Saturday, November 18, 2006

Good bye Friedman

Its not often you hear a loss of a person whom you’ve never met, and feel such a sense of deep grief, as I do now. Not many people have that ability, that effect on people. The 20th century’s leading economist, free-market theorist and Nobel laureate- Milton Friedman is no more. Loss of Friedman, to me, is a loss of an idol, one who confirmed and solidified my capitalist leanings. His writings such as the Capitalism and Freedom provided me with the intellectual foundation for much of what I hold true in economics.

Milton Friedman will leave behind decades worth of intellectual firepower that could bring down yet another soviet empire. He could very well claim a stake in the first one as he is seen as someone who heavily influenced both the Reagan administration as well as Lady Thatcher’s government. I do not know how many Sri Lankans have read Friedman, or know of him but I could distinctively remember sometime back, Sirasa Tv screened a series documentaries titled, Commanding Heights which prominently featured Friedman.

Achievements of Milton Friedman are plenty but there would be little point in repeating them here, since that has been readily done by many others. One thing I wish for on behalf of this country is that someone would take the initiative and translate some of his works into Sinhala and Tamil so as to liberate Sri Lankans from its current leftist retardness.

Let me end with the words of Edward H. Crane, President of the Cato Institute, (whose emailed informed me of Friedman’s demise)

“Here's a guy who won the Nobel Prize in economics for his work in monetary theory and he was a great Chicagoan, a great empiricist and theoretician of economics. But ultimately, what Milton believed in was human liberty and he took great joy in trying to promote that concept....Milton would say, 'Maybe I did well and maybe I led the battle but nobody ever said we were going to win this thing at any point in time. Eternal vigilance is required and there have to be people who step up to the plate, who believe in liberty, and who are willing to fight for it.' ...In my view he was the greatest champion of human liberty in my lifetime, certainly in the 20th century. And he didn't slack off in the 21st century.”

May he rest in peace.
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