Topic: Cato Publications

This Week at Libertarianism.org

The day after Thanksgiving didn’t see one of these updates, so we’ve got two weeks of new content at Libertarianism.org to cover.

George H. Smith continued his Excursions series with the first two parts in an extended look at the Declaration of Independence. In part 1, Smith discussed the intellectual history behind the document’s famous reference to “unalienable” rights. In part 2, he turned to two instances of curious wording: the use of “self-evident” and the lack of “property” in Jefferson’s list of inalienable rights.

We had a few new videos, too. In an addition to our “Libertarian View” series, Penn Jillette—magician and H. L. Menken research fellow at the Cato Institute—talks about what he sees as the important distinction between trying to convince someone that what you believe is true and just stating sincerely what you believe.

On November 29, we posted our first talk from Thomas Szasz. Speaking in 1994, the famous psychiatry skeptic addressed the problem of socialism in health care—an issue very much with us today.

And just today, we added a talk by Roger Garrison on monetary policy and central banking.

Finally, we had an extended—and ongoingdebate in the Free Thoughts blog between Julian Sanchez and Miles Pope on conceptions of morality in Jan Narveson’s The Libertarian Idea.

As always, there’s much more at Libertarianism.org. Keep up to date with everything new on the site by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

This Week at Libertarianism.org

This week at Libertarianism.org,

Demos vs. Cato: Say No to Bailouts

Over at PolicyMic, Cato scholar Daniel J. Mitchell debates Demos co-founder David Callahan on whether massive government bailouts saved us from a second Great Depression, or plunged the economy into a prolonged recession that hurt taxpayers and undermined the self-corrective mechanisms of the market. Mitchell argues:

The Bush-Obama policies of bailouts and regulation have been bad for taxpayers, but they’ve also been bad for the economy.

A vibrant and dynamic economy requires the possibility of big profits, but also the discipline of failure. Indeed, capitalism without bankruptcy is like religion without hell.

Yet that’s what politicians from both parties have created. Profits are private and losses are socialized, so is anyone surprised that Wall Street responds to these incentives with imprudent risk?

Read Mitchell’s post here, and the other side here.

David Friedman at Cato

David Friedman, the author of  Hidden OrderLaw’s Order, and Future Imperfect, will speak at the Cato Institute on Tuesday, November 29, at noon. His topic will be “The Market for Law.”

Is there a market for good law? Without the state providing law, could it be offered by multiple, private, and competing agencies? David Friedman, professor of law at Santa Clara University, explored this idea in his classic 1973 book, The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism. But in the years since, he’s revised and strengthened some of his theories. In this talk, he will offer these new ideas from the last 30 years of thinking about the market for law.

David Friedman is always interesting and provocative. Register now! And note: because of our ongoing expansion project, this event will be held one block east of Cato at the Undercroft Auditorium, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

Read more about David Friedman at Libertarianism.org.

Libertarianism: It Isn’t Just for Books Any More

If you haven’t already visited our new website, Libertarianism.org, you should check it out. And if you have already visited, note that there’s new material going up all the time. One of the most interesting parts of the site for long-time libertarians will be a continuing stream of  never-before-seen videos of talks by F. A. HayekMilton FriedmanMurray RothbardJoan Kennedy Taylor, and more. In his 1983 lecture, Hayek talks about the evolution of morality. In a 1990 talk to the International Society for Individual Liberty, Friedman chides Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises for what he considers dogmatism and an absence of humility. I was at that speech, and I remember it generated a lot of discussion afterward.

But there’s more! Weekly columns on the history of libertarian ideas by George H. Smith. Classic essays from Robert Nozick, Julian Simon, and Milton Friedman – not to mention Herbert Spencer, Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith, and Mary Wollstonecraft – on various aspects of liberty. Recommended reading lists on introductory books, libertarian theory, history, and the most incisive critics of libertarianism. And of course I can’t resist recommending my own 20-minute talk, exclusive to Libertarianism.org, “An Introduction to Libertarian Thought,” in our video series Exploring Liberty.

More “Exploring Liberty” videos will be coming soon. Editor Aaron Ross Powell has written an introductory blog post with highlights – but I encourage you to just click over and look around. And over the coming days, weeks, months, and years, we’ll be adding much more to Libertarianism.org, including new videos, books, and essays. If you’d like to stay up to date, we’re on Facebook and Twitter.

The Antidumping Lobby’s Power to Destroy Jobs

President Obama claims to support America’s exporting and so-called “green jobs” industries, but he also likes rules that restrict the importation of critical inputs to those industries. Austin Bragg and I produced a short video detailing how antidumping duties serve to nudge American manufacturers offshore or out of business. The examples we cite are American manufactured products that fall squarely into the category of “green.”

Facebook it. Tweet it. And read more of Dan Ikenson’s heavy lifting on the antidumping issue here, here and here.

Cannabis Policy at Cato Unbound

This month at Cato Unbound, we mark a milestone in U.S. public policy. Last month, for the first time ever, the Gallup polling organization recorded 50% support for legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana to adults. (Medical marijuana has had majority approval for many years now.)

So why now? What’s changed lately to bring so many people around? And where are we going from here?

To discuss these questions, we’ve invited a quartet of marijuana reform activists to a roundtable discussion. Each will present an essay on a different facet of marijuana policy, and our conversation this month will be about political strategy, possible future trends, and the interplay among various sub-issues in the field.

Kicking things off will be Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), writing about the biomedical aspects of cannabis and its prohibition. He will be followed by former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, now with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of NORML, who will discuss public education and messaging; and Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project, who will discuss upcoming ballot initiatives and legislative developments.

Although each of the four is fairly well in the same camp on this issue, each also brings to the table different experiences, different perspectives, and different areas of expertise. We hope you will find a discussion among them educational and thought-provoking.

As always, Cato Unbound readers are encouraged to take up our themes and enter into the conversation on their own websites and blogs, or at other venues. Trackbacks are enabled. We also welcome your letters and may publish them at our option. Send them to jkuznicki at cato.org