As bad as the economics of the Carrier shakedown may be—and it is entirely unclear in which direction the shaking went down, except to note that a supply of rents tends to create a demand for them—the constitutional politics are far worse.
What to make of Donald Trump’s interview with CBS’s Lesley Stahl last week?
Lanny Ebenstein has already written biographies of Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek, who figure centrally in Chicagonomics. He now turns his attention to the school of thought as a whole. His new book’s subtitle is “The Evolution of Chicago Free Market Economics” but it might better be called a study of the “punctuated evolution” of Chicago economics, because Ebenstein suggests a disjunction, in the late 1940s, between the early Chicago classical liberals and the latter Chicago neoliberals (neo-anarchists, in Ebenstein’s phrase). The year 1946 is his point of punctuation—like the asteroid 65 million years ago that hit the earth and wiped…
Regulating cyber-commerce is controversial. The advent of smart phones and web-based interfaces has facilitated many new consumer services. Customers using these digital platforms often insist that existing regulatory models are outmoded and simply shouldn’t apply to new technologies.
As do the companies. When residents of Austin, Texas recently rejected Proposition 1—an ordinance proposed by Uber and Lyft—it generated national attention around this important question: How should a free society deal with innovative new technologies? Should existing regulations apply, should exceptions be made, or should the collision between existing rules and innovation cause us to re-examine the existing rules altogether?
In the wake of Donald Trump’s conquest of the Republican presidential nomination, many wise critics have concluded that the old Buckley-Reagan conservative ideology is dead. The paradoxical reply: It is not dead because the original was not an ideology.
That declaration had always annoyed me in my younger days, when William F. Buckley, Jr. would ceaselessly insist that conservatism was not ideological.
Sure it was. What did Buckley himself write in his Up from Liberalism (1959) about the essence of conservatism? Its principles were set forth therein as “freedom, individuality, the sense of community, the sanctity of the family, the supremacy of conscience, the spiritual view of life,” a strong defense—and all were meaningful “in proportion as political power is decentralized.”
I very much appreciate Scott Yenor’s thoughtful and even-handed review of my book, Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions. The highest compliment I can give him is that if someone asked me what the best criticism of my book is, it would very much be the main line of argument Yenor pursues.
Steven Horwitz’s Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions uses the Austrian economist’s mode of analysis: marriage and the family are seen as the products of undirected environmental changes, products that arose to meet functions important to human survival and flourishing. By “modern family,” Horwitz means marriages that are the result of choice and affection, where each in the couple is equal and independent, where children are valued sentimentally, and where the family enjoys privacy from community and politics. For him, the “modern family” is an adaptation to changes in our environment brought about through efficient free-market…
The X-Files at its best celebrates that “the truth is out there”—objective, weird, and always slipping from our complete grasp. At its worst, the show makes heroes out of cranks and confuses power for politics.
Over the course of nine seasons and a miniseries now airing on FOX, the show portrays two FBI agents investigating bizarre events. The dour, imaginative Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) partners with the second best sci-fi heroine that has ever been, the calming, rational, and courageous Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson).
There are basically two—and in fact incompatible—kinds of X-Files episodes, with two distinct approaches toward the truth that is “out there.” There are the show’s conspiracy episodes: Is our world controlled by evil cliques manipulating reality and hiding the truth? Then there are what fans call the monster episodes: Is human life by its nature given to evil, good, and in between; to weirdness and wonder, harboring some truths that, happily, remain beyond us?
It is hard to imagine what the world of a conservative intellectual looked like in 1953. In our present age of talk radio (led by Rush Limbaugh), Fox News, national conservative magazines and blogs, and the New York-D.C. axis of Right-leaning think tanks, we regard the conservative movement as ubiquitous—and inextricably linked to politics and public policy.