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The Lighthouse is the weekly email newsletter of the Independent Institute.
Subscribe now, or browse Back Issues.

Volume 7, Issue 3: January 17, 2005

  1. THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW - Winter 2005 Issue Now Available
  2. Domestic Violence Law Is Fundamentally Flawed, McElroy Argues
  3. Eland Questions U.S. Foreign Policy Assumptions

1) THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW - Winter 2005 Issue Now Available

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Winter 2005 issue of our quarterly journal, THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW: A Journal of Political Economy (edited by Robert Higgs), the peer-reviewed, 160-page quarterly from The Independent Institute.
http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/

The Winter 2005 issue addresses the following questions:
* What can economists teach us about the origins of economic fallacies?
* What institutions would best promote environmental quality in Ecuador?
* How does France's film industry shed light on the case for cultural protectionism?
* Why is intellectual honesty more difficult in the social sciences than in other fields?
* Has income inequality increased in eastern Europe and central Asia since the collapse of state socialism?
* Is "The Wizard of Oz" a political satire about the monetary debates of the 1890s?
* Which principles would make genuine liberalism more resistant to the influence of ill-liberal ideas?
* Which new book is the best introduction to the history of World War I?
* Why did the Industrial Revolution occur when and where it did?
* How do new technologies challenge the rationale for numerous government interventions?
* What can the history of education teach us about the viability of private education today?
* How will the decrease in military participation by political elites affect U.S. policies?
* What responsibility does the American press bear for spreading Iraq war propaganda?
* Which principles for developing poor countries would also improve corporate governance in the developed world?
* If democracies are more conducive to prosperity, why aren't their leaders able to generate greater political loyalties?
* Is the nation-state becoming stronger or weaker?
* Why haven't China's private entrepreneurs been successful in advancing political liberalization?
* What important, overlooked theme runs throughout the diverse writings of Adam Smith?

Books Reviewed:
* THE WESTERN FRONT: Battle Ground and Home Front in the First World War, by T. Hunt Tooley
* THE GIFTS OF ATHENA, by Joel Mokyr
* THE HALF-LIFE OF POLICY RATIONALES: How New Technology Affects Old Policy Issues, ed. by Fred E. Foldvary and Daniel B. Klein
* GOVERNMENT FAILURE: E. G. West on Education, ed. by James Tooley and James Stansfield
* CHOOSING YOUR BATTLES: American Civil-Military Relations and the Use of Force, by Peter D. Feaver and Christopher Gelphi
* CASUALTY OF WAR: The Bush Administration's Assault on a Free Press, by David Dadge
* JUST GET OUT OF THE WAY: How Government Can Help Business in Poor Countries, by Robert E. Anderson
* THE LOGIC OF POLITICAL SURVIVAL, by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith, Randolph M. Siverson, and James D. Morrow
* THE NATION-STATES: Concert or Chaos, by Richard Lee Hough
* RED CAPITALISTS IN CHINA: The Party, Private Entrepreneurs, and the Prospects for Political Change, by Bruce J. Dickson
* ADAM SMITH'S MARKET PLACE OF LIFE, by James R. Otteson

Contributors:
James A. Montanye, Franklin Lopez, Jacques Delacroix, Julien Bornon, Jefferson M. Fish, David R. Henderson, Robert M. McNab, Tamás Rózsás, Quentin Taylor, Anthony de Jasay, Ralph Raico, Donald J. Boudreaux, Bryan Caplan, John B. Egger, Andrew J. Bacevich, Bruce Ramsey, Julio H. Cole, Randall G. Holcombe, Paul Gottfried, James A. Dorn, Timothy M. Costelloe

For a summary and links to selected articles and to all book reviews, see
http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/

For back issues (entire contents posted after two issues), see
http://www.independent.org/store/tir/orderbackissues.asp

For subscription information, see
http://www.independent.org/store/tir/subscriptions.asp

For our Library Subscription Recommendation Form, see
http://independent.org/publications/tir/library.asp

For the Editorial Board, see
http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/staff-editorial_board.asp

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2) Domestic Violence Law Is Fundamentally Flawed, McElroy Argues

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which faces refunding by Congress this year, is a faulty piece of legislation that perpetuates misunderstandings about domestic violence through its support for an ideologically biased domestic violence industry, according to Wendy McElroy, research fellow at the Independent Institute and editor of LIBERTY FOR WOMEN: Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-first Century.

"The Act seeks to create new gender attitudes through the social engineering of society," writes McElroy, a columnist for FoxNews.com, in her latest op-ed. "The most aggressive example was also VAWA's biggest failure to date: namely, its attempt to revise the judiciary system in order to benefit women."

Although the U.S. Supreme Court "found VAWA's civil rights remedies and access to federal courts to be unconstitutional," the Act was later rewritten to create new programs meant to "change society's attitudes on gender through education, research and training programs." But those programs are ideologically biased against men and ignore the very real problem of domestic violence women commit against their male partner, argues McElroy.

Numerous studies have reported on the prevalence of domestic violence committed by women against men, but those studies have not yet entered the public consciousness, according to McElroy. Psychology Professor Martin S. Fiebert, of California State University at Long Beach, published a 1997 analysis of 155 scholarly studies of domestic violence and found that women were at least as likely to have initiated physical aggression against their male partners as the males were likely to have committed such acts against their female partners. (The injuries of female victims of domestic violence tended to be more serious than those of their male counterparts, however.)

Unfortunately, according to McElroy, male victims have been given short shrift by what some call "the domestic violence industry" that is partly funded by the VAWA.

"VAWA is a fundamentally flawed piece of social engineering. The proper response is not 'Me Too!' It is a flat 'no,' followed by an insistence on rethinking our entire approach to issues like domestic violence," concludes McElroy.

See "Domestic Violence Law Fuels Big Government," by Wendy McElroy (1/12/05) http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1449
SPANISH TRANSLATION:
http://www.elindependent.org/articulos/article.asp?id=1449

To purchase LIBERTY FOR WOMEN: Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-first Century, edited by Wendy McElroy, see
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=43

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3) Eland Questions U.S. Foreign Policy Assumptions

For many decades, U.S. foreign policy has rested on widespread assumptions that merit a closer look, according to Ivan Eland, senior fellow and director of the Center on Peace & Liberty. The most notable assumption is that unless the U.S. government dominates the world militarily, international security will break down and global chaos will ensue.

But this assumption is historically false, Eland argues in his latest op-ed. The United States was not always as interventionist as it has been since the end of World War II, yet international security was often maintained through a "balance of power" among the strongest nations.

"For most of U.S. history the United States did not seek hegemony over other countries and pursued a policy of deliberate independence from most overseas disputes," writes Eland.

Secondly, democracy is not, as many people assume today, a cure-all for the problem of international conflict, according to Eland. "Even if democracies ultimately went to war less than more authoritarian nations and if they never went to war with each other -- dubious propositions -- the costs of all wars needed to convert autocratic countries to democracies would be too high." Furthermore, judging by the erosion of civil liberties in the United States that has occurred as a result of wars, writes Eland, "even if the [U.S. government] could militarily convert all of the nations of the world to real democracies . . . the United States could very well endanger its own democracy."

Another common assumption is that enemies of the United States, such as al Qaeda, are motivated primarily by bloodlust, rather than by grievances about U.S. foreign policy, Eland argues. "Bin Laden's heinous deliberate attacks on civilians should not be condoned, but he does have a motive beyond merely getting a thrill out of killing," writes Eland.

Eland concludes by recommending that Americans ask their leaders tougher questions about U.S. foreign policy, such as whether the first and second Iraq wars were justifiable and prudent.

"These are politically incorrect questions, but the American people should start asking them of their government. Instead, by accepting questionable assumptions on the part of its government, the American people are allowing it to unnecessarily turn the greatest nation on earth into an international rogue state."

See "U.S. Foreign Policy: Question All Assumptions," by Ivan Eland (1/17/05) http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1450

Ivan Eland will address the Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats <http://www.baiad.org> on January 23rd from 5:00-7:30 pm. Joining him will be MIT Fellow Dr. Ali Nayeri. Topic: Nuclear proliferation in Iran and U.S. foreign policy in the region. Location: FAZ Restaurant, 1108 North Mathilda Ave., Sunnyvale, CA. $10. For details, please call 510-593-3684.

To purchase THE EMPIRE HAS NO CLOTHES: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, by Ivan Eland, see
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=54

To purchase PUTTING "DEFENSE" BACK INTO U.S. DEFENSE POLICY: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World, by Ivan Eland, see
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=19

Center on Peace & Liberty
http://www.independent.org/research/copal/

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