The world of Nineteen Eighty-Four may have ended in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down, but George Orwell’s writing remains as relevant today as ever. Hoover Fellow Timothy Garton Ash explains why.
On May 5, 2013, at an Ohio State University commencement address, President Obama called attention to a scourge afflicting the nation:
“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices are also doing their best to gum up the works,” he advised the graduating students. “They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking, just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”
By law, textbooks and other teaching materials in California’s public schools are supposed to be up-to-date. Yet history textbooks that are currently in the schools are twelve-years old.
George Orwell was one of the great journalists and political writers of the twentieth century. His writings on the great political struggles of that century—imperialism, fascism, Stalinism—in books such as Homage to Catalonia, Animal Farm, and 1984, are revered. But is Orwell relevant to the main political and cultural issues of our present day? Or should we read Orwell merely out of an appreciation for language and history?
Behind the headlines lies an old and basic question: in the clash between Islamism and the nation-state, who will win? By Charles Hill.
The arts will flower without the NEA
Hoover fellow Terry L. Anderson describes the movement he founded. An interview with Candice Jackson Mayhugh of the Stanford Review.
This essay discusses the inflation of the 1970s and the disinflations of the 1980s and 1990s. It provides historical and intellectual history perspectives on these events. It argues that the consensus view of economists on inflation and its costs has changed more than on any other subject in the past thirty years. As late as 1980, many economists argued that the cost of inflation was low and that the cost of disinflation so great that it was better to live with 10 or 12 percent inflation than bear the temporarily higher unemployment and lost output that would accompany a disinflation.
Fortunately, Federal Reserve Board chairmen Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan engineered two rounds of disinflation, first from 12.0 percent to 4.5 percent and then to 2.5 percent. Although there were costs--a severe recession in 1981–82 and a not-so-soft landing in 1990–91--the low and relatively stable inflation of the 1980s and 1990s has been a major factor in a long boom in the United States, two long expansions interrupted by a short, mild recession. And economists' thinking about the costs and consequences of high inflation has shifted to the view that stable low inflation, like the lowest possible tax rates and minimum necessary regulation, is a fundamental pillar of maximizing sustained long-run growth.
Analyzing the future of democracy with former prime ministers and presidents. Featuring Nick Clegg, Felipe Calderón, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Rich Karlgaard, editor, Forbes ASAP magazine, and Gary Reback, partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati, examine the Department of Justice charges that Microsoft is violating anti-trust laws by keeping competitors out of the market, stifling technological innovation, and denying consumers a choice of products.
Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Contain It.
Peter Berkowitz on The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History by Patrick Allitt
Elizabeth Arens on Two Faces of Liberalism by John Gray
We look back at America during the last two decades of the twentieth century. Each decade was dominated by a two-term President and marked by long economic booms. Do these parallels suggest that 1990s were merely a continuation of the 1980s? Or does each decade have a unique place in American history?
If there is one really serious intellectual and cultural problem with capitalism, it stems from the lack of a sustained and widely known, let alone accepted, moral defense of the institution of private property rights.
Few doubt, in today’s world, that a society with a legal infrastructure that lacks this institution is in serious economic trouble. The failure to respect and legally protect the institution of private property—and its corollaries, such as freedom of contract and of setting the terms by the parties to the trade—has produced economic weakness across the globe. But many also believe that this institution is not founded on anything more solid than the arbitrary will of the government to grant privileges of ownership (for the latest statement of this position, see Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel, The Myth of Ownership [Oxford University Press, 2002]).
Without a moral, prelegal defense, the institution of private property, which is the source of a great many benefits to us all, will forever remain vulnerable to the critics, starting with Karl Marx, who said that “the right of man to property is the right to enjoy his possessions and dispose of the same arbitrarily, without regard for other men, independently from society, the right of selfishness.” This essay argues that, contrary to widespread academic sentiments and impressions, the institution of private property rights fully accords with a sensible conception of human morality, indeed, rests on a solid moral foundation.