Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992) left such a profound mark on economic and political thought that The New Yorker has called the 20th century, "The Hayek Century." After converting to free-market capitalism and classical liberalism in the 1920s, Hayek became one of socialism's and statism's staunchest critics. His 1944 bestseller, The Road to Serfdom, warned of central government planning's authoritarian, and even totalitarian, tendencies- and helped reignite worldwide interest in the philosophy and practice of freedom. Although Hayek's 1974 Nobel Prize in Economic Science brought renewed interest in his ideas, it wasn't until the collapse of the Soviet Bloc (which Hayek predicted) that his vast writings on economics, political philosophy, law, history, culture, and other fields became broadly recognized as essential to achieve a prosperous, humane and free society. Biographer Alan Ebenstein and economist Charles Baird shed light on Hayek's seminal legacy and the rebirth of freedom.
Many people have wondered how technological progress will affect political, economic, and civil freedoms. With the rise of encryption software, the National Security Agency's Echelon worldwide surveillance system, and the FBI's Carnivore e-mail snooping program, this subject is no longer the exclusive domain of speculative thinkers or futurists, it is the subject of intense public-policy debate. Will privacy-enhancing technology improve faster than privacy-threatening technology? Should the government mandate privacy standards? Should it enforce contracts in cyberspace, or would private law do a better job? Economist, physicist, and legal scholar David Friedman discussed these and related questions about technological change and the case for and against government involvement.
With the words, Give me liberty, or give me death, Patrick Henry sounded the keynote of the American Revolution. After the Revolution, Henry and his supporters blocked the Constitutions ratification until it bore the amendments known as the Bill of Rights. Mindful of these principles, the first generation of Americans reinvented themselves and their society. But how exactly did their values transform politics, economics, and culture in the new republic? Celebrated historians Joyce Appleby and Hans Eicholz discussed the passions and lives of these bold people and the legacy they bequeathed to future generations.
The great question of Pearl Harbor: what did U.S. government officials know and when did they know it? Ithas been argued for years. After decades of Freedom of Information Act requests, Robert Stinnett was finally able to examine the long-hidden evidence, shattering every shibboleth of Pearl Harbor. He finds that not only was the attack expected, it was deliberately provoked through an eight-step program devised by the Navy for President Franklin Roosevelt. Could Pearl Harbor have neither been an "accident" nor a mere "failure" of U.S. intelligence nor a "brilliant" Japanese military coup? Could the tragedy at Pearl Harbor have been a carefully orchestrated design, initiated at the highest government levels in order to galvanize a peace-loving American public to go to war? Robert Stinnett will discuss this startling issue in detail.
Robert B. Stinnett
Former Journalist, Oakland Tribune and BBC.
Author of the books, George Bush: His World War II Years and Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor.
Begun in the 1960s, government affirmative action policies are now in retreat in California, Washington, Florida, and many other states and localities in the U.S. Will such changes end America's racial divide or merely intensify it? Can the American Dream be colorblind or are racial preferences necessary to right the wrongs of past discrimination? Is affirmative action a force for fairness and justice or instead merely a "feel good" policy that cloaks the real barriers to social and economic advancement for the most disadvantaged? Ward Connerly and William Bagley, two distinguished members of the Board of Regents at the University of California, will debate this very timely and crucial issue.
Is global warming real, imminent, and a threat to human life? Have such predictions been established scientifically? The proposed Global Climate Treaty calls for extensive government controls to reduce fossil fuel use. Yet, there is no scientific consensus to support global-warming pessimism. Would the proposed massive 'carbon' taxes and other controls put our society- especially those most disadvantaged- at great risk? Based on his widely acclaimed book, renowned astrophysicist Fred Singer will separate fact from fiction in this raging global warming debate.
S. Fred Singer
President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
First Director, U. S. Weather Satellite Service
Author, Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate.
The 20th Century has witnessed state-sponsored carnage on an unprecedented scale. What made this era so susceptible to Hitlers Final Solution, Stalins Gulag, Maos Great Leap Forward, Pol Pots killing fields, and other atrocities? Does the answer lie in the rogue ideologies that found acceptance among societys intellectual elitesisms that elevated the dictates of the State over the rights of the individual and the institutions of civil society? Celebrated historian Robert Conquest discusses the rise of these ideologiesand how to protect the 21st Century from their destructive grip.
The Civil War was a great turning point in American history. It abolished the evil of slavery, established federal power over the states, andparadoxicallycreated precedents that restrict individual freedom today. The ideas and personalities of the Civil War are forever etched in our memory, but they are not merely of historic interest. Based on their acclaimed books, Henry Mayer and Jeffrey Rogers Hummel will discuss the abolitionists, political and business interests, war mobilization and conduct, etc.and how they continue to shape American society.
Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
Professor of Economics, Golden Gate University
Henry E. Mayer
National Book Award Finalist
Author, All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery