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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13706/what-youre-not-supposed-to-know-about-war/

What You’re Not Supposed to Know about War

August 27, 2010 by

Thomas DiLorenzo’s new, ten-week, online Mises Academy course on “The Political Economy of War” will pierce through the dense fog of relentless war propaganda. FULL ARTICLE by Thomas DiLorenzo


Seattle August 27, 2010 at 10:35 am

Oh dear God.

You guys are on a ROLL. Seriously. A new class has to be introduced like, every 3 days. I lost count of how many there were a long time ago. And all of this in just a few months!

Mises Academy is easily the fastest growing educational institution of all time.

Seattle August 27, 2010 at 10:43 am

Sorry for the double comment (the 5 minute edit window is too short), I just wanted to add how this is an example of what entrepreneurship and markets do: They break down barriers and do the impossible. What you guys are doing right now was considered decades away just 5 or 10 years ago. The old crusty state-run universities can’t even begin to compare.

I want to thank you for showing the world the human spirit is not yet dead.

Salamanca_34 August 27, 2010 at 11:05 am

I wish other so-called free market groups/think tanks/institutes were as open and honest in the discussion of war and its effects as the Mises Institute. There are more than a few that avoid the topic like the plague, yet purport to be advancing the cause of liberty! Bravo Mises Institute for always being consistent!

Sean August 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I would love to take this course. This kind of info just completely screws with the matrix.

Fephisto August 27, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Flashback from Fallout 2.

Sione August 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Will the course be downloadable? I’m stuck down here in the Sth Pacific, but would like to see the course on broadcast or DVD. Any chance of that?


J. Grayson Lilburne August 28, 2010 at 10:47 am

Yes, all enrolled students will be able to download recordings of the lectures and question-and-answer periods.

Gil August 27, 2010 at 11:08 pm

What does DiLorenzo suppose is the alternative? Pacifism? Pacifism is extremely dangerous as it means standing idly by while marauders destroy everyone and everything around you. There are times when people have to morally duty to stand up and fight.

newson August 28, 2010 at 12:53 am

you should enrol in order to understand the difference between defense and offense. unless you’re just looking for a rise, in which case, congratulations.

james b. longacre August 28, 2010 at 4:00 am

noone needs to enroll in anything tio know the difference.

Seattle August 28, 2010 at 12:54 am

Given one of the topics is “What is a Just War?” I don’t think DiLorenzo is proposing pacifism.

Jkillz August 28, 2010 at 7:30 am

I would like to take one of these classes. However, I live in Asia. Perhaps this info is available elsewhere on the site, but what I am curious about is whether the class can be taken on a tape-delayed basis. In other words, could I stream the lectures after I get off work?

Rob Mandel August 29, 2010 at 12:33 am

This is perhaps the greatest of all dilemmas: how do we maintain peace? It is this one area that has given me so much self-doubt and pause regarding the viability and legitimacy of libertarianism. As for as limited government as possible, sound money, pure capitalism, et al., I could not agree more. As for war being the state’s lifeblood, probably equally in accord.

However, Thucydides says often “human nature being what it is”. Is he right? What has history shown us but that one nation/empire seeks to take over another. Persia invaded Greece. The Aztecs conquered and enslaved their neighbors. “Native Ameircan” tribes fought brutal wars of attrition. The US just fought them all the same without prejudice!! One cannot argue with intellectual honesty that Iran and Pakistan (to name two examples) are simply in need of cooperation and trade and all will be peaceful. Nor could one make the claim for Chavez’s Venezuela. Or North Korea, or Zimbabwe, or…

Neither time, place, culture, race, nor anything else (not guns, germs, and steel either!!) has proven anything other than man is violent and tends towards war. And man tends first towards political associations (Aristotle – man is by nature political…) and sadly those tend towards expansion. (cf. Polybius Rome vs. Carthage, two empires that cold not coexist at close proximity. He argued one had to succeed, one had to fail. I think he had a point.)

Thus, Vegetius’ “those who desire peace, prepare for war” seems to be the ultimate oxymoron. But also the greatest observation.

So, what I’d love an answer to, and I don’t know that one exists, is how does a free society, one based on liberty, maintain it’s strength as to dissuade others from external aggression (because the strong are almost never attacked, only those weak or perceived as such. Yes, there are many contradictions, such as WW1, which was started over empire, i.e. the attacking of the weak by the strong…) without becoming the very society it despises?

How can a libertarian society protect itself? How does it acquire and prepare the means, project such preparedness, and at the same time, maintain the will to restrain itself?

mpolzkill August 29, 2010 at 1:29 am

That’s a lot of “we” and a lot of talk about “society”, Rob. To paraphrase Albert Jay Nock, only individuals do things and there’s only one thing the individual can do for society: present it with one improved member. That improvement would consist of a full education in civilization which is a full conversion to working by the “social means” and rejection of the “political means”.

I like this too:

“History consists, for the greater part, of the miseries brought upon the world by pride, ambition, avarice, revenge, lust, sedition, hypocrisy, ungoverned zeal, & all the train of disorderly appetites, which shake the public with the same

‘troublous storms that toss The private state, and render life unsweet.’

These vices are the CAUSES of those storms. Religions, morals, laws, prerogatives, privileges, liberties, rights of men, are the PRETEXTS. The pretexts are always found in some specious appearance of a real good.You would not secure men from tyranny & sedition by rooting out of the mind the principles to which these fraudulent pretexts apply? If you did, you would root out everything that is valuable in the human breast. As these are the pretexts, so the ordinary actors & instruments in great public evils are kings, priests, magistrates, senates, parliaments, national assemblies, judges, & captains. You would not cure the evil by resolving that there should be no more monarchs, nor ministers of state, nor of the gospel; no interpreters of law; no general officers; no public councils. You might change the names. The things in some shape must remain. A certain quantum of power must always exist in the community in some hands & under some appellation. Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names; to the causes of evil which are permanent, not to the occasional organs by which they act, & the transitory modes in which they appear. Otherwise you will be wise historically, a fool in practice. Seldom have two ages the same fashion in their pretexts & the same modes of mischief.”

- Edmund Burke – “Reflections on the Revolution in France” – 1790

Of course, they both have to go, the vices and the kings. First the vices, then the kings become less terrible.

Sean August 29, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Wow. Edmund Burke…BRINGING IT. This is a man to pay attention to. Does Mr. Burke discuss, at any length, suggested remedies for the vices?

mpolzkill August 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Oh, certainly, Sean. I would dive through his stuff, and Samuel Johnson while you’re at it. And then go back to Shakespeare and the King James Bible.

Also interesting, Rothbard’s article on Burke and anarchism, and also this:


Sean August 29, 2010 at 7:17 pm

re: Rothbard’s essay on Burke, from the Libertarian Heritage article linked here:

“But Rothbard is mistaken. Burke pointed out in the preface that the book was a satire, just one year after he wrote the book.”

Doesn’t preclude the possibility that Rothbard is correct. Regardless, seems that Burke is in the neighborhood. As per Paine, the linked article is quite interesting on Paine’s view of political liberty. I had no idea such an important distinction exists. Thanks for the link.

ElwoodPDowd August 29, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Great stuff Matt. From Sy Akhplart

mpolzkill August 29, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Ha! Old Uncle Elwood.

“Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be,’ — she always called me Elwood — ‘In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

Thanks, Sy.

ElwoodPDowd August 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I had a feeling you would know that line Matt. Sy Akhplart

RTRebel August 29, 2010 at 6:11 pm

You know that annoying poster at the head of your article that says

“Spend It Where You Make It! Buy American”

To that economically ignorant statement, I say..

“Don’t sh** where you eat. Buy foreign whenever you want!”

Jack Conway August 30, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Are these lectures going to be online so we can watch them? I like watching DiLorenzo.


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