Wanjiru Njoya



Articles by Wanjiru Njoya

The Limitations of Economic Laws

A quotation from Die Transvaler in 1958, cited by Walter E. Williams in his book “South Africa’s War Against Capitalism,” illustrates a widespread misunderstanding about the nature and purpose of the laws of economics. The political choice to be made by Afrikaner nationalists during the apartheid years was whether to pay a price in terms of economic progress by rejecting free markets, freedom of association and contractual freedom as a trade-off necessary to safeguard white civilization as they saw it: “It is fortunate that under a Nationalist government these worshippers of economic laws have never had their way but that a higher and nobler goal has been strived after — the maintenance of white civilization.”This reference to “worshippers of economic laws” misunderstands the nature and

Read More »

The Reality of Human Action

The concept of reality is questioned by the notion, as László Krasznahorkai expressed it, that there are “many realities, or none at all.” By contrast, in Human Action, Ludwig von Mises offers a clear concept of reality, which he describes as “the whole complex of all causal relations between events, which wishful thinking cannot alter.” Building on this idea, Murray Rothbard argues that the entire science of human action can be deduced from a few basic axioms that are true about the real world. Real in this context means, as Mises says, “in the eyes of man, all that he cannot alter and to whose existence he must adjust his action if he wants to attain his ends.”Rothbard’s argument is that in the real world, some inescapable basic truths are self-evident, and from these basic axioms, we

Read More »

Harry Frankfurt, Humbug, and the Battle against Wokery

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

Phony Civil Rights

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

Varying Interpretations of Truth, or Truth as a Social Construct

In this age of relativism, where one often hears reference to “your truth” and “my truth,” there are so many varying interpretations of truth that the concept of truth itself seems devoid of meaning. It is fashionable to see the concept of truth as indistinguishable from opinions or preferences. For example, Mari Fitzduff writes thatfor many of us, far from our beliefs being “true,” they are actually born out of a particular social context, allied to physiological needs such as a differing neural sensitivity to threats and the greater certainty that a group can provide. Thus, beliefs are often what is termed “groupish” rather than necessarily true.The task of deciding which group has the “true” version of facts is then left to expert fact-checkers who will pronounce on what is true or

Read More »

Reality Is NOT a Social Construct

Human behavior is, to a large extent, socially constructed. People often act based on social norms, expectations, or habits rather than by attempting to ascertain the nature of reality itself. In that context, it is true to say that people’s perceptions of reality are socially constructed, as explained by the Thomas theorem:Another way of looking at this concept is through W.I. Thomas’s notable Thomas theorem which states, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences” (Thomas and Thomas 1928). That is, people’s behavior can be determined by their subjective construction of reality rather than by objective reality.In “Praxeology: The Methodology of Austrian Economics,” Murray Rothbard defines praxeology as “the logical implications of the universal formal fact that

Read More »

Resisting the Brave New Culture

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

Decolonizers’ Assault on Science

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

Phony Civil Rights

Natural-rights libertarians reject egalitarianism, regarding it as a revolt against nature. On that premise, the only valid rights are those that give effect to self-ownership and private property. All rights created to give effect to egalitarian values are phony rights, and as Lew Rockwell has explained, “phony civil rights put your life in danger.”Murray Rothbard was against all phony rights, “all ‘rights’ for special groups,” with no exceptions. He explains:Government has been used to create a phony set of “rights” for every designated victim group under the sun, to be used to dominate and exploit the rest of us for the special gain of these cosseted groups. . . . The malignant New Class grant themselves and accredited victim groups ever increasing power to exploit, dominate, and loot

Read More »

Harry Frankfurt, Humbug, and the Battle against Wokery

Although Harry Frankfurt was not a libertarian, his critique of egalitarianism reflects the principles of liberty. Frankfurt argued that “economic equality is not, as such, of particular moral importance” and that “if everyone had enough, it would be of no moral consequence whether some had more than others.” This has been described by David Gordon asan argument that most people who read Mises Institute articles will know already. In brief, the argument is that what matters to someone is how well he himself is doing. So long as a person has enough to lead a satisfying life, why should it matter whether there are other people who have more?Another of Frankfurt’s essays—his critique of sophistry, deceit, lies, and other forms of humbug—is also helpful in understanding why the

Read More »

The Socialist Road to Destruction amid So-Called Good Intentions

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

Civilization Depends upon Economic Freedom

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

Resisting the Brave New Culture

The culture wars are often depicted in the press as attacks launched by conservatives who are resistant to cultural change. The Guardian, for example, depicts culture wars as “wedge issues” that are “conjured up” by conservatives in a futile attempt to dictate opinions to voters but which only end up “turning young voters to the left in western countries.” In 2004, an interdisciplinary conference in Virginia gathered to discuss the theme “Countering Kulturkampf Politics Through Critique and Justice Pedagogy,” a theme that reflects the idea that people who oppose progressive politics are simply trying to turn everything into a culture war for some inexplicable reason.Liberals often say that they have no idea why conservatives want to fight culture wars. They claim to be bewildered. A

Read More »

Decolonizers’ Assault on Science

Those who have (wisely) not been following the “decolonization” debate may be surprised to learn that decolonizers characterize reason and rationality as cultural constructs that ought to be rejected, as these are said to be “based upon epistemological assumptions deeply rooted in the Western philosophical tradition” and therefore “perpetuate hegemonic thinking.” The decolonizers argue that reason and rationality ought to yield to “other ways of knowing” that are said to be derived from non-Western cultures.Bringing down the West is seen as an essential step in promoting “multiculturalism” and ultimately “social justice.” One of the most surprising features of this movement is that it attacks not only the humanities and social sciences, which might have been relatively unremarkable, but

Read More »

The Socialist Road to Destruction amid So-Called Good Intentions

When socialist schemes fail, as they inevitably do, our attention is immediately drawn away from the destruction they cause to the “good intentions” behind the schemes. They meant well. Their good intentions override their disastrous results. One reason why good intentions are important to both sides of the political divide is that good intentions play well to voters. A good example of this is the national debt crisis in the United States. The economist Samuel Gregg points out that while both parties pledge to resolve the growing national debt, both parties regard the measures necessary to resolve the situation as electoral suicide: “America’s National Debt challenge constitutes a political iron cage for Democrat and Republican legislators alike. While they can talk a big game about

Read More »

Socialism’s Very Quiet Revolution

In his 1949 book The Road Ahead: America’s Creeping Revolution, John T. Flynn warns about the “great tides of thought and appetite that run unseen deeply below the surface of society.” These unseen tides are political waves that shape the law and institutional policy, but because they are unseen, there is no widespread awareness of the danger they pose.

Read More »

Understanding Reason Is Paramount to Understanding Liberty

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

The Intellectual Poverty of Racial Polylogism

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

Civilization Depends upon Economic Freedom

The BBC recently slapped a “trigger warning” on its popular 1969 series Civilisation, warning that viewers may deem the series objectionable as it presents Eurocentric perspectives. The series is now deemed to be “problematic” because it tells a “European story,” focusing on the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. This is criticized by academics—for example, the classicist Mary Beard—for excluding other cultures and also for excluding women while showcasing the achievements of men in Greece, Rome, France, Italy, Germany, and Britain.This rejection of Eurocentricity by modern academics pervades the “decolonize” movement that has swept through all scholarly disciplines across the humanities and natural sciences. The science of economics has not been spared. Economic theories that have long

Read More »

Understanding Reason Is Paramount to Understanding Liberty

Some philosophers, drawing upon Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, have questioned the nature and limits of reason. By contrast, human reason plays a central role in libertarian thought. In the ordinary dictionary sense, human reason means simply “the ability of a healthy mind to think and make judgments, especially based on practical facts.”In Human Action, Ludwig von Mises depicts reason as a universal quality common to all human beings, emphasizing that reason is “the mark that distinguishes man from animals and has brought about everything that is specifically human.” As all humans have the ability to reason, human logic can only proceed by reference to reason. Reason is the only basis on which we can conduct inquiry and endeavor to expand the frontiers of knowledge. As Mises

Read More »

The Intellectual Poverty of Racial Polylogism

In this age of the “decolonized curriculum,” universities have set out to decolonize the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. By “decolonize,” they simply mean that all fields of knowledge should reflect all cultures and not just what they see as “Western” science. Epistemology, too, has been decolonized.In a field known as the “philosophy of race and racism,” it is argued that philosophy itself—how human beings reason and understand the world—is determined by race. For example, Charles W. Mills writes that philosophy as a discipline is “white,” arguing that “philosophy aspires to the universal, whereas race is necessarily local, so that the unraced (whites) become the norm.” Mills’s argument suggests that the essential idea of an objective search for truth is “white.” If

Read More »

Economics as a Universal Science

It is often argued in “decolonization” debates that each culture must find its own path to economic progress. In this context, the idea of inclusive economics is that building a diverse society requires economics to take account of “power relations, oppression, qualitative changes in social relations and . . . most importantly, the role of colonialism and the slave trade.” It is claimed that unless those factors are considered, economics will remain mired in a “thoroughly Eurocentric understanding of economic laws [seen to] operate in a universal manner across the world.”This should be understood in the broader context of multiculturalism and the idea that all cultures are equal: “The central premise of the multiculturalist credo, after all, is that all cultures are created equal. To judge

Read More »

State Intervention and Anarchy

In Against the State, Lew Rockwell emphasizes that the assault on our liberties from the state is not merely “the product of temporary malfunctions. To the contrary, the state is by nature evil.” Rockwell shows that the state is founded on coercion and maintains its power by use of force.In recent years, following the rise of environmentalism, public health “safetyism,” and the war against “hate,” state interventions have encroached even further into private and family life. Against the State shows that these interventions are not only coercive but also antihuman in prioritizing their goals above human life. A striking example of this was the lockdown policy of closing schools and playgrounds, on the basis that children are resilient and so there is no reason why the state should not keep

Read More »

State Coercion and the Injustice of Apartheid

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

An Optimistic Strategy for Liberty

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

Property Rights and the Will to Own

Jeremy Bentham famously regarded natural rights as “nonsense on stilts” and taught that property rights are created by law and enforced by courts. Bentham’s view was that “before the laws, there was no property: take away the laws, all property ceases.” Lawyers in the Benthamite tradition accordingly set out to define the state-created nature of property rights and the boundaries of these rights as defined by the courts.The elusive nature of property has long confounded common lawyers who conceptualize ownership not as dominium in the Roman law sense but instead as a bundle of property rights created by the state. For example, Kevin Gray observes in the Cambridge Law Journal that “property is not a ‘thing’ . . . it is the ‘bundle of rights’ that comprises the ‘property.’” He proceeds to

Read More »

State Coercion and the Injustice of Apartheid

Many libertarians hold the view that state coercion is wrong, regardless of the ends to which that coercion is deployed. It is wrong for the state to force people apart in an apartheid system, and it is also wrong for the state to force people to engage in “inclusivity” under systems of equity and diversity which force people into contractual relations against their will for example in the context of employment or housing. This is what Lew Rockwell meant when he referred to civil rights laws as “involuntary servitude”:Like the right to housing or medical care, civil rights must trample on the freedoms of association, contract, and even speech. As Michael Oakeshott has pointed out, these are what distinguish the free man from the slave. Civil rights laws even enshrine involuntary servitude,

Read More »

Wokism, Marxism and the Failures of Academic “Liberalism”

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Read More »

Defending Individual Liberty

The ideal of individual liberty is perennially under attack not only from socialists, as one might logically expect, but also from conservatives who regard individualism as a form of selfishness. The ordinary meaning of selfishness is “caring only about what you want or need without any thought for the needs or wishes of other people,” and many conservatives see this as a major contributing factor in social decline. The conservative British journalist Nick Timothy attributes many social ills to selfishness, arguing that “our society has become more about ‘me’ than ‘we’,” leading to higher rates of crime, antisocial behavior, and a ballooning welfare state as selfish people try to take as much as possible from the public purse while contributing little or nothing to it.This school of

Read More »

Freedom of Contract and Property Rights

The classical liberal defense of contractual freedom is derived from the principle of individual autonomy. Freedom of contract entails the right to enter into or exit from contracts at will. As Richard Epstein argues in his defense of the contract at will:The first way to argue for the contract at will is to insist upon the importance of freedom of contract as an end in itself. Freedom of contract is an aspect of individual liberty, every bit as much as freedom of speech, or freedom in the selection of marriage partners or in the adoption of religious beliefs or affiliations (p. 953).Utilitarian classical liberals, like Epstein himself, who agree with him on the value of individual liberty therefore defend the widest possible scope for contractual freedom. They would only accept limits on

Read More »

Wokism, Marxism and the Failures of Academic “Liberalism”

Ludwig von Mises’s 1927 book Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition is increasingly important in a time when so many conflicting ideologies march under the banner of liberalism. For example, according to the New York Times, “liberal values” include “racial equality, women’s rights, human rights and democracy.” The New York Times sees “classical liberal” as simply a label used by centrist conservatives to distinguish themselves from right-wing conservatives: “Never Trump conservatives tout their bona fides as liberals in the classical, 19th century sense of the word, in part to distinguish themselves from hard-right Trumpists.” This is the dominant understanding of liberalism among academics who describe themselves as liberal and who view “classical liberal” as synonymous with

Read More »

Is Private Property Simply a Racial or Social Construct?

In a 1964 article in the Yale Law Journal titled The New Property Charles Reich argued that “government largesse” is an increasingly important source of wealth and should thus be understood and regulated as a new form of property. Reich argued that “Property is a legal institution, the essence of which is the creation and protection of certain private rights in wealth of any kind” and that “Property is not a natural right but a deliberate construction by society.”Critical race theories build on this premise of property as a social construct, by asserting that racial identity is essential to the definition and regulation of property rights. They assert that any defense of property rights that does not explicitly mention race is unjust or at any rate incomplete. Thus they argue, for example,

Read More »

The Hazards of “Colorblind Equality”

The words of Lewis Carroll are often cited in reference to the culture wars and the redefinition of words whose meaning used to be regarded as plain.“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”This is the fate that befell the phrase “equal opportunities,” which has been used to justify all manner of “diversity, equity and inclusivity” (DEI) schemes. It will also be so with “colorblind equality,” a phrase now being championed by egalitarians as a counterpoint to DEI. Egalitarians are committed to promoting equality in one form or another and are

Read More »

The Siren Song of Equality

The “racial equality” debates are characterized by evolving concepts and terminology in a constant search for better ways to express the ideals and values of the protagonists. The mantras of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) are now under increasing attack as several states move to ban DEI programs. In search of an alternative conceptual foundation for their equality schemes, many liberals (both progressive and conservative) who wish to promote equality have proposed that a better alternative would be to unite around a concept of “colorblind equality,” which would reflect Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.Does this pursuit of racial equality pass muster from a natural-rights libertarian perspective? To answer that question, this article draws upon lessons from Murray Rothbard’s

Read More »

An Optimistic Strategy for Liberty

A strategy for liberty must be both optimistic and realistic.Perennial optimists are sometimes tempted to ignore or minimize hazards, their answer to every challenge being somewhat lackadaisical: “Don’t worry, it will be fine.” They make the mistake of supposing all that is needed to surmount any challenge is a good bout of optimism. They can be heard, for example, assuring us that simply pronouncing the slogan “go woke, go broke” will scatter the enemies of liberty. They believe the Civil Rights Act would work very well if we would only clarify the difference between “equal opportunities” and “equal outcomes.” As Lew Rockwell has observed:It’s conservatives, not liberals, who are naive about the real meaning of anti-discrimination law. They say they love the Civil Rights Act, “Dr.” King,

Read More »

The False Consensus on Egalitarianism

The boundaries of contemporary public debate are artificially constrained by egalitarian values. Both progressive liberals and classical liberals are opposed to the more-outlandish versions of wokery, but many consider egalitarianism to be a good idea in principle as long as it is not taken “too far” by communist ideologues. The ongoing purge of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) schemes at universities in Republican states has closed offices and fired staff to wide acclaim, but it has at the same time retained a commitment to promoting some form of equality that they generally describe as “colorblind equality.”For example, in Florida, “Three senior UF [University of Florida] officials said in the memo that despite the elimination of the diversity, equity and inclusion or DEI program,

Read More »

Foreign Aid and the Politicization of Economic Life

The conservative government in the United Kingdom champions the view that giving more foreign aid to developing countries will fuel economic growth that, as a bonus, will help to resolve the ongoing migration crisis. The international development minister has explained the government’s reasoning, namely that “giving development aid to countries was morally ‘the right to do,’ but a core argument should also be that it prevented refugees and migrants heading to Britain.”The government’s hope is that sending foreign aid to the Third World will discourage economic migration to the West. Under pressure to stem the flow of refugees and asylum seekers attracted by the UK’s generous welfare state, the Home Secretary has duly come up with a plan to “stop the flight of capital and workers, by

Read More »

The Tyranny of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

New York City’s government has imposed draconian rent controls. The natural outcome, as economists note, has been massive shortages, as apartment owners no longer have an incentive to rent empty apartments.Original Article: The Tyranny of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Read More »

Self-Ownership and the Right to Self-Defense

Self-defense is an ancient common law right under which necessary and reasonable force may be used to defend one’s person or property. As Sir Edward Coke expressed it in 1604: “The house of every one is to him as his Castle and Fortress as well for defence against injury and violence . . . if thieves come to a man’s house to rob him, or murder, and the owner or his servants kill any of the thieves in defense of himself and his house, it is no felony, and he shall lose nothing.”The meaning of reasonable force has always been heavily context dependent, considering the facts of the case including the intentions of the parties. If a trial were to become necessary in the scenario described by Coke, the court would have to establish that the intruders were indeed thieves intent on robbery or

Read More »

Free Markets and the Antidiscrimination Principle

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

Read More »

The Presumption of Innocence Is under Attack

One of the most pernicious aspects of civil rights law is that it has abolished the presumption of innocence. Motive and intention are irrelevant in establishing liability for discrimination.Under the concept of disparate impact established in the notorious case of Griggs v. Duke Power (1971), any employment policy or practice that operates to exclude black people “is prohibited, notwithstanding the employer’s lack of discriminatory intent.” As held in Griggs: “Congress directed the thrust of the Act to the consequences of employment practices, not simply the motivation. More than that, Congress has placed on the employer the burden of showing that any given requirement must have a manifest relationship to the employment in question.”Any practices having disparate impact, such as tests

Read More »

A Principled View of Nations and Nationalism

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

Read More »

Free Markets and the Antidiscrimination Principle

If we understand human rights as rights derived from the concept of self-ownership, it becomes clear that there is no such right as the right not to be discriminated against. I have a right to speak but no right to force others to listen to me or to “amplify” my voice. I am at liberty to go about my lawful business, but I have no right to force others to watch me or recognize me, much less to demand that anyone should take action to make me “feel seen.”

Read More »

A Principled View of Nations and Nationalism

In Nations by Consent Murray Rothbard draws an important distinction between the nation and the state. While he regards the state as predatory, exploitative, parasitic and criminal, he does not view nations formed by consent as coterminous with the state.

Read More »

The Tyranny of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

In Freedom and the Law, Bruno Leoni argues that the main threat to liberty comes not from overweening officials but from the law that empowers them. As Murray Rothbard puts it, “The real and underlying menace to individual freedom is not the administrator but the legislative statute that makes the administrative ruling possible.” In that light, we can see that woke tyranny does not come from the self-important diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) officers who claim to enforce “our shared values” but from the legislation that vests power in them. The real threat comes from the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Without the Civil Rights Act, DEI officers would have no cover for their preposterous schemes and polices. What right would they have to command people to kneel to showcase concern for

Read More »

The Tyranny of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

In Freedom and the Law, Bruno Leoni argues that the main threat to liberty comes not from overweening officials but from the law that empowers them. As Murray Rothbard puts it, “The real and underlying menace to individual freedom is not the administrator but the legislative statute that makes the administrative ruling possible.” In that light, we can see that woke tyranny does not come from the self-important diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) officers who claim to enforce “our shared values” but from the legislation that vests power in them. The real threat comes from the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Without the Civil Rights Act, DEI officers would have no cover for their preposterous schemes and polices. What right would they have to command people to kneel to showcase concern for

Read More »

Legacies of Injustice and Racial Inequality

Progressives argue that free markets stand in the way of economic and racial equality. In fact, free markets are the only vehicle that can help make people more equal.
Original Article: Legacies of Injustice and Racial Inequality

Read More »

Human Rights and the Public Good

Natural rights are often regarded with deep suspicion by lawyers and economists, who are wary of the wild and extravagant demands framed in the language of human rights. A good example is the United Nation’s list of fundamental human rights, which Antony Flew derides as absurd in “Could There Be Universal Natural Rights?”:
“A right to social security” (Article 22) . . . “the right to . . . periodic holidays with pay” (Article 24) . . . “the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family . . . and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control” (Article 25) . . . “the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the

Read More »

On Decolonizing Property Rights

One of the most destructive aspects of the “decolonize” movement is its insistence that scientific principles are as subjective as cultural beliefs. Decolonizers argue that the natural sciences—physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology, along with computer science—should be analyzed from different ethnic and racial perspectives.
For example, students in a field designated as “Afrochemistry” are taught to “implement African American sensibilities to analyze chemistry.” It is said that science must be decolonized because, “as well as colonising the world physically, Europeans have dominated the world by promoting the ‘European paradigm of rational knowledge.’”
Similarly, the principles of individual liberty and private property are said to be culturally determined and therefore simply a

Read More »

Legacies of Injustice and Racial Inequality

This article is a revised version of a talk given at the Oxford University Mises Society on January 16, 2024. The talk drew upon themes discussed in David Gordon and Wanjiru Njoya, Redressing Historical Injustice: Self-Ownership, Property Rights and Economic Equality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023).
Supporters of free market capitalism are often thought, wrongly, to be unconcerned about human well-being. On the contrary, it is precisely because we are concerned about human well-being that we promote free markets, productivity, and peaceful exchange—a point powerfully made by Ludwig von Mises in Liberalism: In The Classical Tradition:
That there is want and misery in the world is not, as the average newspaper reader, in his dullness, is only too prone to believe, an argument against liberalism.

Read More »