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Spring 2019: The Ravages of World War

"I endorse Austro Libertarian Magazine 100%" —Tom Woods

Spring 2019: The Ravages of World War

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We have received all the drafts for our first physical print issue of the AL Magazine, due out in mid to late April. While we are editing everything, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on both the vision of the publication itself, and also offer anticipation of the issue underway.

When I first started an investigation into this project, I did not realize the excitement with which it would be received. It is not easy to initiate a publishing effort in our day and age, especially in the genre, so to speak, of libertarian political theory and Austrian economics. But not only were we able to cap 325 initial subscribers, I was a bit taken aback, though perhaps I should not have been given my own motivations, that over 80% of the subscribers chose physical print plans!

This verifies two things for me: first, that there is quite a bit to be said about having a unique product. The greater Austro-Libertarian community just has so very many blogs and websites and podcasts and even e-books, that something different could find a steady demand. But more fundamental to the 80% statistic, the results simply reflect that there is a continuous desire to, from time to time, tune out the online brigade of distraction, strife, misinformation, and negativity. To relax by the fire in the evening with something in hand that lacks a screen with artificial light jamming through the cornea.

So it’s not just boring articles that these issues have. There is color, graphics, visuals, interaction features, artistic renderings and more. To see a print publication of over 100 pages on quality smooth, semi-glossy paper, is to have the opportunity to have a robust, full-fledged print magazine!

I do not hide from the fact that Jacobin Magazine, which represents a strong intellectual distillation of the socialist left’s thinking these days, was the source of my decision to initiate this ambitious project. As I have stated time and again, both they and us have our entry level content (Mises Wire and Jacobin blogs), as well as our academic content (Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics and their Catalyst Journal), but they have a mid level bridge between the two in their magazine: content for those that are ready and willing to increase their intellectual investigation, but who are not quite ready for Catalyst. Where is ours?!

Here in AL Mag, that’s where! And see below the image for more on the coming issue.

In any case, we shall see about this enterprise’s staying power but I have high hopes and high aspirations. Issue #2, the first physical print issue is centered around the World Wars. We have essays by a handful of Mises Alumni and other friends of the Institute; which essays as various as the blow that Western culture received as a result of the devastating wars, the economics of the world wars, and their politics and historical development– in this arena, there is a fantastic essay by Ben Lewis (hear him on the Tom Woods Show here) on the non-interventionists of the World War era. There are reflections on the consequences of war in general, as well as commentary on the contemporary mindset regarding war.

Of special importance is a 6500 word conversational interview that we were able to produce with John Denson on the occasion of the 20th year anniversary of his vastly underrated book The Costs of War. As he elaborates and reflects in the interview, this book was the result of a conference that he and Lew Rockwell decided to have in the 1994. In hopes of increasing the emphasis on the costs of World War 1 in particular, there was a second edition of the publication that was produced in 1999 which included Ralph Raico’s World War I as a Turning Point and Rothbard’s World War I as Fulfillment, among other additions. Mr. Denson was gracious enough to spend time and energy with us in the production of an exclusive conversation of reflection, some of it personal.

War is a terrible things. But we don’t just need to say this in theory or have Utopian visions of a world without evil in order to oppose war– we merely need to seek understanding of actual events to realize the extent to which war is not what is portrayed in our cultural life. War is a means, it is a chosen and carefully leveraged tool for social, economic, and political change; it is the means by which political power and the systematic construct of interest groups seek to change the world in its favor. This is true regardless of whether “its favor” possesses some altruistic vision, economic opportunities, or political pathways to power.

War is something that is paid for by the lives, finances, standard of living, and cultural way of life of the very people who specifically do not choose the war. War is the health of the state, as Randolph Bourne wrote all those decades ago. And as such, it remains a field of interest for libertarians that ought never slip from our minds.

Please subscribe today to read the essays this April, read the Denson interview, and support the project. And since I am currently at the Mises Institute’s AERC, use coupon code “aerc” for $10 off an annual subscription.

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CJay Engel

Creator and Editor of Austro Libertarian. Lives in Northern CA, runs several businesses, spends time with his family, and reads as much economics and political theory as possible.

"Read AL Mag." –Ghandi