Articles by John Humphreys

The unforgivable stupidity of the anti-banking “libertarians”

At LibertyWorks we are lucky enough to have two noted economists on our advisory board: Dr John Humphreys President of the Australian Libertarian Society (ALS), Deputy Director of the Australian Taxpayers Alliance (ATA), and a Justice of the Peace in QLD; and Darren Brady Nelson an Austrian school economist, conservative libertarian and currently the economic policy adviser to Australian Senator Malcolm Roberts. We recently published an article by Darren Nelson on fractional reserve banking that he describes as ‘legalised counterfeiting’. Dr Humphreys has a different view.

At the recent Mises Seminar in Sydney there was a speech by Chris Leithner that explicitly called for the banning of fractional reserve (FR) banking. Leithner and other Australian libertarians follow the lead of some American libertarians (Walter Block, HH Hoppe, JG Hulsmann — BHH) and argue that FR-banking is fraud and should be banned, and further that it is economically damaging … Read the rest

The argument against anti-defamation laws

Most people accept anti-defamation laws as a legitimate restriction on free speech. For a starters, the laws have always existed so it just seems normal to keep them. If we remove them then society would be plunged into chaos as everybody accused everybody of being a paedophile, a thief, or a murderous nutcase… and if those rumours are believed then they could cause lots of damage to the victims, such as loss of work and/or loss of friends. And that’s just not fair.

Perhaps. But before we give up on fully free speech we should fully understand the arguments.

Defamation involves (1) somebody lying about you, leading to (2) other people holding a bad opinion about you, leading to (3) a bad outcome for you because of lack of trade. None of these things are nice. But they are all voluntary and, all else being equal, none of them should … Read the rest

What I’ve learned from Dr Jordan B Peterson, Professor of Psychology…

Dr Peterson is a former Harvard professor who now teaches at the University of Toronto, and he has done some rigorous and fascinating quantitative research into the behavioural and personality traits of people with different political philosophies, including ground-breaking work on Political Correctness (PC) or Social Justice Warriors (SJW).

He points out:

The PC/SJW brigade are quantifiably different to the traditional left-liberal personality types. While the defining feature of left-liberals is to be open to new experiences and change, the defining feature of PC people is that they want to form mother-child bonds everywhere within society, protecting everybody from everything. The evidence from Jordan’s scientific study is consistent with my totally unscientific vibe, and I think is shown up starkly in the anti-PC rebellion by people such as Bill Maher, Dave Rubin, Sargon of Akkad, Chris Ray Gun, and Thunderf00t… who identify as “left” … Read the rest