Canadian “robber barons” were exactly like the American robber barons: largely a myth.
History of Economic Thought
Neoliberalism is one of academia's trendiest boogiemen. Do historians have the wrong origin story?
Harwood could not remain silent and still call himself a man of honor. He established AIER in response, an institution dedicated to the fight for integrity, sound money, and free markets. The confrontations with Washington continued over the decades.
By making these lost Spooner treatises available again after more than a century in seclusion, it is my hope that they will both further our historical understanding of the time in which they were written and offer relevant insights to the evolution of economic ideas in the present day.
This remarkable book was published in 1932. E.C. Harwood’s ideas about inflation and the business cycle have relevance for our knowledge and for policy discussions today.
American politics today seems ever more a contest between two forms of state control – progressive/socialist and nationalist/fascist – with both sides deploying populist states of mass agitation with the hope of deploying power to achieve their ends. Where are the liberals? Not many even claim the label.
Classical liberals and libertarians consider that their defense and insistence upon a principled practice of individual liberty and competitive free markets is no less of a moral necessity and calling than earlier demands for ending infringements on personal and social freedom that were widely taken for granted.
An amazing book appeared before FDR was elected that explained all economic events, using sound economic logic and evidence. The crash, this book said, was the result of monetary mismanagement by the Federal Reserve and distorted price and interest rate signals.
Economists are often asked to render economic advice to foreign nations. Sometimes these countries are ruled by dictators. That presents a moral quandary.
Most human knowledge is tacit, the product of experience and not capable of being captured in words or numbers, and local, concerned with and relevant to specific local conditions and circumstances.
Academic works such as Quinn Slobodian’s Globalists demonstrate that the anti-capitalists and anti-liberals are determined to make their case through factual fabrications and scandalous misinterpretations of what classical liberals such as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek really said and advocated.
We must recognize that a whole may exhibit properties that are not present in its parts. But problems come in when the method of study for the economy as a whole looks radically different from that used for its parts.
For both social contract theory and monetary theory, theorists are considering something that never happened in the past and that they have no reason to believe will happen in the future. No such considerations are useful.
“We should not claim for liberalism,” Robbins insisted, “that the world it could produce would be perfect.… But we may claim that, with all its deficiencies, it would still provide a safeguard for happiness and spontaneity more efficient than any other which has yet been suggested.”
If the classical liberals of that earlier time could defeat the prevailing beliefs and vested interests supporting human slavery, after its existence for all of human history, some of us believe the same can be done against the existing system of collectivism, interventionism, and welfare statism in both their authoritarian and democratic forms.