Preach it Dr. Boudreaux

by pjamesbeardsley

One of the best websites on the internet, Cafe Hayek, is the work of two of freedom’s best friends: Professors Russ Roberts and Don Boudreaux of George Mason University.  I do not agree with them on everything.  They do not agree with themselves on everything.  I endorse their website and think you should make a habit of going to it.

For those outside of the broader liberty movement, I’ll let you know something that brings a great deal of sadness to the rest of us: infighting at Cato.  The Cato Institute has been a champion of liberty longer than I’ve been alive, and there is currently some infighting going on that threatens the organization and all it stands for.  As to the nature of the argument, there are many things we don’t know.  I don’t know who is right between Ed Crane and the Koch brothers and to whom ownership of shares in the organization actually belongs.  I don’t know.  I don’t wish to speculate on the facts or pass judgment on individuals I respect a great deal.

I do know that like Dr. Boudreaux, I stand with Ed Crane and Cato’s vision of fostering libertarian ideas for the long term, with little regard for the short term (as the Koch brothers ostensibly prefer).  As Professor Boudreaux himself writes:

At the end of the day in any society, political office holders largely reflect the culture and climate of ideas that prevail in that society.  The overwhelming effects of culture and the climate of opinion on actual, day-to-day policies over the long run are unseen.  This unseen influence of culture and ideas is, I believe, as the underwater bulk of the iceberg is to the seen tip that looms above the water’s surface.

Yes.  Ideas matter, because the propogation of ideas is what influences the culture.  That’s why I do what I do here.  If I were out to get people to like me or get a ton of viewers and comments, I wouldn’t be blogging about libertarianism and Restoration Movement theology, certainly not together.  I might change a few minds.  Even if I don’t, I’ll refine the ideas of others.  Even if what I do is little more than an eye dropper of water in the ocean of American culture, those minds I change will go on to change others.

The Cato Institute has helped mold my worldview by its commitment to the long term.  Let’s keep that going.