One of my favorite Podcasts to listen to is The Tom Woods Show. Over the past six years or so, I’ve been on a personal political journey from liberal to classical liberal, or, in terms that make sense to most of America, from Democrat to libertarian. Tom Woods has been a big influence in that journey.
libertarianism and Austrian Economics
I started down this rabbit hole with Stefan Molyneux at Freedomain Radio. While there’s some great stuff to take away there, most especially, how our society treats children, some of his more recent material has gotten extremely challenging and I really haven’t had time to go thoroughly over some of his more recent assertions on in-group preference, immigration, etc.
Tom on the other hand, is slightly more grounded. I’ve listened to a few of his books and really enjoyed The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. Meltdown was good, but had a lot of repetition of what I’d already learned of Austrian Economics from listening to Contra Krugman and various Mises Institute lectures. I’ll be adding reviews to all of the books I mention above as well as the Contra Krugman podcast in the weeks to come.
Austrian economics and a solid understanding of the impact of a free market is what finally won me over to libertarianism. Modern liberalism sounds really great, from its talking points on welfare and equality, but when you realize the incentives in the welfare state actually work to keep people in poverty, you have to move on.
Bigger than that even, is the non-aggression principle. This simple, foundational, and sometimes misinterpreted principle of libertarianism is simple, it is wrong to initiate the use of force. This goes anywhere from against your own children, up to those who assert that taxation is theft as it is not voluntarily surrendered without the threat of the use of force (I mean, who really doesn’t work to pay as little on taxes as they legally can).
Back to Tom. What I love about his show is how he’s a mellow guy, with a lot of insight. He’s got a PhD in History and I’ve learned a ton from him in that arena. What’s even more impressive is he’s set up his own continuous learning, adult (or mature teen) education course, Liberty Classroom. His educational courses are meant to offer us viewpoints that we weren’t taught in modern schools. He reaches out to fellow trusted scholars to round out his online courses in topics he is not an expert on, from logic to science fiction. I hope to subscribe after I finish the online college I’m currently attending.
Tom’s show is great. He releases an episode per day, usually around 30 minutes and recently released his 1000th episode (his video of it is below)! He has a great variety of guests. His show often takes into account current events but is not bound by them like mainstream media. If you listen to his podcast you’ll find amazing insights, a decent amount of humor, and a lot of knowledge. I highly recommend it.
Image Credits: Gage Skidmore