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Tag Archives: Philosophy of Freedom

An Open Letter to Tyler Cowen on The Great Barrington Declaration

Tyler, When I caught notice of your most-recent effort to explain your disparagement of the Great Barrington Declaration I was prepared to find myself in respectful disagreement with the substance of at least some of your objections. But what I found instead is a surprising and disappointing absence of any substantive criticism of the GBD. Authored by Drs. Jay Bhattacharya, Sunetra Gupta, and Martin Kulldorff, the Great Barrington Declaration text is 509 words. So that everyone can see...

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Some Covid Links

“When police start raiding our churches, you know the revolution has begun” – so writes Peter Hitchens. A slice: So why, of all the places in London, on all the days of the year, was this one targeted on Good Friday? I don’t think much thought went into it. I think deep down in the brain of the state is an idea that religious people, especially Christians, shouldn’t think they have any special position in Britain any more. Worship the new Health and Safety State first, and when you’ve...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 646 of the 1988 collection of Lord Acton’s writings (edited by the late J. Rufus Fears), Essays in Religion, Politics, and Morality; specifically, it’s a note drawn from Acton’s extensive papers at Cambridge University; (I can find no date for this passage): Government rules the present. Literature rules the future. DBx: The course of human events is determined overwhelmingly, and at root, by ideas. We must – if as a species we are to thrive rather than merely survive –...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 112 of Virginia Postrel’s superb and still-relevant 1998 book, The Future and Its Enemies: By dispersing knowledge and control, a dynamic society takes advantage of the human quest to create and discover. Dynamism allows the world to be enriched through the decentralized, trial-and-error experiments in which we all engage when left free to do so. While reactionaries seek rules that will ban change and technocrats want rules that will control outcomes, dynamists look for...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 154 of John Mueller’s excellent 1999 book, Capitalism, Democracy, & Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery: But it must be acknowledged that democracy is, and will always be, distressingly messy, clumsy, and disorderly, and that in it people are permitted loudly and irritatingly to voice opinions that are clearly erroneous and even dangerous. DBx: Indeed. Mueller here very nicely summarizes a key part of the democratic ethos. People who wish to silence – to “cancel” – those with...

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Some Non-Covid Links

Alberto Mingardi is understandably unimpressed with Mariana Mazzucato’s new book on industrial policy. Here’s a slice from Alberto’s review: Mazzucato’s case for industrial policy suffers from selective history and intellectual hubris. It conveniently refrains from investigating countries like Italy that have prided themselves on enacting such a policy, while placing great faith in “visionary” intellectuals (such as herself) to foresee problems and direct resources toward solutions. Yet...

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Some Covid Links

“Increases in Coronavirus Cases Are Happening Mainly in States With Stricter COVID-19 Rules” – so reports Jacob Sullum. Two slices: The [Washington] Post nevertheless says “experts…agree” that rising infection numbers are largely due to “a broad loosening of public health measures, such as mask mandates and limits on indoor dining,” along with “increased spread of the more transmissible [virus] variants.” The evidence so far does not seem to support that theory. Mask mandates and...

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Some Covid Links

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins writes about the fourth wave. Two slices: The good news is that herd immunity is starting to take hold. This does not mean no Covid. It means less Covid. Less Covid overall means less chance of the next trillion-to-one dangerous mutation. Google the words “herd immunity” and “influenza” and running off the page will be evidence that herd immunity has never been taken to mean a disease stops existing. Flu still kills children by the dozens or...

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Some Non-Covid Links

Juliette Sellgren’s just-released podcast with Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley is superb. George Will writes brilliantly about taxation, cronyism, and the duplicity of the political class. A slice: Now comes the pesky question of how to pay for the progressive agenda. Or, more precisely, how to pay the huge price of the minority portion of the agenda’s cost that will be financed by taxes rather than money creation or borrowing. Borrowing means future generations pay, but as has...

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