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Volume 8, Issue 12: March 20, 2006

  1. Big Government and Civil War in Iraq: A Peaceful Alternative
  2. Spanish-language Media Conglomerate, anyone?
  3. Political Correctness Still Alive and Well in Academia
  4. THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW -- Spring 2006 Issue Now Available

1) Big Government and Civil War in Iraq: A Peaceful Alternative

To quell Iraq's worsening "sectarian violence" (i.e., "civil war," for those disinclined toward euphemism), many American conservatives, both inside and outside the Bush administration, are calling for a strengthening of central government in Iraq. This, however, may be exactly the wrong policy, according to Ivan Eland, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty.

"Instead of fighting the powerful centrifugal forces in Iraq, perhaps the United States and the Iraqis should embrace them," writes Eland in his latest op-ed. Adopting a decentralized Iraq, perhaps a country partitioned into Sunni, Shi'ite, and Kurdish areas, "would eliminate the fear by Iraqi groups that the central government would be taken over by one group and used to oppress all others." In contrast, attempting to create and maintain a strong central government that would hold together a fractious society might lead to a government as dictatorial as the one ruled by Saddam Hussein.

"The United States should attempt to spur peaceful negotiations to codify the de facto decentralization on the ground rather than continuing its bid to impose an unworkable U.S.-style federation on Iraq," Eland continues. "Current U.S. policy will continue to exacerbate, rather than dampen, the ongoing civil war."

"Conservatives Advocate a Big Government Solution to Iraq," by Ivan Eland (3/20/06)
"Los conservadores abogan por un 'Gobierno Grande' como una solución para Irak"

THE WAY OUT OF IRAQ: Decentralizing the Iraqi Government, by Ivan Eland

THE EMPIRE HAS NO CLOTHES: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, by Ivan Eland

Center on Peace & Liberty (Ivan Eland, director)


2) Spanish-language Media Conglomerate, anyone?

Univision Communications, which operates numerous television networks, radio stations, and Internet websites for the Latino market in the United States, is up for sale. The reason isn't that Univision is now facing financial hard times, although its advertising revenue is growing much slower than TV ad revenue as a whole.

Most likely, it is due to an important demographic fact: "Second generation Hispanics speak English and to an increasing extent prefer to read and watch English-language media," writes Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Global Prosperity, in his latest op-ed.

"American-born Latinos now represent 60 percent of all Latinos," Vargas Llosa continues. "That second generation is bilingual, has a higher level of education and earns more money than their immigrant parents; and...the third generation doesn't even speak Spanish.... Like other immigrant groups before them, Hispanics seem to be adapting to that creed while at the same time adding new layers to the complex prevailing culture."

See "The Revolt of the Second Generation," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (3/15/06)
"La rebelión de la segunda generación"


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)

Spanish-language Blog:
El Independent: El Blog del Centro Para la Prosperidad Global de The Independent Institute


3) Political Correctness Still Alive and Well in Academia

"Two incidents at Harvard and William & Mary dramatize the power PC still exerts wherever it has managed to embed itself into the policies and mechanisms along which academia functions," writes Independent Institute Research Fellow Wendy McElroy in her latest op-ed.

The first incident, the resignation of Harvard president Lawrence Summers, which stemmed from his relatively mild, speculative remarks about female underrepresentation in math and science, has been widely noted. The second incident, which involved a male student accused of rape who was expelled before the criminal charges were resolved, is less widely known but points to a simpler solution: a presumption of innocence, high standards of evidence, and the right to representation by an attorney.

"Both [incidents] carry the same message," writes McElroy. "PC is alive and biting wherever it has been institutionalized through laws and policies."

See "Campuses Pay High Price for PC Policies," by Wendy McElroy (3/1/06)
"Los campos universitarios pagan un precio muy alto por las políticas políticamente correctas"

LIBERTY FOR WOMEN: Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-first Century, ed. by Wendy McElroy


4) THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW -- Spring 2006 Issue Now Available

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Spring 2006 issue of THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW, the Independent Institute's quarterly journal of political economy.

The following questions are addressed in this issue:

* What strategies did U.S. government decision-makers use in 2005 to expand their power at the expense of Americans' privacy and security of property?

* How has the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration worsened a large but neglected health crisis?

* What's wrong with the way modern economics treats the theory of entrepreneurship?

* Why hasn't New Zealand's economy sustained its impressive performance of the late 1980s and '90s?

* What does history tell us about the effectiveness of democratic nation building?

* How did the business community contribute to the design of social insurance in France and Germany?

* What key causal factor does Jared Diamond neglect in his book on societal collapse?

* How did African-American entrepreneur A. G. Gaston benefit from and contribute to a tradition of black enterprise, self-help, and mutual aid?

* What was it about the Soviet system that made Stalinism virtually inevitable?

* What long-range reforms do classical liberals believe are most important for creating freedom, prosperity, and well-being?

Books reviews:

COLLAPSE: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond:

BLACK TITAN: A. G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire, by Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Gardner

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF STALINISM: Evidence from the Soviet Secret Archives, by Paul R. Gregory

TOWARDS A LIBERAL UTOPIA?, ed. by Philip Booth


Charlotte Twight, Ronald T. Libby, James A. Montanye, Frederic Sautet, James L. Payne, Nathalie Janson, Jane S. Shaw, David T. Beito, Linda Royster Beito, Peter Boettke, Sean Gabb

We hope that you will find this and other issues of THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW useful and enjoyable in your own teaching, research, and writing. Selected articles, book reviews, and back issues are available online at:

To purchase print copies of the Fall 2006 issue, subscriptions, and back issues, see


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