20 Years Ago February 1999
"In his 1946 essay 'Politics and the English Language,' Orwell cataloged some of the linguistic swindles and perversions that had long served powerful people. He wrote that 'one ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.'"
John J. Pitney Jr.
"Tongue of Newt"
"So-called economic nationalists like [Pat] Buchanan want to stop the world and get off—isolate the U.S. market behind protectionist barriers and let everybody else fend for themselves. Indeed, their hostility to trade liberalization is as much political as economic; they see the free trade cause as a cover for undermining U.S. sovereignty and expanding world government. Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly uses typical rhetoric when she refers to the World Trade Organization as 'a sort of United Nations of trade.' 'It is dishonest to call something 'free trade,' she writes, 'when it is managed by a huge international bureaucracy.'"
"Libertarians can appreciate Mars in a way that Barry Diller and his fellow moguls can't. A desolate planet free of earthly institutions is more appealing to libertarians than it is to the corporate elite, just as the New World was more appealing to the Pilgrims and other contrarians than it was to the European aristocracy. It will take some doing to settle Mars, but libertarians have a crucial advantage. They're not expecting government bureaucrats to do the job. They know better than to count on NASA."
35 Years Ago February 1984
"Many, if not the vast majority, of the problems Britain's small-business owners face are caused by government interference. The same could probably be said of American proprietors of small businesses. Such interference is of itself bad enough; but matters are made even worse by the fact that the politicians and bureaucrats who enact and enforce the regulations are, for the most part, completely and utterly ignorant of what it is like to operate a small business and ignorant of the sort of people who do so."
"Rolls Royces and Canned Carrots"
"The common-ownership idea, it quickly turns out, is far from being a benign precept. It lays the foundation for immorality, both private and public. It justifies theft and pillage as the recovery of 'common property'; it excuses piracy as the exercise of 'shared joint rights.' In the hands of governments, it is used to defend plundering and expropriation. Down through the ages, tyrants of all descriptions have arbitrarily seized the wealth of individuals and classes, claiming to be implementing the very principle of common ownership."
James L. Payne
"When the Rich Get Richer"
45 Years Ago February 1974
"The public school teachers, after all their college English courses, have succeeded in making poetry an object of hatred and disgust to millions of their subjects; why should they now be allowed to have a go at sex?"
"Against Sex Education—A Letter to The Humanist"
"Civil libertarians point out that [zoning] violates due process. Many conservatives challenge it on the basis of individual rights. Liberals crank out angry charges of racial exclusion and unfair protection of white, upper-class, suburban land values. The heat is on, and yet zoning persists."
"Land Use Without Zoning"
50 Years Ago February 1969
"If 'black capitalism' is to survive—as capitalism—if it is to be something more than a phony label for black power—it must overcome the current surges of race-consciousness. The notion that certain races or national groups have inherent traits of character—the conviction that one's color or one's country of origin endows one with automatic pride or shame—the idea that there are collective virtues or vices pooled among the members of a given racial group—these are fatal to capitalism. One cannot uphold a system which rests on the freedom of the individual while claiming that man is just a token of his race. Racism—the practice of attributing to individuals the aliened traits of their race-collective—must be understood and rejected by all those who would advocate truly capitalist 'black capitalism.'"
"Black Capitalism—A Preface"
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "From the Archives".