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Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Favorite Libertarian Organization

Is probably the Institute for Justice. They focus on cases where a denial of economic liberty and property rights are hurting the little guy, on cases where they can actually win and make real improvements, and they often do win. I just learned about their fight for the rights of street vendors, and a recent victory in that fight.

This is a great strategy for those concerned about liberty, one that actually produces real results, instead of producing books about a fantasy world in which it is legal to starve your baby to death and blackmail your neighbor.

13 comments:

  1. Never heard of them, they seem like a great outfit.

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  2. Gene, remember how a while ago you reported some stat to me, showing how little you ripped on Misesians? Keep mind that your technique would miss posts like this. In fact, when I read your title and saw your opening lines, the suspense began to build in me. "Will Gene rip the cr*p out of the Mises Institute? He's running out of room in this post. Surely Gene won't pass up on opportunity to rip the cr*p out of everything they do...Phew! He did, just as the buzzer sounded. And not just a minor quibble--trashing their whole approach."

    Incidentally Gene, how do you feel about the guys at GMU? Surely their strategy is one stage more removed from influencing the little guy, right?

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  3. "Surely Gene won't pass up on opportunity to rip the cr*p out of everything they do...Phew!"

    Well, no, I didn't pass up the opportunity, because it pains me to see a lot of good people wasting their time there!

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  4. And the people at the weekly NYU Colloquium, as well as everyone at GMU, are wasting their lives away too, right?

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  5. I, personally, do not consider my scholarship a "strategy" for doing anything. Others will have to answer for their own.

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  6. Very nice Gene, you can have it both ways. Walter Block with his 6 billion publications is not a scholar, he is wasting his life away in a pointless pursuit of liberty. But you are a serious scholar, so your own PhD (and lack of helping people on a day to day basis as the IforJ people are doing) isn't a strike against you, since you are above such mundane things. Very nice.

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  7. Bob, you are getting awfully worked up and imputing to me the worst possible spin of everything I'm saying. Look:

    "Walter Block with his 6 billion publications is not a scholar, he is wasting his life away in a pointless pursuit of liberty."

    Whether or not Block is a scholar is not something I am judging. But there is a pretty clear distinction between pursuing truth and pursuing a "strategy" (quoting you, and many others who have said similar things) for one's political aims. In the first case you say what your findings are, whatever the political implications. In the second, you make your findings conform to what the "party" needs.

    "But you are a serious scholar, so your own PhD (and lack of helping people on a day to day basis as the IforJ people are doing) isn't a strike against you, since you are above such mundane things."

    Nothing was said about being "above mundane things." I said my *scholarship* was not a strategy for achieving some political aim. In fact, anything that is a strategy for achieving a political aim is not scholarship!

    Consider: You see someone praying as a way to make money (because people will give him alms, let's say). You tell him, "Well, that's not really praying."

    He responds, "Oh, you're above such mundane things as making money!"

    Well, no, you're not. You are just noting that he is mixing up things that ought to remain separate.

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  8. By the way, Bob, looking at the last 24 posts, only 2 of them have anything bad to say about "Misesians." The idea that I am constantly on that topic is perception bias -- those are just the posts that stick in your head.

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  9. Gene wrote:

    Bob, you are getting awfully worked up and imputing to me the worst possible spin of everything I'm saying.

    I couldn't invent funnier things for you to say. Let me try: Gene, you are such a bald mofo! And seriously, stop talking about religion so much.

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  10. Gene wrote:

    By the way, Bob, looking at the last 24 posts, only 2 of them have anything bad to say about "Misesians."

    Ah true enough, but of your most recent 6 posts, 3 of them have been anti-Rothbardian.

    I think what probably happens is you do 1 out of the blue, then I get mad and fight with you, and then because of my antagonism you find Mises stuff particularly irritating for the next few days. (I'm not even kidding. I tell myself if I'm a pacifist, why do I keep fighting with you?)

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  11. Two thoughts:

    1. "Well, no, I didn't pass up the opportunity, because it pains me to see a lot of good people wasting their time there!"

    If something makes you exercise critical thought, I do not think that it is a waste of time. Those who refuse to exercise said critical thought in terms of reading Mises.org (or any website, book, article, etc) are a lost cause; for those people, most things are a waste. Furthermore, if not for that website, I may not have found this one.


    2. "You see someone praying as a way to make money (because people will give him alms, let's say). You tell him, 'Well, that's not really praying'."

    Jesus did not say that the person who prayed in order to be seen was not, in fact, praying. He said that the person who prayed in order to be seen (and, in the present case, to receive money) had received his (the praying person's) reward in full; that is, he should not expect a heavenly reward.

    As a side comment, I made an earlier comment about your viewing of "Lie To Me." Well, it was actually more of a question than a comment. You may have thought it was in jest -- but I actually wanted to know the answer, if you were willing to provide it. (For your own good reasons, maybe you did not want to disclose.)

    In any event, I never saw an answerw because that post and all associated comments seems to have disappeared.

    Do you know what happened? (If, like I just mentioned, you had a reason for not answering, it does not really matter what happened to the page; so, disregard this message.)

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  12. Phel, yes, I found an error in that earlier post and deleted it rather than bothering to fix up what was a rather trivial post.

    In answer to the query you posted there: since I see myself as sadly *under*productive, I have no way of answering your question!

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  13. Just my luck: a productive person that doesn't recognize his productiveness!

    Thanks anyway.

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