Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Search for Liberty; Chapter Fifteen: Crime and Punishment

NB: All previous chapters can be found here.

John 8: 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.  “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Apparently, this text was not found in the earliest manuscripts.  But it seems reasonable to conclude that it depicts behavior consistent with the Jesus we know from the Gospels.  Would we expect the sinless Jesus to cast the first stone, or for Him to advocate that the sinning and hypocritical Pharisees do so?

I have offered fourteen chapters for making the case for natural law and making the case that natural law is the necessary basis for liberty.  Finally, the chapter on integrating the non-aggression principle.  While the concept in this chapter is the easiest for me to grasp intellectually, it is proving for me the most difficult to put into words.  The entirety of the chapter can be summarized via the passage cited above.

Without going into details of a natural law ethic, it is clear that many violations of natural law do not at the same time violate the non-aggression principle:

The non-aggression principle is an ethical stance which asserts that "aggression" is inherently illegitimate. "Aggression" is defined as the "initiation" of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property. In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violent self-defense.

I have often simplified this: don’t hit first; don’t take my stuff.  This, therefor, leads to the conclusion that under the non-aggression principle crime requires a victim, and that physical punishment can only be dished out for a crime.  Consistent libertarians would also apply this same ethic to actors in any government institution: agency for an action cannot be granted by one who does not hold a right to so act. 

But to get an idea of where natural law and the non-aggression principle might not be on the same page, consider the chapter titles from Walter Block’s Defending the Undefendable:

The Prostitute, The Pimp, The Male Chauvinist Pig, The Drug Pusher, The Drug Addict, The Blackmailer, The Slanderer and Libeler, The Denier of Academic Freedom, The Advertiser, The Person Who Yells “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater, The Gypsy Cab Driver, The Ticket, The Dishonest Cop, The (Nongovernment) Counterfeiter, The Miser, The Inheritor, The Moneylender, The Noncontributor to Charity, The Curmudgeon, The Slumlord, The Ghetto Merchant, The Speculator, The Importer, The Middleman, The Profiteer, The Stripminer, The Litterer, The Wastemakers, The Fat Capitalist-Pig Employer, The Scab, The Rate Buster, The Employer of Child Labor.

Block does not defend these from an ethical stance; he does offer that these would not be punishable under libertarian law.  I have no doubt that Block considered each in accord with the non-aggression principle and found these not worthy of physical punishment or an action permitting self-defense. 

Yet many of these, without doubt, violate what would be considered Aristotelian-Thomistic Natural Law.  We could certainly identify a community that accepted these behaviors as libertine; but could we also say that such a community would remain in liberty?  I think not for long.  Would we even describe such a society as one in liberty?  Maybe to some, but something akin to hell for many.

Of course, there are libertarian-consistent ways around this dilemma, this disagreement between natural law and the non-aggression principle – voluntary ways: a voluntarily-organized community is free to place any rules or prohibitions on behavior as desired by its members or by the underlying covenant agreements. 

Such a community is free to define rules and punishment fully in accord with natural law.  But this is secondary to my point: for a community to remain in liberty, it must respect natural law.  In other words, natural law is not optional if one is to consider liberty as the objective.

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn offered:

A society which is based on the letter of the law and never reaches any higher is taking very scarce advantage of the high level of human possibilities.

Humans are designed with a purpose, an end.  Is there a higher form of liberty possible for a human being beyond being free to achieve his purpose, his end?  Is it possible for a human being – or any part of creation – to be free or remain free if it purposefully acts contrary to its ends, contrary to the ends from which natural law is derived? 

Is a fish free when it escapes the confines of water?  “Oh, yes” – you will retort – “we must accept our physical limitations, just as a fish must.”  (I know that this statement opens an entirely different can of worms, I will only answer for now with Lewis’s Abolition of Man.)  Is a man free when he escapes the confines of an atmosphere that offers oxygen?  Of course not.  We know we cannot violate such physical laws and remain free.

Friday, July 26, 2019


The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis

the story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter. The uncle's mentorship pertains to the nephew's responsibility in securing the damnation of a British man known only as "the Patient".

I wasn’t sure what to expect when beginning this book, yet here in the first letter from Screwtape there is food for thought.  From the book:

It sounds as if you supposed that argument was the way to keep him out of the Enemy’s clutches.

The nephew is attempting to use argumentation to convince the Patient against “the Enemy.”  Screwtape finds this a bad idea.  It might have been OK a few centuries earlier, when people understood when something was proved and when it was not, when they recognized concepts such as true and false – when proper argumentation was necessary in order to convince someone of something.  People don’t live in such a world anymore – better for the likes of Screwtape that things stay this way:

The trouble about argument is that it moves the whole struggle on to the Enemy’s own ground.  He can argue too, whereas in really practical propaganda of the kind I am suggesting He has been shown for centuries to be greatly inferior of Our Father Below.  By the very act of arguing, you awake the patient’s reason; and once it is awake, who can foresee the result.

Stick to propaganda – those from “Below” are much better at this than the “Enemy” with which they struggle.  Once you bring argumentation into the picture, you risk awakening that which Screwtape and his type have worked so long to purge from man – man’s reason.

Once awakened, the Patient will begin to consider universal issues and withdraw his attention from immediate sense experiences.

Above all, do not attempt to use science (I mean real science) as a defence against Christianity.  They will positively encourage him to think about realities he can’t touch and see.  …the best of all is to let him read no science but to give him a grand general idea that he knows it all and that everything he happens to have picked up is ‘the results of modern investigation’.

This is quite an interesting statement.  We are told that science has disproven much of what Christianity has to offer – that science has replaced faith.  Yet Screwtape fears science – what he calls “real science.” 

What does Lewis, through Screwtape, mean by “real science”?  Apparently he contrasts this with scientism:

…Lewis strongly disagreed with the politicization of science (ideology) and then using the false idol of scientism as a cudgel to smash religion, Christianity, capitalism, intelligent design and any philosophical worldview whose aims differed from true “science.” Echoing Darwin’s evolution atheism, this materialistic worldview demanded that all scientific knowledge be reduced to materialistic, blind, undirected causes.

When I see the phrase “true ‘science’” in the above, it can only mean science as the materialists see it for the sentence to make any sense.  Now, this will take a little unpacking, so before you say something like “what does Lewis know, he isn’t a scientist,” take a deep breath. 

…for most of the history of philosophy and science, there was no rigid distinction between these disciplines; “philosophy” was just that general “love of wisdom”…

How about Albert Einstein as one example of many scientists and physicists who see the necessity to look beyond the material world?  Here he is in 1944:

So many people today—and even professional scientists—seem to me like someone who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is—in my opinion—the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth.

Or this:

Everyone who is seriously committed to the cultivation of science becomes convinced that in all the laws of the universe is manifest a spirit vastly superior to man, and to which we with our powers must feel humble.

Lewis was after true science, which incorporated metaphysics and not merely the physical or material; for much of history, the ideas of science and philosophy were integrated – one subject, if you will.  In much of the history of the West, philosophy and theology were completely intertwined.

Einstein certainly studied philosophy as well as physics, and he understood that both must be integrated if one is to do proper, “independent” work.

So what was Screwtape afraid of?  Allow real science into the discussion and you can dump any notion of winning against the “Enemy.”  Keep science purely in the materialistic, physical realm – stick to the notion that the only truth is truth proven here.  Otherwise you risk awakening the Patient’s reason, and once awakened he will ask questions that take him beyond physical science, into the metaphysical – into philosophy – and inherently, therefore, into religion.


To the extent that there is today a dialogue around the meaning crisis and an awakening from the meaninglessness of the notion of a purely material and materialistic world, it appears that there are cracks forming in Screwtape’s plans.

I see visible evidence of this in the dialogue as popularized by Jordan Peterson, but further developed by others such as John Vervaeke and Paul VanderKlay – a dialogue that is eroding the influence of the materialist “new atheists.”  However, the conversation isn’t a new one: I am somewhat aware of the awareness to this issue in the works of Owen Barfield – a major influence on both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien – even a century ago.

I have not traced the history of this conversation, but I suspect many individuals in the West became acutely and even quite personally aware of a meaning crisis with the advent of the Great War; Jacques Barzun would certainly say so.


What does all of this have to do with liberty or topics that are central to this blog?  If we are to think of liberty in purely material and economic terms, we can all just quit whining – we have no reason to complain.  But merely having more stuff isn’t liberty, as man is made for so much more. 

We are finding that a culture built around the material is not a culture that can defend or sustain liberty.  That culture that once did defend and sustain liberty has been nearly destroyed, but we can see evidence of an attempted comeback.  It would be nice if this evidence was manifest in the various institutions of Christianity, as this is where is should be coming from and this is where I believe it must come from if it is to be sustainable; but as of yet, I am not aware of any meaningful evidence of this.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

An Interesting Conversation

A discussion between Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro, just posted but presumably recorded several months ago – as Peterson refers to his (as of then) upcoming discussion with Slavoj Žižek “on April 19th.”  This post will not be in the form of a narrative; just some observations about some of the points raised.  Where I offer quotations, these really are approximate as I have no text from which to draw.

Let’s get some of the easy targets out of the way, although some of these will recur throughout the discussion.  Immediately in the discussion, they laughingly dismiss the idea that “Jews” might work on hidden agendas that are beneficial to Jews.  I need not elaborate here.

There are several comments and refences by Peterson to Christian tradition, Mary and Jesus, etc.; Shapiro often states agreement.  “The bringing down of the divine to earth,” as Peterson describes the Christian art of the Virgin and Infant.  This, I merely found interesting – Shapiro apparently does not find such references as anti-Semitic.

There is, of course a significant criticizing of tribalism…well except for one type of tribalism.  Shapiro suggests that “the greatest tribalism I am seeing in today’s world has nothing to do with religion but is anti-religion, whether on the radical intersectional left or the alt-right.” 

OK then…. So much for the “shooting fish in a barrel” part of this post.  There was some very good discussion – reflective of the dialogue at this blog.  They discuss the idea and meaning of reason, and how reason absent some foundation can lead to any action and any conclusion – even leading to the worst atrocities known to man.

It is noted that those like Steven Pinker over-value the Enlightenment and devalue the historical epochs that produced the axioms upon which and from which the Enlightenment emerged.  Shapiro offers: Pinker writes 450 pages about the Enlightenment without mentioning the French Revolution even once.  “I don’t even know how that is possible.” 

I know how it’s possible.  It is possible if one has an agenda of removing pre-Enlightenment Christianity from the discussion…that’s how it is possible.

Further, they offer that reason cannot generate its own comprehensive axioms that can be justified on rational grounds.  Reason has implicit moral biases that you cannot reason your way to.  Faith undergirds reason; you have to take this on faith. You have to have a starting point. 

On this, I am reminded of C. S. Lewis:

It is no use trying to ‘see through’ first principles.  If you see through everything, then everything is transparent.  But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world.  To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see.

Peterson and Shapiro agree with Rothbard: there is such a thing as objective truth.  We cannot get to objective truth through evolutionary biology; evolutionary biology can get us to the objectively useful, but this doesn’t make the objectively useful also objectively true in any meaningfully useful sense.

Shapiro makes an argument that comes very close to Hoppe’s argumentation ethics, within the framework that Judeo-Christian assumptions undergird the concept of reason: we use a willful process predicated on the assumption that the other person’s opinion is valuable – otherwise why not just club them over the head and take their stuff. 

Shapiro encapsulates something that I have been thinking about recently: If you collapse reason you end up with theocracy; if you collapse religion, you end up with nihilism.  My thought is that this shouldn’t be considered in the way of a “balance”; like we must balance reason and religion.  Both must be maximized – given what I see as the road to liberty.

Peterson offers as the most important concept he has found in his study of the Bible: God used truth and courage to create order out of chaos.  Shapiro offers his, which is second for Peterson: Man is created in God’s image – in other cultures, it was only the king who was made in God’s image.

I have often noted that many cultures and religions have some version of the Golden Rule.  Yet Shapiro points out that the idea of man (all men and all women) made in God’s image exists only in the Judeo-Christian tradition.  I think that it is this idea that puts some teeth in the Golden Rule.  Why do unto others as you would have them do unto you (in love), absent this belief?

Peterson relays the story of Abraham arguing with God regarding the potential destruction of Sodom, in order to entice God to be not more destructive than necessary if there is any goodness to be found.  Abraham is quite successful in his argument.  The whole time, Shapiro is saying “right…right.”  This is an example where reason and revelation can perfectly co-exist.  “This is exactly right,” replies Shapiro.  This is quite consistent with the idea of man made in God’s image and that guilt should be individualized.

Further, Shapiro criticizes the idea of using cruelty in favor of a higher human good: “that was the case for communism; you had to break a few eggs…”

I know…it is easy to call out Shapiro’s hypocrisy on this: he was lambasted – rightly – for his call to bomb Iran (his video on this is currently running almost ten-to-one dislikes over likes – with about 12,000 dislikes).  But we can understand when tribalism gets in the way of using reason when applying the idea that man is made in God’s image.

Shapiro notes that “Israel” means “struggles with God.”  Peterson relays the story of Jacob, wrestling with God and therefore given the name Israel.  He offers: “I don’t know how to reconcile this to the idea that Israel is the chosen people, when anyone who wrestles with God is chosen.”  Shapiro: “It’s a beautiful idea.”

Wow!  I give Shapiro some real credit here.  He has said that all who wrestle with God are God’s chosen.  It is a very New Testament idea – that’s how Peterson can reconcile it.  I know the ways one can explain why we shouldn’t believe that Shapiro truly believes that this is a beautiful idea, but there you go.

Shapiro offers that it is the social fabric that will decide the character of the country.  Absent some unifying social fabric, the vast majority of people will disagree on the meaning and contents of the term “human flourishing.”

They are both very positive about ethnic and spiritual diversity within a population with a common purpose.  But they make no connection to the idea that a “common purpose” devoid of a common ethnic or spiritual bond (a “social fabric”) is a dead end; the idea of a propositional nation has been tried and has failed each time.


Shapiro comments on natural law to be found even in Aristotle and Plato.  Unfortunately, without Christ, man is left to grasp at putting a meaningful foundation under natural law – we have Plato without Aristotle.  In other words, the Judeo-Christian foundation that undergirds the natural law and liberty that we desire is pretty useless without the “Christian” part.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Search for Liberty; Chapter Fourteen: Natural Law: the Complication

NB: All previous chapters can be found here.

Natural Law offers both a foundation for and complications to libertarian theory and the non-aggression principle.  In this chapter, I will summarize the issues as presented until this point.

For any of this to make sense to the reader, one must buy into this idea that all beings are made with a purpose – an end, a telos.  One must buy into the idea that man has an end – an end he cannot choose, but must discover; inherently, this means an objective “end” – objective values for which humans are to aim. 

If you don’t buy into this even after what has been presented thus far, that’s fine.  But then quit talking about the objective value of non-aggression: don’t hit first; don’t take my stuff.  Without buying into the idea that there are objective values for man which we are to discover, there is no reason to buy into this objective value as one that is absolute.  Just accept that the left (including self-contradictory left-libertarians) has won (ethical values are subjective), and go home quietly.

For those who remain…it is worth spending time summarizing what has been covered regarding man’s end or purpose, the objectives that must be kept in focus when one is looking to discover natural law.  This was identified through several sources.

Aristotle and Aquinas point to happiness as the ultimate end to which human beings are to aspire.  It seems superficially silly, unless you understand what was meant by happiness: 

…There is one single ultimate human good that provides an ordering of all other human goods as partial in relation to it, namely, happiness or better in the Latin beatitudo.

This is not the modern understanding of happiness: “if it feels good, do it; I’m in it for number one.”  Instead:

Beatitudo: (happiness or blessedness). The happiness that comes from seeing the good in others and doing the good for others. It is, in essence, other-regarding action.  Think of it as the Golden Rule.

Beatitudo is about as high a purpose or end as humans can aim for.  There is an even higher end, beyond human reach: Sublime Beatitudo: (sublime = "to lift up or elevate"). It encompasses a reach for fullness and perfection of happiness. The fullness, therefore, of goodness, beauty, truth and love. We recognize in this category, those things that are, in a sense, beyond what we are capable of doing purely on our own.  Call it the Form of the Good, Plato’s perfect – disembodied – triangle.

Melissa S. Atkinson offers: “Like Aristotle, Aquinas believed that human beings live for a telos or end, which is eudaimonia.”

Eudaimonia…is a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, "human flourishing or prosperity" and "blessedness" have been proposed as more accurate translations.

Etymologically, it is made up of two words: “good” and “spirit.”  It appears to be something much deeper than material happiness, or “if it feels good, do it.”  It is connected to the ideas of virtue and excellence, and a body that embodies this good spirit. 

Where will man find this example, this target at which to aim?  I suggest that in Jesus we find the singular example of Sublime Beatitudo, this “good spirit.”  Here we have the ultimate Form of the Good made manifest – Plato’s God to be found in Aristotle’s physical being.

I will repeat here what I offered for thought in chapter 6:

So say this is so.  It is all in us – just as these philosophers suggest.  It is natural for us to want to act on such a basis and in such a manner.  It makes one wonder: if this is how we are intended to act, can you imagine the tension in us and in society when we purposely act otherwise – when we set our own ends, in defiance of our nature?

Take any other being on earth – say a lion, or a bee.  Condition it, through propaganda, public education, cultural Marxism, or whatever – to act toward ends and purposes contrary to its nature, in defiance of its nature.  Could you look at such a being and label it “free,” as having achieved liberty?

Consider the state of man today – certainly in the West.  In the best case, we are told that meaning – our proper end – is to be found in the accumulation of material goods: more stuff; he who dies with the most toys wins  in the worst case, we are offered unconstrained individualism – no limits on gender identification, personal expression, self-control, exhibitionism, physical satisfactions, etc.

Sure, it might sound like liberty.  But this seems quite superficial, and a superficial definition of liberty.  It is also unsustainable – what being can constantly and continuously go against its natural ends or purposes and survive as the being it was intended to be?

On the right, it is the liberty of material accumulation in place of all else; on the left, it is the liberty of the unconditioned life, any lifestyle must be allowed and acceptable otherwise freedom is being crushed.  But would you look on a lion or a bee in such a condition and consider it free?  How long would you expect lions or bees to exist if such freedom was achieved?

I am reminded here of C.S. Lewis, from The Abolition of Man:

They are not men at all.  Stepping outside the Tao, they have stepped into the void.  Nor are their subjects necessarily unhappy men.  They are not men at all: they are artefacts.  Man’s final conquest has proved to be the abolition of Man.

Freed from the being of humanness.  Certainly freed from aiming at beatitudo.  It is not a road to freedom; it is a dead end.

So, how do we properly seek as the proper ends which then point us to natural law.  Thomas offers reason as the tool man has been given to discover this law.

For Thomas, the answer is reason, and to the extent humans act according to reason they are partaking in the Natural Law.

How should we consider reason?  Is it also to be unconditioned?  In John 1:1, Jesus us referred to as the logos – the Word, reason.  To understand reason without understanding the author of reason offers a reason without foundation – a reason left to the Übermensch to decide for the rest of humanity.

Through reason conditioned by the logos, Thomas has identified four primary ends for humans:

·         Protect and preserve human life.
·         Reproduce and educate one’s offspring.
·         Know and worship God.
·         Live in a society.

According to St. Thomas, the natural law is "nothing else than the rational creature's participation in the eternal law" (I-II.91.2). The eternal law is God's wisdom, inasmuch as it is the directive norm of all movement and action. When God willed to give existence to creatures, He willed to ordain and direct them to an end.

Are we to believe that all other beings have an end, yet humans – the most complicated and advanced beings of creation – do not?  An acorn is gifted with an end to become an oak, but a human is left as a meaningless drifter?

Aquinas, like Aristotle, leaned on reason as the means through which ethics can be discovered; Aquinas, unlike Aristotle, places love in a higher place than reason when searching for ethics.  Jesus, being the embodied Form of the Good, offered:

Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  38 This is the first and greatest commandment.  39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Aquinas leaned on reason; his foundation, however, was love: beatitudo – other-regarding action, the Golden Rule. It isn’t merely that love is higher than reason.  Reason, properly channeled, leads us to love: beatitudo.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Libertarian Movement II

I will meander a bit.  I think there is a common thread throughout this post, but I probably won’t spend too much time to try and tie it all together.  In some fashion, an idea buried in here might end up being a chapter in the book; perhaps your feedback will trigger something in me that will point to how and why.


…this vicious attack on Dr. Paul from Nicholas Sarwark is really awful. Read it and weep for our movement.

-          Walter Block

My interest is not in Sarwark’s attack.  I haven’t bothered reading this most recent attack from Sarwark, as I have dealt with him in the past (here, then here); nothing surprises me here.  My interest is in Walter’s comment regarding “our movement.”  I have addressed this issue once before, but given the path I have walked since then I feel it is worth addressing again.

I will summarize my earlier comments: left-libertarians have more in common with the left generally than they do with conservative libertarians; conservative libertarians have more in common with other conservatives than they do left-libertarians.  In other words, the value we hold in our “libertarianishness” is small relative to the other values we hold.

On what basis would I want to form a movement with abortion-approving, LGBTQ+++ supporting, open-borders, universalist libertarians?  On what basis would libertarians who support such issues want to form a movement with me?

C. Jay Engel captures this well in his essay entitled “Libertarianism’s Place In Society”:

Libertarianism as a unifying spirit is only conceivable because we operate in a world that has experienced the imposition of a political society.

I have commented on his piece here:

Libertarians are connected to each other in their (varying levels of) anti-statism.  But this only means that libertarians see the problem only one way, through one lens, and with only one tool available to deal with it – and it is the state that has defined the way, the lens, and the tool that many libertarians choose to use.

How does one get a “movement” out of that?

(Engel continues his examination of these ideas here, looking at “… the differences between rightism and leftism and how libertarianism relates to these distinct frameworks of social interpretation.”)

If we think that liberty will be found at the end of the road called “libertarianism,” we are sorely mistaken.


I must admit, I remain tremendously struck by Murray Rothbard’s comments on ethical absolutism (yes, he is in favor); citing Rothbard:

What I have been trying to say is that Mises's utilitarian, relativist approach to ethics is not nearly enough to establish a full case for liberty. It must be supplemented by an absolutist ethic — an ethic of liberty, as well as of other values needed for the health and development of the individual — grounded on natural law, i.e., discovery of the laws of man's nature.

“A full case for liberty” will be found on the road that includes “other values…grounded on [discovered] natural law.”

This really got me to thinking…how much have others – even his supporters – misrepresented Rothbard when it comes to libertarianism and liberty?  Or am I the only one that found Rothbard’s statement on what is necessary for “a full case for liberty” inconsistent with what some of his supporters (and many of his detractors) characterize as Rothbard’s views?

Libertarians inherently accept an absolute ethic regarding certain values: do not hit first, do not steal my stuff.  What makes these acceptable?  Why are these absolute?  Why do we accept these?  If these are absolute and acceptable, why do libertarians believe that these are the ONLY absolute and acceptable values for humans?  Why do libertarians not concede that there are other absolute and objective values for humans – and for human liberty?

Why, when some libertarians point out the necessity of other values – if liberty is the objective – are they the ones labeled “thick”?


When it comes to finding liberty, Rothbard certainly does not believe that these are the only absolute and acceptable values.  As is true for almost everything else I have written, I come to find that Rothbard already wrote the book.


I know that I have read this work from Rothbard before, long ago.  I think I must not have been mature enough to understand it.