Culture and Creative Destruction

Globalization is often accused of many evils. One of them, particularly put forward by conservatives, is that it weakens the specificity of cultures in favor of global standardization. The market is thus blamed for destroying values and regional cultures in favor of a superficial mass culture based on profit.   In his 1998 book False Dawn:…

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The Creative Core of Capitalism

Market competition is at the heart of the capitalist system. It serves as the driving force for creative innovation, the mechanism by which supply and demand are brought into coordinated balance for multitudes of goods, and as the institutional setting where individuals freely find their place to best earn a living in society.   Yet,…

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What Camping and Mickey Mouse Teaches us about Socialism and Capitalism

“Anti-capitalism” appears to be the prevailing mood for 2020, with similar messages etched on signs on environment protests, used to describe scented candles and embroidery hoops. Besides the irony of these products being sold under the guise of “anti-capitalist”, one should stop to ponder the meaning of the term. People tend to use the terms…

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The Significance of Mises’s “Socialism”

That Ludwig von Mises was one of the greatest economists of the 20th century should never be doubted. Mises never worked in scientific or popular obscurity, despite the various mythologies that are told on both left and right. Prior to World War I, Mises had established himself as a leading economic theorist among the younger…

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Hayek and the Nobel Prize

The grant of a 1974 Nobel Prize in Economic Science to the great Austrian free-market economist Dr. Friedrich A. von Hayek comes as a welcome and blockbuster surprise to his free-market admirers in this country and throughout the world. For since the death last year of Hayek’s distinguished mentor, Ludwig von Mises, the 75-year-old Hayek…

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The Reconstruction of the Liberal Project

“We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia… truly liberal radicalism… The main lesson which the true liberal must learn from the success of the socialists is that it was their courage to be Utopian which gained them…

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True Liberalism is about Human Compassion

The first job in that task, I would argue, is for the true liberal is to reassert the fundamental liberal nature of true liberal radicalism to both friends and critics.   Samuel Freedman published a subtle and sophisticated philosophical reflection on “Illiberal Libertarians” (2001), but his basic point was raised in a more popular treatment…

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Why Do So Many Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?

Following the valuable advice of co-blogger David Henderson, I’ve gotten my hands on Milton Friedman on Freedom, a new collection edited by the Hoover Institution. The book will surprise all of us who never properly appreciated the insights and wisdom of Friedman’s political thinking. His own peculiar blend of classical liberalism comes out all the more as subtle and…

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4 Questions to Ask When Debating Inequality

The change in the presidency is not going to reduce the amount of time and energy people will be spending debating the question of rising inequality. In fact, I would expect to see such debates become even more frequent and more intense.   I have written a number of articles, and given many talks, on…

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Literature and Economics: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Abstract It is often said that literature and economics are diametrically-opposing disciplines, and never shall the twain meet. However, the theme of money has arrested and animated the imagination of writers since time immemorial. The converse is also true, with economists like Adam Smith deploying literary techniques in his magnum opus, The Wealth of Nations.…

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