Free to Choose

There are two reasons you need to watch Milton Friedman’s 1980 documentary series Free to Choose.  The first reason is that it lays out clearly a principled, coherent approach to free market capitalism, and whatever you may think about those views there is no excuse to be ignorant about what the views you disagree with actually are.

The second reason is historical.  Free to Choose is basically a half-implemented blueprint for the last 30 years.  It captures a moment in time when political momentum was shifting to the right.  The next decades would give us deregulation, globalization, the end of Communism – basically, the world we live in today.  And Free to Choose is the mission statement of that process.

You see this moment most clearly in the debates that follow each program, where Friedman defends his ideas against intellectuals, union leaders, business people, politicians, etc., even one or two genuine socialists.  The debates are surprisingly interesting, they feel fresh, not like the festering wound such debates are today.  But more than that they show the high water mark of a particular approach to leftism, which over-extended itself, and had to retreat and regroup, giving us the savvier third way leftists of today.

You can watch Free to Choose here.  Watch out for a young(er) Donald Rumsfeld and Thomas Sowell.  For extra fun, look up all the names you see in the debates on Wikipedia, to find out how the next decades would treat them.

One Response to Free to Choose

  1. Pingback: Lecture roundup « Bjørn Stærk's Max 256 Blog

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