Arcane Liberty

About six months ago I was in my local Starbucks, and by chance met a lawyer by the name of Richard Duke (website). Richard is leader in Asset Law, but our discussions centered around Economics and Libertarianism. In the past I held a more conservative viewpoint, but over the last few years my confidence in the Republican party and its conservatives has diminished. As I began to hear more about libertarianism, it made more and more sense to me. I began to identify myself as a Libertarian, to the extent I understood their platform.

Meeting Richard turned out to be a true stroke of luck. First, Richard has a love of books like I do, and recommended a series of books which I have been devouring. Authors such as Henry Hazlitt, Murray Rothbard, Thomas Sowell, and Tom Woods. I’ll be posting book reviews of the books I’ve read as upcoming blog posts.

Second, Richard has strong ties to an organization called the Mises Institute, located just down the road from me in Auburn Alabama. (website) If you’ve not heard of them, they focus on the teachings of Ludwig von Mises. Mises was responsible for what is known as Austrian Economics. While Ludwig von Mises may not be a household name, you may have heard of one of its advocates, a former congressman, Presidential candidate, and gentleman by the name of Ron Paul. Doctor Paul is a lecturer and author with the Mises Institute.

Today the US, along with many countries, follows an economic strategy called Keynesian Economics. I’ll explain more about this in the future, but the gist of Keynesian Economics calls for government intervention to tightly control the economy. Tools such as regulations, subsidies, taxes, labor rules, and often used techniques like the infusion of money into the economy are used to control not only the flow of money but our free choices.

While I’m sure the people who founded this framework had the best of intentions, like the proverbial snowball rolling down hill we are now buried under an avalanche of government control. Virtually everything we do is controlled in some way, however minor, by the government.

As I read more, I become acutely aware of the negative impacts of these policies. That is what has attracted me to Libertarianism and Austrian Economics. Austrian Economics takes a hands off approach. The free market should be able to sort things out much more efficiently than government, while giving consumers freedom to pick and chose the best products and services for themselves.

So why a blog? Well, as I read various sites and blogs on the web, from both the left and the right, I see more and more abuses of our personal liberty. Unfortunately many are not aware of it, or see something presented to them as a positive, but if they really understood likely they would not be any happier about it than I am. Sadly the media of today skews its reporting toward one party or another, typically with some hidden (or not so hidden) agenda.

Second, I am seeking to learn more about personal finances, liberty, logic, economics, and history. They say the best way to learn is by teaching, so this blog will provide me a way to share what I learn, as well as serve as a personal journal on my quest for knowledge.

Finally, you may ask why the odd name for my blog. In part it is due to my professional efforts on the web. I run another blog called ArcaneCode ( | @ArcaneCode). In my day job I teach and consult about the Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence tools, in addition to coauthoring four books, training videos, and have been awarded the Microsoft MVP award for the last six years. I wanted to retain that blog for my technical outreach, and as these two efforts would have vastly different audiences decided a second blog was in order.

The name Arcane Liberty though, is also fitting in another way. The dictionary defines arcane as “understood by few, mysterious or secret”. In today’s society I believe the concept of Liberty is becoming less and less understood by more and more people. Perhaps my simple writings will help to clarify and educate, at least in some small way, as I seek to further understand liberty.

You can follow me on twitter at @ArcaneLiberty

3 thoughts on “Arcane Liberty

  1. I think the first book that really turned me on to libertarianism was by John Stossel, called “Give Me a Break”. It really helped highlight all of the ways in which government just gets in our way rather than helping. His subsequent books have been quite good, especially his latest “No They Can’t”.

    Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt is a good quick primer into the way a libertarian would handle the economy, focuses on Austrian Economics.

    For a New Liberty by Murray Rothbard brings to a logical conclusion what a true libertarian world would look like if taken to the fullest extent. While I don’t agree with all of his points, it really opened me up to some new ways of thinking. A quick example, in his system there are no such things as public prosecutors. It is up to the injured party to decide whether to pursue legal action, not an elected official.

    The book I’m reading right now, a little over half way done with it, is Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell. Highly recommend it if you wish to gain a solid understanding of how a free market system should work, and how a true free market has the ability to keep itself under control without the interference of the government. He also shows what the ramifications are when government does choose to interfere. As I said I’m about 2/3 done with it, and thus far it gets 5 stars from me.

    These are just a few, I have a long list I’ll be working through as reviews over the upcoming weeks. I also have a friend who will be doing some guest blogging, I already have his first one and plan to put it up tomorrow, after work. I think I’d start with anything by John Stossel, they are fast reads and you don’t quite feel like it is a text book. I liked the Hazlitt and Rothbard books, but they were written more with more of an academic feel. With Stossel I felt like I was having a conversation of sorts, much more relaxed.

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