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Inclined to Liberty

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INCLINED TO LIBERTY

WHY WRITE THIS BOOK?

WHILE WRITING THIS BOOK, I often asked myself, “Why write this
at all? Will I come up with such an unusual view and explanation
of that view that someone with a socialist bent will, after reading
it, suddenly exclaim, ‘Oh! Now I concur’?” Hardly! Writing may
not gain advocates, but it does help to codify one’s own thoughts
and beliefs, and that alone is rewarding.
I have often wondered why those with strong opinions about
social affairs are always attracted toward one of two opposing
poles. There are those inclined to liberty-freedom of the individual
to live his or her life in any peaceful way. And there are those
who are inclined to mastery-permitting others to live their lives
only as another sees fit. It seems also that, once so inclined to one
or the other of these philosophies, one is so inclined for life.
It is rare, in my experience, that people who align themselves
with one camp or the other will, upon seeing some new evidence
or hearing an argument contrary to their beliefs, switch camps.
Why are some inclined to agree with, for example, a passage written
by Milton Friedman, but disagree with one written by John
Kenneth Galbraith, or the reverse? Perhaps we carry genes that
predispose us to one inclination and render us immune to contrary
evidence.
So why debate if we are so firmly predisposed? There seems to
be a spirit within us that wants to convert others to our beliefs
10 – Inclined to Liberty
without having to assess the real value of such conversions. After
all, what one person believes does not obstruct the beliefs of
another. If one converts a socialist to a libertarian or an atheist to
a Christian, or vice versa, what is gained? Maybe the gain is simply
the comfort we experience when someone else reconfirms that
our beliefs are “correct” after all.
Whatever the case, the dinner party that evening led to my
own personal search for answers and, ultimately, the writing of
this book, a most rewarding venture that I would never have
undertaken had it not been for the views expressed by my guests
that night. I thank them, and my friend Don De Francisco, in particular,
for having made that experience possible.

LOUIS E. CARABINI

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