Our founder, BK Marcus, has a new article up in the Freeman today, presenting a careful libertarian rethinking of “that paragon of armed social justice, that singular personification of class conflict: Robin Hood.”
As advocates of such voluntary exchange, we too often resist Robin Hood’s rob-from-the-rich morality, as we resist any talk of fundamental conflicts of interest between different classes. But the targets of Robin Hood and his merry men—like the targets of the Peasants’ Revolt—were rich from plunder, not production.
Like the radical liberals of the nineteenth century, the “peasant” rebels of the 1300s—when Robin Hood’s exploits fired the imagination of an oppressed people—recognized that their enemies were the tax collectors, legislators, and all other members of the political class.
Read the Freeman and enjoy.
PS: Which one is more libertarian — the Russell Crowe or the Kevin Costner Robin Hood? Comment below to take a side.
Peter C. Earle now has a fun, insightful, short book on the quirky, serendipitous, inspiring history of a briefly semi-stateless place: Moresnet.
Moresnet was, as Earle explains, “an unintended consequence of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) [c]reated as a triangle of neutral territory between Prussia and the Netherlands by the Congress of Vienna.”
In essence, neither nation controlled the place, and the people were largely left to their own devices. As a result, Earle says,
Moresnet encapsulates the archetype of market anarchy. Hidden in its history we find privately produced, commodity-backed money; competing avenues for the administration of justice; negligible — and, it seems, entirely avoidable — taxes and fees; few, if any, regulations; a defense force without a standing military; open borders (however unintentionally); and an irrepressibly entrepreneurial spirit.
This is a very neat short history of a very neat place. The book is, of course, produced by Invisible Order, and it is available on Amazon.com for just $2.99. Go buy yours now.
If you came across a blog post entitled “Očajne škole za ceo svet,” and like me you don’t speak or read Serbian, it might not look relevant to Invisible Order in specific or to libertarian writing in general. But if you scroll down all the way to the bottom, you’ll see my smiling face.
Indeed, this blog post turns out to be the recent Serbian translation of my 2012 article in the Free Market, “Horrible Schools for the Whole World.” In it, I explained the horrors and absurdities of the UN “Education for All” program.
The president of the Serbian libertarian youth organization Libertarijanska Asocijacija, reached out to me last week to ask if his organization could translate and repost the article. Of course, I was honored to consent. Click here to see the article in English on the Mises Daily, and click here to see the website of Libertarijanska Asocijacija.
Allen Mendenhall’s new book, Literature and Liberty: Essays in Libertarian Literary Criticism is available now on Amazon.com. This book brings together new versions of 7 different Mendenhall essays. Some of these are punchy and short, like “Bowdlerizing Huck,” which discusses the practice of censoring the “n-word” out of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Others, like “Law and Liberty in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India, provide lengthy, contemplative explorations of polycentric law.
This book comes out under the Rowman & Littlefield imprimatur, with the editing and indexing done by Invisible Order.
In a discussion over at the Libertarian Fiction Authors association, during a recent conversation about professional publishing assistance, one of our clients recently gave us a ringing endorsement. Here’s the full statement from John Brown, author of State of Terror.
Having a professional do your editing, cover, and interior design is not an option; it’s mandatory. Don’t even think about editing your own writing, even if you’re an editor by trade. And, do you have a solid background in graphical design? How about HTML? Sure, you could just hit a button and publish, but this is one of those things where just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Try to save money by doing it yourself and it will show. In traditional publishing, they do these services for you. With self-publishing, you are still expected to have a polished product. You can afford to pay for your own professional team because you’ll be getting much higher royalties. It’s an investment; you’ll get a return from higher sales and better comments. I think we owe the reading public the very best we can do. If your name is on it, then it should be of the highest quality, something in which you can take pride for many years. Otherwise, don’t bother.
Publishing is much more than just writing. It’s best to put one’s ego aside and think of the entire project as a collaboration. The writer may be the master architect, but there are builders and designers involved, and they play a critical role in execution. Much of the creative process comes from involving others and letting the project evolve in unforeseen directions. For this reason, I don’t like speed writing contests, the 50,000-words-in-50-days type of promotions. Art and craft take time.
I also believe that it’s best to hire professionals who can work together. Handoffs are to be avoided; it lessens responsibility for the final product. That’s why I went with Invisible Order. They do it all, from editing and design, to setting up ISBNs and vendor accounts. Jeffrey Tucker and Wendy McElroy went with IO, and that was good enough for me.
We’re very grateful to John and all the other authors who’ve put their trust in us over the last few years. To see a sample of our handiwork, you can buy the ebook of John’s IO-produced novel, State of Terror, on Amazon.com. We’ll be releasing the print version shortly.
Click the cover to see this book on Amazon.com.
The Poke, a British humor site, has a compilation of print layouts that went hilariously wrong. Their list begins with this news bulletin about the rampage of Winnie the Pooh.
Click the picture to see the whole collection. (Warning: some lewd humor.)
When copyediting,* why is it important to follow a written standard — and when should you part company with that standard?
The prime directive for copyeditors is this: be consistent. Whatever decision you make about spelling, punctuation, or the minutiae of syntax, make sure to apply it consistently throughout the document you’re editing. If you aren’t going to follow the strictures of an established style guide, at least maintain your own style guide, even if it’s only a list of the decisions you’ve made so far. (See “What Is a Style Sheet?” for some notes on the terminology here.)