Montréal, 19 février 2000  /  No 56
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          Le Mises Institute, qui s'est donné pour mission de diffuser la pensée de l'École d'économie autrichienne, rendait accessible au public il y a quelques semaines la version complète du chef-d'oeuvre de Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, sur son site web. Un autres volume important de l'économiste autrichien, Theory and History, est maintenant aussi offert en ligne dans sa version intégrale. 
           Selon Murray N. Rothbard qui signait la préface de cette édition de 1985, « Mises' fourth and last great work, Theory and History (1957), has made remarkably little impact, and has rarely been cited even by the young economists of the recent Austrian revival. It remains by far the most neglected masterwork of Mises. And yet it provides the philosophical backstop and elaboration of the philosophy underlying Human Action. It is Mises' great methodological work, explaining the basis of his approach to economics, and providing scintillating critiques of such fallacious alternatives as historicism, scientism, and Marxian dialectical materialism. »

          Le site est le portail le plus important et le plus complet sur internet dédié à la défense de la liberté individuelle. On y trouve une quantité infinie d'information sur les divers aspects de la pensée et du mouvement libertariens, entre autres un annuaire extrêmement utile de tous les sites web, organisations et publications libertariens (incluant bien sûr le QL), des textes et d'autres ressources sur de nombreux sujets pertinents, un service de nouvelles quotidiennes, une section d'offres d'emplois, et cetera. 

          Le commentaire suivant du directeur du QL a été publié dans le Courrier des lecteurs du quotidien montréalais The Gazette le 14 février dernier, en réaction à une chronique de Henry Aubin sur le projet « une île, une ville » du maire de Montréal Pierre Bourque: 
          I entirely agree with Henry Aubin and others he quotes (cf. Feb. 9 column) that Montreal should be broken up into smaller pieces intead of being merged with the suburbs.  
          He writes that there is no ivory-tower theorizing in this small-is-beautiful conclusion, which is to be expected since our ivory-tower scribblers are paid by governments and almost invariably support big-government solutions to everything. However, there is a perfectly good theoretical underpinning to this point of view: it is libertarianism, the philosophy based on individual freedom, the free market and – especially relevant in this case – the idea that any government should be as small, limited, and as close to the people as possible.  
          I suppose there is some confusion over this point of view because the Harris government in Ontario has forced the merger of Toronto and now Ottawa. But though the Harris Conservatives sometimes say nice things about the free market and have indeed reduced the level of taxation, they are more like authoritarian statists than libertarians. The provincial government's size has not been cut in any significant way and bossing everybody around seems to be their favorite method of governing. Here in Quebec, people who admire Harris and his type of management (i.e. Mario Dumont), also support a forced merger in Montreal and dismiss any suggestion that this negates local democracy.  
          Libertarians have a totally different perspective. They think big government, at any level, only breeds big bureaucracy, big spending, big taxes, big waste and red tape, and results in an administration that inevitably looses touch with what citizens really want.  
          The problem in Montreal is not fiscal inequity, or competition between municipalities, or the fact that we don't « all speak with one voice » to the outside world; the problem is the inefficient size of the City of Montreal. Let's break it up into smaller, more efficient, more locally responsible pieces instead of creating another bureaucratic mastodon. Our megalomaniac politicians will then certainly lose power and prestige, but it is ordinary citizens in the whole region who will benefit.  
Martin Masse
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