Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Milton Friedman & South African Apartheid

From Temba A Nolutshungu of the Free Market Foundation.

I was a victim, along with millions of my country-folk of an omnipresent and omnipotent apartheid government, which dictated the lives of black people from the cradle to the grave and aroused in me a compulsive distaste for a leviathan state. The power of government was spectacularly manifest in the fact that black Africans, who constituted over 70 percent of the population, were denied property rights and had been effectively nationalised.

Milton Friedman taught me that government grew at the expense of individual liberties. He argued that government’s role in the economic arena should be confined to the implementation of policies that enhanced or deepened individual liberty. His teachings motivated and defined my struggle as being about cutting government down to size and remaining perpetually vigilant against any signs of government encroachment on individual liberty.

He expounded on a Hayekian theme: the observation that knowledge is dispersed among individuals and further made more complex by their individual preferences, wants and needs, which are constantly changing. No single individual, or organisation, or institutional entity, could purport to be the reservoir of all that knowledge. No government could implement and direct the endeavours of myriad diverse individuals without negative effects, as was attempted by the people in charge of command economies. Such fallacious policy-making would manifest itself in moribund economies as was evidenced by the implosion of socialist economies towards the close of the 1980’s. 

- See more at: http://www.freemarketfoundation.com/issues/milton-friedman-libertys-great-economics-teacher#sthash.Oz33jQgj.dpuf