Skip The Whereases

My father taught me something wise. "When you hear somebody say 'blah blah blah but such-and-such,' the word 'but' is a signal. Everything before the 'but' is preamble, which you can safely ignore. After the 'but', that's the real substance, that's what they were leading you to. That's the important part." Whenever politicians speak, I… Continue reading Skip The Whereases

A Path To Liberty

As a path to liberty, violent attacks against the government seem to be a doomed strategy, for several reasons. For one thing, they're experts at violence; it is their core competency. For another, violent revolutions tend to attract many people who like violence for its own sake. These folks will at best stir up trouble;… Continue reading A Path To Liberty

Lies All The Way Down

Samuel Johnson's words in the Idler, betwixt 1758 and 1760, still hold; Truth is still the first casualty of war - or of politics, that ritualized form of overt warfare; the institutionalization of organized and sanctioned violence between and against members of a polity, rather than between separate political organizations. When a politician declares a… Continue reading Lies All The Way Down

Firearms and Peace

Author Carlisle E. Moody studied the history of personal violence in Europe, and came to a surprising conclusion. Personal violence has declined substantially in Europe from 1200-2010. The conventional wisdom is that the state‚Äôs monopoly on violence is the cause of this happy result. I find some evidence that does not support this hypothesis. I… Continue reading Firearms and Peace

Imagine No Guns? No Thanks

In a world without guns, the young and strong, and those who have time to master other weapons, utterly dominate the weak and defenseless. Is it better to arm the few against the many, or the many against the few? The answer depends, in large part, on whether you believe that the many prefer peace,… Continue reading Imagine No Guns? No Thanks