Over the past two months I’ve been waging a campaign at Melbourne University’s Baillieu library by requesting that the staff order libertarian books. So far they have kindly consented to purchasing the following books: A Foreign Policy of Freedom, by Ron Paul; The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul; and Neither Liberty nor Safety: Fear, Ideology and the Growth of Government, by Robert Higgs.
My library campaign is an attempt to educate Australian academics. I draw inspiration from John Quiggin’s inadvertent confession of ignorance:
Ideological supporters of the free market dislike the idea of public provision and funding of services though they have proved unable to come up with workable alternatives.
When Professor Quiggin says libertarians have “proved unable to come up with workable alternatives”, he basically overlooks the vast libertarian literature. There are literally hundreds of books and journal articles containing workable libertarian ideas on almost every imaginable topic — ranging from the War on Drugs to the War on Terror to the War on Poverty.
Many libertarian ideas on inflation and taxes have been adopted as policy in recent decades. For example the Australian government, during the stagflation of the 1980s, adopted free-market reforms. Was this not an acknowledgment of the efficacy of smaller government?
Yet, for some strange reason, certain myths — like the one that libertarians pull ideas out of thin air and that there’s nothing but dogmatic ideology guiding our policy recommendations — continue to persist. I urge readers to fight ignorance through asking their local libraries to buy books by Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek and other libertarian authors.