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Thomas J. DiLorenzo



Articles by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Grover Cleveland: The Last Good Democrat

March 9, 2024

After the War to Prevent Southern Independence and the assassination of Lincoln the federal government was said to possess a "treasury of virtue." The Republican Party, which was the federal government, with a decades-long monopoly of power rivaled only by the Bolsheviks in Russia, made sure that the government-run schools would preach this Virtuous State Philosophy to generations of school children.And what did the Party of Virtue do with its "treasure"? A first order of business was to commence a campaign of ethnic genocide against the Plains Indians. Initiated just three months after the end of the war, and with Generals Grant, Sherman and Sheridan in charge, all of the Plains Indians — women and children included — would be either murdered or imprisoned on

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Help Us Give Scholarships for AERC!

March 7, 2024

This month, we will host the Austrian Economics Research Conference (AERC), one of our most important programs. We’ll have thirty-one students attending, and nineteen students will deliver papers of their own. How encouraging!Dr. Joseph Salerno, our Academic Vice President, says: “The students who present papers at AERC are of the highest quality. They are attracted by a scholarly competition offering generous monetary awards in which paper submissions are subjected to a rigorous evaluation by a committee of senior Austrian scholars. A paper presentation at AERC to an audience of professional economists is an all-important first step for the student who aims to pursue an academic career.”We all know universities are full of leftists, but Dr.

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Help Us Celebrate Human Action’s 75th Anniversary!

March 5, 2024

Investor and author Doug Casey recently wrote that most economists “are political apologists masquerading as economists.” He says they are like witch doctors pretending to be neurosurgeons. They “prescribe the way they would like the world to work and tailor theories to help politicians demonstrate the virtue and necessity of their quest for more power.” The discipline of economics, says Casey, “has been turned into the handmaiden of government in order to give scientific justification for things the government wants to do.”“Intellectuals” have always been a key ingredient in the glue that holds government tyranny together, supplying endless rationales and excuses for less freedom and more government, Murray Rothbard wrote in Anatomy of the State. Among the most

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Who Benefits from Inflation?

February 19, 2024

Recorded in Tampa, Florida, on February 17, 2024.
Special thanks to Liberty Villages and the Shrader family for sponsoring this event.

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“Nonsense on Stilts”: The Rhetorical Cornerstone of the American Welfare/Warfare State

February 9, 2024

In a 1922 essay about Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in his book Prejudices: Third Series H.L. Mencken asked, “Am I the first American to note the fundamental nonsensicality of the Gettysburg Address”? One example of the nonsense of Lincoln’s rhetoric as explained by Mencken is as follows:
“Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination – that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their

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A Message from Tom DiLorenzo: Help Us in Our Fight to Save Freedom in America

December 29, 2023

Please help us in our fight to save freedom in America—and indeed the rest of the world—by making as generous a donation as you can.
I became a student of Austrian economics and libertarian philosophy by accident. In my first semester in college in 1972, I signed up for Principles of Microeconomics. In the classroom was a bookshelf that happened to have all the back issues of The Freeman published by the Foundation for Economic Education. I started reading some of the articles—by Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Henry Hazlitt, Gary North, Israel Kirzner, William Hutt, and other free-market writers—and I was hooked! I decided then that I wanted to be like these brave, highly educated, and articulate men who were so devoted to the cause of a free

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Help the Institute Fight Censorship and Expose Government Tyranny

November 24, 2023

Dear Friend,
In the chapter of The Road to Serfdom entitled “The End of Truth,” F.A. Hayek wrote that in a totalitarian society “truth” is not determined by scholarship, research, discussion, and debate but by pronouncements by the government “authorities.” Anthony Fauci’s notorious “I am science” declaration is a perfect example of such totalitarian thinking, as is Al Gore’s “settled science” declaration regarding global-warming research. Of course, no real scientist would say that scientific questions are ever “settled” forevermore. It was once “settled science” that Earth is flat, after all, and that government can make us all rich thanks to the “multiplier effect” of government spending.
But that’s just one arm of the totalitarian scissors. The other arm is

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False Virtue: The Life and Death of “American Exceptionalism”

November 9, 2023

The impending decline of the dollar is apparently imposing a real Halloween scare on the American foreign policy establishment. An August 22, 2023, article on the Council on Foreign Relations website entitled “The Future of Dollar Hegemony” explained that 
the dollar’s global hegemony gives the U.S. government power to impose crippling sanctions and wage other forms of financial welfare against adversaries. . . . In 2022, more than twelve thousand entities were under sanction by the Treasury Department, a more than twelve-fold increase since the turn of the century. U.S. sanctions . . . do ensure that targeted adversaries pay a significant price for continuing to engage in actions the United States opposes (emphasis added).
This reminds yours truly of a very

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Property Rights, Civilization, and Their Enemies

June 3, 2023

[This article is adapted from a lecture delivered at the Reno Mises Circle in Reno, Nevada. on May 20, 2023.]
It is not an exaggeration to say that property rights are a prerequisite for civilization. As Ludwig von Mises wrote in The Free and Prosperous Commonwealth:
Private property creates for the individual a sphere in which he is free of the state. It sets limits to the operation of the authoritarian will. It allows other forces to arise side by side with and in opposition to political power. It thus becomes the basis of all those activities that are free from violent interference on the part of the state. It is the soil in which the seeds of freedom are nurtured and in which the autonomy of the individual and ultimately all intellectual and material progress

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Property Rights, Civilization, and Their Enemies

May 23, 2023

Every day, more and more Americans are awakening to the reality that the institutions in control of this nation are failing them. From violence in the streets, inflation in our stores, increasing tyranny and censorship, and absolute buffoonery on public display in halls of political power. The ruling class is getting richer while most of us suffer, and new generations are becoming increasingly warped by the dangerous ideologies of the left.
Recorded at The Depot Craft Brewery & Distillery in Reno, Nevada on May 20th, 2023.

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Why Everyone Should Read These Two Essays by Ludwig von Mises

September 28, 2021

Like virtually all of the work of Ludwig von Mises, these two essays, his 1958 Liberty and Property and his 1950 Middle-of-the-Road Policy Leads to Socialism are timeless. They are as important now as they have ever been and will increase in relevance as the growth of government continues almost unabated.
The growth of government constitutes an assault on private property and individual freedom by politicians, bureaucrats, and interest groups who seek to keep for themselves more and more of the fruits of other peoples’ labor and to use the coercive powers of the state to tell others how to live their lives. The perpetual campaigns at all levels of government for more taxes and regulation threaten to rob us of our personal freedoms while exacerbating social and

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