Joakim Book: Winner of the 2018 Money Metals Exchange & Sound Money Defense League essay contest

Just to keep readers up to date, Joakim just won a scholarship for an essay on sound money and banking. Here is the link to the essay. Here is the link to the announcement. It reads as follows:

For the third straight year, Money Metals Exchange, a national precious metals dealer recently ranked “Best in the USA,” has teamed up with the Sound Money Defense League to offer the first gold-backed scholarship of the modern era. These groups have set aside 100 ounces of physical gold to reward outstanding students who display a thorough understanding of the economics, monetary policy, and sound money.

A gold-backed scholarship?! Freakin’ awesome. Here is Joakim’s latest post at NOL, which was highlighted at the Financial Times‘ “Alphaville” blog (the FT is like the Wall Street Journal for countries that were once part of the British Empire).

One of the things I liked most about Joakim’s latest blog was the fact that he incorporated a post by another Notewriter into his thoughts (in this case Rick’s musings on Mariana Mazzucato and counterfactuals). The folks at “Alphaville” have been good to us over the years, too. They’ve linked, since 2017, to thoughts from Shree, Federico, Vincent (twice!), Mark, and Tridivesh as well as Joakim.

Joakim’s well-deserved award stacks up quite nicely with Lucas’ 2018 Novak Award from the Acton Institute and Nick’s winning entry for the Mont Pelerin Society’s 2018 Hayek essay competition. All in all, it’s been a good year for the Notewriters.

More Longform essays

Barry’s essays on republican libertarianism (not what you think, American readers!) and British sovereignty and isolationism are up in the new ‘Longform Essays‘ section of the blog. You’ll see that there are more in the works, too, including essays by Zak, Rick, and at least one more from Barry.

These essays join Jacques’ work on legal immigration into the United States and protectionism/free trade, as well as Mary’s essay on education and its relationship with The State.

Editing these essays makes me the luckiest dude in all of libertarian-dom! I hope there are many more in the years to come.

I still pay attention to the news cycle, but it’s so outrageous these days that it’s hard to write about, let alone analyse or interpret. What a mess. I will say that corporate media is definitely skewed to the left.

Libertarians – and economists – haven’t done a good job of explaining the benefits of free trade. Telling the man on the street that free trade is a fundamental truth has not worked. “Democracy” is another major issue; people throw the word around like a baseball, but its fundamentals are rarely discussed. Given that we’ve gone to war over democracy, on numerous occasions, I think it needs to be discussed far more often.

At any rate, enjoy the essays!

NOL’s newest feature: the Longform Essays

I want to quickly direct your attention to NOL‘s newest feature, the Longform Essays. In them you will find all of the n-part series that the Notewriters have done over the years, but they’ve been put together (by yours truly) into one long essay, for your convenience.

It’s still a work in progress. Jacques’ essays are done. Mary’s four-part essay on The State and education is finished, too. I am slowly, but surely, working on Barry’s and Rick’s essays.

Enjoy!

Busy, busy, busy

Hey folks, I’ve been busy. I just moved from Austin to Waco, and found out child #2 is on the way. Holy crap!

Here is my Tuesday column at RealClearHistory, on Rod Blagojevich, and here is my weekend column for the same site, on the World Cup. Be sure to check them out! I’ve got two columns per week at RealClearHistory, one comes out Tuesdays and the other on Fridays.

I hope you’ve been enjoying yourselves here at NOL. Awhile back, Michelangelo suggested I shift more of my writing focus here to be on libertarian parenting, but I thought that might be a bit too personal. (There’s a lot of weirdos out there.)

I’ve invited Joakim, Shree, Ethan, and Mary to join us at the consortium, and I do hope you’ve been enjoying their stuff so far (I know I have). You can find out what everyone has been up to lately by starting here (or here, if you’re on Twitter).

Have a good weekend!

Lucas Freire: 2018 Novak Award winner

Edwin just alerted me to this announcement from the Acton Institute:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 23, 2018—In recognition of Professor Lucas G. Freire’s outstanding research in the fields of philosophy, religion, and economics in the ancient Near East, the Acton Institute will be awarding him the 2018 Novak Award.

Despite Michael Novak’s passing in February 2017, his memory will continue to be honored every year with the presentation of the Novak Award. This recognizes new outstanding research by scholars early in their academic careers who demonstrate outstanding intellectual merit in advancing understanding of the relationship between religion, the economy, and economic freedom. Recipients of the Novak Award make a formal presentation at an annual public forum known as the Calihan Lecture. The Novak Award comes with a $15,000 prize.

Lucas G. Freire is an assistant professor at Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo, Brazil, and a fellow at the university’s new Center for Economic Freedom. He is also a postdoctoral fellow at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. He received his PhD in politics from the University of Exeter. Previously, he also served as a research associate with the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics in Cambridge, UK.

Professor Freire has commented on political and economic issues drawing on Christian thinking in the Reformed tradition. He has published on political theory and philosophy in journals such as Philosophia Reformata and Acta Academica. His current research focuses on the connection between religion, politics and economics in the ancient Near East and the biblical world. He lives in São Paulo with his wife and two children.

Congratulations Lucas!

Here are his posts at NOL so far. Now that he’s got a bit more money in his pocket, perhaps he will have some time to spare for blogging…

The Mexican-American War, and another warm welcome

My topic over at RealClearHistory today is the Mexican-American War and slavery, so be sure to show me a little extra love and have a peek. An excerpt:

The British, for their part, played an ingeniously devious role. London convinced Mexico to finally recognize Texas independence in 1845, as long as Texas agreed to avoid annexation by another sovereign polity. This put enormous pressure on factions in Washington, Austin, and Mexico City, so much so that Tyler, by then a lame-duck, urged Congress to put aside its differences and offer statehood to the Republic of Texas (which it did). In Austin, the process was a little trickier. The Congress of the Texan Republic had to vote on whether to be independent or to be annexed, but so did a newly-formed convention of elected delegates, which was one of the requirements imposed on Texas by the United States. (Washington felt that a convention of elected delegates better fit the profile of an incoming state than a Congress that had been independent for 10 years.) Both the Congress and the convention of delegates voted in favor of annexation over independence. The convention of delegates then drew up a state constitution, turned it over to the people of Texas to be ratified, and then sent it to Washington for Congressional acceptance. On Dec. 29, 1845, the U.S. Congress finally ratified statehood for Texas.

Please, read the rest. Annexation is a topic I will continue to explore, albeit from NOL rather than RealClearHistory, so stay tuned. “Entrance” is just as important as “exit” in libertarian theory, even though the latter gets all of the fame and fortune these days.

Speaking of entrances, I’d like to officially, warmly welcome Shree Agnihotri to the consortium and highlight her first thoughts with NOL: “Role of a Citizen in Hegemonic Authoritarianism.” I’m not going to spoil it for you, but it’s about Hannah Arendt, so if you haven’t read it yet, now would be a good time (don’t forget to say ‘hi’ while you’re at it). Here is her bio. Here is more from NOL on Hannah Arendt. I’m stoked to see what she has to say over the years!

RCH, and a warm welcome

My topic over at RealClearHistory today is the Mexican-American War. I lay out a general background on all the players, hoping that a primer will do readers there some good. An excerpt:

Texas. In 1821, the newly-established Mexican government was having severe trouble with the Comanche in the area and invited Americans to settle the region. This pushed the Comanche west and helped weaken them, but it also laid the groundwork for a Texian secession from Mexico. Texas declared independence from Mexico in 1835, but of course nobody in Mexico City recognized this declaration. Texas and Mexico fought for more than a decade before representatives from the Lone Star Republic finally succeeded in lobbying Washington to annex Texas and incorporate it into the American federation. It’s worth noting here that immigration was not the cause of Texian secession from Mexico, as some nativists are apt to claim today. Texas was, like Yucatán, tired of being governed poorly from Mexico City. The anti-immigration argument would be much stronger if Mexico wasn’t facing revolts and secessions everywhere it turned.

Please, read the rest. I’m going to, as I promise in the piece, delve into slavery and the war next Tuesday, but there’s also other topics to think about. Secession comes to mind for me, as I can’t help but ask what could have been if the Senate had not rejected Yucatán’s bid for annexation. Also, is annexation the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to not only “exit” in libertarian circles, but entrance as well?

Speaking of entrances, I’d like to officially, warmly welcome Mary Lucia Darst to the consortium and highlight her first thoughts with NOL: “The Sad Retreat.” I’m not going to spoil it for you, so if you haven’t read it yet, now would be a good time (don’t forget to say ‘hi’ while you’re at it). Here is her bio. I am extremely excited to read what she shares here over the next few years.