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Has Schiff sold out?

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LockeandSons Posted: Fri, Feb 12 2010 10:31 AM

Isn't he granting legitmacy to the system by runnning for senate.

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LockeandSons:

Isn't he granting legitmacy to the system by runnning for senate.

Was Peter Schiff ever an anarchist?

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He always struck me as an ardent supporter of the Austrian school. Whether that makes him an anarchist I don't know?

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LockeandSons:

He always struck me as an ardent supporter of the Austrian school. Whether that makes him an anarchist I don't know?

Mises and Hayek were Austrians, but not anarchists.  I don't think Peter Schiff is a "hard core" follower of the Austrian school; I think he used Austrian insights to better understand the stock market, and generally agrees with the principles of free-trade.  I have my doubts that he is even really a libertarian.  I think he is a close "old right" Republican.

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Hasn't he made a number of speeches for the Mises institute though?

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DBratton replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 11:00 AM

Jonathan M. F. Catalán:
I don't think Peter Schiff is a "hard core" follower of the Austrian school;

I tend to agree. He has a disturbing tendency to make very specific predictions of the sort that Austrian theory doesn't support.

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Clayton replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 11:20 AM

LockeandSons:

Isn't he granting legitmacy to the system by runnning for senate.

Peter Schiff is not an anarcho-capitalist but I will give my answer as an AC - I think that, within broad limits, it is not immoral to actively participate in the political system. Namely, if you can, by displacing someone else who loves the State and hates individual liberty, reduce the net tyranny of the State without having to perform any grossly immoral actions in the line of duty, then your participation in the political system may be a net gain for human liberty. For example, Ron Paul can't reform the system from within but he can do what he is doing - displacing one of 435 votes for statism and tyranny. Another thread brought up the issue of being a police officer... I would give the same answer... a liberal can be a force for good on a police force if he follows a personal policy of respecting the rights of those that he comes into contact with, not beating them and tasing them because "that's department policy!" and acting as eyes and ears on his or her fellow police officers, to anonymously report abuse incidents.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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LockeandSons:

Hasn't he made a number of speeches for the Mises institute though?

Only one. And it had to do with economics, not anarchy.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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He hasn't changed the least bit.

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Juraj replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 5:16 PM

He's hardly an anarchist. Perhaps borderline Libertarian with that "old school" right wing. His economic opinions have lots in common with Austrian economics, he was an economic advisor to Ron Paul during his campaign. Running for office isn't "selling out" in his case as his effort is to cut government, restore free markets and sound money. He's doing a good job promoting conservative and Austrian views of economics.

J.

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Marko replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 5:17 PM

DBratton:

Jonathan M. F. Catalán:
I don't think Peter Schiff is a "hard core" follower of the Austrian school;

I tend to agree. He has a disturbing tendency to make very specific predictions of the sort that Austrian theory doesn't support.

That is his job. He is an investor. He gets paid to speculate.

 

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 6:03 PM

LockeandSons:

Isn't he granting legitmacy to the system by runnning for senate.

Nope. Not by merely running. Ron Paul doesn't grant legitimacy to the state, it's the exact opposite.

"But one must use democratic means only for defensive purposes; that is, one may use an antidemocratic platform to be elected by an antidemocratic constituency to implement antidemocratic — that is, anti-egalitarian and pro-private property — policies. Or, to put it differently, a person is not honorable because he is democratically elected. If anything, this makes him a suspect. Despite the fact that a person has been elected democratically, he may still be a decent and honorable man; we have heard one before." - What Must be Done, Hoppe

Ron Paul is for self government / anarcho-capitalism / voluntarism, when compared with that, rather than a return to the Constitution.

"... In the name of practicality, the opportunist not only loses any chance of advancing others toward the ultimate goal, but he himself gradually loses sight of that goal—as happens with any “sellout” of principle. Thus, suppose that one is writing about taxation. It is not incumbent on the libertarian to always proclaim his full “anarchist” position in whatever he writes; but it is incumbent upon him in no way to praise taxation or condone it; he should simply leave this perhaps glaring vacuum, and wait for the eager reader to begin to question and perhaps come to you for further enlightenment. But if the libertarian says, “Of course, some taxes must be levied,” or something of the sort, he has betrayed the cause." 

- Rothbard's 1961 Confidential Memo to Volker Fund

And this massive, glaring vacuum is what Ron has constantly created. He guides people to the Austrian school, and let's Mises / Rothbard / Hoppe / and most people here do the rest.

On Schiff specifically:

He's a Constitutionalist / limited government guy? Ahh... lol. I believe he's trying to do the Ron Paul path.. but he's not as well guided, nor knowledgeable about the proper strategy.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Jonathan M. F. Catalán:

  I have my doubts that he is even really a libertarian.  I think he is a close "old right" Republican.

What makes you think that? (I'm curious, I don't really know).

 

While we can bicker all day on what makes someone an Austrian economist or not (personally, I don't think supporting anarchy has to be a deciding principle), Schiff is probably the second most well known "Austrian" out there (Ron Paul is the first).

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 6:13 PM

BlackNumero:
While we can bicker all day on what makes someone an Austrian economist or not (personally, I don't think supporting anarchy has to be a deciding principle), Schiff is probably the second most well known "Austrian" out there (Ron Paul is the first).

That would be because (Austrian) Economics is value free, while (Libertarianism / Anarchism) is a political philosophy.

Hence, you can be a Nazi supporter (support rent and price controls in Israel, because you know it is economically and socially destructive) - but also be an Austrian Economist.

Same as you can be a Libertarian without being an Austrian.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Both Ron Paul and Peter Schiff are inconsistent, although Paul is more radical. Peter Schiff isn't particularly a libertarian, and Paul is a libertarian/paleoconservative hybrid. I wouldn't say that these people "sold out", because they were conservative Republicans in the first place. By radical libertarian and anarchist standards, they aren't very reliable representatives of freedom in the first place. So when I see people freaking out at their pragmatic moves towards reconciliation with standard GOP doctrine, my reaction is "what did you expect?".

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DBratton:

Jonathan M. F. Catalán:
I don't think Peter Schiff is a "hard core" follower of the Austrian school;

I tend to agree. He has a disturbing tendency to make very specific predictions of the sort that Austrian theory doesn't support.

You mean he is smarter than the average Austrian?

What disturbs you about his predictions? That they are right?

And it is odd to say that Austrian theory is anti predictions. I bet you will have a hard time finding a quote from Mises or Rothbard saying anywhere "Thou shalt not predict."

Maybe you mean AE is not developed enough yet to use a tool of prediction, and Peter has gone beyond standard AE, standing on the shoulders of the giants of AE and using something else to make uncannily accurate predictions. This is disturbing?

BTW of course Peter Schiff is a hard core Austrian. By which I mean he thinks the economic principles laid out by AE are correct. What do you think he is, part kenseyian or something? 

I challenge anyone to find a line in his book or a piece of his videos that contradict AE.

 

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It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 6:24 PM

Brainpolice:
Both Ron Paul and Peter Schiff are inconsistent

How is Ron inconsistent?

The key is "compared to what?". The questions he gets come from a statist perspective (eg. the debates). He uses the Constitution as a rhetorical tool, in an age of manufactured consent.

Compared to the level of government / size of the state we have now, would you reject a return to the size of government outlined in the Constitution? (Leaving aside the obvious, the state would only grow again)

I don't think anyone would refuse a reduction in the size of the state. Only the left sectarians.

When asked from a voluntarist perspective, would you favour self government over a return to the Constitution - he said that is what his goal is.

Much like the Articles of Confederation would be better than the Constitution, and so on down to self government.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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DBratton replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 8:01 PM

Smiling Dave:
What disturbs you about his predictions? That they are right?

Only that the specificity of his predictions are not always supported by the theories he is appealing to. For example, Austrian economics may allow one to predict the bursting of a bubble, but there is no theoretical support for declaring in which quarter this will happen. And it isn't a question of AE being under developed. In this case unpredictability is the developed theory.

 

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von Vodka replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 8:15 PM

I don't remember any of his predictions being that specific to any period of time. He usually says that something will happen within a couple years, may be a year in the least. Plus a big part of his predictions is based on his anticipation of government action. That pertains more to wisdom of how politics works, not so much AE theory.

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 10:09 PM

"The truth is inherently practical, and in recognizing an idea as true (or false), a scholar cannot but want it to be implemented (or eradicated) immediately. For this reason, in addition to pursuing his scholarly ambitions, Menger served as personal tutor to the Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf, and as an appointed life-member of the Austrian House of Lords (Herrenhaus). Similarly, Böhm-Bawerk served three times as Austrian minister of finance, and was a lifetime member of the Herrenhaus. Likewise, Mises was the nationally prominent chief economist of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and advisor to many prominent figures during Austria’s first Republic, and later, in the U.S., he served as advisor to the National Association of Manufacturers and numerous other organizations. Only Mises went even further. Just as he was the first economic system-builder, so was he the first to give the Austrian activism systematic expression by associating Austrian economics with radical-liberal-libertarian-political reform (as laid out in his Liberalism of 1927). Only Rothbard, who likewise served in many advisory functions and as founder and academic director of several educational organizations, accomplished something comparable." - MNR: Economics Science, and Liberty by Hoppe

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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