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Tag Archives: Classical liberalism

Life, Liberty, and M*A*S*H: Other Civil Liberties

This fall, LIFE magazine has published a special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of the movie M*A*S*H. Despite the hook, the issue focuses on the ensuing TV series, which ran from 1972 to 1983. Though the show has often been characterized as being politically left-wing, it actually is heavily classically liberal, celebrating the individual, civil liberties, and the market, and harshly criticizing anti-individualism, government compulsion, and government...

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Life, Liberty, and M*A*SH

Life, Liberty, and M*A*S*H: From Anti-Authority to Government-Skeptical This fall, LIFE magazine has published a special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of the movie M*A*S*H. Despite the hook, the issue focuses on the ensuing TV series, which ran from 1972 to 1983. Though the show has often been characterized as being politically left-wing, it actually is heavily classically liberal, celebrating the individual, civil liberties, and the market, and harshly...

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Laughter, Liberty, and M*A*S*H

Television’s finest half-hour reminded America of the values of classical liberalism. This fall, LIFE magazine has published a special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of the movie M*A*S*H. Despite the hook, the issue focuses on the ensuing TV series, which ran from 1972 to 1983. Though the show has often been characterized as being politically left-wing, it actually is heavily classically liberal, celebrating the individual, civil liberties, and the market,...

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Power, Privilege, and Liberalism

Read Part 1. Getting the facts largely right is a necessary condition for writing good history, but it is not a sufficient one. Historians inevitably have to make choices about which facts to include and exclude. More fundamentally, their own intellectual and ideological frameworks will guide them to look at some things and not others. Good histories are narratives and how a historian links together the facts to tell an overarching story is just as important as the...

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Will Italy get the “upside” of COVID?

In many assessments of the changes brought by COVID-19, I notice some classical liberal scholars are putting on the upside a certain degree of deregulation, which apparently governments are accepting in order to cope with the healthcare challenge and to ease the way towards recovery. I am afraid that won’t happen in Italy. I have an article on the matter in Politico.eu. As I recall in the piece, The first time I heard an Italian politician promise to slash red tape, I...

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Classical Liberalism Was Born and Thrived During Pandemics

There Are No Libertarians in an Epidemic,” The Atlantic proudly declared in March. The message, echoed often since then, has been the same: classical liberals (henceforth in this essay simply referred to as “liberals”) have no place in this world. A global pandemic must be met with global action, which can only be coordinated by governments. Individualism and liberalism are unable to solve the problem because of externalities or just plain selfishness. So writes...

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It’s always the neoliberals’ fault.

Who’s responsible for a “remarkable variety of crises”, basically all the imaginable ones besides Covid19? Don’t hold your breath: neoliberals, of course, are. In these days of quarantine, I tend to read The Guardian regularly. It has a remarkable opinion section. It has its own ideology (well, who doesn’t?), but it typically hosts arguments rather than rants. I don’t see many “arguments” in this article by George Monbiot, a regular columnist for the paper. But it is...

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Neoliberalism as a term of abuse

Vincent Geloso has an interesting piece at the AIER website, arguing that “the use of the term “neoliberalism” is strongly correlated with punditry”. I think that is very true. Neoliberalism is, at the same time, a term of abuse and a sort of way to refer to what someone finds more or less vaguely dislikable about the status quo. In a book (in Italian, alas) that uses the term, I distinguished between neoliberalism “in a proper sense” and neoliberalism “in a broad...

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Five Books to talk classical liberalism with your family over the holidays

Politics at the Christmas table is a classic. Once your relatives know you are somehow “politically minded”, they are likely to pester you with their own views on current events. Yet if you share a broadly classical liberal perspective, you are likely to run into troubles. These ideas are sometimes difficult to grasp, particularly because they build on concepts which are very far from the instinctive attitude of many. How to have a good conversation, even before a...

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The Left Hemisphere Running Amok

Iain McGilchrist presents the science on the divided brain and develops a compelling explanation of the right and left hemispheres, how each functions, and what each tends to do. His major work is The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. The right hemisphere is the “master,” the left is “his emissary.” A conversation at YouTube between McGilchrist and Jordan Peterson offers a good introduction, as does Russ Roberts’s...

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