Slowly debunking the trade leads to peace fallacy

In 2010 I wrote that economic issues are just another factor in decisions on war or peace. There is nothing to suggest that free trade leads to peace per se (The Liberal Divide over Trade, Peace, and War, International Relations, vol 24, number 2, June 2010). This is not a particular popular viewpoint, certainly not among … Continue reading Slowly debunking the trade leads to peace fallacy

True heroes of capitalism

Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, John D. Rockefeller, and so forth and so forth. The list of successful entrepreneurs who have become household names is long. To an extent they are the heroes of capitalism, they succeeded, often against all odds, though often with crucial help of far more unknown others, yet they did … Continue reading True heroes of capitalism

Hong Kong protests: justified but futile in the end

The world is closely watching the developments in Hong Kong. Brave youngsters are testing the limits and patience of the Hong Kong authorities, first protesting against the extradition law, enabling Hong Kong citizens to be sent to China in case of serious allegations, and now with much broader demands for several kinds of liberties. Anybody … Continue reading Hong Kong protests: justified but futile in the end

Underrated & overrated libertarian thinkers

Here is my take on Tyler Cowen’s views on libertarian thinkers who are either overrated or underrated in shaping the libertarian tradition. Please be aware that I think libertarianism and classical liberalism are two different strands of liberal thought, as argued in more detail in an earlier post here at NOL and in my latest … Continue reading Underrated & overrated libertarian thinkers

Ayn Rand and International Politics

In a previous post I promised to write about Ayn Rand and her views on international politics, based on a recently published article. I find Ayn Rand a fascinating figure in libertarian history, for a number of reasons. Her life style and ways she went about it in her life are so far distanced from … Continue reading Ayn Rand and International Politics

Foreign Policy in the Liberal Tradition: The Real Story

Over at the Niskanen Center, Matthew Fay wrote a blog entitled “Thinking about Libertarian Foreign Policy.” Brandon was so nice to point this out to me. Fay’s main point is that, apparently contrary to what some libertarians think (Fay leaves them unnamed, no references either), there is big divide between the foreign policy pronouncements of Donald … Continue reading Foreign Policy in the Liberal Tradition: The Real Story

The Asian Age

I love Asia. Ever since my student days I have had a keen interest in South East Asia and China, with my course on the Politics of the Asia Pacific at the London School of Economics in the run up to the handover of Hong Kong as a high point. This was followed almost a … Continue reading The Asian Age

Classical Liberalism and the Nation State

Barry’s response to my earlier post is another interesting read, yet it is also rather broad brush historical. I think he is erroneous if he claims that ‘it did not occur to classical liberals, on the whole, to question the state system as they knew it’. In fact the founding fathers of classical liberalism, David … Continue reading Classical Liberalism and the Nation State

Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism

In another thought-provoking post on Facebook (does the guy ever write mediocre stuff, I wonder?) Barry raised the question of the relation between classical liberalism, nationalism and cosmopolitanism. He wrote the following: “On the capture of classical liberal/libertarianism by anti-cosmopolitans. This is very influential at the heart of the ‘leave’ ‘elite’ in the UK, and … Continue reading Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism

Is the European Union Collapsing?

Lately, the European Union (EU) stumbles from crisis to crisis. After a long hot spring dominated by the financial crisis in Greece, we now see the collapse of the system based on the Schengen Treaty, which secures the free movement of people within most countries of the EU. The upheaval is the result of the … Continue reading Is the European Union Collapsing?

So you think war can be eliminated?

You might be one of those libertarians, or you belong to some other creed, who think war can be eliminated. For example through international trade, the better use of our ratio, or more influence for regular people on foreign policy decisions. In my own work I have tried to make clear all of these claims … Continue reading So you think war can be eliminated?

Does size matter?

No matter how one sees the ideal liberal world, there will always be differences in size between the sovereign entities on the globe. Even in an anarcho-capitalist world there will be different sizes of the communities that people voluntarily form, although they will of course lack sovereignty in any external legal meaning we now associate … Continue reading Does size matter?

Let’s leave the fairy tales behind

Freedom-loving people are almost always nice and genial. I count them among my best friends, and in fact, I think of myself as one. Some of them have sharp intellects, publish great stuff, are brilliant discussants and all of them are prepared to take on the left-leaning, social liberal (for American readers: liberal) majority anytime. … Continue reading Let’s leave the fairy tales behind