Culture and Creative Destruction

Globalization is often accused of many evils. One of them, particularly put forward by conservatives, is that it weakens the specificity of cultures in favor of global standardization. The market is thus blamed for destroying values and regional cultures in favor of a superficial mass culture based on profit.   In his 1998 book False Dawn:…

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The Creative Core of Capitalism

Market competition is at the heart of the capitalist system. It serves as the driving force for creative innovation, the mechanism by which supply and demand are brought into coordinated balance for multitudes of goods, and as the institutional setting where individuals freely find their place to best earn a living in society.   Yet,…

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Classical Liberalism and the Rule of Law

The history of liberty and prosperity is inseparable from the practice of free enterprise and respect for the rule of law. Both are products of the spirit of classical liberalism. But a correct understanding of free enterprise, the rule of law, and liberalism (rightly understood) is greatly lacking in the world today.   Historically, liberalism…

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Culture Wars and Immigration

A common objection to immigration in the 21st century is an appeal to the protection of national culture. Letting more immigrants into a country, according to the cultural objection, would have the undesired effect of changing the cultural landscape and social customs of the destination country.   Consider the rhetoric of the most high‐​profile and outspoken…

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How “Capitalism” Became a Dirty Word

What does “capitalism” really mean?   The word “capitalism” carries a lot of baggage. It is a word many people try to avoid using when extolling the virtues and achievements of the free enterprise system. To understand this, we must look briefly at its historical origins.   Karl Marx Started It    It was in…

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FDR’s “Four Freedoms” and the Evolution of Freedom

One of the most impactful speeches in American history has just passed its 80th anniversary—Franklin Roosevelt’s famous 1941 “Four Freedoms” speech.   The speech introduced cognitive dissonance into Americans’ understanding of freedom that is still cited today as justification for expanding government power over citizens’ lives. If we want to advance our “General Welfare,” as…

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What Camping and Mickey Mouse Teaches us about Socialism and Capitalism

“Anti-capitalism” appears to be the prevailing mood for 2020, with similar messages etched on signs on environment protests, used to describe scented candles and embroidery hoops. Besides the irony of these products being sold under the guise of “anti-capitalist”, one should stop to ponder the meaning of the term. People tend to use the terms…

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The Significance of Mises’s “Socialism”

That Ludwig von Mises was one of the greatest economists of the 20th century should never be doubted. Mises never worked in scientific or popular obscurity, despite the various mythologies that are told on both left and right. Prior to World War I, Mises had established himself as a leading economic theorist among the younger…

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Hayek and the Nobel Prize

The grant of a 1974 Nobel Prize in Economic Science to the great Austrian free-market economist Dr. Friedrich A. von Hayek comes as a welcome and blockbuster surprise to his free-market admirers in this country and throughout the world. For since the death last year of Hayek’s distinguished mentor, Ludwig von Mises, the 75-year-old Hayek…

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The Reconstruction of the Liberal Project

“We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia… truly liberal radicalism… The main lesson which the true liberal must learn from the success of the socialists is that it was their courage to be Utopian which gained them…

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