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George Ford Smith



Articles by George Ford Smith

Public Schools and the State’s Omnipotent Bayonet

20 days ago

From everything I read you would think we were incapable of solving social problems.In truth, we find matters only getting worse because the proposed solutions almost always involve the culprit—the state—taking more control over our lives.The state is a box we desperately need to think outside of if we’re ever going to establish civil relations among people. We would do well to remember that the state is absolutely not in the business of making our lives better. It is an institution appended to the rest of society through force for the purpose of enriching the lives of its members.Modern welfare states might make this difficult to understand, but it’s no less true. The state is not in the business of producing wealth and then distributing it to the neediest or

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Woods Exposes the Federal Reserve System

29 days ago

The first thing to know about Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr.’s’ book Our Enemy, the Fed is he’s giving it away. Click the link, get your copy and read the whole book. Clearly, such intellectual charity is not only rare but in the educational spirit of Mises.org. The subject matter is light-heavy but Woods, author of the bestseller Meltdown (reviewed here), navigates it with the smooth skill of a master, making the reader experience satisfying from beginning to end.

The title reflects another insight, paralleling as it does Albert Jay Nock’s Our Enemy, the State. Most of us were raised to believe government and its agencies serve our best interests. As libertarian scholarship has shown the truth is the exact opposite, particularly with government’s sleazy relationship

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Savor the Taste of Independence, Grow Your Own!

April 12, 2024

Growing your own tomatoes can be rewarding far beyond the sweet taste of your crop.The traditional extra benefits keep bringing many of us back season after season. If you’re a gardener, you know the great feeling of acting directly on nature to produce the food you eat. Raising tomatoes gets you outside and sweating, and usually provides a sense of accomplishment. It encourages discipline and planning and demands a bit of knowledge and a ton of patience.And when you finally harvest those juicy edibles and carry them into your home—without once leaving your property—you can almost hear the fife and drums. You’re gripped by a feeling virtually unknown in today’s world: independence. This is what our ancestors fought for!Any extras you have you can give away with

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Who Really Works Against the Public?

April 9, 2024

“The public be damned” is a statement by railroad magnate William Henry Vanderbilt that has been twisted out of context. While the American ruling classes insist that private enterprise is the enemy of the people, it really is our government that bears that distinction.

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Who Really Works Against the Public?

March 26, 2024

In the early evening of October 8, 1882, one of the richest men in the world was about to eat his supper in his private dining car. The train to which he was attached had just arrived in Chicago from Michigan City, Indiana, but before he could pick up his fork, a brash young reporter, freelancer Clarence Dresser, burst into his car asking for an interview. He wanted to know the railroad’s guidelines for establishing freight rates.“I’ll talk to you after supper,” William Henry Vanderbilt told him.“But I have a deadline to meet,” Dresser persisted, “and the public has a right to know.”“The public be damned! Get out!”In this one unfortunate outburst Dresser already had more than he could ever have dreamed of getting.Dresser tried to sell the encounter to the Chicago

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Who Hijacked Our Free Will?

March 8, 2024

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

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The Awesome Verbal Punching Power of Thomas Paine

March 3, 2024

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

Website powered by Mises Institute donors

Mises Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent the law allows. Tax ID# 52-1263436

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Who Hijacked Our Free Will?

February 26, 2024

Imagine someone giving a State of the World address that begins with a reminder that people possess free will and ought to be doing a better job of exercising it. This could possibly raise doubts about the speaker’s mental stability—at least until the talk went into the dark details of civilization’s condition.
If the state of the world reflects the choices people make, and if those choices are autonomous, originating from within the minds of individuals, then the speaker is making a solid point. But if we’re at the mercy of forces we regard as beyond our control, then the world couldn’t be other than it is.
So, which is it?
If we consult the philosophers who have discussed free will we will get a wide range of views, including the denial that it exists (as one

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After Trump, Then What?

February 26, 2024

There will be life after Trump one way or another, but in the long run, it seems as though the ruling party always wins.
Original Article: After Trump, Then What?

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The Awesome Verbal Punching Power of Thomas Paine

February 20, 2024

Most public-school graduates have heard that Thomas Paine wrote something that convinced the colonies to declare their independence—though if they’re older than twenty-one their memory probably needs jogging. A few can even name what he wrote: Common Sense. And some can even incorrectly attribute a famous line to that pamphlet: “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
With rare exceptions, most people don’t give a whit about Paine or what he wrote. But then, most people don’t care much for American history. What they don’t care about they don’t know about, as Mark Dice has ably demonstrated. Only if something is posted on social media does it count, and probably not for long. Whatever causal effects the days of 1776 might have had, they’re long buried in the

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Climate Deniers Deny Socialism. That’s Why the Regime Hates Them.

February 14, 2024

So-called climate change is really an excuse for government to do what it does worst: intervene in our economic affairs. While government efforts will not cool the planet, they will make life more difficult for the planet’s inhabitants.
Original Article: Climate Deniers Deny Socialism. That’s Why the Regime Hates Them.

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Are You an Enemy of the State? Most likely

January 13, 2024

Donald Trump, Julian Assange, Alex Jones, and Rudy Giuliani are in deep trouble with the US state. How about you?
Most likely you feel safe because your voice hasn’t attracted a large following. What would the state’s enforcers gain by attacking a little guy? They’re big-game hunters. Pull the plug on the big guys and their everyday followers float away like bathtub water down a drain.
Possibly you believe you aren’t really attacking the state with your social media posts, just the corrupt regime currently in power. As long as your words don’t go too far off the rails you think trouble will leave you alone.
That’s the theory, at least.
Most libertarians are not Rothbardians. They think the state is necessary but needs to be slashed, not done away with—much like

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Can Government Regulate Artificial Super Intelligence?

November 23, 2023

The role of the infinitely small is infinitely large.”
― Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. —GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, “MAXIMS FOR REVOLUTIONISTS”
― Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
Government as we know it likely won’t be around when artificial super intelligence (ASI) arrives. As I’ve argued elsewhere, states are fading fast from war, fiat money and debt, and I believe people will develop non-coercive solutions to social life when states finally collapse. Our “government” of the future will of necessity be a laissez-faire

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Liberty: Stifled by the Stockholm Syndrome

November 22, 2023

Governments regularly suppress freedom—yet few complain. One wonders if Stockholm syndrome is at work.
Original Article: Liberty: Stifled by the Stockholm Syndrome

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From the Invisible Hand to the Invisible Sleight-of-Hand

November 13, 2023

​Why are we using state money instead of market money? Put another way, why can’t we select the money we want to use? Cryptocurrencies are a market alternative, but they haven’t put state money out of business yet. If they ever threaten to do so, the state can prohibit them.
Market money is sound because of two essential features. First, it represents the market’s choice of a universally accepted medium of exchange, and second, it shackles government to a great extent, liberating the people. A state that prowls foreign lands in the name of freedom and democracy and keeps its domestic population in line with free stuff and threats has no interest in a currency it can’t will into existence. For this reason, governments hate sound money.
Even worse, people hate sound

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If the Fed Goes, The State Will Soon Follow

November 9, 2023

The leviathan US state would not be possible without the Fed underwriting its growth. But the Fed is not all-powerful, nor can it continue to exist by only creating chaos.
Original Article: If the Fed Goes, The State Will Soon Follow

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Liberty: Stifled by the Stockholm Syndrome

November 3, 2023

“Whenever and however [government] is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights in order to vest it with requisite powers.” (emphasis added)
—John Jay, “Federalist No. 2”
“Like breathing, [government] is not permitted to depend on our volition. Necessity will force it on all communities in some one form or another.”
—John C. Calhoun, A Disquisition on Government
“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain—that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”
—Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority
Across the globe governments without exception are territorial rulers holding a supremacy of

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How the Fed Undermines Prosperity

October 28, 2023

The boom-and-bust cycles are not natural to a market economy, contra Keynes. Instead, government through monetary manipulation creates them—and then politicians blame markets themselves.
Original Article: How the Fed Undermines Prosperity

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How the Fed Undermines Prosperity

October 12, 2023

The term “roundabout” is not normally associated with efficiency, unless you’re an economist. Yet roundabout methods—when applied to production—are the key to prosperity.
Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, the great Austrian economist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, provided examples illustrating how this idea works. Consider a farmer whose source of drinking water is some distance from his house. Whenever he gets thirsty, he can go to the spring and drink from his cupped hands—a nice, direct satisfaction of his needs. If “efficient” means to act directly to produce an effect, then it might appear the farmer has behaved most efficiently. However, he’ll need to slake his thirst several times a day, plus he has other uses for the water.
How efficient is

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States Are Dying from Corruption and the Exponential

October 1, 2023

The state is held together by violence and nothing else. There is no such thing as "the social contract." But even violence cannot make a state last past its time, as we saw with the USSR.

Original Article: States Are Dying from Corruption and the Exponential

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The Partnership from Hell

September 29, 2023

But once a commodity is established as a money on the market, no more money at all is needed.
—Murray Rothbard, Taking Money Back
The Fed’s distinguishing characteristic is its grant of privilege to buy assets with money it doesn’t have. No other person or institution can legally do this; those that tried would be indicted for counterfeiting.
At the very least you might think this would raise eyebrows, but it doesn’t except in fringe quarters. It is simply part of modern monetary gospel, never to be examined too closely.
Another part of the gospel is fractional reserve banking, wherein commercial banks create multiple claims to the same dollar through their lending activities. (See Alan Greenspan’s implicit endorsement of fractional reserve banking in his famous

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States Are Dying from Corruption and the Exponential

September 5, 2023

Technology is the main reason why so many of us are still alive to complain about technology.
—Garry Kasparov
If I take 30 steps linearly, I get to 30. If I take 30 steps exponentially, I get to a billion.
—Ray Kurzweil
While world leaders try to decide whether their interests are best served by World War III or some other imposed atrocity, various forces have states targeted for extinction. Chief among these forces is the exponential nature of evolution and technology, working together to advance human life. The other threat to the state’s existence is untreated self-inflicted wounds, which I’ll discuss later.
Let’s start with evolution. Shortly after the big bang, atoms started forming, then later, atoms combined into molecules. Carbon in particular gave rise to

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A Great Man Cannot Salvage a Bad Idea

June 8, 2023

When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.
—1970s TV commercial
Imagine if your surname was synonymous with genius. And not just genius, but creative genius. Is there anything you could write or say that could be seriously challenged? Among your colleagues, certainly. Science is never closed, always debated, always contingent on certain postulates. But the lay public is apt to regard you as infallible.
Such has been the fate of Albert Einstein who today is best known for his theory of relativity and especially his equation E = mc2: the energy (E) of a body at rest is its mass (m) times the square of the speed of light (c). As astrophysicist Ethan Siegel explains it, “For every 1 kilogram of mass you turn into energy, you get 9 × 1016 joules of energy out, which is the

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Rothbard’s Button Doesn’t Exist, but It Needs to Be Invented

May 26, 2023

In 1948, Ludwig Erhardt rescued a German economy that was in shambles simply by invoking free markets and currency reform. Our economy needs its Rothbard moment.

Original Article: "Rothbard’s Button Doesn’t Exist, but It Needs to Be Invented"

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Neither Red nor Blue, but Free

May 13, 2023

The real issue we face is not whether we should be in the red tribe or the blue tribe, but rather what will be the constituency for freedom.

Original Article: "Neither Red nor Blue, but Free"

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Rothbard’s Button Doesn’t Exist, but It Needs to Be Invented

May 10, 2023

With totalitarianism accelerating on a global scale and having kicked off in earnest with government attacks on their own populations during the still-running ruse of the covid vaccine, the state as a necessary feature of civilization stands before us shamelessly as a blood-dripping monster.
And acting as tyranny’s bulldog is the state’s handmaiden and echo chamber, the legacy media.
Are future generations destined to live in an Orwellian nightmare?
Relying on the constitution and electing “good people” into office will not remove the source of our problems, which is: the government we inherited, the only organization that claims the legal right to fund itself coercively through taxes and bank counterfeiting. We’re attempting to live by a double standard—what’s

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Neither Red nor Blue, but Free

April 28, 2023

The human tendency to kill what one fears asserted itself on April 4, 2023, as a Manhattan district attorney called Donald Trump into his office to issue a vague threat.
What crime Trump was being charged with is known only to Alvin Bragg, but the rest of the world is left playing a guessing game.
Trump supporters are rallying everyone with a heartbeat to support their candidate. It’s survival time. Even a few Trump haters are finding a way to support Trump. Not that they want him back in the White House, perish the thought, but the Bragg travesty is more than even they can stand.
If Trump doesn’t win in 2024, the crumbling edifice that was once this country will come to rival the sack of Rome. Policies will amount to anything and everything that will wipe out the

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Facing the World at 18

April 13, 2023

My grandson will graduate from a public school in May, and my daughter, his mom, asked me to write a senior letter for him. He’s been part of my life since he was born, and we’re all very proud of him. But what do I tell him about the world he’s about to enter?
Right off he already knows his life itself has a claim on it by the State. If he fails to register for the draft, he could be sent to prison and fined $250,000. With enlistments falling off and the regime’s insatiable appetite for war, it’s possible his future would be cut short as a conscript fighting impoverished foreigners thousands of miles away, “defending our freedom” while sustaining the revenue flow of the Congressional/Military/Industrial/God-knows-what-else racket.
My grandson is too young to

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Can Civilization Survive without Sound Money?

April 1, 2023

As long as states are around, money will never be sound. But first, some clarity.
Sound money, per Ludwig von Mises, has two aspects: It serves as a commonly accepted medium of exchange, while also making it difficult for governments to meddle with it. We can see immediately that sound money is nowhere to be found in today’s world. All the current rhetoric about banks and their systemic risks are about money that’s subject to political expediency, the kind that brings civilization to its knees.
There is at least one group, however, putting up a good fight. In the US the Sound Money Defense League is working at a state level to bring gold and silver coin back as legal tender. According to their website:
. . . sound money activists are launching exciting initiatives

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The Last Lie Government Will Ever Tell

March 30, 2023

Western governments seem to relish a clash with Russia, despite the specter of nuclear war. If so, it will be a conflict built on government lies.

Original Article: "The Last Lie Government Will Ever Tell"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. 

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