Friday, January 27, 2006

TCS Daily - Stuck on 1968

TCS Daily:
"The Conventional Wisdom among well-educated liberals in 1968 included the following:

* Anti-Communism was a greater menace than Communism.
* The planet could not possibly support the population increases that would take place by the end of the twentieth century.
* Conservatives stood in the way of progress for minorities.
* Government programs were the best way to lift people out of poverty.
* What underdeveloped countries needed were large capital investments, financed by foreign aid from the rich countries.
* Inflation was a cost-push phenomenon, requiring government intervention in wage and price setting.

The degree of confidence in these beliefs was so strong that liberals in 1968 came to the overriding conclusion that:

* Anyone who is not a liberal must be incorrigibly stupid

Given the state of knowledge in 1968, I can understand why an intelligent person might have believed in the Conventional Wisdom at that time. However, since 1968, considerable evidence has accumulated that challenges the Conventional Wisdom. In some cases, the evidence turned out to be so overwhelming that beliefs were quietly discarded from the Conventional Wisdom.

A rational response to this record of powerful evidence against the Conventional Wisdom might be to reconsider one's views, as I have done. Instead, it seems to me that liberals have become more close-minded and more dogmatic."
Interesting article on liberalism and the experiences of the past 35 years.

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