Dr Madsen Pirie

Dr Madsen Pirie is President of the Adam Smith Institute.  He subscribes to a broadly empirical and libertarian philosophy and values the insights of the Austrian School of Economics.  He has written books on logic, philosophy, economics, and children's science fiction.  His own website is at www.madsen-pirie.com

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Ten reasons why the Left should like the ASI, 6: Drug legalization

Written by | Friday 19 April 2013

6. The ASI supports the decriminalization of narcotics.  The Left should be pleased that the ASI has many times called for the decriminalization of drugs and for drug-addiction to be treated as a medical rather than a criminal problem.

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Ten reasons why the Left should like the ASI, 5: Anti-surveillance

Written by | Wednesday 17 April 2013

5. The ASI opposes official surveillance and secret powers.  The Left should welcome the ASI's opposition to snooping and surveillance by authority and its support for an open rule of law.

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Ten myths about Margaret Thatcher

Written by | Monday 15 April 2013

The left-wing commentariat seems to be using the argumentum ad nauseam against the Thatcher record.  This consists of repeating an allegation, no matter how much evidence is produced against it, or how many times it has been shown to be false.  In City AM Allister Heath dealt with some of these assertions, but that has not stopped the anti-Thatcher brigade from repeating them.  Here are ten claims they make which are not supported by the facts.

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Think piece: Why Marx was wrong about capitalism

Written by | Thursday 11 April 2013

On Tuesday, Madsen took part in an Intelligence Squared debate at the Royal Geographical Society on the motion that "Karl Marx was right: capitalism post-2008 is falling apart under the weight of it own contradictions." Speaking in favour of the motion were Tristram Hunt MP, Robin Blackburn and Frank Furedi, while against it were George Magnus, Madsen Pirie and Judith Shapiro. The vote taken before the start of the debate saw the audience roughly equally divided between those in favour, those against, and those undecided.  The vote after the debate saw a huge majority

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Why Marx was wrong about capitalism

Written by | Thursday 11 April 2013

Dr Madsen Pirie's speech in opposition to the motion: "Karl Marx was right. Capitalism post-2008 is falling apart under Its own contradictions."

Like many public figures who leave a legacy, either in their writings or their deeds, Karl Marx was sometimes right and sometimes wrong.  I concentrate on some of the things about which he was wrong.

Ten reasons why the Left should like the ASI, 4: Personal liberties

Written by | Wednesday 10 April 2013

As part of our continuing series, Madsen Pirie discusses some common ground between libertarians and the left.

4. The ASI backs the cause of personal liberties.  The Left should welcome the fact that the ASI is firmly libertarian in its outlook, taking the side of those who express a right of dissent, or who choose to follow alternative or minority lifestyles.

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She was a giant among men

Written by | Monday 8 April 2013

If anyone had inspected the economic statistics for the UK in 1979 with the name of the country concealed, looking at growth rate, annual rate of inflation, output per head, days lost through strikes, and so on, they would have supposed they were looking at a third world country.  Britain was "the sick man of Europe," left behind since World War II and destined, it seemed, to fall further behind.

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Disqualifying the architects of failure from holding office

Written by | Monday 8 April 2013

Business Secretary Vince Cable is reportedly looking to see if there is sufficient evidence to justify an action to ban the HBOS 3 named in the Banking Commission's report from serving as company directors again.  He is reportedly "outraged" by the situation.

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Go after the real culprits of the crisis instead of just bashing bankers

Written by | Friday 5 April 2013

Every child learns at some stage that a good way to divert blame is to point the finger at someone else.  Now the politicians on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards have discovered the trick.  They hope that as the lynch mob pursues the HBOS trio of Sir James Crosby, Lord Stevenson and Andy Hornby, the role played by politicians in the financial crisis will be quietly overlooked. 

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Ten reasons why the Left should like the ASI, 3: Trade with poor countries

Written by | Friday 5 April 2013

3. The ASI enthusiastically supports giving goods from developing countries unrestricted access to developed world markets.  The Left should appreciate our stance in firmly and publicly supporting the one thing that can make people in poorer countries wealthier.

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