Podcast Show #47

The Boiling Frogs Presents Lew Rockwell

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Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, joins us to discuss the constitutional rule and the roll back of our liberties and constitutional rights during the past decade, the rise of the police state, the PATRIOT ACT and our tyrannical government’s exemption from the rule of law domestically and internationally, our current economic model based on corporate fascism, and the need for ideological enlightenment. He talks about Eisenhower and how despite his commonly remembered speech warning against “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex,” he himself entrenched this very machinery in American life, and forged a program for the permanent militarization of our country. Mr. Rockwell talks about the Tea Party, and voices his criticism of their tendencies toward inconsistency, especially on the military and the issue of war, xenophobia, and on favoring national IDs, John Maynard Keynes and his admiration of the Nazi economic program, and more!

Rockwell Lew Rockwell is a libertarian political commentator, activist, author, and founder and chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He served as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff between 1978 and 1982. His website, lewrockwell.com, features a selection of articles, including opposition to war and imperialism. Mr. Rockwell is the author of Man, Economy, and Liberty: Essays in Honor of Murray N. Rothbard with Walter Block, and The Left, The Right, and The State.

Here is our guest Lew Rockwell unplugged!

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  1. dutchbradt says:

    I am listening to Lew Rockwell tell us how evil government is and how much better off we would be without it. But this flies in the face of human history. Since the neolithic revolution at the end of the last ice age, there has been government. The rise of civilization and the rise of government are inseparable. There will always be government as long as there is civilization. Rockwell describes himself as a capitalist anarchist who believes that the free market is all that is needed to regulate society, but any market at a minimum requires a government to enforce contracts. Between the present corporate state and the Arcadian dreamworld that Mr. Rockwell imagines, there is plenty of room for a reality based solution to the competing needs of order versus freedom.

  2. Great interview Sibel and peter. Wish it could be 2 hours though I think you both should have asked more questions exploring the differences and common goals of libertarians and progressives.

    @dutchbradt
    dutchbradt: “The rise of civilization and the rise of government are inseparable.”

    I was listening to a podcast recently, “The Libertarian Tradition” episode 47 (link is an mp3, 24:33) James C. Scott: The Art of Not Being Governed

    Scott says most or many nation states or city states were groups of elites with slaves to do the labor for them. The state, i.e. governments, are the price of civilization not that civilization owes it’s existence to the state.

    I think the state can be compared to parasites that see civilization conveniently ready to be looted.

    As Lew Rockwell says in his introduction in “The Left, the Right, and the State”
    :

    What is the state? It is the group within society that claims
    for itself the exclusive right to rule everyone under a special set
    of laws that permit it to do to others what everyone else is
    rightly prohibited from doing, namely aggressing against per-
    son and property.

    Why would any society permit such a gang to enjoy an
    unchallenged legal privilege? Here is where ideology comes
    into play. The reality of the state is that it is a looting and killing
    machine. So why do so many people cheer for its expansion?
    Indeed, why do we tolerate its existence at all?

    The very idea of the state is so implausible on its face that the
    state must wear an ideological garb as means of compelling pop-
    ular support. Ancient states had one or two: they would protect
    you from enemies and/or they were ordained by the gods.

    To greater and lesser extents, all modern states still employ
    these rationales, but the democratic state in the developed world
    is more complex. It uses a huge range of ideological rationales—
    parsed out between left and right—that reflect social and cul-
    tural priorities of niche groups, even when many of these ratio-
    nales are contradictory.

  3. lightviperr says:

    I like the fact that we are exposed to new ideas and theories, only through the full spectrum of ideas can we make informed decisions. I suspect this is also the primary reason why we see so few new ideas in the MSM. We then have a responsibility to question and investigate for ourselves the validity of the information. Thank you for the post.

    “Pakistanis Tipped Off Militants Again, Says U.S. Officials”

    “All officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence.” It’s shocking that the media has no skepticism about the information being provided to them. Numerous examples of falsified info has being highlighted over the years, Iraq incubator story, WMD, just to name a few.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/18/pakistan-tipped-off-militants-suspects_n_879836.html

  4. Still. Mr.Rockwell calling Washingtons’ elite ‘cockroaches’- although their collective complicity with deep state 911 agenda probably allows for it, true, and likely the only thing to survive after this collective NEOCONAZION insanity hits the wall- doesn’t add to the overall conversation for some reason. Maybe the Rwandan Genocide still echos through use of that word an unacceptable consequence of it.?

  5. I part company with Libertarians who essentially want to “take the law” into their own hands. They don’t trust government and essentially don’t have trust in other people. Of course there ARE bad apples and they make trouble for others.. whether from the seats of power in government or the lawlessness of libertarians who at their core are completely selfish.

    Government is not perfect. It’s a flawed solution to get the best of people to work to overcome the worst in people. It doesn’t always work… in fact it rarely does because of corruption, greed, nepotism and so forth. Where there’s power to yield corruption is found… and government… albeit any hierarchical structure uses power as currency and so it by nature trading in corruption.

    I think we can do better with government… a real democracy, real rights and get money out of politics and government. I don’t care for the alternative… less government and more freedom of jerks to cause pain and get away with it.

    Of course libertarians are gun nuts and that is yet another reason to “fear” them… Violence is not a solution in most cases and so guns should not be so common… as libertarians want them to be.

    Calling someone a cockroach does not reflect well on their own dignity. Rockwell… go live on a mountaintop.

  6. @SanderO: Well, well, well. SanderO. Well, well. Well. And well again. Well!

    Now that I’ve said well enough, I want you to know that you are full of shit.

    Your comments don’t get to the heart of the matter. They only mock valid behavior of common people. Why not instead focus how the current Tea Party Movement is funded, for example, by the Koch brothers?

    Fighting facism isn’t as easy as calling your neighbor a facist! That’s like pissing in the wind and shitting in the stream at the same time.

  7. @SanderO: My apologies to you and everyone else for my last comment. I was impolite at the end of a long night.

    What eo 7ou 6hink ot Rosa L

  8. …What do you think of Rosa Luxemberg?


    Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of one party – however numerous they may be – is no freedom at all. Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently. Not because of any fanatical concept of “justice” but because all that is instructive, wholesome and purifying in political freedom depends on this essential characteristic, and its effectiveness vanishes when “freedom” becomes a special privilege.(…)But socialist democracy is not something which begins only in the promised land after the foundations of socialist economy are created; it does not come as some sort of Christmas present for the worthy people who, in the interim, have loyally supported a handful of socialist dictators. Socialist democracy begins simultaneously with the beginnings of the destruction of class rule and of the construction of socialism.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxemburgism

  9. SanderO says:

    I find the Koch’s repulsive and boycott the NYCB/Lincoln Center which accepts their money. I was commenting on Libertarianism and it was Rockwell who is one of their intellectual fathers… while the Kochs are examples of what Libertarianism means to America.

  10. [Sibel, would you please delete my first comment on this thread. Thanks.]

    I have questions about Mr. Rockwell’s comments about the structure and hierarchy in private society being important and the source of the governance which society needs.

    Would he seriously rather live in a society with a private police force (which could very well be a cross between the church and the boy scouts)?

    Would he rather have the word “criminal” be defined in private?

    Is there no immorality in private society?

    Personally, I think the real problem with our government is it’s privatization. It’s ironic that we seem to share some common goals about liberty, but, in some respects, I don’t see what distinguishes Mr. Rockwell from the Koch funded Tea Party. Morality is not private-only and the competitive market world-view is a good example of a person’s private immorality.

  11. Black Order says:

    @ SanderO

    Sander – “I part company with Libertarians who essentially want to “take the law” into their own hands.”

    BO – You have the right to associate with anyone you choose, and as an Anarcho-Libertarian, I wholeheartedly respect and appreciate said right.

    Taking the law into your own hands is essentially accepting personal responsibility for your life instead of relying on coercive governance for everything. What is wrong with personal responsibility? Is relying on coercion and violence against non-violent people for sake of an edict really a better option?

    Sander0 – “They don’t trust government and essentially don’t have trust in other people.”

    BO – Indeed we do not trust government, and rightfully so. I don’t trust ANYONE that sees coercion and violence against nonviolent people to control them as a reasonable or acceptable means of resolution. Is it really so unreasonable to not agree with violating the rights of others?

    So, Coercion, assault, murder, theft, kidnapping, etc… are all universally and fundamentally wrong…except when government does it?

    And how do you get that Libertarians generally don’t trust people, …just because we do not trust evil people? What kind of bizarre rationale is that?

    SanderO – “Of course there ARE bad apples and they make trouble for others.. whether from the seats of power in government or the lawlessness of libertarians who at their core are completely selfish.”

    BO – How is respecting the right of your fellow man to live free of coercion, selfish? How is accepting responsibility to make your own way through life, instead of using government to steal from others, selfish? How is refusing to dictate how others live by proxy of coercive government, selfish?

    And because the law is predicated upon coercion and violence, lawlessness is the more humane and respectful alternative.

    Sander0 – “Government is not perfect. It’s a flawed solution to get the best of people to work to overcome the worst in people. It doesn’t always work… in fact it rarely does because of corruption, greed, nepotism and so forth. Where there’s power to yield corruption is found… and government… albeit any hierarchical structure uses power as currency and so it by nature trading in corruption.”

    BO – So, non-perfect government is a flawed solution that rarely works?

    I agree 1000000000000%

    Sander0 – “I think we can do better with government… a real democracy, real rights and get money out of politics and government. I don’t care for the alternative… less government and more freedom of jerks to cause pain and get away with it.”

    BO – So, non-perfect government is a flawed solution that rarely works, but you think it is a better way than freedom and respect for your fellow man?

    I find it interesting that you seem to think that because of government, people are spared the pain of getting victimized…yet bad apples are everywhere and do bad things everyday, in spite of your severely lacking government god that “protects” you.

    Not to mention that your government is the most prolific violator of people’s rights.

    Sander0 – “Of course libertarians are gun nuts and that is yet another reason to “fear” them…”

    BO – We all have the natural inalienable right to protect ourselves, family, and property. Is it so unreasonable to keep a gun handy in case you are presented with a threat? After all, the cops are always minutes away when seconds count.

    Why should gun owners be feared, unless, of course, you intend on violating them and putting yourself at the end of their gun barrels?

    SanderO – ” Violence is not a solution in most cases and so guns should not be so common… as libertarians want them to be. ”

    Violence is not a solution is most cases, and guns shouldn’t be so common, yet you advocate government using guns for coercion and violence to tell everyone what to do and how to live…even if they have harmed no one.

    Who’s the REAL gun nuts?

    SanderO – “Calling someone a cockroach does not reflect well on their own dignity. Rockwell… go live on a mountaintop.”

    BO – I thought he was being rather giving to call them cockroaches. I usually refer to them as “turds”.

    Sander,

    Your interpretation of Libertarianism is obviously a gross misunderstanding. I would suggest that you do a little more research to understand the concept of natural rights and personal responsibility as it relates to freedom and liberty, then compare it with coercive and violent governance.

    Wake up. Your government is a inherent violation of rights and the biggest contributor to the erosion of peaceful human society.

    Once you quit rationalizing the truth, that government is uncivilized, you will likely be better off.

    Take the “Red Pill”, Sander.

  12. Black Order says:

    @ dutchbradt

    dutchbradt – ” I am listening to Lew Rockwell tell us how evil government is and how much better off we would be without it. But this flies in the face of human history. Since the neolithic revolution at the end of the last ice age, there has been government. The rise of civilization and the rise of government are inseparable. ”

    BO – Do not confuse social order with governance.

    Governance, in order to exist must have a monopoly on the use of coercion and violence against non-violent people to enFORCE it’s edicts.

    Social order does not, but rather requires respect for the rights of others and accepting personal responsibility.

    Government is a form of social order requiring coercion and violence.

    The rise of civilization is primarily attributed to agriculture, not government. Government was just a means and justification to plunder the harvest.

    dutchbradt – ” There will always be government as long as there is civilization. ”

    BO – Not so. There is and always have been societies that operate beautifully without coercive governance.

    Government, because it is predicated upon coercion and violence, is an inherent violation of natural rights of individuals, and is thus quite the opposite of what is considered “civilized”.

    dutchbradt – ” Rockwell describes himself as a capitalist anarchist who believes that the free market is all that is needed to regulate society, but any market at a minimum requires a government to enforce contracts. ”

    BO – Like many, your advocating a requirement of force is indicative of your inability to see another way of doing things without coercion and violence.

    There is always another way.

    (just off of the top of my head)You can solve potential contract issues without force, for example; a third(or even a fourth, fifth, etc..)party contract insurance broker/service. It is the insurance broker’s best interest to honor their customers if they want to be successful.

    That’s the beauty of the free market. It’s self balancing and has it’s own built in checks and balances, solutions and consequences for immoral behavior. Coercive regulations are somewhat redundant as it is the best interest of business as well as individuals to maintain a level of integrity in order to properly function in society. It is all about what is mutually beneficial, the strive for win/win.

    I recommend researching “Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand”

    A business respects and honors their customers in the interest of retaining them as well as gaining more. If they get a bad reputation, they sink and they know it.

    Did government regulations prevent the BP oil spill?

    Did the government force people to stop buying BP gasoline? Or did BP’s irresponsibility piss off millions of people enough to stop being customers?

    An individual respects the society they live if they want to reap the rewards of belonging. And if not for that, it is because the repercussions for not doing so could potentially be disastrous.

    In other words, why don’t you do things like steal your neighbor’s stuff? Is it because you are a good person that generally respects others, because you know it could benefit you in several ways to get along, or because you know that it could easily cause big problems for you in your hood, or all of them?

    And for those that will inevitably violate others, the right to protection applies…which is another example of natural checks and balances. A burglar is more deterred by the danger of getting shot by a homeowner than they are by a year in prison, …IF they get caught.

    Do we REALLY NEED government to make us behave?

    dutchbradt – “Between the present corporate state and the Arcadian dreamworld that Mr. Rockwell imagines, there is plenty of room for a reality based solution to the competing needs of order versus freedom.”

    BO – Who says you cannot have order and freedom simultaneously? And what do you mean by “imagine”?

    How many examples do you see every day, of people getting along, respecting each other, and coordinating without someone forcing them to do so?

    I see it everywhere. He imagines no dream world.

    People have been doing this for a long long long time, WAY before government ever existed. It is in our nature.

    How did humans ever survive without government?

  13. Black Order says:

    @ Zica

    Zica – ” Would he seriously rather live in a society with a private police force (which could very well be a cross between the church and the boy scouts)? ”

    BO – How many private/gated type communities and/or businesses hire their own private security?

    Who says you can’t require them to be a real bad-ass, just like any job requirement? Who says ya can’t pitch in to buy them a tank to patrol in?

    A customized private police force sounds really cool if ya ask me.

    Would a police force that was there strictly to protect people, not tell them how to live, one that REALLY works FOR you, not be a MUCH better alternative?

    Zica – ” Is there no immorality in private society? ”

    BO – Of course there is, but does that mean that you have to have a coercive central body as a solution?

    Is there another way?

  14. Black Order says:

    @ Zica(again)

    Zica – ” @SanderO: My apologies to you and everyone else for my last comment. I was impolite at the end of a long night. ”

    BO – Since I qualify as part of “everyone else”, I must respond by saying that I am personally not at all offended. In fact, I got quite a chuckle out of “I want you to know that you are full of shit.”

  15. Black Order says:

    @ Mr. Rockwell

    Right on, my fellow Anarcho-Libertarian brother!

  16. @BlackOrder: “That’s the beauty of the free market. It’s self balancing and has it’s own built in checks and balances, solutions and consequences for immoral behavior. Coercive regulations are somewhat redundant as it is the best interest of business as well as individuals to maintain a level of integrity in order to properly function in society. It is all about what is mutually beneficial, the strive for win/win.”

    It seems to me that there are a lot of profitable consequences for immoral behavior in a free market. Think child labor, slavery, toxic products, etc. I’m curious about your ideas of checks and balances and how a moral company will compete with an immoral one.

    If you think people won’t buy cheaper products because they were made with a lack of ethics, than you need look no further than our current big box consumerism and the sweat shops and human trafficking involved.

    And who’s going to care if the tanks at my gas station are leaking into the ground water or if I dump toxic waste in the drinking well? I’m inspecting myself, remember? You can trust me.

    Can’t wait to see the large ads plastering the walls of the Grand Canyon. I’m going to feel so free.

  17. To everyone,

    Perhaps this short 13 minute video will explain things better.

    The Story of Your Enslavement

    I could respond to each of you but sometimes you have to take a step back and see the whole picture. Watch the video!

  18. @konst: OMG, was that the artist guy from “Dinner for Schmucks”? I played it at the same time as this example:



    and I couldn’t tell for sure.

  19. Black Order says:

    @ Zica

    Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the free market is perfect, but rather an optimization of efficiency and, of course, freedom.

    The things you mentioned happen either way, with or without government regulations. A free market (among other things) means coercion gives way to better and more efficient solutions.

    I would also argue that government often imposes a lesser penalty than the consumer market does, and is in many ways, the lesser of two evils in the eyes of the shady business.

    Do you remember how the world reacted when it became aware of “conflict diamonds”? Diamond companies took a big hit to their sales. Consumers were outraged and demanded assurances that they were not buying bad diamonds, …so, a bunch of diamond dealers got together and created a free market solution, a system certifying them as not being conflict diamonds. Sure, the UN got involved and outlawed them, but what really made the impact was that conflict diamonds were/are somewhat difficult to sell. They still exist, but nowhere near like they used to.

    If there were no regulations, consumers would rely on methods they do today, just more heavily, such as third party inspectors(if you will) like the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Reports, Underwriters Laboratory, food critics, media, word of mouth, etc.

    If the business wants to prosper, they are going to have to cater to the demands of their customers, which are savvy and critical.

    People don’t eat at diners with filthy kitchens and rat problems. People don’t buy cars that spontaneously explode or start up all by themselves. They don’t tolerate blood diamonds, or polluters like BP.

    If you’re dumping something into the drinking water, someone will find out, track you down and confront you. Believe it. But we’ve already had this pollution conversation a few months ago. Remember? It will get fixed because no one wants to drink bad water. Governed or not, people require/demand clean water. With no regulations, people will still find a way to have clean water.

    I think the greatest benefit in a free market(aside from good ol’ freedom) would be cheaper/better products, more of them, and higher wages.

    Regulations and taxes increase overhead costs. These costs always get passed down to the consumer and/or limits the business’s profit and efficiency. With no government regs and taxes, they have more to spend on wages and/or are in a position to offer a cheaper and/or better product, and/or make more profit, or whatever they choose, etc., etc…

    Give government’s cut back to the market and quit telling people how to spend their money or run their businesses, …and everyone has more freedom and money, which only fuels the market even more.

    Take government out of the equation and watch the market prosper like magic.

    Mises and Hayek rock. Keynes was evil and foolish.

  20. @Zica comment-7106 June 22nd, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I don’t think so. Maybe play it by itself?

    The Story of Your Enslavement

  21. Black Order says:

    @ konst

    I’ve seen “The Story Of Your Enslavement” before.

    Excellent video!

    Kudos for posting it.

  22. It is him – I love that guy’s videos. I found another that matches really closely to the Enslavement Piece. It’s going viral and talks about brain rape and mind wars (all fear driven, right?) He talks about famine and the whole farming thing too.



    I mean, this guy really does know what’s going on. He knows that slavery will really only end when false illusions like the Emancipation Proclomation are thrown in the trash and we embrace our inner freedom. Child labor laws enforced by the devil in disguise? No way – give me my freedom to let it go away naturally, man.

    Let’s stick it to “We the people” if “We the people” ever decide to agree about some common good rules. What synthetic hogwash that is.

    As was mentioned, the Grand Canyon is already plastered with huge ads (we just don’t see it with our sleepy, farm animal eyes) and none of our regulation works AT ALL, so let’s stop dreaming. Right, brothers?

  23. So… what happened to my anarcho-capitalist free market brothers?

    Busy farming?

  24. Eric Saunders says:

    Imagine a privatized police force accountable only to its paymasters…

    Imagine the effect that ending social security and the medicare would have on the elderly…

    Or what eliminating public education, foodstamps, and medicaid would mean for America’s poor and working class…

    I am a little mortified for Sibel because I have never heard her sound as misinformed as when she talks/writes about Keynes.

    It is bizarre how Keynes gets taken to task here for both being an elitist eugenicist AND for advocating (metaphorical) euthanasia of the rentier class (i.e. the super rich, not household savers as Lew says). This makes no sense at all. “Rent” here means the income that is not related to costs of production, i.e. income that comes from privilege and ownership. Higher top marginal taxes could reduce this income and benefit society in various ways.

    Keynes sought ways to intervene in the economy, especially during periods of underconsumption when the fundamental problem was not a lack of production capacity, but depressed wages and/or high unemployment leading to reduced consumption. What gets described as military Keynesianism is something different and not something advocated by Keynes.

    I guess on some level Lew Rockwell must be happy that Greece is forced to sell of all the state enterprises, since public ownership is tyranny and private property is next to, if not above, godliness.

    Sibel should read some Michael Hudson who is in the excellent book The Global Economic Crisis, edited by Michel Chussodovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall. I am all for finding anti-fascist common ground with the Libertarian set, but that hardly means I want to embrace their nuttier dogma…

  25. HAL 9000 says:

    As Mr. Rockwell stated, government is inherently corrupt. Yet government, in some form, is also an inevitable element of human communities. So in order to minimize the negative consequences of government, we should strive to live with as little government as possible, and we should strive to keep government as decentralized as possible. The power and the role of government should be like a pyramid, with the greatest power and influence over the governed exerted by the government with the smallest jurisdiction (local), and increasingly less power and influence exerted by government as the size of its jurisdiction increases (e.g. in the US, state, then federal). At present, we have an inverted government pyramid, which is the worst of all government paradigms. We have concentrated power into the hands of fewer and fewer people, and those people are not elected, they are beyond anyone’s vote. The typical American still believes that the people for whom he or she votes, are the people that actually run the government/country. It is the Grand Illusion.

  26. HAL 9000 says:

    Sibel,

    I was surprised to hear you say George Mason University was filled with Keynesian faculty. The chairman of the Economics department, Russell Roberts, is a well-known adherent to Hayekian philosophy, and the founder of the Library of Economics and Liberty ( http://econlib.org/ ). I know that several other of the Economics faculty are like minded and firmly opposed to Keynesian theory. Perhaps you did not take any Econ courses at GMU.

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