Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mises on "Fetishists, Homosexuals, Sadists and Other Perverts" and the Job Market

David Gordon emails:
Hi Bob,

I enjoyed reading your excellent post on Mises. This passage from Human Action, Chapter XXI, "Work and Wages" is very much on point:

"4. Some kinds of work satisfy particular wishes. There are, for example, occupations which meet erotic desires—either conscious or subconscious ones. These desires may be normal or perverse. Also fetishists, homosexuals, sadists and other perverts can sometimes find in their work an opportunity to satisfy their strange appetites. There are occupations which are especially attractive to such people. Cruelty and blood-thirstiness luxuriantly thrive under various occupational cloaks."

In the Scholar's Edition published by the Mises Institute, this passage is on pp.586-87.

It's also worth noting that Mises's name appeared on the masthead of American Opinion, published by the John Birch Society. He was a member of the Editorial Advisory Board.

Best wishes,


I want to repeat once again that I really don't care what people do in their bedroom, nor with whom they do it, BUT pure libertarianism has no position on whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. In a libertarian society, you would most certainly have both homosexuals and homophobes, racists and bi-racial couples. A libertarian, as libertarian, can not object to any of these groups---as long as they are not violating the non-aggression principle..

A libertarian can have personal views that favor one group over another, but this has nothing to do with libertarianism itself. But, further, for Horwitz to claim that Mises was some open, tolerant "cosmopolitan intellectual" is absurd.  And to suggest that libertarianism should be tolerant of only certain groups is a contradiction relative to what libertarianism truly is.


  1. My understanding is that libertarianism is a political philosophy. Political philosophy is concerned with the question "when is violence legitimate and when is it not?"

  2. No non-libertarian seems to understand or wants to understand the NAP and no non-Austrian understands either intervention and non-intervention or economic calculation and mis-calculation since one must understand the NAP to understand the latter concepts. It's almost inexplicable, but that's the way things seem to be. Nothing changes no matter how many times and how many different ways these simple basic concepts are explained.

  3. Is it seriously this hard for non-libertarians to understand NAP or are they just that damm stupid?

    1. I'm convinced that when properly explained, the understand and reject it because it shatters their personal paradigm so badly that they emotionally can't cope.

      Usually they will get shrill or throw out ad-hominem's. Most I confront with the NAP on the issue of tax go so far as to say that tax is "voluntary"...lol

      When they stretch reality so much I end the conversation...they are lost and will never be redeemed.

      I am pessimistic in that regard, I don't think that most of the population of the world is coming around anytime soon...maybe gradual...over centuries? All I know is that the current paradigm is so strong that it appears a good 75% of the population when confronted with the "tax is theft" axiom is unable to process that even most basic truth/reality.

  4. In a libertarian society the majority has the freedom to discriminate against the minority.

    1. As opposed to democracy, I guess. Troll much?

  5. In a libertarian society even the minority would have the freedom to discriminate.