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by Friedemann Mueller

Sanctions and the tumbling global price of oil have sent the Russian economy spiralling towards recession. But despite pending economic woes, Russia’s economy with its robust reserves is healthier than those of many major nations. However, the Russian economy is far from invulnerable. Indications are that Russia is turning in on itself. Yet to achieve a rebound in potential growth, Russia must open up its economy – especially to inward investment.

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by Daniel Hannan

“It’s not fair!” The complaint has been made by children for as long as English has been spoken. Before then, kids were doubtless whining “Yt ys nat mete, forsoþe!” (or whatever the Middle English version was).

But if the phrase is an old one, its growing popularity among adults, especially Leftist politicians, is recent. The graph below, from Google Ngrams, shows the usage of the word “fairness” in British books since 1900. As you can see, the frequency holds pretty steady until around 1980 when it suddenly takes off.

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by Andreas Antonopoulos

In computer and communications networks, decentralization leads to faster innovation, greater openness, and lower cost. Decentralization creates the conditions for competition and diversity in the services the network provides.

But how can you tell if a network is decentralized, and what makes it more likely to be decentralized? Network “intelligence” is the characteristic that differentiates centralized from decentralized networks — but in a way that is surprising and counterintuitive.

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by Sydney Williams

Political speech is about leadership, which looks to the future. It is about conquering hearts and minds. Great political leaders must have the vision to look through the detritus of the present to a preferred path to the future. They must have the knowledge to inform, the eloquence to energize and the ability to persuade their audience. Such individuals and their speeches are rare.

We think of Pericles’ Funeral Oration in 430BC and Washington’s Farewell Address in 1796, or Lincoln at Gettysburg in 1863 and the power of his Second Inaugural in 1865. We remember Churchill in June 1940, when England stood alone in the hours at a time Europe had gone dark. And we should also recall the less-well-known speech that same month when Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Zionist activist and soldier, spoke to an overflow crowd at New York’s Manhattan Center of the need to raise a Jewish army to combat the “giant rattlesnake” that was Nazism.

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by John Charalambakis

Lorenzo the Magnificent (the scion of the Medici banking family), whose lending institution dominated not only Florence but much of Europe, was also a poet influenced by Horace and Catullus. The Latin phrase above reflects the first two lines of one of his sonnets. Here is a translation of the beginning of that sonnet:

“How vain is every hope, each breath.

How false is every single plan.

How full of ignorance is man

Against the monstrous mistress, Death”

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by Vaclav Bacovsky

The Western and pro-European Reform Party reached 30 out of total 101 seats and re-affirmed its position as the strongest political force in the parliament. Social Democrats, the current coalition partner of the Reform Party, gained 15 seats. Both ruling parties suffered minor losses in the number of seats compared to the year 2011. Centre Party, the opposition leader, won 27 seats, which means an improvement by one mandate, and is the second strongest party. However, it is likely to end in the opposition again as none of the established parties is keen on cooperating with it. A three-party coalition seems inevitable.

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by Alfredo Pascual

I just came back to Germany after attending the last International Students For Liberty Conference (“http://isflc.org/”) in Washington DC. More than 1,700 libertarians from all over the world poured into the biggest libertarian conference organized by and for students.The program was very promising, featuring a variety of great speakers such as Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, Vicente Fox, Justin Amash, David Boaz, Deirdre McCloskey, and Edward Snowden via videoconference. Nevertheless, those big names and many others were just a part of the picture. Libertarians gathered together there, not only to hear speakers talk, but also to network with other fellow students, exchange ideas and last but not least, to have a lot fun.

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by Richard Ebelling

One of the social mythologies of our time is that it is in the power and ability of governments to remake society in any image or shape that those with political authority consider “good,” “right,” and “just” for mankind. No other idea has caused more horror and hardship in modern times.

The extreme attempts at such “social engineering” in the twentieth century were in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. The communists believed that man is the product of his social institutions.

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by Jorg Guido Hulsmann

The starting point for any serious reflection on our subject is the fact that money production does not bring about uniform and simultaneous changes. An increasing money supply tends to entail a higher money price level, but the individual prices change at different points of time and each to a different extent (i.e., Cantillon effects).

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by Anton Toursinov

People suffering from mental disorders, vulgarly called “mad,” sometimes provoke smiles, or in the worst cases, discrimination and shame. Many of them are inoffensive, while some are secluded in psychiatric hospitals where they are supported and monitored away from society, in case they prove a danger to their families or other people.

And although the saying goes that “the wise man learns from the mistakes of others,” it perhaps seems that the people, those who take decisions in democracies, would rather play Russian roulette than learn from the mistakes of history.

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