Freeman

BOOK REVIEW

Book Reviews - 2002/3

MARCH 01, 2002

Filed Under : Competition

While America Sleeps: Self-Delusion, Military Weakness, and the Threat to Peace Today

by Donald Kagan and Frederick W. Kagan

St. Martin’s Press o 2000 o 483 pages o $32.50

Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign Policy and Defense Policy

edited by Robert Kagan and William Kristol

Encounter Books o 2000 o 401 pages o $22.95

Reviewed by Doug Bandow

Americans who read While America Sleeps and Present Dangers might not recognize the world presented. The United States is at risk and embattled, sleeping while potential enemies march. Conflict, war, and disaster threaten at every turn. It is like Britain before World War II and America on the eve of Pearl Harbor. Only a massive military buildup can keep the nation safe.

It is a curious vision for a time when U.S. domination is akin to that of the Roman Empire. When it comes to conventional threats, there aren’t any. The real danger, illustrated so horribly last September, is terrorism, but terrorism is largely a consequence of the sort of promiscuous American intervention favored by the authors.

Still, Donald and Frederick Kagan, Yale historian and West Point instructor, respectively, compare America today with Great Britain during the 1920s. In their view, just as the latter failed to win the peace after World War I, America risks failing to win the peace after the Cold War.

The bulk of While America Sleeps reviews British interwar policy. The analysis is interesting, but fails to demonstrate that upholding peace and stability everywhere would have advanced British interests or was sustainable.

For instance, the Kagans complain that British and/or allied weakness led to various colonial rebellions and European bullying. But Britain’s failure to concentrate on its vital interests in Europe resulted in part from its dispersal of resources to police its far-flung possessions.

Most important, Britain and France disagreed on how to treat defeated Germany, falling between the two stools of conciliatory revision and ruthless enforcement of Versailles. Either course might have worked. The muddled approach was almost designed to fail.

The international environments then and now also differ dramatically. The Europe of the 1920s hosted only two significant democratic powers, Britain and France; authoritarian neutrals and potential adversaries were far more numerous. Military weakness and political mistakes then led to disaster.

Compare the world confronting America today. The Russian Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall and lacks Germany’s recuperative power. China could become a serious threat, but is far behind. The greatest danger is not being asleep, but being arrogant: Washington’s hubris has done more to push China, India, Indonesia, and Russia together than have any common interests.

Moreover, America is spending more on the military than any other nation. In response, the Kagans wheel out one of the silliest arguments extant. The United States is spending a lower percentage of GNP on the military “than at any time since before World War II.” However, in real terms the economy is eight times as large, which means that we are devoting far more resources to the military. And no nation is spending more-in contrast to 1940, when many were.

The world is messy and the future is unpredictable, but nothing justifies the nightmares that apparently trouble the Kagans. What they should fear are more terrorist attacks at home. More meddling overseas will only increase that risk. Washington long should have been focusing on defending the American homeland instead of, say, attempting to reorder the Balkans.

Of the same nature, though more present-oriented, is Present Dangers, edited by Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment and William Kristol of the Weekly Standard. Although they admit that there currently is no obvious dire traditional threat, they worry that the United States “will shrink its responsibilities and-in a fit of absentmindedness, or parsimony, or indifference-allow the international order that it created and sustains to collapse.”

Not all of the book’s essays are alarmist in tone. Still, all assume that America’s allies-to whom Kagan and Kristol demand “an even greater U.S. commitment”–are helpless.

For instance, Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute warns that North Korea “poses a continuing, and perhaps even an increasing, threat to the United States and her Asian allies.” But North Korea is bankrupt and starving; it does not threaten America. Rather, it threatens the Republic of Korea, which today, with 40 times the GDP and twice the population, can readily defend itself.

Donald Kagan also has an essay in Present Dangers. His short historical essay, which closes the volume, emphasizes the importance “of maintaining a military force adequate to deter aggression long before any state was capable of undertaking it.” But America obviously has that ability. The question is whether Washington should deter aggression everywhere, even if of no consequence to America or deterrable by its allies.

Leadership requires the exercise of discretion, the thoughtful use of power in a world of limited resources to match policy with interest. In deciding what matters, America must consider all its values and interests, including its commitment to preserve limited, constitutional government, maximize its own citizens’ freedom, and not treat its servicemen as gambit pawns in a global chess game.

Yes, America is sleeping. Americans are sleeping while political elites work to preserve outdated policies, alliances, and forces, irrespective of cost and risk. If war comes to America, it will most likely result from promiscuous intervention to fulfill the limitless commitments envisioned by the three Kagans and Kristol.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Reagan, he is the author or editor of several books, including Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World.


A Nation of Cowards: Essays on the Ethics of Gun Control

by Jeff Snyder

Accurate Press o 2001 o 170 pages o $24.95

The Origin of the Second Amendment: A Documentary History of the Bill of Rights

Edited by David Young

Golden Oak Books o 2001 o 838 pages o $55.00

Reviewed by Dave Kopel

While there are many books on the empirical, sociological, historical, legal, or political aspects of gun policy, A Nation of Cowards is the first full-length book focused on philosophical questions. The first, and best, essay bears the same name as the book. Originally published in 1993, Snyder’s essay challenges the notion that reliance on government employees for protection is morally superior to protecting oneself. Indeed, Snyder suggested that a failure to protect oneself is immoral.

The rest of the book consists of reprints from Snyder’s column for American Handgunner magazine, plus some other writings. This means that there is considerable repetition of themes from one chapter to the next. It also means that Snyder rarely gets much more sophisticated than in the first chapter. We see the same issues examined from various angles, but the perspectives never lead to greater depth.

Even so, Snyder makes many excellent points, persuasively expressed. Looking at the National Organization for Women’s opposition to female gun ownership, he observes that “feminine helplessness is acceptable as part of feminist dogma” as long as women rely on the state rather than an individual male for protection.

Snyder also addresses the argument that women should not use guns for defense against predators because defensive gun use is not always successful: “such arguments rest on the craven suggestion that you ought not to fight back unless you are first guaranteed perfect, risk-free protection.” He likens eschewing guns because armed defense is not always successful to not wearing seat belts because they do not offer perfect protection in auto accidents.

Much of the gun-control debate in America revolves around social science and arguments for utility. Snyder raises two objections to such arguments: First, groups like Handgun Control shouldn’t force others to live according to HCI’s theory of utility and effective protection. Second, utility is irrelevant because it doesn’t matter how many people misuse guns compared to how many people use them properly; to deny even one person the right to carry a gun because everyone else misuses guns is a violation of his natural rights.

Another of Snyder’s targets is “instrumentalism”–ascribing moral qualities to firearms, rather than to the intention of the person with the firearm. This leads to his broader point that the gun issue is fundamentally about character, and that refusing to assume the responsibility of owning a gun to defend one’s family is an abdication of the responsibility necessary for the citizen of a republic. This abdication, he argues, amounts to an admission that the individual is not fit to govern himself, but instead must be cared for and controlled by government.

Certainly there is often a correlation between unwillingness to defend oneself and support for the nanny state. But in this argument, Snyder lacks nuance and respect for the variety of the human condition. Based on the people you know, is it really true that everyone who doesn’t own a gun or have expertise in some other form of self-defense is a sap who wants the government to take care of him?

In his final chapter, “Revolution,” Snyder considers whether revolution could be justified today. He answers in the negative. First, today’s American character is more like that of the revolutionary French than like that of America’s founding generation. Americans today are dependent on government and afraid of responsibility, and therefore unfit to make a new government. Second, Snyder points to John Locke’s observation that a revolution cannot succeed unless much of society agrees that radical change is necessary, and there is no such widespread belief in modern America. Snyder urges that “We must study again” the founding documents and “consider what principles and institutional structures might best secure liberty,” including questioning where the Founders-or we-may have failed.

Readers who want to study the founding documents and the right to arms should purchase The Origin of the Second Amendment: A Documentary History of the Bill of Rights. The book has a new hardback edition, but the 1995 paperback edition is nearly as good.

Starting with the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787, and continuing through 1792, the book reprints the text of relevant sections (broadly defined) of every legislative proceeding, newspaper article, correspondence, and every other document related to the Second Amendment and the right to arms.

Besides 750 pages of original documents, the book offers an appendix of the full text of state constitution bills of rights from the founding era. Another appendix shows which states recognized certain rights or demanded their recognition in the federal constitution; the right to arms was nearly ubiquitous, and much more often recognized or demanded than the rights of assembly or petition.

When the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the individual right to arms in the landmark Emerson case, the court cited Young’s book scores of times, demonstrating its status as a leading source of original constitutional documents.

Dave Kopel is the director of research for the Independence Institute in Colorado.


PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine

by Sally Satel, M.D.

Basic Books o 2000 o 285 pages o $27.00

Reviewed by Sue A. Blevins

When one thinks about “political correctness” (PC), the term conjures up thoughts about left-wing politics. Sally Satel’s PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine focuses on U.S. schools of public health and their quest for “social justice,” the anti-psychiatry movement among former psychiatric patients, nurse feminists, alternative medicine, involuntary treatment for drug addicts, and racial issues in health care. The author finds that the PC mindset is doing considerable damage in the field of medicine.

Satel, an M.D. who is also a lecturer at Yale University School of Medicine, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a former staff psychiatrist for the superior court in Washington, D.C., writes knowingly on a variety of important issues regarding public health. She provides persuasive evidence that schools of public health, traditionally focused on infection control and population-based diseases, have lately shifted to social and political issues. This new public-health activism stems from “political correctness,” which is an outgrowth of postmodernist philosophy. Postmodernists accuse the dominant culture of imposing its values on the “powerless and disenfranchised” members of society. One of Satel’s key observations is that postmodernists in medicine want to topple the dominant culture in order to close the health gap between whites and blacks. It’s a case of doctors playing social engineers.

Satel notes that at the 1998 annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, a PC public-health academician offered these five recommendations for curbing the AIDS epidemic: “limit the power of corporations, cap salaries of CEOs, eliminate corporate subsidies, prohibit corporate contributions to politicians and strengthen labor unions.” None of those mostly statist nostrums would have any impact on the transmission or curing of AIDS; the statists are trying to use that health issue as a Trojan Horse for their agenda.

Moreover, Satel points out that PC public-health activists aren’t the least bit objective when it comes to examining the relationships between various social factors and health. “For example, noting that wealth and health correlate, some public health experts condemn capitalism. . . . However, if they must be social activists, these experts could just as easily fight for school choice.

. . . After all, we know that education is linked to both future earnings and health. And wouldn’t it make sense to encourage marriage and religious activity, since both are associated with better health?” the author asks.

Satel’s concerns about the anti-psychiatry movement, however, aren’t convincing. In fact, the book presents a major contradiction: In chapter two, “Inmates Take Over the Asylum,” Satel challenges the claims made by “consumer-survivors”–individuals who assert they were harmed by psychiatrists/psychotherapists and who vehemently oppose involuntary treatment. Yet in chapter seven, “Therapy for Victims,” she provides rational evidence that the “trauma services movement” is seriously damaging patients. This type of therapy is based on the premise that early trauma results in catastrophic problems and therapists should work on helping patients express their repressed memories of abuse. But could this therapy actually help implant false memories? Satel notes that “The American Psychological Association is so concerned about the ethical and legal implications of ‘implanting’ memories of abuse through suggestion that it published a primer for therapists.”

So could it be that the consumer-survivors in chapter two were truly harmed by the memory implanters noted in chapter seven? It seems illogical to debunk the consumer-survivors’ claims of being harmed by psychiatry in one place, while highlighting a dangerous type of therapy (the trauma services movement) in another.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the issues of involuntary treatment for drug addiction and psychiatric illnesses. Satel clearly supports compulsory treatment for drug addiction and “mental diseases”-not just to make sure those so diagnosed don’t hurt others, but to help them improve their own lives. She writes, “The point of imposing treatment is to help patients attain autonomy, to help them break out of the figurative straightjacket binding thought and will. . . . Being required to take medication is hardly a violation of the civil rights of a person who is too ill to exercise free will in the first place. The freedom to be psychotic is not freedom.” Anyone who fears the spread of legalized coercion will find this part of the book most troubling.

PC, M.D. will engender many different reactions. In general, authoritarians will probably love it. Libertarians, conservatives, and classical liberals will appreciate the insights into the PC public-health movement, but will likely disagree with the author’s support for state-mandated psychiatry and treatment for drug addicts. Finally, socialists, especially those espousing diversity and egalitarianism, will abhor that Satel has blown the whistle on their efforts to turn the medical profession into a tool for their increasing control of society.

Sue Blevins is president of the Institute for Health Freedom in Washington, D.C.


Escape from Leviathan: Liberty, Welfare and Anarchy Reconciled

by J. C. Lester

St. Martin’s Press o 2000 o 246 pages o $59.95

Reviewed by Andrew I. Cohen

Since the author focuses entirely on criticisms of libertarianism, a less felicitous but more descriptive subtitle would be: “Against Arguments that Liberty, Welfare, and Anarchy Are Incompatible.”

J. C. Lester, a scholar in social and political theory trained at the London School of Economics and Political Science, applies Karl Popper’s theory of knowledge to social theory. On Popper’s view, we ought to uphold theories that withstand efforts at disproof by critics. Lester thus argues that leading criticisms of liberalism fail to falsify the “compatibility thesis” his subtitle expresses. Starting with accounts of rationality, liberty, and welfare presented in light of objections, Lester defends a completely unregulated market.

Lester is certainly doing important work. There are powerful scholarly criticisms of liberalism (in its original sense) worthy of libertarian notice. Lester’s approach could furnish a weapon in the arsenal against anti-liberalism. Unfortunately, he moves with considerable, sometimes blinding, speed against critics of liberalism. He defends the brisk pace both by urging the reader to consult the original sources and by saying that any errors he made here would have persisted in lengthier discussions.

His cursory reviews of key arguments presuppose an intimate familiarity with scholarly criticisms of liberalism. This book might then be of little value for the layperson. For those familiar with the relevant contemporary scholarship, the monograph, though sometimes problematically quick, has some value as an anti-anti-liberal guidebook.

On Lester’s account, rational persons invariably calculate how best to promote their perceived interests. He quickly surveys some objections to this picture of homo economicus and counters that persons rationally care for others, adding that each of us acts by definition as a “purposeful maximizer.” Human welfare then consists in having one’s preferences fulfilled. On such foundations Lester hopes to provide a non-moral and value-neutral derivation of the market system.

Lester’s non-moral approach is seductive: if we can dispense with the complexities of moral argument, the case for the market might be less controversial. But this approach does not succeed here, and I worry that it can never succeed.

Liberty in his view is supposedly the absence of imposed cost, where cost is cashed out in terms of frustrated preference fulfillment. But Lester stacks the deck by excluding certain considerations from counting as costs or benefits, so he can pretend this whole enterprise is purely descriptive when, in fact, there is much robust evaluative work going on behind the scenes to make plausible this regime of liberty. This is clear in his effort to derive non-morally a system of ownership. But if property is taken to entail, as it usually does, a host of moral considerations, then we cannot derive a system of property simply from descriptive claims. To do so is to commit what philosophers call the “naturalistic fallacy,” and I do not see how Lester avoids it. Either the system of property he derives is of no normative consequence, or it involves the norms typically entailed by property and so is guilty of the naturalistic fallacy.

Perhaps instead we should offer moral arguments to justify the consequences markets promote. This requires rolling up our sleeves and presenting some moral theory to undergird liberalism. I do not pretend to know how to do this, but it seems Lester has not avoided the need to do so.

Ultimately, Lester defends a form of what philosophers call “preference consequentialism.” Under this approach, the free market best maximizes the satisfaction of preferences compared to rival systems. But what if aggregate preferences could best be satisfied by violating the rights of minorities? What protection does anarcho-libertarianism offer? Moving swiftly past such worries, Lester admits that he cannot in principle exclude horrific injustices. Taking a page from the nineteenth-century British utilitarians, however, he claims that people happen to be constituted so that standard injustices are not preference satisfying, all things considered. Such a response hinges long-term material prosperity, consonant with ordinary conceptions of justice, on a fragile preponderance of decent sentiments among the diverse lot of us. Maybe this is the best liberals can do, but critics will be undaunted. They will challenge Lester’s empirical claims about human psychology, and they will challenge the normative suppositions lurking in the background of the whole project.

While Lester may not have succeeded in showing that liberty can be an “uncontested concept,” libertarians cannot help but sympathize with his project of defending the market against charges of theoretical inconsistency. Provided we keep an eye on the speedometer, giving critics of libertarianism a run for their money can be an important and powerful buttress to the regime of liberty.

Andrew Cohen is assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Oklahoma.


Competition or Compulsion? The New Market Economy versus the New Social Engineering

edited by Richard Ebeling

Hillsdale College Press o 2001 o 241 pages o $14.95

Reviewed by George C. Leef

There is a chameleon-like characteristic of the enemies of freedom–they keep changing their appeals to get people to surrender liberty and property. During the Cold War, those who favored central control over individual freedom importuned people with the absurd claim that state control over the economy would both be more fair and make us more prosperous. Now that they realize that good old-fashioned socialism is almost impossible to sell, they have switched to a new set of claims calculated to be more appealing to Americans who are, for the most part, affluent and unlikely to be swayed by even a toned-down Marxism. Now the siren songs of the authoritarians are more apt to appeal to the fears of those affluent people, saying that they might lose their comfortable living unless the state is given further powers.

The subtitle of this book is a good description of the current sales pitch: the new social engineering. The challenge to the free market now comes not in the strident red of Lenin, but in the muted earth tones of environmentalism, the “anti-sprawl” movement, the “precautionary principle,” and similar notions, all designed to seduce comfortable Americans into the embrace of collectivist, dirigiste policies pushed by politicians and organizations dripping with concern and compassion. The new social engineers have figured out that the old adage is true-you do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That makes them all the more dangerous.

In the most recent addition to Hillsdale’s Ludwig von Mises Lecture Series, editor Richard Ebeling has collected 12 essays exploring the threats to freedom posed by the new social engineering. “The contrib-utors,” Ebeling writes, “all warn of the continuing danger from the idea and ideology of the social engineer, in all its modern transformations.”

The first and by far the longest essay in the book is by Professor Ebeling himself-”Planning for Freedom: Ludwig von Mises as Political Economist and Policy Analyst.” Most of Ebeling’s wide-ranging discussion concerns Mises’s analysis of the untoward effects of government intervention in the free affairs of men. One of the chief problems of interventionism, Mises observed, was that it inevitably creates ripples of disturbance in other human endeavors, which then seem to require further intervention by the state. Ebeling writes, “Thus, in Mises’ construction of the logic of interventionism, a ‘dynamic’ is set in motion that generates the potential for an ever-expanding circle of interventions due to the disruptions previous interventions have created.” At the time, Mises was writing about economic planning, but his insight applies with equal force to the “new social engineering.” Those who want to reshape society are no more able to stop with just a few measures of control than were those who desired to reshape the economy.

My favorite essay in the book is by Virginia Postrel, “The Future and Its Enemies: Dynamism vs. Stasis.” The essay, of course, has its roots in her book The Future and Its Enemies, but is not simply a reprint of a chapter. It’s a fresh look at what I regard as the key battleground in the current war between freedom and authoritarianism, namely the fight over the desirability of progress. Postrel’s argument is that our ability to make progress is menaced by the forces of stasis. That is, there are people who contend that humans live well enough (or even too well) already and ought not to jeopardize what we have by permitting others to experiment with new products, methods, and ideas. She quotes British philosopher John Gray, who whines that freedom fosters “the malady of infinite aspirations.” Proponents of stasis would like to tell us just what our aspirations may be.

Another excellent contribution comes from Fred Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He compares the current fight over globalization with the Progressive Era in the United States. Smith points out that then, as now, most intellectuals sided with the forces of control rather than with liberty. In the Progressive Era, when change meant increasing government control, they favored change, but in the modern era change means ways for people to escape control; so, Smith says, intellectuals have become the reactionaries.

Competition or Compulsion? also includes essays by George Bittlingmayer, Allan Carlson, W. Michael Cox, Peter Ferrera, Vaclav Klaus, Nancie Marzulla, Patrick Minford, Sam Staley, and Walter Williams.

The book is a worthy continuation of the fine Hillsdale series.

George Leef is the book review editor of Ideas on Liberty.


Lenin: A Biography

by Robert Service

Harvard University Press o 2000 o 592 pages o $37.50

Reviewed by Yuri Maltsev

Robert Service is University Lecturer in Modern Russian History at St. Anthony’s College and a well-known specialist in twentieth-century Russian history. His most recent book, Lenin: A Biography, provides the reader with a comprehensive biography of a man who changed the course of events of the twentieth century. Lenin still affects our life today-his followers are numerous and fanatical in their beliefs; his shadow is behind terrorist attacks and the destruction of Afghanistan, Chinese pretenses to world hegemony, Castro’s atrocities in Cuba, as well as the worldwide crusade against capitalism in the form of a rejection of globalization. While many books have tried to depict Lenin as a well-meaning reformer whose ideas were later perverted, Service gives us a more realistic portrait.

In the horror chambers of history Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (born as Ulyanov) has a special place. He initiated the spread of totalitarianism in the twentieth century and created the model killer state that was used and perfected by his successor Stalin, as well as by other socialist mass murderers of the past century-Hitler, Mao, Tito, Kim Il Sung, Castro, Ho Chi Minh, and Pol Pot. “Both industrial, literate, Catholic Czechoslovakia and agrarian, illiterate, Buddhist North Vietnam succumbed,” Service writes. “The methods of introduction varied from invasion to local communist political agitation. But the result in its essentials was the same.”

The book begins with a thorough examination of Lenin’s family roots, childhood, education, and upbringing. In 1887, 17-year-old Vladimir entered one of the best educational institutions in Russia at the time-the University of Kazan. With an excellent school record and impressive recommendations, he was admitted to the law school despite the fact that he was a brother of an executed state criminal and himself highly critical of the government. (I spent my freshman year at the same university in the 1960s, but transferred to the Moscow State University because of the stale, semi-religious atmosphere of Lenin’s personality cult that remains in his alma mater.)

Service gives the reader an excellent account of Lenin’s revolutionary career and rise to power. In a particularly telling passage, the author reveals that Lenin’s vaunted economic program for the new Soviet nation was not the result of deep thought and planning but of improvisation: “One of the great malignancies of the twentieth century was created more by off-the-cuff measures than by grandiose planning,” he writes.

Lenin’s successor, Stalin, the most murderous dictator the world has seen, was portrayed by Khrushchev as an “aberration of true socialism,” “a tyrant who perverted Lenin’s democratic intentions.” Most Western academics followed their Soviet counterparts in this belief-some naively because any evidence of Lenin’s cruelty was suppressed and kept in secret Party archives, others because they believed in socialism and would embrace any notion of the “good Lenin” and the “bad Stalin” to explain the elimination of millions in the Gulag. “Their argument was,” writes Service, “that Lenin as he lay dying envisaged a permanent communist order that involved cultural pluralism, ethnic diversity and perhaps even a mixed economy,” and that “if Lenin’s health had held out, then communism with a human face could have been constructed.”

Service shows, however, that few of Stalin’s policies were without roots in Leninism: “Politics had been monopolized and centralized. The agencies of coercion were firmly under the party’s control. The economy was penetrated by state ownership and state regulation. Religion was systematically persecuted. National aspirations were handled with grave suspicion. High artistic and intellectual culture was rigorously patrolled. Schooling was steadily communized. Law was introduced and suspended at the communist leadership’s whim, and the legislative, executive and judicial functions of the state were deliberately commingled. The rulers treated society as a resource to be indoctrinated and mobilized.”

Not many mass murderers are revered long after their crimes were exposed. Lenin is luckier than others-his corpse is guarded in the pompous mausoleum at the Kremlin wall in the heart of Moscow. Tens of thousands of towns, villages, and streets still bear his name. Internet Web sites, newspapers, and magazines, as well as books and “documentaries” fabricated by Lenin’s followers still praise the “genius of proletarian revolution, organizer of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and founder of the Soviet state” without any moral qualms 75 years after the death of the tyrant.

Even today, in the wake of terrorist attacks in the United States, we feel Lenin’s chilling legacy. Justification for the Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, which ultimately led to the destruction of that country and turned it into a breeding field for international terrorism, was based on Lenin’s concept of the “internationalist proletarian duty” to establish “progressive” governments all around the world.

Readers who wish to understand the roots of much of the world’s evil should pick up Service’s excellent book.

Yuri Maltsev is professor of economics at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

March 2002

ABOUT

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required

CURRENT ISSUE

November 2014

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.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION