Biblioteca della Libertà

Anno XXX, n. 128, gennaio-marzo 1995

Gli effetti perversi dei sistemi a ripartizione / Reform of Social Security

Gli effetti perversi dei sistemi a ripartizione / Reform of Social Security

Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

Social security pay-as-you-go systems in Europe and elsewhere in the developed world are in financial trouble due to the ageing of the population, and due also to the greater generosity of benefits motivated by the increased political power of the elderly. These same political considerations make it difficult to reform the system, but reform will have to come eventually if the system is not to collapse. The most attractive, and most radical reform is to return to the original aim of social security systems, which is to help workers save so that they can be financially secure in their old age. This should be combined with the modern movement to privatise State activities. The best way to accomplish this is to introduce fully funded systems managed by private funds that compete for the old age contributions of workers. Such an approach provides an effective retirement system that would be insulated in large part from low birth rates, declining mortality and political pressure to raise benefits to the elderly; it would also encourage greater savings, smaller government spending and faster rates of economic growth.
Abstract

Miti e paradossi della previdenza sociale / Myths and Paradoxes of Social Security

Miti e paradossi della previdenza sociale / Myths and Paradoxes of Social Security

Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

Myths and Paradoxes of Tax Justice is the title of a well-known book by Luigi Einaudi. The present paper deals with similar questions in a related field. When a social security system is first introduced, it often appears as a device for distributing benefits to the living cohorts without anybody paying for them, or even with every subsequent cohort reaping benefits. Social security is furthermore deemed to be a powerful instrument for a more equal distribution of incomes and for allowing parliaments and governments to apply their long-sightedness. This paper shows that these and other widespread beliefs are either logically inconsistent or empirically disproved by the experience of most countries.
Abstract

Le quattro lezioni del Novecento / Awakening from Nihilism. In Preparation for the 21st Century: Four Lessons from the 20th

Le quattro lezioni del Novecento / Awakening from Nihilism. In Preparation for the 21st Century: Four Lessons from the 20th

Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

This is the text of Michael Novak' address on receiving the 1994 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. The author argues that the 20th century, the bloodiest in human history, has nevertheless taught us four painful but important lessons. First, truth matters, irrespective of one's faith or lack of it; from fidelity to truth arises inner liberty. Secondly, democracy is better for the protection of individuals and minorities than dictatorship. Thirdly, capitalism is better for the poor than either of its two great rivals, socialism and the traditional Third World state. Fourthly, vulgar relativism so undermines the culture of liberty that free institutions may not survive the 21st century. Until recently, modernity, notwithstanding its great practical discoveries in the fields of political liberty and economic liberty, was mistaken in its relation to truth, and thus to God and humankind. From now on, the deepest and most vital struggle of the 21st century will be the cultural one, over the sorts of habits necessary to the preservation of liberty. It is largely on the outcome of this struggle that the fate of free societies will depend.
Abstract

Dal comunismo alla società aperta / Systemic Change: The Delicate Mixture of Intentions and Spontaneity

Dal comunismo alla società aperta / Systemic Change: The Delicate Mixture of Intentions and Spontaneity

Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

Systemic change is an evolutionary process, based on a very complicated mixture of planned and unplanned, or, to put it differently, on a mixture of intentions and spontaneity. Intended, organised measures play an important role; the understanding of this logic makes the process shorter and diminishes transformation costs. Assisting the creation of a new social order requires the implementation of liberalisation and deregulation measures and the enactment of new rules defining certain abstract features of the new order; but the process itself is largely a spontaneous one, which finally establishes new political, social and economic arrangements. The transformation process is divided into three basic stages, each of which has both a spontaneous and an intentional side. The main tasks for the first stage include political liberalisation, the elimination of old subsidies, fiscal and monetary stabilisation policies, independence of the central bank and liberalisation of prices and foreign trade. In the second stage, overall privatisation must be accompanied by continuing macroeconomic stabilisation and the rationalisation of social policy. If these measures are successfully implemented, stage three, which might be termed one of early post-transformation, is reached.

Abstract

Stati sovrani e ordine mondiale / Hayek's Extended Order

Stati sovrani e ordine mondiale / Hayek's Extended Order

Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

This essay deals with two questions: 1) what is the relationship between Hayek's extended order and liberty? And 2) what is the future of the extended order in a world composed of many sovereign states, not all of which are concerned with liberty? These questions are to some extent linked and allow us to use Hayekian principles to understand and interpret the world around us. The conclusion is reached that today, following the collapse of the USSR, the worst danger for the Great Society (or extended order) comes from within; it lies in its very own genius for creating wealth, which, in turn, makes it possible to create great governments, great armies and great parasitic castes. On the other hand, information and competition on a global scale, such as we have today, between different societies and different sovereign states may suffice to keep freedom alive, to keep governments within reasonable bounds and to keep the military within safe bounds. If this were so, we would be living through one of the greatest periods in human history – the one in which the Great Society became self-sufficient.
Abstract

Multiculturalismo e individualismo liberale / Multiculturalism and Liberal Individualism

Multiculturalismo e individualismo liberale / Multiculturalism and Liberal Individualism

Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

Having acknowledged the universality of Reason, the Enlightenment sought to standardise Law and Ethics. Right from the outset this world view has been subject to much criticism: on the one hand, those concerned with the purity of races have been opposed to racial intermingling; on the other, Heterophiles have plead for cultural separation as the only means of preventing each culture from losing its own identity. Differentialisme, which we can identify with the New Right in France and Italy, and Multiculturalism, which uses the method of Communitarian philosophers, criticise the classical liberal idea of tolerance because it cannot protect the integrity of different cultures and ethnic minorities. Individualism is considered to be the main enemy of these traditions. The extreme right and left wings thus find a common goal in support of the idea of Community against that of Individualism, but their idealisation of every non-Western culture seems to give rise to a new myth of the Noble Savage. The fact that this Savage sometimes turns out to be Wicked rather than Noble does not concern them. From their point of view, even the Wicked Savage is better than Western civilisation.
Abstract

Società commerciali, Stato e individuo / The Corporation: An individualist's perspective

Società commerciali, Stato e individuo / The Corporation: An individualist's perspective

Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

In this essay, the modern phenomenon of the corporation and the moral problems it poses are examined in a perspective of methodological individualism. The author argues that the corporation came into being as the result of an evolutionary process; it was, he claims, an arrangement which men came upon through spontaneous individual interaction and used to cope with the uncertainty and dispersion of information typical of economic activity. In this sense, the corporation is comparable to other phenomena such as money or the market. It is a fruit of Smith's system of natural liberty, hence of common law as opposed to positive law. The author refutes the thesis of the corporation as a holistic entity, a non-biological person. Likewise, he refutes the thesis which explains the corporation through a theory of rights understood as vetoes. The consequence of the perspective he chooses to adopt is that government regulation of the corporation is admissable only in so far as it seeks to solve real problems of public goods. The idea of attributing penal responsibility directly to the corporation as opposed to the individuals active within it thus breaks down, as does the idea that corporations have unspecified social responsibilities. Also in vain, finally, is the attempt of contemporary business ethics to impose on corporations – and their management in particular – exogenous constraints, particular moral obligations arising from a specific moral code and not from ordinary morality.
Abstract

Una risposta liberale al nazionalismo / Free Markets - Free Nations. A Liberal Answer to Nationalism

Una risposta liberale al nazionalismo / Free Markets - Free Nations. A Liberal Answer to Nationalism

Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

Two opposing tendencies are at work on the global scene today. On the one hand, we see both political and, even more so, economic internationalisation; on the other, we witness the rebirth of often virulent nationalisms, which are exploding chiefly in the European countries of the former Soviet bloc that are grappling with the problems of modernisation and opening out to the world. Liberalism must come up with a consistent answer to this, a problem upon which Europe's very future depends. The Friedrich Naumann Stiftung invited a group of liberal intellectuals from all over the world to discuss these issue at Sintra in Portugal. The result of their efforts was the statement presented here. The document strongly reaffirms the internationalist and universalist values of liberalism, rejecting all forms of nationalism and centralism. It also reaffirms the separateness of the liberal view of the state from socialist (socialdemocratic included) and conservative views.

Abstract

Il profitto e la sua etica / Egoismo e altruismo nel mercato

Selfishness, Exploitation and the Profit Motive

Prossimi eventi

23 Nov
Sala "Norberto Bobbio" - Torino
21 Nov
Grattacielo Intesa Sanpaolo - Torino

Diventa nostro amico su Facebook

Ricerche e Progetti

logo RGR medio

  • Recuperare la rotta é il titolo del XVIII Rapporto «Giorgio Rota» su Torino, presentato il 7 ottobre alla Biblioteca Nazionale.

lpf logo

Biblioteca F. Guerrini

biblioteca guerrini

 Dotata di oltre 9.000 volumi, offre una documentazione unica in Italia sul pensiero liberale contemporaneo.