Monday, December 8, 2008

Challenging times call for challenging our preconceptions

I went to the bookstore the other day and picked up copies of Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom", Galbraith's "The Affluent Society" and Milton Friedman's "Capitalism and Freedom." I haven't read any of these works in any form (whole or excerpts) since I was in college - decade can pass by rather quickly!

Given the depth and seriousness of the issues we face today it seemed like an appropriate time to revisit these seminal works and to question our current political and economic status quo. I doubt that I will come out of this little exercise much changed in my overall outlook and ideology but hopefully I'll be better grounded in why I believe what I do. I've found myself dog-earing many pages and scribbling notes and questions to myself in the margins. It has been an intellectually cathartic exercise to say the least.

I'd encourage everyone to go back and reread the classic works of philosophy, economics and political science. These works influence our world in countless ways and are often referenced in present debate but most likely our working knowledge of them was developed some years ago when we were still students. It's invigorating to wrestle with these grand ideas again.

1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

If you have a couple books to add:

Schumpeter (anything)

The Ownership of Enterprise.