Saturday, November 23, 2013

Rational Aid

Michael J. Hurd, writing at Capital Magazine, has an excellent article the context of which is the recent hurricane disaster in the Philippines.  His overall point is that while disaster aid from Western countries is helpful and clearly compassionate, if we're really concerned about the citizens of the Philippines, we should encourage them to adopt the right kind of ideas:
What kind of ideas?

Reason. Science. Technology. Free markets.

Most of these third world countries are that way for a reason. They’re riddled with ignorance and superstition. They place faith in higher powers above rational confidence in the human mind. They succumb to petty dictatorships, because they lack the self-respect to overthrow these authoritarian rulers in favor of a system based on laws, private property and individual rights.
Personally, I'd list free-markets second behind Reason, but, to some extent, I'm picking nits.  Hurd's article is full of powerful, direct, concise points such as the one above, and the one below:
If it’s the downtrodden and the suffering your heart bleeds for, then you ought to be the strongest champion of reason, science, individualism and free markets. The things that make everyone’s lives more sustainable only come from these sources. Without them, we’re all in the same rotten trap as those poor souls facing a typhoon in the Phillippines or an earthquake in Haiti.
This article is absolutely worth your time, and is found here.