Freedom Daily Archive

Individual Liberty and Civil Society

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In 1819, the French classical liberal, Benjamin Constant, delivered a lecture in Paris entitled, "The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with that of the Modems." He drew his audience's attention to the fact that in the world of ancient Greece, "the aim of the ancients was the sharing of power among the citizens of the fatherland: this is ... [click for more]

The Speculator As Hero

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I am a speculator. I own seats on the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. When my daughters ask me if my job is as important as the butcher's, the doctor's or the scientist's, I answer that the speculator is a hero, and has been throughout history. Some speculators are discoverers like Christopher Columbus, creators like Henry Ford, ... [click for more]

The Slaughterhouse Cases

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1869, the Louisiana legislature enacted a statute granting seventeen people the exclusive right to operate the only slaughterhouse in Orleans. All other slaughterhouses were required to close down. Any butcher who desired to continue his trade would be permitted to do so in the new slaughterhouse and would be ... [click for more]

Book Review: A Nation of Victims

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A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American Character by Charles J. Sykes (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992); 289 pages; $22.95. One of the reasons that socialism came to have such a great appeal to many in the 19th and 20th centuries was that it offered a powerful rationale for an individual to avoid responsibility for the consequences of ... [click for more]

America’s Wars and the Los Angeles Riots, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 Whether the jury's verdict in the Rodney King case was a miscarriage of justice is beside the point. The real point is the shocking reaction to the verdict by many in the black and Hispanic communities. No mereacquittal can engender the response that was manifested in Los Angeles. The anger and outrage of the ... [click for more]

Historical Capitalism vs. The Free Market

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During the dark days of Nazi collectivism in Europe, the German economist Wilhelm Röpke used the haven of neutral Switzerland for continuing to write and lecture on the moral and economic principles of the free society. "Collectivism," he warned, was "the fundamental and moral danger of the West." The triumph ... [click for more]

Wanted: A Real Deregulatory Revolution

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Jennifer Crafts exemplifies the best of American entrepreneurship. She wanted both to work and to spend more time with A.J., her infant son. So she opened a restaurant-A.J.'s Place- and put A.J. in a playpen next to the kitchen. The customers were almost as happy as Jennifer to have him around. Explained regular Richard Reynolds, ... [click for more]

Book Review: Laogai – The Chinese Gulog

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Laogai—The Chinese Gulag by Hongda Harry Wu (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, Inc., 1992); 247 pages; $34.95. The world has marveled for over ten years at the economic progress in communist China. The collective farms were transformed into private family enterprises. The Communist Party declared that "to be rich is glorious," and ... [click for more]

America’s Wars and the Los Angeles Riots, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 For much of the 20th century, the United States government has waged its Wars on Poverty, Drugs, and Illiteracy. And there is no better evidence of the failure of these wars than the riots that occurred in Los Angeles. The principles that undergird America's economic system in our time are radically different from those under ... [click for more]

The Rise, Fall, and Renaissance of Classical Liberalism, Part 3: The 20th Century

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 The First World War was the watershed of the twentieth century. Itself the product of antiliberal ideas and policies, such as militarism and protectionism, the Great War fostered statism in every form. In Europe and America, the trend towards state intervention accelerated, as governments conscripted, censored, inflated, ran up mountains ... [click for more]

Book Review: Russia Transformed

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Russia Transformed: Breakthrough to Hope by James H. Billington (New York: The Free Press, 1992); 202 pages; $19.95. Earlier this year, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., hosted an exhibit of previously secret documents from the Soviet archives. One of them was an order sent by Lenin on August 11, 1918, to ... [click for more]
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