August 23, 2010

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"Of all contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money."
– Daniel Webster

The Artificiality of Corporations

Monday, August 23, 2010 – by Staff Report
The End of Management ... Business guru Peter Drucker called management "the most important innovation of the 20th century." It was well-justified praise. Techniques for running large corporations, pioneered by men like Alfred Sloan of General Motors and refined at a bevy of elite business schools, helped fuel a century of unprecedented global prosperity. But can this great 20th century innovation survive and thrive in the 21st? ... "Modern" management is nearing its existential moment. Corporations, whose leaders portray themselves as champions of the free market, were in fact created to circumvent that market. They were an answer to the challenge of organizing thousands of people in different places and with different skills to perform large and complex tasks, like building automobiles or providing nationwide telephone service. – Wall Street Journal
Dominant Social Theme: The modern age poses special challenges to corporations.
Free-Market Analysis: There is fairly clear evidence that the rise of the corporation, a basically Anglo-American concept has run into rougher waters in this era of the Internet – as the Wall Street Journal points out. But the Journal for all its skepticism takes the rise of Western corporatism for granted, no matter how many "debunking" articles it presents. Authors may be dubious about whether corporations survive in their current form or not, but ultimately the bigness and intricate nature of such large people-pooling is not really in question and is in fact likely seen as an inevitable evolution of the market.

Obama's Royal Retinue

Monday, August 23, 2010 – by Staff Report

Barack Obama
Vacationing Obama can't shed White House entourage ... President Barack Obama (left) had a simple task for his first morning on vacation: shoot over to a Martha's Vineyard bookstore to fill out his daughters' summer reading list and grab himself a novel. Easier said than done. His SUV, part of a 20-vehicle motorcade, passed through a cordon of Massachusetts State Police motorcycle officers, in a protective cocoon of Secret Service agents. Tagging along for the quick trip Friday were White House communications trucks, an ambulance and two vans full of reporters and photographers. It was the same drill Saturday when he went to the beach for a picnic lunch with his family. This may be down time for Obama, but like all modern presidents, celebrities and some wannabes, he must move about with a not insignificant entourage. It includes security officers and their array of arms, as well as advisers, friends in and out of politics, and a cook who doubles as a golfing buddy. – AP
Dominant Social Theme: It is all necessary.
Free-Market Analysis: It is not a novel observation, but it probably bears repeating. The vacations that President Obama takes are like some sort of royal procession. It wasn't so obvious under George Bush because he had his own "ranch" to go to. But like Bill Clinton, Obama is a wanderer when it comes to vacation destinations and thus much is made of his travels. Is there a kind of sub-dominant social theme here? We think so. "This is the most important man in the world and he travels in style that befits his position."

Principles vs. Pragmatism viz. the Mosque

Monday, August 23, 2010 – by Dr. Tibor Machan
Guest Editorial

Dr. Tibor Machan
It's not my preference to beat a dead horse but this topic goes to the heart of certain features of our current political and legal climate.
When one is in some doubt about what to do – and there can be many situations that one isn't well prepared for – a way to act is to consider one's basic principles. Take someone married who is suddenly strongly attracted to someone other than a spouse. It happens but if those marriage vows matter at all, such a situation would be when they would come in most clearly. One is pulled toward breaching an oath but since it is an oath, presumably taken in earnest, one will refuse to yield to the temptation. Or if one is tempted to do a bit of shoplifting or prevaricating. This is when one's principles come into play, however strongly one may feel like circumventing them.
If it is true that men and women in human communities ought not to intrude on their fellow citizens' liberties, then that idea would come in full strength just when it is most tempting to butt in. So, given how strongly millions of Americans feel that those planning to build a Mosque near Ground Zero are misguided, the upright thing for them to do is to refuse to yield to such a feeling and go with the principle that everyone has a right to freedom of religion even when that religion leads one astray.

Nelson Hultberg on Libertarian-Conservatism and His New Conservative American Political Party

Sunday, August 22, 2010 – with Ron Holland
Exclusive Interview

Nelson Hultberg
The Daily Bell is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Nelson Hultberg (left).
Introduction: Mr. Hultberg is a freelance writer in Dallas, Texas and the Executive Director of Americans for a Free Republic. His articles have appeared in such publications as The Dallas Morning News, the San Antonio Express-News, The American Conservative, Insight, The Freeman, and Liberty, as well as numerous Internet sites. He is the author of Why We Must Abolish The Income Tax And The IRS (1997) and has just written a new book titled, The Conservative Revolution: Why We Must Form a Third Political Party to Win It. In addition, he has a major work on political philosophy, The Golden Mean: The Case for Libertarian Politics and Conservative Values, that is to be released in this coming year.
A brief synopsis:
Daily Bell: There's a lot we want to discuss, so thanks for another interview. Your insights are always welcome. We spoke about an Anglo-America power elite last time. What's your sense of how this elite is positioned in the early 21st century? Are they disturbed by the amount of analysis and attention their activities are receiving?
Nelson Hultberg: I think they are very disturbed by the amount of attention their activities are getting from the freedom movement. But it is a disturbance spawned by scorn for those they conceive to be conservative rubes woefully ignorant of the "great beneficence" that they the elites wish to impose upon us.
They should be having recurring nightmares over the potential cataclysm that is descending upon the world because of their criminal policies. But they're not because, as incredible as it sounds, they don't really grasp the full implications of what they and their predecessors have wrought. Powerful and intellectual humans are quite capable of blinding themselves to the big truths of existence. In fact, I would say that such blinding is the norm throughout history, rather than the exception. This is why man's history is such a tumultuous travesty of tyranny and evil, with but interludes of sanity and freedom.
The Greek and Roman republics, the flowering of the late Middle Ages, the Elizabethan Age, Jefferson's Republic of States were but brief interludes. Tyrannical collectivism has dominated the societies of the world throughout history via the Pharaohs, the Caesars, the Byzantine Empire, the Inquisition, Rousseau and the Jacobins of the Enlightenment, Comte and Marx of the 19th century, the communists and fascists of the 20th century, up to the velvet glove totalitarians of the Nanny State today working so relentlessly to spread coercive egalitarianism to all mankind.