Welcome to the Brian Micklethwait Archive. We are slowly adding writings to this site. For progress on this see the news section.
The Fixed Quantity of Wealth Fallacy
Conceding the reality of destruction is a big step towards admitting that creation might also be possible.
Liberty Versus Democracy
The decision, regularly confirmed by parliament, that cannabis should remain illegal is impeccably democratic. Libertarians hold that this law is wrong. Democratic, but wrong.
The Failure of Politics and the Pull of Freedom: Reflections on the Work of the Reading Reform Foundation
The flow of information from the outside world to underlings of all kinds – employees, footsoldiers, children – can no longer be controlled by the bosses, the generals, or the teachers or the parents.
Geoff Boycott and the vices and virtues of selfishness
Life is not a fixed sum game, and selfish people like Boycott can often enrich it mightily, for the rest of us as well as for themselves.
Reflections and Recollections of an Occasional Career Counsellor
People who go for what they truly want are far more likely to impress their parents than those who follow their mere instructions obediently, but without enthusiasm and with concealed rebelliousness.
Brian wrote about the fixed quanity of wealth fallacy: the idea that rich people must be stealing from workers, poor people, poor countries, or the planet.
Almost all of us have denounced it in conversation at various times, and literally hundreds of us have denounced it in writing. I now add my attack on this fallacy to the vast pile already in existence.
And it is good that he did, because he writes about it very clearly. One rarely finishes a Brian Micklethwait article without thinking more clearly and knowing more than one did before.
Part of thinking clearly, is identifying the problem:
People who think stupidly about capitalism don’t start by stating the fixed quantity of wealth fallacy as one of their axioms. Rather, they have jumped to their false conclusions about the world and its alleged economic woes by assuming without thinking about it that wealth cannot be created. And you can make them think about it, by simply telling them: wealth can be created. Yes. It truly can.
In this video, Steve Baker MP recounts how Brian introduced him to books about freedom.
Here is a collection of other places on the internet where you may find writings by Brian.
- Brian Micklethwait’s New Blog
- Contributions to Samizdata
- Podcasts with Patrick Crozier
- Old blog
- Culture blog
- Education blog
- Libertarian Alliance pamphlets
- Normblog profile