1. While I do not wish to underprize the accomplishments of Hayek or Mises in developing this insight in Collectivist Economic Planning (Clifton, N.J.: Augustus M. Kelly, 1975) and Socialism (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1981 [1969, 1936]), I strongly urge the reader to familiarize himself with Don Lavoie's treatment, National Economic Planning: What Is Left? (Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger Publishing Company, 1985; also Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 1985). Lavoie's command of the literature and implications of what I shall call the Mises Insight is so extensive that I cannot recommend his analysis highly enough. (The reader will enjoy the additional bonus of an early treatment of the economic incoherence of Robert Reich.) Less accessible to the non-economist is Lavoie's Rivalry and Central Planning: The Socialist Calculation Debate Reconsidered (Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
2. Nathaniel Branden, Who Is Ayn Rand? (New York: Random House, 1962), p. 113.
3. New Rochelle, N.Y. See chapter 11. The reader will perhaps appreciate better the magnitude of changes that have taken place in the American economy in the years since 1970 when he encounters Browne's example of inflation-by-devaluation: calling it a "stretch of the imagination," he postulates having to pay as much as $3,500 for a Volkswagen. [p. 87]
4. The most striking example of this tactic in my lifetime has been the dismantling of the "selective service" conscription system during the first Nixon term, only for conscription registration to be reinstated during the Carter regime.
5. Both the figures and the inference concerning them come from Joseph Salerno, "The Economic Imperative of Monetary Secession." Paper presented at the Ludwig von Mises Institute Conference "Secession, State, and Economy," Charleston, S.C., April 7-9, 1995.
6. Nicholas Strakon, "The biological counterrevolution." See especially the discussion on p. 14.
7. That dynamic may, indeed, explain why the state sometimes follows those recommendations of Milton Friedman and others eager to make the state more efficient and at other times rejects them. Friedman, by the way, was the mastermind behind that most efficient of all tax-collecting devices, the withholding tax, another "temporary war measure" still with us. As late as the early 1970s, I heard Friedman say that he did not regret that proposal.
8. We may be witnessing just such a concessionary movement in the Republican Congress. But it appears to me to be more an effort to make government more rational, to minimize those restrictions that lead most readily to absurdities. That is, it seems to me to be more an effort to win acceptance and legitimacy from the public by making government less ridiculous, rather than by making it less tyrannical. This is an empirical question, and it will be a few years before we can be sure just what truck it was that hit us last November.
9. Albert Jay Nock, The Theory of Education in the United States (New York: Arno Press & The New York Times, 1969 [New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1932]), p. 83.
10. Phil Lemmons, "Microsoft and the End of Choice," PC World, April 1995, p. 15. Lemmons is editor in chief of PC World.
11. See Duke O. Erle, "Chipping away at the Constitution," TLD, Sept. 1994, pp. 1, 6.
12. See Nicholas Strakon, "On to dystopia, Dark and Red," TLD, Feb. 1995 (concluding part of Dark Suits and Red Guards).
13. For that matter, we know that most drivers and automobile owners docilely comply with the state's licensing and registration demands. And now anyone who would oppose these usurpations is sure to be reported to the FBI as a McVeigh-Nichols sympathizer. Even this kind of pitifully useless rebellion is intolerable in American society and was cited by a criminal psychiatrist on Limbaugh's radio program on April 28 as evidence of paranoia, if not psychosis.
"Trapped" here from off site?
Here's Neff's article, and here's
the TLD home page and TOC.