7 votes

Dear Tom Woods,

A few months ago there was a post saying that the best way to help the cause was to educate ourselves. It was basically an advertisement selling Tom Woods' version of history.

Well, I know this took awhile, but now I'm ready to help the cause by educating myself on history. If I'm not mistaken, the claim was made that purchasing history materials from Tom Woods was a good bet because you can trust him for getting the story right. So..

Dear Tom Woods (and anyone else who has any idea),
Why should I trust you to get the story right?

I'm looking for recommendations on how to get a sound, unbiased knowledge of history. Good advice is appreciated! :-)

UPDATE: Thanks for all the comments so far!! Just to be clear, I didn't mean to sound negative on Tom Woods. When I re-read this post it sort of sounded that way, but that's not what I meant at all! Sorry Tom!

Not that long ago I still figured they were right when they said WWII got us out of the depression(never could understand that though), and even now I couldn't tell you what was bad about Abe Lincoln, so I'm long overdue for taking another look at history. Maybe with a little more critical eyesight this time?

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Why am I bothering to respond to this?

Perhaps in the vain hope that I will find a crack through your fortress of self-loathing? I doubt it, brother, so I will make this brief. First, I am impressed that you know me better than I know myself, since you never met me. Somehow, you have been able to descry what lies within my heart and, alas, it is naught but wickedness! Curse the twisted pastor that has so warped your view of humanity. My view of wickedness is simple. You are wicked if you hurt, or try to hurt, other people. Since I do my best not to do that, I am not wicked. Regardless of what your twisted view of Christianity tells you.

"It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go - maybe even longer. If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs." - Piet Hut

If you are not wicked then do you claim to be God?

I didn't realize the second coming of Christ was going to occur so soon.

Why do you call yourself by the name of Ed Ucation and not Christ if you in fact claim that your thoughts are so pure (and not ever wicked)?

Are you not really just another deceiver?


Thank you!

You're touching on the true sickness inside him, self worship.

As he says: 'I don't see myself as being God anymore than anybody else on this planet.' He'll let you think you're God, just as long as you accept that he is.

Self worship is the oldest of all religions and it ends in wickedness because it leads to the sickest of the sick exalting themselves to the point they demand worship and recycle human souls like garbage.

It's akin to comparing people to skin cells in a larger organism, an organism he thinks of and calls "God". How much value do you think he gives to each lowly skin cell or each individual spark of God? Why should we give a damn about scraping off bad cells, or putting out a flame? It's a kind of false enlightenment, a deception.

It leads to a kind of nihilism where the self worshiper no longer recognize good from evil, because they no longer give value to people as unique individuals with a soul. We all become just part of something larger, and that something is "God", and the only person that judges us is ourselves.

"I am you, and you are me." - No

"I am not you, and you are not me." - Yes

You DO exist, and if anything is now clear to me, we're all very different people. Self worshipers are the sickest of the sick, and there really isn't anything you can do to help them. As you say; neither you, me, or him is Jesus. They can only ask to be saved, but they won't. He's now his own God, and the great battery in the sky does not answer prayers.

Black and white is so simple

but just not really applicable.
I believe i am as much god as anybody else on earth... that does not mean I think I am God. I have thoughts that I do not act on, some of them "wicked" but if I choose not to act on them, then I don't believe I am "wicked" for having them. I have a VERY odd sense of humor, and often my "wickedness" occurs in that form. Earlier today, I posted that I would appreciate the irony if a meteor hit the building where Gabby Giffords is having a meeting to "end death in America." Now, if God decides to hit that building with a meteor, am I wicked if I go ahead and appreciate the irony?
It is the deeply indoctrinated notion that men are inherently evil that makes Christianity untenable for me. I know my heart, and it is not wicked.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Even good intentions have bad consequences.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions



I hear that from neo-cons all

I hear that from neo-cons all the time.

"If we hadn't entered WWII, we'd all be speaking German!"

We don't even need to use logic to defeat this futile argument. Hitler, and his flawed(as they all are) empire, begun to grumble when he invaded Russia. He and Stalin would have destroyed each other had we confined ourselves to the Pacific. This could have also helped to avoid the Cold War. Much like Russia leaving Afghanistan in the 80s, Hitler would have failed because the system was flawed, even if we had never lost a soldier on European soil.

I agree. But that is not my point. All mans' systems are flawed.

That is my point.

Your system too.


I have to disagree with some of his materials....

His stuff on economics is wonderful BUT the stuff in which he claims that Catholicism brought economic prosperity it is a lie. Show me a very catholic country and you will see a big economic mess. From Mexico to Chile, Philippines. Even Portugal, Spain and Italy (the worst economic wise countries in Western Europe). The more hardcore catholic the worst it is economically speaking.
Protestantism brought economic prosperity in Europe and the founders of America brought those principles to America and that is what made it so great. Yes, there were a few masons and other philosophies. Yes, there were some fanatics that try to force you to believe as them. But even Ron Paul has been influence by these principles, yet he does not legislate or force them on others (which I think it is great).
In fact I am looking forward one of this days to go to one of his conferences and ask challenge him in this point.

A good way to defend your freedoms: www.libertymagazine.org

I couldn't edit...Here is the revised version

His stuff on economics is wonderful BUT the stuff in which he claims that Catholicism brought economic prosperity it is a lie. Show me a very catholic country and you will see a big economic mess. From Mexico to Chile, Philippines. Even Portugal, Spain and Italy (the worst economic wise countries in Western Europe). They have this socialist mentality embed in them (you understand if you have lived in some of this countries). The more hardcore catholic the worst it is economically speaking.
Protestantism brought economic prosperity in Europe and the founders of America brought those principles to America and that is what made it so great. Yes, there were a few masons and other philosophies. Yes, there were some fanatics that try to force you to believe as them. But even Ron Paul has been influence by these principles, yet he does not legislate or force them on others (which I think it is great). It has been the tradition, Democrats - Catholics, True republicans - Protestants. Am I saying that a catholic can't be republic of course not. In fact I am very weary that Catholics have been taking over the true republican party and breaking it (Michael Steele, Newt Gingrich(formerly Baptist; converted in March '09), Santorum, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal,George Pataki, Marco Rubio etc). To me the pattern is very clear...
I have many catholic friends yet I learn to agree to disagree...
In fact I am looking forward one of this days to go to one of his conferences and ask challenge him in this point.

A good way to defend your freedoms: www.libertymagazine.org

Me saludes a Susan! :-)

Me saludes a Susan! :-) Abrazos desde Noruega!!

I ask you again

Where does he make this claim? If you can't provide an exact quote, then you are getting worked up over nothing. I see no evidence that he ever said this.

Let me explain...

In his book The Church Market Catholic Economics he tries to prove that the contradiction between Catholic faith and support for the free market economy does not exist and that the Catholic philosophy actually helps. If you are honest and analyze things you will find that they are mutually exclusive. In fact Von Mises was not very fond of the catholic philosophy neither was Rothbard. Tom Woods has been rebuked many times by his Catholic peers because the liberty philosophy and Catholicism are two separate worlds. Read this great summary of the catholic point of view: http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2010-0215-ferrara-l...
Now if you are a pseudo catholic that is another story, but if you truly believe as a Catholic then there are a lot of hurdles.
I am not saying Catholics are not welcome to the liberty movement, you are more than welcome.
I think it is healthy to have a dialogue and present the facts, why if I disagree and present historical fact suddenly I am anti-catholic? Is history anti-catholic? As I said some of my best friends are catholic I grew up around them, in fact they were going to burn (I am not making this up) the house of my grandparents just because he did not believe as they, that is totally wrong. You can go to: http://www.persecution.com/public/restrictednations.aspx?cli... and see that some Catholic nations still have persecution issues (such as Southern Mexico, Colombia, Philippines and others) this shouldn't happen in the year 2012. I may disagree but to hurt me because I don't believe like you? I was translating a religious liberty world leader and I like what he said. "You may thing that because of what I believe I am going to hell, but you shouldn't use force to make me believe as you believe". Things were really bad in the past, and it is very well documented: FOX's BOOK of MARTYRS (http://www.ccel.org/f/foxe/martyrs/home.html)

A good way to defend your freedoms: www.libertymagazine.org

seems to me you are just anti-Catholic

"Protestantism" did not bring economic prosperity. The Industrial Revolution had a lot to do with it, and that did originate in England. England happened to be Protestant (thanks to that wonderful man, Henry VIII) but it's a pretty big stretch to generalize from there to say that "Protestantism" brought economic prosperity. I wouldn't say that there is any correlation between Catholicism and socialism. Some of the most socialist countries are the most Protestantized ones (Scandinavia being the best example)

Now you say that Catholics are ruining the GOP Party, and then you name a bunch of mainstream Republicans who are Catholic...but you can name a lot of Protestant mainstream Republicans as well. Jeb Bush is no worse than GW Bush, for example. Santorum isn't much different than Huckabee (though I do prefer Huckabee) Ron Paul happens not to be Catholic. Well, you have that going for you, but that's about it.

It is very clear to me

Am I not being politically correct? Expressing the reality of the situation?
Let me ask you this, not in a spirit of fight but so we can reason together. Have you ever travel in some of these countries? I lived in Europe and Latinamerica for many years. I have been to 25 countries. The most prosperous nations in Europe were protestant (they are postmodernist today and that is another story). Look at the correlation, England, Switzerland (the most prosperous part is the German/protestant part), Netherlands, Germany (http://www.prosperity.com). In Asia you find North Korea (which is the most protestant nation in Asia) and Japan (that we, by paying for their defense budget allow them to progress). In Oceania you find Australia and New Zealand built on protestant principles.
What has happen is that Americans have forgotten their history, America was founded because a group of protestants wanted to live in liberty that is why they end up here, persecution and loss of liberty was bad in Europe. Liberty is what made this country so great.
I had an opportunity to visit a very interesting place in Mexico, in the city of Cuauhtemoc in Chihuahua, there you find a very interesting combination, Mestizo Mexican (catholic), Tarahumara indians (catholic) and Mennonites (protestant), the difference is huge today. All of them started with the same opportunities. The type of housing, the prosperity of their business of the Mennonites is amazing, the difference between them. The Mexicans and Tarahumara are not dumb but the philosophy that undergirds their lives does not lead to progress.
And your point, that is well taken about the others. The problem with modern Protestantism is that most of it is a waterdown version of the real thing. If Luther, Calvin, Swingly, Knox , Bunyan, Wesley were to see what is going on they would get a heart attack. Instead of peace they preach war, that Neocon mentality does not come from true protestantism.
PS look at this: http://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ei/pix/prsdnt/44360.htm

A good way to defend your freedoms: www.libertymagazine.org

Narrowing it down

I am most interested in your reasoning when you say, "The Mexicans and Tarahumara are not dumb but the philosophy that undergirds their lives does not lead to progress."

What is it about Catholicism, in your opinion, that causes the people not to thrive or make progress, as opposed to the Mennonites?

Also, what is it about Protestantism as opposed to Catholicism that laid the foundation for the Industrial Revolution in England? (I assume that you are saying that the Industrial Revolution would not have happened if England had remained Catholic.)

Sorry but it is not a one word answer...

I think there are a few things that had an influence. One of the things is their view of God. The way you view God is the way you will behave, Catholicism tends to have a view that God is so far away, that you even need layers to get to Him. Go to a cathedral it is so big, communicating that God is so far away. A true view of God is one in which you can have a connection (the term used is relationship) with Him. He is special (holy) yet he is not just you buddy. In parenthesis this is one of the problems with “modern Protestantism” now God is just you buddy, you drinking partner. They have lost the true reverence for Him and it shows in the music and many other things they do. The second problem is that Catholicism is a righteousness by works philosophy. You “have to” do something to appease God. You will be shock at the things people do, like in the Philippines people literary crucify themselves (check this website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/philippines/9...). Many places in Latin-American people go on their knees and walk miles, put cactus around their chest, all kinds of things so that God can give them some sort of favor. I don’t know if you have ever been to a Catholic service to me it seem so mechanical, were people just repeat things. Even the prayers somewhat they think that if you repeat certain words over and over, as if they are magical words then the thing happens. Jesus warn against this (Mat 6:7 "When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.") It is as if my daughter comes and tell me the same thing, even though it is nicely made, over and over. I don't want to hear that, I want to hear what is really in her heart.
There is a word used in Latinoamerica called “tranza” which means you take advantage of others. For example, you are selling something, you on purpose take advantage of the other person, you get you ill gotten gain then in the evening or next morning go to church “confess” to the priest as if nothing happen repeat over and over some pre-formed “prayer” and you are done. Then go and repeat you “tranza” behavior. In Protestantism you are accountable to God and your fellow brethren, you have a divine law that directs your behavior and you are not trying to do it because you are going to be saved but rather to build that relationship with God. That is why if your behavior is not good you will be expel the church. Why? Because you have to maintain a certain standard if you have the name Christian and you are a living testimony to those around you. For example in Latin America I meet the guy that open the church everyday and he told he is living with another lady, and this have gone for years. What kind of testimony do you give? See my point?
In Catholicism many people don’t read the Bible, you just follow tradition. Many houses have Bibles but they are there so they can “bless” the house and they don’t read it. In fact in the medieval ages there was a war against reading the bible or having it in a language other than Latin.
It actually frees you up when you find that truth, (that is why there is a ministry around called www.unshackled.org). That system tends to complicate things, Protestantism bring liberty that remove layers. They have even complicated things in Heaven, i.e. the person talks to the priest, the priest talks to the saint, the saint talks to the virgin, the virgin talks to Jesus and Jesus talks to God. Protestantism removes that bureaucracy, you go to Jesus straight and he takes care of you. I believe that complication is contagious in the society, if you have ever wanted to do some legal paperwork in latin America there are these layers of complication.
That freedom that Protestantism brought stimulate creativity and it is contagious also. And that freedom reflects in all aspects of your life not only at the spiritual level but even in the legislative realm and form of government. That is a secret to their success. It frees you up from superstitions and fear and make your purpose to be your best and serve others. That message did not merely change external religious practices but had a deep change in the way people think. That made a huge difference in the way the society as a whole operated.
Socialism did not give the success to Scandinavia those ideas gain a lot of strength around the 60's and 70's with the raise of the labor party (the equivalent to the Democrats of America) in fact when you investigate the issue that is harming a lot those countries.
So today in Latin America you find two main groups today, some that continue their never ending routines of ceremonies and a ever increasing group of people (specially young) that a tired of that righteousness by works that today they have more of a secular view point yet they call themselves Catholics even though the last time they participated was years ago and they don't have anything to do with it.
Let me illustrate this point, when I arrived to Scandinavia I saw that it was a totally different world from Latin-America, prosperity, cleanliness, honesty, etc. and I said to my self, I have to find out how do they got here! So I went to the library to read history books about Scandinavia. I was shocked at what I found, I found that when they were Catholics it was like they were describing me Latin-American in the 1800’s the people live with out peace, the religious system has taken advantage of taking their lands and money, people were poor and government together with the catholic church were taking advantage of them. It was a very corrupted system so when Luther comes with the message of the true Gospel people were so happy to be free that they happily embraced that message. The way that Catholicism spread (especially in Latin America) was by force and violence, anybody that bothers in reading history will be shocked. Read the book of Foxes books of martyrs (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22400)or a great book called The Great Controversy (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25833/25833-pdf.pdf). e.g. In the Dominican Republic the natives of that island all disappear the modern inhabitants are different people (http://www.travel-dominicanrepublic.com/dominican-republic-h...). And yes, sometimes the protestants may have used violence, but it was isolated instances. In closing the problem in Scandinavia today is that the protestant church became a part of the government, so you know how the story of that will end up. Once the government puts his spoon, they literally killed that church so today what gave them prosperity it is just a dead church today. In America there is indication (and somewhat it is hard to prove but we see a lot of evidence) is that something have infiltrated (maybe Jesuits?!?) and mess up the whole thing. This is no conspiracy theory but if you look into it there is a lot of evidence. In fact this is my personal theory I think the fail presidential attempt of Ron Paul was stopped by the similar "group", I am trying to gather facts to prove or disprove that idea at the moment....

A good way to defend your freedoms: www.libertymagazine.org


Well, I am a convert to Catholicism from Evangelicalism. You can't really use anecdotes to prove your points. There are a lot of people in any religion (especially one as big as Catholicism) that will be a little (or a lot) off.

I assure you that Catholicism does not believe that God is far away, or that you have to approach Him through others. We do believe that all the saints are one big family of God, and that we can and should ask others to pray for us. Nor is Catholicism a "righteousness by works" philosophy. Yes, we do believe the Bible where it says things like "Faith without works is dead." and Matthew 25 where Jesus talks about those who did works such as feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, etc. going to Heaven while those who didn't go in the other direction, and many other similar passages. However, we are not saved by our works, and any good works we do have merit only through and because of Christ.

Really, there are so many errors in your understanding that I don't have the time or inclination to address them all. It sounds like you have been reading one-sided history as well. I would simply say that you really need to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and find out what Catholics really believe.

Here is an article by some Evangelical missionaries to Latin America that had a very different experience than you: http://deusnobiscum.com/2009/05/13/kristine-franklins-story/


No comment.

Unsuspecting, willing, blind, controllable herd
Pawns in a covert game conducted by hands we trust
Dominated, compliant and deceptable
Confident that we matter - we don't see that we're but dust.

-Meshuggah "Dancers To a Discordant System"

Wealth and Poverty of Nations

I think both arms of the Christian faith helped lay the foundation which allowed for the boom in economic prosperity and sowed the seeds of the Industrial revolution.

David Landes' book "Wealth and Poverty of Nations" was an interesting read pointing to the Protestant promotion of valuing hard work, savings, timeliness, enterprise and free-thinking in a way that hadn't been seen before which promoted economic prosperity.

Again, I think they both contributed and am looking forward to reading Wood's books on Church and Market and Church Built Wester Civ to see the arguments he makes for the Catholic contributions etc.

I don't think either one has a complete monopoly on the claim to being foundational, but perhaps one contributed more than the other.

I see no evidence of this

Can you provide an exact quote? Woods has never said Catholicism brings prosperity. He has a book called The Church and the Market, but it nowhere makes that claim.




Money well spent.

I'm looking for

I'm looking for recommendations on how to get a sound, unbiased knowledge of history. Good advice is appreciated! :-)

Find primary resources, ie older books on the topics you are looking for. Not watered down modern reprints or facsimiles. I have a hobby of buying rare and old books 100+ yrs old from antique stores and online just to preserve history from those times when it was fresh in the author's mind.

Southern Agrarian


Wit to be followed by wisdom. I admire your the course you have chosen. Best regards.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

He publishes a blog...

...and many other lectures and speeches he's given are all over youtube. They are free, and I often refer to them. That's how I gotinto him.


Read/listen to both sides. Most of us were thoroughly saturated in the statist worldview and version of history. Reading or watching Woods is learning the other side, views and versions that have been suppressed until the internet. The versions of historical events taught by Woods, Tom DiLorenzo, etc. are easily verifiable with Google or other search engines. I'm not seeing the problem. Woods' "Liberty Classroom" sounds like a great deal for homeschoolers (too late for me, though). Tom Woods is a very consistent libertarian and ruthlessly logical and coherent while maintaining a polite manner, as is Lew Rockwell. I do enjoy DiLorenzos biting sarcasm and wit. If you can refute the points these teachers of liberty make, then don't believe them. I don't think you can.
Truth does exist.

one of the things I like

one of the things I like about libertyclassroom is that the instructors there provide additional resources on the material that's being covered as well

Tom Woods is better than most

He did his own research, which is what I look for. I don't have to agree with his (or any author's) opinion but if they are going to claim expertise, they need to have done their OWN research, not just wave their PhD at me.
I consider Woods to be one of the rare gems that still shines after the campaigning is done.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

No One Is Completely Unbiased

Tom Woods included.

But I'd watch his Mises Institute educational lectures online rather than ask him to give you a sales pitch.

He shouldn't have to sell you on himself when he has samples on Youtube. Watch the samples and I think you'll be sold.

Here are two:

"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard