Apr

16

H L MenckenReading Benjamin Barber reminds me of reading Thorstein Veblen, and of Mencken's question after he'd read that "great geyser of pishposh": "What was the sweating professor trying to say?"

15 April 2007

Editor, Baltimore Sun

To the Editor:

Benjamin Barber laments the great diversity and abundance of products available in modern market economies ("Overselling capitalism with consumerism," April 15). His lamentation reaches its crescendo when he proclaims that "When we see politics permeate every sector of life, we call it totalitarianism. When religion rules all, we call it theocracy. But when commerce dominates everything, we call it liberty."

He compares rifles to roses. Totalitarianism and theocracy are evil because, under them, persons with power bend innocent people to their will though the use of violence. Commerce is the opposite. It is a peaceful series of voluntary offers to buy and to sell. It IS liberty - and it is profoundly good.

Sincerely, Donald J. Boudreaux 


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