Friday 13 October 2006

Who'll Win the Battle of Ideas?

For decades, the greatest minds of human beings have been obsessed by the idea of freedom. It is evident that people, more or less, consider freedom as the right to do anything at wish without being hindered. Everyone tends to reach for freedom, that is to say everyone tends to get out of control. Even those who say they need guidance from someone else actually don’t. It is said that the world is forever divided into those who dominate and those who strive not to be dominated.

The idea of freedom has stuck in human mind as from the day human beings are divided into ruling and ruled class, and it comes along in a variety of forms. But the idea is essentially a set of querries about freedom: what freedom is, how much freedom one should have, whether freedom should be limited to some extent or be granted as a favour to all members of the society.  In socio- economic management, for example, the idea of freedom has grown into a seemingly permanent battle between the government and the market.

Apparantly, a dichotomization between government and market seems to be something hard to realize. A bias toward or against either of the two might be considered as an extreme view; and for us to avoid falling into such extremes, the best solution will certainly be something in between. In reality, though, societies in general and their leaders in particular are always confronted with a dilemma which compels them to chose either of the two. Nothing in between is accepted. And though “something in between”, or a wise combination between the two lines, is always the favourite choice of Vietnamese leaders, they are being put in a dilemma ,too.

Being government-ruled or being market-oriented? The problem is we have both market failures and government failures. We have also witnessed both market knowledge and government knowledge.

In the days that follow, I’ll post to this blog some articles I have collected on this issue - the battle of ideas between the government and the market. Unlike some previous post, this time my personal views will be reflected in what I choose to post here, I hereby confirm it. You’ll find nothing new - I’ll just repeat what others have said. Image


Next post: "First of all, it's the battle between Keynes and Hayek"

Final post on this subject: "Dear fellow-citizens, this is what we need"

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