16 Nov 2012

The Economics of the Great Depression Online Class

Economics, Shameless Self-Promotion 157 Comments

…starts today! Hurry up and join.

157 Responses to “The Economics of the Great Depression Online Class”

  1. Daniel Kuehn says:

    Oh for God’s sake Bob!

    These are the sorts of things that make me want to plaster things like “pacifists love it when terrorists kill people” just to get across how weak the logic is.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      OK! OK! Don’t kill me! I am just going to the class. I’m not being a traitorous secessionist.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I didn’t say you’d love murdering people Daniel, I just said you are willing to do it even if they do nothing immoral by your own admission. Do you want to retract that statement?

      • Major_Freedom says:

        MAYBE!….MAYBE NOT!

        MAYBE!….MAYBE NOT!

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        I’ve never said I was willing to murder people for doing nothing immoral. If you can quote me I’m happy to retract it, but I never said it.

        We did discuss killing people for doing nothing immoral. But that’s obviously different. If you were in dire pain with a terminal disease and asked a doctor to, I’d support that doctor killing you (given the right regulatory structure for that sort of thing).

        But I don’t know what this has to do with attending a class or murder.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          “I’ve never said I was willing to murder people for doing nothing immoral.”

          You admitted that secession is not immoral, just illegal, but still that you view it as acceptable for people to be killed for attempting to secede. I don’t know what else you call that.

          • Daniel Kuehn says:

            Ask yourself why Bob felt it was necessary to change what I actually said and then tell me that he did that because there’s no difference between the two claims.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              I ask myself why you think it makes a difference calling the same action murder or killing, and then believe you’re advocacy is any different.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                It’s not just the distinction between murder and killing (although that’s critical) – it’s that the original conversation was discussing very different issues and for some reason Bob felt he ought to leave that out.

                Presumably because misrepresentation of the conversation made his rhetorical task easier.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                The original conversation was never lost, DK. It’s been murder/killing secessionists the whole time.

  2. Ken B says:

    Unless you’re a girl in Afghanistan, where Bob wants to let the Taliban throw acid in your face for going to school!

    • Major_Freedom says:

      LOL, Bob “lets” that happen.

      “Thou hast been granted my permission to hereby throw acid on thy maiden’s faces. This permission can of course be rescinded at any time, and of course all you Taliban care what I think, and would cease and desist immediately if thouest not have receiveth my permission.”

      • Ken B says:

        Woosh.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Double *Woosh* again!

          You’re on a roll.

          • Daniel Kuehn says:

            Triple quadruple super-duper Woosh!

            [Isn't it funny that I have no idea what you guys are talking about and I can still manage to keep up with MF's thought processes?]

            • Major_Freedom says:

              You can’t triple woosh a double woosh Lloyd! You can’t triple woosh a double woosh Lloyd!

              PS If by keeping up you mean have no idea, then I agree.

  3. Major_Freedom says:

    UPDATED: Daniel in the comments points out he is not for murdering people against their will, he is merely for killing them against their will.

    Whew, for a minute there I thought he was insane.

  4. Ken B says:

    Actually he’s against tendentious simpletons. But you knew that already!

  5. Josh says:

    Thanks Bob, I just registered, it’s my first Mises course, can’t wait! Should we do the readings prior to each live session, or are they for after each session?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Great! Ideally you should read them before, but obviously that could be tough for the first week…

  6. Daniel Kuehn says:

    For fuck’s sake do you really think the context of the other discussion is irrelevant????? (Yes, five punctuation marks are called for Bob).

    I think Ken B has the right approach. I’m going to start bringing up in unrelated conversation that Bob does not feel that acid being thrown in a little girl’s face is something worth rectifying.

    People do read your blog, you know. For all the self-deprecation you have, you know it’s quite popular. Do you see nothing wrong in writing things like that?

    • Major_Freedom says:

      I’m going to start bringing up in unrelated conversation that Bob does not feel that acid being thrown in a little girl’s face is something worth rectifying.

      Don’t forget to include the eentsy weensty factoid that he probably doesn’t believe that your solution of bombing the very women who have had their faces scarred, is warranted.

    • Matt Tanous says:

      I love the moral equivalence between stopping someone from throwing acid in a girl’s face and people merely opting out of the coercive agency you support.

  7. Ken B says:

    Incidentally, I think you should add me to the update. I am all for killing people against their will — in some circumstances. I’d have happily shot Breivik when he was taking aim.

    I suggest this wording:

    “Daniel and Ken B in the comments each point out he is not for murdering people against their will, each is merely for killing them against their will. I on the other hand would have refused to shoot Breivik to stop him.”

    • Daniel Kuehn says:

      I would be fine if he just stuck with the last sentence.

      Or maybe if he just stuck with advertising his class.

      • Ken B says:

        I have rather flamboyantly accepted the logical consequences of my views. Will Bob do the same now for his?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I just took it all out Ken B. And yes I would’ve refused to shoot him.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        As usual with these things, it’s almost too bad I’m a pacifist, because then you (and Daniel and…) can pat yourselves on the back for sounding normal, when you guys are the ones saying you are OK with a war (Daniel’s term) for forcing a lot of people to stay part of a political organization that they want to leave. I really am stunned at how flippant you guys are being about that.

        • Ken B says:

          Flippant? Did I not just stand up and ask to be counted with DK in your scorn and derision? Is that FLIPPANT? No, I accept the consequences of my views, All I demand in return is that you do the same. If it your comment about murder is fair then so are mine about acid and Breivik. But notice who brought this stuff up first.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Secessionists, Ken B.

        • Daniel Kuehn says:

          First – I appreciate changing the post.

          Second – So the style is flippant because that’s how a Bob/Ken B/Daniel discussion rolls on any subject. But I think you’re making the claim out to be more haphazard than it really is. You act like it’s just people wanting to join a new club. That’s not really it. We’re talking about a painfully crafted, amended, and scrutinized institutional framework that has managed to keep three hundred million well armed apes relatively peaceful and prosperous. Not just that but it’s an institution that has pretty well (not perfectly – we all know the examples) kept the elected leaders of those apes from going on the sort of imperialist or genocidal rampages that other institutions have wrought.

          And it seems to be relatively self-reforming. This institution seems to fix its more egregious failures over time pretty well.

          Secessionists aren’t just joining a new club that didn’t exist before. They’re proposing disbanding this institution – one that they’re legally intertwined with in a lot of ways.

          You can understand – even if you don’t agree – why we think it’s a pretty grave issue, I hope. It’s not every day that an institution keeps 300 million well armed apes peaceful and prosperous for a couple centuries. That’s pretty special in the history of this planet.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Secessionists aren’t just joining a new club that didn’t exist before. They’re proposing disbanding this institution – one that they’re legally intertwined with in a lot of ways.

            In other words, they are not legally obligated to refrain from seceding.

            You can understand – even if you don’t agree – why we think it’s a pretty grave issue, I hope.

            Grave enough to be sloppy enough in one’s thinking that one literally called for the deaths of those who just want to exercise self-determination?

            I understand it is grave, but I didn’t advocate for killing people.

            It’s not every day that an institution keeps 300 million well armed apes peaceful and prosperous for a couple centuries. That’s pretty special in the history of this planet.

            What institution?

            Secession is what created the very society you’re talking about. Secession from the British Crown.

      • guest says:

        Bob Murphy is the MacGyver of Austrian Economics.

    • Daniel Kuehn says:

      Don’t forget the genocide.

      It was a couple thousand years ago, but God’s word is eternal, no?

    • Major_Freedom says:

      How about this wording:

      “Daniel and Ken B each point out that he is not for murdering secessionists, each is merely for killing secessionists. Bob on the other hand would not have murdered nor killed secessionists.”

      That would at least be ON TOPIC.

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        I’d rather just notify secessionists that they are acting unconstitutionally, occupying their capitols a little while, and scaring them into coming back. I really don’t relish the idea of killing people.

        • Joseph Fetz says:

          “I really don’t relish the idea of killing people.”

          Yet you defend doing so on political grounds all the time, the cases none of which actually involve defending oneself against imminent danger/death.

          You might as well say that you’re all for killing/murdering (does this minor detail really matter?) those that oppose your views.

          • Daniel Kuehn says:

            Can you think of a time that I’ve defended doing it in a case that is not minimize killing? Your “imminent” point is a red herring. I’m sure Polish villages didn’t take much comfort from the fact that the invasion was weeks away and the Nazi leadership (who unfortunately could not be targeted by drones back then) posed no immediate threat while they were making their plans.

            Whether or not someone opposes my views has had no correlation with whether I’d be OK with killing them. I don’t even know why you bring that up. Wahibbists, Nazis, Stalinists, and white supremacists are welcome to speak and think their trash if they want. I would never propose killing or even jailing them for that.

            Why don’t you want to clarify these points? Why do you just want to misrepresent it as me being just fine with killing people who oppose my views? Why not phrase it how I propose phrasing it?

            You know exactly why: because you’d have a lot harder time convincing people I’m wrong if you accurately represented the argument being put forward.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              Can you think of a time that I’ve defended doing it in a case that is not minimize killing?

              I am a war monger, as long as the body count is minimized. I mean, it’s not like I advocate for maximum killing. Just enough to win.

              I’m sure Polish villages didn’t take much comfort from the fact that the invasion was weeks away and the Nazi leadership (who unfortunately could not be targeted by drones back then) posed no immediate threat while they were making their plans.

              Yeah, because states seceding is like Hitler invading Poland. Godwin, FTW.

              Whether or not someone opposes my views has had no correlation with whether I’d be OK with killing them. I don’t even know why you bring that up. Wahibbists, Nazis, Stalinists, and white supremacists are welcome to speak and think their trash if they want. I would never propose killing or even jailing them for that.

              But as soon as they ACT on their desire to secede…

              Why don’t you want to clarify these points? Why do you just want to misrepresent it as me being just fine with killing people who oppose my views? Why not phrase it how I propose phrasing it?

              They’re your words.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                re: “I am a war monger, as long as the body count is minimized. I mean, it’s not like I advocate for maximum killing. Just enough to win.”

                No – I mean I advocate going in to fight al Qaeda to minimize the deaths that groups like al Qaeda fighting for a caliphate will cause!

                Of course I’d like to make war efficient (that’s why I like drones), but that is NOT what I mean when talk about minimizing killings.

                I think Bob’s pacifism is wrong because it implies a lot of unjust killing and I don’t like that.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                If we’re talking about justifiable war raising WWII does not seem like it’s pulling a Godwin.

                Are you going to troll WWII history websites yelling “Godwin! Godwin” next?

              • Major_Freedom says:

                No – I mean I advocate going in to fight al Qaeda to minimize the deaths that groups like al Qaeda fighting for a caliphate will cause!

                It’s funny how you accuse others of going off topic, and yet you are doing it yourself.

                Keep the context to secession, please. You said you are in favor of using force against secessionists. Please explain what the heck Hitler or Al Qaeda has to do with that.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                If we’re talking about justifiable war raising WWII does not seem like it’s pulling a Godwin.

                You didn’t raise WW2. You raised Hitler. That is Godwin by definition.

                Are you going to troll WWII history websites yelling “Godwin! Godwin” next?

                There is that word again. Troll. Once again, I do not think it means what you think it means.

                No, I am not going to troll WW2 websites and yell Godwin.

                But are you going to continue to troll economics blogs and yell Hitler?

              • Ken B says:

                He was accused of blanket support for murder, and wanting to murder ideological opponents. Rather beyond secession.

                Give it up Daniel. It’s not a real good faith debate.

              • Bob Murphy says:

                Ken B. wrote:

                Give it up Daniel. It’s not a real good faith debate.

                Hey, I’m being pretty nice for a hairless ape.

                (Yes I said hairless on purpose, don’t one-up me.)

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                “Of course I’d like to make war efficient”

                I don’t think that you’re helping your case against being a war-monger with that statement.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Ken B:

                He was accused of blanket support for murder, and wanting to murder ideological opponents. Rather beyond secession.

                Not if the opponents are secessionists.

                Give it up Daniel. It’s not a real good faith debate.

                You and DK introduced the bad faith after you realized you have a bad morality.

              • Ken B says:

                Bob:”Hey, I’m being pretty nice for a hairless ape.”

                Care to endorse M_F’s comments and Fetz’s, and a few others?

                And as I’ve remarked before Bob, bladness is one of your sexiest features. Now if you just grew a beard …

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                Ken B, it’s not an accusation, it’s what he said. What better example of an “ideological opponent” than that of a secessionist?

              • Ken B says:

                You’re smarter than that Joe. If you wanted to kill Nazis I could play the same game you just did (see? I assume nazis are your ideological foes).

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Well, when DK does Godwin, so Ken B does Godwin.

                Is it really that hard to retain the context of secession? Or have you guys been so thoroughly embarrassed that the only lifeline you have left is Hitler?

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                Ken B, but I don’t want to kill Nazi’s, nor have I said anything to that effect. Nice try, though. ;)

              • Ken B says:

                If joe, if. Conditionals are hard.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Apparently sticking to secession is even harder.

              • integral says:

                Basically, if an Afghan woman wants to secede from afghani and taliban ideas of female decency Daniel Kuehn thinks we should throw acid in her face, to scare her back into the fold.

            • Dan says:

              How does killing peaceful secessionists minimize killing?

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                Disbanding this Union, I think, is likely to make for a very unpleasant next couple centuries. Its on the basis of that assessment that I’d back the move.

                As I put it elsewhere – I’m not talking about carpet bombing Dallas. I probably would support holding the capitol in Austin and dropping leaflets informing people that they are in a state of rebellion and desist.

              • Bob Murphy says:

                DK wrote:

                Disbanding this Union, I think, is likely to make for a very unpleasant next couple centuries. Its on the basis of that assessment that I’d back the move.

                Daniel, in my opinion you keep digging yourself deeper, and this is what is freaking me out so much. Suppose you make the assessment that it would shower benefits on the US if Canada were part of the Union. Would you support sending troops into Ottowa, dropping leaflets at first etc., but ultimately bombing them into submission?

                Or would you agree that no, there’s an absolute prohibition against using a military to make a group of people part of a political organization that a majority of them wish to not be a part of?

              • Major_Freedom says:

                I probably would support holding the capitol in Austin and dropping leaflets informing people that they are in a state of rebellion and desist.

                And if they peacefully resist the message on those leaflets? Then what?

                And rebelling against who or what? Secession is not rebellion.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                No we’ve got a pretty good system for incorporating Canada if they’re interested in being incorporated. It’s always required the assent of the Congress and the assent of the territory in question.

                I like that system. I don’t think a territory under question should on its own be able to dissolve that union any more than I think Congress can force a territory to join that union without its assent.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                That last response was to Bob.

              • Bob Murphy says:

                Daniel K, regarding your clarification about why you wouldn’t want to invade Canada. You had earlier said this:

                Disbanding this Union, I think, is likely to make for a very unpleasant next couple centuries. Its on the basis of that assessment that I’d back the move.

                So in light of your remarks about Canada, do you agree that your statement above is wrong? That’s not actually your feeling? I.e. it’s not enough for you to think it would be more pleasant if a group of people were part of the Union, in order to justify war against them?

                (I’m not playing gotcha, I really want to point out that I don’t think you actually believe your stated reasons for invading Texas.)

            • Joseph Fetz says:

              Did you not make words to the effect that if people no longer agree with the current political structure, and they wish to leave it, that you’d be fine with killing them for that?

              I don’t know how much clearer it can be. Phrase it however you want to, that is exactly what you’re saying.

              Am I missing something? Maybe … Maybe not?

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                I’m not sure what you’re referring to – maybe you could find where I said it?

                Clearly there’s a bunch of people petition for secession right now. If there was any ambiguity, I’m not saying I want to kill them. I just think they’re nuts.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                I’m not sure what you’re referring to – maybe you could find where I said it?

                MAYBE! MAYBE NOT!

                Clearly there’s a bunch of people petition for secession right now. If there was any ambiguity, I’m not saying I want to kill them. I just think they’re nuts.

                Except if they’re in Austin and they want to secede. Then you want to threaten them, ultimately, with death. Your words.

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                “A war over it would be terrible, but I think over the very long run it would be better than letting them go.”

                Does that ring a bell, Daniel?

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                Here, let me paraphrase: “killing them would be more preferable than letting them go”.

                Do you now see why I am so up in arms about this (sic)?

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                In fact, I think that it was this phrase that got Bob worked up, as well. The question that he posed on your blog (that seemed to baffle you) is exactly the same as the one above this particular thread. The only difference is land inhabitance, but the logic is the same.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                But DK didn’t literally say killing people.

                He only said fighting a war.

                With surgical precision.

                Preferably drones

                If drones are not available, then marines occupying Austin, violating Posse Comitatus (who cares!), threatening the local populace with pamphlets saying they are going to be shot at (who cares!), including women and children, if they dare secede and defend themselves from aggression.

                Maybe, maybe not, Joe.

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                Now *that* gave me a chuckle.

                But, it is a good point. He often likes to use the word “war” in a slippery manner. Case in point: Al Queda. Last I checked, Al Qaeda isn’t affiliated with any particular state or nation, and in fact, it isn’t an actual entity. Well, unless you count all of the Middle East, minus Israel.

                KABLOOEY!!!

                “Hey, he was “Al Qaeda, so it’s all good. And those other people, they’re all ‘suspected terrorists’ part of the ‘inner circle’. Children are crafty these days”.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Cite the law in the constitution that explicitly grants the feds the authority to squash secessions.

      • Ken B says:

        I never said that. Find the quote. Try responding to what is said for a change. And Bob’s update did not mention secessionists did it. The sheer tendentious unfair bullshittiness of it is what lead me to leap to join DK.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          I never said that.

          I know. I was playing your game of “suggested” wording. That’s kind of why I prefaced it with “How about this wording”.

          Try responding to what is said for a change.

          Try understanding quotes in their context for a change?

          And Bob’s update did not mention secessionists did it.

          He didn’t have to. His other comments are sufficient.

          The sheer tendentious unfair bullshittiness of it is what lead me to leap to join DK.

          Out of the frying pan and…

          • Ken B says:

            @Daniel Kuehn: We’re dealing with a suuuuuuper-genius. Eveything he misses, misquotes, misreads, miscontrues, misunderstands, mis-wooshes is secretaly all part of the plan!

            Yeah, that’s the ticket.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              You have a hilarious way of conceding.

              Misquote, misread, misconstrue, misunderstand, miswoosh, mis, mis mis! MIS I TELL YOU!

              hahaha

              Was that you in the Maybe maybe not video? If not, you’d be perfect for the role.

  8. Ken B says:

    DK’s point about Canada is a good one and subtle. Texas votes narrowly to secede. But a neighborhood here and there decides not to. What happens? Force it join the new Texastan? And what if the part that wants to remain is a dense set topologically?
    Or what if all the land owners vote to remain? (Ilike this example best.)
    In each case you need a process and rules to resolve the dispute. It doesn’t matter what resolution you favour, you need a way to resolve it.
    Which is more or less DK’s point: we have a process to resolve the dispute and most here want to just ignore it.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      You’re right, the US was totally unjustified, because not everyone wanted to leave the Monarchy.

      Ergo the constitution is null and void. The US is still up for grabs.

      Nobody is wanting to ignore disputes. It’s kind of why DK’s claim that secessionists should be murdered, excuse me, “killed”, was disputed. You are ignoring that part. But hey, let’s mis mis mis mis our way to other topics ASAP, so that can forget the stuff about killing secessionists ever happened.

    • Daniel Kuehn says:

      And, just to add another vote in favor of how reasonable the institutions we have are – Bob’s original question was that if my assessment of secession is contingent in part on a cost-benefit test (I am OK with the American Revolution – much more comfortable with it the South’s efforts four score years later), then would I just support forcing Canada into Union if it passed that CBA?

      And that’s where process comes in again.

      No. Our current process is (1.) the territory in question needs to vote to approve it, and (2.) the Congress needs to vote to approve it. If the Canadians voted to join I would be very excited. In fact, that would be awesome. But I think it’s a good process and I’d no more bomb Canada into joining than I’d let Texas leave unconstitutionally.

      • Dan says:

        What if Canada voted to join the Union, and a year later decided to secede? Would you support sending in the troops, and killing them if they resisted, to prevent that from happening? If so, how does that square with your statement that you only favor killing if it prevents a greater amount of killing?

        • Major_Freedom says:

          How about instead of just one year later, how about 100 years later after everyone who signed the original contract are all dead and gone?

          Should the contract signed by dead people be imposed on the unborn trillions of years into the future?

          That’s another devastating argument against using force to stop secessions. By what right do the current generation of Americans and Canadians have in imposing a North American Union contract on people who aren’t even born yet?

          Oops, I forgot. Naked aggression. Federal troops in Ottawa if any newborns 100 years from hence dare want out.

          It’s lunacy.

          • Dan says:

            Yeah, I agree, but I’m just trying get DK to be more clear about his positions.

            1. He doesn’t favor killing that doesn’t prevent a greater amount of killing.

            2. He is believes it is ok to kill Texans if they peacefully secede and refuse to back down because “Disbanding this Union, I think, is likely to make for a very unpleasant next couple centuries. Its on the basis of that assessment that I’d back the move.”

            3. He doesn’t favor killing peaceful Canadians if they refused to join the Union, even it meant that it was likely to make for a very unpleasant next couple of centuries.

            It is hard for me to see how someone could hold those views and not see the contradictions.

            • Daniel Kuehn says:

              You seem really confused about what I’m saying. I’ve never said “if it passes a CBA, let the bullets fly!”.

              A good solid CBA is probably worth having in hand when you make these decisions, though.

              • Dan says:

                Yes, I am confused by what you are saying. Based on what you have said it would seem you are against killing Canadians, even if meant that it was likely to make for a very unpleasant next couple of centuries because they are not currently part of the Union. But if they joined the Union tomorrow and seceded at a later date then you would support killing them. I’m not really sure why joining the Union and then seceding suddenly turns your CBA into a death warrant.

              • Matt Tanous says:

                Whose cost? Whose benefit?

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Our current process is (1.) the territory in question needs to vote to approve it, and (2.) the Congress needs to vote to approve it.

        That isn’t our current process. Our current process is the executive overruling Congress, and overruling state laws.

        If you mean on paper, then Congress already voted to approve secessions, because there is no expressed authority in the Constitution that grants the feds the power to stop them.

        It won’t be unconstitutional if Texas leaves via secession.

      • Joseph Fetz says:

        And just where in the Constitution, pray tell, is Congress delegated the power (all powers being delegated by the states, I might add) to vote on issues of secession?

        • Major_Freedom says:

          COMMERCE CLAUSE!!!

          ha HA!!

          Since secession will impact national trade, the feds can dictate the terms of secession.

          In fact, since everything impact national trade, the feds can dictate the terms of…everything.

          If Hegel were alive today, he’d be as giddy as DK with a machine gun in an Austin playground.

        • Daniel Kuehn says:

          Article 4 gives Congress the power to vote on a state joining the union or changing the arrangements with that state. “Voting on secession” is just repealing the act that incorporated a state in the Union.

          Now it’s true, I don’t know if there is a provision in the constitution that Congress can repeal one of its acts.

          I don’t feel too concerned about that though.

          Now, that’s voting “on issues of secession”.

          As for declaring war, that’s a very easy constitutional power to point to.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Article 4 gives Congress the power to vote on a state joining the union or changing the arrangements with that state. “Voting on secession” is just repealing the act that incorporated a state in the Union.

            So now you’re trying the “changing the arrangements” angle.

            Article 4 states:

            “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”

            So, new states. Not removal of states.

            Now it’s true, I don’t know if there is a provision in the constitution that Congress can repeal one of its acts.

            Secession does not require a “repeal” of any act of Congress. It’s already in the constitution by virtue of there being no expressed authority granted to the feds to stop secession.

            The constitution is a sort of negative rights document. If it’s not there, the states can do what they want, period, for better or for worse.

            You’re taking the adding of states into the Union, and changing of existing state borders, to somehow include secession of states. That’s a non sequitur.

            Chris P in another thread made a good point:

            “…it’s extremely odd that the revolutionaries fought a bloody war to secede from the British Empire only to intentionally create a union that nobody could ever exit. Does anyone actually believe that?”

            “Along those same lines, the constitution was ratified by the skin of its teeth as it was. Does anyone believe it would have survived ratification if it has a clause expressly prohibiting secession?”

            ——————–

            Show the passage of the constitution that says the feds have the expressed authority to stop secessions. Article 4 is insufficient.

          • Joseph Fetz says:

            You say that Art. IV is the Constitutional basis. Well, let’s just look at what it says, shall we:

            “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”

            OK, I see nothing regarding secession. However, there is something that you’re missing. Ultimately, the authority over the inhabitable area of the state is reserved to the state legislature. Does not the Federal government’s “persuasive” efforts to keep that region a part of the Union violate this idea?

            Art. IV doesn’t support your position, it refutes it!

            Also, as I’ve pointed out on your blog, levying war against a state is already unconstitutional, and is in fact the only definition of treason offered in the Constitution.

            • Joseph Fetz says:

              I should add that the 10th Amendment further supports this idea of state self-determination, especially regarding issues involving geographic sovereignty.

            • Ken B says:

              There is no explicit provision. All arguments are inferential or structural. There is a clear covens us amongst scholars who have studied the matter. There is no unanimity. Don’t pretend you position is clearly correct. It is arguable but most think wrong.

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                I accept that, because I was purposefully stretching it. But I also don’t think that Art. IV is the correct place to look for answers on this topic.

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                Also, I never pretend that my positions are correct. In fact, I’ve even gone so far as to say that I am not that bright of a guy (which presumably means that I am often wrong).

                However, I will still inject my opinion where I see fit, good or bad. That’s mostly a function of my inability to keep my mouth shut, not the belief that I am above reproach.

                I’m pretty open-minded and never afraid to be corrected when I am wrong.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                There is no explicit provision.

                That’s precisely why the right to secede is retained with the states.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      What process are you talking about Ken B.? Daniel has said it would be very unpleasant if Texas left the union, and it was on that basis that a war would be justified. So that’s why I brought up Canada. I didn’t know there was a process involved.

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        Well unpleasant things happen all that time. I mentioned war because an organized government violated what is effectively a treaty with 49 other governments and the federal government.

        re: “I didn’t know there was a process involved.”

        Really? We’ve been discussing the Constitutional ramifications and constitutional and unconstitutional ways of doing this from the very beginning!

        • Dan says:

          But Daniel, you said you only favor killing if it prevents a greater amount of killing. Violating a treaty doesn’t necessarily imply that a greater amount of killing will take place. For example, Canada could sign a treaty to join the Union, and then decide to violate that treaty and secede the next year. How would sending in the troops to prevent the violation of this treaty, and killing Canadians if they resisted, prevent a greater amount of killing?

        • Matt Tanous says:

          “I mentioned war because an organized government violated what is effectively a treaty with 49 other governments and the federal government.”

          No, it didn’t. There is nothing in the Constitution that regards secession.

      • Ken B says:

        Amendment. Convention. I have been pretty clear on this I thought.

    • Matt Tanous says:

      There was a process for settling the dispute of how to secede from Britain too. It was simply: you don’t. (Just like secession from the US, apparently – which requires the permission of people who are not involved, according to you guys.) How’s that for a process!

      • Ken B says:

        Canada. Explain.

        • Nobody, really says:

          Canada didn’t really follow any formal process to achieve independence either. It took over a hundred years and was achieved partially due to financial mis-steps and a waning empire.

          • Ken B says:

            Hopeless.

            Also explain Rum.

            You know nothing about Canadian or British constitutional history n.r

            • Matt Tanous says:

              I don’t think you understand Canadian and British history, here. And none of the events were “constitutional” or not – the UK has no formal constitution, and historically, “No Act of Parliament can be unconstitutional, for the law of the land knows not the word or the idea.”

              The UK is a constitutional monarchy only in name. In reality, it is a legislative oligarchy.

              • Ken B says:

                Meaning a process for secession exists.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                That process does not require congressional approval.

            • Nobody, really says:

              Beg to differ Ken B, Ex-Nova Scotian here, but you don’t seem to actually be saying anything of merit here so there’s no point.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          Rebellion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebellions_of_1837

          Followed by confederation as a self-governing colony a few decades later. It wasn’t technically separate from Great Britain until 1982, after a excruciatingly long weakening of British control over Canada.

          • Ken B says:

            Westminster 1931 actually, but your whole take is just ignorant Matt.

            Nice to see you living up to the stereotype Canadians have of Americans though!

      • Bob Murphy says:

        Right, I don’t see what the process is. I’m not trying to be funny here, Daniel or Ken B. How are the people of Texas supposed to procedurally secede in a way that won’t make them liable to getting bombed?

        • Jason B says:

          Are you kidding, Bob? Eric Holder just says, “Yes”. On the other hand Holder would never say that, so you’ve got that to deal with, but on theoretical grounds…..maybe? Maybe not.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          Everyone else votes to let Texas leave, even though Texas is a net tax supporter of the rest of the country. I’m sure that California will be happy to go bankrupt just a bit faster if Texas just up and leaves, so as to make the Texans happy.

          And, rest assured, Bob, DK will do a CBA to help decide. Sure, it will be the cost *he* suffers, compared to the benefits the Texans would accrue from seceding, violating all sorts of logical rules, but hey – he’ll do it anyway.

        • Daniel Kuehn says:

          My read of article 4 is that the Texas state legislature has to vote to secede and the Congress has to approve it (since the Congress has a law on the books accepting Texas a member of the Union). As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m happy to defer to constitutional law scholars who have something different in mind but I can’t imagine what else would be implied by the Constitution.

          Presumably of course an amendment removing a set of states would do the trick too, but that would be harder I’d guess.

          • Ken B says:

            Right, harder. But Bob et al place no value on process and demand that if cabal of Texans want to secede they can do so instantly. Nothing less will do! Regardless of those Texans who do not or of it effect on others. Is there an emoticon for foot stamping?

            • Bob Murphy says:

              Ken B. wrote:

              But Bob et al place no value on process and demand that if cabal of Texans want to secede they can do so instantly. Nothing less will do! Regardless of those Texans who do not or of it effect on others. Is there an emoticon for foot stamping?

              I know it's crazy! And by the same token, Daniel Kuehn demands that if a certain percentage (he hasn't specified the number) of Canadians don't want to be part of the US, then the US military right this second can't bomb them. Regardless of those Canadians who want to join the US, or the effects the Canadians' decision has on anyone outside of their borders. What a toddler that Daniel is!

              • Ken B says:

                Answer my questions Bob.

              • Bob Murphy says:

                Answer my questions Bob.

                Don’t give me orders on my blog, Ken. Or I’ll bomb you.

              • Ken B says:

                I think DK asked that the defined process be followed. You demand it not be. So much for your reductio.

              • Ken B says:

                You bomb regularly Bob.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Ken B:

                I think DK asked that the defined process be followed. You demand it not be.

                There is no expressed authority given to the feds to stop secession. The “defined process” is therefore this: states can secede and declare their sovereignty, and they do not require legal permission from the feds.

                You are the one asking for non-defined process methods (naked aggression).

                Talk about bombs.

            • Joseph Fetz says:

              Ken B, the same reasoning could be put the other way, that it is a cabal of Texan’s that wish to stay in the Union. Further, why not carry over this logic to all political processes?

              Daniel made a statement on his blog to the effect that if all Texans agreed, that he’d be happy with them seceding, yet he doesn’t apply this consistently to other political proceedings.

              • Ken B says:

                That’s why process matters joe. There are conflicts. We have rules and procedures. Can’t have a big society without them. You secession cabal would be rule breakers but could follow process instead. Your entire argument discounts procedure and law. If you owe me rent I can get it by law but I can’t just take it right? You could resist that, especially if you dispute thr rent.

              • Ken B says:

                Joe, the cabal in Texas plans to enslave all the blacks. Can DK oppose this? Under what process if you demand unilateral instant unconditional secession without unanimity?

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                There is a process. Since we accept the state governments as legitimate, then we shouldn’t quibble about process if such government decides that it is in its best interest to leave the Union. Clearly, there is no process on the Federal level, but I have a feeling that that was by design.

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                Sure, Daniel could oppose that, and he would be correct to do so, both morally and constitutionally. However, this only applies so long as Texas wishes to remain as a member of the Union. If Texas is no longer part of the Union, the Federal government of the United States no longer has jurisdiction on the matter.

              • Ken B says:

                Right! The design was perfect union! That word does not mean what many think it does. That’s one of the inferences against secession being constitutional.

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                The preamble is merely justification for the Constitution, there lies therein nothing to be construed as legally binding or process-related. It’s a description of why.

              • Ken B says:

                I thought I said inferential Joe. Inferential and structural.

          • Matt Tanous says:

            Your read is wrong. The law on the books says that Texas may become a state (or four!), not that it has to be one or remain one once it has done so.

            The process is simply a state declaring it will secede.

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        Right. George Washington was a traitor and prosecuted an illegal secession. That’s precisely what we celebrate him for.

      • Ken B says:

        Rum. Explain.

        My point is you are completely uninformed about what processes there were. There is a difference between not succeeding and not having a process. You demand not a process but unilateral one.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Unilateral secession is a constitutional process. There is no expressed authority in the constitution given to the feds to stop secessions.

          You are completely uninformed about the constitution.

  9. senyoreconomist says:

    I thought that this was a post about the economics of the Great Depression. How in the world did killing, acid, the Taliban, Afghanistan and secession get into this discussion?

    Senyor

    • The Existential Christian says:

      It seems to be spillover from the previous post, though I haven’t yet figured out why. Looking at Daniel’s first comment, I’m inclined to think this post wasn’t originally about the online class (but I could be mistaken).

      • Ken B says:

        It was. Bob perhaps jokingly made bogus claims in the post, since removed. Some of them were about DK.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          What bogus claims? If someone was a secessionist, say in a state like Texas that declared secession, and that person defended himself from aggression, then DK really did say that DC sending in troops to foght a war (killing leading to deaths) is justified.

          If you ask me, Murphy went far too easy on DK by merely joking about it. If you step back and really look at what is being argued, and you had a moral conscience, you’d recoil in abject horror.

    • konst says:

      I learned a lot about the economics of the Great Depression from this post,, i.e. Great Depression economics = force!

  10. Ken B says:

    @Murphy: Since you seem serious Bob, unlike the claque, some questions. So far you have carefully avoided details.
    1. What fraction of Texans demand secession?
    2. What process did they follow? Do you think the US constitution relevant in that process?
    3. Can the rest of us place restrictions on
    a) timing
    b) treatment of dissenters
    c) any laws the new Texas may pass
    d) the treatment of any person or property by Texas before during or after secession

    In particular may your selectorate declare independence unconditionally and instantly? Has Daniel Kuehn any say in the matter or ay rights deserving protection?

    Please note this is directed at Bob.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Since you’d rather ignore what you and DK said about force against secessionists, I will ignore your plea that your post is directed at Bob.

      1. Suppose 50% plus 1.

      2. Suppose peaceful resistance.

      3. No.

  11. Tel says:

    I’m in! Err, I think so…

    TransactionID: 4794157541

    It might be waiting to clear, and stuff.

  12. Matt Tanous says:

    Oh, right. On the topic of the class, I have no monies currently. Really, I bought too many books off the Mises store.

    On the other hand, I have a secret back door into the Mises media server, so I will still be able to watch the tapes of the lectures, at least. =P

  13. Ken B says:

    How many here like the exclusionary rule? That’s the one that excludes evidence gathered in violation of constitutional rights.

    Where is it in the constitution?

    It’s in the logic of the structure. Without it some of the other rights are nugatory.

    Where is judical review of statutes? It’s in the logic of the structure. Without it some of the other rights are nugatory.

    Restrictions on secession are also inherent in the structure. I don’t ask many here to agree with this — though nearly allo legal scholars of all political stripes do — but I do think it reasonable to insist they acknowledge that it IS an argument. You can’t just ignore it and still pretend to be serious.

    Now let’s talk 10 amendment. It’s about ‘powers’ and it is far from certain that secession is a ‘power’. Taxing is a power, spending is a power. But I want to talk about this supposed blank cheque for states and the exclusionary rule.

    Have states the right uunder the 10 th to di any of these:
    1) require juries vote guilty on all charges
    2) issue search warrants valid in all places and all times for all purposes
    3) declare members of the army are sailors not soldiers and billet them in homes

    I think clearly not but the 10thers here have a problem. None of these ‘powers’ is *explicitly* prohibitted to the states so under the expansive reading of the 10th pushed here, all are quite acceptable. You need to make a structural argument like the one above, about rendering other provisions and protections nugatory, to argue the cosntitution denies these powers to the states.

  14. skylien says:

    For my part it is inherent in any structure of forming a community/union/partnership, that when multiple parties form such a union in mutual agreement, that at some point one of them might leave. We recognize this in any area of life. Even in marriage, after long being condemned by the church, we have finally realized that forming unions/partnerships or whatever you want to call it without the possibility to break them up at one point only leads to pain and violence in those cases in which the partnership doesn’t work for all sides.

    And of course the decision to leave a partnership is only with the concerned party. Never both, all or any other! That wouldn’t make sense. It is about self-determination not self-determination if someone else agrees. Such a thing is not self-determination at all but subjugation pure and simple. Wasn’t self-determination what Wilson fought the first world war for? Isn’t that the reason the US officially intervenes in so many other countries? And yet at home they call anyone traitor, nuts, fringe etc.. if they want to self-determine their own life?

    Of course self-determination means that the right is reciprocal. If in a community consisting of 10 parties 9 of them decide together that the tenth of them must leave the union although it doesn’t want to, it needs to go as well.

    Also that is not to say that there is no procedure necessary of how to leave/break up, since being in a union mostly means that some sort of relations, recourses were shared that need to be devided in such a case. But this is only a question of how to break up not if! This of course should preferably be defined when making the union. Else afterwards you might have lots of pain and violence as well.

    Isn’t it ironic that Hitler only wanted to forge a thousand year Reich. Yet Americans think they could do it forever?

    • Ken B says:

      “And of course the decision to leave a partnership is only with the concerned party. Never both, all or any other! That wouldn’t make sense.”

      Well it might depend on the nature of the agreement.

      I appreciate your putting the argument well and honestly skylien. You are arguing a priori and damn-the-facts. Most of us think law matters, as do rights, and want an argument about *this* constitution.

      I’ll let you duke it out with Bob over the propostion that covenant marriage must be banned.

      • skylien says:

        Yes, I am arguing how it should be. I just hope Bob doesn’t read that about marriage…

        I have two question for you.

        If there was a legal law that you think was morally wrong (it should not matter how that law came into being), would you send troops to enforce it in spite of thinking the law is immoral and enforcing it might to lead civil war?

        Do you think (because I am not sure of what I read so far from you about this issue) there should be a right of secession (of course without needing other states or congress giving their approval)?

        • skylien says:

          *might lead to civil war*…

          • Ken B says:

            Would you have sheltered Dred Scot, and freed him?

            • Bob Murphy says:

              I haven’t been following this whole debate, but let me ask this: Ken B. there are currently lots of places on Earth right now where the governments do things that neither of us likes. Is it acceptable then for the US government to invade all of those places and annex the territories as now part of the US? What if you know for sure that unavoidably tens of thousands of civilians will die in the regions you are “helping”?

              • Ken B says:

                You are mixing up lots of issues in one ball, and then asking for an answer to one.

                YES it is morally justifiable to intervene sometimes, collectively or individually. It may not be wise, and it may be better not to. It depends on the actual situation. We have debated this endlessly Bob. I’d have shot Breivik, you’d have explained to the parents why you didn’t.

                If I know for sure or only suspect casualties will be high of course that’s relevant. let me ask you the converse. if you knew no innocent would suffer but tens of thousands would be saved, and knowing what you do now about history, would you have bombed the Nuremburg Sportpalast at juuuuus the right moment in 1936? Or would you say such compound tendentious questions really get us nowhere.

        • Ken B says:

          Yes and no, not necessarily in that order.
          :)

          I am willing to enforce even some laws I dislike or think wrong. I am willing to lock up a Breivik for life and forego capital punishment, following the law of the land, and would forcibly restrain any lynch mob after him. Even a lynch mob after him following his acquittal.
          Do you claim the right to ignore laws at will?

          There are some laws I would refuse to follow, but I would — like King or Ghandi — not demand examption from them if I wanted to object to them. In fact the whole logic of civil disobedience requires not doing so.

          • skylien says:

            “Yes and no, not necessarily in that order.”

            So you are not really decided on secession. Ok, fine.

            “Do you claim the right to ignore laws at will?”

            No of course not, that is why I added the qualifier “maybe starting a civil war” so that it is not a gray area thing. In terms of secession you always risk civil war if you threaten to react with brute force “if necessary”.

            • Ken B says:

              No, I have an opinion on secession. A state cannot unilaterally secede. If a state really wants to, and I am convinced letting it will not immediately result in oppression for those living there I would support an amemndment process to negotiate an exit. I would support force against insurrection if some in the state jumped the gun. I would also accept that the process might take a long time or even not succeed, depending on the negotiations.

              • skylien says:

                So the answer to making sure that seceding people won’t start oppressing one another is by oppressing them by keeping them in the union. Isn’t that a bit self defeating?

                And are you concerned that Texas might form an oppressing state?

                How often did it happen in history that a seceding state was immediately more oppressive than the state they actually left?

              • skylien says:

                *oppressive state*

              • skylien says:

                Not to forget that with this kind of reasoning you have created a perfect reason for annexation of other countries.Wherever people are oppressed in your opinion it would justify to conquer them and force them into your union and never let them go again.

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