Mark D. Hughes

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Mark D Hughes is a Causal-Realist / Austrian-School economist in the Menger/Mises/Rothbard tradition. He is founder and Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Privacy Issues (ISPI Clips), a small, entirely member-funded organization which promotes interdisciplinary research and reporting on personal, financial, and electronic privacy so as to help ordinary people understand the degree of privacy they have with respect to government, industry and each other. In 1997, Hughes founded ISPI in response to concerns about the world-wide explosive growth of interconnected data-base technology and the widespread use of this technology by government, business and ordinary people to snoop into the private lives and finances of unsuspecting citizens.

Hughes takes a classical liberal approach to privacy issues. His philosophy, ethics and epistemological method hold that privacy (as distinct from data security) is a subjective state of mind; each of us interprets and values it differently. Hughes teaches that privacy is an essential component of both freedom and happiness. Rather than advocate that "privacy" is a "positive" human right (i.e., where an obligation is placed on others to ensure your privacy), he holds that privacy is an ongoing personal pursuit wrapped up in the universally accepted right to pursue happiness and freedom. And, just as society holds our right to pursue these things as sacrosanct, so too is the right to pursue privacy and to protect that privacy once we have it -- however we individually interpret what privacy is and means.

From 1986 to 1989, Hughes was Academic Coordinator of the Ludwig von Mises Institute - Lawrence Fertig Student Center. The LFSC was the Fairfax, Virginia (George Mason University) satellite office of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. It functioned as a student resource center and conference location for the advancement of "Misesian" Austrian Economics in Northern Virginia. As a graduate Student at GMU one of his focuses was the Causal-Realist approach to the economics of eleemosynary institutions and charity, philanthropy and volunteerism. (see below [or here] for selected academic journal articles)

From 1991 to 1996, Hughes was owner of Ama-gi Dolphin Distribution, which provided direct and network-retail marketing of household environmental products, preschool educational tools and consumer electronics. From 1995 to 1997, Hughes was owner of Ama-gi Dolphin Offshore Financial Research, which provided independent and unbiased research and reporting on publications and businesses dealing with privacy, asset protection, and financial planning through offshore banking centers.

Mark's Motto:

Imperium est mater belli et bellum est maximum malum

  • The state is the mother of war and war is the greatest evil