"I tried to think of anything in nature that could compare. I thought of huge animals on safaris, of glorious birds, or gigantic sea animals. I thought of huge mountains, great canyons, and terrifying bodies of water. Nothing compares. Then it dawned on me: humankind has created something truly astonishing here." ~ Jeffrey Tucker
The result of a century of coerced forms of social organization is exactly what you see and what so many decry as the fracturing of consensus in society. What’s miraculous is that we have somehow survived regardless of the nonstop attacks on liberty, property, and free association.
Bad economics can bring about or grow out of bad politics. But the question is, what are bad economics and bad politics? Unless this is clearly and correctly identified, a bad situation can be made worse, and a good situation can be turned into a bad one. So sorting this out is crucial to having a free and prosperous society.
No matter how good legislators’ intentions are, and no matter how much money government spends, government “solutions” are very likely to fall short of solving most of the problems they’re sold as solving. Indeed, often the result is disastrous.
Few defenders of free markets, not even the oft-maligned Ayn Rand, can be read as defending greed. In fact, if greed or selfishness is understood as exploiting others, then greed is impossible in a system of voluntary exchange.
Students don’t learn enough economics, neither as a subject nor as a way of thinking across the curriculum. AIER was proud to co-sponsor and partner on an event last week with two organizations working to change that fact: the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE), and the Economic Education Center at Lindenwood University’s School of Education in St. Charles, Missouri.
"Without entirely knowing what we were doing, that in the course of a few decades, we replaced a view of the human project that was inspired by choice, personal ambition, and individual achievement with a completely different view that insists that aspiration is utterly pointless and probably even dangerous." ~ Jeffrey Tucker
Long before governments entered the disaster scene, private citizens and entities took responsibility whenever they saw their fellow residents in trouble, oftentimes putting their own safety at risk to help save lives.
When done well, economics regularly reveals that that which appears to the popular mind to be undeniably true is often a mirage, or at least highly questionable. No service performed by economists is as important as this one.
Collectivism left horrifying stains on the 20th century. With the new technologies of supervision and control now available, the dominance of collectivist beliefs in the new century would be outright devastating. It is time to ban the curse of collectivism. We need an individualist turn in philosophy and politics and must abandon the mystical beliefs in false abstractions. To this end, Max Stirner is the indispensable guide.
“Voluntary collective action” should be our motto. This obviously includes markets, to be sure. But there is no reason to cede the vitality, attractiveness, and exuberance of the non-profit independent sector to ownership by the state. Voluntary private organizations belong to everyone.