Ep. 155 What Would Happen If One Country Became Free, and the Rest Had States?

8 September 2018     |     Tom Woods     |     15

We take a listener question — early-bird registrants for the Contra Cruise got this as a bonus — about what would happen if one country went completely stateless, but the rest of the world stayed the same. Lots of potential consequences here, and we do our best to sort them out! Plus the usual fun.

Related Articles

Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy, by Bob Murphy
Libertarian Law and Military Defense,” by Bob Murphy
Putting the Country Back on Gold,” by Bob Murphy
Somalia: Failed State, Economic Success?” by Ben Powell

Related Book

Why Perestroika Failed: The Politics and Economics of Socialist Transformation, by Peter J. Boettke

Song Mentioned

Bob’s Latest Book

Contra Krugman: Smashing the Errors of America’s Most Famous Keynesian

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  • Robert

    My copy of “Contra Krugman: the Book” arrived in the mail this morning! At a quick glance, wow, even Krugman referred to Social Security as having “Ponzi game aspects” in 1996.

    I know you guys made fun of “Democracy in Chains” and Piketty’s book for having their friends give them positive reviews while clearly not reading the book, so I’ll make sure to read at least 26 pages first.

  • Daniel

    Link to “Libertarian Law and Military Defense,” by Bob Murphy redirects to “Putting the Country Back on Gold,” by Bob Murphy

    I think you linked twice to the same article by mistake

  • https://dvheld.wordpress.com/ Dusan Vilicic Held

    Bob probably was thinking of Peter Leeson’s Better Off Stateless, about Somalia.

    • BobMurphy9

      No I was thinking about Ben Powell’s work, one of which we linked in the Show Notes page. But maybe Ben talked about Pete (they went to school together) when he gave public presentations on this…

  • disqus_ltnoOTEOWT

    Is Bob’s new book only available on Audible? It’s not in the book section of this website nor could I find it from a Google search. I use Google playfor audiobooks and didn’t see it there.

  • Stuart Morrow

    You might ask Gerard Casey, a Rothbardian, about ‘the button’.

    Bob in particular might like to know that there are at least two things worse than his ‘tanks and nucular submarines’: https://youtu.be/Y2SILwiq2gA?t=4

    There was an article on Fee within the last year that made your same point about what it is ‘the button’ actually does.

    • BobMurphy9

      Did I say “nucular” this episode? Ever since Tom pointed it out in his roast, I have been mindful.

      • ProfessorBernardoDeLaPaz

        Since I expect you haven’t access to “nucular” weapons, it is is not as critical that you pronounce it correctly. “For all intensive purposes’ our previous “Commander and Chief” Bubback Hussein Walker Bush (43) was similarly afflicted. You at least have the grace to notice and work on it.

        • Intersnooze

          “intents and purposes”, ‘professor’

  • Bob_Robert

    Another good Bob article for this: Warlords!


  • NoMoreFed

    Maybe Wikileaks can publish the missing 15 minutes.

    I liked Bob’s explanation that “pushing the button” does no good unless public opinion has changed. I tried to explain this concept to some people when Ron Paul ran for president and they wanted him to stop speaking so much about foreign policy, as if he could fool some people into voting for him. The key is to change public opinion, not to elect the “right” people.

  • Bob_Robert

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Liberland.

    • bogart1

      So was I. This is another example of a small but loud group of envious and lazy people getting their oppressive government to stop Liberland when these same bums could have easily homesteaded the same space.

  • Kristian

    I bet on the trade issue, if the U.S shunned it, china would be most pleased to open trade with it…just to undermine the U.S. On another note I think you guys need to take the contra cruise to the next level and start a free state project in Costa Rica or similar small state.

  • bogart1

    The best example of what would happen if a super-free place existed would be Hong Kong where they always had a powerful country owning them but even their new communist overlords really don’t get too involved in the operation of the city.

    I will contend that the most dangerous groups to a super-free place like Hong Kong or even a Rothbardian Style Hyper-Free place is not external powerful countries as you can always pick a protector, but simply envy. Look no farther than the Free-Cities offer to purchase land in Honduras. I see no way that the country of Honduras would be worse off with the existence of this city. But large numbers of poor and lazy residents driven with envy organized to stop it and were successful.