Boyes and I continue our exploration of the battle of ideas exemplified by Prop 100 in Az, the BP oil spill, the approaching bankruptcy of California and the wars on drugs, immigration and terrorism.
30 years ago liberty and responsibility had both an eloquent and accessible spokesman in the person of Milton Friedman. We had the chance to see glimpses of his direct and clear advocacy of economic and political freedom last month on this blog in a number of youtube snippets.
Today there is no advocate with the rare combination of intellect, accessibility and good humor to advance the cause of liberty and freedom. That vacuum has been filled with a number of pundits, intelligentsia, celebrities and politicians who advocate for centralization, big government and egalitarianism. The propaganda that is generated by these interventionists receives no effective counter in the marketplace of media, ideas and discourse.
I emphasize effective because there is a great deal of very clear advocacy for liberty and freedom from organizations ranging from The Liberty Fund to CATO to the Heritage Foundation. But that advocacy has not been effective - interventionists have seized the high moral ground and, as a result, hold sway with a majority of the population.
As I continue my summer reading of deTocqueville, it is clear that the vulnerability of a free society to democracy may be impossible to overcome. If "educated" Americans - higher ed faculty, media agents, politicians all hold to an interventionist view and have effectively controlled the ideological debate via very effective propaganda then I do fear for the future of our free society.
It does speak volumes when the vast majority of my friends and family look at Sean Penn in Haiti as a exemplar of response to changing conditions.