Where There’s Smoke, There’s Libertarians

It was a weekend of jaywalking with a smile, lighting up cigarettes indoors and plotting ways to ‘sow seeds of doubt’. The inaugural Australian Mises Seminar took place last weekend in a secret location in Sydney. Somewhere between the Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland buildings.

Living legend Hans-Hermann Hoppe was the centre of the show, preaching to the largely converted about Democracy: The God That Failed, The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, The Myth of National Defense and A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism.

All this might not seem like your cup of tea. But that’s not really your choice. Think of it this way:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the smokers
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a smoker
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

That was Martin NiemÖller, writing about Germany under the Nazis. (We included one verse, but won’t tell you which one.)

Closer to home, they have so far come for the smokers, jaywalkers, fast drivers, emitters, miners, savers and defence volunteers. Taxes, fines, plain packaging, more taxes, inflation (another tax) and wars.

But don’t think there isn’t any resistance to all this injustice. Including violent resistance (unrelated to the Mises Seminar).

This individual, who claims to have worked for the chairman of a bank, decided to make his car ‘disappear’ as a sign of his disgust for fractional reserve banking. If you didn’t bother clicking on the link, the video breaks down like this:

‘I’ve had enough. I’m gonna make this car disappear. Please post this on Youtube, ’cause this won’t make it to the media. Fractional reserve lending is the root of all our problems.’

He then throws a match into the boot of his car, which is filled with something very, very flammable. The shenanigan takes place in a packed mall in Wellington, New Zealand.

Fractional reserve banking happens to be a pet topic for philosopher and economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe too. Although he hasn’t blown up any cars as far as we know.

Apart from Hoppe, Mises Seminar attendees heard from all sorts of odd people. There was a fund manager whose portfolio outperforms while others’ crash, a scholar who reckons fiat money is unconstitutional in Australia and a rather attractive private security contractor recently returned from Afghanistan (you’re not allowed to call them mercenaries).

The only person who felt out of place was a mainstream economist.

If you missed out and want to keep in touch with Australia’s libertarian community, economics.org.au is the place to do it.

Nickolai Hubble.
Markets and Money Weekend Edition

Nick Hubble
Nick Hubble is a feature editor of Markets and Money and editor of The Money for Life Letter. Having gained degrees in Finance, Economics and Law from the prestigious Bond University, Nick completed an internship at probably the most famous investment bank in the world, where he discovered what the financial world was really like. He then brought his youthful enthusiasm and energy to Port Phillip Publishing, where, instead of telling everyone about Markets and Money, he started writing for it. To follow Nick's financial world view more closely you can you can subscribe to Markets and Money for free here. If you’re already a Markets and Money subscriber, then we recommend you also join him on Google+. It's where he shares investment research, commentary and ideas that he can't always fit into his regular Markets and Money emails.

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5 Comments on "Where There’s Smoke, There’s Libertarians"

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Great write up Nick. Mises.org.au has the event info, and videos of the lectures will eventually be put up.


Thanks for the article. For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues, please see http://​www.Libertarian-Internation​al.org , the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization

Robber Baron

We need a seminar in Melbourne. There are many free market anarcho-capitalists hiding down here as well.


I live in Sydney and I visit the mises site and many other financial and libertarian sites daily and knew nothing about this seminar. Very disappointed.


Some interesting analysis on Hoppe here: http://goo.gl/g1oOd

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