A Journal for Western Man :  Issue LXXX

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Filosofy

 

Principles for Resolving the Premodern-Modern Controversy over Drug Legalization:

G. Stolyarov II

November 25, 2006:

Most representatives of the premodern worldview would argue against drug legalization on the grounds that consumption of such substances is inconsistent with man’s nature and with virtue.Most representatives of the modern worldview would support drug legalization as a necessary component of individual autonomy. Mr. Stolyarov writes that to obtain some agreement on drug legalization, the only expedient means is to argue within the premises of each worldview and see if the moderns and premoderns can reach the same conclusions while starting from different fundamental premises and holding different core ideas regarding how the government ought to act and what “goods” it ought to secure.

 

Human Flourishing and Natural Rights:

Dr. Edward W. Younkins

November 25, 2006:

Natural law is an older concept than the idea of natural rights. John Locke and his predecessor, Hugo Grotius, are frequently credited with ushering in the modern concept of natural rights. Historically, the doctrine of natural rights appears to have developed either within, or at least consonant with, the framework of the natural law tradition. There is some debate among philosophers as to whether the idea of natural rights is based on the idea of natural law or whether they are separately developed, but related, concepts. Either way, writes Dr. Edward Younkins, natural law and natural rights are compatible ideas each of which is rooted in human nature itself—both require an ontological foundation. Both natural law and natural rights are based on epistemological realism.

 

Responses to Leonid Fainberg's Comments on A Rational Cosmology:

G. Stolyarov II

November 25, 2006:

Mr. Stolyarov responds to the interesting and thought-provoking comments made by Mr. Leonid Fainberg regarding Mr. Stolyarov's filosofical treatise, A Rational Cosmology. Mr. Stolyarov and Mr. Fainberg discuss the nature of the term "universe," light, and the theory of relativity.

 

Economics

 

The Social Function of Stock Speculators:

Dr. Robert P. Murphy

November 24, 2006:

Dr. Robert Murphy writes about the indispensable and highly valuable economic function performed by speculators in the stock market. Despite their horrible reputation, stock speculators perform a crucial service in the market economy. Their attempts to buy low and sell high quickly eliminate mispricings in the stock market. Although not at first obvious, accurate stock prices are crucial to an efficient use of society's resources.

 

A Tribute to Milton Friedman (1912-2006):

Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

November 25, 2006:

The death of economist Milton Friedman last week at the age of 94 marks a great loss for advocates of freedom everywhere.  He was perhaps the most successful free-market economist of the 20th century, in terms of his real-world impact on politics and policy.  Many modern politicians, including Ronald Reagan, considered him a major influence in their careers. Milton Friedman was a strong advocate of economic liberty who opposed government intervention in both the purely economic and broader social spheres of our society.  He believed not only in laissez-faire capitalism, but also the larger cause of individual liberty in the political sense. Rep. Ron Paul was proud to know Dr. Friedman for many decades, and considered him a friend. He presents this essay in honor of Dr. Friedman.

 

Historical Analysis

 

What Really Happened at Plymouth:

Dr. Murray N. Rothbard

November 25, 2006:

Dr. Murray Rothbard gives a historical account of the first New England settlement of Plymouth and how the settlers there nearly starved to death as a result of an initial communistic system of production and distribution; later, when that system was abandoned in favor of private individual ownership and development, the colony flourished. The history of early New England was a history of intense conflict between the forces of liberty and individualism and the forces of intolerance, collectivism, and despotic government.

 

"Anticommunism" versus Capitalism:

Ludwig von Mises

November 25, 2006:

Ludwig von Mises criticizes the ideas of those who claim to oppose communism only to advocate what they call "socialism," "welfare-statism," or "planning." What these self-styled "anticommunist liberals" are fighting against is not communism as such, but a communist system in which they themselves are not at the helm. What they are aiming at is a socialist, i.e., communist, system in which they themselves or their most intimate friends hold the reins of government. It would perhaps be too much to say that they are burning with a desire to liquidate other people. They simply do not wish to be liquidated. In a socialist commonwealth, only the supreme autocrat and his abettors have this assurance. An "anti-something" movement displays a purely negative attitude. It has no chance whatever to succeed. Its passionate diatribes virtually advertise the program that they attack. People must fight for something that they want to achieve, not simply reject an evil, however bad it may be. They must, without any reservations, endorse the program of the market economy.

 

Literary Analysis

 

A Review of Alan Caruba's Right Answers:

G. Stolyarov II

November 26, 2006:

Alan Caruba’s new book, Right Answers: Short Takes on Big Issues: Separating Fact from Fantasy, provides an integrated understanding of several major issues facing the United States today—from Islamic Fundamentalist terrorism originating from abroad to technology-hating Green eco-terrorism originating from without America’s borders. Mr. Stolyarov reviews this book and examines some of the broader values that Mr. Caruba defends in it.

 

Music

 

A Review of Christopher Schlegel's Music for Electric Guitar and Classical Guitar:

G. Stolyarov II

November 26, 2006:

Have you ever heard Rossini’s William Tell Overture played on the electric guitar? What about the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, or the waltz from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty ballet? In his recent compilation of pieces for concert electric guitar, the composer Christopher Schlegel presents these works and more—along with his original compositions for that instrument. In addition, Mr. Schlegel has released a CD of three of his own sonatas for classical guitar. The two collections complement each other wonderfully; the electric guitar music is intense, vigorous, heroic, and highly dynamic. The classical sonatas are nimble, elegant, peaceful, and serene. Both are extremely well-executed and convey what Mr. Schlegel intended: “not merely a general sense of benevolence, but an explicit sense of triumph.” Mr. Stolyarov reviews both compilations in this essay.

 

Politics

 

Tom DeWeese Debates the United Nations Before the Cambridge Union Society:

Tom DeWeese

November 24, 2006:

Recently, Tom DeWeese was invited to the Cambridge Union Society in England to participate in a public debate on the merits of the United Nations. There, Mr. DeWeese was able to present his position that the United Nations is a gargantuan threat to individual liberty, national sovereignty, free markets, and property rights worldwide. Mr. DeWeese gives an account of the debate as well as his introductory speech here.
 

"Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless."

 

~ Milton Friedman

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Principal Index

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Old Superstructure

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Old Master Index

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Contributors

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The Rational Business Journal

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CMFF: Fight Death

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Eden against the Colossus

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A Rational Cosmology

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