Friedman_CapitalismFreedom1961 - THE BEST OF THE OLL#17 Milton Friedman Capitalism and Freedom(1961 Economic freedom is an end in itself to a

Friedman_CapitalismFreedom1961 - THE BEST OF THE OLL#17...

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T HE B EST OF THE OLL #17 Milton Friedman, “Capitalism and Freedom” (1961) “Economic freedom is an end in itself to a believer in freedom. In the second place, economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.” Milton Friedman (1912-2007) The Best of the Online Library of Liberty <oll.libertyfund.org/title/2465> The Best of Bastiat <oll.libertyfund.org/title/2477> [March, 2013] 1
Editor’s Introduction Milton Friedman (1912-2007) was a member of the Chicago School of free market economics. He not only made significant contributions to monetary theory (the theory of “monetarism”) but also to economic history with his monumental A Monetary History of the United States (1963, coauthored with with A. J. Schwartz). Friedman won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976. In addition to his expertise in technical economic matters he was also a gifted popularizer of economics and reached a large audience with his book (with Rose D. Friedman) Capitalism and Freedom (1962), weekly columns for Newsweek magazine (1966–84), and TV documentaries (with Rose D. Friedman) Free to Choose (1980) and Tyranny of the Status Quo (1984). This extract is an article he wrote in 1961 for a graduate student run libertarian magazine at the University of Chicago, The New Individualist Review , edited by the historian Ralph Raico. In this essay Friedman makes the claim, unusual for the time, that economic and political liberties are intimately linked and that modern day “liberals” were wrong in thinking that they could have political liberties without economic liberties being protected as well. He identified himself as being in the 19th century “classical liberal” tradition and strongly rejected what he called the “orthodox and indeed reactionary” “liberalism” of the late 20th century. Although Friedman thought that economic liberties were valuable in their own right he was appealing to his (social democratic) “liberal” rivals that their much desired political liberties such as freedom of speech and the right to participate in elections would become meaningless in a socialist society where the state was the main employer and where most meetings halls and newspaper presses were owned by the state. In other words, he believed that “economic freedom is ... an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.” “It is widely believed that economic arrangements are one thing and political arrangements another, that any kind of economic arrangement can be associated with any kind of political arrangement. This is the idea that underlies such a term as “democratic socialism.” The essential thesis, I believe, of a new liberal is that this idea is invalid, that “democratic socialism” is a contradiction in terms, that there is an intimate connection between economic arrangements and political arrangements, and that only certain combinations are possible.” 2
“Capitalism and Freedom” (1961) 1 IN DISCUSSING the principles of a free society it is desirable to have a convenient label and this has become extremely difficult. In the late 18th and early

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