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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10941/the-lawless-state/

The Lawless State

October 30, 2009 by

Today, in the land we like to think of as the most free on earth, governments at all levels reaches into every level of our lives. It controls and it coerces, it bullies and it brags, it browbeats and it blusters. FULL ARTICLE by Karl Hess


Jacob Steelman October 30, 2009 at 8:43 am

What Karl Hess has described is even more true now than in 1969 when this article by Hess was published. Since 1969 government has continued to expand its intervention in the economy and the lives of people everywhere. In 1969 the US was engaged in a war in Asia; forty years later it is engaged in two wars in Middle East Asia. In 1969 the bankruptcy of the Penn-Central Railroad was the largest bankruptcy on record. The government take over of much of the Penn-Central was said to be temporary but for over 30 years Conrail existed until privatized and Amtrak continues with us to this day. The same arguments are heard today about the temporary nature of the government take over of General Motors and many parts of the financial services industry. In 1969 the new President of the United States said he would bring the wars in Asia to an end but the wars were expanded and continued for another 5 years. In 2009 the new President of the United States said he would bring the wars in Asia to an end but the wars are being expanded and will continue for how much longer we do not know. The only constant is the the American dollar has continued to drop in value and along with it the world’s respect for the land of the free and the brave.

Fed Up October 30, 2009 at 9:22 am

Yet another crappy article from ancient dark ages times.

When will we have a 2009 article ?
I’m fed up of reading yellowed articles.

We have a crisis now, we have big government now, we have bailouts, police state etc.

I would like an up-to-date article. It always pisses me off when I read about a “big” government article dated 1969, 1959 but then things today have gone worse than what they were back then.

Could we please have an article of the likes of those old and outdated ones but which would be tailored to what’s going on in 2009.

News Flash, this is 2009, 1969 was 40 years ago. Please evolve.

Thanks ! :-(

FED UP !!! October 30, 2009 at 9:24 am

If that fucker who wrote this article in 1969 thinks government was big and bad at that time, I would like to see what he would write today.

It insults me that we serve watered down old articles. I want an article about 2009 and which complains about the governments of 2009.

F YOU MISES October 30, 2009 at 9:29 am

Hey, MISES !

F YOU !!! for serving us this 1969 crappola.

We’re in 2009, please take notice that times have evolved for the worse during those past 40 years.

How about a 2009 article for a change you Mises f*ers !!!

I wish I could punch you guys in the face for pissing us off with outdated pretrified and putrefied articles.

mpolzkill October 30, 2009 at 9:30 am

Someone please tell me why this person (“FED UP!!!”) can’t be identified by IP address and have the word “Moron” placed at the head of his comments. I would be fine with “Nasty” being placed at the head of my posts. Readers could then seek out the kind of content they like.

I Hate Mopskills October 30, 2009 at 9:34 am


What makes you think you’re not the moronic one ?

Even though the dynamics of 1969 and 2009 are quite the same and that articles of 1969 are intemporal as the same philosophy and doctrines still apply today.

Today is worse than 1969. All of us are frustrated and angry about what the governments are doing to us TODAY in 2009.

We need an up to date article complaining against what our governments are doing to us today.

Mandatory health insurance, patriot act and deposit limitations did not exist back in 1969.

Today is worse than back then, unless you’re too moronic to realize this ?

Mike October 30, 2009 at 9:53 am

You cannot fully understand something unless you understand its history. Old articles provide a window into the evolution of the state.

And as this and other historical articles show, everything the state does these days is more or less the same old crap they’ve always done. That in itself is enlightening, but more to the point, it means there isn’t a whole lot of novel inspiration for new articles. I get the impression the Mises writers write when they are inspired or outraged (which is actually pretty frequent if you give them a chance), not “when the production schedule demands it”.

In other words, Fed Up, shut up.

Inquisitor October 30, 2009 at 9:54 am

*sigh* Obvious troll is obvious.

mpolzkill October 30, 2009 at 10:21 am

Gil, (I was 80% sure and now I’m, 90% sure), just type your name in every time. It’s synonymous to everyone who frequents this place (you probably sense this, hence the name changes).

- – - – - – - –


See, I really think a service could be done. I don’t know how much you’ve been here, Mike, but if this is the character I think it is, he has been told what you’ve just said time and again. He never has a response (or a convincing one), he just moves on with his hare-brained propaganda.

Another example: This morning, on another forum, “fundamentalist” has said for the umpteenth time that almost all atheists are statists. Now a tired firestorm of righteous indignation will probably come from outraged public atheists of which the contents fundamentalist has heard a thousand times and ignored, as their reasoning is sound.

There should be a marker for serial propagandists here and I really wish someone would tell me why not. I wouldn’t mind a marker for myself, I admittedly try to entertain with propaganda and rhetoric that opposes all crime. And after all, there is no place for any of us in this twisted court of a country other than as drones, cops or jesters.

Fed Up October 30, 2009 at 10:22 am

“You cannot fully understand something unless you understand its history. Old articles provide a window into the evolution of the state.”

I know, but the state is worse now than before. I feel left out and ignored when I read a 1969 article.

Things are not the same today as they were in 1969. Things are worse today.

As if they were not outraged and inspired today as opposed to 1969.

There is more things to be outraged and write about today than 1969.

Would you eat a 1969 grilled cheese on the premise that it’s the “same” cheese ?

Fed Up October 30, 2009 at 10:29 am

In 1969, you could deposit and withdraw as much cash as you want no questions asked and certainly more than the $10,000 of today.

It was not a “crime” to structure your deposits or investments.

You could pay everything in cash if you wanted, no questions asked.

It was not suspicious to pay your plane ticket in cash and you did not risk to have the swat bust open your door just because someone reported your “suspicious” cash purchase of a plane ticket.

There was no patriot act, to spy and arbitrarily detain your own citizens. You could buy all the ammo and guns you wanted and the 2nd Amendment meant something as opposed to today.

You could build model rockets and model planes and fly them by the country side without filling a bunch of paper work and without having a rectal search performed on you as if you were a terrorist.

People were more free than today, they were treated with dignity and respect.

Cops did not bust open your door killing your family dogs.

There was an honor a freedom and a pride that we don’t have today.

If that guy complained in 1969, I would like him to come here in 2009 and tell us what he think of our times today as opposed to 1969.

All those old articles contribute to perpetuate the myth that Libertarianism is an outdated fringe lunatic movement much like those old dictatorships that still portray yellowed stalin pictures.

Come on Mises, I guess I’d better go to cato.org instead. At least their articles are of 2009, not of 1969.

I hate mises.org, when they don’t break our legs with boring Intellectual Property diatribes, they serve us outdated and meaningless articles.

On to cato.org to me. I live in 2009, not 1969.

Fed Up October 30, 2009 at 10:32 am


So wanting a 2009 up to date article is propaganda ? WOW !

mpolzkill October 30, 2009 at 10:42 am

“2 : the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person

3 : ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect”

*harebrained* propaganda. I would add to the defintion (to make it fully my definition) that the propagandist is completely immune to any counter information or arguments.

To conclude your useless lesson which you will ignore, I do not believe that propaganda is instrinsically nefarious. I, for instance, am a propagandist in one field as I am completely immune to any possible evidence that crime is beneficial.

Abhilash Nambiar October 30, 2009 at 10:45 am


I agree with you. Serial Propagandists and trolls derail the entire discussion. It would be nice if there were some way to flag them.

mpolzkill October 30, 2009 at 10:55 am

Yes, Abhilash, or perhaps they could be banished to the blog version of a kiddie-table. I play with the serial propagandists and I’ve been resultingly corrupted, but I would take my banishment gladly if I were tossed out along with my playmates.

The Comrade October 30, 2009 at 11:35 am

Ignoring the obvious trolls, this is a beautiful article and an extraordinary summary of the libertarian position, even today. I am considering using it as a kind of personal manifesto for myself from now on. I’ll just have to ignore all the specific references to America – it works more or less internationally.

F@#k Fed Up October 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm

1)You have just supported the fallacy that b/c something is 50 years old, it’s irrelevant.
2)Your overly nostalgic on the freedom people had in the past.
3)Every point is even more valid.
4)IP articles are interesting and not boring.
5) Do you ignore the every other article written for today, because one article is a great reprint.
6) Most of the issues are basically the same, exuding global warming, almost every point has been debated in the past, and hasn’t really changed much.
6) I’m sure a lot of black people would disagree saying they were free from cops attacking them with dogs.
7) Have you checked the numerous periodicals the constanly publish new papers on a variety of topics.
8) you’re a douche.

Smack MacDougal October 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Apparently, some who frequent the Mises Blog suffer either from reading comprehension deficiency or from aphasia.

The first phrase anyone should see before filling out the comment form is this:

“Post an intelligent and civil comment”

Cursing at the Mises editorial staff as well as demanding a different editorial direction does not meet the test “Post an intelligent and civil comment.”

The right method for complaint involves contacting the executive editor directly.

Yet, the wrong method for complaint would be making complaint in any of the comment forms attached to any article of content.

Now that you’ve been schooled, Fed Up, you should be able to stand up and walk right going forward.

You are forgiven for your errors.

Fed Up October 30, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Yes a 1969 article can still be relevant on the abstract front and as a whole.

But I would rather have a 2009 article that is more specific to what’s happening today.

Don’t tell me that we are more free today than in 1969, the contrary would be more like it.

Back in 1969, amateur rocketry was much more tolerated than today and you had much more banking freedoms than today.

Customer service was much better and you got to talk to a real person at the bank.

Things today are much worse and more serious than 1969, so an article about the specifics of 2009 would be very appropriate.

Laughing at little fed up October 30, 2009 at 2:07 pm

If you are so attune to the specific changes in our society over the last forty years perhaps you could use your energies to write your own article instead of just coming to Mises and whining like a drooling two year about what they are not doing to satisfy and pacify you today.

Or perhaps you could do an article on how to remain on point and not get so easily caught up in petty thinking.

waywardwayfarer October 30, 2009 at 8:33 pm

What’s the big deal? It’s not as if mises.org doesn’t post lots of fresh and current material too. Next this trolling wingnut will be telling us Human Action and Man, Economy, and State are outdated relics. I don’t care when something was written; relevant is relevant. In fact, only a few passing references, such as that to the Iron Curtain, tipped me off that this wasn’t written yesterday. It’s good stuff, and I hope mises.org continues posting semi-forgotten words of wisdom like this.

Ribald October 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm

If I may be so bold as to comment on the article itself, I think Hess’s article suffered from an oversimplification of hugely controversial philosophical issues. As an important example, he asks the reader

“Do you feel that man actually is incapable, as an individual, of knowing what is right or wrong: and that only the wisdom of “society” can establish such values?”

The “right” answer is no, but the keen reader sees that the question is designed to produce the answer by asking the reader if he agrees with a ludicrous position. For example, I could ask

“Do you think 2 + 2 is 5, and that you shouldn’t take any authority’s words at face value?”

You’d say “No”, of course, because the first statement is ridiculous, regardless of the validity of the second. It’s all to easy, of course, to misrepresent the objection as believing the second to be false.

In Hess’s case, the first statement is a blatant generalization that can’t be true, while the second is an oversimplified and misleading description of consensus as a means for determining right and wrong. Using the word “society” in quotes is also a clear attempt to tell the reader that “society” is really “the government”, when it need not be any such thing. In fact, without government, society would still exist and in all likelihood enforce its own morality, albeit by different mechanisms. In any case, those who disagree with the prevailing morality will be punished for deviating.

Many of Hess’s questions are as loaded as that one, and it is thus my conclusion that Hess was a brilliant and talented artist when it came to a rhetoric.

Gil October 30, 2009 at 11:16 pm

No, mpolzkill, I don’t go posting under different names.

If anything this article has the same bland tone the others do – it’s sounds as though it was written by someone who is the ongoing victim of the school bully and can’t do anything but complain “it’s unfair”.

Haas October 31, 2009 at 8:19 am

To be honest going through all your posts and reading these comments made me feel like i’m watching a stupid teenage fight on a youtube video…please grow up -you are on the mises website not the obama page…so if you are still a teenager- time to act like an adult and if you are an adult that thinks like a teenager then this is where you should be at http://www.barackobama.com/


fundamentalist October 31, 2009 at 8:33 am

The Constitution has not changed since it was written, yet the American government is far more socialist that it was even in the 1930′s. The Constitution is our state. Since the Constitution didn’t change, what did? The people. The people became socialists. Because the people changed, the politicians changed and became more socialist. The state is an idea, a plan for organizing society. Like a gun, it can do nothing until human beings pick it up and use it. They can use it for good or evil.

If you take a gun away from a serial killer, will he stop being a serial killer? No. If you take the state away from socialists, will they quit being socialists? No. If you killed every politician in the country tomorrow, would that change the nature of American government? Not at all. The socialist people would elect new socialist politicians.

The problem with America is not the state, but the people.

fundamentalist October 31, 2009 at 8:36 am

PS, if you could kill all of the politicians in the country and somehow kill everyone who aspired to be a politician, and you burned the Constitution so that you could declare an anarchist state in the US, how long do you think you would last? You would have to be a dictator to force anarchism on the socialist American people. You would have to use force to make them act like anarchists. If you didn’t, they would lynch you before noon and set up another socialist state by dinner.

Gil October 31, 2009 at 10:11 am

Are you kidding fundamentalist? The U.S. Constitution has been amended quite a few. After all, don’t forget the 16 Amendment.

fundamentalist October 31, 2009 at 11:25 am

Gil, You’re right. I forgot the ammendments. But the ammendments haven’t changed the Constitution nearly as much as the Supreme Court decisions that have gutted it and the fact that every branch of the government blatantly violates it every day with impunity.

atheist libertarian October 31, 2009 at 12:34 pm

About atheist being statists:

I am an atheist (somehow agnostic would fit better, because i think, that some things can not be known) and a libertarian.

So what? Does anyone really think that libertarian philosophy and atheism is incompatible?

Haas October 31, 2009 at 5:25 pm

atheist libertarian- yes i believe they are incompatible

Now i know there are many atheist libertarians out there- but the problem is atheism goes hand in hand with statism- because once you take the idea of a “god” or organised religion out of people’s lives- the state becomes the so called “god” that fills the void- allowing a bigger state to be dominant over their lives…this is one of the underlying ideas of communism and is basically the same with socialism- and this is why you don’t get conservative atheists- all tend to be socialist…because they believe everything has to be changed and improved by human action or intervention by a government…Since government is the supreme organiser of society and not God.

fundamentalist October 31, 2009 at 6:48 pm

atheist libertarian: “Does anyone really think that libertarian philosophy and atheism is incompatible?”

No there is nothing incompatible with atheism and libertarianism. I wish more atheists were libertarian. Part of the problem may be historical. The modern socialist movement was started by atheists and so socialism has a first mover advantage.

Following up on what Haas wrote, atheists deny what Christians call original sin, which is the idea that people are born with a tendency toward evil which requires a process of “domestication” through parenting, church and school. Without that domestication process, evil runs wild. Atheists tend to believe in human nature as a blank slate from birth; or the idea that people are born good. Evil enters only when people are mistreated, such as through improper potty training, or through capitalism and private property. Socialism is more than an economic system. It is an explanation of the origins of evil and and remedy for that evil. Without Christian origional sin or socialism, atheists have a hard time explaining the origins of evil behavior in mankind. And that’s why I think atheists are attracted to socialism.

Luis Ramirez October 31, 2009 at 9:26 pm

An extraordinary and telling article indeed. Especially if we take into account that the state of events has grown much worse. It’s incredible how people still speak of a need for government while observing that in reality, nothing really changes. Some even speak of government as a neccesity, explaining away how the real problems of it’s existence have to do with circumstances like having the right leaders, or the correct set and interpretation of laws. I think, that this vision of separating the “neccesity” of government versus it’s “contingent” aspects is totally wrong. As Mises would put it to separate the theoretical (neccesary) from the practical (contingent) is like divorcing reason from action (or, somewhere along those lines). The problem is not circumstantial, but substantial to government. It’s wrong and therefore cannot do what it says it can do.

Also, as far as the current discusion related to atheism and libertarianism, I’d like to recommend the second chapter of the first section of “The Menace of the Herd”, titled “Ochlocracy and Democratism”, you might find it useful.

Luis Ramirez November 1, 2009 at 6:10 am


“Following up on what Haas wrote, atheists deny what Christians call original sin, which is the idea that people are born with a tendency toward evil which requires a process of “domestication” through parenting, church and school. Without that domestication process, evil runs wild. Atheists tend to believe in human nature as a blank slate from birth; or the idea that people are born good. Evil enters only when people are mistreated, such as through improper potty training, or through capitalism and private property.”

I don´t really think that it´s that Christians believe that man is inherently bad. What I do think it means is that man, if not careful, is capable of commiting to bad things. The fact that man is born with original sin is not to condemn man as being “naturally” evil, but rather imperfect (as is the whole of his world). Man can better himself, then, through his relation with God. I´m Catholic, so there might be variance according to different persuasions. At any rate, at a more basic level…it´s really more an appeal to fundamental moral and ethical principles which can be arrived at through secular morality (objectivism, for example) even if you are an atheist…which, at the conclusion are very similiar variants of natural law.

Haas November 1, 2009 at 7:20 am


enjoyed reading your view point very interesting indeed mate!

Yannick Verdyck November 1, 2009 at 8:40 am

I am an atheist and a libertarian (anarcho-kapitalist).

No system will work whitout a certain degree of respect for the other person. Respect for your fellow humans is not something which should be seen as an exclusive monopoly of Christian faith.

Such a claim should certainly be seen as absurd.

Jay Lakner November 1, 2009 at 9:55 am

It’s a bit silly trying to make the claim that atheism and libertarianism are incompatible.
In fact it’s blatantly false.

Using fundamental assumptions and logical thinking, I concluded that atheism is the principled position to adopt.
Using fundamental assumptions and logical thinking, I also concluded that libertarianism is the principled position to adopt.

The way I see it, libertarianism and atheism are completely compatible to any logical thinker.
In fact I’ll even go so far as to say that they MUST be the philosophical positions of anyone who derives their understanding of the world from a logical thinking process founded on fundamental assumptions. (Unfortunately people of this kind seem to be a rare breed)

The problem is that most atheists are atheists for the wrong reasons. And, as I’m discovering here on Mises.org, most libertarians are libertarians for the wrong reasons.
Any atheist who believes that such a thing as “evil” exists certainly did not become an athiest through logical thinking.
Similarly, any libertarian who believes libertarianism is the correct philosophy purely because it’s the will of “God” also didn’t arrive at their philosophy through logical thinking.

Atheism and libertarianism may SEEM incompatible to certain people but it is often these same people who have a poor concept of what logical thought is. In particular, I find it is either a general lack of appreciation for fundamental principles or a complete lack of knowledge of the existence of fundamental principles.

But then again, this is not surprising. From a young age our public schools teach us to “memorise” our way through life.
Here is a problem, here are the steps you need to take to solve the problem, now memorise that. Here is another problem, here are the steps you need to take to solve the problem, etc, etc, etc. After 10 to 12 years of public schooling everyone is an expert at memorising and replicating a process. But nobody understands a damn thing. The poor child who stops to ask “why?” is, of course, punished for “wasting time”. Sadly, the truth is often that the teachers themselves do not know the answer.

Wow I just realised that my attempt to refute the “atheism and libertarianism are incompatible” argument has turned into a rant. My apologies.

Yannick Verdyck November 1, 2009 at 10:10 am

It is a pity that so little real bright persons are around, capable of settling these (plain simple) questions in a decisive way.

atheist libertarian November 1, 2009 at 11:24 am

@Jay Lakner

I support your statement.

atheist libertarian November 1, 2009 at 11:31 am

I do not know why but somehow my longer answert does not get “approved”.

Atheist libertarian November 1, 2009 at 11:33 am

So how do you explain that I am both atheist and libertarian?

For rational people there is always science which can (try to) explain human behavior. Do not forget sciences like evolutionary psychology.

Atheist libertarian November 1, 2009 at 11:44 am

If you just take a look at how big the proportion of believers in both state and god(s) is you will see. They are the vast majority (at least in the US).

Jay Lakner November 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm

It is a pity that so little real bright persons are around, capable of settling these (plain simple) questions in a decisive way.

The vast majority of people aren’t even asking themselves the questions that need to be answered. There seems to exist a complete lack of understanding of how logical reasoning works.

For example, Austrian economics is based on one intuitive fundamental axiom and it’s conclusions are drawn from logical reasoning. But for some reason, the vast majority of people are somehow capable of agreeing with the starting assumption and yet disagreeing with the undeniable conclusions that are logically drawn from that assumption.
The merits of Austrian Economics have been known for well over half a century, yet virtually every single country in the world has a central bank, minimum wage laws, public schooling, government-run healthcare, etc, etc, etc, etc.

More than enough “real bright persons” have existed throughout history to show humanity the way, but humanity doesn’t want to listen. Humanity doesn’t even recognise that these “real bright persons” are intelligent.

In the realm of religious philosophy we often see a similar lack of logical thought. It doesn’t seem to occur to most religious people that their entire philosophy hinges on two contradictory assumptions. On the one hand they believe that humans have free will. On the other hand, they believe there exists an all-knowing, all-powerful being behind it all. These two beliefs are completely incompatible. Their “God” MUST know everything that will happen in the future. (Otherwise it is not a “God”) By logical extention, all events MUST be pre-determined and therefore, free will cannot exist. An obvious contradiction, yet the vast majority of religious people believe both starting assumptions to be simultaneously true.

Education is the only way to correct the course of society. People need to learn how the process of logical thought works. People need to learn to break everything down to fundamental principles and assumptions and work logically to conclusions. On top of that they need to understand that, if their starting assumptions are true, then any conclusions drawn from them MUST also be true.

Yannick Verdyck November 1, 2009 at 1:43 pm

My own comprehension of Austrian Economics arises from my mathematical(by no means has that anything to do with statistics) background and my intrests in economics and history. But the analytical/abstract side of the story is crucial(and rare to be found in social sciences).

It really has been a crucial component of my thinking, whitout it, I would have been just as doomed like 99% of the population. I personnally have some problems with certain aspects of the Austrian economics. (Like mathematics, Austrian Economics is not “finished”) it has been underdeveloped for more than 70 years.

Although von Mises rejected mathematical analysis, this really is quiet regrettable. Because praxeology has so much more affinity with pure/fundamental(and I would like to stress the word pure, and by no means statistical) mathematics, then is does have with now common mainstream economic thinking.

Much of my time as young person(I am now 23) has been wasted by the educational system (in Belgium, which is -to my knowledge- already very “good” by European “standards” and outclasses the American one by a very -very large- margin (which has been totally poisoned by socialism). But even then, I am just an “accident”.

But being the young man I am today, I am very fortunate to have the mind and adapted views, ready to tackle the future problems which awaits my generation in Belgium. I am getting ready to rumble, I am getting stronger every day and the big collapse is going to come.

By the way, as a Belgian I am fortunate to understand German, read and write English and French. In a good education, languages are always a decisive advantage.

semjee November 2, 2009 at 8:01 pm

OK Mr Hess you told us everything we already know what should we do about it.

ClassicLiberal November 3, 2009 at 10:17 am

@Atheist libertarian

“For rational people there is always science which can (try to) explain human behavior. Do not forget sciences like evolutionary psychology.”

Like Skinner’s behaviouralism, which through it’s reductionist and positivistic conclusions did more to advance social engineering than other social sciences.

Diversity, trial and error, spontaneity, and yes, lack of reason and emotions are as much part of human history as are intelectuals, scientists, philosophers and and other intelectuals have been. The common man, not the “superhumans” are the basis of human evolution.Unless, what you want is a race of Dr. Spock clones. Ayn Rand, supposedly self-proclaimed “most rational person” committed pretty unrational acts and was responsible of a very “cult-like” following. So, emotions are part of being human and not just a “defect” you have to eliminate. We sometimes forget human “culture” in favour of human “civilization”. Religion is part of culture. Yes, we need more reason and less memorizing. Yes, formal education is terrible, world-wide but, “Reeducating” people? Doesn´t that sound a bit Orwellian? Sure, people should learn more about learning to think better, but aren´t you also setting yourself up to sell a definite ideological set (which is exactly what public and religious based school do). At any rate, what so bad about that? After all, the fact that you attended a Catholic High School doesn´t mean you won´t choose atheism? Besides, much of the history of human thought has been sponsored and has grown with religious institutions, so why discard it as something totally negative? (For example, Saint Thomas Aquinas and the role of Salamanca in the developement of Austrian Economics.) To say that people that believe in God are not smart, ignorant and unreasonable is akin to saying that atheists are all intelligent, cultivated and reasonable people, which is obviously not the case. (Granted, you did state this). Besides, what makes you think that religiously orientated schools won´t also step-up the quality of their education in order to “keep up” with non believers? What makes you think that these schools do not teach Darwin, Aristotles or Einstein? Are you worried about what makes all of us libertarians, or how we arrive to it? It´s impossible to know if people arrive to certain conclusions in the same manner that we might consider as “the best”. To be able to this is to fall into the social planning view that libertarians abhor. At any rate, it doesn´t manner how you get there, so long as you don´t try to force your ideas on others through coercion. Anyway, I don´t think that being or not being religious neccessarily precludes you from being libertarian or having any other particular ideological beliefs. We mustn´t forget that the goal is to arrive at a social arrangement where people can live their lives in the best way they deem fit, without using goverment as a means of imposing their own particular vision on others. It´s about the common man, not any particular group.

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