The Brazilian Liberty Movement Is a Model for the World

Two years ago in Brazil, when I first addressed the Forum da Liberdad in Porto Alegre, the conference was already huge (3,500 people, as I recall) but spirits were low. The political system seemed hopelessly mired in corruption. Liberty-minded people did not see themselves as making progress. The country seemed stuck in an impoverishing socialism forever, an entrenched despotism as far as the eye could see, and people were asking: is there nothing we can do?

Opportunity is in the air, and the realization feeds on itself.

What a difference two years have made! Corruption hit the papers. Everything opened up, and suddenly. Street protests broke out. A president was impeached. New political leaders have emerged. The press is paying careful attention to the huge and diverse movement for liberty in that country.

Everyone today is energized, optimistic, and dedicated at every level. It’s not just about politics. It’s among professors, students, bloggers and YouTubers, and local organizations of every sort. Everyone is jumping in, ready to contribute.

Opportunity is in the air, and the realization feeds on itself. You create the future that you believe is possible.

What a Change

And sure enough, the liberty movement seems poised to make a gigantic difference. The same conference this year drew 5,500 people, making it by far the largest liberty-oriented event in the world. Speakers included business people, statesmen, media figures, intellectuals, publishers, and huge numbers sat with rapt attention as they spoke about the great liberal tradition of peace, enterprise, freedom, and the adaptability of history in light of new ideas.

Every book is a gift to the ages.

On the tables outside the large conference room, books were selling like crazy, with authors like Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, and Brazilian intellectuals like Helio Beltrao and Fernando Ulrich. They covered philosophy, politics, economics, law, ethics, and technology. The entire liberal worldview is spreading in exactly the right way: intense education in ideas.

I’m in awe of the publishers and translators and the work they have put in to make this possible. Every book is a gift to the ages. Each work drives home the point in a different way: society thrives when it is not managed from the top but rather defers to the creative decision making of its members and their personal choices and associations. It’s a point that has been mostly rejected for 100 years in most parts of the world.

This rejection was nothing but tragedy. Nearly every country on earth is saddled with a huge government overhang that is ruining the potential for unlimited wealth creation. Dreams are being destroyed by the day, sucked away by bureaucracy and unworkable plans imposed by the center. Political parties are struggling to control the machinery of power, but there is nothing to be gained by this trajectory. What is needed is rather simple: powerful elites must relinquish control and permit the social order on its own to work its magic.

Brazil has tried everything else. Now it seems ready to try liberty. Nothing ever goes in a straight line but the chances for real victories — privatization, tax cuts, trade reform, liberalization of health care and education and business enterprise — actually seem possible. And if not immediately, it is also clear that this movement is not going away. It is growing, even exponentially.

Why Not Try Liberty?

I can tell you this much: it is a beautiful thing to see. Every country in the world has a liberty movement, but many people worry that they might be wasting their time. They struggle, they blog, they broadcast, they organize but nothing ever changes. But giving up is not the Brazilian way. Instead of retreat, they took a different route, working ever harder, pushing out at the edges, and diversifying their ranks, applying ever more intellectual and moral energy to the cause.

Brazil has set the bar much higher, as an example to the world.

The difference in Brazil is that the leaders of this movement refused to believe that the idea that made life beautiful all over the world — the idea of human liberty — would be permanently marginalized. They had faith that it could be a mainstream driver of events. They have worked to make it happen. And, sure enough, they are now watching history conform to the dream.

Brazil has set the bar much higher, as an example to the world. There is no country on earth that could not reproduce this success, with enough passion, work, and energy. I’m not even sure I fully realized until this event just what is possible. It changed my own outlook.

Part of the problem is that many liberty movements around the world have become acculturated to their own marginalization. They’ve dealt so long with a sense of defeat they’ve come to accept it as their fate. They begin to think of themselves as a faction with a special interest, rather than the voice for the common good of all. 

A tell-tale sign of implicit despair you find in the US case is hyper-factionalism. The more a movement is convinced it must lose, the more it turns inward, with splits within splits, vituperative claims of heresy, backstabbing intolerance toward different points of view. It’s a reflection of despair. If we can’t win, we might as well troll each other through purges, denunciations, and personal breaks. 

This tendency is almost entirely absent in Brazil. People do have different callings, interests, and points of view, but the kind of bitter factionalism you find in other countries is almost entirely absent. On the contrary, the liberty movement in Brazil embraces everyone and anyone who is working for the good.

Civility Is a Feature

One feature of the movement that struck me this visit is its unfailing civility. People in this liberty movement are happy, courteous, kind, complimentary of each other, and excited to be part of the right side of history. I suspect that this is due to the confidence they have in the rightness of their cause, together with a beautiful and awesome culture of kindness toward others.

I realized only at that moment how much I had been the benefactor of unfailing courtesy for so many days, and I hadn’t even realized it.

More so than in the US, the culture of Brazil is deeply infused with a delicate social liturgy of custom, social signaling, and subtle cues. You can see it in the manners, the tone of the voice, the attitudes of deference based on mutual respect.

I’ve wondered why these informal traditions are so rich and robust in this country, and speculated that it is due to a variety of factors. No country in the world is more racially and ethnically diverse, so much so that the very words race and ethnicity have all-but lost their meaning, and mercifully so. People encounter each other as people first and foremost, and the very brutality of the political sphere has underscored the absolute need for civility to be created and preserved in other ways. 

Let me provide just one example. After a few days, I began to notice that in all these social circles, in discussions with so many people, I had taken for granted that I would speak English. And when people were around me, even talking amongst themselves, they would speak English too, just as a matter of being polite to me. I only became aware of this on the last evening when I was with a group and someone started speaking Portuguese to his neighbor, and a friend whispered quietly: “please speak English.”

I realized only at that moment how much I had been the benefactor of unfailing courtesy for so many days, and I hadn’t even realized it. And this courtesy extended to every area of life: people would help me with directions, with ordering food, with speaking to clerks, with every tool I needed to come to appreciate and love this wonderful place. I pray that Americans could someday learn to be so courteous.

The liberty movement has created a kind of nation within a nation, as an inspiration for the entire country.

Build the Liberty You Love 

One thing you notice in the history of liberty is that it is never created by politics alone. Just as society is not created from the top down, social change doesn’t emerge this way either. Politics adapts to social realities that are already in existence. If you want liberty, you must create it first as a social, intellectual, and cultural movement. That’s where the hard work comes in, and it is precisely where people tend to falter. Instead, they want the world they dream of to be granted unto them but it never is.

But in Brazil, you find a different determination, and moral and intellectual passion to live the dream you want to see realized in the world. The organizers of the Forum da Liberdad have been at it for thirty years. Only on this great anniversary did it become apparent: the liberty movement has created a kind of nation within a nation, as an inspiration for the entire country. 

And now it has become a gift to the world. As Americans, we can look upon it and realize, perhaps for the first time: the rest of us have set the bar too low. If this can happen in Brazil, it can happen where you are too. It’s awesome to consider the debt the 21st century will owe to this beautiful country and its beautiful people.


Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also Chief Liberty Officer and founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

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एकविवाही सम्बन्ध और समान नागरिक संहिता

नृवंशविज्ञान के एटलस कोडबुक के अनुसार, १२३१ सूचीबद्ध समाजों में से केवल १५% समाज एकविवाही होते हैं. अगर आप पैतृक पहुँच या संसाधन जुटाव के दृष्टिकोण से चीज़ों को देखते हैं, तब एकविवाही समाज के लाभ दिखाई पड़ते हैं. हालाँकि यह भी देखा जाता है की संयुक्त राष्ट्र अमरीका के १५% महिलायें और २५% पुरुष विवाहेतर संबंधों में लिप्त हैं. यह संख्या वास्तविकता से काम है. इसका कारण यह है की लोगो में विवाहेतर संबंधों को नकारने की संभावना ज्यादा है. इसका मतलब यह भी है की परिवार की सुख शान्ति और निजी यौन आवश्यकता उतने कसकर जुड़े हुए नहीं हैं, जितने प्रतीत होते हैं.

हार्वर्ड के ऍफ़ मार्लोव लिखते हैं :
“मैं हमारे संभोग प्रणाली पर पैतृक निवेश में विविधता के प्रभाव की जांच करने के लिए एक तुलनात्मक दृष्टिकोण का उपयोग करता हूं. मैंने निष्कर्ष निकाला है कि पैतृक निवेश महत्वपूर्ण है, लेकिन उसके साथ साथी-संरक्षण भी. संभोग प्रणाली में बदलाव पुरुष संसाधन नियंत्रण और योगदान में विविधता से समझाया गया है.
इससे पारिस्थितिक रूप से लगाए गए एकविवाही सम्बन्ध(मोनोगैमी) या बहुपत्‍नीत्‍व (पॉलीगनी) पैदा होते हैं; तथा पुरुष-पुरुष प्रतियोगिता में भिन्नता से सामाजिक रूप से लगाए गए एकविवाही सम्बन्ध या बहुपत्‍नीत्‍व पैदा होते हैं.”

इसका प्रमुख निष्कर्ष हैं: पैतृक निवेशों में बढ़ोतरी एकविवाही समाज को प्रतिमान बना रही है. हिल और कापलान यह भी कहते हैं कि,यदि महिला दो बार शादी करती है, एक बच्चे की मृत्यु की संभावना लगभग दोगुनी हो जाती है. माता-पिता के विवाह विच्छेद के मामले में यह संख्या लगभग 1.7 गुना हो जाती है.

बहुपत्नीक समाजों में पत्नियों की संख्या सामाजिक स्थिति का संकेत माना जाता है. ऐसे अभ्यास से हरेम की अवधारणा उभरी. पश्चिम के अलावा चीन, जापान और नेपाल जैसे एशियाई देशों ने बहुभुज(पोलीगमि) पर प्रतिबंध लगा दिया है. भारत में मुस्लिम व्यक्तिगत कानून इसका अपवाद हैं. एकविवाही सम्बन्ध के परिणामस्वरूप अविवाहित पुरुषों के संख्या में कटौती हुई और अपराध दर कम हो गई; जिससे बेहतर आर्थिक सफलता और मुक्त-चिंतन का संचार हुआ।

डेविड हेर्ली मानते हैं की लोकतांत्रिक सिद्धांतों की स्थापना में एकविवाही संबंधों का प्रमुख योगदान है. स्त्रियों के वस्तुकरण से संसाधनिक बहुपत्‍नीत्‍व समाज में पैदा हुई. बहुपतित्व दुर्लभ है, लेकिन मुख्य रूप से पारिस्थितिक कारणों से उत्पन्न होती है, जब परिवार में कई पुरुष एक ही महिला से यौन संपर्क चाहते हैं। इसका उदहारण तिब्बत या नेपाल में देखने को मिलता है. निरंकुशतावाद, बहुभुज सम्बन्ध तथा विषम प्रजनन सफलता दर में परस्पर सम्बन्ध है.

एक विवाह का समर्थन धार्मिक कारणों से नहीं, बल्कि इसलिए करना चाहिए क्योंकि एक विवाह ने महिलाओं के मुक्ति की ओर अग्रसर किया है, और साथ ही समता के साथ समृद्ध समाज को ओर भी प्रेरित किया है। 21 वीं सदी में भारत में, मुस्लिम पुरुषों में एक से ज्यादा पत्नी रखने की अनुमति देने का यह भयानक अभ्यास गलत है। ऐसा इसलिए होता है क्योंकि इन निरंकुश कानूनों ने महिलाओं को एक वस्तु तक सीमित होने पर मजबूर कर दिया है.

The Eclipse of Liberalism

The following was printed in the newspaper “The Nation” on August 9, 1900. Special thanks to the Molinari Institute for preserving this essay.

 

As the nineteenth century draws to its close it is impossible not to contrast the political ideals now dominant with those of the preceding era. It was the rights of man which engaged the attention of the political thinkers of the eighteenth century. The world had suffered so much misery from the results of dynastic ambitions and jealousies, the masses of mankind were everywhere so burdened by the exactions of the superior classes, as to bring about a universal revulsion against the principle of authority. Government, it was plainly seen, had become the vehicle of oppression; and the methods by which it could be subordinated to the needs of individual development, and could be made to foster liberty rather than to suppress it, were the favorite study of the most enlightened philosophers. In opposition to the theory of divine right, whether of kings or demagogues, the doctrine of natural rights was set up. Humanity was exalted above human institutions, man was held superior to the State, and universal brotherhood supplanted the ideals of national power and glory.

These eighteenth-century ideas were the soil in which modern Liberalism flourished. Under their influence the demand for Constitutional Government arose. Rulers were to be the servants of the people, and were to be restrained and held in check by bills of rights and fundamental laws which defined the liberties proved by experience to be most important and vulnerable. Hence arose the demands for Constitutional reform in all the countries of Europe; abortive and unsuccessful in certain respects, but frightening despots into a semblance of regard for human liberty, and into practical concessions which at least curbed despotic authority. Republics were established and Constitutions were ordained. The revolutions of 1848 proved the power of the spirit of Liberalism, and where despotism reasserted itself, it did so with fear and trembling.

To the principles and precepts of Liberalism the prodigious material progress of the age was largely due. Freed from the vexatious meddling of governments, men devoted themselves to their natural task, the bettering of their condition, with the wonderful results which surround us. But it now seems that its material comfort has blinded the eyes of the present generation to the cause which made it possible. In the politics of the world, Liberalism is a declining, almost a defunct force. The condition of the Liberal party in England is indeed parlous. There is actually talk of a organizing a Liberal-Imperialist party; a combination of repugnant tendencies and theories as impossible as that of fire and water. On the other hand, there is a faction of so-called Liberals who so little understand their traditions as to make common cause with the Socialists. Only a remnant, old men for the most part, still uphold the Liberal doctrine, and when they are gone, it will have no champions.

True Liberalism has never been understood by the masses of the French people; and while it has no more consistent and enlightened defenders than the select group of orthodox economists that still reverence the principles of Turgot and Say, there is no longer even a Liberal faction in the Chamber. Much the same is true of Spain, of Italy, and of Austria, while the present condition of Liberalism in Germany is in painful contrast with what it was less than a generation ago.

In our country recent events show how much ground has been lost. The Declaration of Independence no longer arouses enthusiasm; it is an embarrassing instrument which requires to be explained away. The Constitution is said to be “outgrown”; and at all events the rights which it guarantees must be carefully reserved to our own citizens, and not allowed to human beings over whom we have purchased sovereignty. The great party which boasted that it had secured for the negro the rights of humanity and of citizenship, now listens in silence to the proclamation of white supremacy and makes no protest against the nullifications of the Fifteenth Amendment. Its mouth is closed, for it has become “patriot only in pernicious toils,” and the present boasts of this “champion of human kind” are “To mix with Kings in the low lust of sway, Yell in the hunt, and share the murderous prey; To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils From freemen torn, to tempt and to betray.”

Nationalism in the sense of national greed has supplanted Liberalism. It is an old foe under a new name. By making the aggrandizement of a particular nation a higher end than the welfare of mankind, it has sophisticated the moral sense of Christendom. Aristotle justified slavery, because Barbarians were “naturally” inferior to Greeks, and we have gone back to his philosophy. We hear no more of natural rights, but of inferior races, whose part it is to submit to the government of those whom God has made their superiors. The old fallacy of divine right has once more asserted its ruinous power, and before it is again repudiated there must be international struggles on a terrific scale.

At home all criticism on the foreign policy of our rulers is denounced as unpatriotic. They must not be changed, for the national policy must be continuous. Abroad, the rulers of every country must hasten to every scene of international plunder, that they may secure their share. To succeed in these predatory expeditions the restraints on parliamentary, even of party, government must be cast aside. The Czar of Russia and the Emperor of Germany have a free hand in China; they are not hampered by constitutions or by representatives of the common people. Lord Salisbury is more embarrassed, and the President of the United States is, according to our Constitution, helpless without the support of Congress. That is what our Imperialists mean by saying that we have outgrown the Constitution.

Edwin Godkin


Edwin Godkin

(October 2, 1831 – May 21, 1902) was an Irish-born American journalist and newspaper editor. He founded The Nation, and was editor-in-chief of the New York Evening Post 1883-1899.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

How can Asian people eat rice three times a day?

How can Asian people eat rice three times a day? by @WiseBenA

Answer by Ben A. Wise:

Before I came to India, this is what I saw in my mind when I thought about rice:

That’s right. Good ‘ole semi-sticky white grains in desperate need of gravy. Fascinating stuff, right?

After I lived in Tamil Nadu, India, my rice-related mental vocabulary… expanded.

Reader, meet Idli and Dosai. Idli and Dosai, meet Reader. Good. Now that you’re all acquainted, let me tell you what you’ve been missing.

These are made from a batter of fermented rice and lentils that is either steamed or fried.

They are gloriously good. Tongue-gasmiscally good. They are hold-on-a-second-while-I-look-at-flight-tickets-to-Chennai good.

They are accompanied by a chutney, usually made from either tomato or coconut, as well as a lentil-and-vegetable stew called sambar.

All three accompaniments singe your tongue with the addictive goodness of chili and curry leaves and smoky mustard seeds and fenugreek. They explode their tangy-salty-pungent flavors in your mouth until you beg for more.

Also, dear Reader, please meet Tomato Rice, Curd Rice, and Lemon Rice. Yup, shake hands again. Good.

Remember that first image of white rice? Well, Mr. Bland Grain has just undergone a badass metamorphosis into the Holy Trinity of Goodness.

The sourness of lime-laced lemon rice, the cool creaminess of curd rice, that tangy-spicy-saltiness of tomato rice…

*Must not book ticket to Chennai. Must not book ticket to Chennai. Must stay at home with family and work*

Ah.

What was the question about?

Ah yes, how can Asians eat rice three times a day.

I think we’ve pretty much covered that….

How can Asian people eat rice three times a day?

Resham Filili – Jaalma Translation

On the other side, behind the hillock

the sun is shining bright

I feel happy and elated today

Why don’t we go for a trip?

The sun will annoy me

It will turn me dark

Will you place the umbrella of love over me?

Let us flow like the river

In the beats of love

And go fishing with our nets

Do you agree with my proposal?

Do not net me like a fish

And leave me alone one day.

Tell me if you will marry me or not?

O ungrateful, do not kill the love inside you

O merciless, do not erase me from your mind.

Don’t think I am a small person,

I have strength in my arms

I will earn a lot of wealth one day

And fill you with gold and silver

I don’t want gold and silver

I don’t want wealth

Tell me if you’ll love me, or not?

Delusions-I

He was exhilarated. The cynic in him had perhaps never anticipated this. The lover in him was hoping against hope that this day would not arrive.

The career-oriented professional inside him could not have had a better prospect than the one that lay at hand.

She was not as good a student of Mathematics as he was. She had reconciled to the fact that they were parting some day, but that day was different.

Reality is always harsher than imagination.

The day took both of them to different journeys. He would be there among the best in the country. She was an average student, though quite good at estimation. She knew that this day would come.

They had no future together, she said. She however did not know that the present would end so soon.

She quietly took her phone and texted him, “We need to part. It is better if we leave each other now.”

He cried a little, but suddenly the man inside the 17-year old woke up to the reality.

He texted, “We need to meet. I am coming to your place.”

(To be continued)

 

Growing old

He never wanted that memory to fade away. Every night before going to sleep, he would think about it and ensure that the love he had nurtured when he was twenty four would not fade away to nothingness.  His heart became incapable of feeling what it was.  At the age of sixty three, it becomes preoccupied with many other things.

Streams of innocence did flow out from his eyes when he lost his love. An impulsive flirt during his time, he could neither convince himself or the other side about what he felt. At the age of sixty three, he looked lost.  Sages of his time would print out pages of so-called wisdom to convince him that there was no future for his love which knew no boundaries. His ability to love everyone as an individual would make him incapable of sharing.  He grew old with many people, but he was the only one who grew old alone.