Karl Popper is rightly esteemed by those of a liberal persuasion for his many contributions to the cause. In The Open Society and its Enemies – volume 1 he took issue with Plato. He showed that although Plato claimed to be seeking just and virtuous rulers, his Republic resembled the totalitarian warrior state of Sparta with detailed control over every aspect of its citizens' lives. The point, said Popper, was not to choose the best rulers, but to prevent bad or incompetent rulers from doing too much damage.
In volume 2 of The Open Society he took issue first with Hegel, then with Marx, showing that their ideas must lead to coercion and that they contain the roots of totalitarianism, a theme he developed in The Poverty of Historicism, where he countered the socialists' claim that history is moving in their direction toward an inevitable goal.
Yesterday The Times published an op-ed response to The Tide Effect report released by VolteFace and the Adam Smith Institute on Monday by columnist Alice Thomson. The report argues that the only way to bring cannabis under control is to legally regulate it. Thomson presents the counterexample of Colorado, the US state where cannabis has been legal longer than any other, and paints a bleak picture of the place since the change.Her article plays on the understandable fears of many regarding the impact of a regulated market by sporadically drawing what seems to very credible and alarming statistics.