“No one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result.” –Ludwig von Mises
If you haven’t yet heard of Ludwig von Mises and the Mises Institute, then this should be a real treat. If you like what you see, smoke some herb and start reading Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt — cannabis is a fantastic tool for studying. And if you finish that book, you’ll know more about economics than at least 90% of recent college graduates.
I’m simply going to post excerpts from three fantastic articles from the Mises Daily. If you like what you see, I’d urge you to thrust yourself vigorously into the intellectual battle.
“once the government assumes control over what one can and can’t put into his mouth, nose, or veins or regulates the circumstances under which one can lawfully introduce something into his body, there is no limit to its power and no stopping its reach. Again, as Mises makes clear “[o]pium and morphine are certainly dangerous, habit-forming drugs. But once the principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments.”
“As soon as we surrender the principle that the state should not interfere in any questions touching on the individual’s mode of life,” Mises goes on, “we end by regulating and restricting the latter down to the smallest detail.”
Mises tells us exactly what the slippery slope of drug prohibition leads to. He asks why what is valid for morphine and cocaine should not be valid for nicotine and caffeine. Indeed: “Why should not the state generally prescribe which foods may be indulged in and which must be avoided because they are injurious?” But it gets worse, for “if one abolishes man’s freedom to determine his own consumption, one takes all freedoms away…”
When it comes to bad habits, vices, and immoral behavior of others, in contrast to the state, which does everything by “compulsion and the application of force,” Mises considered tolerance and persuasion to be the rules.
“A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper,” Mises explains. “He must free himself from the habit, just as soon as something does not please him, of calling for the police.”
“Individuals may rest their personal lives on love and thereby find the peace that seemingly evades all philosophical and sociological understanding of social affairs. Whatever wise men and women may know and practice in their own lives, however, essentially Hobbesian analysis holds the great thinkers in its iron grip, and those who recommend love are dismissed as muddle-headed and simplistic. Yet, to repeat, here we are, inhabiting a world made no better by our hanging on the words of the greatest political philosophers, statesmen, and international-relations experts. In their view, the state is a given, and their analyses take for granted its nature and conduct. Perhaps this point of departure is their root error: that they readily accept what most needs to be challenged.
So long as the state exists, with its intrinsic violence, plunder, and insolence, and we seek solutions to our pressing social problems through it or in its dark shadow, we are doomed not to second-best or third-best solutions, but to make-believe solutions that are, at best, momentary rest stops on the road to our worsening degradation and ultimate demise. Destruction is what states do (or threaten to do); it is the nature of the beast. As technological changes augment state powers, the culmination of this terrible sequence may be our absolute annihilation.
Love turns us in the opposite direction. It seeks to build up, whereas the state seeks to overawe and kill in the service of the self-interested elites who control it at the expense of the people at large. Love has no need to flex violent muscles or seek vengeance time and again. Love intends the good of the other for its own sake, not as a means toward the end of one’s own aggrandizement. Love is patient and long-suffering; power is impatient and easily provoked.”
And finally, from Flooding the World With Truth:
” They tried to kill Mises, and then they burned his books. He escaped to Geneva and then to New York and went on to write the greatest treatises ever. They dumped Rothbard in a tiny office at a small Brooklyn college, and he wrote and published and made history anyway. So it has always been: the pen is mightier than the sword…
The effects are potentially revolutionary. You know why the governments of the world were so alarmed at WikiLeaks? Because they fear information. In this sense, Mises.org is the ultimate enemy of the state, because we are not only devoted to showing what is wrong with statism but also to showing what is beautiful, productive, and magnificent about human freedom.
Lots of people are despairing about liberty today. There is no point in this. The answer to all our problems is bound up with what people believe. Governments do not stand a chance against a world population that truly understands.
You think this is implausible? Wrong. Every revolution in human history began with a single idea. When that idea spreads, because it is convincing, the rulers wake up to a new world. It can and will happen again, and it could be in our lifetime. The Mises Institute is dedicated to making this happen.”
The battle of ideas is fully underway. Free your mind; learn Austrian economics. Follow WeedPress on Facebook.
This is an amazing time to be alive. 😀