Von Hayek, to put it bluntly, loved Pincohet's shooting people in soccer stadiums: the "Lykourgan Moment" in which unconstitutional and illiberal actions create the space for future stable libertarian capitalism was a recurrent fantasy of his. Friedman saw his trips to Chile to be an opportunity to preach to the gentiles—to primarily preach free markets and small government, but also respect for individuals, for their liberty, and for democracy. And he had no tolerance for those who said it was evil to try to make the Chilean people more prosperous because that might reinforce the dictatorship. Buchanan... where was Buchanan on this spectrum, anyway? It's complicated: Andrew Farrant and Vlad Tarko: James M. Buchanan’s 1981 Visit to Chile: Knightian Democrat or Defender of the ‘Devil’s Fix’?: "Buchanan has repeatedly argued that the 'political economist should not act as if he or she were providing advice to a benevolent despot' (Boettke Constitutional Political Economy, 25, 110–124, 2014: 112), but an increasingly influential body of scholarship argues that Buchanan provided a wealth of early 1980s policy advice to Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship in Chile (e.g., Fischer 2009; Maclean 2017). In particular, Buchanan reportedly provided an analytical defense of military rule to a predominantly Chilean audience when he visited the country in late 1981...

...This paper draws upon largely ignored archival evidence from the Buchanan House Archives and Chilean primary source material to assess whether Buchanan provided a defense of Pinochet’s “capitalist fascism” (Samuelson 1983) or whether he defended democracy when he visited Chile in 1981. Aside from the importance of this for assessing Buchanan’s own legacy, his constitutional political economy arguments presented in Chile also provide an interesting and distinct perspective on the connection between democracy and growth, which remains highly relevant to current debates. Despite a general agreement about the desirability of democracy, the view that authoritarian regimes can spur “growth miracles”, or might even be a necessary stage in political-economic development, still has prominent supporters (e.g. Sachs 2012)...

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#shouldread #buchanan #publicchoice

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