Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis.) A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)
World War I week continues on the Tom Woods Show. Today my guest was Richard Gamble, author of The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation. It turns out, contrary to what we’re led to believe, that left-wing clergy, far from being “pacifists,” were among the most bloodthirsty and belligerent pro-war voices in the United States. More stuff you’ll learn on my show, and not in school.
All this week on the Tom Woods Show we’re talking about different aspects of World War I. It was 100 years ago today that Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, setting in motion the sequence of events that yielded World War I. Today’s guest was Hunt Tooley, author of The Western Front: Battle Ground and Home Front in the First World War. Have a listen!
The Daily Beast, like its neoconservative counterparts at the Free Beacon, is a thought-control site that aims to ferret out unapproved opinions. We are supposed to confine ourselves to the McCain/Obama box where the Daily Beast is comfortable. Anyone with opinions outside that box is by definition an “extremist,” and probably kind of crazy. Why else would someone hold an opinion that can’t be found anywhere in the whole three inches separating McCain from Obama?
So I actually laughed out loud when I read this classic thought-control headline: “Exclusive: GOP Senate Candidate Caught Saying States Can Nullify Laws.” (Thanks to Per Bylund for sending the link.)
So wait a minute! You mean someone asked a fundamental question? She must be destroyed, citizen!
This is like the reaction Ron Paul got to his foreign policy views: you mean someone thinks American policy toward country X should be something other than (A) bomb them or (B) starve them? Why, he must be crazy!
Now I know nothing about Joni Ernst, the Senate candidate with the forbidden thought. What I do know is that wrapped up in the question of nullification are all kinds of worthwhile issues that in a normal society we would freely debate: the proper scale of political order; whether a multiplicity of sovereignties might be better for preserving liberty, since this is how liberty came to Western civilization in the first place; whether the compact or nationalist theory of the Union is the correct one, etc.
Thought controllers like the Daily Beast do not think we should discuss issues like this. Bomb or starve is their spectrum of allowable thought. Tax at 40% or tax at 38%. That’s the kind of debate we peons are permitted.
Normally, dissenters are not entitled to a refutation of their views; a good scolding for being dissatisfied with the McCain-to-Obama smorgasbord of choices is about all we are thought to deserve. When we do get a refutation, it’s strictly at a second-grade level: why, the Civil War settled this! Or, don’t these people know about the Supremacy Clause? Dumb.
I suggest having a look at my Nullification FAQ. Here’s where the standard so-called arguments of the thought controllers are smashed to pieces.
Of course, I wrote a book on nullification in 2010. Knowing the response I would surely get from the thought controllers, I preemptively laughed at them with my Interview with a Zombie video:
For fun, you might also enjoy the blooper reel for that video:
(A certain author of the Declaration of Independence has also been “caught” saying the same thing, I note with my usual impudence.)
Trying to persuade someone of libertarianism, or even just that these issues matter? This presentation of mine may help. I think it’s one of my better ones. Judge Napolitano hugged me afterward, exclaiming, “Better than ever! Informative, funny, well paced, excellent!”
I’m glad to announce that I’m part of Ron Paul’s new venture, Voices of Liberty. Here’s the brief video I made to give some background. Ron emailed me later that day:
Fantastic introductory message. Thanks. At least I know the message of Liberty will be carried on. And hopefully this is just a taste of things to come.
The Mises Institute’s week-long Mises University instructional program for students was the most significant academic event of my life as a student when I first attended it in 1993. It’s still going strong even today, and last night, for the second year in a row, I delivered the opening talk. The title I was given was “The Role of Austrian Economics in the Liberty Movement.” If you enjoy the talk and want to learn more about Austrian economics, check out my LearnAustrianEconomics.com resource. (And to attend as a virtual student, click here.)
The Mises Institute‘s week-long Mises University program, an exciting introduction to the Austrian School of economics, and which I first attended as a student myself in 1993, is coming up next week. You can watch all the plenary sessions from your own home, for free, at this link. You can also, for a $20 donation, enroll in Virtual Mises U and get additional benefits. Click on the link, and we’ll see you (well, not really) Sunday night, July 20!
The neoconservatives over at the Free Beacon, a thought-monitoring website in the mold of ThinkProgress on the left, took time out of their customary schedule of spreading Islamic radicalism around the world to criticize Rand Paul for recommending a few books on foreign policy whose conclusions are not “USA! USA!” and “they hate us for our awesomeness.” (I understand the senator has taken the reading list down, but the Free Beacon kept a screenshot.)
It is “anti-Israel,” we are told, to believe that something other than American awesomeness could account for why the United States went from being deeply respected throughout the Middle East — so much so that Syrians wanted to be governed by the U.S. as a League of Nations mandate after World War I — to being denounced and despised just about everywhere. Yes, I have read books about Islamic violence over the centuries, too, but if that were the whole story, the jihadists wouldn’t make recruitment tapes filled with gruesome evidence of the fruits of Western intervention. They’d just cite the Koran and be done with it.
As usual, the article reads like something out of communist East Germany, solemnly unbosoming the forbidden thoughts to be found in these books as if simply to list them is refutation enough. These men have committed thoughtcrime, citizen. Is that not all you need to know?
Since you’ll probably never, ever guess what has the Free Beacon so upset, I’ll tell you: it’s the suggestion that Israel might — might, I say — have a little bit of influence in the making of U.S. foreign policy. Where could anyone get an idea like that? Who could think such a thing? Why, only a crazy person who hates people, of course.
They’re also upset that Ron Paul thinks a Christian ought to have a hard time endorsing some recent U.S. wars.
These people are filled with hate, citizen! We must silence them! We the silencers, on the other hand, who write Stasi-style editorials, are deeply committed to the brotherhood of man.
Here’s my conversation with Ralph Nader, whose latest book is Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. Productive and interesting. I was surprised that he conceded my point that while libertarians seem willing to work with the left, the feeling (to his regret) generally isn’t mutual.
Had a fun chat with Professor Joshua Hall today on his new book Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics (Stanford, 2014). In addition to a neat conversation, you can also hear my impression of Comic Book Guy. Have a listen!
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