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A Note from a Reader

I share the following note with the kind permission of its author.

Dear Mr. Boudreaux,

Your AIER essay on optimism vs. pessimism triggered a wish to share my own experience with you. If you think it might be of any interest to you, please keep on reading, otherwise, I won’t know anyway.

I am French and, contrary to you, do not count myself as one of the high-optimism people you embody. I even used to be an ur-pessimist: when 2008 burst, I recall having a conversation about the war that would ensue, this being the only option left to sort out the mess (note that this remains an option)!

That’s when I had just moved to Hong Kong. I recall that I later mentioned to a friend I did not plan to have children given the world they would live in.

Then, I discovered how the market worked in Hong Kong at the time. And I discovered liberalism. Cafe Hayek is a great part of it and helped me discover essential readings like Hayek (obviously), Mises, Sowell, Friedman (both Milton and David), [Leonard] Read and other American economists as well as Frédéric Bastiat (whom the French mostly ignore, unfortunately). Also directed by yourself to read The Rational Optimist, I started to see the world differently and have a better understanding about the beauty of freedom.

Obviously, I am seeing it disappear as much as you do but I am starting to believe, as Bastiat did, that “monopoly, like any form of injustice, carries within itself the seed of its own punishment.”

I am not an ur-pessimist anymore and even have a daughter since May 2021.

Best regards,
Andre Durand

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