Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BUS TRAGEDIES IN THE PHILIPPINES

The past six months, we’ve had at least three headlines involving a bus and a tragic occurrence. One (or two?) was a road accident, one of them a hostage-taking incident, and the latest one, a bombing.

The prominence of buses in these horrific stories is bound to result in cries for bus safety, or for greater oversight when it comes to riding buses. It would be a mistake to heed such cries.

It is quite natural that upon hearing such dismal news, people will be less inclined to use buses for transport. This in itself is already a natural ‘safety measure,’ for which the state is unnecessary.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

RUSH AND LIBERTY


I’ve liked Rush since 1998, and have been a huge fan since 2003. As much as I love their melodies, it is with their lyrics that I see them really standing out. In this little article, I will be taking a look at 10 of their songs whose lyrics display a strong leaning towards libertarianism and freedom.



ANTHEM (1975)

This belongs to their ‘Ayn Rand’ period. Basically, the song, whose title is obviously inspired by Rand’s book of the same name, makes bold, individualistic declarations. The lyrics in themselves, come across as pompous and na├»ve, especially in light of their later works, but it still makes for a great tune.


2112 (1976)

“Inspired by the genius of Ayn Rand,” the album’s liner notes say. At over 20 minutes, this remains one of Rush’s most memorable musical pieces. It tells of a story set in a future collectivist society, where our hero discovers a strange device from the 20th century. “It’s got wires that vibrate and give music” ― a guitar!

With the axe, our hero soon becomes aware of his individuality, and of beauty in life. When he tries to share this with the high priests located in the Temple of Syrinx, they rebuff him, saying “we have no need for ancient ways... it doesn’t fit the plan.” Which very well depicts the state’s central planning apparatus.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NIETZSCHE AND GOOD ECONOMICS

Friedrich Nietzsche is commonly known, and mistakenly at that, as being a nihilist who opposed all tradition and culture just for the sake of doing so, and who justified fascist rule and oppression of weak races. He is also often known by his famous phrases such as “What does not kill me makes me stronger” and “Will to power” as though these encompassed his entire body of work.

The purpose of this short article is not to put such misconceptions to rest; they have been present for over a hundred years and I am not pretentious enough to believe I could turn the tide of common knowledge. What I would like to do here is to illustrate how some facets of Nietzsche’s thinking can be related to concepts found in good economics.