Hemingway on the Costs of War and Inflation

Justin Ptak:

A selection of quotes from Ernest Hemingway’s “Notes on the Next War: A Serious Topical Letter” first published in Esquire (September 1935):

- “War is no longer made by simply analysed economic forces if it ever was. War is made or planned now by individual men, demagogues and dictators who play on the patriotism of their people to mislead them into a belief in the great fallacy of war when all their vaunted reforms have failed to satisfy the people they misrule.”

- “We in America should see that no man is ever given, no matter how gradually or how noble and excellent the man, the power to put this country into a war which is now being prepared and brought closer each day with all the pre-meditation of a long planned murder. For when you give power to an executive you do not know who will be filling that position when the time of crisis comes.”

- “They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for ones country. [Horace's statement: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori] But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason”.

- “No catalogue of horrors ever kept men from war. Before the war you always think that it’s not you that dies. But you will die, brother, if you go to it long enough.”

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

Source: http://archive.mises.org/7392/hemingway-on...

The One Thing that Attracted Rothbard about Communist China

Murray Rothbard, in a speech during his later years: "One thing about communist China, by the way, is that... the leadership are all in their upper 80s, or early 90s. The youngsters - the young liberals - are all about 75. The only thing that attracts me about communist China is that if I were in communist China, I would be a brilliant teenage youth leader!"

The 1989 source:

Source: https://www.facebook.com/danieljamessanche...

Bastiat on Bureaucrats

"Very soon there will be two or three of these bureaucrats around every Frenchman, one to prevent him from working too much, another to give him an education, a third to furnish him credit, a fourth to interfere with his business transactions, etc., etc. Where will we be led by the illusion that impels us to believe that the state is a person who has an inexhaustible fortune independent of ours?" 

-Frédéric Bastiat, 1850

Adam Smith on War as Amusement

"In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies. To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace. They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war."

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Rothbard on Crisis and Leviathan

"Most conservatives and libertarians are very familiar with – and deplore – the increase in State power in the American government in the last 50 or 70 years, but what they don’t seem to realize is that most of these increases took place in giant leaps during wartime. It was wartime that provided the crisis situation – the spark – which enabled the States to put on so-called "emergency" measures, which of course never got lifted, or rarely got lifted."

Source: http://www.antiwar.com/orig/rothbard_on_wa...

Rothbard on "The Main Imperialist"

"The sneer against isolationism always was that isolationists were parochial, narrow-minded characters who don’t know that there is a world out there and want to hide their heads in the sand. In fact it’s the opposite – the true principle of isolationism is that the government should be isolated, the government should do nothing abroad and people who trade, interchange, and engage in voluntary travel, migration, and so forth should be allowed to peacefully do so. The idea is to isolate the government, not to isolate the country.

There’s another aspect, of course; this would apply to any government, but the thing is there is also an extra aspect – empirically it so happens that the American government since the days of Woodrow Wilson has been the main threat to the peace of the world, the main imperialist, the main embarker on a policy of meddling in every conceivable country every place in the world to make sure their government shapes up properly. So that the policy of American isolationism is more important for libertarian principle than any other country’s isolationism."

Source: http://www.antiwar.com/orig/rothbard_on_wa...

A Principled Parent Deflects a Military Flesh-Peddler – LewRockwell.com

“I asked, `Who is this?’ `Sergeant [whatever his name was] from the United States Army! I hear he is graduating soon, and I’d like to discuss some career opportunities in the US Army with him!’ I held the phone away from my face, and yelled across the room, clearly, so the sergeant could hear: `Hey, Junior, there is some guy on the phone. Wants you to go to Iraq and kill brown people until you run over a mine in your jeep and blow your balls off!’
Junior laughed.”

“I said to the recruiter, `Sorry, he’s busy playing Nintendo’ — then hung up.”

Source: http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/a-prin...

Advance to Barbarism

"Americans like to think of themselves as a progressive people living in a progressive age. And yet the twentieth century – whatever its marvels – has been above all the century of total war. Despite the fact that technological advance has made total war increasingly absurd and grotesque in an era of nuclear warfare; despite the progress of preceding centuries in civilizing and limiting warfare, and in keeping civilians out of harm's way; war to the death has returned in full flower. Herbert Spencer brilliantly realized that the advance of mankind from barbarism to civilization could be summed up as a shift from "military" to "industrial" society. Yet, in the twentieth century, we have starkly reverted to the military way; in so doing, we have repudiated the very humanism, the very principles of peace and freedom, upon which a modern industrial system ineluctably rests. This has truly been, in the words of Harry Elmer Barnes' friend and revisionist colleague, F. J. P. Veale, an "advance to barbarism.""

- Murray N. Rothbard

Source: https://www.facebook.com/danieljamessanche...