Scotland, Nation, and Liberty

As I start writing voting is coming to an end in Scotland with regard to a referendum on whether Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom comprises England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. There are those in Cornwall, a peninsula on the extreme south-west of England who argue that is should … Continue reading Scotland, Nation, and Liberty

Scotland and Secession

From the New York Times: Scotland would have to renegotiate membership in the European Union and other international organizations if it votes for independence in a referendum next year, according to legal advice expected to be published Monday by the British government. Read the whole thing. A couple of thoughts: Wow, the British government published a report … Continue reading Scotland and Secession

Scotland, the Sudan, and Federalism Done Right

[new title] I have been blogging a lot lately on political decentralization and secession as tool for furthering this process.  I am one of those people who thinks that Karl Marx had a lot of stuff right, even though he got some other important stuff very, very wrong.  His prediction of the withering away of … Continue reading Scotland, the Sudan, and Federalism Done Right

Davies’ “Extreme Economies” – Part 2: Failure

In the previous part of this three-part review, I looked at Davies’ first subsection (“Survival”) where he ventured to some of the most secluded and extreme places of the world – a maximum security prison, a refugee camp, a tsunami disaster – and found thriving markets. Not in that pejorative and predatory way markets are … Continue reading Davies’ “Extreme Economies” – Part 2: Failure

Davies’ “Extreme Economies” – Part 1: Survival

Late to the party, I relied on the quality-control of the masses before I plunged into Richard Davies’ much-hyped book Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure and Future – Lessons from the World’s Limits (see reviews by Diane Coyle and Philip Aldrick). I first heard about it on some Summer Reading List – or perhaps Financial Times’ … Continue reading Davies’ “Extreme Economies” – Part 1: Survival

Financial History to the Rescue: The Harder Money Wins Out

This article is part of a series on bitcoin (and bitcoiners’) arguments about money and particularly financial history. See also: (1) ‘On Bitcoiners’ Many Troubles’, Joakim Book, NotesOnLiberty (2019-08-13) (2): ‘Rothbard’s First Impressions on Free Banking in Scotland Were Correct’, Joakim Book, AIER (2019-08-18) (4): ‘Bitcoin’s Fixed Money Supply Is a Weakness’, Joakim Book, AIER … Continue reading Financial History to the Rescue: The Harder Money Wins Out

Financial History to the Rescue: On Bitcoiners’ Many Troubles

This article is part of a series on bitcoin (and bitcoiners’) arguments about money and particularly financial history. See also: (2): ‘Rothbard’s First Impressions on Free Banking in Scotland Were Correct’, Joakim Book, AIER (2019-08-18) (3): ‘The Harder Money Wins Out’, Joakim Book, NotesOnLiberty (2019-08-19) (4): ‘Bitcoin’s Fixed Money Supply Is a Weakness’, Joakim Book, … Continue reading Financial History to the Rescue: On Bitcoiners’ Many Troubles

Introducing: the Federation of Free States, an ongoing thought experiment

The most popular article I have ever written, in terms of views, has been, by far, “10 Places that Should Join the U.S.,” a short piece at RealClearHistory pining for an enlarged geographic area under the American constitution. This is not a strange concept for longtime NOL readers. I’ve been pleading for stronger political ties … Continue reading Introducing: the Federation of Free States, an ongoing thought experiment

Those revenue-raising early central banks

In a piece on a rather different topic, George Selgin, director for the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives and editor-in-chief of the monetary blog Alt-M, gave a somewhat offhand comment about the origins of central banks: For revenue-hungry governments to get central banks to fund their debts is itself nothing new, of course. The … Continue reading Those revenue-raising early central banks

Why Hayek was Wrong about American and European Conservatism III

I am continuing from here, where I mainly discussed definitions of liberalism and conservatism. This sequence of posts was inspired by F.A. Hayek’s essay ‘Why I am Not a Conservative’. I am happy to share Hayek’s sentiment that market liberalism is not the same thing as conservatism, but I find some of the argument rather … Continue reading Why Hayek was Wrong about American and European Conservatism III

Defending Political Liberty in an Administered World

This is a very rough work in progress continuing on from my recent post on ‘Law, Judgement, Republicanism’. The problems with a free and open political and judicial culture were diagnosed by Max Weber in his discussion of bureaucracy, which itself draws directly and indirectly on various accounts of the problems of bureaucratisation and administration … Continue reading Defending Political Liberty in an Administered World

Joakim Book

Joakim Book holds a MSc in Economic History from the University of Oxford, and he obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics and Economic History at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Appropriately enough, his research interests include banking and financial history, monetary economics, Austrian economics, central banking and free banking – all topics well suited … Continue reading Joakim Book

From the Comments: More trade, more states?

Nguyen Ha left this thoughtful comment about my post on protectionism in Africa that I am embarrassed I missed: Would you care to explain how “stronger economic ties will hasten the demise of current African states’ superficial institutions”? What a tough question! First, though, I stated that it was my hope that deeper trading ties … Continue reading From the Comments: More trade, more states?

Could the DUP push UK Conservatives towards a ‘Norway Option’?

Last year, Britain voted to leave the European Union under a banner of anti-immigration and protectionism. Since then, both social democrats and classical liberals have been waiting to catch a break. Ever the optimist, I hope they may have just got one, from an unlikely source, the Democratic Unionist Party. They are a Northern Ireland-based … Continue reading Could the DUP push UK Conservatives towards a ‘Norway Option’?