Washington Post Crashed-and-Burned-and-Smoking Watch: Mike Getler Says It's the Editors' Fault
links for 2009-09-20

Hoisted from Comments: Notre Dame's Economics and Policy Analysis Department, Mont Pelerin, etc.

Hoisted from Comments: John Emerson writes:

Department of "Huh?": Those of us who want to believe the worst of the economics profession get a new gift almost every day.


Ideologically, the neoliberal position is understandable as anti-statist. Certainly, this was Hayek's intent...

Mirowski's (with othrs) book "The Road From Mont Pelerin" argues that this is not true. He defines neoliberalism in terms of its differences from classical liberalism, one of which is a belief that an authoritarian state might be necessary at times to foster liberalism, as in Chile.

Let me agree with Emerson and Mirowski. The way I read Hayek, it is quite clear that (a) liberal democracy and (b) respect for private property are both good things, but it is also clear that (b) is by far the most important.

Hayek would much rather have a government that respected private property and ruled with an iron fist as a dictatorship than have a government that was a vibrant democracy but interfered with and regulated private property. And he would make his choice with a clear conscience--the second, after all, was on the "road to serfdom"...