Freeman

January/February

Volume 64, 2014

Phil Bowermaster walks us through the vision of nanotech's founder, his disillusionment with the hype surrounding nanotech—and sketches in the myriad innovations that, hype aside, have brought us to the cusp of a revolution as far-reaching as the agricultural, industrial, and informational revolutions combined. Speaking of revolutions, Jeffrey Tucker reports back from the thriving, vital front lines of culture—taking place, surprisingly, in century-old orchestra halls. Michael C. Munger offers libertarians a positive vision for society to replace the (perceived, at least) contrarianism some libertarians take as the end-all, be-all of the L-word. Everyone knows that the plague was brought to Europe by rats and spread because of changes in the climate; what they don't know, B.K. Marcus says, is the crucial role of power-hungry and tax-crazed rulers in making Europe's societies all the more vulnerable to collapse. L. J. Lane is back with another installment of his Of Mice and Mud comic, and much, much more. 


FEATURES

The Reluctant Visionary

Nanotechnology-driven manufacturing will change our world in fundamental ways—but we shouldn’t get too worked up about it

NOVEMBER 27, 2013 by PHIL BOWERMASTER

Advances in fields not explicitly related to nanotech have us poised on the verge of a fourth revolution that could be every bit as disruptive as the agricultural, industrial, and digital ones--but on a far vaster scale. Just ignore the hype (and the backlash it has created).

Free Money for Everyone

Radical entrepreneurship in Bitcoin makes it the exemplar

NOVEMBER 11, 2013 by MALAVIKA NAIR

The surge of entrepreneurship around Bitcoin includes solutions to asymmetrical information problems that might hold back its acceptance.

A Bitcoin for Your Thoughts

An interview with a full-time Bitcoin trader

NOVEMBER 11, 2013 by THE FREEMAN

What's it really like to live with BTC? We decided to ask a BTC trader, who wishes to remain anonymous, for some commentary from the inside of the BTC community.

What Are We For?

Libertarians can offer a positive, optimistic alternative vision of society

DECEMBER 04, 2013 by MICHAEL MUNGER

Libertarians don't have to be able to predict exactly how society would look if it were libertarian. But we do have to know what we're for, not just what we're against.

The Economics of the Corn Dog

One man’s story of being gouged by a heartless vendor at a biker rally

NOVEMBER 19, 2013 by BRETT STONE

Why would a corn dog be expensive at a big event? Ask the people waiting in line for one.

The Paradox of Voting

“We as a society” does not exist

DECEMBER 03, 2013 by PIERRE LEMIEUX

Politicians like to claim the backing of "we as a society" for their favored policies. When they use the phrase, it means (if it means anything) that they want to impose the current whims of one group of society on everyone else.

Black Death and Taxes

They had more to do with each other than you might think

NOVEMBER 25, 2013 by B.K. MARCUS

The plague and the Little Ice Age didn't do Europe any favors. But the excesses of the State amplified the damage.


COLUMNS

Effectively Irrational

30 common fallacies used against libertarians

NOVEMBER 13, 2013 by MAX BORDERS

If you've ever gotten into a "discussion," especially on social media, you've probably encountered more than your share of questionable debate tactics. We list a few you can expect if you start in. Add your own in the comments section.

Dead Models vs. Living Economics

Free-market economists against “perfect competition”

NOVEMBER 21, 2013 by SANDY IKEDA

Markets don't function with perfect efficiency, because they're made up of human beings. Conflating perfect competition with free-market economics fuels the general backlash against free markets.


CULTURE

Good Guys Bad Guys

OCTOBER 23, 2013 by L.J. LANE

Political cartoonist L.J. Lane uses illustration and humor to explain why military interventions are often justified by good guy/bad guy narratives.

Liberally Classical

The surprising future of orchestral music has arrived

DECEMBER 09, 2013 by JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Classical music is coming back, but it took a roundabout path, blazed by commerce and entrepreneurship, to make it relevant again.

from The March

JANUARY 01, 2014 by MRB CHELKO

Borges said.
In all the world.

One man has been born.

Hanging Flags

JANUARY 15, 2014 by PHILIP METRES

Bouncing down a West Bank road
fresh from a rally for peace


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CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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Essential Works from FEE

Economics in One Lesson (full text)

By HENRY HAZLITT

The full text of Hazlitt's famed primer on economic principles: read this first!


By FREDERIC BASTIAT

Frederic Bastiat's timeless defense of liberty for all. Once read and understood, nothing ever looks the same.


By F. A. HAYEK

There can be little doubt that man owes some of his greatest suc­cesses in the past to the fact that he has not been able to control so­cial life.


By JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Leonard Read took the lessons of entrepreneurship with him when he started his ideological venture.


By LEONARD E. READ

No one knows how to make a pencil: Leonard Read's classic (Audio, HTML, and PDF)