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Posted March 18, 2019.

Ronn Neff: The practical executioner. New York Public Radio's broadcast of March 16, "Millionaires Funded by Billionaires," featured a discussion with Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian and author of the book Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World. Bregman is an advocate of the Universal Basic Income, or "UBI."

Bregman claims that the UBI is an idea that's been around for a long time, but that in the 1950s a "small group of thinkers," such as Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek and others of the Mont Pelerin Society, began a movement for small government and lower taxes. Their ideas, he says, took hold in the 1970s, and the people who picked up their ideas more or less created a setback for the idea of what Richard Nixon called a family assistance system.

Bregman does not actually say that Friedman and Hayek themselves opposed the idea of a universal basic income, but he certainly wants us to believe it. In that, he is half right, and the half that he is right about is Hayek. But Richard Nixon did not come up with the idea of a basic income by himself; it was an idea that was promoted by, among others, Milton Friedman in the years that Nixon was president.

Friedman called it the negative income tax. Bregman, who is regarded as a historian, seems to be completely unaware of this. But, as the man says, "You can look it up." In fact, you can look it up in Wikipedia. Bregman, who had fun at Tucker Carlson's expense when he said that they had the Internet in the Netherlands, should perhaps spend more time with it.

The point here is not just that Bregman's idea of Friedman seems to be what he thinks it should be — because, perhaps, of Friedman's reputation — and that he is wrong. No. The point is that this is the sort of thing that happens when someone like a Milton Friedman sets about to reform the state or to streamline it.

He ends up promoting policies which — in his mind — can be tamed or managed in a way that may or may not be an improvement. But they will not stay in his mind. They will get into the minds of others, and in the end become the tools of economic ruin and the destruction of liberty.

Friedman enjoys a reputation as a champion of liberty. But it was not a principled liberty; it was a practical liberty. Whenever he thought that liberty was not practical or was not "practical enough," he became one of liberty's executioners. It is not that he meant to be anti-liberty; it is rather that practicality and pragmatism are. Ω

Posted March 16, 2019.

Nicholas Strakon: The murders at the mosques. At Chronicles, Srdja Trifkovic writes: "...[T]his regrettable incident will dominate the headlines infinitely more than any comparable carnage involving Christians, notably the 2017 Palm Sunday church bombings in Alexandria; it killed 45 people, and was all but ignored by the Western media and politicians." ("New Zealand Attacks: Repercussions and Perspective," March 15, 2019.)

We also direct your attention to this impassioned video by Paul Ramsey ("ramzpaul"), "Christchurch — the wages of multiculturalism." I had never heard of Ebba Akerlund, the 11-year-old Swedish victim of multiculturalism, until now.

Down with imperialism and the subsidizing of immigration; up with the freedoms of property and association. Ω

Posted March 14, 2019.

Ronn Neff: Politicians don't have beliefs; they have positions. Let's think about this a minute:

In 2008, Sen. Joe Biden said of Barack Obama that he was "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." The next thing you knew, Biden was the vice president.

In 2019, ex-Vice President Joe Biden, speaking of the silent reaction by an international gathering of politicians to remarks of Vice President Mike Pence, said that "it [the silence] was followed on by a guy who's a decent guy, our vice president." The next thing you knew, Biden was attacked by the Left he helped to create and has probably killed his chances for a run at the presidency in 2020.

So, insult the entire black American community, and you're rewarded; praise a guy with the gentlest of praise, and you're out on your ear.

P.S. Biden has since retracted his remarks about Pence. Presumably he no longer thinks Pence is decent. Ω

What do you think?
"Stop and think" archive.

TLD is a forum of opinion, edited by hard-core market anarchists, that does not flinch from any of the most pressing issues of our time. We are especially interested in questions of culture and ethnicity, our Polite Totalitarian ruling class, and the homicidal humanitarianism of the U.S. Empire.

Our writers include anarcho-pessimists, Old Believers in the West, unreconstructed Confederates, neo-Objectivists, and other enemies of the permanent regime. We are conscientiously indifferent to considerations of thoughtcrime. Thus, from individualist and Euro-American perspectives, we confront the end of civilization — and do our level best to name its destroyers. (More about who we are.)

— Nicholas Strakon, editor-in-chief
Ronald N. Neff, senior editor

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Permanently recommended readings

"What Is Austrian Economics?" (Mises Institute)
"I, Pencil," by Leonard E. Read (Liberty Fund;
scroll down for text)
"The Epistemological Basis of Anarchism,"
by Roy A. Childs, Jr. (TLD)
"Polite totalitarianism," by Ronald N. Neff (TLD)

Published in 2019 by WTM Enterprises, P.O. Box 224, Roanoke, IN 46783-0224.

Please note that Thornwalker is only the "landlord" for The Last Ditch. WTM Enterprises is solely responsible for all design and content on this site.

Nicholas Strakon