Cox’s book comes from both its clear exposition and its brevity. He offers only a few paragraphs on each topic but that is enough for people to see both error and truth. Sometimes just mapping out the logic beyond the gut reaction is enough to highlight an economic truth. He does this for nearly all the topics that confront us daily.
Quotes on Liberty
A man demonstrates his rationality, not by a commitment to fixed ideas, stereotyped procedures, or immutable concepts; but by the manner in which, and the occasions on which, he changes those ideas, procedures and concepts.
In debates between anarchists and statist, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniable, factually horrendous.
Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that…..the State and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through man’s subordination. Anarchism is therefore the teacher of the unity of life; not merely in nature, but in man.
So, the truth is that war is not pointless… it’s only pointless from the standpoint of the poor slob who has to suffer and die in it. For the ruler, war has a clear and compelling purpose: it gets rid of competitors.
States fight. That is as accurate as any statement of history that can be found. It was true 6,000 years ago and it is true now. Conflict is part of the core nature of states; they compete like animals over limited territories. Thus, war serves them.
I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual.
I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, not to hate them, but to understand them.
Socialism violates the Ten Commandments–thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods. How can you pretend to go to church on Sunday, then justify robbing others under the cloak of good intentions called Socialism?
The dark ages still reign over all humanity, and the depth and persistence of this domination are only now becoming clear. This Dark Ages prison has no steel bars, chains, or locks. Instead, it is locked by mis-orientation and built of mis-information… We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think. Dear reader, traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.
Authority has become brittle and fragile. It remains in place, but the people who still believe in it are those who are least-informed, least-awake and least-alive. The more informed the individual, the more likely it is that they hold authority to be stupid and abusive.
I don’t think there is any place left in the West where the phrase, “Politicians are liars and thieves” would fail to garner general agreement at a bus stop.
I have a difficult time grasping the thinking of anyone who believes that his or her relationships with others should be subject to the approval of the state. The idea that state officials should endorse one’s choice of a marriage partner recalls the earlier practice of a young man asking a father for the “hand” of a young woman. That practice seemed to die off a good half-century ago, when it became evident that the ritual was premised on the father having a property interest in his daughter which, during an upcoming wedding ceremony, he would “give away.” When gays and lesbians call upon the state to approve marriages, are they doing anything more than substituting the state for the father in this arrangement?
Free market capitalism is an economic system of production, whereby each man owns the product of his own labors and, therefore, has great economic incentives to produce both for himself, his family, and as surplus goods to trade for the surplus product of others. Even under life and death threats neither the socialist worker nor his overseer would know what to produce, how to produce it, or in what quantities and qualities. These economic cues are the product of free market capitalism and money prices.
Fiat currency gains its legitimacy through government threat and the muzzle of a gun.
Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
It is particularly frightening that a group of people skilled mainly at feeble speechifying and crass fund-raising would consider itself qualified to stand in judgment of corporate accounting scandals. All members of Congress are direct participants in the biggest accounting fraud going-the federal government-and have never lifted a finger to bring it under control.
The natural tendency of every government is to grow steadily worse-that is, to grow more satisfactory to those who constitute it and less satisfactory to those who support it.
I once defined ‘government’ as ‘a system of murder, rape, extortion, coercion, theft, intimidation, and terror, the absence of which, it is said, would lead to disorder.’ If you doubt this characterization then confront these hard facts: during the 20th century, governments managed to kill 200 million men, women, and children in wars, genocides, and other acts of formalized violence. During that same century, how many people were killed by individuals acting without political authority?
All government is, in its essence, organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man.
Americans had better wake up! It can happen to you. No federal agent was held accountable for murdering a mother and her child at Ruby Ridge. No federal agent was held accountable for the massacre of women and children at Waco. These same unaccountable and deadly forces have now been given unprecedented police powers in the name of ‘the war on terror.’
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I see history as centrally a race and conflict between “social power”— the productive consequence of voluntary interactions among men—and state power. In those eras of history when liberty—social power—has managed to race ahead of state power and control, the country and even mankind have flourished. In those eras when state power has managed to catch up with or surpass social power, mankind suffers and declines.
Instead of relying on voluntary charity and good will towards men, the federal government continues its welfare-state policy of using the IRS to forcibly take money from everyone in order to distribute the money to some, all in the name of morality and righteousness. But where is the morality in coercion, as compared to voluntary choices?
Private property eliminates the possibility that resource arrangements will be random, for each resource owner chooses a course of action only if it promises rewards to the owner that exceed the rewards promised by all other available courses. For each consumer, this means spending money on those items that best satisfy his individual tastes. For each producer, this means finding those uses that promise the highest profit. Because profit in free markets comes from satisfying as many consumers as possible, each producer is forever on the lookout for better ways to use his resources to satisfy consumers.
If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other.
The poor security of U.S. airlines is a predictable outcome of government regulations and subsidies. By preventing airlines from profiting from superior procedures, and by shielding them from losses resulting from incompetence, the government has left us vulnerable to further terrorist attacks. Only through complete privatization of the industry will consumers be able to fly cheaply and safely.