Ralph Benko
“The most important human resource, the only true natural resource, is the human mind.” — John Allison (now Cato Institute president), quoted in Knowledge and Power, by George Gilder

George Gilder, whose new book publishes this week, is one of the original pillars of Supply Side economics. As stated by Discovery Institute, which he co-founded, “Mr. Gilder pioneered the formulation of supply-side economics when he served as Chairman of the Lehrman Institute’s Economic Roundtable, as Program Director for the Manhattan Institute….”

He was the living writer most quoted by President Reagan. And he is back with his most brilliant work yet — one of potentially explosive importance if taken to heart by our political and policy thought leaders. It is a radical guide, with surprising insights on almost every page, to the creation of a new era of vibrant prosperity.

After writing his best-selling Wealth and Poverty Gilder most notably spent decades traveling down various rabbit holes into, and thoroughly exploring, technological Wonderlands. He has been an essential guide to the technological cornucopias that immensely enrich our lives. He personally surfed the tech bubble and experienced, very up close and personally, its pop. Gilder is a veteran of the ecstasy and agony of entrepreneurship: a player, not a spectator. Gilder’s Knowledge and Power: the Information Theory of Capitalism and How It Is Revolutionizing our World is his finest work, which is saying a lot.

Gilder — who, full disclosure, many years ago, invested in an ill-fated nanotechnology processes start-up involving this writer and, later, generously blurbed this writer’s small cult classic, The Websters’ Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World — has returned to the intellectual fray in a very big, quite possibly revolutionary, way. He provides an extraordinary rethinking of economics by way of information theory. In it he brings the argument for capitalism … as a humanitarian, and ecological, force … into the 21st century. In the process he makes trenchant comments on the economic shibboleths of both right and left (with more than glancing blows to both but much more devastation to the doctrines of statism and socialism).

Knowledge and Power is not a book for the faint of heart or the closed of mind. Its early chapters drive the reader up a challenging learning curve.

Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.

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