Dave is a libertarian commentator, covering the globe. Libertarians believe in limited­­ — or no — government. Dave now favors anarchy (“no ruler”) as the ideal. His many other interests include leadership, entrepreneurship, and animal welfare.

Politics Is Beneath Contempt

by David E. Shellenberger on October 1, 2015

I share economist Donald J. Boudreaux’s view of politics: “repulsive and beneath contempt.”

I also share his view of politicians:

As a rule, politicians are untrustworthy, duplicitous, and cowardly; they are people who have an unusually powerful craving for power and fame; and the successful among them typically possess an unusual talent for camouflaging their craving for power and fame as a saintly calling to ‘serve the people.’

The current presidential campaign season in the United States is well underway. If the election process serves any constructive purpose, it is to demonstrate the despicable nature of politics and politicians.

The State and its Politicians

The fundamental problem is the existence of the state, an illegitimate institution. It is natural that the state attracts the worst people to harness its power. [click to continue…]

Human Rights and Economic Freedom in Afghanistan

by David E. Shellenberger on September 21, 2015

It was an honor to make a presentation via Skype to the Human Rights Club of the Afghanistan Economic & Legal Studies Organization (AELSO) on September 5th, 2015. This article is adapted from the presentation. The principles discussed apply to all countries.

AELSO is a member of the Atlas Network. AELSO’s mission is “to promote the values of individual freedom and of the responsibility of civil society for the creation and sustenance of the institutions of limited government, the rule of law, and the other institutional foundations of the free society.” AELSO celebrated its fifth anniversary in December 2014.


Afghanistan will benefit from economic freedom. This freedom will enable the improvement in life sought by advocates of human rights. I will discuss the following:

  • Human rights vs. natural rights;
  • Economic freedom as the foundation of a free society;
  • Afghanistan and economic freedom; and
  • Creating change.

[click to continue…]

Free the Education Market

June 20, 2015

I appreciated the opportunity to share observations for Rebeca Morla’s May 15, 2015 article for the PanAm Post, “Washington State’s School Officials Pocket More than the Governor.” The article discusses the Washington Policy Center’s recent report, “Where the Money Goes in Public Education.” The center found that “only 60 cents of every school dollar actually […]

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Art for Compassion: Wolves and Coyotes

May 6, 2015

Nature photographer and filmmaker Jim Brandenburg’s new project, “Nature 365,” presents daily, one-minute videos from footage that Mr. Brandenburg filmed over the years in Minnesota. On the project’s website, Mr. Brandenburg observes, There were themes that kept presenting themselves to me – like the resident wolf pack that over the years learned to trust my […]

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Appearance on Libertas Media, March 20, 2015

April 26, 2015

It was a pleasure again being a guest on Brian Wilson’s Libertas Media Project podcast. Brian is a veteran radio talk show host. He regularly interviews Judge Andrew Napolitano; his other guests include luminaries such as Walter Williams and James Bovard. I was delayed in linking the podcast, but the topics we discussed are timeless. These include anarchism; the […]

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Politics Is Not the Path to Liberty

April 7, 2015

The campaign for the United States 2016 presidential election is now underway. Here are two predictions. First, all of the candidates will be unprincipled, untrustworthy, and hypocritical. Second, many of the victor’s actual policies will be the opposite of those promised. If one’s goal is liberty, then involvement in politics is worse than a waste […]

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Come Over to the Bright Side

March 17, 2015

Wake up. Sleepwalk no longer. Come over to the bright side. Seek a world with liberty, a world without rulers. It takes courage to acknowledge truth. It takes strength to reject conformity. And it takes toughness to decline surrender. But we live fully when our eyes are open. We live honestly when we are true […]

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Please Remember Not to Vote

November 4, 2014

The United States holds midterm elections today, November 4th; hence the mania of the media and the frenzy of fools. As I wrote two years ago, in “If You Need Me On Election Day…,” “The best vote is the one uncast.” Refusing to vote is an exercise of intelligence and conscience. It means recognizing that the state […]

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Open the Borders Pending the End of Borders

July 21, 2014

Free immigration, like free trade, is a moral issue. Government’s restriction of immigration violates natural rights, creates immoral results, and deprives us of morally positive benefits. States draw borders to define the territory they claim to control. Since states are criminal enterprises, the lines they draw, and the restrictions on immigration they impose, are illegitimate. […]

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The Absurdity of Tolerating the State

May 18, 2014

Advocates for liberty confront issue after issue, day after day. This is like shooing angry wasps. The problem is the nest. We can tolerate the nest and continue to be stung, or we can solve the problem. It is necessary to deal with the problem of the state, and not merely the endless symptoms of […]

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