History lessons with the KGB

December 2, 2016

From Peter Gregory

There are lots of reasons why Fidel Castro was reprehensible. This is another one:

That graph is from Cato’s Dan Mitchell’s post on International Liberty on Saturday. He also noted that slaves in Cuba in 1842 received larger daily food rations than ordinary people in Castro’s Cuba in 1962.

But a tyrant is dead so let’s be positive. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s glowing eulogy sparked the amusing #trudeaueulogies. While The Spectator’s Douglas Murray gave ex-KGB man Richard Gott a history lesson in this very entertaining interview.

Cato’s Human Freedom Index 2016 was released this week. Australia moved up two spots to 6th – our country profile is here (page 32).

China fell four spots to 141st (page 58). They will be even lower when the government introduces its terrifying new scheme to give each of the 1.372 billion Chinese citizens a score based on behaviour such as spending habits, fare evading and fidelity.

Last week, Morgan told you that the “French Thatcher”, Fran├žois Fillon, was poised to win the French Republicans’ presidential primary. Well, on Sunday he won. Time even thinks he’ll become President and laments that it’s all a huge surprise to the political and media establishment. Hmmm… where have I heard that before…

Speaking of Trump and the media, last Friday in the National Post Conrad Black wrote that post-election, the US media hasn’t yet acknowledged that they have been condemned by the public they are meant to serve.

And the latest way NSW Premier Mike Baird is making young people’s lives worse? Banning them from using map applications on their phones whilst in their cars. It doesn’t really matter I suppose – most of the good places to go in Sydney have closed anyway.

Some long reading – this 10,600 word interview with Robert Caro on ‘The Art of Biography by James Santel in the Spring edition of The Paris Review is utterly engrossing.

Article of the week

The best piece on Castro was by Paul Bonnicelli in The Federalist on Monday on why some eulogised him despite all the evidence to the contrary.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: John Roskam

Deirdre McCloskey’s towering 6,000 word essay on Marx for the American Enterprise Institute essay series, ‘Economic Freedom and Human Flourishing’, is a must-read. Her thesis is that Marx was the greatest social scientist of the 19th century, but that he was wrong about almost everything. This is because he, and his followers, misunderstood (and still misunderstand) the link between economic liberty and human flourishing.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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