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Mises’ Socialism and George Osborne’s year of hard truths


Ludwig von Mises’ 1922 book Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis is the definitive refutation of socialism, ie coercive direction of production and distribution by the state. It is the book which persuaded Friedrich Hayek to turn to classical liberalism. He wrote in his foreword, Socialism promised to fulfill our hopes for a more rational, more just world. And then came this book. Our hopes were dashed. Socialism told us that we had be looking for improvement in the wrong direction. […]

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“It is impossible to be a democrat and support the continued existence of the European Union”


In the Telegraph, Peter Oborne reviews Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy by Peter Mair. I have not yet read it. Towards the end, Oborne writes, Like Miliband, Peter Mair comes from the Left. He was an Irishman who spent the majority of his professional life working in European universities in Italy, the Netherlands or Ireland. And yet he has written what is by far and away the most powerful, learned and persuasive anti-EU treatise I have come […]

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Book review: Life After The State, Dominic Frisby


Dominic Frisby’s Life After the State catalogues the systematic failure of political power to meet people’s aspirations for it. From the book description: Have you ever had the nagging feeling that the problems the country faces are spiraling out of control, that the government has lost its way and that, despite its promises, nothing ever changes? Well, you’re right. In every instance where government gets involved in people’s lives with a desire to do good, it can always be relied […]

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Book review: The Problem of Political Authority


Earlier in the year, I had a wonderful conversation on the doorstep with a lady who, like so many members of the public, despairs at the conduct of all politicians. I asked if she had followed my own actions and could give me a personal example. The truth was, as I expected and perfectly reasonably, that her views were formed by press reporting of the political battle amongst generals far above this foot-soldier’s level. The pattern is quite common. Increasing […]

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Book review: Milton Friedman by Eamonn Butler


I usually romp through Eamonn Butler’s books and Milton Friedman: A concise guide to the ideas and influence of the free-market economist was no exception. The book sets out how Friedman became a public intellectual of worldwide influence, how to end financial crises and how to cure inflation. People, trade and currencies should be free, he argued. Government fails and markets work to promote diversity and help ordinary people. Friedman advocated a 100% reserve requirement on demand deposits, giving government […]

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