Tag: Philosophy

Burgeoning Regulations Threaten Our Humanity »

Insofar as mainstream economics may be said to make moral-philosophical assumptions, it rests overwhelmingly on a consequentialist-utilitarian foundation. When mainstream economists say that an action is worthwhile, they mean that it is expected to give rise to benefits whose total value exceeds its total cost (that is, the most valued benefit necessarily forgone by...
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The Concise Case for Free Speech Against Its Enemies »

“A liberal society stands on the proposition that we should all take seriously the idea that we might be wrong. This means we must place no one, including ourselves, beyond the reach of criticism; it means that we must allow people to err, even where the error offends and upsets, as it often will.”...
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Joseph Stiglitz: The Price of Inequality »

Although Joseph Stiglitz has a reputation as one of the most prominent defenders of big government, I found much to agree with in his book, The Price of Inequality. It does appear to me that throughout the political spectrum, from left to right, there is a substantial consensus that government is the cause of...
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Challenge of Liberty Student Seminars—Application Deadline: March 31 »

The Challenge of Liberty Student Seminars are returning for another exciting season! Thanks to the generous support of donors, we will hold two seminars for college students—one at the University of Denver (June 16–20) and one at the University of California, Berkeley (July 7–11)—and one seminar for high-school students at the Independent Institute’s headquarters...
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The Hayekian Liberty of Ender’s Game »

Finally, after much encouragement from my college freshman daughter, I just finished reading Ender’s Game, the best-selling science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card that won the Nebula and Hugo awards when it was published in the mid-1980s. The story follows the cultivation of a 6-year-old, boy-wonder, military tactician, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, as he...
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Common Ground »

I often find myself disagreeing with Cynthia Tucker, the Progressive journalist and professor, so I was happy to read a recent column of hers, on the farm bill that just passed the House, and find that she and I share some common ground on our views toward government. She considers the bill an example...
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License to Kill »

No one knows how many times police shoot and kill Americans every year. Most estimates put the number at a few hundred a year, but we don’t know the details, including how many of these killed people presented a real threat to anyone. The U.S. government does not do body counts, as it admitted...
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In Defense of Inequality »

During the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama was asked if he would favor of a higher capital gains tax rate, even if the government received less revenue as a result. His answer: Yes. When you stop to think about it, that’s a remarkable answer. By hypothesis, everyone is worse off. The owners of capital...
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The Wolverine and the Implicit Libertarianism of the Wayward Samurai »

I’m not sure what I expected from the 2013 film The Wolverine, the most recent addition to the summer box office from the Marvel comics archives, but a libertarian theme seemed too much to hope for. And I was right—to an extent. In fact, after watching movie, I think the plot has an unusually...
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How John Locke Should Have Saved The Lone Ranger »

I had a glimmer of hope for the 2013 film The Lone Ranger when I read that young U.S. attorney John Reid, aka The Lone Ranger, arrives in untamed west Texas with a copy of John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government. After watching the otherwise entertaining summer action film, I left the theater wondering...
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