Professor of law at Southwestern University


Mises Institute, Associated Scholar
Eris Society


Alternative Medicine Is Libertarian Medicine, 2 Dec 2006
Discusses several aspects of healthcare, including self-ownership, being responsible for our own care, decentralised information, the collapse of external authorities and the dehumanizing decisions resulting from institutionalized healthcare
"There are a number of factors contributing to this decentralization in health care. (1) The rapidly increasing costs of traditional medicine ... (2) An awareness ... that equally or even more effective health alternatives and remedies are available ... (3) An attraction to the more individualized treatment afforded by alternative methods ... (4) A growing awareness of the role of self-healing and individualized health maintenance practices."
Another Meaning To September 11th, 19 Sep 2001
"The terrifying events of September 11th provided perhaps the most chilling evidence of the failure of the political model. After having trillions of dollars siphoned from our incomes to pay for the most powerful and sophisticated weaponry known to mankind; after years of having our persons and baggage subjected to searches at airports ..."
A Passion for Life, 1 Nov 2003
"If life is to be experienced as our nature has prepared us, we must learn to live with passion; with a sense of focused, self-directed energy. The study of economics reminds us that life is a subjective process of learning, making choices, taking actions. ... To live with passion is to live an internally directed life that exhibits a fiery, creative, exploring spirit."
Related Topic: Life
George Carlin: A Four-Letter Threat to Authority, 24 Jun 2008
A tribute to George Carlin (and Lenny Bruce) on their irreverent attitude towards authority and Carlin as a "standup philosopher"
"To most people, Bruce and Carlin were nothing more than dealers in four-letter words; men who loved to shock the sensibilities of others. But there was a deeper meaning in their humor, and modern libertarian thinking would not have been possible without their important groundwork. Each man understood, at least implicitly, that the authority some men presume to exercise over the lives of others depends upon the subjugated regarding their managers with an unquestioning reverence and awe."
Related Topic: Humor
Impeach the American People!, 17 Nov 2006
Comments on proposals to bring George W. Bush and others in his administration to "justice", observing that most Americans went into a "moral slumber" that allowed the former to "turn America into the 21st century equivalent of 1939 Germany"
"The reality that the state is no more than a product of conquest has long dissipated the fairy-tale of some alleged 'social contract.' ... As with any other contract ... there is a burden upon those who are to be subject to state rule to insist upon adherence to the contractual terms. ... To most people, government may have been established by contract but, once created, the state became a free agent, able to extend its decision-making authority in any direction it chose, without any check upon its power from those it ruled."
Law as 'Reason' or as 'Violence'?, 17 Nov 2001
Compares modern "law" to ancient "law merchant" and describes various rationalizations used to justify the violence in the modern system
"There have been times in which 'law' was, indeed, a means for peacefully resolving disputes. The ancient system known as the 'law merchant,' for example, developed among men of commerce as a way of settling quarrels in the marketplace. ... Over time, the political system took over the roles of these merchant judges, and 'law' became more completely politicized."
Memorial Day Alternative, 16 May 2007
Short summaries of anti-war films with rankings in terms of importance
"Memorial Day is one holiday on which I often hold an 'Anti-War Film Festival,' ... Joyeux Noel ... The King of Hearts ... Paths of Glory ... Oh! What a Lovely War ... Johny Got His Gun ... The Mouse That Roared ... All Quiet on the Western Front ... The Deer Hunter ... Gallipoli ... Shenandoah ... Catch-22 ... Slaughterhouse-Five ... Dr. Strangelove ... Wag the Dog ... The Quiet American ... Aftermath: The Remnants of War ... The Americanization of Emily ..."
More Anti-War Films, 21 May 2007
More short summaries of anti-war films with rankings in terms of importance, follow-up to "Memorial Day Alternative"
"... a number of anti-war films to be watched over the Memorial Day weekend ... Why We Fight ... Children of Men ... Breaker Morant ... Platoon ... Full Metal Jacket ... A Very Long Engagement ... The Battle of Algiers ... Duck Soup ... Hearts and Minds ... Grand Illusion ... Das Boot ... Letters From Iwo Jima ..."
Sy Leon, R.I.P., 11 Sep 2007
Recollections of the life of Sy Leon, Rampart College and the libertarian movement of the 1950s/1960s
"The late 1950s and early 1960s were the formative years for what has since become known as 'libertarian thinking.' Those of us who rejected the state, and collectivism in general, were as rare throughout America then as they are today in the District of Columbia. ... It was not uncommon for someone to say to another something like: 'I'm going on a business trip to Cincinnati,' and to have the other person respond with: 'be sure to look up Wally Ballew: he's a libertarian.' 'We have a libertarian in Cincinnati? That's great!' It was a time when most libertarians knew one another either personally or by reputation."
The Case for Optimism, 19 Oct 2001
Relates the change in people's behavior after the September 2001 attacks, some standing up for principle whereas others were following the herd
"One positive feature of the post-September 11th mess has been the discovery of who is, and who is not, devoted to individual liberty. It's all so easy to espouse liberty principles when there are no apparent costs associated with doing so. It becomes much tougher when the costs begin to escalate. ... To such people, there is now a greater 'cost' to leaving the security of the herd than there is a 'benefit' to living as a free, self-controlling individual."
The Control Cult, 21 Apr 2007
In the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, comments on those who believe the causal factors can be identified and controlled by the state, and how this extends not just to gun ownership but many other areas
"The true believers of the dogmas of control have insinuated themselves into all forms of institutions. ... Members of the control cult have always found themselves attracted to the agency whose raison d'ĂȘtre is to subdue all of humanity to its coercive mechanisms of control: the state. What problem, or catastrophe, or even fear thereof, is not met with the aforesaid chant of bureaucrats: 'we will find out what went wrong and fix it, so it doesn't happen again'?"
The Delusion of Limited Government, 14 May 2002
Related Topic: Limited Government
The Libertarians' Albatross, 3 Nov 2004
Recounts the author's introduction to objectivism and provides critical analysis of the philosophy's shortcomings
"One would have hoped that the Objectivist philosophy – with its stated emphasis on 'reason,' 'individualism,' 'liberty,' and hostility to 'collectivism' and 'statism' – might have provided a base for understanding and resisting the collective insanity of our politicized world. But such, alas, has not been the case, for Rand's philosophy is infected with the same virus as other destructive belief systems: the insistence upon the doctrine of absolute truth. "
Related Topics: Libertarianism, Objectivism
The Voting Ritual, 24 Oct 2006
"Rather than dutifully going to the polls to select from a narrow list of options provided you by political interests that you neither know nor control, you might want to inquire into who is providing the cast of characters — and writing the script — for a performance you are expected not only to attend, but to cheer."
Related Topic: Voting
'V for Vendetta', 20 Mar 2006
"For those who are serious about living in a society in which peace, liberty, and the inviolability of the human spirit prevail, V for Vendetta provides an opportunity to rethink our social assumptions; to develop new ideas about our relationships to one another. And as "V" informs us, "ideas are bulletproof." This film is a powerful antidote to the mindset that is destroying mankind."
Related Topic: V for Vendetta
Why Are We Afraid To Be Free?, 27 Nov 2001
Examines the question of how to bring about freedom in individuals' lives, discussing how government influences people to be in conflicted states and how one must look within oneself and act accordingly to begin to be "free"
"Why are so many of us preoccupied with the subject of 'freedom,' and yet seem so unclear about the conditions essential to its existence? The one question that dominates the inquiries I receive from others is this: 'what can we do to bring about a condition of freedom in our lives?' ... Still, the question is almost always misfocused, for the inquiry is generally framed in terms of how other people's thinking, or institutional systems can be changed to bring about a greater degree of individual liberty."
Why I Do Not Vote, 14 Nov 2000
"When we vote in an election, ... Our motivations for such participation – even if they be openly expressed as a desire to bring state power to an end – do not mitigate the fact that our energies are being employed on behalf of the destructive principle that liberty and social order can best be fostered through the coercive machinery of the state."
Related Topic: Voting

Books Authored

Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival, 1985