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Toward Liberty: The Idea That Is Changing the World Hardcover – April 25, 2002
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From the Inside Flap
What wasn't so obvious at the time was that it was the end of an era.
In 1977 the Soviet Union seemed a permanent fixture. The Democrats controlled Washington, and the big three networks had 91 percent of television viewers. Philosopher-statesman Daniel Patrick Moynihan lamented that "liberal democracy on the North American model has simply no relevance to the future. It is where the world was, not where it is going."
Twenty-five years later, the world has changed so much that we may have forgotten what a different era 1977 was. Within a few years Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were moving public policy in the direction of lower taxes, less regulation, and privatization.
Today, the conventional wisdom is that Anglo-American democratic capitalism is the only viable model left in the world. After the tyrannies and central planning of the 20th century, true liberalism is making a comeback.
Everywhere that governments will allow it, people are choosing open markets, open societies, and responsibility for their own lives. Information, commerce, and investment increasingly flow in response to the choices of free people, not the dictates of politicians.
But the triumph of liberalism is by no means inevitable. There never was a golden age of liberty, and there never will be. Although we seem to have left behind some of the worst forms of government, we must remember that within the past century we have endured communism, fascism, and national socialism.
In this book are some of the people and ideas associated with the Cato Institute in its first 25 years. Karl Popper on the failure of communism, Peter Bauer on economic development, Helen Suzman on the end of apartheid, F. A. Hayek on money and information, Milton Friedman on markets in China, Mario Vargas Llosa on "neoliberalism," Carolyn Weaver and José Piñera on Social Security, Antonin Scalia and Richard Epstein on the role of judges, Alan Greenspan on globalization, Nadine Strossen on Clinton's constitutional conduct, P. J. O'Rourke on rights and responsibilities, and Walter Williams on affirmative action.
Twenty-five years after Moynihan's dirge, the anti-liberal scholars Stephen Holmes and Cass Sunstein complain that libertarian ideas are "astonishingly widespread in American culture." These essays show why they will continue to be.
More About the Author
The earlier edition of "The Libertarian Mind," titled "Libertarianism: A Primer," was described by the Los Angeles Times as "a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas" and by Richard Epstein as "unit[ing] history, philosophy, economics and law--spiced with just the right anecdotes--to bring alive a vital tradition of American political thought." His other books include "The Politics of Freedom," the "Cato Handbook For Policymakers," "Liberating Schools," and "The Crisis in Drug Prohibition." His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, Slate, and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows and a popular speaker on college campuses and at corporate and community events.
Top Customer Reviews
The editor provides an introduction which attempts to summarize the changes in the political landscape over the past quarter century and concludes that classical liberalism is on the ascendancy after a century of many failed experiments in statism.The book is then divided into nine topics with several selections for each topic - these are Ideas and Consequences (3 articles), Economic Growth (3 articles), The Welfare State (5), The Regulatory State (4), A World In Transition (11), Foreign Affairs (4), Trade And international Finance (4), Law And Liberty (8), and Democracy And Culture (8).Read more ›
Just to tone down my entheusiasm a bit, though, I would add that many of the essays may seem a little elementary to someone who has been reading libertarian publications for a long time. But on the whole, this is a solid, highly readable work full of ammunition for your libertarian debating arsenal.
It's interesting to see the papers on foreign relations pre-9/11, the papers on privatization of various major Guv'ment spending programs, etc. all written WELL before most of the media started talking about it.
While I don't agree with some of the papers all-together (drug papers for example) I find myself in agreement and understanding positions better than I did before. And further research online filled in the minor gaps from the last papers (circa late 00) to now.
Very nice volume. Very nice. -Ali