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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Intellectual Freedom Fighters - Milton Friedman's Influence on Writing

Dead Beat does not normally quote Ma'am Thatcher, but he likes what she had to say about Milton Friedman who died Thursday aged 94.

"Milton Friedman revived the economics of liberty when it had been all but forgotten... He was an intellectual freedom fighter. Never was there a less dismal practitioner of a dismal science."

Not too sure about the dismal science part, but I know what she is getting at.

Now why is Dead Beat acknowledging Friedman's death as he acknowledged recently the death of architect Sam Stephenson? Well like Stephenson Friedman was an architect too - as all of us would be writers are.

If we can grasp what has been achieved in architectural design, in economic design, to name just a few cultural arts, we have a better chance of achieving a literary design which applies to our culture.

You cannot separate Economics from Literature - neither stands alone. Each aspect of our society thrives and is dependent on the other.

Friedman was a believer in the principles of 18th century economist Adam Smith, and he consistently argued that individual freedom should rule economic policy.

In an essay titled "Is Capitalism Humane?" Friedman said that "a set of social institutions that stresses individual responsibility, that treats the individual ... as responsible for and to himself, will lead to a higher and more desirable moral climate."

Each one of us who puts pen to paper (or 1s to 0s) must be as aware of this 'moral climate' and must use literary techniques to lead society towards it.

Intellectual Freedom Fighters take up your pens and prepare for battle.

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