The modern American left will someday be remembered as one of history’s truly “odd ducks.” Unlike many of the redistributionist movements of the past, American leftism has managed to melt diametrically opposed concepts, such as “individual liberty” and “government-mandated equality,” into a singular, conflicting political platform.
A little more than seventy years ago, on March 10, 1944, there appeared in Great Britain one of the most amazing and influential political books of the twentieth century, The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek, which forewarned of socialist trends in Britain and America that ran the danger of leading to tyranny if taken to their logical conclusions.
Very few organizations survive 30 years, and very few people work for the same organization for that long. That makes The Heartland Institute an exceptional organization, and it makes me a very lucky guy.
Perhaps the most important aspect of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision was his core belief that every American should be represented equally in our system of governance, regardless of race, color or creed.
Islam is not inclined toward any form of modernity and most certainly not toward any form of personal freedom so the world has to remain watchful and, at this point, far less inclined to give its terrorists a pass with the claim they do not represent Islam.
With the beginning of 2015, what might be a “New Year’s resolution” for a friend of freedom? I would suggest that one answer is for each of us to do our best to become “lights of liberty” that will attract others to the cause of freedom and the free society.
As a new year begins, it is easy to consider that the prospects for freedom in America and in many other parts of the world to seem dim. After all, government continues to grow bigger and more intrusive, along with tax burdens that siphon off vast amounts of private wealth.
The Balanced Budget Amendment at the heart of the Compact for a Balanced Budget contains no exceptions for war or natural disaster, but it remains the only practical solution to our runaway federal debt.
For about two decades we’ve been told the science behind human-caused global warming is settled, and to ignore skeptic scientists because they’ve been paid by industry to manufacture doubt about the issue. The truth, however, has every appearance of being exactly the opposite.
Forty years ago, on December 11, 1974, Austrian economist, Friedrich A. Hayek, formally received that year’s Nobel Prize in Economics at the official ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden. He delivered a lecture called, “The Pretense of Knowledge,” which forcefully challenged all those who believe that government has the wisdom or ability to successfully plan the economic affairs of society.
Last week, the U.N. ant-narcotics chief, Yury Fedotov, made headlines when Reuters reported he said moves by American states to end the prohibition on marijuana were illegitimate due to existing international drug conventions. He added that he may take action against these states as well.
Americans’ rights and prosperity are being threatened by cronyism, Ayn Rand Institute’s Steven Simpson said last week during a symposium hosted by Heartland Institute in Chicago. “The issue is that government has too much power and has strayed far beyond its proper purpose of protecting rights,” Simpson declared.
This November marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On November 9, 1989, as the shaky East German communist government resigned, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. Large crowds formed on both sides of the Wall. East and West Berliners climbed on top, and then people began using sledgehammers and pickaxes to cut holes in it. People started to move back and forth through the Wall, capturing the spirit of a freedom to move without political barriers standing in the way.
Just in time for Halloween, director Ivan Reitman’s classic film “Ghostbusters” marks its 30th year in the American zeitgeist. A rags-to-riches tale of a band of plucky ghost-hunters saving the world from a pagan god resembling David Bowie and an oversized confectionary mascot, “Ghostbusters” has inspired a cinematic sequel, two animated cartoon spinoffs, and at least three video games.
October 25th marked the 247th birthday of one of the greatest voices of liberty, the French political philosopher of freedom, Benjamin Constant. He may not be a household name to friends of freedom today, but he should be. He wrote one of the most principled and consistent defenses of individual liberty and freedom of enterprise to appear in the last two hundred years, the Principles of Politics Applied to All Governments (1815).