According to a New York Times article by Kate Zernike, the “Movement of the Moment Looks to Long-Ago Texts.” A strange way of saying that Tea Party folks are reading, learning, and studying ideas older than those of, say, Paul Krugman.
Tea Partiers are reading classics . . . but ones not recognized as such by the New York Times:
- Frédéric Bastiat, The Law
- F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom
- Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
Huh? That third book serves as an oddity on the list. It’s a handbook on street-level ways to effect political change. The left’s loved it for years. Now it’s in the hands of people with scant interest in mass expropriation or heavy, vindictive regulation, or a vast, tax-funded gimme-gimme state.
The article cites the “Austrian School of Economics” — a brand of economics that includes many of the most important free-market thinkers — as an important force, but merely mentions its 20th century leader, Ludwig von Mises, as if a duty. Bastiat, a French economist who died before the school was founded, is lumped in with Mises and Hayek, perhaps because he’s so radically anti-taxation that the Times hopes by mentioning his ideas over and over, readers might dismiss him as a nut.
That could backfire. Some of the Times’s smarter readers might become curious, reading Bastiat and Mises and Hayek with the notion of learning something.
Maybe they’ll even read the Constitution.
Wow. What a revolutionary thought.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.