Review of the Mises Circle
The Orange County Register provides an editorial review of the Mises Institute confererence last weekend in Costa Mesa:
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
A liberty round table
Libertarian think tank brings its bracing philosophy to Costa Mesa
Members of the Register Editorial Board had a good time — and learned a lot — at the Saturday meeting of the Mises Circle at Scott's restaurant in Costa Mesa. It was attended by 134 people, mostly Orange County residents interested in philosophy and liberty. The four-hour event was sponsored by the Mises Institute, a think tank in Auburn, Ala., based on the thought of economist Ludwig von Mises.
Hans-Herman Hoppe, a professor of economics at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, began with an argument against monopolies — including government monopolies. He pointed out that, as a monopoly, the government doesn't have to compete against others that provide its major services, such as police and military protection, money and welfare.
He called for competition for the services government provides, including even the military. Even if one doesn't believe government can be wholly abolished, it's still an idea that can encourage trying to make government as small as possible.
The next speaker was Mises scholar David Gordon, a polymath and editor of The Mises Review, a quarterly review of books that's also online at Mises.org. Usually a detailed critic of the contents of books, he broke that pattern by reviewing his 10 favorite recent books. Two of them we have reviewed in our pages, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History," by Thomas Woods and "Speaking of Liberty," an eclectic collection of the recent writings of Mises Institute President Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.
Mr. Rockwell ended with a stinging critique of government. "Government exists to tax," he said. "It's a parasite. It has to get the dough from the host" — the taxpayers. The current government "regime," at all levels, "has been illegal, even by its own terms, for a long time."
He warned especially about "conservatives" who, since they have assumed power in the Bush administration, have been spending as wildly as the liberal Johnson administration in the 1960s while shredding our liberties with the Patriot Act and a reign of secret, closed government.
The best thing about having a bracing dose of libertarianism like this is that it encourages us all to fight that much harder for freedom.