Jeffrey Tucker recently reviewed a book by Rand Paul, entitled “The Tea Party Goes to Washington.” The book and the review are neither here nor there for me. However, I found one line in Mr. Tucker’s review rather noteworthy:
… [Rand Paul] is silent on the drug war (but silent is better than endorsement)…
To the extent I know Jeffrey Tucker (not personally, but through his digital life), I find him to be a real treat, a renaissance man of this age in many respects. I often enjoy his writing, as he always finds ways to create “learnings” from the most simple concepts. He was recently interviewed at The Daily Bell, and I completely enjoyed the interview.
So, what struck me about this one line from Mr. Tucker’s book review? As most of you are likely aware, Mr. Tucker recently left the Mises Institute to join Laissez-Faire Books. I find his comment above to be in stark contrast to the motto quoted at the top of the Mises Institute home page, and as explained here in the FAQ section of the Institute’s site:
Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito. It is from Virgil and it means "do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it." Mises wrote in 1940, after he arrived in New York having fled Europe, that he chose this sentence as a young man to be his guide in life.
Silence regarding the weapon of the state devised to ensure civil liberties can be violated at anytime and anywhere for often non-violent offenses is certainly better than endorsement. But it is a long way from not giving in to evil and proceeding ever more boldly against it.
As Mr. Tucker is using the sentence to compare Rand Paul to his ninety-nine Senate colleagues, I guess it is passable. But it seems quite a change in standard for someone who, until quite recently, was one of the key individuals in the growth and strength of the institute bearing the name of Mises.