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Pete, very nice comments, and they reveal an intellectual integrity that is very impressive. Stephan

I am sorry if you have explained this before, but why do you contend that "libertarianism" must be anti-war / anti-interventionism?

For me, libertarianism is the system of government which restricts itself to simply protection of life, liberty and property and nothing else. Just the core features of government, with no extention toward promoting general happiness or protecting the people's "security" at the expense of liberty, or which infringes on property rights or on liberty or life in order to achieve some other goal.

But none of this is inconsistant with a strong military. One of the core protections is life and sometimes military action is required in order to protect that life (and property and liberty). So long as such action does not infringe on liberty, it is libertarian.

Furthermore, if (as many libertarians believe) country borders are just that and nothing else, and natural rights truly ought to be protected for all humans, not just certain citizens, then wars which free oppressed people, save lives of victimized people or protect the property rights of people who have lost theirs to theiving governments, are justified on those grounds as well.

This is an honest view, not a justification for a pro-war stance. I became libertarian and hawkish at the same time -- when I was a liberal I was anti-war.

Poor Dr. Boettke - wants to sneer at the Mises Institute strategy on one hand while keeping them as bedfellows on the other. I wonder what Prof. Leeson has to say on all this hoppe-kinsella old style dinosaur austrianism worship?

"The reason I choose to fight what might appear as senseless battles over labels and approaches is because the Mises Institute is a major force for good in the world of ideas and policy affairs."

So that includes all the crap about stoning gays, racism,the worship of the south in the civil war (slavery et al) etc that fits snugly with the Mises Institute worldview right? I wonder what Dr Horwitz

Dr. Horwitz agrees that the MI has provided a great service to scholars in the Austrian tradition by making available a treasure-trove of material on their website. That work is a "force for good in the world of ideas and policy affairs."

I also agree with Pete's comments about the MI's consistent stance against US imperialism and militarism. They haven't been the only such voice in the libertarian world, but they have been consistent and loud.

I have my disagreements with other things that they do and other parts of the world-view of many of their scholars and friends. Their version of libertarianism is not one I subscribe to and one that I find problematic in a whole bunch of ways. But that doesn't mean I can't acknowledge the good things that they do as well.

Bravo. The Mises Institute under the leadership of Dr Rockwell is far superior to the Bushites at neocon groups like Cato, IHS, etc. Long may Peter B. continue to trumpet the great achievements of the LVMI.

Getting the ideas out to people is so important. In Sydney there was a short-lived libertarian think tank called Centre 2000 with a shopfront near my workplace where I picked up a heap of Austrian books circa 1984. And the local public library (unbelievably) had "Human Action" and the Mises memoire (culled some time later).

"Deregulation" and "economic rationalism" were topical (and bitterly attacked) and the Austrians provided the perfect rationale for the right policies although they had little profile in the public debate. This was pre-internet and it was very hard to find outlets for liberal-libertarian ideas apart from the free trade house journals which of course the critics never read, they just recycled each other's critiques.

As Mises said, it is all about ideas in the long run and the MI has done a huge service by putting so much great material on line.

Pro-war "libertarians" are essentially state socialists, seeing the state (the military) as necessary to make people "prepared to be free". Yes, actual individuals will be crushed in the process, but of course you have to "break a few eggs...". How often do state socialists sneer at ideas of "freedom" without certain foundations such as universal healthcare, etc.?

And yes, the military is a beauracracy.

Wars necessarily involve paternalism and central planning. To different degrees yes, but then the Democrats are FAR from Bolsheviks aren't they?

Coyne's "After War" points to the problem of post-war nation building efforts. It isn't as easy as going in, laying the foundation, and moving on. The initial unjust rearrangement of property and bullying of individuals leaves a legacy not easily discarded.

It should read that they promote the works of "Rothbard...oh and sometimes they'll mention Mises too." That said the site is an awesome reference and does a great service by providing not only the books but the podcasts of their events too. You really could just about get a degree by listening to the Mises U lectures.

As for this "true" libertarian stuff, must someone be rooted in a deontological rejection of coercion to be a "true" libertarian? Why does being utilitarian not qualify (and thus on some level justifying some intervention sometimes)? After all it was Rothbard that introduced this Kantian notion to Austrian economics since Mises was a utilitarian and makes this very clear throughout Human Action.
I thought this site had a great critique of the arguing over trueness of Austrian economists, this seems to me to be about the same level.

Dain says: Pro-war "libertarians" are essentially state socialists, seeing the state (the military) as necessary to make people "prepared to be free".
--

OK, so a small libertarian state should not have a military or use it defend itself against an invading Hitler or Stalin?

Or, wait, defense is OK?

So, if Stalin is expanding communism throughout the world, the small libertarian state should wait until every single other country in the world is communist before finally standing up for itself when the 99% of the world that is a united communist state finally invades the tiny libertarian enclave?

No? So, when does a small libertarian state that wants to defend freedom against totalitarian states have that right? Just when you say so? And when you say-not then the libertarian state is suddenly state socialist itself, because you say so.

Dr. Boettke, in fact the MI is a very important source of Austrian literature and it has the central role of spreading the Austrian ideas around the world, specially for those who are “out” and away from the circles of Austrian scholars. Despite some controversy positions, I recognize these qualities, and I am thankful for that.
“Abraços” from Brazilian tropics
Eduardo

Liberty,

You treat this small libertarian state as an end in itself when it isn't. It is no more than a collection of individuals; individuals who are, in fact, ends in themselves.

I'm not buying the Domino theory of worldwide Stalinism either. The internal contradictions of Communism preclude it from taking over 99% of the world effectively.

Besides, if the US hadn't been busy bullying the people of the world during the Cold War - and before- we probably wouldn't have found so much acceptance for anti-imperialist (read "Socialist", unfortunately) propaganda and goals.

Dain,
Your sentiments surely would have comforted the 1/3 of the world that was living under communism.

Actually, although Mises was almost alone in their heroic opposition to warmongering and police statism right after 9/11, they weren't the only libertarian organization. Aside from the Center of Libertarian Studies, which was publishing Antiwar.com, The Independent Institute and the Future of Freedom Foundation were both resolute in holding the proper, libertarian position right after 9/11. There were also a number of libertarian publications and writers who stuck to principle, but of the libertarian organizations, aside from the few mentioned, there was indeed far too much capitulation to the warfare state in those crucial days.

II right after 9/11:
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/news_detail.asp?newsID=45

FFF right after 9/11:
http://www.fff.org/comment/ed0901f.asp

Anthony,

You are right, and the libertarian institutions you list exhibited great integrity and commitment to libertarian principles. I am a huge fan of the Independent Institute and the research David and his staff promote and support.

Pete

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