I’ve been far too busy to find time for blogging so far this semester, but for now I’d like to take just a couple of moments to express some gratitude.
First to Ayn Rand, who was born on this day in 1905. I discovered her about five years ago, when I was just becoming intellectually curious. Reading her non-fiction, but especially her novels, is a great source of joy for me. If I had to identify her most important political message, it would be that capitalism is to be defended on the grounds of natural rights rather than utilitarianism. If I had to identify her most important personal message, it would be that each individual is an end in himself, and that the purpose of life is to seek joy, rather than to escape pain.
But the main catalyst to this post was to express gratitude to those who continue to carry the torch of classical liberal (in particular, Austrian) thought. I must admit that never until this day did I truly realize how important the tradition is, particularly because it’s so rare to find it in places of higher learning, such as our universities.
My class on Intermediate Macroeconomics treats interest rates as mere numbers that can and should be manipulated by a group of central bankers in order to “steer” a nation’s economy away from recession. Just today, my professor was applauding Japan’s central bank’s recent decision to adopt negative interest rates, because it will stimulate spending. The concept of saving is looked upon like a bastard child, and quickly thrown in the dustpan as if it’s going to take us back to the stone-ages. My history class teaches that the gold standard was quote stupid unquote because an economy can’t grow without an elastic money supply…
So for those of you on the outside who wonder if that Keynesian or pro-government/anti-market bias that you continue to hear about actually exists, trust me. It’s real. It exists. And it is why those who take up the task to spread the insight of classical liberal scholars is so important. The list of acknowledgments is far too long, but I’d like to name personally several of today’s most important and courageous leaders:
Tom Woods, Robert Murphy, Ron Paul, Don Boudreaux, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams.
As I said, the list was too long to do justice. But the names above are just some of those who I have been so fortunate to have stumbled upon and learn from (on my own time). I hope one day to have the opportunity to dedicate my life to continuing the example they have set and carrying the tradition of classical liberalism through a country infected with politically correct notions.