20 years ago
“To say ‘neoliberal’ is the same as saying ‘semiliberal’ or ‘pseudoliberal.’ It is pure nonsense. One is either in favor of liberty or against it, but one cannot be semi-in-favor or pseudo-in-favor of liberty, just as one cannot be ‘semipregnant,’ ‘semiliving,’ or ‘semidead.’ The term has not been invented to express a conceptual reality, but rather, as a corrosive weapon of derision. It has been designed to devalue semantically the doctrine of liberalism. And it is liberalism—more than any other doctrine—that symbolizes the extraordinary advances that liberty has made in the long course of human civilization.”
Mario Vargas Llosa
“Global Village or Global Pillage?”
“What has gone mostly unseen and unremarked upon is the effort by industries who benefit from copyright law to shift the balance of the law forever in their favor, and away from the public interest that, according to Article I of the U.S. Constitution, is supposed to be the beneficiary of copyrights.”
25 years ago
“Rather than capitalizing on the broad, if often inchoate, anti-government and pro-individualist sentiments that seem to be growing among voters, insisting on systematic libertarianism in the political arena reduces the libertarian impulse to a series of litmus tests on issues that many voters may not see as particularly important or connected: gun rights and abortion rights, property rights and drug legalization, free speech and lower taxes. To these mainstream issues the Libertarian Party platform adds such problematic esoterica as jury nullification, a reliance solely on tort law and ‘strict liability’ to govern pollution, and the right of individual political secession. When libertarianism is presented as an all-or-nothing bargain, interested voters are more likely to leave the whole package on the table.”
“The home school movement suggests that educational choices need not be limited to public and private schools. Rather, parents can create far more flexible arrangements, relying on an array of learning services, resources, and technologies that enable their children to learn at home on a part-time or full-time basis. We can begin contemplating a future of learning opportunities analogous to the innovation and decentralization that is currently taking place in traditional workplaces.”
“To achieve the social goal of a ‘livable wage’ (even for teenagers living with their parents), the state confiscates the assets of certain employers and forces them to give those assets to certain employees. But a fast-food restaurant has alternatives: It can buy machines, shorten its hours, perhaps even raise its prices (though this is a doubtful proposition since prices are determined, not by costs, but by supply and demand; if a restaurant could charge more for a hamburger, it would be doing so already, whatever the minimum wage).”
“Economics: Minimum Standards”
35 years ago
“The drug police have to resort to such invasive surveillance techniques precisely because the ‘crimes’ they are trying to detect involve no victims and therefore no plaintiffs. The various transactions that take place among participants in the drug trade, from producers to traffickers to buyers, are purely private and voluntary. If I peacefully sell a substance to someone who is willing to pay for it, whose rights have been violated? If I peacefully buy a substance that someone’s willing to sell me, whose rights have been violated? If I peacefully ingest the substance, whose rights have been violated? No one’s.”
“Freedom Dies in the War on Drugs”
45 years ago
“The essence of the State through history is a minority of the population, constituting a power elite or a ‘ruling class,’ governing and living off of the majority, or the ‘ruled.’ Since a majority cannot live parasitically off a minority without the economy and the social system breaking down very quickly, and since the majority can never act permanently by itself but must always be led by an oligarchy, every State will subsist by plundering the majority on behalf of a ruling minority.”
“America’s Libertarian Revolution”
“It is no accident that conservatives tend to share attitudes in favor of free enterprise and against big government with the libertarians, and to share attitudes with the communists against personal freedom and in favor of social repression. Conservatives find their political motivation in the defense of community norms and traditional values. In this country, a few libertarian values are ‘traditional,’ as luck would have it. In Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, of course, conservatives and communists differ only in their ‘enemies lists,’ not in their programs. Deviation from the permitted norm is a police matter.”
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