Friday, December 28, 2007

A Libertarian Theologian on Invisible Hands





Gavin Kennedy

Franz Hinkelammert writes about “Humanism and Violence’ in
US/Anti-war (here):

The original article published was published on the Institute for Theology and Politics website (6 December) is translated from the German at Franz Hinkelammert is a liberation theologian living in Costa Rica and author of several books.

This abstract humanism that is still the soul of the colonialization of the world today also marked the establishment of middle class society and capitalism. A true spirituality of the market arose. Mandeville declared private vices were public virtues. Adam Smith transformed this into the invisible hand of the market: evil was good. Evil, exploitation, is only seemingly evil. The invisible hand of the market changed it into a contribution to the general interest so it became the good. Neoclassical theory changed this into the assertion of an automatic tendency to the equilibrium of the market. Neoclassical theory exists in this form in today’s neoliberalism: evil is good whenever it happens in the scope of the market. Although this has been refuted a thousand times, the economists of this school simply look away and repeat their dogma. Without this dogma, capitalism could not be substantiated. Capitalism immunizes itself again and again. This can be read today in the autobiography of Greenspan: The Age of Turbulence. A real spirituality preserved Greenspan from falling back to concrete humanism.”

The disentangling of the errors in this piece would make an excellent test for first year students in a class on the history of economic thought (if there are any left!).

It has a touch of the ‘kettle and the pot’ calling each other names, about it in the sentence: ‘Although this has been refuted a thousand times’.

Adam Smith did not transform Bernard Mandeville’s ‘Private Vice, Public Benefits’ title into ‘invisible hands’ explanations. Mr Hinkelammert has made the transformation all by himself.

That is so ridiculous it can only be asserted if the modern school of economics misinterpretation of Adam Smith’s 18th century ideas is believed and the believers have never read Wealth Of Nations or Moral Sentiments.


Blogger Unknown said...

To seek further enlightenment on any 'invisible hand', it seems after so many hundred years of wonderment that one first has to conclude whether the 'invisible hand' is an exogenous or an endogenous 'force' on any market and whether that force is variable or non-variable? Once that is established it is a very short leap to understanding the mysterious hand. [Eric Beinhocker gets close in his Origin of Wealth, but misses the 'obvious']

While on-line, as regards 'Laissez Faire', I would be tempted to assign the origination of this conceptual expression to Moses? Equally the writer of Genesis gives a better understanding of inflation than any present day text. Rothbard for instance amazes me in that he did not seem to see the Old Testament as aguably the most influential book on economics of all, even if it is not very Austrian? andrewmcg

1:26 am  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...

Hi Andrew
Thanks for your comment. I admit to not quite following your point about Eric Beinhocker and the invisible hand.

I reviewed Beinhocker's Origin of Wealth in Lost legacy in August 2006, and the post of 6 August is specific. The offending page is on p26.

I like your exogenous/endogenous allusion.

Could you explain the reference to Genesis and inflation, please

11:23 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Gavin & Thanks for response.

I hope this finds you with a few moments over the holiday - I am particularly attracted by your interest in Smith and your location in Edinburgh. So without further apology:

Give me a child when he is twelve and I will give you an economist

You are familiar with the Austrian E-Thought and Murray “Chronically over-praised Adam Smith” Rothbard, whose book on economic thought before Adam Smith is a delight if one is not taken in by prejudice.

Academically I am a simple soul merely searching for understanding – visualize a “Detective Colombo” trying to solve the mystery of economics. I could claim that I studied economics at Glasgow University, that would be a tad misleading as my ‘Cairncross’ remained pristine. Much later I read the 10 page bio-sketch of Adam Smith by Leo Rosten, which should be compulsory reading for all school children and discovered that ‘I understand and think like Smith’ and that his thinking was aligned to Natural Laws as he knew them. The hierarchical Natural Laws that apply to economics were not revealed until the 19th century (2) and 20th (1) and economics is still has not realigned to this additional knowledge. The third Law has not yet been directly applied to economics as far as I know, this reveals for instance that any (or The ) invisible hand is exogenous to any economic system. As Michael Caine might offer “Not a lot of people know that” and you might indeed be the other? The little I have read is that traditional thought would be that an invisible hand is endogenous, or working within the market or system? Wrong! Whether it is variable or not is more philosophical and there is not a single simple answer.

In 1980 incensed at applied monetarism masquerading as philosophy that did not agree with Natural Philosophy of the Kelvin/Smith variety I awoke one morning with the thought ‘Wealth can neither be created or destroyed’ and wrote it down. I then tried to resolve this ‘brain-wave’ in a proto-Austrian methodology with Newtonian reversible mechanics philosophy. It holds interest today with thoughts like ‘A transaction must be balanced by an equal transaction or balance of transactions’ and can trace ‘wealth’ through all economic processes. However as philosophy it was not conclusive.

So I retired in 2006 and re-read ‘Entropy’ by Jeremy Rifkin, which had helped me in 1885(?) understand why ‘Newtonian Economics’ did not pan out. Then somewhat to my surprise I read the entire ‘Entropy and the Economic Process by Nicholas Georgescue Roegen’ without brain overload. In philosophical understanding I did not learn that much as I ‘knew it already’, but the real reward is 250 pp of indisputable argument that ‘Neo Classical Economics’ is not founded on Common Sense. GKR led to Herman Daly, Jing Chen and so Beinhocker, with fleeting note of Soddy and Boulding.

To ‘wealth can neither be created or destroyed’ [Economic Law of Wealth Conservation] one can then add ‘Available, concentrated or useful Wealth will always travel in the direction of unavailable, diffused or unusable’ [The Premier Law of Economics]. It is always overlooked that William Thomson’s first claim to fame was as a teacher, when they were paid by measurement of attendance to their lectures. The above statements merely emulate how he would start into teaching the science of economics? Any would be scientist would also be well advised to consider that Moses managed to write his tribes ten Laws onto just a couple of tablets and it has never been the vogue for each theologian to publish his own interpretation? I only propose three. The Economic Law of Dissipation - "Wherever possible systems adapt to bring dS/dt to a maximum." becomes: ‘Any economic system will adapt to maximise the flow of Wealth from usable to unusable’. That defines the’ invisible hand as exogenous’ as integral to the inflation of the universe.

So having made myself fully up to date on the environment and resource issues that are a growing part of public debate I thought I should determine whether there was anything in Traditional Economics that I missed, was unaware of or did not understand. Vastly simplified for my brain and staring from Aristotle there are two types of science i) Real Science ii) Speculative Science? Aristo. clearly assigns Economics to real science. Statistical mechanics is clearly speculative science. Neo-Classical Economics is clearly based on speculative science and therefore has very shaky logical justification. Science is supposed to explain not to measure. Economics today should be separated into two sciences i) The Real Science – Natural Philosophy – Natural Law – Understanding – Adam Smith etc, ii) The Speculative Science – Measurement – Finite Analysis – Boltzman - Accounting. I am only interested in the former.

Having read GKR & Daly, invoking an economy of knowledge principal, one can then do a lot worse than Read Mark Skausen’s entertaining history of economic from 1776. His concluding section however is pathetic merely offering silly triumphalism while studiously avoiding any economic thought beyond 1950’s Chicago or addressing any of the specific problems posed for the 21st century. Skausen effectively invites one to read Heilbroner, as Skausen makes it clear that they are involved in a ‘Beauty Contest’. Traditional or neo classic economists basically dismiss economic experience before 1776? This leads one to Rothbard? As an aside Facing a choice of a £100+ 2nd hand import I finally tracked a copy to Glasgow University where my son is undergraduating – it has been borrowed three time since 1990 which gives one a disturbing perception of the GU economics academia if they study the history of Economic Thought. How can one understand Smith if one does not understand his world as he saw it? I anticipate with relish a Smithsonian perspective of economic thought before Smith?

So if you will excuse this extended introduction I will address your questions.

As above most traditional economists merely dismiss more recent thinking that tries to realign the real science of economics to the reality that is expressed as natural laws. My hobby is ‘fly-fishing’ I merely presented lightly presented Beinhocker ‘binding’ to determine whether your blog entertained new thinking? You only mention pp26 and maybe you did not read the whole book before recommending it to others, but I assume not. Eric’s summary of Traditional Economics in 21 pp is slpendid economy of thought and actually leaves out nothing I deem important. His understanding of the world as an energy based economy is sound, I have not yet got as far as his ‘complexity’ – complexity suggests he might end up trying to yet again try to apply the speculative science methodology to revised real science i.e. “Boltzman lives”. I am only interested in simplicity i.e “Smith lives”! Perhaps I should read the first section again, but I do not think Eric succeeds in defining wealth or its origin and he does not understand the invisible hand, but his book is a great encouragement that real economics is making a comeback in present thinking.

As above I have not studied Smith in any depth, but I claimed I understood him? I knew instinctively that your referenced Page 26 contained ‘rubbish’. Anyone who thinks the invisible hand leads to efficient resource allocation should read ‘The Last Boom’, the story of the discovery of the East Texas oil field in the 1930’s { I will happily lend you my copy). I know of no better demonstration of the raw effect of the Economic Law of Dissipation – the invisible hand nearly succeeded in making 80% of the resource unusable.

Austrians and many others have almost completely obfuscated the natural philosophical understanding of inflation; inflation has become a term used to represent only money inflation and so ‘inflation’ has been lost as a concept to popular natural philosophy. Ask a first year undergraduate to define inflation [I did] and he/she will start waffling about putting money into an economy. Certainly if one injects money into supply it will cause inflation, but so would taking goods out, a war or a bad harvest. How does one differentiate between internal inflation [increasing VAT for instance?] and external inflation [Opec raising oil prices above underlying inflation as demand begins to impinge on world supply?] if they are all numbers, and who does that suit to confuse? Which sector does house price inflation benefit – the young or the old, the rich or the poor? It is always the old and the rich who fear monetary inflation? Without inflation how does one enact the intergenerational transfer of wealth old to young that I believe Smith thought so important? How does one differentiate between an economy growing and one inflating – see UK balance of payments etc. The most wonderful misconception is that one can eliminate inflation by controlling money supply? One may be able to halt monetary inflation, but stopping the universe, the Solar system or the Global systems from inflating is utterly nonsensical. Man tries to account for inflation with his invention of money tokens. If oil becomes scarce OPEC becomes wealthier – as a result of wealth dissipation not creation. Oil importers become less wealthy inflating monetary pricing and then balancing the national books to account for the new balances of wealth.

It was obvious to me in 1980 that, primarily, wealth led and inflation followed and indeed controlling money supply could indeed manipulate and delay monetary inflation. One should maybe ask a neoclassic to explain how there was no wealth under the North Sea in the 19th century, but there was in the 20th. The same applies to offshore Greenland for the 20th and 21st centuries. The only thing that has been created is demand and the only thing that has been destroyed is the availability of earlier dissipated resources. As each succeeding resource has lesser availability or usability, those recoverability factors increase the cost of making them usable and so lead to price increases for goods such as petrol or plastic. The underlying reason for inflation is what all real economists know as the relationship between supply and demand. Roosevelt famously inflated the US economy by declaring war on Japan, as statistics show the New Deal had failed to do?

The question that I felt needed to be asked was what was inflation in economic systems before money was invented? Was there no inflation before Caxton? Was breeding camels the equivalent of money inflation? Where is one going to find a more prophetical economic system than in the first Book of the Old Testament – the Garden of Eden. I think we are all old enough to conclude that the serpent was a penis? The penis inflated the population from two to four and then the resource wars started followed by emigration and colonisation. The model has been relevant for and traceable through 7000 years and that is why I suggest that the writer of Genesis is the most influential economist of all time? The Bible seems to get zero mention in the history of economic thought – it is quite incredible. All organisms have three stages of existence i) Establishment ii) Colonisation iii) Climactic. Genesis does not offer guidance for the Climactic Age of Man, because it was written by a man not dictated to by an all-seeing God who could see his creation beyond 7000 years?

One can explain inflation and its physical consequences to a five-year-old child with the aid of a blow-up balloon. Blow the balloon up and then release the air and the process appears reversible? But the child expends energy that is dissipated and lost. Traditional economics is demonstrated as recycle processes. The child can repeat the blowing up of the balloon only until it has to absorb more energy to continue the dissipating process. Was it Keynes who portrayed the economic process as a water system? Anyone knows one does not get anything out of a central heating water system unless one puts oil or has ( i.e energy – heat) in ‘irreversibly in financial terms’? Yet the naïve exhibition is still celebrated in economic circles despite a complete lack of reality. One can explain to a callow youth that inflation is man inflating his civilisation of earth and one can explain that monetary inflation is merely accounting in-man created units to balance the overall availability of useable wealth and historical consumption and transactions. Of course a ‘wicked’ accountant like Hitler can create artificial inflation but as everyone, except perhaps the British, knew Hitler had to inflate outside his national boundaries otherwise his 3rd Reich would implode.

A money economy is a man-made invention that does not have to conform to universal physical rules. That of course suits many people, especially the rich and the old, those with possessions and status. If one teaches that to young people to young people one has no honour. Smith I believe promoted that each generation should inherit the earth and all that is in it equally? I do not believe that Adam Smith would agree with economists discounting the future by 5% pa under his name as ‘founder’?

Perhaps my biggest surprise in 2007 was discovering Fredrick Soddy. I thought my economic thinking was ‘leading edge’. Soddy a scientist famous for naming the isotope spent the period before WW I at G.U., he almost certainly met Kelvin although Kelvin was officially retired and for once only I am going to be influenced by Dawkings and surmise that Soddy got influenced by Smith’s ghostly remains. He gave up science and spent the rest of his career studying economics. Although he did not express it in simplistic terms, he first identified that wealth had an element of energy within it and that could not be created or destroyed – 1922 at least 60 years before I thought it. He identified that the only thing in the universe that was not bounded by natural laws was ‘credit’ and he developed the concepts of real economy and virtual [speculative?] economy. Naturally the economist profession dismissed him as a ‘nutter’ because he was not an economist just like Smith and Keynes. Their other standard tactic is simply to ignore alternative thought, which they were led to do after the ‘ economists’ economist ’ Georgescue Roegen published his ‘heretical’ Magnus Opus in 1971.

So where do I wish to go? The division in economics is exactly the same as the one in physics. A tiny portion of physics is thermodynamics, but the importance of thermodynamics is its hierarchical position in the Laws of the Universe. The real science is that of Kelvin where heat and energy flow in continuum and time and process are irreversible. The speculative world of thermodynamics is where heat, energy and time are separated into quantum and there is a probability of reversibility in time and all processes. There is absolutely a need for both disciplines, but for hierarchical understanding one must give precedent to reality.

Smith and Kelvin are the truly outstanding philosophers in Scottish history. It would seem the simplest of ideas to speculate what Smith would have made of the Natural Laws that were hidden from him but have been revealed to us? To borrow from Leo Rosten, I need a man who “knows, loves and admires” Adam Smith. J All the thermodynamics required has been already covered above, it really is that simple. Thermodynamics translates to the ‘science of the flow of heat’’. Carnot, Claussius and Kelvin lived in the early age of steam. What they collectively came to understand was that there was ‘something’ more than just heat flowing through their steam systems or engines. That ‘something’ is what we now recognize in the word ‘energy’ and they recognized that similar quantities of heat (enthalpy) could contain different quantities of usable energy that would offer different performances in their engine for the same quantity of coal. For the layman Claussius unfortunately chose to term the waste from his engines as ‘entropy’ and so one adds coal to an engine as ‘low entropy’ and extracting work from the coal exhausts high entropy. If one starts ‘waste = entropy’, one can avoid later confusion. It is my contention that measuring waste would be a far more accurate measurement of the real economy than measuring GDP.

The next stage is to initiate the 2nd Scottish Enlightenment. One can be truly grateful to Rothbard for illustrating how not to get revised and updated thinking accepted. One does not target academia or the world of publishing if one wishes to discredit the Austrian School of Economics in the areas of real science – small armies with few resources lose to large ones with resources? Guerillas only harass and they do not retain position. The intelligent tactic is a flanking manoeuvre. There is no point even thinking of getting attention paid to alternative thinking without a strategy and a ‘marketing plan’. Who is the enemy of new thinking? At least 80% of the wealth in the world, all capitalist enterprises, the majority of media publications, the majority of governments certainly including all liberal democracies, most of the old, most of the individual wealthy, most academia but particularly economists and physicists, most think tanks and lobby organisations and pockets of religious and cultural influence. So how does one face up to that then? Educate the young and encourage them to use the democratic process. Smith-Kelvin derived economics complies with ‘Common Sense and will be enthusiastically received by all those who have an environmental and future interest in our planet relived in part from the exploiters who currently ally themselves with the Economic Law of Dissipation. In other words man’s civilisation has adapted the world system to maximise the dissipation of the resources that support his civilisation. Free market capitalism is the absolute winning philosophy for the colonisation age of man’s civilisation and is absolutely the wrong one in its present inflationary form for man climactic age. It is the culmination of thousands of years’ adaptation to the best system to ensure man’s self destruction in the shortest possible time. Ugh? Yes! I go as far as to suggest I believe liberal democracy is dated. The argument that liberal democracy has proved out to be the best organisation yet devised for harmonious group organisation has validity. Equally that democracies cannot or will not respond to crises soon enough to delay or divert the crisis is equally valid. Scale up the Europe of the first half of the 20th century to Global in the 21st century and for all the same reasons one should be concerned about Global conflict and 4 or 6 billion dead?

My task is not to frighten children or to try to change the world or try to run it after I am dead. I believe I am correct in that Smith believed that the success of democracy depended on the quality of the education of its citizens. The economy is what sustains our existence. The president of the Royal Society is quoted as saying he does not understand economics – ugh? My self appointed task is merely to try to initiate the education of young people with the understanding that will underpin their clinging to common sense in their futures and that will be achieved by underpinning their believes through life with a firm foundation of Adam Smith bolstered by a little Lord Kelvin, who died only 100 years ago this month. Too soon my children will be my only remaining attachment to this planet, the threats to the on-going well-being of man have never been greater of less understood.

So what to do? It is really terribly easy?

One merely presents the Smith updated by Kelvin as simple thinking to schoolchildren; a professor in Vancouver who has published a book on similar but more advanced text agrees 12 y.o is the optimum age. An excellent way to envisage the task is that one would be educating children with ‘common sense’ which will become part of their individual ‘human nature’, the difficulty lies with their teachers who do not represent appropriate understanding so eventually the children will have to educate their children and parents; it is a nice prospect. Show a child a slide of a landfill site and explain to the child that the scientific name for that waste is ‘Entropy’. Explain to a 12 y.o that the real world is not Schumpeter’s speculative ‘Creative Destruction’ but Kelvin’s real ‘Destructive Creation’. One of the happier thoughts on speculative science is that they define equilibrium as chaos, if one reads Energy & Empire this is exactly the threat to conventional thinking that irreversibility posed; prior to Carnot, Claussius and Kelvin man thought he was putting God’s creation into better order.

When I was at 12 y.o school we used to attend Cramond Kirk and strangely the economic lessons we learnt there have lasted a lifetime as they appear to have been drawn from real life. If one introduces 12 y.o children to basic economic common sense in alignment with the three key Natural Laws, that I believe will stay with them for life and will never be removed by Austrians who would play the Pied Piper to our children; there is nowhere for them left to emigrate to as present generations steal their future. I can explain, as Kenneth Boulding did so well in his cowboy – v spaceship economy – 1966, to children today that speculative economists (including A. Salmond) merely discount their and their descendants future to zero value to justify inflating the economy and so use of resources today. Scotland was famous for its skill in husbandry that aligned very closely to much of the Bible, it is at least curious that the Austrian school seem to shun so much of the wisdom of the Old Testament? Scotland’s economy is clearly an inflationary bubble as indeed is the world economy – yet economic wisdom offers that the solution to an inflationary bubble is to inflate more. The philosophy has the disadvantage is that the greater the bubble, the greater is the damage from rupture?

I seriously wish to witness a speculative economist explain to a child in front of its parents how spending more increases their wealth? Or perhaps they would care to explain that PFI allows their parent to ‘have their cake and eat it, as long as the children pay for it in the future. That is how Salmond justifies his ridiculous claim that Scotland is the 7th richest nation in the world? How can any rational person believe that the more one borrows the wealthier one is, yet that is what the public are told? Science knows no limits based on scale, I would like Salmond to explain to children how spending borrowed money makes one wealthy?

There remains the quite tricky task of defining the term ‘Wealth’. Essentially the real world is an energy economy and everything in it that has existence in it is merely an energy transformer. But one will run into the traditional debate relating to wealth, price and value. For understanding one wishes to avoid being drawn in too deeply and like energy one wishes to be able to discuss wealth without having to measure it for every discussion. Whatever wealth is it is a combination of energy-matter. Like purer energy wealth is very difficult to store and the Bible offers economic advice relating to fat and lean years etc. The invention of money greatly facilitated the storing of money as indeed did acceptance of private possessions. Where does Adam Smith stand on inherited wealth? I do not think he fully supported the idea that the gains of one generation should be stored and passed on to the next without a limit based on a philosophy entailing moral sentiment? If a man is dead he does not pay tax twice. The concept of creating wealth is false. If one thinks that the world as having resources, man can bring additional resources ‘into play’ and these can be used to increase well-being, without at this stage addressing sustainability. Efficient, skilful and entrepreneurial use of resources can certainly increase material and social well-being. When Shaw coined the phrase ‘divided by a common language’ he could have been thinking of economists, many of whom in the 20th century wrote in English as their at least second language. I think for real economic science one has to travel in the direction that: wealth is the summation of resources, energies, skills, labour and knowledge that can be used to maximise well-being. What is sustainable is the renewable wealth, or low concentrations of low entropy received from the Sun.

Jesuits who have much to answer for from their promotion of their Economic Thoughts: "Give me a child when he is twelve and I will give you a real economist when he is a man". That may give an idea relating to what I term ‘marketing’. If neo-classic economists cannot get the President of the Royal Society to understand, they may not have the philosophy to help a child understand nonsense; it is my belive that the child is closer to Nature than the Adult?

So I guess this has gone on for longer than I envisaged. Is your book ‘Lost Legacy’ your present book on Smith I sort of picked up you were about to publish one in 2007? I am very sympathetic to the very short synopsis. The changing of people after they are dead is a very interesting study for someone? My present favourite is of coure Schumpeter who is now hailed as greater than Adam Smith – the process takes about 50 years minimum to ensure that all friends, colleagues and pupils are dead and so not available to argue against etc? I do not wish my children’s future to be so heavily influenced by the ‘losing side’ that eminated out of fin de siecle Vienna. The history of economics post 1870 seems much more one of ‘prima donna’ feuds than much enlightenment and the triumphalism and dismissal of higher intelect of the Austria/Chicago troup is quite galling. When one reads the history, one is tempted to think even with hindsight allowance that there is not much philosphy and somewhere I have lost the reference to a Senate review as to why the intellectual level of economists was so low? 1980’s? Which of your books on negotiation is the best for a general appraisal by a retired expert. Of course Adam Smith changed sides an appropriate time after he died, as far as I am aware he did not even consider himself an economist. His views on globalisation might for instance be very interesting if he knew that entrepreneurial gain was now no longer repatriated which destroys the justification for offshoring? Should Reagan & Thatcher really have xported our technology and skills? Difficult to know how one will sustain a growing population when we have to import the majority of our energy, food, manufactured goods while paying for an increasingly old age profile in between paying for PFI, student loans and six figure mortgages when we run out of property and other assets to foreigners. Conventional wisdom is not to worry about trade deficits, increase the poulation rather than price indigenous folk back into a job and carry on spending to increase GDP which shows up as wealth. I think my children deserve better.

I merely envisage two 45 minute presentations, the second of which would be much orietated to determining how much 12 y.o children retained from the first. Unless faced with volunteering from one who knows more than I do, I expect to do the small amount of work involved and set up the presentation. The question is simple does the challenge of helping to present Adam Smith with added Kelvin to 12 y.o children appeal to you? Your involvement would of course raise the profile of my project way beyond my present expectations. I am not sure how the title of your book gives you an ‘out’ if your intention that Smith’s legacy is found again? I think I would be a pretty poor ‘marketeer’ if I could not garner much publicity for the fisrt school to teach advanced economic science at 12? As I referred to above I am a fisherman and I would like to offer our first minister a nicely baited ‘hook’ as I see yet another generation of young Scots motivated to leave Scotland.

So Please let me know if this is of any interest to you? I must encourage you along the lines of Geogeescue Roegen and Herman Daly and ecological/environment economics as that is where one would find a reincarnated Smith today. The simple explanation of the force perceived as an ‘invisible hand’ is not even open to question, it is a self evident truth derived directly from what is so obvious that no one thought of writing it down until very recently. Think of a wooden house warm on the iside on a cold night. Without any intelligence the heat will find all the ways for heat to exit and the system, which is heat, will adapt to find the quickest possible way for the heat to exit the house. Then read The Last Boom by James Antony Clark which you can borrow off me or source from Alibris Books on line for from £3.24. A really free market is quite frightening but those in the market thought the reduction of the price of oil from $2 to $0.01 was very fine for a while especially when they threw in free eggs as well!
Have a very Good and Happy New Year


10:37 pm  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...

Hi Andrew

I read your long comment, for which I thank you.

From what I understand of your ideas you are looking to 'campaign' for a specific view of change, connected to Adam Smith and modern ideas, such as from ‘Entropy and the Economic Process' Nicholas Georgescue Roegen (which I read first in the 1970s; it remains in my library in France).

I am not an activist, nor interested in becoming part of anything that seeks to change the world. In this I follow Adam Smith's admonition that the role of the moral philosper is to 'do nothing, but observe everything'.

9:46 pm  

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