Make Business As Honest As Politics!

In 1891, Edward Bellamy suggested that the American people should “assume through their salaried agents the conduct of industry as they have already (in this country) assumed the conduct of political affairs.” He explained:

The president, governor, and mayor do not make a profit on the business of the nation, State, or city, as employers do upon the industries which they manage. These and all other public officials receive salaries only, as agents, the business being conducted for the benefit of the people as the principals. … There is no more sense in permitting the industrial affairs of this country to be run for private profit than there would be in allowing their political affairs to be so exploited. (Quoted in Benjamin Tucker’s Instead of a Book, pp. 473-474.)

Okay, so they didn’t have the term “rent-seeking” back then. But surely they had the concept?

The Rebirth of LIBERTY

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

1. Shawn Wilbur is God!

He has just completed posting the entire run of Benjamin Tucker’s Liberty in PDF form. Details here.

At the height of its popularity Liberty had a circulation of perhaps 600. Now, thanks to Shawn, it is accessible to millions worldwide.

Liberty The interface is bare-bones at the moment, but Shawn has plans for text-search capacity and other cool stuff.

As he urges: “download, download, download!” to ensure that “there is never again any question of Liberty not being available.”

I’ve also hailed the advent of Liberty on the Mises Blog.

Proudhon 2. Another gift from Shawn Wilbur: a list of Proudhon texts available on Google Books.

You may ask: What’s so special about that? Can’t anyone compile such a list by going to Google Books and doing an author search on Proudhon?

No. Having tussled with the unpredictable quirks of Google Books myself, I can sympathise with the woes Shawn describes here and here.

3. On an entirely unrelated topic, those planning to attend the Alabama Philosophical Society may need a reminder that the deadline for submitting a paper is just over two weeks away.


Party Like It’s 1979

Catch a quick glimpse of an original-series style Cylon behind Adama in this teaser for Razor, the upcoming Galactica tv-movie / season premiere.

Return of the Left

Good news! The Left-libertarian blog aggregator, down since July 13th for a server switch, is now back up (with many backed-up pages of aggregation to look through).

I didn’t put this post on the Left-libertarian feed because if you’re reading you already know it’s back up.

Movie Night

I’m back from seeing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Some random thoughts:

Dolores Umbridge 1. Umbridge and Lovegood were perfect!

2. The countryside around Hogwarts looked like the Scottish highlands (where I had a bus tour last spring). Well, it probably was!

3. The thestrals looked half-thestral, half-shantak.

4. When Hermione has her hair back she looks like Ivanova.

5. Why does the Ministry of Magic look like a Vegas casino?

6. Not enough Snape!

7. Hermione, Luna, and Ginny are all much more plausible love interests for Harry than the drearily boring and bland Cho Chang. What’s Harry’s problem? (Still, he’s too harsh on her later; Umbridge used truth serum on her, what could she do?)

8. The book explained who sent the dementors to attack Harry. The movie really should have too.

9. The book also showed explicitly that it was Snape who carried Harry’s warning to the Order; this is implicit in the movie, but given the looming importance of Snape’s loyalties it should have been shown.

10. Toward the end of my high school years our original principal, a cool, laid-back man we all loved, was replaced by a micromanaging, rule-oriented woman who talked down to us. No, she wasn’t a millionth as bad as Umbridge – it was just that she’d been transferred in from being middle school principal and didn’t know how to relate to older kids – but that aspect of the film sure gave me déjà vu.

11. One of the trailers before the film was for The Dark is Rising. I was a fan of that series as a kid. But the trailer did not inspire in me a desire to see the movie; nothing in the trailer felt like the books.

12. Switching from Potter movie 5 to Potter book 7 – I preordered it from Amazon but foolishly had it sent to my office address, so I won’t be able to see it until next week. I realise I’ll be more upset if either Ron or Hermione dies than if Harry does ….

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