I had a conversation recently that has prompted me, once again, to revisit this topic.
As regular readers are aware, this blog moves in various directions: libertarian / political theory and application, culture, history, war, empire, and economics – and probably in this (declining) order. It isn’t really a strategy to ensure the reader a focused space on which to land.
Almost from the beginning of this blog and the journey that it documents, I decided to (well, “decided to” isn’t really the right term as it implies an active decision; let’s say I unconsciously fell into a pattern of) not read(ing) much about libertarian theory or economics. On these subjects, I adopted the practice of working my way through a problem as opposed to having someone else tell me the answer.
I find this quite enjoyable and easy. Enjoyable, because it drives me to think critically about a problem; easy, because…
Libertarian theory: it is the non-aggression principle. Understand this and you can work through almost any political problem.
Economics: let’s just say my version of economics is libertarian theory put into practice – a free market order that respects private property and contract. I didn’t come to this economic view because I am a fan of Austrian Economics; I am a fan of Austrian Economics because I hold this economic view – and Austrian Economics comes the closest to being a free-market, private-property respecting economics school.
On the other topics…
Libertarians and Culture: I came to this topic after bionic was already several years old. I was writing a lot about left-libertarians and how they were destroying the meaning of the NAP. Someone challenged me to take on Hoppe in the same manner. So I read some of Hoppe…and decided Hoppe was right…well, correct…and right! Once I had this “aha” moment, I have gone on to develop my own views on the topic – as best as one is able to do such a thing.
History, empire and war: these are different – most of my reading is on these topics. How can I write about any of this, or put a story together, without getting names, dates, events, etc.? I have dedicated a significant time to my Timeline to War (here and here) as an attempt to integrate this.
So I was speaking with a couple of people the other day – they were shocked to learn how little I have read of Mises and Rothbard (albeit, I am changing that as it regards Rothbard – but not on economics). It was kind of stunning to them, given my professed support for the Mises Institute.
But why is this so surprising? Why would I not be supportive of an Institute with which I find almost complete agreement on all of the above topics on which I choose to write? Why would I not support an Institute whose mission is to spread these ideas both through an encyclopedic online platform and through expansive outreach to students of all ages? To spread these ideas with a much larger reach than anything a mosquito can accomplish?
Frankly, it would surprise me if I didn’t support such an Institute. I am glad I found it.