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The Mainspring of Human Progress

JULY 30, 2009

Filed Under : Liberty

Weaver’s book offers human liberty as the “mainspring of human progress.” The book begins with a series of puzzles about why we are so much better off than our ancestors and then explores why systems lacking liberty haven’t worked. The bulk of the book is an historical look at how the “revolutionary” idea of liberty struggled to dominate and eventually did. Weaver finishes with a discussion of the “fruits of freedom” as seen from the late 1940s.

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It's been 40 years since F. A. Hayek received his Nobel Prize. His insights, particularly on the distribution of knowledge and the impossibility of economic planning, remain hugely important today. In this issue, we look back on the influence of his work. Max Borders and Craig Biddle debate whether liberty must be defended from one absolute foundation, further reflections on Scottish secession, and how technology is already changing our world for the better--including how robots, despite the unease they cause, will only accelerate this process.
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