Great lecture. Share your thoughts on 35:45 (and the rest, too)
“May God save the Union!” “The South shall rise again!” How should YOU feel about the Civil War? The arguments for and against both sides abound, and recently this question has raised quite a stir on the blogosphere.
Join us on Thursday, September 12th at 3:00 P.M. EDT for a stimulating discussion on how classical liberals should approach the War Between the States, hosted by the IHS’ own Civil War expert, Dr. Phil Magness. Phil will break down the arguments for and against both sides, and why so many people approach this thorny question the wrong way. We hope you’ll join us for the lecture and the discussion to follow after. Click here to register.
See also John Robbins’ Christians and The Civil War
September Classical Liberal Topics Webcasts
How Libertarians Should Feel about the Civil War
- September 12th, 3:00-4:00 PM EST
- Speaker: Dr. Phil Magness, IHS
The Civil War stands as the deadliest war in American history. Even today, people are polarized by the conflict, attempting to assign right and wrong to both sides. Join noted Civil War scholar Dr. Phil Magness for a stimulating discussion about the libertarian perspective on the war between the states, and why there seems to be so much disagreement on the subject.
Well, I’ve been meaning to write a post summarizing all that I’ve learned over the last year about food. After realizing I have a gluten and yeast sensitivity/intolerance, I dove into learning all that I could and my paradigm has subsequently changed quite a bit.
I’m just not going to find the time to write what I wanted, but I did want to share a bit with you. So here it is in brief:
For most of my life I dismissed health and nutrition claims as unimportant, a waste of time, or downright qooky. The real underlying reason was that I trusted free market principles: businesses would not be promoting and selling food that was unhealthy because people would stop eating their food and they would go out of business from competition. Likewise, competition and consumer watch groups would keep shady food industry practices in check. So the fact that I’m only hearing about food problems from hippies must mean it’s just part of their liberal anti-corporate agenda, not anything to do with real food problems.
The problem with this line of thinking was that I was not being consistent. In other areas of the economy, I was quick to point out that we don’t have a free market, such as the banking industry. When people pointed out problems they saw, I would be quick to demonstrate how government regulation and hinderance of the free market was to blame. But I was blind to the fact that this same state interference was at work in the food industry as well.
Once I realized that, the whole paradigm shifted. Suddenly all these claims have merit. The free market does not keep businesses in check because that’s the job of the FDA. The FDA gives the illusion of safety. This false sense of security makes us more trusting of the food we eat, but the regulations and checks are much, much worse than they would be in a free market where no FDA existed. The truth is, the FDA allows certain businesses and business practices to exist (and thrive) that simply would not be trusted in a free market. They would go out of business in a free market. As Jonathan Latham explains, without the FDA “Monsanto would have to rely on its good name to sell its products and right now I’m going to hazard a guess they couldnt do that, nor many other companies.”
In short, the food industry bypasses the checks of a free market by controlling the FDA, which gives them a stamp of approval that they would never get in a free market. Bad food practices succeed, not because they have been proven healthy and safe by the companies, their competitors, and consumers, but because people trust the FDA. If anyone is under the illusion the FDA actually protects anyone, just research how anything gets approved. All the FDA requires is that the company requesting approval submit their own study showing the safety of a product. And the FDA itself is a revolving door: formers heads of the FDA routinely become CEOs of the companies they regulated after leaving the FDA.
Furthermore, these companies use the FDA and the courts to very effectively suppress any whistleblowers or consumer advocates from demonstrating the harmful effects of a variety of foods. Watch the documentary Food, Inc. for some good examples of this.
Add to that the influence of the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, which was established by politics, not science. For the last 50 years we have been indoctrinated from kindergarten through college that the government knows best and the food guide pyramid is the optimal, healthy diet. Don’t underestimate the power of this influence. Anything that disagrees automatically gets a skeptical reception just because it’s not the government sanctioned rules we were all taught. When I took Nutrition in college, I wrote a brief paper showing how the Food Guide Pyramid was influenced by politics. But even then, the idea that I should therefore consider eating another diet was never even a blip on my radar screen.
On top of that you have the power of the AMA, which stifles any real competition to allopathic medicine from any other field of practice. Allopathic medicine doesn’t recognize the dramatic effect food has on our health because that field looks at things atomistically, not holistically. A dermatologist is never going to suspect that gluten could be causing your psoriasis.
So anyways, all of this simply to say that my previous disregard towards health food claims has been replaced by a great interest in nutrition. My general perspective is The Imperfect Health Diet: How is the Fall Affecting My Food Today?
Here are some resources that have helped me try to answer that question. Many of them are “Paleo” sources, meaning they adopt an evolutionary model that says our “paleolithic ancestors” were the healthiest in the history of man, so we should eat like they ate. Of course, I reject this reasoning, but science like Paleo nutrition can be very useful even though it is false, for all science is false.
- Bulletproof Executive
- Underground Wellness (great place to start)
- Revolution Health Radio
- Super Nutrition Academy
- SCD Lifestyle
- Perfect Health Diet
- Bulletproof Executive
- Chris Kresser L. Ac
- Underground Wellness
- Joel Salatin
- SCD Lifestyle
- Raw Food SOS
- Personal Paleo Code
- Perfect Health Diet
- Seeds of Deception
- The Mood Cure
- Death By Food Pyramid
- Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins: Curing the Incurable
- Better Baby Book
- Wheat Belly
- Rich Food, Poor Food