Most people want to change the world for the better. Sometimes this means becoming involved in political movements and parties, volunteering for charities and fundraisers, and trying to keep well informed on current events.
Chicago boasts one of the greatest varieties of people active in civic affairs. Chicagoans have lots of opinions, and it's one of the reasons the Windy City is the best place to live on the planet.
Adding to the discussion are a dedicated contingent of Chicago libertarians*. We advocate both economic freedom and personal freedom–they're one and the same to us. Instead of picking one over the other and calling yourself either a conservative or a liberal, libertarians see freedom as indivisible. You cannot have true personal liberty without economic liberty and vice versa.
This blog places the libertarian view front and center. This view supports a free market economy, limited government, peace, and individual liberty unflinchingly.
(Below is a great music video on free market versus state-planned economics. Of course, libertarianism isn't only about economics, but this video covers lots of libertarian themes, including skepticism of power, personal choice, and the limits of human knowledge. Seriously, watch it.)
Libertarianism is not a utopian view. It says simply that when society maximizes people's freedom, the result is the best of all possible worlds. It argues that certain principles facilitate people of differing views and beliefs living together peaceably.
There are a number of great organizations in Chicago that espouse these views. A group I'm involved in is called America's Future Foundation. It hosts debates and discussions among young professionals monthly. Then there's the Illinois Policy Institute–one of my former employers–which specializes in analyzing and creating great public policies for Illinois. And the Heartland Institute focuses on developing and educating people on great public policies nationally. I hope to see you not only on the blog, buy also at an event hosted by one of these great groups.
I also hope you'll comment on what I write, ask questions, and challenge my claims. This blog is an open forum, but I reserve the right to remove comments that do not attempt to foster constructive discussion.
In the meantime, check out the items on my libertarian reading list. A lot of this stuff is about economics, but these writers are great communicators, so it won't be like reading your old econ text book. Each of these publications are available in their entirety online for no cost to you.
- 'Why I Am Not A Conservative' by F.A. Hayek
- The Law by Frédéric Bastiat
- I, Pencil by Leonard Read
- Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
- After the Welfare State edited by Tom Palmer
And if you'd like to listen to great conversations on economics, history, and philosophy on your run or train ride, check out EconTalk, hosted by George Mason University economics professor Russ Roberts (iTunes).
*There is a Libertarian Party in the United States, but this blog is not about them. It's about libertarian ideas (lower case-L).