*Crack-Up Capitalism*

Businessman reading the daily news
0 31

That is the new book by Quinn Slobodian.  Slobodian is very smart, and knows a lot, but…I don’t know.  I fear he is continuing to move in the Nancy McLean direction with this work.

This is a tale of how libertarian and libertarian-adjacent movements have embraced various anti-democratic and non-democratic positions.  So you can read about seasteading, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Hong Kong as a charter city, and “decentralization” plans for Ciskei, South Africa.

You won’t hear about the highly successful SEZ reforms for the Dominican Republic, or how the European Union was partly rooted in Hayek’s postwar piece on interstate federalism.  In that essay, Hayek was explicit about how much would be done by treaty, rather than direct vote, and that is (mostly) how the European Union has turned out.  With reasonable success, I might add.  Do only the nuttier episodes of “less democracy” count?

Question one: Is the word “plutocratic” ever illuminating?

Question two: Is this a useful descriptive sentence for Milton Friedman?  “He [Patri] had a famous grandfather, perhaps the century’s most notorious economist, both lionized and reviled for his role in offering intellectual scaffolding for ever more radical forms of capitalism and his sideline in advising dictators: Milton Friedman.  The two shared a basic lack of commitment to democracy.”

Here is a YouTube clip of Friedman on democracy.  Or I asked davinci-003 and received:

Yes, Milton Friedman did believe in democracy. He was an advocate of democracy and free markets, believing that economic freedom would advance both economic and political freedom. He argued that government should be limited in size and scope and that the free market should be allowed to operate with minimal interference.

Or how about engaging with the academic literature on Friedman’s visit to Chile?  And more here.  Was Friedman, who was elected president of the American Economic Association and won an early Nobel Prize, really “notorious”?

There is valuable content in this book, but it needs to cut way back on the mood affiliation.

The post *Crack-Up Capitalism* appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.