Financial markets, including markets for complex instruments that may just look like speculative casino bets, allow important real transactions to occur. And in a brilliantly decentralized way, they bring into harmony people whose information, values, goals, and risk aversion differ.
Diocletian may have greatly strengthened the Roman state, but that extra strength appears not to have dented poverty, inflation, or civil war. Today the instinct to increase state power to achieve desired outcomes is thriving on both sides of the aisle.
Markets offer a powerful tool for fighting government-sanctioned racial discrimination.
Perennial illness is the default state of mankind. Markets have put human beings at the center of a dense web of affordable, effective choices to meet our needs and desires: those relating to our health are no exception.
The classical liberalism of the 19th century needs to be the reborn new liberalism of the 21st century, to once more offer an ideal of individual freedom, free enterprise, impartial rule of law, and equality before the law.
The notion of a moral panic is a powerful one that explains much of what goes on in popular mass media, public discussion, and, all too often, actual policy. It is a valuable intellectual tool to use to protect yourself against unwarranted and dangerous anxiety and being taken advantage of by deluded or unscrupulous hucksters.
What I’m suggesting here is that the divisions between these various centers of political, culture, and intellectual power are actually a good thing. I wouldn’t want anyone to win the great debates of our time. The end of division itself might be the worst possible outcome because it would imply that someone power source is now in charge. We actually don’t want anyone in charge. We want to recreate the conditions that made the West rich in the first place: tremendous diffusion of power and unending competition between all sectors of society.