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Avoiding Dogmatism

My old and very dear friend Kerry “Over the Hump” Dugas prompts me to post this letter that I sent to the New York Times on 12 December 2004:

John Horgan asks “How do you denounce dogmatism in others without succumbing to it yourself?” (“Keeping the Faith, in My Doubt,” Dec. 12).  The answer is to abandon the government-knows-best creeds of modern “liberals” and conservatives, and to join the likes of Milton Friedman, John Stossel, and your own columnist Virginia Postrel in championing individual liberty.

Champions of liberty tolerate the blooming of countless flowers – some beautiful, some horrid, many ordinary, but each growing in its own way, obliged by law only to avoid interfering with others.  Champions of liberty understand that our world’s complexity is best met, not with clever central plans, but with unleashing as much creative human energy as possible.

The phrase “Let the market handle it” is shorthand for “Because any one person’s or group’s ideas are too likely flawed and certainly incomplete, let anyone who wishes have a crack at identifying and solving problems – and let each person choose which solution seems best to him or her.”  Only by rejecting the rule of experts and scolds can we avoid dogmatism.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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