Thursday, July 28, 2005

Two Worthy Articles

If your doctor tried to treat you with 200-year-old medical knowledge, you’d fire him in a blink. If someone proposed a reciprocating steam engine for your backup power supply, same ending. So it must really be frustrating to economists to hear people, politicians, CEOs, bankers trotting out economic ideas discredited for 200 years as advice for the future.

The 20th century was the century of death – not just because of wars. Socialist governments killed 130 – 350,000,000 of their own people. It must have been especially frustrating to economists of the Austrian school because in 1920, Mises showed that planning, the vaunted advantage of socialist government, was impossible in a socialism. So the whole story of oppression, destitution, starvation could have been avoided just by paying attention.

Today, I received a note about written by one of Mises’ followers. It’s short and pretty accessible.

Ever since the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, I’ve followed insights of Daniel Pipes, son of Richard Pipes whom I followed during the Cold War. One of Daniel Pipes’s recurring theorems has been, “Orthodox Islam is the cure for extremist Islam.” Since 9/11, the silence of orthodox Islam has caused me to doubt.

This note makes the point that the West is unwilling to rely on eventual measures from inside Islam and is making its own provision for defense against the extremists. It’s quite short.


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