McCloskey sobre a liberdade (bom em tempos que autoritários querem limitar o WhatsApp)

Bom texto. Eis um belo trecho:

Behind the demand that opinion be “unmanipulated” by speech sits a demand that the speech be True. Truth, however, cannot and should not be guaranteed by the official power of the government. In an NBC news broadcast of 25 June 1990, the reporter was vexed that he could not see the truth shining out from the claims and counterclaims for biodegradable plastic. The manufacturer he interviewed claimed that the plastic degrades in dumps. The environmentalist he interviewed scoffed at the very idea. The reporter concluded that considering the disagreement, it surely was a case for the government to decide. But the reporter was mistaken. Free speech is not guaranteed to produce every time what is True in God’s eyes. The government, and especially a government that is open to self-interested pressures, has no formula to discern God’s Truth. What gives the (weak) guarantee of approaching small-t truth is that we encourage people to listen, really listen, with philosophical sophistication about essences and rhetorical sophistication about form.

Mais à frente, um belo trecho sobre o suposto “super poder” da propaganda.

But if advertising were as powerful as J. K. Galbraith and Vance Packard claimed, then the advertisers would of course be fabulously rich. The frequent failures of both the Allied and Axis propaganda machines, even when not offsetting each other with claim and counterclaim, suggests that people are in fact less gullible than the critics of commercial free speech believe (see Fussell 1989, chronicling the cynicism of American soldiers about propaganda aimed at their morale). Propaganda about the nature of man under socialism did not persuade Eastern Europeans, despite a four-decade run through every means of rhetoric (and in Russia a seven-decade one).

Texto bom para estes tempos…


Prendemos pouco?

Não concordo com o conceito de “globalismo”, mas no que diz respeito às criminalidade e às estatísticas problemáticas, o entrevistado está correto.

O exemplo das marmitas, inclusive, é sério e mostra que pode haver um erro de medida sério em vários estudos.