Scott Horton Interviews Anthony Gregory

Scott Horton, June 03, 2011

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Anthony Gregory, Editor in Chief of Campaign for Liberty, discusses Murray Rothbard’s book Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy (with an introduction by Anthony Gregory); banks and the war machine, closely collaborating since the 1800s; shattering the left-right paradigm and finding the intersection of corporate power and public corruption; why the US economic system is not now, and has never been, based on unfettered free market capitalism; and how the state apparatus attracts those seeking power and privilege, putting the lie to the Marxist theory of capturing government to “help the little guy.”

MP3 here. (19:40)

Anthony Gregory is a research analyst at the Independent Institute, Editor in Chief of Campaign for Liberty, moderator of the Beacon, policy adviser to the Future of Freedom Foundation and columnist for LewRockwell.com. He guest edits Strike the Root. His writing has appeared in such places as the Christian Science Monitor San Diego Union Tribune, Antiwar.com, the Journal of Libertarian Studies, Counterpunch, the American Conservative, Liberty Magazine, the Mises Institute blog, the Stress Blog, The Libertarian Enterprise and Liberty and Power, as well as in textbooks, journals and other outlets, and has been translated in several languages.

He wrote for Michael Badnarik’s 2004 campaign. He got his B.A. in history at UC Berkeley in 2003, where he wrote his thesis on the 1993 Waco disaster. He sings and plays in a rock band, the Melatones, and is an Eagle Scout. He gives talks frequently and is now writing an Independent Institute book on habeas corpus, detention policy and individual liberty.

15 Responses to “Anthony Gregory”

  1. Because "not having big government" == "Somalia" (which presumably, is a shithole)?

    Only hard-core lefties can think that.

    They bemoan Big Corporation or the Military/Security/Surveillance Complex (which exist only because of Big Governement, or is indistinguishable from Big Government in the first place), then, not unlike Hitler worshippers, turn around and crave for some "popular" and proletariat-upgrading Stalinism-Leninism. Which somehow is _not_ Big Government unless you are starving in one of the death camps after a neighbour fingered you for sabotaging productivity, I suppose.

    Seems like them lefties are just the usual jerks who just don't like it they are not on the inside but would very much like to be so as to tell other how to lead their lives, amirite?

    Somalia's problems are mainly absence of capital infrastructure and perpetual civil war with colonialist meddling. And even then, there is optimism:
    http://mises.org/daily/2066 — Stateless in Somalia, and Loving It

  2. http://www.fpif.org/blog/wikileaks_reveals_us_twi

  3. @eCAHNomics, ever read Kolko? http://www.amazon.com/Triumph-Conservatism-Gabrie

  4. "Only hard-core lefties can think that."

    I'd disagree. I saw literally the exact same strawman was used over and over during the Bush Jr era by the GOP to try and shut down Libertarian leaning members GOP. You could take a time machine back to 2003, copy-paste eCAHNomics' comment onto FreekRepublic, and end up with a 10 page thread where everyone agrees with him.

    Love of the state knows very few political bounds. The statist is no ally. Never has been and never will be.

  5. E- CON-job-omics: you must join Obama's military team to show your support for unfettered big government in action — financed by looting the domestic taxpayers — on an international stage. Join now, don't delay — loot your local treasury and you might even be able to kill a few actual terrorists along with the civilians.

  6. "why the US economic system is not now, and has never been, based on unfettered free market capitalism"

    that's easy – in a truly unregulated market, slaves are up for sale faster than you can blink – fettered people and free markets are two sides of the same coin.

  7. Fascinating. For a site that presumably is devoted to libertarian values, there is an awful lot of official dogma and outright dismissal of anyone who disagrees. If the only freedom of thought that libertarians allow is the freedom to believe exactly as they do, then I see very little difference in the end with any other authoritarian structure. I agree fully with the antiwar sentiment but there seems to be an underlying bitterness that comes through in several interviews, like this one, that gives me pause.

  8. Not that I'm naive enough to believe this will convince you, but I'll rebut your comment any way. A basic understanding of Somali history would tell you differently. Somalia isn't a basket case because it lacks a state (I can think of three different state/state-like entities operating at the moment within what is designated Somalia, and I'm sure there are more) it has been destroyed by the state, or more accurately, multiple states within and without the country. It's been in a perpetual state of war for at least my entire life, which has always involved competition for control of the central state. International state agreements on the "law" of the sea, allowed foreign companies with state connections to loot the fish-stock, destroying the main resource of the regions economy. (one of the major rationales for the pirates.) Somalia is not an argument for central power, but a demonstration of the evils of the state.
    I would also point out that some investigation would likely yield the knowledge that many Somalis outside of contested areas have seen marked improvements in their livelihoods since the Somali state and other factions has vacated those areas. Its still a horrible place to live, but you must compare like to like. You cannot compare a war torn region that had never seen much technological growth after generations of harsh rule, to a modernized western nation that has not felt the touch of war on its own soil in living memory. The analogy is a fallacious one.

  9. Libertarians believe in unlimited freedom of thought, but being free to believe something does not necessarily make that belief worthy of respect. For example, you're free to think that the moon is actually a giant ball of mozzarella cheese, but if you go around expressing that belief, it's unlikely that many rational people will take you seriously.

    Or, for a less hypothetical example, take the absurd comment about free markets allowing for slavery. Benjamin is certainly free to spout such drivel, but he really shouldn't expect anyone to take him seriously, or to even waste time rebutting such an obviously fallacious argument.

  10. "I'd disagree. I saw literally the exact same strawman was used over and over during the Bush Jr era by the GOP to try and shut down Libertarian leaning members GOP."

    Same here. These morons think throwing out the non-argument of Somalia ends the debate. They need to learn to actually start thinking. Yes, I know you statists have a serious problem with that but at least TRY thinking for yourselves for once and stop mouthing television and government school taught platitudes for once. Is it really that hard? Sheesh.

  11. Well as far as that goes pretty much every political group supports freedom of thought with only a few exceptions (curiously Jefferson wrote that sedition in thought alone should be a punishable offense). It is the freedom of expressing those thoughts that matters and then, yes, people can decide for themselves whether idea x is worth taking seriously or not. That, however, is not what quite I was referring to in my post.

    When one makes blanket judgments about "everyone on the left" or the "right" or any other large group of people, it is not because of a valid criticism it is about rejecting any outside view no matter how well founded or researched. It is about making a line between a mythical "us" and a mythical "them". I, for one, always fail loyalty tests.

    To reject all of Karl Marx's work, which took decades to compile with the single word "naive" does not require critical thinking, it does not do justice to the work and it does not promote thoughtful debate. Instead the purpose of such a dismissal is to inform all of the faithful what their official view ought to be on the subject, no need to read it yourself and if you disagree you clearly do not have a thought in your head. Such attitudes do not tend to encourage participation, but rather adulation or silence. Additionally such a dismissal smacks of hypocrisy when the main complaint libertarians appear to have is that they are not taken seriously – while they simultaneously dismiss all other world views. That is a road that goes in two directions.

    In the end, being a natural contrarian, I always bristle when someone tells me what to think. Present me with facts and I will make up my own mind on each issue I consider important, and I expect others to do the same. Tell me what my conclusion ought to be and what I hear is "You are too stupid to make up your own mind so let me do it for you".

  12. "Present me with facts."

    That would do little good. Believe me, I've debated enough morons to know.

  13. I like Anthony. It seems that you need a little more variety in people. here.

  14. I think you misunderstood what Anthony and Scott said about Marx. If you listen carefully, you'll notice that they did not dismiss "all" of his work. In fact, they gave him credit for correctly diagnosing the problem (i.e. understanding how it is only by using the power of the state that capitalists are able to exploit the working class). It was only Marx's proposed solution (to try to harness the power of the state and use it against the ruling class) that they criticized as "naive".

    Also, it's worth noting that it really doesn't matter how long it took Marx to develop his theories. They are either correct or incorrect, regardless of how much work he put into them. Similarly, it may have taken Hitler a long time to write "Mein Kampf", but that fact alone does not lend any credibility to the ideas expressed therein.

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