DR. TOM G. PALMER

NEWS + ANALYSIS

THE JOY OF FREEDOM

October 26, 2018 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

It is a joy to take part in a festival of liberty, a truly liberal event. “Festival” is really the right word, because liberty is truly something to be celebrated, its realization a cause for joy and an occasion for happiness. And the occasion for happiness is not merely our own freedom, but the freedom of other people as well. Contrary to the mischaracterizations of Marxist and fascist ideologues, who willfully misstate classical liberal ideas, liberty is not a solitary condition, but a condition of equal freedom that we enjoy with others under the rule of law.

READ MORE

IN MEMORIAM: ANDREA MILLEN RICH, 1939–2018

August 2, 2018 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

The cause of liberty has lost a dear friend and a wise counsel, but her spirit remains active through every person she convinced of the value of liberty and through every person she inspired to stand against violence and tyranny; they are far, far more than they know. Andrea Rich (1939-2018) was a businesswoman, publisher, TV producer, philanthropist, Atlas Network board member, enthusiastic lover of life, and an always dependable friend.

READ MORE

IN MEMORIAM: GEORGE M. YEAGER, 1934-2017

January 8, 2018 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

Some in the liberty movement, but especially those in New York, may remember a tall, quiet, dignified gentleman who economized on words and often preferred to solicit the opinions of others over advancing his own. His name was George M. Yeager and he will be seen no longer. He left us on December 31 of last year, after dealing patiently and stoically with a variety of ailments.  

READ MORE

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON FEAR AND FREEDOM

September 15, 2016 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

People raised in different circumstances often show different attitudes toward potential dangers. If you’ve never been near the water or learned how to swim, lakes, rivers, and oceans probably seem quite terrifying. Those who can swim generally see rivers, lakes, and oceans differently. Such different experiences may lead to different policies regarding access to water. We can forbid people to go near the water, or we can help people to acquire the habits of self-control that reduce the very real dangers posed by bodies of water — and swimming is all about self-control, rather than merely thrashing about.

READ MORE

THEY CANNOT MAKE US HATE THEM

September 8, 2016 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

When I think of examples of successful self-control and dignity under the most difficult circumstances, one person comes to mind before all others: 刘晓波, Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese writer and human rights activist who was sentenced on Dec. 25, 2009, to 11 years of imprisonment in China on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power.” Liu’s body is in prison and he is being made to suffer deprivation of liberty, health, companionship, and more by state authorities, but he will not allow himself to be consumed by the hatred that would destroy a person with less self-control. Before being subjected to years of imprisonment and abuse, he had tried to lead a life of freedom and responsibility.

READ MORE

EVERYONE, EVEN POLITICIANS AND OFFICIALS, SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS

September 1, 2016 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

Isn’t it interesting how often government leaders use passive voice to refer to their bad decisions? “Mistakes were made,” “The intelligence was flawed,” “Things got out of control,” etc., etc. And even when they say “I take responsibility,” they almost never actually take responsibility by, say, resigning or reimbursing or even apologizing to the victims of their decisions; they just go on about their business with nary an apology or a look back. Any American politician who says “I take responsibility” is really trying to tell us all to “Move along now ... nothing to see here.”

READ MORE

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IS STOLEN FROM YOU?

August 25, 2016 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

It’s not so hard to talk about having one’s freedom taken away. “You’re under arrest” means you’re not free to go. Prisoners have had their freedom taken. When that’s done unjustly, we speak of freedom being “stolen,” because rightfully it should be yours to enjoy. But can your responsibility be stolen from you?

READ MORE

IS LIBERTY AN ASIAN VALUE?

August 24, 2016 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

A frequent challenge raised against classical liberalism is that it is not suitable for Asian people or Asian countries, because of “Asian values” that are allegedly unique to Asian countries. Is Asian liberty different from European or American or African Liberty? Or, if liberty is being used in the same way in those regions, is it a reasonable principle for Asian governments and laws, or are Asian values incompatible with liberty? One could also ask whether there is one core of values that are common to all Asians, who inhabit a vast region encompassing billions of people speaking hundreds of languages, professing a wide variety of religions, and heirs to thousands of years of multifarious cultural developments.

READ MORE