The Libertarian Influence

A good review of a new book highlighting the influence of libertarian thought in American politics up until FDR, or perhaps 1913. As expected, from the Wall Street Journal. Would be nice to note the role bloggers and open-source programming/creativity may play in expanding libertarian beliefs and policy.


Milton Friedman, R.I.P.

One of his last interviews linked above. So rarely do I shake my head yes during an interview!

Constitution quote

A good quote not to be buried in a comments section.

From Hayek, …”the arrogation of arbitrary powers by Parliament was regarded by the spokesman of the American colonies as the ultimate cause of te break with the mother country. This was most clearly expressed by one of the profoundest of their political philosophers, James Wilson, who

‘rejected Blackstone’s doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty as outmoded. The British do not understand the idea of a constitution which limits and superintends the operations of the legislature. This was an improvement in the science of government reserved to the Americans.

Back to Hayek, “We shall not further consider here the American attempt to limit in their Constitution the powers of the legislature, and its limited success. It in fact did no more to prevent Congress from becoming primarily a governmental rater than a truly legislative institution…

Sadly he is right. The root of the problem is not private influence of government, but rather the unlimited nature of our government.

New Blogs and Books

Hey guys, hope you don’t mind if I mix it up a bit. The link above is a pretty good blog about neuroscience. If it is too deep this one might be better. In addition there are some neat books out there that I recommend

1. Law, Legislation and Liberty F.A. Hayek

2. Land Without Justice Milovan Djilas (a communist apology, i.e. why this Yugoslav became communist)

3. Conversations with Stalin Milovan Djilas (After communism took hold and Djilas saw how the sausage got made in Moscow).

4. The Self and Its Brain By Eccles and Popper, two guys I really admire.

Thought of the day

I’d like to comment on Gahagan’s post from last Tuesday regarding the lawsuit against a school.

I read this last night in Hayek’s “Law, Legislation, and Liberty”

Life in a free market society is “…wholly analagous to a game, namely a game partly of skill and partly of chance…It proceeds, like all games, according to rules guiding the actions of individual participants whose aims, skills, and knowledge are different, with the consequence that the outcome will be unpredictable and that there will regularly be winners and losers. And while, as in a game, we are right in insisting that it be fair and that nobody cheat, it would be nonsensical to demand that the results for the different players be just.”

Or like we said back in school, “Tough titty!”

Posted at 08:45 pm by Johnny B

Posted by BP @ 11/21/2005 04:39 PM PST
Very well put….

Conservative History

I picked up the autobiography of Calvin Coolidge from the library and I’m stoked and definitely putting it on the favorites list. Recommended for EVERYONE:

Here’s a taste:

(While Governor of Massachussetts)
“It appeared to me in January, 1914, that a spirit of radicalism prevailed which unless checked was likely to prove very destructive. It had been encouraged by the opposition and by a large faction of my own party.
It consisted of the claim in general that in some way the government was to be blamed because everybody was not prosperous, because it was necessary to work for a living, and because our written constitutions, the legislatures, and the courts protected the rights of private owners especially in relation to large aggregations of property”

As Vice President:

[There wasn’t a house furnished for the VP back then, so he had to find his own house. He gets a small two bedroom and justifies it thus]:

“It is difficult to conceive a person finding himself in a situation which calls on him to maintain a position he cannot pay for. Any other course for me would have been cut short by the barnyard philosophy of my father, who would have contemptuously referred to such action as the senseless imitation of a fowl which was attempting to light higher than it could roost. There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.”

I gave this to Yun-ju and five minutes later she says, “Wow this is a good book!” Fewer times have I nodded in agreement while reading. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

Race issues

Walter Williams discusses Katrina

Thomas Sowell discusses the passing of Rosa Parks, and the The role of government in segregation

Here is a taste:

“Many, if not most, municipal transit systems were privately owned in the 19th century and the private owners of these systems had no incentive to segregate the races. These owners may have been racists themselves but they were in business to make a profit — and you don’t make a profit by alienating a lot of your customers. There was not enough market demand for Jim Crow seating on municipal transit to bring it about. It was politics that segregated the races because the incentives of the political process are different from the incentives of the economic process. Both blacks and whites spent money to ride the buses but, after the disenfranchisement of black voters in the late 19th and early 20th century, only whites counted in the political process. “

Posted at 09:13 pm by Johnny B