Libertarian Jackass

"Life is short, but truth works far and lives long; let us speak truth." -- Schopenhauer

Sunday, October 26, 2003

The Greatest, Living Champion of Liberty

Just when my optimism about the future of liberty begins to diminish, Lew Rockwell storms through with another powerful and inspirational essay:

Why is that such a difficult message to get across? Those of us steeped in libertarian theory and the economics of the Austrian School are sometimes amazed that it takes others so long to come around to our point of view. But we must remember that it takes intellectual work to begin to see the logic of economics and apply it to our world. The ignorance is vast and overwhelming, and we must do everything we can to combat it.

Sometimes people ask why it is that if liberty is so central to the Mises Institute's mission, we concentrate so heavily on economics. Mises gave this answer: the study of economics, properly considered, is the study of the rise and fall of civilization itself. Aside from the beauty and elegance of economic theory, economics delivers a bracing message to the state: your power is limited. The structure of reality limits the possibilities for power to have its way in this world.

Socialism will fail. Central planning will fail. Protectionism will fail. Regulations, taxation, welfare, warfare – all these programs – will often produce the opposite of their stated aims. Economics says to the state: society does not need you. The cooperative work of billions of people, exchanging and creating, is the very source of the quality of life, the very core of peace and prosperity. Economics sets the limits for the state, helps us understand our world, and leads us to make sense of the passing scene. With economics, we never would have been deceived about the true nature of the Emperor's clothes.

Read this essay!

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