03 May 2017

“Slavery: A Global Investigation”

Slavery 25 Comments

I have been informed by some activists that many libertarians are either indifferent to, or are actively supporting, worldwide slavery. I have repeatedly asked them to write a guest blog post which I will host here, in which they point out specifically how libertarian attitudes and/or policy prescriptions are hurting the plight of those held in bondage around the world. They have declined my repeated offers (see here for example), but my offer stands.

In the meantime, they asked me to watch this documentary. I will do so by this weekend. If any of the activists (or regular readers of this blog) wants to highlight particular portions of the video they want me to address, please list them in the comments.

NOTE: I would ask libertarian readers of this blog to please bend over backwards in treating these activists with civility. I think they are incredibly misguided in viewing libertarians as supporting slavery, but you don’t help disabuse them of that view if you return their insults etc. in the comment section.

25 Responses to ““Slavery: A Global Investigation””

  1. trent steel says:

    Bob, regardless of the (potential) sincerity of the posters, they are clearly engaging in trollling/sea-lioning and you should not give it any credence. It is up to them to craft a message for your audience, not endlessly dilute your comment sections with canned statements. They could provide their clear thesis in one paragraph yet have not, either because it doesn’t exist or because they are liars.

    You are allowing your work efforts to be diverted. This is a tactic someone is using against you. Don’t fall for it. Even linking their video when they’ve been so rude and dishonest in their methods is, in my opinion, a bad move.

    • Grape says:

      One way libertarians support slavery is by putting their desires to be free from verbal insult above the hopes and dreams of others to be free from extreme violence. LIBERTARIANS ARE PRO-SLAVERY.

      Also, libertarians tend to be habitual liars. For example, “In setting this threshold, the owners couldn’t be too unreasonable, because frequent physical punishments would reduce the health of the slaves.” These lies also help support slavery. LIBERTARIANS ARE PRO-SLAVERY. https://www.mises.ca/slavery-could-not-last-in-an-otherwise-free-market

      Libertarians tend not to do any better on manners than they do on morals. For example, Dan advocates for drinking the blood of abolitionists, “We also drink the blood of hippy activists. Not for any healing properties, mind you, but because we think it’s funny, and we consider hippy activists to be unowned property.” LIBERTARIANS ARE PRO-SLAVERY!

      • Darien says:

        This is exactly what I mean when I say you guys need to work on your marketing skills. If your goal is to make a bunch of noise and then pat yourselves on the back for being “activists,” then okay, but if you’re actually trying to win hearts and minds, this routine isn’t going to work. Did you see up above where Bob asked everybody to treat you respectfully? That’s because he understands that if we just mock you, you won’t listen to anything we have to say. Well, that’s a two-way street.

        Anything you put in all caps will be ignored. It comes off as immature, petty, and weird. Name calling and pretending to take jokes seriously — as in Dan’s blood drinking remark — also make people disinclined to care what you have to say.

        Presenting your arguments calmly and rationally is your only hope. Lists of “demands” and copy-and-paste boilerplate rhetoric will be recognized for what they are, and treated accordingly.

        You would also do well to learn your environment. This might work on a huge blog, but here — which is a relatively small community — it’s really obvious what’s going on when you import a bunch of dudes to post that they agree with you.

        I write all this for your benefit, and with full expectation of insults in response. As Bob says, though, you need to bend over backwards to treat people with civility if you are to have any hope of persuading them; continuing with these antics will not help that cause.

        • Strawberry says:

          Dan is perfectly serious. This is what a torture victim said on this blog a few months back:

          [Methods of torture removed. –RPM]

          And this was Dan’s reply:
          “You might as well be on a physics blog posting quotes from people denying gravity, and talking about how your personal experiences with falling on your head makes you more capable of understanding gravity than those dummies studying physics text books and numbers and stuff.”

          Making fun of torture victims is one of the typical libertarian tactics to support slavery, warfare, etc. For example, you calling the testimony of actual slaves “copy-and-paste boilerplate rhetoric”, others calls call it emotional appeals with hardly any useful data, and others like Dan are far more vicious.

          Dan also asked for information about how to increase the prevalence of slavery: “Send me a link to the companies you boycott so I can see where I need to start shopping to counter-boycott you.”

          The whole libertarian property rights as justification for extreme violence thing goes back at least as far Ayn Rand. Dan didn’t invent it, he just put it in graphic terms.
          Libertarian depravity knows no limits.

          “Two-way street”? None of us has stooped to your level.

          It wasn’t until one of us insulted Bob Murphy that he finally took notice, and we’ve been protesting for months. “Calm and rational” does not work with libertarians. Nor is this marketing. You aren’t actually one of the targets here, but apparently it seems we have to fight you to get Bob Murphy’s attention.

          You’re not much better than Dan. Look at you, demanding civility in exchange for… what? A vague possibility that you might be convinced slavery is evil? It is not in my power to convince you slavery is evil, nor is it my responsibility. You are responsible for your own morality, which appears to be lacking. You aren’t even someone we can get to start thinking. We gave you a list of stories about slavery, many of which were told by actual freed slaves, and you concluded that people who opposed such things were commies, implying you don’t consider freeing slaves a libertarian cause, implying you are pro-slavery. It is possible for people to change, but the only one who can convince yourself of anything is you. We can give you data, but if you interpret stories about slavery as supporting communism, that’s on you.

          • Bob Murphy says:

            It wasn’t until one of us insulted Bob Murphy that he finally took notice, and we’ve been protesting for months. “Calm and rational” does not work with libertarians.

            Not quite. When you guys were posting quotes of people talking about abuse, on posts that had nothing to do with the topic, I thought it was some kind of weird spam. Don’t you guys run at least one blog? Don’t you get posts about Gucci bags etc.? There are spam bots posting weird comments, and that’s what I thought your campaign was.

            It was only when someone actually tailored the post to something I had written that I realized it was a “real person” on the other end.

            If you guys had emailed me originally and said, “I think you libertarians are missing the huge traffic in human bondage, and we’d ask you to post this video on your blog,” I would not have been opposed. It’s possible I would’ve missed the email because I was traveling or something, but I wouldn’t have intentionally disregarded it.

            So I am just letting you know, in case you honestly think you have to insult people to get their attention. No, you don’t, and in fact that is more likely to make them reject your message.

  2. guest says:

    A helpful qualification at 2:26:

    “Because of economic globalization, more and more western companies are moving their production to places like India, where labor costs next to nothing, and where even young children are put to work.

    “But we’ve come to India not to investigate exploitation of child labor, but to find real slaves: people who are paid nothing, locked away, and controlled by violence.”

    • Tel says:

      Yeah, they revisit that at then end with the “Rugmark” which suddenly becomes all about child labour once again. Bait, I’d like you to meet Switch.

      See my comment below.

    • Guava says:

      Guest, you also seem relatively cool.

  3. Tel says:

    Here’s my quick notes, without going into too much detail:

    CLAIM (00:50): The global economy has spawned a sinister new market in slaves.

    Totally false, the market in slaves is very old, probably as old as humanity but at least as old as the Greek States and the Roman empire, it’s only in the very last tiny bit of history that anyone started making a big deal over slavery being a problem… and that was one of the fundamental steps into modernity. I’m not saying “be complacent” but I am saying get a sense of perspective and trying to blame the “global economy” is downright dishonest, laughable for anyone with even the slightest interest in history. For example Sparta was an insular, small, and very simple economy, completely dependent on slaves. Nothing remotely “global economy” about Sparta.

    CLAIM (02:40): India is a bad place because children are working.

    This has nothing to do with slavery. It’s an ugly emotive juxtaposition designed to give the impression there’s a close relation between children working (voluntarily for money, because that’s an option allowing them to achieve something) and slavery (people held against their will). NOTE: see the end where they revisit this.

    CLAIM (07:45): Slavery is historically associated with the Colonial Era.

    This is a common and dishonest misrepresentation playing on the whole “white man’s guilt”. Why is the guilt of the white man so important? Because pretty much no one else even bothers feeling guilty over it. It was the Anglo-Saxon Christian cultures that not only were the first to lead the way towards abolition of slavery but also put pressure on the rest of the world to do the same. I’m really, really fed up with this whole one sided reporting.

    CLAIM (08:40): Association of African slave shipments with the British.

    Ummm, did we conveniently forget the Muslim slave shipments? Largest in the world and continuing over a much longer period? Oh, I see, certain topics are unmentionable. African tribes made war against each other and took slaves, if you are going to report then at least tell the story properly.

    CLAIM (09:59): Association between international banking and slavery.

    Another sneaky little juxtaposition wedged in there, without needing evidence and contrary to their earlier stated aims to go in search of people controlled by violence. Debt is a contract between individuals (other than government debt which is pure evil, but that’s another story).

    CLAIM (27:30): 90% of Ivory Coast plantations run on slavery, so 2/5 of the world cocoa production is made by slaves.

    Earlier in the program they estimated 100,000,000 tonnes of cocoa produced in the Ivory Coast (presumably that’s per year??) on 1000’s of plantations. Searching elsewhere I get totally different production figures for Ivory Coast, more like 1,500,000 tonnes of cocoa per year (that’s from 2012, the video is earlier from 2000 so I doubt it would have dropped so much).

    Anyway, at 90% slavery, take the smaller figure of 1,500,000 tonnes of cocoa per annum, suppose each worker can produce 50 tonnes, it would require at least something in the ballpark of 30,000 workers, implying more than 25,000 slaves. And yet, these people just discovered it… no one knew?!? I find a strong likelihood that exaggeration is at work here.

    What’s more when the interviewed the slaves, they claimed a genuine belief that they would be paid. The story said they came from about 400 miles away, but if slavery was at 90% how could this not be widely known? Why have these farms achieved a local reputation that there is money to be made when they run at 90% slavery? It’s very odd, to say the least.

    Searching elsewhere I cannot find anyone else supporting such high figures.

    CLAIM (28:45): Slavery happens because there’s not enough government price fixing.

    I find this way too convenient for “Progressive” activists, and not supported by any evidence. Prices for many commodities fluctuate and often fall over time as more producers come into the market and better techniques are deployed. Prices for most food items have fallen in real terms (CPI adjusted), and especially prices for basic staple foods has trended down (just about all grains for example).

    I also fail to see how a government can fix prices at significantly higher than the international market rates when they are ultimately selling into that market. In order to do so they would need to inject money into the industry every year… perhaps that’s how they got themselves so badly in debt in the first place??

    CLAIM (30:30): World Bank employees get special permission to bring in foreign domestic labour and they take advantage of that by mistreating these people.

    I looked this one up, and the video is correct. There’s a very special thing called a G4 Visa, which applies only to the United Nations, IMF and World Bank. Those guys get a lot of magical perks. I would be happy to see the UN essentially closed down, the World Bank should be a regular private bank, and all of their special perks removed. That’s the libertarian position I believe.

    G4 visa holders may employ, under the G5 Visa program, a domestic employee to work in their household as a child/elder care provider, nanny, housekeeper, etc. U.S. citizens, permanent residents and staff holding any other visas other than a G4 are not eligible for this program

    I’m not surprised they exploit this, power corrupts.

    What the video does not explain is where those G4 Visa holders are coming from. Many countries have different cultures to the USA, and quite frankly many countries have much lower standards when it comes to treatment of employees. It’s difficult to run an international organization without running into cultural conflicts. Personally I support the Anglo-Saxon liberal democratic tradition, but at the same time I’m constantly told I’m not allowed to believe that any culture is better than any other. Hmmm….

    I think the video missed some key details that would complete the picture.

    I’m happy to see the UN, World Bank and IMF all get a kick in the nuts, but I’m kind of over getting told everyone else’s behaviour is my fault.

    CLAIM (38:45): Some of the abusers are Americans.

    I’m not disputing this claim, but it sounded a lot like a selective sound bite. The implication is that an earlier statement had said that the majority of abusers are NOT Americans, but the journalists were not interested in that part, so they took it out of the story. I repeat, it creates a false impression.

    COMMENT (48:00): About the raid on the Indian carpet makers

    Note that it was government law enforcement who finally provided the necessary force, that allowed the children to go free. It’s a fundamental trade-off that governments attract corruption, and abuse their power, but also end up being the only way to get sufficient force to overcome criminals. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

    That’s probably why I lean towards the “minarchist” position, rather than the anarchist position. There’s valid room for discussion over private security and different ways to structure law enforcement. I’m not claiming every law is a good law by any means, but we do need rule of law.

    The video advertises for UNICEF but alas they too are beneficiaries of those magic G4 Visas mentioned earlier (which is something they conveniently don’t mention). It’s hard to find good guys in this world.

    I’m not opposed to the idea of tracing the origins of what you are buying, but at the end of the day you need to trust someone. Since money can potentially be a corrupting influence and power is also corrupting, there’s no easy answer. This applies to any big private entity and also any government entity.

    CLAIM (54:20): Rugmark is protecting you from supporting slavery.

    Wait a moment, it suddenly switches over to being about child labour here. But, but, at the start of the video they said this was about genuine slavery… and now we have a bait and switch in progress. I don’t like that. There’s strong conflation here between paid child labour and actual slave labour. Again, I went and looked it up (I know, I’ve learned to trust nobody):

    The ‘Rugmark’ label on hand-knotted carpets from India indicates that they have not been produced by child labor. The conditions for use of the Rugmark are that the exporters undertake:

    * not use child labor in any area of production; and

    * to pay all workers at least the minimum wage as set by Indian law.

    It also requires regular school attendance by children working at home on family looms. The exporter will then be given the right to put a label on their carpets, which will carry a code enabling purchasers to check each carpet with the Foundation. Spot checks will be carried out on all looms registered with the Foundation to ensure they continue to operate without illegal child labor.

    So they are opposed to ALL child labour, and this isn’t really about “slavery” that’s merely the foot in the door justification. They also say “illegal child labour” giving the impression that all child labour is illegal in India, except I looked that up as well and it does not appear to be the case.

    CLAIM (1:02:30): It’s all the fault of speculators and “gambling”.

    We hear this a lot, it’s a classic “Progressive” gambit. They don’t understand futures contracts, and they believe that there’s something deeply immoral about making a profit by trading. I’m not going to reply to this, I think it’s been said 1000 times already.

    CLAIM (1:08:30): Price fixing is the answer.

    I really don’t think it is the answer, nor do I see any connection between this and the rest of the video (other than emotive leading the viewer).

    CLAIM (1:09:00): The global economy has made the world’s poor move vulnerable to being enslaved.

    Actually there are lots and lots of examples where the overall world statistics are getting better in terms of reduced disease, less starvation, and I would argue less slavery as well. As I said above, it was Western Anglo-Saxon Christian values that led the world away from slavery and continue to impose this standard on other cultures. Not every culture is interested. Slavery is an old custom and these things die hard.

    I refuse to be manipulated by my guilt… doubly so when I see the bait and switch come into operation.

    CLAIM (1:09:00): There are more slaves today than ever in human history.

    I find this extremely doubtful. Firstly, it only makes sense as a proportion of global population, and technology has greatly increased the population… but secondly, these guys are shonky with their numbers (and activists are well known for simply inventing statistics when it suits them, like the global warmists tinkering with temperature charts, or us getting berated with the imaginary gender pay gap, or Paul Ehrlich telling us we are all starving right now). They don’t cite any reference or any way they calculated this. I’m sorry, I’ve just been bullshitted to one too many times.

    I believe in strong borders, nations that have some basic standards that define their culture, not making excuses for illegal people trafficking (I’m looking at you President Obama, and your “Progressive” friends) and I do believe in the rule of law (which I know is not perfect, but better than nothing).

    Australia had years of illegal boat people in leaky second hand fishing boats, washing up on rocks, mostly ending up dead, because of a deliberately slack government policy. It was a national disgrace. Tony Abbott stopped the boats… they literally turned around the people trafficking and sent them back. As a result we now have a stable border. We still accept both regular migrants, and some controlled flow of refugees, but that’s a matter for democratic debate to decide what is reasonable. We get to make that decision, because we have strong borders.

    As for India, they also deserve self determination, to make their own mistakes in their own way. I’m not willing to make war on them, not even over slavery. I understand there’s problems in India… I have talked to some of my Indian and Nepali friends about the government removal of the 100 Rupee note which surely must have caused great misery amongst the poorest people, but so far I’m yet to find anyone who isn’t a supporter of this policy (not counting myself). I agree to disagree on that issue.

    • Rory says:

      Yeah well … just wait until they quote Thoreau at you. Then you’ll see.

    • Harold says:

      Not sure about your objection to the rugmark claim. They say that there will be no child labor, but also that all workers will be paid the minimum wage. So if we ignore the child labor bit, the rugmark still helps to ensure no slave labor.

      Not sure about child labor laws, but there is probably some age limit and work hours limits, so we could get both legal and illegal child labor.

      • Amber says:

        I have not watched the video, but according to Tel’s representation the claim is “Rugmark is protecting you from supporting slavery.” But it appears that what Rugmark is actually protecting you from is supporting a business which employs people who voluntarily work at a young age or for less than a government-imposed minimum wage. Even if you think those are bad things, they are not the same as slavery, hence the complaints about bait-and-switch tactics.

        • Harold says:

          Amber, as Tel quotes, Rugmark ensures suppliers

          “* to pay all workers at least the minimum wage as set by Indian law”

          It seems to me that this effectively ensures no slavery (if it were effective). It seems unlikely that employees paid the minimum wage would be slaves.

      • Kiwi says:

        Harold, you’re cool.

    • Amber says:

      Wow, Tel, thanks for taking the time to do that. It appears much as I suspected; specious claims based more on emotion than fact and a false conflation of child or low-wage labor with actual slavery.

      Unfortunately I’m sure that your reasonable critique will only be taken as just more proof that libertarians are pro-slavery shills.

      The whole premise is comical to me, given that libertarians are the ones who decry the income tax as a form of slavery, and who respect the agency and humanity of people in poor countries enough to want them to have the ability to choose where and when are for how much to work.

      • Plum says:

        This is what libertarians like you call respecting “the agency and humanity of people in poor countries enough to want them to have the ability to choose where and when are for how much to work.” LIBERTARIANS ARE PRO-SLAVERY.


        “He invited us to his home to meet 19 young men who had recently been freed from slavery on a cocoa plantation.”

        “These are the children you’ve been told about, there are 19 of them. They’ve just been released with the help of Ivorian authorities. These young people were living in true slavery. They worked from dawn until after dusk. Today they look well as they’ve all had haircuts; before they looked pitiful.”

        “Why is this boy ill?”

        “He just arrived 6 months ago, so he was in the ‘breaking in’ period. Sadly for him his body could not resist the beatings.”

        “After one of the young men finally managed to escape, the Consul lead a raid on the plantation, to liberate those still enslaved.”

        “They were totally isolated from the world. They were unrecognisable when we found them – from another world. Around 8pm the shed is locked by one of them who had been made the boss. Each one had an old tin to use if they wanted to urinate. There was no question of them leaving the hut during the night. When they ran away they had to be caught by the others. When they are caught they are beaten both morning and evening on the first day. When they can’t take any more they are left. When their wounds have started to heal they are sent back to work. Then they are watched until they become ‘smoother’ – until they accept their fate.”

        “The Consul has arranged for they boys to go home to Mali to be reunited with families that may have given up hope of ever seeing them again. For now, they are staying at Consul Mako’s home, beginning to recover from years of psychological as well as physical torture.”

        “Our master used us as slaves. He took us there and never paid us a penny. He said if anyone escaped he would be caught and killed. No one dared challenge him, he was too powerful. We were all terrified of him, no one dared escape. If you ran away, he would catch you, tie you up, beat you, then lock you in a hut. They would tie your hands behind your back. Then one person would beat your front and someone else your back.”

        “When you’re beaten, your clothes are taken off, and your hands tied. You’re thrown on the floor, and then beaten, beaten really viciouosly. Twice in a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.”

        “How did they beat you?”

        {visual demonstration}

        “How old is this one?”

        “He’s 18 now.”

        “18 now. You’re body is covered in scars. Can you tell us what happened to you now?”

        “The work was too hard for me. I couldn’t do it, so I ran away. Then they caught me, brought me back, and beat me.”

        “When we were rescued he had been beaten so much he couldn’t walk. After you were beaten your body had cuts and wounds everywhere. Then the flies would infect the wounds, so they’d fill with pus. You had to recover while you worked.”

        “In the time that you were working at the plantation, was anybody killed?”

        “When he beat somone to the point that he couldn’t move, he took him out of the plantation. He took the person away. We never saw that person again.”

        “Was anybody here paid any money for their work?”

        “None of us has ever been paid.”

        “And how many years did you work on the plantation?”

        “I worked there for 5 years, 5 years and 5 months.”

        “When you think back on what you had to do these last 5 years, what does it make you feel?”

        “When I think of all that suffering, it hurts my heart deeply. I want to say so much, but I just can’t find the words.”

        “The cocoa goes into making chocolate. Have you ever tasted chocolate?”

        “Mmm-mmm. We have never eaten chocolate.”

        “In the rest of the world, millions and millions of people eat chocolate. What would you tell those people?”

        “If I had to say something to them, it would not be nice words. They enjoy something I suffered to make; I worked hard for them, but saw no benefit. They are eating my flesh.”

        – Slavery: A Global Investigation https://vimeo.com/39383629

      • Tamarillo says:

        This is what libertarians like you call respecting “the agency and humanity of people in poor countries enough to want them to have the ability to choose where and when are for how much to work.” LIBERTARIANS ARE PRO-SLAVERY!


        “Antonio Martinez stood in the hot sun, exhausted from a cross-country journey, and waited. Just 21 years old, he had traveled from Mexico to the U.S. with the promise of a well-paid construction job in California. But now he stood in a field in central Florida, listening to one man pay another man $500 to own him.”

        ““I realized I had been sold like an animal without any compassion,” Antonio thought at the time, more than 10 years ago.”

        “He was right. In modern times, in the United States, Antonio had been sold into slavery in Florida’s tomato fields.”

        “These slaves often work for 10-12 hours a day, seven days a week. They are kept in crampt and dirty trailers, constantly monitored, and have wages garnished to pay a debt invented by the trafficker to keep victims enslaved. Many victims face threats to themselves or their families, regular beatings, sexual harassment and rape. They can’t leave, can’t seek help. They are in every way trapped.” – Amanda Kloer, CNN

      • Orange says:

        If by “reasonable critique” you mean “lying through your teeth”. “Libertarians” don’t even oppose taxes; you just cry about taxes while actively working to undermine real anti-tax activists like the National War Tax Coordinating Committee by denying their efforts and sometimes actively deleting endorsements of them. In doing so, libertarians support both taxes and war. At the same time, you use taxation as a ploy to distract from the actual chattel slavery you support. LIBERTARIANS ARE PRO-TAXES! LIBERTARIANS ARE PRO-SLAVERY! LIBERTARIANS ARE PRO-WAR!

        • Anonymous says:

          You said it in all caps so it must be true

          • Bilberry says:

            We gave you guys a list of stories about slavery, expressed frustration that out of dozens of libertarians we’ve e-mailed with such stories, we haven’t found any abolitionists, concluded that libertarians must be pro-slavery, and Amber called the examples of slavery “voluntary transactions between willing parties without government interference”. We replied with two of the things she had just called “voluntary transactions” in that post and on this one. In short, like many many other libertarians, Amber is pro-slavery.

            This was the list:

    • guest says:

      Tel, I read your summation and found it extremely helpful.

      I have not watched the video except up to the part where they said they’d stick to real slavery.

      The parts where they didn’t stick to slavery, such as colonialism and international banking, reveal that they are simply unaware that the Austrians have already addressed these issues.

      These activists don’t know that their activism on these other issues is what contributes to the slavery they say they’re fighting.

      The problem isn’t international banking, but fiat money / fractional reserve banking.

      The problem isn’t colonialism *as they understand it now* – i.e., the so-called “neo-colonialism” of businesses outsourcing jobs to cheap foreign labor, but the otherwise largely remaining socialistic / centrally planned nature of the economics in their country. Outsourcing actually *allieviates* the suffering of poor foreign labor to the extent that the labor is voluntarily traded for a voluntarily traded wage from the employer – however low that wage is.

      For these slavery activists, here’s some info on the Austrian position on banking:

      The Economics of Fractional Reserve Banking | Joseph T. Salerno

      War and the Fed | Lew Rockwell

      On price fixing:

      The Failure of Wage and Price Control in the Massachusetts Theocracy

      How Price Controls Lead to Socialism

      Forty Centuries of Wage and Price Controls: How Not to Fight Inflation

      I haven’t read this. Just a few pages.

      Here’s an interesting quote from the book:

      “What, then, have price controls achieved in the recurrent struggle to
      restrain inflation and overcome shortages? The historical record is a grimly
      uniform sequence of repeated failure. Indeed, there is not a single episode
      where price controls have worked to stop inflation or cure shortages. Instead
      of curbing inflation, price controls add. other complications to the
      inflation disease, such as black markets and shortages that reflect the waste
      and misallocation of resources caused by the price controls themselves.
      Instead of eliminating shortages, price controls cause or worsen shortages.
      By giving producers and consumers the wrong signals because “low” prices to producers limit supply and “low” prices to consumers stimulate
      demand, price controls widen the gap between supply and demand.”

      And Tom Woods put together a list of resource pages addressing many of these activist’s economic errors – errors which, if corrected, would allow them to be far more effective at eliminating slavery:

      Free Stuff > The Woods Resource Pages

      • guest says:

        More on colonialism.

        Free markets aren’t colonialism. Foreign governments, such as Britain and the U.S., forcing another country to work for them, is colonialism.

        The distinction is worth noting because just because colonialists use labor-saving devices and utilize some forms of the division of labor and the price system to make their colonialism that much more effective doesn’t mean that those tools are the essence of colonialism.

        So, when South Africa got rid of colonialism, but also got rid of the otherwise free market tools and ideas that came from colonists, and instead embraced socialism – they shot themselves in the foot, as Walter Williams explains:

        South Africa after apartheid

        “The tragic fact of business is that ordinary Africans were better off under colonialism. Colonial masters never committed anything near the murder and genocide seen under black rule in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Somalia and other countries, where millions of blacks have been slaughtered in unspeakable ways, which include: hacking to death, boiling in oil, setting on fire and dismemberment. If as many elephants, zebras and lions had been as ruthlessly slaughtered, the world’s leftists would be in a tizzy. When Zimbabwe, then Southern Rhodesia, was under white rule, the ANC demanded the ouster of Prime Minister Ian Smith and the installation of black rule. Today, Zimbabwe’s Minister Robert Mugabe commits gross violations of black and white human rights. With the help of lawless thugs, Mugabe has undertaken a land-confiscation program from white farmers. Instead of condemning Zimbabwe human-rights abuses, the South African government has given Mugabe its unqualified support.”

  4. trent steel says:

    Guys, I implore you, stop feeding the trolls. For crying out loud look at the comments! It’s classic trolling. They use canned and you guys are putting real time and thought into replies. Replies to copy&paste comments.

    If Dr. Murphy doesn’t have the heart to ban them (or him or her and their obvious sock puppets), the least we can do for him is to ignore them.

    • Blueberry says:

      You want to talk about time? We spent months putting that list of examples of slavery together from various sources. Many of them are the words of actual freed slaves. But to libertarians, the stories of slavery survivors are just “canned”, and that is one of the ways libertarians support slavery. And one of us also put plenty of time into refuting Tel’s list of lies. Bob Murphy never approved the reply, but it’s here:

    • Bitter Clinger says:

      Thank you Tel for your work. I appreciate your effort. I was able to only get through 20 minutes of the movie.

      Trent, I disagree. They are not Trolls, they are ignorant and superstitious and we should be trying to educate them. Here is the problem as I see it. I saw a movie a while ago with Jason Stratam about alternate universes. In one scene is a “capitalistic/libertarian” universe, which was dark, dirty, dystopian like Potterville from a Wonderful Life. It reminded me of Eastern Europe, the old Soviet Union, or Mainland China. (I have worked in all three countries) Then a bit later they showed a “socialistic” universe, which was populated by bright, active, attractive, healthy, and happy people driving energy efficient cars and enjoying life. I said, “That looks just like the Villages.” (Sumter Co., Fl. As close as it is possible to get to Galt’s Gulch in this world) The point being that people believe that capitalism is dark, dirty, ugly while socialism and communism are bright, happy, Utopian. I even saw recently that Pope Frances is against the libertarians. There is also the universal belief among people that the more corrupt, criminal, incompetent the regulation, the closer society is to being “free market”. The financial crisis was about free market excesses at the same time that finance, medicine, and nuclear power are the most highly regulated of all the industrial sectors. Recently I wrote about the role of government. As I ask there, “How can we explain to the ignorant and superstitious that the only way to make life safer, easier, and more egalitarian is to make it less so?

      In 1980 Milton Friedman wrote, “Free To Choose” in which he explained that to increase equality one must decrease freedom. I took exception because there are places that have neither freedom nor equality. Places like North Korea and Cuba may have some equality, the US has some measure of freedom, but the majority of the world has poverty, slavery, and death as the movie shows. What I would like to know is what they want us to do about it.

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