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Lipton Matthews



Articles by Lipton Matthews

Slavery: The “Broken Window” of American Economic History

2 days ago

The New Historians of Capitalism have unleashed a renaissance in the study of slavery as foundational to American progress. Unlike conservative economists who declaim that slavery impeded industrial development these intellectuals argue that it created multiple economic linkages and fueled the prosperity of Northern states. Such is the thesis proffered by Sven Beckert in an …

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Those Who Fear Disease Most Are Most Likely to Prefer Authoritarian Regimes

11 days ago

Covid-19 has unleashed a pandemic of restrictive measures on the population. Lockdowns and mask mandates are becoming widespread. Libertarians have been vociferously denouncing covid-19 containment strategies as draconian. Evolutionary psychologists, however, argue that reactions in favor of government restrictions are the norm in environments where the public fears contamination. According to the parasitic stress theory …

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A Brief History of Nonwhite Slave Owners in America

26 days ago

The study of slavery is one of the most contentious issues in contemporary America. But frequently this history is abused by thinkers across the spectrum to score political points. To understand the complexity of such an institution, we must desist from underestimating the role of minorities such as African Americans and Native Americans in it. For …

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No, the American Republic Was Not Founded on Slavery

October 29, 2020

The fact that some Americans supported slavery in the eighteenth century is not at all remarkable. Most of the world agreed with them. What is remarkable is that many of them sought to abolish slavery in the new republic. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack. Original Article: …

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No, the American Republic Was Not Founded on Slavery

October 28, 2020

Journalistic propaganda is a powerful instrument of indoctrination. Without evidence, foul ideas can easily penetrate mainstream discourse. For instance, recently it has become fashionable to posit that slavery is America’s original sin. To sensible people, this is a risible claim, because there is nothing particularly American about slavery. But revisiting the history of slavery in …

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Why Racism Can’t Explain Europe’s Drive for Conquest and Colonial Power

October 24, 2020

Historically, Europeans had few qualms about conquering and enslaving other Europeans. This presents some problems for the narrative claiming that injustices committed by Europeans are motivated primarily by racism. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack. Original Article: “Why Racism Can’t Explain Europe’s Drive for Conquest and Colonial …

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Why Slave Economies Thwart Entrepreneurial Innovation

October 20, 2020

In a slave economy, slave owners seek technological innovations that make slave labor more productive. But they also place inefficient and artificial limits on innovations that might change the established social order. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack. Original Article: “Why Slave Economies Thwart Entrepreneurial Innovation”.

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The Myth of Wakanda: How Hollywood Distorts the Legacy of Colonialism

October 19, 2020

The film Black Panther offered an attractive view of an African nation untouched by slavery or colonialism. Unfortunately, the film offers a rather dubious counterfactual. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack. Original Article: “The Myth of Wakanda: How Hollywood Distorts the Legacy of Colonialism”.

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Why Slave Economies Thwart Entrepreneurial Innovation

October 15, 2020

The new history of capitalism (NHC) offers libertarians an exciting opportunity to defend the vitality of capitalism. Scholars like Sven Beckert, Walter Johnson, and Edward Baptiste argue that slavery provides fascinating insights into the workings of early American capitalism and that it furnished the capital to fuel industrial development. Consequently, libertarians have responded to this declaration by articulating that slavery cannot explain America’s prosperity. …

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The Myth of Wakanda: How Hollywood Distorts the Legacy of Colonialism

October 7, 2020

The film Black Panther is one of the most profitable films in recent years, earning revenue in excess of $1.3 billion at the box office. Further, some expect the sequel to do even better. Throughout the world, audiences were captivated by the glamor of Wakanda, a sophisticated African state untouched by colonialism. Symbolically, Wakanda has …

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Problems with Theories on the Black-White Wealth Gap

October 5, 2020

The wealth gap between white and black Americans is frequently discussed. Today it’s becoming popular to attribute disparities to black culture. Clearly all cultures are not equal, but can the subculture of some black American communities explain variations within the wealth gap? For instance, fifty people in an inner-city neighborhood may engage in maladaptive activities; however, …

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Riots Only Help Fuel Urban Impoverishment

September 24, 2020

Riots (unlike peaceful protests) are economically disastrous for inner cities. They also tend to create blowback against the people the riots claim to be defending. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “Riots Only Help Fuel Urban Impoverishment​”.

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Slavery in the Asante Empire of West Africa

September 23, 2020

Across the Western world monuments dedicated to historical figures like Robert Milligan and Edward Coulston are being toppled. It is claimed that memorials to men such as these glorify imperialism and the enslavement of black people. However, we cannot cede the debate to the radical left. There is an unfortunate practice in intellectual circles to mainly critique only …

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Riots Only Help Fuel Urban Impoverishment

September 18, 2020

In a recent interview Black Lives Matter (BLM) organizer Ariel Atkins argued that lootings are reparations for African Americans. Atkins denounced the suggestion that anything can be gained from peaceful protests. “Winning has come through revolts, winning has come through riots, ‘’ she said. Unfortunately, the belligerence of people like Atkins has been nurtured by mainstream intellectuals, …

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The Failures of Federal Race-Based Paternalism

September 3, 2020

In an address to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1865, Frederick Douglass noted that he had often been asked “What should we do with the Negro?” Douglass remarked: I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they …

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Colonial Exploitation Did Not Fuel the West’s Economic Development

August 29, 2020

Some intellectuals, especially on the left, continue to claim that the West’s economic development would have been impossible without the resources extracted unjustly from the developing world, also known as the “Third World.” Even nuanced thinkers may automatically presume these assumptions to be true. Certainly, overt exploitation of conquered victims occurred during the apex of …

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The Problem with British Slavery Reparations in the West Indies

August 5, 2020

Recently a spate of prominent British companies apologized for their past involvement in slavery. Some have even declared intent to pay reparations. As private organizations these entities have the right to make their own choices on reparations. Their stated reasoning, however, demands more scrutiny. The British government has not promised reparations to former colonies, but based on …

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Did Native Peoples Live in Harmony with Nature? It’s Complicated.

April 10, 2020

A leading trope of the contemporary environmental movement is that indigenous peoples residing in a precapitalist order are particularly skillful at managing the earth’s resources. These groups are often portrayed in the media as being in harmony with the natural environment. Without a doubt many indigenous groups are animistic and therefore may hold nature in …

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