Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Health Crisis Exposes the Nature of Political Power

During the pandemic, governments have gained in power at the expense of society. The many laws voted and decrees announced have severely limited individual freedoms in many countries, despite the fact that from the beginning many doubts existed regarding the effectiveness, the relevance and the legitimacy of these draconian measures used to fight the pandemic. The successive lockdowns, the obligation of wearing masks outdoors, the closing of schools and colleges, are just a few glaring examples.

Yet, now that the pandemic is in remission in most countries, many governments do not seem to be in a hurry to remove these restrictions and let conditions return to what they were before this health crisis erupted worldwide in early 2020. In most Western countries at least, the medical emergency has passed; the elderly are mostly vaccinated already.

Monday, May 17, 2021

The Case of Joe Rogan: Vaccine Policy and Freedom of Speech

Recently, Joe Rogan, one of the largest podcast hosts in the United States (10.6 million YouTube subscribers), expressed the following opinion about the vaccination of young adults:

If you are 21 and ask me if you should get the vaccine, I would say 'no'. If you are a healthy person and exercise all the time, and are young and eat well, I don't think you have to worry about this." 

Friday, March 26, 2021

What if the Market for Vaccines Were Free?

What are the benefits of a free market for vaccines? While such a market is unrealistic in the current political environment, it is important to understand how the free market could improve the development, production, sale and distribution of vaccines.

The libertarian cannot describe accurately the particular consequences in the long term of a market liberalization. The nature of the free market - its plurality, its decentralization - makes it difficult to make that kind of prediction. However, it is possible to make more general observations concerning a particular market, based on the principles of Austrian School of Economics.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Why We Must Oppose a Covid Health Pass

The rumors surrounding the introduction of a Covid-19 health pass are getting more or more concrete. There are signs that it likely will happen; France and UK are already considering it.

Though the details are still sketchy, it would be a kind of laissez-passer, which would allow only those in possession of it to visit places like cafes, restaurants, museums, exhibitions, etc. In order words, anyone without such a pass would still be denied access to all those establishments that were closed during the numerous lockdowns.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Education of the Modern Socialist

Libertarians often wonder why socialism continues to be so popular, even though it has proved to be such a failure as a political ideology and as an economic system. Though a public education system and a biased mainstream media are key reasons for this, the stubborn resiliency of socialism is also somewhat fictitious since socialism has evolved: the socialist of yesteryear is not the socialist of today. This distinction is important to remember when setting the themes for a libertarian education. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Julian Assange and the Struggle for Political Freedom

Julian Assange's heroic but tragic life is coming to a head in the next weeks. A British court shall soon rule whether Assange, ostensibly a publisher and journalist, shall be extradited to the United States to be charged with espionage. Though many people around the world have followed Assange's hardships on and off during the last decade, it is really now, during this sham trial in London, that the importance of the struggle for political freedom should become clear to all.

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Lockdown in the West Also Comes From China

The Western reaction to the Coronavirus pandemic has been nothing short of hysterical. Most of the populations in the West have been confined to their homes and whole countries have been locked down, at an economic cost that goes beyond belief. It is difficult to find historical examples of such draconian measures being adopted by Western nations anywhere and anytime, even during war.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Why are Western Politicians Destroying the Economy?

An economic cataclysm has been unleashed upon the world by Western politicians and bureaucrats. Unbelievably, economic activity in the West has slowed to a creep, as entire populations have been confined to their homes for weeks, if not months. As a result, millions have had their lives turned upside down. Most entrepreneurs and self-employed have had their livelihoods jeopardized.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Disastrous Healthcare Plans of Sanders and Warren

The ideas for healthcare reform of the statist and left-wing politicians in the USA are so disastrous and so foolhardy, that they should be severely and frequently criticized. In particular, the healthcare plans of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren reflect quite well what a lot of economically and politically uneducated progressives in the USA think should be done about healthcare. They want change the current system in order to lower the costs of healthcare and provide "free" or almost "free" healthcare. It is true that the healthcare system in the US must be dramatically transformed and that its costs to end-users (patients) should go down significantly, but not at all in the interventionist way these people think. The way to go, as usual, is to expand the free market.

Friday, February 21, 2020

The SAS Commercial : An Outrageous Definition of Scandinavian Culture

Recently, a controversial commercial from SAS, the Scandinavian airline company, was published on social media. It attempts to portray Scandinavian culture as basically non-existing. The message is that because all typical Scandinavian cultural traits and imagery can supposedly be traced to external sources, Scandinavia has "nothing", as the commercial repeats, in many languages. SAS obviously is trying to be politically correct in these globalist times, in which the Nation is looked down upon. At the same time it wants to encourage Scandinavians to use SAS to fly to faraway lands to bring back more valuable things (such as meatballs?), so these too may in the future be transformed and become part of what represents Scandinavia. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Review of “Sapiens : A Brief History of Mankind”

Though the book “Sapiens”, by Yuval Noah Harari, came out a few years ago, it became such a bestseller that it could be worth reviewing it briefly.

First of all, it must be mentioned that "Sapiens" is a popular book, and therefore necessarily simplifies and omits. Such a book cannot therefore go into details and explanations that academic books could. Many people tend to forget this fact just because the author is an academic. This shall not therefore be the gist of the critique of this work.

The author set himself out to tell the whole story of the human race in a single book, however thick.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Backside to Mr. Pelham's Iran Story

The journalist Nicolas Pelham, who writes for The Economist, has published an interesting, quite entertaining and well written article in 1843, the sister magazine of the Economist, called "Trapped in Iran" about his recent visit to Iran. He details his difficulties getting out of the country, being interrogated by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, having his papers seized, and being forced to remain for several months in Iran before finally obtaining an exit visa. However, the backside to this story has been completely omitted, probably on purpose. In the comments below, it is the political aspect of the story that are considered, not the different cultural, social and religious descriptions that also form a part of Mr. Pelham's essay.