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“In all democratic countries, in the United States even more than elsewhere, a strong belief prevails that the influence of the intellectuals on politics is negligible. This is no doubt true of the power of intellectuals to make their peculiar opinions of the moment influence decisions, of the extent to which they can sway the popular vote on questions on which they differ from the current views of the masses. Yet over somewhat longer periods they have probably never exercised so great an influence as they do today in those countries. This power they wield by shaping public opinion.” – FA Hayek
Waging the War of Ideas is a collection of John Blundell’s short essays on advancing the ideas of liberty. Essays include “How to move a nation,” “Waging the war of ideas: why there are no shortcuts,” and “The Power of Ideas.”
Should economists curb their rhetoric and prescriptions based on “political realities”? Should anyone attempt to conceal the truth about state intervention for fear of not fitting into the existing political culture? Many people answer yes to both questions, on grounds that taking a hard-core position in favor of freedom threatens to make one “irrelevant” or discredit the message. W.H. Hutt is one of the few economists who addressed these strategic questions directly.
Is it possible to overcome the daunting public choice incentives of today’s modern economies? By comparing a hypothetical Kick-A-Chick mandate with clean bus mandates, Isaac shows that it is possible through the power of ideas!
This is a video recording of Leonard Read’s famous lecture, How to Advance Liberty. Advancing liberty, he claims, is a learning process, not a selling, process. Freedom will be won only when individuals acquire enough understanding to first reject socialist teachings, and then improve their own understanding to the point where they themselves become spokesmen for the freedom philosophy.
“Years ago as a college professor of economics, I posed a question to each crop of freshman students on or about the first day of class. “Can anyone tell me,” I asked, “what determines whether society is organized along socialist, centrally planned lines or as a free enterprise, private property order?
At some point, the guesswork would come to an end and I would reveal the answer I was seeking. “People or the institutions they establish play important roles, but neither one is fundamental enough because neither one explains why people behave the way they do. The correct answer is that which the French author Victor Hugo once called ‘more powerful than all the armies of the world’-IDEAS!”