Archive | August, 2011

One Nation Under Flag

I’ve received multiple emails, variously titled “Patriotism Banned in the USA” and “Banning the American Flag on U.S. Soil,” from some outfit calling itself “Conservative Action Alerts.” The horrific story unfolds:

Dawn Kamin, who owns an optometry office in Germantown, Tennessee, received a notice that flying the American flag outside her office is a violation of the complex’s bylaws. … According to a letter sent to Dr. Kamin by the business condominium group that owns her building, she must take down the flag by Aug. 22 or face the consequences – fines and paying for the cost to remove the flag and staff.

What our soldiers do for us

What our soldiers do for us

“I have family in the military and we have really become aware of our freedoms and what our soldiers do for us,” she said. [You are permitted to gag here.] – RTL “It’s not tacky. It’s just out of respect for our military and the wonderful country that we have the privilege of living in.” …

Patriotic Americans are not the enemy! WE MUST POUND CONGRESS until they pass legislation that will protect Americans from encroachment on our Fourth Amendment rights and protections!

So in other words, however much conservatives may like to talk about private property rights, as soon as those rights come into conflict with the myths and symbols of the Federal imperialist leviathan demigod (which I’m sure is all one word in German), property rights get thrown under the bus.

(But wait, Roderick – do the condo owners have legitimate title to their complex under natural law? Well, I don’t know. But clearly no such questions are troubling the senders of these alerts.)

(And speaking of German, if Dawn Kamin is so patriotic, why is she living in Germantown? Wasn’t Americantown good enough for her?)

The Use of Knowledge In Society

I recently came across two interesting articles by Rabah Benkemoune. Unfortunately, they’re not accessible for free unless you have university access – in which case you can read “Charles Dunoyer and the Emergence of the Idea of an Economic Cycle” and “Gustave de Molinari’s Bourse Network Theory: A Liberal Response to Sismondi’s Informational Problem.”

global network

Benkemoune’s thesis is that Dunoyer and Molinari were among the few 19th-century French liberal theorists to take seriously Sismondi’s argument that governmental regulation is needed because informational problems pose an insuperable obstacle to the market’s ability to equilibrate. While most liberals in the Say tradition dismissed Sismondi by insisting that markets would equilibrate just fine were it not for government intervention, Dunoyer and Molinari agreed with Sismondi that there are genuine informational problems (including, for Dunoyer, a business cycle) inherent in even the freest market, but rejected Sismondi’s proposed legislative solution.

Instead, Dunoyer and Molinari argued that: a) the informational problems were in large part remediable by non-governmental means, whether education or institutional innovation (the latter including, for Molinari, informational networks such as his idea of labour-exchanges); b) to the extent that such problems are not remediable, they can be expected to be fairly mild in a genuinely free market; c) any attempted governmental solutions would face even greater informational problems.

Benkemoune also includes some discussion of Dunoyer’s and Molinari’s relationship to the Austrian school.

In related news, Annelien de Dijn’s recent book French Political Thought from Montesquieu to Tocqueville: Liberty in a Levelled Society? includes a fair bit of discussion of Dunoyer and the Censeur group. (Amazon offers the book at a hefty price, but it’s not hard to find the entire text for free online if you poke about a bit.)

It’s nice to see the industriels getting more scholarly attention.

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