Philosophically, I believe that libertarianism - and the wider creed of sound individualism of which libertarianism is a part - must rest on absolutism and deny relativism.
The successful entrepreneurs on the free market will be the ones most adept at anticipating future business conditions. Yet, the forecasting can never be perfect, and entrepreneurs will continue to differ in the success of their judgments. If this were not so, no profits or losses would ever be made in business.
In the market, the fittest are those most able to serve the consumers; in government, the fittest are those most adept at wielding coercion and/or those most adroit at making demagogic appeals to the voting public.
Libertarians regard the state as the Supreme, the eternal, the best organized aggressor against the persons and property of the mass of the public. All states everywhere, whether democratic, dictatorial, or monarchical, whether red, white, blue or brown.
In his second Inaugural Address, on March 5, 1821, Monroe admitted at last to a general depression of prices, but only as a means of explaining the great decline in the federal revenue. Despite this, he asserted that the situation of America presented a 'gratifying spectacle.'
By the 1890s, the leading Wall Street bankers were becoming increasingly disgruntled with their own creation, the National Banking System... while the banking system was partially centralized under their leadership, it was not centralized enough.
While other individuals or institutions obtain their income by production of goods and services and by the peaceful and voluntary sale of these goods and services to others, the State obtains its revenue by the use of compulsion; that is, by the use and the threat of the jailhouse and the bayonet.
It is human nature that when you see something work well, you do more of it. If, in its ceaseless quest for revenue, government sees a seemingly harmless method of raising funds without causing much inflation, it will grab on to it.
The expansionary operations of the Second Bank of the United States, coupled with its laxity toward insisting on specie payment by the state banks, impelled a further inflationary expansion of state banks on top of the spectacular enlargement of the central bank. Thus, the number of incorporated state banks rose from 232 in 1816 to 338 in 1818.
The Jacksonians were not monetary nationalists; specie was specie, and they saw no reason that foreign gold or silver coins should not circulate with the same full privileges as American-minted coins.
It should be clear that modern fractional reserve banking is a shell game, a Ponzi scheme, a fraud in which fake warehouse receipts are issued and circulate as equivalent to the cash supposedly represented by those receipts.
If government wishes to see a depression ended as quickly as possible and the economy returned to normal prosperity, what course should it adopt? The first and clearest injunction is: Don't interfere with the market's adjustment process.
A robber who justified his theft by saying that he really helped his victims, by his spending giving a boost to retail trade, would find few converts; but when this theory is clothed in Keynesian equations and impressive references to the 'multiplier effect,' it unfortunately carries more conviction.
The picture of the free market is necessarily one of harmony and mutual benefit; the picture of State intervention is one of caste conflict, coercion, and exploitation.
The majority is not society, is not everyone. Majority coercion over the minority is still coercion.
An attempt by the Mongols to introduce paper money in Persia in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries flopped because no one would accept it. The public had no confidence in the paper money despite the awesomely coercive decrees that always marked Mongol rule.
It is important to realize that gold and silver are international commodities and that, therefore, when not prohibited by government decree, foreign coins are perfectly capable of serving as standard moneys.
Originally, Congress provided in 1793 that all foreign coins circulating in the United States be legal tender. Indeed, foreign coins have been estimated to form 80 percent of American domestic specie circulation in 1800.
The threat of gold redeemability imposes a constant check and limit on inflationary issues of government paper. If the government can remove the threat, it can expand and inflate without cease. And so it begins to emit propaganda, trying to persuade the public not to use gold coins in their daily lives.
Since the State necessarily lives by the compulsory confiscation of private capital, and since its expansion necessarily involves ever-greater incursions on private individuals and private enterprise, we must assert that the State is profoundly and inherently anticapitalist.