It is said that neither freedom nor security is free. I agree. But must we pay coercive monopoly prices for inferior services?
The bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the alleged fraud by co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried, which has cost customers millions, is tailor-made for anyone who already wants the power of government to expand, especially in the area of financial privacy. For that reason I think it would be useful to take a 30,000-foot view of the matter. I offer these considerations as someone with no more than a layman’s knowledge of the cryptocurrency phenomenon.
Without my intending any criticism, Friedman might have asked Donahue what system he thinks some business people try to manipulate in today’s mixed economy. Isn’t it the interventionist political system that free-market advocates object to?
What does the libertarian philosophy have to say about business management as an institution? Is it analogous to the state or something entirely different?
Nothing is more powerful than the profit motive, something that even opponents of the market readily concede.
Government officials must not be permitted to suppress, directly or indirectly, public-health and other sorts of claims they disagree with. Officials of course can say what they believe are the facts, but they must not attempt to smear, marginalize, and silence dissenters. The very act of financing scientific research is prejudicial because of the stamp of exclusive legitimacy it implies. As the pandemic illustrates, a truly free marketplace of ideas is literally a matter of life and death.
By now Randolph Bourne’s observation that “war is the health of the state” ought to be such a cliché that it would hardly need to be said. And yet, it must be said — often — because many still haven’t gotten the word.
Neuroscientist/philosopher Sam Harris caused quite a stir recently by defending the social networks’ conspiracy (his word) to suppress news coverage of Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s smoking-gun laptop shortly before Election Day 2020. Harris said the suppression was justified because Donald Trump was such a threat to America that he had to be defeated whatever the cost to the election’s integrity.
I have the impression that people think their own intuitions need not be questioned because they are reliable. But is that wise? I don’t think so.
The push-back against identity politics by disillusioned leftists is welcome, but the striving to replace identity with economic equality as the guiding political principle? Not so much.