Posts by Alvaro Vargas Llosa
Alvaro Vargas Llosa is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute. His Independent books include Global Crossings, Liberty for Latin America, and The Che Guevara Myth.
Panic Attacks Startle Wall Street


The danger of seeing the stock market as a measure of political performance is that the government will be tempted to intervene.

Brexit—Everything Changes so It Can Stay the Same?


If we want everything to remain the same, everything must change. These famous words from The Leopard, Lampedusa’s masterpiece of social upheaval in Sicily during the Italian unification, might as well have been inspired by Brexit, to judge by the first phase of the negotiations between London and the European Union, which have finally...
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My Interview with Lenin, One Hundred Years after the Revolution


The mysteries of science have preserved Lenin alive, whose “death” in 1924 was a cunning scheme. I have managed to track him down to talk about the one hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Me: What does the “October Revolution” say to us today? Lenin: The vanquished were right. History has sent the Provisional...
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A Few Thoughts on Catalonia


The Catalan independence movement has drawn some support among libertarians. From a theoretical standpoint, any group’s attempt to break away from a larger political entity is hard to argue with. Ultimately, though, the principle of self-determination, taken to its logical extreme, would mean dissolving the state and replacing it with voluntary associations. Which is...
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Europe’s Lessons for Economic Growth


A bird’s-eye view of the Eurozone economies a decade after the financial crisis invites three conclusions: Governments that made unpopular free-market reforms are already reaping the fruits; families and businesses are acting more sensibly than their governments; last but not least, people have behaved much differently than the European Central Bank (ECB) intended. The...
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What Is Kim Jong-un Thinking?


An interior monologue by North Korea’s dictator might go something like this: I can see myself as if I were back at the Liebefeld-Steinholzi school in Bern, Switzerland, with everyone convinced I was crazy because I talked little and was fixated on my PlayStation, keeping quiet for hours on end, observing others. What is...
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Playing Offense: Defeating the Assault on Free Speech


We live in times of hypersensitivity. One way in which collectivism acts against individual freedom is by declaring morally reprehensible—and oftentimes prohibiting—what is deemed “offensive.” The expression “political correctness” has come to define this assault on free speech that hides behind the mask of respect for the sensibilities of others. Any attempt to deviate...
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Another Bubble in the Making?


Moral hazard, easy money, and cheap credit have never produced good results. History is littered with examples of financial disaster brought about by monetary manipulation originating in central banks and then spreading to other parts of the system. One would think that the 2007/8 credit crisis, whose effects have not quite withered away, would...
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Venezuela’s Inferno


The decision by Venezuela’s Supreme Court, a political poodle of President Nicolás Maduro, to take over the powers of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, has sparked off massive demonstrations that the government’s vicious repression has been unable to stop. Although the decision was reversed a day later, the spirit of rebellion has proven resilient. Three...
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Four Years after Chavez’s Death, Venezuela Sinks Deeper into the Abyss


Venezuela’s dictatorship has tried to turn the fourth anniversary of Hugo Chávez’s death into a mystical experience of sorts—and a dose of much-needed political oxygen. Not a simple task in a country with inflation predicted to run at 1,600 percent, an economic growth rate of negative ten percent, a painful shortage of the most...
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