The Lighthouse is the weekly email newsletter of the Independent Institute. Subscribe
now, or browse Back Issues
Volume 8, Issue 46: November 13, 2006
- 2007 Olive W. Garvey Fellowship Competition
- Eland Urges Senate to Reject Gates Nomination
- Nicaragua's Ortega Back on the Throne
- Thomas Szasz Awards: "Liberty and Leviathan"
1) 2007 Olive W. Garvey Fellowship Competition
Top Essays To Be Awarded $2,500 (Students) or $10,000 (Untenured Faculty)
The Independent Institute is pleased to announce the 2007 Olive W. Garvey Fellowship Competition. Cash prizes will be awarded to outstanding college students -- and untenured "junior" faculty -- from around the world through a competitive essay contest.
The 2007 Garvey Fellowship Prizes will be awarded for the best essay on the topic: Is foreign aid the solution to global poverty?
A panel of three judges will look for the best essays related to the topic -- original essays distinguished by their clarity, rigor, and eloquence. The essays need not be technical or demonstrate hyper-specialized scholarship, although they should be serious in content, tone, and style. Held biennially, the Garvey Fellowship is intended to encourage and reward scholarship pertaining to the meaning and significance of economic and personal liberties.
STUDENT DIVISION: College students up to the age of 35:
First Prize: $2,500
Second Prize: $1,500
Third prize: $1,000
FACULTY DIVISION: Junior faculty members up to the age of 35 and not yet tenured:
First Prize: $10,000
Second Prize: $5,000
Third Prize: $1,500
ELIGIBILITY: 1) Student Division: Any student 35 years or younger enrolled at a recognized college or university anywhere in the world. 2) Junior Faculty Division: Untenured college or university teachers, Assistant Professor or higher, 35 years or younger.
LENGTH: Student essays must not exceed 5,000 words. Teacher essays must be 5,000 to 8,000 words long.
DEADLINE: May 1, 2007
For more information, including eligibility requirements, a suggested reading list and examples of past winning essays, see
Back to Top
2) Eland Urges Senate to Reject Gates Nomination
President Bush's nomination of Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary merely replaces one problem with another, according to Ivan Eland, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty. The main problem is Gates' involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration.
Judge Lawrence Walsh, the Independent Counsel who investigated Iran-Contra, concluded that "Gates knew about the unconstitutional diversion of profits from Iran-bound arms sales to the Contras sooner than he let on," Eland writes in his latest op-ed. Walsh also concluded that Gates helped lull congressional investigators "into falsely believe the CIA was not involved in facilitating private flights to resupply the Contras."
"Gates' role in ignoring Congress's specific ban on assisting the Contras -- one of the most dangerous threats to constitutional government in American history -- should not be dismissed as merely 'old news,'" Eland continues. Despite endorsements by retired Senator Sam Nunn and others who say that Gates has the respect of legislators from both parties, "the Senate should reject the Gates nomination," Eland concludes.
"Revisiting Iran-Contra: The Nomination of Robert Gates," by Ivan Eland (11/10/06)
THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, by Ivan Eland
"The Way Out of Iraq: Decentralizing the Iraqi Government," by Ivan Eland
Center on Peace & Liberty (Ivan Eland, Director)
Back to Top
3) Nicaragua's Ortega Back on the Throne
Daniel Ortega's presidential election victory begins another chapter in the strange tale of Nicaraguan politics. For the past seven years Ortega has transformed himself -- from a former leader with no future to a Catholic "moderate" who made a strategic pact with the opposition Liberal Constitutionalist party. Without that transformation, in fact, Ortega and cronies of both parties may well have gone to jail on corruption and other charges, explains Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Global Prosperity, in two new op-eds.
"Under the pact, the Sandinistas gained control of the judiciary and thus protected Ortega from charges of molestation leveled against him by his stepdaughter, Zoilamerica Narvarez," Vargas Llosa writes in his column for the Washington Post Writers Group. "The power-sharing arrangement also guaranteed that the "pinata" -- the infamous distribution of government assets and confiscated property that the Sandinista leaders shared among themselves after losing the 1990 elections to Violeta Chamorro -- would not be reversed."
In his NEW YORK TIMES op-ed, Vargas Llosa explains how much Ortega's rhetoric has changed from his days as the Sandinista strong-man: "The man responsible for the infamous 'pinata'...is now talking about his respect for private property and foreign investment.... He apologized for the massacre of the indigenous Miskito people that took place in the north of the country during his first regime and, finally, he instructed his legislators to vote for a bill banning abortion even in cases of a threat to the woman's life."
"Nicaragua Upside Down," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (11/8/06)
"Nicaragua, de cabeza"
¡Viva el Capitalismo!," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (NEW YORK TIMES, 11/13/06)
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/13/opinion/13llosa.html (Registration required.)
LIBERTY FOR LATIN AMERICA: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa
Center on Global Prosperity (Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director)
El Independent: El Blog del Centro Para la Prosperidad Global de The Independent Institute
Back to Top
4) Thomas Szasz Awards: "Liberty and Leviathan"
An Evening with Robert Higgs (Oakland, CA, 12/6/06)
How could the U.S. government have grown by more than one-third since 9/11, with Congress having increased the national debt to $8.5 trillion, the feds annually consuming a record $2.5 trillion, and civil liberties increasingly jeopardized? Is this phenomenon unique or are there precedents in past crises?
Virtually alone, Dr. Higgs predicted this result, based on his pioneering insights into the nature of government power. Now in DEPRESSION, WAR, AND COLD WAR, the sequel to his acclaimed classic CRISIS AND LEVIATHAN, Dr. Higgs unravels some of the most important questions of past crises: What accounted for the extraordinary duration of the Great Depression? What about wartime prosperity and whether World War II got the economy out of the depression? How does war alter relations between government and the leaders of business and labor? How do military economies alter the business cycle, as during World War II and the Cold War? What is Congresss role in the military-industrial-congressional complex?
Based on his new book, Dr. Higgs will provide a powerful, solidly grounded exposé of government power in the U.S. since the early 1930s.
Preceding the talk, Thomas S. Szasz will present Robert Higgs and Robert Spillane with the 2006 Szasz Awards for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties.
Thomas S. Szasz, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry State University Medical Center Syracuse, is the author of numerous books defending liberty against psychiatric coercion. The renowned author of such seminal works as THE MYTH OF MENTAL ILLNESS, PHARMACRACY, and CEREMONIAL CHEMISTRY, Dr. Szasz has distinguished himself as the preeminent defender of individual rights in the fields of psychiatry and psychology for nearly five decades.
Robert Higgs, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, is the author of DEPRESSION, WAR, AND COLD WAR; AGAINST LEVIATHAN; CRISIS AND LEVIATHAN and other books. He is best known for the "ratchet theory of government growth," which argues that military and economic crises are the primary proximate causes of the growth in size and scope of government power.
Robert Spillane, Professor of Management at Macquarie University Australia has for more than 30 years fought against what Thomas Szasz calls the medicalization of moral behavior. He actively campaigns against the mass drugging of children and the use of the American Psychiatric Association's DIAGNOSTIC AND STATISTICAL MANUAL OF MENTAL DISORDERS in its misuse in psychology. He is the author of nine books on psychology and management.
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Gala reception and book signing: 6:30 p.m.
Program: 7:00 p.m.
The Independent Institute Conference Center
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428
For a map and directions, see
TICKETS: $35 per person ($25 for Independent Institute Members). Reserve tickets by calling (510) 632-1366 or ordering online at
Praise for DEPRESSION, WAR, AND COLD WAR:
DEPRESSION, WAR, AND COLD WAR presents very interesting and important reinterpretations of the role of government in the economy since 1930. All points along the political spectrum will find ideas of considerable value here.
--STANLEY L. ENGERMAN, Munroe Professor of Economics, University of Rochester
DEPRESSION, WAR, AND COLD WAR is an important book. Those interested in the interaction between the domestic economy, war and heavily armed peace, will find it essential reading.
--PAUL JOHNSON, author, Modern Times and A History of the American People
DEPRESSION, WAR, AND COLD WAR marks Higgs as one of the most important and original political analysts of our time. An intellectual tour de force!
--JONATHAN BEAN, Professor of History, Southern Illinois University
Higgss superb and pioneering book, DEPRESSION, WAR, AND COLD WAR, is a real eye opener and bold foray into contemporary political economy.
--RICHARD E. SYLLA, Henry Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets, New York University
For information about DEPRESSION, WAR, AND COLD WAR, see
For more information about this event, see
Also see, "Higgs, Spillane Win Thomas Szasz Civil Liberties Awards," (11/6/06)
Back to Top