Historia

The world is on loop, and to prove it, Historia serves up old, dusty pieces with immense contemporary relevance.

I, Pencil

Milton Friedman once said about this classic essay from 1958, 'I know of no other piece of literature that so succinctly, persuasively, and effectively illustrates the meaning of both Adam Smith’s invisible hand—the possibility of cooperation without coercion—and Friedrich Hayek’s emphasis on the importance of dispersed knowledge.' Nuff said.

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The Use of Knowledge in Society

This essay by Friedrich Hayek, first published in 1945, is in our view the most important essay in the history of economics. It argues that central planning cannot work because the knowledge of people's needs and capacities is dispersed throughout society, and the most effective mechanism to put that knowledge to use is the price system in a free market.

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The World Outside and the Pictures in our Heads

Walter Lippmann's seminal book, Public Opinion, was published in 1922, but reads like it was written for 2017. Here's the opening chapter of the book, which describes, long before the advent of social media, "the insertion between man and his environment of a pseudo-environment."

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Why Plunder Beats Labor

Why are Indians more into rent seeking than profit seeking? Why do so many of us prefer 'plunder' over 'labor'? Frédéric Bastiat's masterpiece, The Law, was written in France in 1850-- but there may be no modern book with a better diagnosis of what ails us.

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