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DIALOGUE BOB ECKHARDT , ‘ . . ,itati . . 1–/…t. -* _, ke A %Jig :101 P 1 \\lig …….. . ‘?11 “1I-711111 rift THE TEXAS lipli . server A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights o fhuman-kind as the foundation of democracy: we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will overlook or misrep resent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or . cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them because this is a journal of free voices. SINCE 1954 Publisher: Ronnie Dugger Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: Brett Campbell Copy Editor: Roxanne Bogucka Editorial Interns: Vince Lozano, Richard Arellano, Jennifer Wong, Ali Hossaini Jr. Mexico City Correspondent: Barbara Belejack Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Jo Clifton, Terry FitzPatrick, Gregg Franzwa, James Harrington, Bill Helmer, Ellen Hosmer, Steven Kellman, Michael King, Mary Lenz, Tom McClellan, Bryce ‘Milligan, Greg Moses, Debbie Nathan, Gary Pomerantz, Lawrence Walsh. Editorial Advisory Board: Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, Kerrville; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Cambridge, Mass; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Oxford, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Presley, TeZarkana; Susan Reid, Austin; Geoffrey Rips, Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Layout and Design: Lana Kaupp Contributing Photographers: Bill Albrecht, Vic Hinterlang, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Carlos Lowry, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau, Gail Woods. Managing Publisher: Cliff Olofson Subscription Manager: Stefan Wanstrom Special Projects Director: Bill Simmons Development Consultant: Frances Barton . . SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year 527. two years $48, three years 569. Full-time students 515 per year. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilm. Intl., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arboi, MI48106. Any current subscriber who finds the price a burden should say no at renewal time; no one need forgo reading the Obser,e; simply because of the cost. THE published biweekly except for a three-week interval between issues in Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street. Austin, Texas 78701. As Liberal As We Wanna Be It is intellectually repugnant that “Populism” as reflected in The Texas Observer fails to apply the same liberal values to analyses and critiques of economic theory and policy as are applied to political theory and policy. The 16 de Septiembre issue reached new lows in the application of this dual standard. It is without question that under a liberal analysis, Mexico needs political diversity, democratic institutions, and the primacy of individual rights. Both the Observer and Sr. Cardenas are to be commended for goals in the political arena. However, the economic analyses reflected in the 16 de Septiembre issue are a certain recipe for disaster in any economic arena, and are particularly devastating for Mexico. Politics and economics are not so different that different rules and values are to be applied to each. Both perform best when the sovereignty of the individual is guaranteed, when power is decentralized and only flows up from the individual to collective institutions when the individual elects, and when the only restraints on the individual are those best characterized as the individual’s responsibilities to avoid infringing on the rights of other’ individuals. Yet “Populism” as defined in the Observer ignores the common liberal principles, the vast grey area of overlap of politics and economics, and presumes to apply libertarian values to politics and static principles to economics. At this point in the human experience,’ the only mechanisms which apply the values of decentralization of power, individual sovereignty, and responsibility towards the rights of other individuals are the democratic and market processes. Not only have all other systems or processes failed to realize these values, these other systems have resulted in the most egregious abuses to human rights, degradation of human well-being, and long-term harm to the environment. There is no good reason for the Observer, one of the few consistent voices for the application of classical liberal values in politics to at the same time be a voice against the application of classical liberal values in economics. Perhaps the recent experiences of China and Eastern Europe will lead to the consistent application of liberal values to all aspects of the human condition. I urge The Texas Observer to reexamine its editorial policies in this regard. Andv Carson Corpus Christi 2 NOVEMBER 22, 1990