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Jim Powell, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, is an expert in the history of liberty. He has lectured in England, Germany, Japan, Argentina and Brazil as well as at Harvard, Stanford and other universities across the United States. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Audacity/American Heritage and other publications, and is author of six books. 

 

Related Articles and Posts

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America's Foreign Intervention in 1917 Was Catastrophic

JULY 09, 2010

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Why Did New Deal Spending Fail to Lift the American Economy?

JULY 06, 2010

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MARCH 24, 2010

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JUNE 10, 2009

It's not clear how any of FDR's 1933 policies could have accounted for a 17 percent increase in GDP, even if they promoted expansion, because they wouldn't have had time to ripple through the economy. It seems more likely that FDR had the good fortune to come into office near the bottom of the Depression, and enough adjustments in wages, prices, and other factors had occurred that the economy was ready to recover.

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Coke Contributed to America's Independent Judiciary and Judicial Review

NOVEMBER 01, 1997

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Constant's Political Writings Showed Fantastic Insight

OCTOBER 01, 1997

The French thinker Benjamin Constant was, according to respected Oxford University scholar Isaiah Berlin, "the most eloquent of all defenders of freedom and privacy." Constant's most important contribution: he recognized that "the main problem . . . [is] how much authority should be placed in any set of hands. For unlimited authority in anybody's grasp was bound, he believed, sooner or later, to destroy somebody."

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Lafayette Seized on the Idea of Liberty

SEPTEMBER 01, 1997

The freedom fighter Marquis de Lafayette changed history. He helped defeat the British at Yorktown, winning American independence. In France, he helped topple two kings and an emperor. Jean-Antoine Houdon, the great eighteenth-century sculptor who created busts of many great heroes, dubbed Lafayette "the apostle and defender of liberty in the two worlds."

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Turgot Was a Man of Truth, Courage, and Compassion

AUGUST 01, 1997

By the mid-eighteenth century, a number of authors had expressed the liberating vision that came to be known as laissez faire. Anne Robert Jacques Turgot put it into action.

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Greaves Is the World's Foremost Mises Authority and an Extraordinary Resource for Liberty

JULY 01, 1997

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A Man Whose Stories Have Inspired Generations

JULY 01, 1997

A pioneering master of speculative fiction, Robert Heinlein has captured the imagination of millions for liberty. Five of his novels chronicle rebellion against tyranny, other novels are about different struggles for liberty, and his writings abound with declarations on liberty. For instance, in Requiem (1939): It's neither your business, nor the business of . . . paternalistic government, to tell a man not to risk his life doing what he really wants to do.

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Bastiat Was a Scintillating Advocate of an Untrammeled Free Market

JUNE 01, 1997

Frederic Bastiat ranks among the most spirited defenders of economic freedom and international peace. Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek called Bastiat a publicist of genius. The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises saluted Bastiat's immortal contributions. Best-selling economics journalist Henry Hazlitt marveled at Bastiat's uncanny clairvoyance. Said intellectual historian Murray N. Rothbard: Bastiat was indeed a lucid and superb writer, whose brilliant and witty essays and fables to this day are remarkable and devastating demolitions of protectionism and of all forms of government subsidy and control.

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APRIL 01, 1997

Benjamin Franklin pioneered the spirit of self-help in America. With less than three years of formal schooling, he taught himself almost everything he knew. He took the initiative of learning French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. He taught himself how to play the guitar, violin, and harp. He made himself an influential author and editor. He started a successful printing business, newspaper, and magazine. He developed a network of printing partnerships throughout the American colonies.

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Nock Deserves Considerable Credit for the Endurance of Individualism

MARCH 01, 1997

American individualism had virtually died out by the time Mark Twain was buried in 1910. Progressive intellectuals promoted collectivism. Progressive jurists like Oliver Wendell Holmes hammered constitutional restraints as an inconvenient obstacle to expanding government power, supposedly the cure for every social problem.

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Douglass Put a Human Face on the Horrors of American Slavery

FEBRUARY 01, 1997

Frederick Douglass made himself the most compelling witness to the evils of slavery and prejudice. He suffered as his master broke up his family. He endured whippings and beatings. In the antebellum South, it was illegal to teach slaves how to read and write, but Douglass learned anyway, and he secretly educated other slaves. After he escaped to freedom, he tirelessly addressed antislavery meetings throughout the North and the British Isles for more than two decades.

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Cicero Urged Reason, Decency, Peace, and Liberty

JANUARY 01, 1997

He insisted on the primacy of moral standards over government laws. These standards became known as natural law. Above all, Cicero declared, government is morally obliged to protect human life and private property. When government runs amok, people have a right to rebel--Cicero honored daring individuals who helped overthrow tyrants.

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