Archive | August, 2009

Tarzan In Toronto

Readers of the Tarzan novels may recall that Tarzan had a scar on his forehead (from a youthful fight with Terkoz the ape), as well as a tendency to get bonked on the head and suffer temporary amnesia.

What I learned only recently is that these aspects of Tarzan’s story appear to be based on the author’s own experience.

Interim Update

To those following (or, in some cases, literally invested in) my ongoing financial saga: I met with the lawyer today, and he gave me a phonebook-sized (well, Auburn-phonebook-sized, not Manhattan-phonebook-sized) stack of financial info forms to fill out, plus he needs copies of my old tax returns etc., so that’s my homework for tonight.

In other news, I’ve paid my rent for the month – thanks to the generosity of my readers. More developments as they unfold ….

Selling Out or Buying In?

I have two problems with this story.

First is its title. Walmart has consistently promoted, and benefited from, neofascist interventionism for quite a long time. Switching from one form of neofascism to another – shifting the government’s mode of intervention from slightly more indirect to slightly more direct – is not “selling out,” and so describing it pays Walmart’s past self an undeserved compliment.

Second, in any case the switch is not as recent as the phrase “after years of strenuous opposition” implies, since Walmart had already started pushing for greater government involvement in health care two and a half years ago. (CHT Peter Suderman.)

That Loony Lefty Rothbard

In a 1966 letter which has not yet been published (Peter Klein quotes from it here), Rothbard writes:

Murray RothbardFor some time I have come to the conclusion that the grave deficiency in the current output and thinking of our libertarians and “classical liberals” is an enormous blind spot when it comes to big business. There is a tendency to worship Big Business per se … and a corollary tendency to fail to realize that while big business would indeed merit praise if they won that bigness on the purely free market, that in the contemporary world of total neo-mercantilism and what is essentially a neo-fascist “corporate state,” bigness is a priori highly suspect, because Big Business most likely got that way through an intricate and decisive network of subsidies, privileges, and direct and indirect grants of monopoly protection.

Seems like a useful passage to quote to our right-Rothbardian comrades whenever they accuse us of unlibertarianly treating bigness as automatically suspect or exaggerating the neofascist nature of contemporary kapitalism.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes