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Troy Camplin
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Indeed, this is an excellent piece they wrote. It will be exciting to see where this interpretation takes us.
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2014 on Machlup and Mises at Coordination Problem
I am currently reading: Moby Dick by Herman Melville Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind by Mark Pagel The Anxiety of Influence by Harold Bloom soon I shall add: Napoleon in America by Shannon Selin
Sounds like a job for the poets.
Identify the rules. Identify the language. Use the language. Can you find the poets you need to create stories demonstrating the rules and using the language? That's what you need.
The conflict makes sense when you understand that the social sciences -- including economics -- are necessarily moral sciences. The question is, what are our moral scientists doing? Trying to understand how the social network processes come about, or recommending changes? Those are two different roles that are often intermixed. Yes, too many are still confusing their IS and OUGHT.
One might be able to reconcile the two by recognizing the fact that pirates are going to be of a particular psychology more often than not. In Clare Graves' emergentist psychology, we evolve from tribal to heroic (think ancient Athens) to authoritative (think Medieval Europe) to classical liberal to egalitarian (think of the line from Rousseau to postmodernism) to integrationist (Hayek) to holistic (Max Borders, me, probably the Bleeding Heart Libertarian people). Pirates seem to be at the second level, which is typified by being interested primarily in power and in rejecting authority. Which sounds like a pirate -- or a gang member. If there are a few around, they will make empires which they will rule, but if society is dominated by them, we will get an Athenian-style democracy. The institution of democracy is going to emerge precisely because people at this psychological level are not going to put up with having someone over them. Either they are going to be in charge, or power will be shared equally. We see this too in gangs, with rituals emerging to help mediate the levels of hierarchy that do emerge. It seems, then, that understanding the level of psychosocial of pirates would help one reconcile these two views.
What we need is a list of terms and an exposition of the rules so we know where we went so horribly wrong and what to avoid to avoid such habits of thought ourselves.
Miriam-Webster defines mercantilism as: "an economic system developing during the decay of feudalism to unify and increase the power and especially the monetary wealth of a nation by a strict governmental regulation of the entire national economy usually through policies designed to secure an accumulation of bullion, a favorable balance of trade, the development of agriculture and manufactures, and the establishment of foreign trading monopolies" We have strict governmental regulation of the entire national economy, money-creating policies, and policies designed to develop ag and trade (subsidies). Even more extensively: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Mercantilism.html We don't have to dehistoricize the language all that much to see similar patterns. As Wittgenstein pointed out, if there is a family resemblence, you pretty much have the same thing. Or if you prefer, neo-mercantilist. Or Keynesian. Same thing.
No, I am calling for the use of more accurate, more precise terminology, in the hopes that that will spread. Anyone who calls what we have in the U.S. a free market is either wrong or lying. It is a strongly regulated market. It is controlled by a variety of governments, from local to state to federal. It is demonstrably not a free market, and we should stop calling it one. It is equally demonstrably mercantilist, and thus we should start calling it one. Getting our terms right matters. We need to be the first to stop misusing them.
Regardless, I think it incumbent on those of us who do in fact believe we should have a liberal free market economy that we use the right terms in our own discussions. We should always refer to the current U.S. economy as mercantilist. If we do that enough, with enough people, it will in fact spread over time. As both Plato and Aristotle pointed out, having clear definitions with proper divisions clarifies thought and makes philosophical thinking possible. Calling unlike things the same thing muddies thought -- for some, no doubt, purposefully.
I assume this is pretty much theorizing about what a monetary spontaneous order would look like, vs. the monetary market socialism we now have? The monetary spontaneous order would be an abstract practical knowledge order: http://zatavu.blogspot.com/2012/12/proper-divisions-understanding-and.html
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Jan 13, 2013