Libertarian Media

MA program at CEVRO Institute

Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) – 3-trimester international master’s program in Prague, Modeled on University of Oxford.

Integrates political philosophy, politics and political economy, Renowned lecturers from Czech, US and European universities

Categories: Libertarian Media

Get a FREE Digital Copy of Healing Our World When You Help Its Romanian Translator

When the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989, and the Soviet Union crumbled, books about liberty in Eastern European languages were non-existent. A few passionate liberty-lovers rectified this by spending their free time translating pivotal freedom-oriented books into their native languages.

Valentina Nicolaie was one of those intrepid individuals. She translated Healing Our World and several other important books into her native language (Anthem, by Ayn Rand; The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible by Ken Schoolland; La liberte – deux ou trois choses que je connais d elle by Christian Michel, and Defending the Undefendable, by Walter Block). Finally, Romanians could learn about freedom’s benefits in their own language! Valentina received little or no compensation for this monumental work.

Now Valentina needs our help. She has metastatic breast cancer and wasn’t able to withstand the recommended chemotherapy. Valentina has turned instead to alternative methods, such as high dose Vitamin C infusions, but, as in the U.S., she’ll need to pay out of her own pocket.

Liberty International, formerly International Society for Individual Liberty, is raising funds to help Valentina. We awarded her the Bruce Evoy Memorial Award in 2001 for her dedicated service to liberty under trying conditions in her country. Your contribution towards her medical fund is tax-deductible.

Best of all, EVERY contributor will receive a PDF of Valentina’s Romanian translation of the 1992 edition of Healing Our World to share with any Romanians that you might know. Donors who contribute $25 or more will also get a Kindle, ePub, and PDF of the 2015 English edition of Healing, which sells on www.ruwart.com for $9.99.

Please contribute now and help Valentina live to translate another day!

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Categories: Libertarian Media

Former Dutch Libertarian Party Chair Boldly Counters Panama Papers Committee

Our good friend Toine Manders, former chairman of the Dutch Libertarian Party, was questioned this past week in a Panama Papers hearing in the Netherlands.

His clear and well-represented counter arguments against the system of taxation have been a hit on social media, with the video above being shared nearly 2.5K shares in just four days.

Prior to the hearing, we received the following note from Toine. This explains the absurdity of the charges against him and the authorities’ attempts to have him incriminate himself. (Reprinted with permission).

Dear friends,

I received a subpoena to be interrogated in public by the Parliamentary Questioning Committee Tax Schemes on Friday, June 16th from 9.30 to 11.00. For more info see:

https://www.bna.com/dutch-hearings-panama-n73014452983/
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/06/u2-rolling-stones-business-rep-called-to-dutch-tax-haven-committee/

  • I do not have the right not to appear.
  • I do not have the right to remain silent.
  • I do not have the right to refuse to answer questions in order to avoid incriminating myself.
  • I will be interrogated under oath.

All while my criminal trial is in progress. About 25 witnesses for the defence have been heard, another 20 or so are to follow. The charges are:

  1. Operating a trust company without a license, and/or engaging in activities directed towards the provision of trust services by a trust company based in a non-white-listed country who provides services to The Netherlands without a Dutch trust licence;
  2. Incorrectly filing VAT returns by not declaring sales by a foreign trust company (they claim the revenue belongs to the Dutch group member, not the foreign group member);
  3. Membership of a criminal organisation, whose intent was to help clients whose intent was to commit tax crimes and money laundering.

As you can see, there is a huge overlap in the matters under investigation, and my testimony would be highly relevant to the criminal case. My testimony cannot be formally used as evidence in a criminal case, but the IRS investigators can use my testimony to find independent evidence against me.

My lawyer says this is the first time in Dutch parliamentary history something like this has happened.

It will be broadcast live on http://nos.nl/livestream/npo-politiek.html
The video will be available on https://debatgemist.tweedekamer.nl/commissievergaderingen

Kind regards,

Toine

Categories: Libertarian Media

Hotel school aims to help build economy in war-plagued region

This article was first published in Hotel Business June 21, 2017; published with permission by the subject.

INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Building a hospitality school in an urban environment is one thing, but establishing a presence in an area plagued by a 70-year civil war is another. Developing and encouraging tourism in the Karen State of Burma (now Myanmar) has been a challenge for those hoping to revive the region—and financing options are hard to come by.

Following decades of conflict, in 1989, the military government in the country changed its name from Burma to Myanmar. More recently, the country has elected a civilian government (albeit one in which the military holds 25% of parliamentary seats and does not allow for civilian control of the military). As the country has transitioned, peace efforts have been made with various groups the government had long been at war with. Part of the bigger internal conflict in the country were the

Karen people, who once fought for an independent state, but have shifted focus to fair representation under a federal system. Many of the Karen people live in Karen State (known also as Kayin State), and many have become displaced persons or refugees in Thailand as a result of the ongoing conflict.

“Karen Enterprises’ vision is for sustainable authentic tourism to be the foundation of the future of the Karen economy,” said Nigel Grier, CEO of Karen Enterprises (which he defines as the business interface for the area). “The region is mountainous and rugged, and the landscape dramatic.

The people are warm and friendly. Importantly, globalization and urbanization have yet to arrive with most villages and communities still living a traditional lifestyle off-grid—due to the nearly 70-year civil war.”

Grier reached out to Dr. Rieki Crins, the founder of the Learning Exchange Foundation (LEF), an organization formed to “promote Bhutanese culture and lifestyle, connect Bhutanese citizens with citizens from other parts of the world to exchange knowledge and experience, and facilitate mutual learning,” according to its website.

In addition to establishing LEF, Crins set up a hotel school in Bhutan.

“He asked me to replicate that success by starting a hotel school for the Karen people,” Crins explained. “I had worked in Bhutan for 25 years, 10 of which was as a guide for high-end tour groups. During this time, I saw Bhutan’s tourism and hospitality sector develop. Many hotels opened, but there was no understanding of property hospitality service. In addition, unemployment was very high among the youth in the country.”

She converted a three-star hotel consisting of 12 rooms, a restaurant and a dormitory into a vocational hotel school in response. Eventually becoming the Bonge Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, the school, established in 2013 by LEF and a partner in Karen Enterprises’ project for Karen, provided students with quality hospitality training.

Grier was introduced to Kurt Hanson, Karen Enterprises’ co-founder, back in 2012; Hanson discussed the idea of developing a jungle safari lodge. Why? “Because most of the country is still forested and [also] due to the large numbers of tigers, elephants, bears and other iconic Asian animals, which are facing extinction elsewhere,” Grier said. “After visiting the area, I soon realized it wouldn’t be as simple as building the lodges; we would also need the soft infrastructure, trained and experienced employees for any enterprise.”

Karen Enterprises’ vision, said Grier, is “genuine sustainable development through implementation of projects and business models that fulfill the UN Sustainable Development Goals.” He expects the organization will ultimately achieve this “through the careful selection of partners and working with entrepreneurs who share this common vision.

“Currently, there are no jobs in the areas that we are working in; sustainable tourism has the biggest opportunity to create direct and indirect employment as well as spinning off countless social enterprises to support these hotels,” Grier said about the market.

Setting up the hotel school hasn’t been an easy process—particularly with regard to fundraising (although the project does have anchor investors). “A lot of money is needed to get a project like this off the ground,” noted LEF’s executive. “Donors aren’t so keen to support a startup, even if it’s a not-for-profit project, because they know a lot can go wrong. However, because of the close ties between the anchor investor and a top Karen leader, both co-founders of Karen Enterprises, and our partners in the venture, we’re working with serious and trustworthy people.” There’s an ideal location for the school: a

There’s an ideal location for the school: a hotel in the border town of Myawaddy—just across from Mae Sot, Thailand. Awaiting the school’s opening, there are several hundred Karen youth in refugee camps vying to be accepted into the school. “The only challenge we are facing is a lack of funds,” Crins acknowledged. “It’s like the proverbial chicken-and-egg dilemma.”

Fundraising efforts include brochures highlighting the project and budget; speaking at conferences; and contacting high-
net-worth individuals. “We will also establish a scholarship fund so people can ‘adopt a student’ to support them during their training,” Crins said. “We have a Karen partner and a 50-room hotel to convert into a school. The next step is to recruit people with five-star hotel experience in Thailand [so they] can be trained. We’ll also provide internships for senior hotel students from Europe to help.”

Financing aside, the project is looking for partners to donate F&B plant and equipment. Experienced trainers and managers are also needed (a commitment of six or 12 months at a time is required).

Grier explained, “Karen State is at a watershed moment. With the right influence we can steer development in the right direction and avoid some of the double-edged sword of tourism challenges that the likes of Bali now suffer from.

“We are very fortunate to have the infrastructure of Thailand next door, and we feel this provides our projects a competitive advantage,” he said.

Training at the school will be unlike the teaching at a traditional hospitality school. For example, proper hygiene and life skills will be on the agenda for students—as they come from a different environment.

“The students will be from refugee camps; many have known no other life,” Crins said. “They’re very poor and most have never even seen a hotel. We’ll have to train them in basic life skills, such as time management.”

“We plan to open the hotel school in January 2018 to train 60 students: 20 in housekeeping, 20 in F&B and 20 as kitchen staff,” Crins pointed out, additionally noting the entire length of training and internship: “Training will take eight months, plus three months. As Myawaddy lacks decent tourist amenities, we aim to meet market demand with our great hotel, which will include an international restaurant and bar. With a steady stream of guests, our students will have a great opportunity to put their training into practice, and we expect the school to be on a breakeven point financially in one year.”

Karen Enterprises also has plans to establish a chain of luxury safari eco-lodges (five sites in total). An expert hotelier from the Netherlands is working in the area to plan the first eco-lodge. “We will start the design phase on the first lodge in Q4 2017,” Grier said.

Categories: Libertarian Media

Positive Changes for Nepal

The month of May brought some very positive changes for Nepal. With the first round of local elections successfully held after almost 20 years, there is fresh hope and jubilation in people. Political parties have also generally accepted the results. Upholding people’s choices in this way is indeed a mature gesture from our political leaders. New challenges now lie ahead. Representative local governments shall be a novelty in the country, and flexing responsibility by those newly elected will come with its own set of learning curves.

Similarly, growth rebounded to a two-decade high of 7.5%, albeit with many exogenous factors. Sustaining this growth is also another challenge for us. Our researcher has identified a number of fundamental pillars to create a conducive environment for sustaining this economic growth. A recent World Bank report also stresses that Nepal needs to seriously reform its policies and create more room for competition in order to sustain growth. Our commentaries on the need to remodel public education system, and malpractices committed by the petroleum sector monopoly further highlight this need to ensure competition. We are happy to see that idea of strategic partnership between Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and Lufthansa, which our study also advocates as a necessary reform for making the NAC more competitive in the market, is gaining ground.

Along this line, instatement of local governments within the new federal constitutional provisions lays down genuine reasons to be optimistic about inter-local government competition. The recently-unveiled fiscal budget (unlike past years) does not specify any new programs; however, it does give considerable financial responsibilities to local governments. Now that human capital is going to one of the greatest resources for any local jurisdiction, it will be particularly interesting to see what kinds of economic policies these local governments will adopt to retain and attract individuals and capital, and how people will respond to them. There can be no doubt that the more conducive the local policies are to doing business, the higher their chances of growth will be.

The second round of local elections is now just around the corner. Only yesterday, we also had yet another change in premiership. Impressively, this has been achieved through one of the most normal processes in Nepal’s decade-and-a-half of tumultuous power shifts. This is perhaps an indication of our gradual shift towards maturing of democracy.

Author :  Robin Sitoula, Samriddhi Foundation Executive Director

Categories: Libertarian Media

Why Civil Defense Still Matters

Doctors for Disaster Preparedness is a small group of top scientists and doctors who publish a newsletter and hold an annual meeting at different defense and nuclear sites. At meetings speakers cover issues relating to civil defense, diseases, new chemical/technological discoveries, and global climate issues. Speakers offer varied viewpoints and the group is often bitterly criticized for its unorthodox challenges to the medical establishment. Their last program, described in more detail below, shows the variety of speakers and topics covered.

I have been attending meetings since the 1980s when I first wrote about nuclear war survival. Personally, I have always been interested in civil defense since studying in Germany in 1952, taking shortcuts to my classes through still bombed out city blocks. I was always amazed that “only” a million German civilians died from the bombing that flattened every single city. I even saw East Berlin, which was just rubble as far as the eye could see. Human beings are amazingly resilient. But the Germans also had built good bomb shelters.

After 9/11, Dr. Jane Orient, who runs the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, explained how American city fire departments were being supplied with useless radiation detectors measuring Millirem instead of Rems. They were based on the EPA’s incoherent threat levels, which have been obsolete since the 1950s. The EPA has since modified its threat levels by a factor of hundreds. Dr. Orient then donated higher-scale measuring detectors to her local Phoenix fire department.

I attended the last meeting in Omaha, site of the Strategic Air Command, the military unit in charge of two-thirds of the Nuclear Triad. It had the usual complement of fascinating speakers and topics. Lectures at the meeting included “Freedom of Information Act in Climate Science,” “An Update on Emerging Diseases,” “Police, Fire and Civilian Emergency Medical Preparedness,” “Combatting Heart Disease—Statins and Supplements,” “A Geologic History of Climate—Why Correlated with CO2—or Not,” and “Offshore Drilling and Fracking.”

 

Jon Basil Utley with the standard B83 hydrogen bomb at the Oak Ridge laboratory in Tennessee, site of an earlier Doctors for Disaster Preparedness meeting.

Among the many interesting speakers, Dr. Mohan Doss spoke on “Rationality in Radiation Protection Standards.” He exhibited the many studies showing that low doses of radiation actually increased immune system resistance to cancer and human longevity in Taiwan, Hiroshima, and among persons living at high altitudes. The phenomenon is called hormesis. Cancer cells constantly occur in the body but are usually destroyed by healthy immune systems.

Dr. Steven Hatfill, professor at George Washington University, gave an “Update on Emerging Diseases.” He explained that most new diseases and viruses come from cross-species infections. He gave the example of Asian cities where millions of people are densely clustered together with domestic and food animals, birds, and fish. That’s why most new infections are called Asian flus. He said that many avian (bird) viruses often transmit easily to humans but do not then transmit from human to human. He warned that humans are vulnerable to pandemic flus such as the one in 1918, which killed tens of millions. Hatfill described new computer programs that are able to single out and distinguish viruses like never before. There is, he said, progress in fighting the Ebola virus. He explained that mosquitos are a main transmitter of diseases and described how they are territorial.

Dr. Donald Miller spoke about medicines for heart disease. He warned of the negative effects of statin drugs and how their makers’ advertising was often misleading. For example, an ad stating “Lipitor reduces the risk of heart attack by 36 percent.” In reality the “proven” risk reduction was from 3 percent of older, at-risk Americans to 2 percent, but with various side effects. Another example was how the EPA misleads and exaggerates risk with use of the false “linear no-threshold thesis.” This theory argues, for example, that if taking 100 aspirin would kill a man, out of 100 men each taking one aspirin, one would die. Equally it postulates that all sunlight is a carcinogen at any exposure rate for some people.

Dr. Fred Singer argued that human activity had little effect on climate change, that the “burden of proof is on the alarmists.” He argued that all the past computer models of global warming have proven incorrect, that warming did occur from 1910 until 1940, but very little since then. The DDP website carries information about global warming. Several speakers decried the fact that California is closing down nuclear energy plants because they can’t compete with the taxpayer subsidized solar and wind power. The EPA still uses its old 15 millirem limits for nuclear power plant maintenance and construction (and Superfund cleanup), which vastly increases their costs, even though it has modified the limits for civil defense from nuclear attack.

Other notable speakers included DDP vice president Arthur Robinson, Yuri Maltsev, Willie Soon, Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, who was also given an award, and many other scientists. Stephen Jones demonstrated his small, stick-on-radiation detectors and distributed them at the meeting. Videos of the lectures are being posted on YouTube, which also features speakers from past meetings.

At the meeting we had a side trip to the Strategic Air Command Museum, which exhibits all the major bombers built in America.

Recently I heard a retired four-star general state that nuclear war was becoming more likely now than during the Cold War. Personally in Washington, I read and hear much casual talk about starting wars with foreigners who “threaten” America or our allies’ interests, or for the need to “prove” American credibility as if we were still in the cold war. Most Americans are oblivious to these risks from Washington’s many “laptop bombardiers” repeatedly urging military confrontation with various foreign nations. We should all be prepared with basic civil defense survival knowledge at a minimum for an accidental launching of nuclear missiles, hundreds of which are still on virtual hair trigger alert.

Congress spends nearly a trillion dollars a year for the Pentagon’s mainly offensive weaponry, yet almost nothing for civil defense for American civilians. DDP is one of the very few organizations focused on explaining the threats and how best to defend ourselves without government resources. It offers a vast trove of information for the day when we will begin to take defense seriously or, worse, after launches happen.

Jon Basil Utley is publisher of  The American Conservative. ( This article was originally published in The American Conservative  )

Categories: Libertarian Media

“Libertarianism and Abortion: A Reply to Professor Narveson”

Libertarian Papers - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 02:20

Abstract: Jan Narveson criticizes the view expressed in my Libertarian Philosophy in the Real World that there is no orthodox libertarian position on the ethics of abortion. He asserts that fetuses lack the defining characteristics of personhood, and thus are ineligible for what he terms “intrinsic” rights under his, and presumably any other, plausible libertarian theory. My counterargument is threefold: (i) Narveson’s contractarianism can be interpreted in a way that is consistent with the pro-life perspective; (ii) because his theory permits no principled distinction between the moral status of third trimester fetuses and newborns, the contrary reading of his social contract produces a result that is implausible and even repellent; and (iii) even if his version of contractarianism does imply a unique, aggressively pro-choice stance on abortion, there are competing libertarian theories that are receptive to pro-life views.

Keywords: Abortion, natural rights, newborn rights, child rights, parenting

Download PDF“Libertarianism and Abortion: A Reply to Professor Narveson”

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Categories: Libertarian Media

“The Blockian Proviso and the Rationality of Property Rights”

Libertarian Papers - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 03:58

Abstract: This paper defends the Blockian Proviso against its critics, Kinsella in particular, and interprets it as a law of non-contradiction in the theory of just property rights. I demonstrate that one may not lawfully appropriate in such a way as to forestall others from appropriating an unowned land because such appropriation would result in conflict-generating norms, and conflict-generating norms are not rationally justifiable and just norms. The Blockian Proviso, which precludes forestalling, operates therefore at the level of original appropriation and determines, according to the homestead principle of justice in first acquisition, what may and what may not be lawfully appropriated. Hence, the Blockian Proviso is not an add-on to the homestead principle but part and parcel thereof.

Keywords: Blockian Proviso, forestalling, homestead principle, property rights, conflict avoidance, law of non-contradiction, compossibility of property rights

Download PDF“The Blockian Proviso and the Rationality of Property Rights”

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Categories: Libertarian Media

“Ayn Rand and Friedrich A. Hayek: A Comparison”

Libertarian Papers - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 06:51

Abstract: Ayn Rand and Friedrich A. Hayek were two of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century in the effort to turn the current of opinion away from collectivism and toward what could be called classical liberalism or libertarianism. The purpose of this pedagogical article is to explain, describe, and compare the essential ideas of these great advocates of liberty in language that permits generally educated readers to understand, recognize, and appreciate their significance. It that sense, it hopes to make the the ideas of Rand and Hayek accessible to a wide range of readers through the use of clear explanations. To aid in this endeavor, the article concludes with the presentation and discussion of a table that summarizes and compares their ideas on a variety of problems in and dimensions of philosophy and social science. The target audience of this essay includes educated laypeople and college students, many of whom may decide to read and study the original works of these prominent theorists of a free society after being exposed to their essential ideas.

Keywords: Ayn Rand, Friedrich A. Hayek, Objectivism, Austrian Economics, libertarianism

Download PDF“Ayn Rand and Friedrich A. Hayek: A Comparison”

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Categories: Libertarian Media

The ambush of African philosophy: an exhumation of classical liberal principles in the evolution of Africa societies

Author: Ibraham B. Anoba

Full paper available at the author’s webpage, here.

Abstract

The persistent resentment towards classical liberal principles especially individualism and free market in contemporary Africa, represents an outcome of decades of ambush against the ideology despite its clear connections with traditional African philosophy and relevance to the prosperity of modern African states. This work attempts to draw comparisons between social and economic organisation in traditional Africa and classical liberal principles. Contrary to literatures that portray the community as the real and only end in traditional African societies, elements like free trade; market economy; consensus; anarchy and limited governance negates this position. While tracing the cause of Africa’s cling to socialism and communism, this paper presents an ideological transition from pre-colonialism to nationalist and post-independent Africa. It concludes by demystifying the arguments of individualism as antithetical to African morality. It also justified the inevitability of classical liberal principles in modern Africa.

Key words: Classical Liberalism; African Humanism; Ubuntu; Individualism; African Morality; Free Market

INTRODUCTION

There is rarely a fiercely contested ideology in Africa as classical liberalism – often relegated to capitalism. The annihilation of the African academia by radical-socialists and Marxian philosophers since the 20th century greatly influenced the presentation of the origins of African life as purely socialist. Whereas, later inquiries revealed philosophical patterns that correlates with classical liberalism and other ideas. They also debunked the universality of communalism and social welfarism in traditional Africa. Although, the social and economic structures in some traditional African communities were communally designed, only because communalism was seen as the formal and best means for societal organization based on factors like population, kinship, and tribal solidarity. On a broader spectrum, qualities like respect for individual happiness, personal interest and dignity were equally permitted. And in numerous communities as would be later revealed, organization and conduct were not dictated or divinely commanded but humanistic and utilitarian with overarching emphases on improving social functioning and human flourishing (Gyekye 1995).

Philosophers – mostly of the African traditionalist school- and scholars turned politicians like Julius Nyerere (Tanzania), Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana) and Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya) through their writings and patterns of governance, glued Africa’s history to socialcommunism. Of course, this was at a period when literatures on African philosophy were scanty and public knowledge of the market system and governance were low. This knowledge void filled by the traditionalists has endured in the African academia for decades with a solid effect on public knowledge. The platform of leadership and scholarship made the ideological inclination quite easy for the traditionalists. Hence, the sustained view of philosophy as an embodiment of opinions best presented by the ruling class and a mere exhumation of Africa’s past and rehabilitation of culture (Kasanda 2015, 30-32).

WERE TRADITIONALISTS RIGHT ABOUT AFRICA’S SOCIAL-COMMUNIST FOUNDATIONS?

Well, the absence of technically organized ideologies in traditional African societies made several historians resolved that pre-colonial Africa had no clear patterns that governed behavior except the unearthing of some ancestral practices. Writers like George Dalton identified the inability of Western economists to draw clear parallels between economic systems in traditional African societies to theories developed in the West as primary course to this conclusion (Dalton 1997, 27). Unlike Europe or the Americas where sufficient texts written by generations of historians exists on the cultural and philosophical evolution of the society, it rarely does in Africa.

Most knowledge on the evolution of African philosophy is preserved in arts, tales and other literatures passed from one generation to another. Other evidences especially in archaeological folds rarely exist to corroborate some of the narratives. The colonial masters stole many, some were destroyed during wars and the surviving few gradually vanished due to lack of preservation by successive generations. Meanwhile, empirical inquiry into African philosophy never surfaced until around mid-1900s, most notably when catholic Father Placide Tempel published his La Philosophie Bantu (The Philosophy of the Bantu) in 1945 as a response to the misconceptions about the Bantu people of West Africa. Tempel’s book set the premise for subsequent studies in African philosophy. He refuted the claims by Western writers and the Catholic Church that traditional Africans had no rational thinking that regulated affairs but led a common primitive life. And similar to Tempel, writers like Alexis Kagame attempted to create the substance for African philosophy by answering meta-philosophical questions -an attempt to create the philosophy of African philosophy- for ease of study due to absence of literatures.

Continued investigations by African writers later revealed that the absence of ideological details noted by Dalton and others actually existed in African communities but can only be studied with cognizance to social structures such as religion and kinship (Ayittey 1991). Similarly, nationalist intellectuals observed that there were indeed patterns peculiar to each African community resembling some of the propositions later developed in socialism and communism (Khoza 1994). They historically presented the collective purpose against individual purpose by arguing the true and only philosophy in traditional Africa was the philosophy of brotherhood and welfarism, which prevented anyone from getting prosperous than everyone. They practically rejected all notions of self-determinism or personal ambition as non-existence in traditional Africa. They also claimed a strongman leadership of interest as the choice of governance in these communities.

In their accounts, the supreme leader or council held the right over the life of every member of the community and served as the judges of morality. Contrariwise, the philosophy of traditional Africa was not in any way relegated to principles in socialism or communism, but greatly extended to principles advocated in classical liberalism as would be seen later.

In African antiquity, the social-communist setting was not a general obtainable across all communities as claimed by the traditionalists. In some groups, authority was not central, while in others, they never existed. Members were entitled to self-determinism, as many of these communities were either stateless or acephalous. Some had well-organized administrative structures without monarchs or a centralized ruling elite council. In communities such as the Tallensi (Ghana), Logoli (Kenya) and Nuer (South Sudan) there were no institutions that regulated social life but they were purely anarchic (Evans 1940, 5). In communities with clearly defined systems of governance, majority of them had structures for institutional ombudsman and separation of powers among governing councils – comparable to the tripartite system proposed by French philosopher, Baron de Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws (1748). These communities also treasured standards for checks and balances to avoid power concentration or abuse by an individual or group. For example, in the Igbo community (Nigeria), authority was shared among groups like the ofo (family heads), ozo (nobles) and the age grade groups with similar model among the Yoruba (Nigeria), the Bété, Dida and Baoulé (Cote d’Ivoire), the Nuer and Dinka Gnoc (South Sudan), the Massai (Kenya), the Nyjakusa (Tanzania) and Tonga (Zambia) tribes (Sesay 2014). Political decisions rested on the harmony of opinions among council members while individuals typically determined economic decisions. However, the absence of centralised structures of authority did not implied statelessness so to speak because there were customs and understandings that sanctioned deviant behaviors.

Even in communities with centralized authorities, independent institutions limited governance, contrary to claims of a common authoritarian pattern all over. In the political fold, governance only existed to whatever extent public opinion agreed. Most political decisions greatly depended on consensus among chiefs, councils, or the public as it were, with cognizance to individual judgment. This individual judgment was present in form of household representative democracy. Every member of the community belonged to a household, and their opinions formed household interests, which was subsequently represented in councils by their elders or nobles. Societies such as the Ashanti (Ghana) and the Yoruba (Nigeria) emphasized individual interests through the household, with significant checks on monopolization of interest by their chiefs. And this was common to most communities. Former Zambian and Tanzanian leaders, Kenneth Kaunda and Julius Nyerere resolved to this fact:

Kaunda: In our original (African) societies, we operated by consensus. An issue was talked out in solemn conclave until such time as agreement could be achieved. Nyerere: In African society, the traditional method of conducting affairs is by free discussion. The elders sit under the big trees, and talk until they agree (Wiredu 2004).

Clear enough, traditional Africans were resentful towards fortification of an individual to act as sole representative of choice and interest even if the individual was a representative of the gods.

The misrepresentation of the political organization in traditional Africa as akin to social-communism as opined by most traditionalists and nationalists could be attributed to the twisted interpretation of the African virtue of Ubuntu: an ideology that depicts African humanism. Ubuntu (Zulu/Xhosa) or uMunthu (Chewa) is the bedrock of sound human relations in traditional Africa: the collective unconscious of intra-human relations and the essence of morality (Khoza 1994). It was so to speak, the foundation of African morality (Pauw 1996). Ubuntu, on the complex fold reflects the African understanding of humanism; dignity; respect and proper conduct. Augustine Musopole, a Malawian theologian saw uMunthu as the total human integrity and crucial to cosmic inter-relatedness, harmony and salvation with strong communal dimension (Musopole 1993). Its modern usage is more entrenched in movements like pan-Africanism, Negritude and Black Power, which influenced nationalist struggles for independence (Khoza 1994). Radical nationalist leaders build the interpretation of Ubuntu on African socialism –socialism rooted in African culture and values- and to them, it was the ideological foundation in post-colonial Africa. They observed that African life had always been community centered without relevance to personal interest – a bias and opaquely generalized notion as proved in this work. Most of the participants in the 1945 Manchester Conference including Léopold Senghor (Senegal), Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Sékou Touré (Guinea), Tom Mboya (Kenya), Wallace Johnson (Sierra Leone) and others, especially Julius Nyerere with Ujamaa in Tanzania, vehemently encouraged and practiced socialism in their respective states. Likewise in countries that fought colonialism through liberation wars like, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Angola.

In Tanzania for instance, Ujamaa was launched in 1967 to regenerate traditions and values similar to pre-colonial Tanzanian societies in a bid to institute a new welfare state void of enterprise or individual interest but with national and collective prosperity as its end. Most of the social arrangements and resurrected cultures struggled to fit in modern Tanzania.

As expected, the system largely failed in both social and economic ramifications. It further impoverished the people and laid foundation for an economically problematic state. Guinea under Sékou Touré experimented with similar variant of African socialism and left a brutal political landscape with an acutely bizarre economy. In places where postindependence leaders verbally advocated for capitalist economy like in Zaïre (under Mobutu Seko), Cameroun (Ahmadou Ahidjo), Togo (Gnassingbé Eyadema), and Gabon (Ali Bongo), cronyism; greed; corruption and obsession for power never allowed for institutionalization of a free market capitalism. And these states were practically no different from the former. Meanwhile, understanding the dimensions of African nationalist struggle is a prerequisite to uncovering why socialism and communism took root in Africa.

The fight for independence in Africa centered on two things: to rid Africa of Western imperialism (by all possible means including war), and to develop the economy and cure poverty through radical socialist reforms. Of course, this was at the height of communism in places like Cuba and the Soviet Union. With the obvious resentment towards the imperialist West, it was better affiliating with the communist East to firstly, ensure their stay in power and secondly, to institutionalize a system for effective wealth redistribution. It eventually made African nationalists grew heavily attached to the communist bloc. They collaborated in adopting economic and social structures of the communist states that would later prove disastrous to nation building in post-independence Africa. They got financial and personnel assistance; socialist principles guided pubic conduct in replica states; socialism as an ideology got tremendous academic appeal and the new Africa looked more like a glorified communist workshop. This hitherto solidified Africa’s ideological apology towards socialist and communist principles.

In tracing the reasons for this easy radicalization, the massive exploitation of Africa under colonialism (starting from the 1870s) was in fact a primary factor. The fattening and industrialization of Europe on the back of Africa’s human and natural resources offered capitalism a ‘theft’ and an imperialist ideology intended to further subject Africa to continuous economic exploitation. This unfortunately coincided with a time when capitalism received immense glory for Western industrialization with Africa beneath the shaft. Logically, any idea that had been responsible for Europe’s prosperity other that capitalism would have certainly been an enemy of Africa. Moreover, nearly all political figures in Africa vocally repelled Europe and anything Western during this period. Frequent rants and campaigns against capitalism often made the public appealed to the socialist agenda of politicians and their liberation charisma. Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe echoed this resentment in his common nature while observing:

Capitalism did not only plunder our land and other natural resources, thus impoverishing our peasants and making vast communities landless, it also turned a substantial percentage of the population into a poor wage-worker class… The difference between Socialism and Capitalism is, therefore, the difference between equality and inequality, between equity and inequity, between justice and injustice (Fisher, 1978: 206).

It was that bad. These reservations made independent struggles took anti-white racialist and tribal separatist dimensions while most nationalists experienced first-hand, the disparity in development between Europe and Africa as students in the West. Their return nonetheless, strengthened socialist resistance against continued Western capitalist exploitation. It peak in the early-mid 1900s and majority of Africa subsequently gained independence on the back of social-communist development agenda.

Almost immediately after independence, economies improved with export gains reaching all-time highs with states revenue matured heavily towards the 1970s and 1980s. The joy was however short-lived. Economies like Nigeria, Angola, Rwanda, and Liberia slipped due to negative outcomes in socialist and colonialist arrangements. The promotion of a strong central authority by African socialism permitted politicians to massively loot an overwhelming percentage of wealth created during Africa’s economic boom. Corruption, powerful state, public restrictions and suspension of civil liberties were final bullets to the definite failure of the planned state across independent Africa. And the military utilized the familiar one-man dictatorship established under civilian rule to seize power with far worse damages on social, political and economic settings. Factors like the shift of interest among public workers, the irresistible rise of private corporations, the spontaneous reaction in markets and the increase in individual choices over state despotism caught the ‘central state’ planners off-guard. As a result, the 1980s and 1990s witnessed the juggling of economic reforms that created distortions in nearly every fold. Infamous of them was the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) of the Bretton Woods institutions. Hence, finding Africa’s lost glory in socialist and communist drawings never helped Africa, rather, it effectively created the foundations for a sustained problematic statism contemporaries are vigorously battling..

THE PLACE OF INDIVIDUALISM IN AFRICAN MORALITY

There is no denial of the fact that most traditional Africans valued the prosperity of every member of the community with preference on working in unity towards a common goal. There was however, an equal respect and permission for individual choices and interests. Traditional Africans worked on their farms to provide food for themselves and their families with the secondary intent of producing for exchange. There was rarely a case of everyone working on a community farm to produce food for everyone by equal sharing. Africans valued the non-universality of an individual’s abilities or needs, but permitted for charity and fairness in enterprise to ensure a relatively balanced society.

The individual in African philosophy mostly existed as a reflection of his community. He was seen as a product of his tribe less than he was an independent being. His birth and death were to satisfy the wishes of the gods on earth. Like many tribes in Africa, several cultures according to history put the individual as a unique creation with the purpose of happiness and self-realization. In traditional Africa, it was best that the individual remained a social being. This view of man as a societal element primarily applied to his identification as a member of a united community in pursuant of collective prosperity with regards for his individual happiness. However, the expansion of groups during territorial wars and migration, increased community populations while conflict of interests among groups and individuals led to the gradual disassociation from the usual collective interest.

Hence, the idea of the individual as a communal element decreased as societies became bigger. For example, during the hunting and gathering era when community populations were very small, it was easy to commit everyone to a unified goal even as few members harbored personal interests. However, as people integrated and population augmented, the individual began to isolate itself because of the geometric increase in interests of new members against the collective. In some cases, people left their villages in pursuant of personal goals. Even, members of ruling families deserted their clans due to conflict of interest with their kin only to establish new territories later, and the conflict of interest continued to repeat itself prompting the definite decrease of collectivism.

Although, some African societies like the Xhosa and the Zulu emphasized the ideals of mutuality and community before the individual, there still existed self-interest. Classical liberals argued for a system that observes the society in light of its distinct members, for a society has no existence beyond the individuals that comprises it, while it is in itself a composition of different interests (Butler 2013).

And the socio-economic consciousness of the society is the summary of individual consciousness. Friedrich Hayek puts it clear when he explained that the “associations within civil society exists for specific end while the civil society has no purpose; it is the undersigned, spontaneous emerging result of all those purposive associations” (Hayek 1988). Despite this similarity in purpose, contentions still exist between the two folds on grounds of economic and social morality among Africans.

On the economic fold, classical liberals outrightly argued for a free market economy chiefly run by individual choices and price, and this was a position common in most economies in traditional Africa. Markets were open and less regulated. In centralized communities such as the Buganda (Uganda), Hausa/Fulani (Nigeria) Akan (Ghana) and the Zulu (South Africa), there were large and open markets such that it attracted participation from communities hundreds of miles away. Trade ensued among communities in their specialized industries with limited or no restrictions, and one can safely deduce that elements of David Ricardo’s Comparative Advantage Theory – a cardinal in classical liberalism – existed in these communities even before it was theoretically developed in Europe.

One similar end to both African humanism and classical liberalism is in their emphasis on peace, progress and respect for human dignity through moral justifications. Though, the interpretation of these morals and their justifications is what differs. In traditional Africa, morality was whatever standard the community agreed to guide general conduct. To classical liberals, it is the respect for individual interests and choices, and both existed as the holding force for societal consciousness. In the former, values inherited through generations like equity and justice ensured a fair use of power and obedience to law to avoid conflicts among members and communities. Similarly, in the later, writers like Ludwig von Mises, Adam Smith and Jean-Baptiste Say, stressed the anti-imperialist and anti-warfare stance of classical liberalism. They saw economic liberty of communities in a fair market system as a way to avoid wars and foster peace. In other words, traditional Africans percept morality as only attainable through inherited values, while classical liberals saw it in form of the peaceful decisions of individuals.

Another misconception is the purported rejection of the principle of cooperation by classical liberals, which is in fact emphasized in their advocacy. The critics argued that market competition will eventually lead to unfair distribution of wealth and that African states were not ready for such experiment. Conversely, classical liberals saw cooperation as important as competition is to the economy. American libertarian writer David Boaz explained that both “cooperation and competition are essential elements of the simple system of natural liberty, and most humans cooperate with one another than they do competing” (Boaz 2015). In reality, cooperation is bound to ensue in a free-market economy because individuals cannot provide all their needs themselves and they must interact with others that can provide them in a mutually fair exchange. Then, the cycle goes round to build a system dependent on fair cooperation. Education, transportation, technology, entertainment and especially food are variables too complex in contemporary societies for an individual to produce. That an individual needs these to survive makes cooperation inevitable.

Besides, cooperation gets people their desires the way they please because, production and consumption capacities vary among individuals and it remains best when people determine these themselves. It is much safer than to have people equally providing the general need irrespective of their interests or sharing them equally regardless of their needs. Such scenario has invoked destructive economic bubbles in many African states.

The first generation writers on African philosophy falsely interpreted goodwill and solidarity to be state welfarism and collectivism. Even present writers usually claim capitalism has bitterly failed in Africa due to its emphasis on ‘self-interest’. An average African still see the placement of self-interest above the collective as antithetical to African morality and it will ultimately monopolize dividends of the economy to a privileged few, whereas, it is the exact opposite. In a society where people serve the interest of others at the detriment of theirs, such society rests on an economic thread because there are always a group that would not believe in serving others due to ambition or greed. This group will get exceedingly rich while others are busy working in their favor, and those that remained devoted the common-good will eventually get exploited and poor. On the long run, the poor group will likely react to such imbalance with a potential of instigating an economic disaster. This scenario would not occur in a lawful and competitive system where everyone was self-interested because, value and profit is a win-win of a free market economy. To be self-interested is not to be greedy or exploitative; it is fairly pursuing one’s desires for a betterment of life. Moreover, the individual best answer the question of his self-interest.

Equally, many African academics remain wrong in their notion that contemporary African states practice capitalist systems copied from Western economies (Akpan 2004; Obot 2004; Abiodun 2015). The first lapse is that the so-called African capitalist economies are in fact social-welfarist states with policies that negate the free market economy of true capitalism. Their economic systems are acutely crony. A cabal of wealthy men dominates key industries with state legislations protecting them. Such legislations usually include the imposition of high tariffs on industrial supplies to hold back emerging firms in specific industries. They also raise taxes on small businesses with many of their cronies often guilty of tax evasion. They enact stringent policies to limit the registration of new firms and restrict foreign investment in these industries, all in the quest of protecting the interest of the wealthy few. In return, the cabal either heavily finances their political quests or act as their economic joker. These acts are common in the energy, petroleum, transportation and mining sectors of majority modern African states and outrightly negate anything true capitalism stands for. Unbiased rankings and reports on economic policies of these African states continues to reveal series of economic patterns correlative to crony capitalism.

In a free market economy on the other hand, policies that favors one group at the detriment of others would rarely exist, because true capitalism means giving everyone equal opportunity at individual pace without chauvinism or protectionism. Every individual would have equal access to market; tax rates on small businesses are relatively low and entrepreneurs can access foreign markets for exchange of materials and finished products. It is a complete opposite of a government controlled socialist system or a crony capitalist arrangement. Countries like of Coted’Ivore, Mauritius and Mozambique are presently experiencing massive economic growth due to commendable efforts towards a free market economy.

On social morality, a peculiar quality of the African life is the zeal to preserve culture and traditions even when in conflict with individual interest. As noted earlier, there was no unified lifestyle in traditional Africa except the common exhumation of culture and ancestral practices. In some communities, the ruling elites determined what was socially morally and what was not. In others, individuals had liberty to lead their desired life insofar it respects the liberty of others. However, as generations, evolved, foreign influence penetrated the rigid cultures and newly inherited lifestyles influenced social moral standards. For example, practices like monarchy; forbidden of estate; genital mutilation; facial and body markings; execution of homosexuals and twins among others used to be culturally moral and formed the nucleus of social existence. But the effects of cultural interactions as communities expanded with time persistently redefined socially moral behaviors. This is reflective in irregular changes in value and culture of modern African societies. Positions such as predetermined behavioral responsibility and blind adherence to authority ranked high decades ago, but revolts against authoritarianism, tyranny or subjective cultures in recent years corroborates this declination. Sorry enough, many traditionalists still see classical liberal principles as rather anarchist even as some African communities flourished under anarchy. Or adversative to traditional African principles: a sort of threat to Africa’s historical identity. Unlike the total anarchy assumption, classical liberals proposed an impartial system of justice in the custody of the state, but in trust, with some monopoly of force (if needed) to guarantee relative balance (Butler 2013). This was the exact structure in most of traditional Africa. Leaders and governing councils were guardians of values and preserved the justice system through impartial adherence to laws while public revolt was an option against tyranny. Like many other race in human history, traditional Africans despised tyranny. The central authority only existed as representative of the gods on earth, to guide the living in the right conducts only. And as Otto Lehto explained, “in addition to being a doctrine of maximizing free and voluntary human cooperation, classical liberalism is a doctrine of legal limits to coercive actions” (Lehto 2015). In African tradition, the individual was as important as life itself, and the respect for his dignity, a virtue. The only difference was that they saw the realization of individual prosperity as more realistic when embedded in the prosperity of his community. Even Kenneth Kaunda, a staunch African humanist agreed when he said:

I am deeply concerned that this high valuation of Man and respect for human dignity, which is a legacy of our [African] tradition should not be lost in the new Africa. However “modern” and “advanced” in a Western sense the new nations of Africa may become, we are fiercely determined that this humanism will not be obscured. African society has always been Man-centered. We intend that it will remain so (Eze 1997, 42).

His submission serves well an historical correction for contemporaries.

CONCLUSION

That traditional Africa prioritized the community over selfishness is not a contestable fact, but that the community was its real and only end is where the contention lies. The correlation of most African values like free trade and market economy on the one hand, constitutionally limited governance and consensus on the other hand, contradicts preexisting notions of a unified socialist or communist philosophy in traditional Africa.

Nevertheless, the falsification of classical liberal principles as the sole responsible factor for Africa’s present socio-economic predicaments is false. Africa’s woes are solely due to political greediness and distortions from continued experiments with socialist ideals.

We can fairly conclude that the negative influence of colonialism was in fact a cementing factor for the sporadic inclination of Africa in anti-capitalist sentiments and not because Africans were not naturally capitalists or that capitalist principles never existed in traditional Africa as presented by most philosophers. Therefore, there exists an undisputable correlation between classical liberalism and traditional African philosophy.

REFERENCES

1. Abiodun, Oluwabamide. 2015. “An Appraisal of African Traditional Economy as an Heritage.” International Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Studies (Abingdon 2015)

2. Akpan, N. 2015. “Structure of Self-Organized Traditional Financial Institutions in Nigeria: The Case of Etibe”. In, Nigerians and their Cultural Heritage, edited by Akpan U. Akpan and Abiodun J. Oluwabamide, 148-154. Lagos: Lisjohnson Resources. (Akpan 2015)

3. Ayittey, George. 1999. Indigenous African Institutions. Accra: Transnational Publishers, Inc.. (Ayittey 1999)

4. Boaz, David. 1997. Libertarianism: A Primer. Detroit: Free Press.(Boaz 1997)

5. Butler, Eamonn. 2015.Classical Liberalism – A Primer. London: Institute of Economic Affairs & London Publishing Partnership Ltd.. (Butler 2015)

6. Dalton, George.1997. “Economic Theory and Primitive Society in American Anthropology.” In, Postcolonial African Philosophy. A Critical Reader, edited by Eze C.E. 27-61. Massachussets: Blackwell. (Dalton 1997)

7. Eze, C. E. 1997. Postcolonial African Philosophy. A Critical Reader. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers. (Eze 1997, 42)

8. Evans, Pritchard and Fortes, Meyer. 1940. African Political Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Evans 1940, 5)

9. Fisher F. 1978. “Class consciousness among colonised workers in South Africa”. In, Change, Reform And Economic Growth In South Africa, edited by L Schlemmer and E Webster. Johannesburg: The Black Sash. (Fisher 1978, 206)

10. Gyekye, Kwame. 1995. An Essay of African Philosophical Thought: The Akan Conceptual Scheme . Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (Kwame 1995)

11. Hayek, Friedrich. 1988. The Fatal Conceit: The Errors Of Socialism. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press. (Hayek 1988)

12. Kasanda, Albert. 2015. “Analyzing African Social And Political Philosophy: Trends And Challenges”, Journal of East-West Thought. (Kasanda 2015, 30-32)

13. Khoza, Ruele. 1994. “Ubuntu Botho Vumunhu Vhuthu African Humanism.”(Discussion paper 1994).

14. Lehto, Ottm. 2015. “The Three Principles of Classical Liberalism (From John Locke To John Thomas.” PhD diss., University of Helsinki. (Lehto 2015)

15. Musopole, Augustie. 1993. “Towards a theological method for Malawi”, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa. (Musopole 1993, 82-42)

16. Obot, J.U.. 2004. “Nigeria: The Land, its Resources and the People.” In, The Nigerian Nation: Nigerian Peoples and Cultures, edited by M.B. Abasittai, I.I. Ukpong and G.J. Even own. Uyo: University of Uyo Press. (Obot 2004)

17. Oladipo, Olusegun. 1998.The Idea of African Philosophy. Ibadan: Hope Publications. (Oladipo 1998, 29-30)

18. Pauw, Christoff. 1996.Traditional African Economies In Conflict With Western Capitalism. Pretoria: University of Pretoria Library Services. (Pauw 1996, 374)

19. Sesay, Ahmadu. 2014. African Governance Systems in the Pre and PostIndependence Periods: Enduring Lessons and Opportunities for Youth in Africa. Journal of Liberty and International Affairs | Vol. 3, No. 1, 2017 | eISSN 1857-9760 Published online by the Institute for Research and European Studies at www.e-jlia.com 48 Discussion Paper for The Mandela Institute for Development Studies, Johannesburg. (Sesay 2014)

20. Wiredu, Kwesi. 2000. “Democracy and Consensus in African Traditional Politics: A Plea for a Non-party Polity”. Polylog.org, 2000, Accessed February 14, 2017 https://them.polylog.org/2/fwk-en.htm. (Wiredu 2000)

21. Wiredu, Kwasi. 2004. A Companion to African Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. (Wiredu 2004, 252)

BIOGRAPHY

IBRAHIM B. ANOBA

Ibrahim B. Anoba stands at the forefront of emerging African libertarians teaching and defending classical liberal thoughts through peaceful means.

A free-market pundit, he strongly advocates for limited and constitutional governance especially as it affects the economy of African states. His advocacy frequently gets hits in newspapers, blogs, and journals.

He has a certification in Strategic Communications from Purdue University and received his BSc in Political Science from Olabisi Onabanjo University in 2015. It was there that he developed interest in African political economy with focus on topics such as trade relations, migration, and regional integration. While in school, he co-established his school’s arm of African Liberty Students’ Organization (ALSO), and acted as secretary through its inagural year.

He presently work as Director of Outreach with African Liberty Organization for Development (ALOD), a Lagos-based pro-liberty think tank with engagements throughout Africa. In his capacity, he organizes educational and leadership programs for students and young professionals interested in pursuing a career in the liberty network or interested in learning both classical liberal ideology and entrepreneurial principles. He also teaches economic education to high school students through business contests and has helped established liberty clubs on campuses in Nigeria.

In his free times, Ibrahim enjoys blogging, supporting the Nigerian Super Eagles, and watching Liverpool F.C in the English Premier League.

He looks forward to establishing a governance watchdog center to limit state control in his region of Western Africa.

Categories: Libertarian Media

“Malthus’s Doctrine in Historical Perspective”

Libertarian Papers - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 01:37

Abstract: The nineteenth century was a period of unprecedented productivity in the world, occasioned by the widespread development and practice of contract and voluntary exchange. For the first time in history, man began to cease, like other animals, to be essentially predatory on his environment, despoiling and exhausting it, and began instead to make it progressively more productive and more able to support his own kind. Thomas Robert Malthus lived well into this productive century, but his thinking remained in the past, as did that of his contemporary, David Ricardo, and his successors, the Classical Economists, including even J.S. Mill. In this essay Spencer Heath carefully refutes Ricardo’s argument in support of Malthus and stresses the importance of understanding man not in terms of his animal nature, but in terms of his uniquely human potential; that is, his evolving, creative nature.

Keywords: Thomas Malthus, Ricardo’s law of rent, the golden rule, property in land, social evolution, organic society

Download PDF“Malthus’s Doctrine in Historical Perspective”

The post “Malthus’s Doctrine in Historical Perspective” appeared first on Libertarian Papers.

Categories: Libertarian Media

A new free city near Thailand

Liberty International interviewed Kurt Hanson and Nigel Grier about the potential for a “free city” in Mu Aye Pu, near Thailand.

Question: What is Mu Aye Pu?

Kurt Hanson: Mu Aye Pu is a new settlement set up by the Karen people of Burma. It is situated on the banks of the Moei River, which forms the border between Thailand and Burma. Now that the war is over, the community is growing as Karen refugees trickle back from camps in Thailand. At present 300 people live at Mu Aye Pu, but our planned community will be home to 100,000 people. The area is blessed with plenty of fresh water and fertile agricultural land to support a large population,

Nigel Grier: Also, its next door to the huge market of Thailand and just north of the booming border town of Mae Sot, which will soon have a major east-west highway build by ADB and international airport which will further drive growth in the area. So MAP is in a great location for development and to do business in.

Question: Why is Mu Aye Pu an ideal place for this community?

KH: Mu Aye Pu is in a unique position in that it is in the autonomous Karen area. The Karen settled the region of eastern Burma some 1,000 years ago having migrated from Mongolia to find a new home there. I recommend the book The Art of Not Being Governed by James Scott, which brilliantly explains how and why the Karen chose to remain stateless. The Karen prove that you can live and thrive without a state. Or, for a shorter read, I recommend this excellent paper by Edward Peter Stringham, Evidence from upland: Evidence from Upland Southeast Asia

I’ve been involved in the free cities movement for quite some time and have studied it in depth, searching high and low for a piece of real-estate that can be the home for a free city, but no other place on the planet offers what Mu Aye Pu offers – it is an ideal place to set up a free city as there is no central government to contend with.

NG: Mu Aye Pu is strategically located in an inaccessible area to Burma/Myanmar but serviced by the Thai Highway network. It is ideally located to be a standalone city taking advantage of Thai infrastructure but with Burmese living and manufacturing costs. A significant arbitrage for early investors.

Question: How does security work in Mu Aye Pu?

KH: First of all the, the Karen are very peaceful people, crime is almost non-existent. I feel totally safe when I visit. But once the community grows, and non-Karen take up residence there, we will implement security similar to what you would find at a resort hotel, we will have something akin to mall cops and not the predatory thugs with badges that you find in most countries. Residents will be seen as valued costumers and will be treated as such.

NG: Security is improving all the time and its remote location to the Burmese capital, protected by a rugged & inaccessible mountain range and close proximity to the Thai border means it’s ideally located to develop without too many geopolitical interruptions.

Question: When do you think this project will likely see fruit?

KH: We are in the early stage now with the development of a guest house at Mu Aye Pu. So I hope your readers will come stay at the Mu Aye Pu guest house in the near future.

For the larger project, we are raising $250,000 to complete the Surveying & Master planning of the city area. Karen Enterprises will establish Mu Aye Pu Development Corporation (MAP-DC) in Singapore as the investment vehicle. Once the master plan is in place we will commence construction. Anyone interested in learning more please email us at invest@karen-state.com

NG: Development Master plan to be completed in December 2017 to allow infrastructure development in early 2018.

Question: Why are you interested in building this community?

KH: It is my lifelong goal to establish a community where people can live free and happy without state coercion. The works of Spencer MacCallum and his theory of the entrepreneurial community have heavily influenced me. This a video explains this exciting concept, Spencer MacCallum: Enterprise of Community – YouTube

But more importantly, the Karen have just come out of 70 years of conflict with the Burmese and it is time for them to build their economy, and I want to help them. They have suffered for so long, but we can fast track them to a cutting-edge economy of the 21st century with the new city concept called rubanization developed by the visionary Singaporean architect, Mr. Tay Kheng Soon, we can turn this into an amazing model for development.

Using the innovative approach of Soon and Nigel, the city will be self-contained with all utilities sourced on site. The operating system for the community will be like that of a resort hotel where residents will be treated as valued customers. I hope to adopt the lease that Spencer MacCallum developed for the Somali Freeport. PDF A Proposed Master-Lease Form for a Somali Freeport-Clan

In brief, Mu Aye Pu will offer a non-political method for maintaining social cooperation and peace.

  1. Public services provided through exclusively free-market enterprises without resort to taxation.
  2. Community administrators exercising little or no police function.
  3. Personal interests of the owners and administrators aligned with the public interest, the common good of the whole community.
  4. Flexibility of land uses, permitting changes to take place incrementally over time without prejudice to contracted rights.
  5. Settling differences creatively by means that do not include resorting to physical force.
  6. A competitive market free of any coercive restraints on trade.
  7. No occupational licensing requirements.

Question: Are there other similar communities, and where can I find more information?

KH: In the Karen area, there are other places where free cities and communities can be established as the Karen area encompasses about 20,000 square kilometers, so we could see more free cities developed there if Mu Aye Pu succeeds.

We will start a newsletter to keep people updated on progress. Anyone interested in learning more or who are interested in investing, please email us at invest@karen-state.com

Categories: Libertarian Media

Sally Pipes: Obamacare in “death spiral”

Obamacare will soon “celebrate” its seventh anniversary, said Sally Pipes is President and CEO of Pacific Research Institute, who added, “I hope it will be its last.”

Despite 54 percent of Americans being against Obamacare, along with many politicians, think tanks and liberty groups, the law persists.

Sally said that once government entitlement programs are put in place, they are very difficult to get rid of. Instead, current reforms are centered around replace, repair, or re-tooling the Affordable Care Act.

Sally mentioned that premiums have risen dramatically since Obamacare was put into place, and the only 11 million people are on the exchange. “We’ve turned over our whole healthcare system to cover 11 million people,” said Sally.

Other trends include lower quality, reduced access to doctors, and an insurance market in, “a death spiral.”

Watch the full video below:

Categories: Libertarian Media
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