Monday, November 2, 2015

War, Big Government, and Lost Freedom

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the news and commentary website, “EpicTimes,” on “War, Big Government, and Lost Freedom.”

War undermines liberty and destroys prosperity. We are marking the hundredth anniversary of the First World War; virtually all of the last one hundred years bears the scare of that conflict in terms of lost freedom, the growth of big and intrusive government in personal, social and economic affairs, and the imposition of various forms of collectivism on humanity.

The pre-1914 world of individual liberty, economic freedom and constrained government ended with World War I. Instead, that conflict ushered in government planning and control,  and political paternalism and compulsory schemes of redistribution. The government got much bigger and the individual became smaller in terms of, especially, his economic freedom.

That war also subverted the pre-1914 gold standard monetary order that, while still under the management of government central banks, played by much narrower rules that limited inflationary abuses. From the time of World War I to the present, government has more fully usurped control over money and banking and has created what in general has been an age of inflation, epitomized in such extreme examples as the Great German Inflation that immediately followed Germany’s defeat in the First World War.

The task for friends of freedom is to reawaken a strong and persuasive case for the ideal of individual liberty, economic freedom and constitutionally limited government to, finally, end the collectivist, interventionist and welfare-statist legacies of the First World War.


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