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March 26, 2005
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The Clarity of Concepts
I once had a passionate argument in a coffee shop with a philosophy student who tried to convince me that the concept of ‘truth’ was entirely man-made. ‘Truth’ does not exist in the world, he said, in the same manner as a rock or a tree. ‘North’, he insisted, has not existence at all. Of […]
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March 25, 2005
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Historical Causality
When I sat down to figure out what I wanted to do for my Master’s degree, one of the topics highest on my list was rescuing the reputation of the Industrial Revolution (IR). I presented this topic to my condescending (and very short-lived) thesis advisor, who patiently explained to me that the Industrial Revolution had […]
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March 20, 2005
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Lateral Paranoia
Last Saturday night (March 12, 2005, if it’s of interest), I had one of the most predictable arguments in the history of political thought. I was arguing against the welfare state, and I was told – perhaps for the millionth time – that we have to have coercive taxation because there are mean, stingy people […]
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March 14, 2005
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Why The World Is Sick
My wife is a psychotherapist, and so one of the most fascinating discussions we have (among many!) is whether the world is sick because of politics, or philosophy - or because of the family. Her belief, of course, is that everything starts with the family. Politicians are mentally sick because they were treated badly as […]
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March 02, 2005
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The Targets of War
Who is the Iraq war being fought against? The answer to large and complex political questions is always very simple: follow the money. The Iraq war – like all wars – centers around a massive transfer of money from the majority to a minority. Your money – and your children’s money – is being stolen […]
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February 27, 2005
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A Brief History of Terror
The State requires two major groups to maintain power: the first are the thugs: the police, military, wardens and so on. The second, which can be more difficult to see, are the fear mongers. The fear mongers generate the terror that State power feeds on. Fear mongers are paid by the State, or protected by […]
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February 26, 2005
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A Soldier's Freedom
Danny is born to a poor family. A poor mother, to be exact. His father has vanished, secure in the knowledge that his children will be taken care of by State welfare payments. His mother, faced with a life of low-paying jobs, prefers getting pregnant for a living. Danny goes to a government school, where […]
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February 14, 2005
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Future Danger, Present Change
Challenging the State is an extremely dangerous business – not just for individuals, but for society as a whole. There is great danger in losing such a confrontation – but great danger in winning as well. Toppling those who rule the State does not destroy the power of the State, no more than removing a […]
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January 30, 2005
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War and the Fantasy of Protection
A few days ago, I was at lunch with a colleague, an ex-military man, and the talk got to politics. I mentioned that the government was never going to voluntarily shrink in size; it would only collapse in on itself through bankruptcy. He said that he had a lot of respect for Paul Martin, Canada’s […]
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January 24, 2005
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Morality and Society: A Liberating Elegy
When I was a teenager, and I was exposed to ideas as a simple as ‘taxation is theft’, I swallowed them as easily as a cold beer on a hot day. I devoured the whole world of rationality, objectivism, libertarianism and Austrian economics. I loved the whole system of logical analysis, because it made sense […]
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