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Pete: a wonderful, dare I say, brilliant, commentary on Knight. You captured what enthralls and infuriates both of us. His position on collectivism in the late 1930s still gives me fits in trying to understand it. The paper you and Karen Vaughn wrote does a good job at getting at parts of it, but I still think there is more, and I'm not sure what the sources of his conflicted ideas are. Is this part of his working out what it means to comparative social science a la Weber? Is it just part of the functionalist background that gave us the first chapter of The Economic Organization? Is it influenced by his friendship with Edward Sapir and incommensurability? I don't know. I need to figure this out, of course, so we should keep talking about it!
I've been arguing for 20 years that we need to avoid the term capitalism. I only use it when others are setting the agenda. My preference is to speak of the institutions of a free society.
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May 12, 2010