Tuesday, October 01, 2013


Regular readers will have noticed I have not posted, other than respond to a few comments on previous posts, since 21 September.  This is entirely because I have been very busy with completing a number of writing commitments for publication, due on 1 October.
One was a chapter in a book of essays on Adam Smith in "Prosperity and Perspectives" to be published by Palgrave-Macmillan.
This will be despatched today and was held up by receiving only last week the publisher's style rules, requiring some re-organisations of English spelling and movement of footnotes from the page to the end.  Yes, I know; should be a button-press job, but for me, without staff back-up to keep me right (retirement has its own limitations), I somehow got into muddle and lost several and had to retype them all, paste and move them individually, more than once!
Another is a referee's report for a Journal (due today too) and one for another Journal due later.  These are seldom chores and as their subjects - aspects of Adam Smith's Ideas - are always a joy, tempered by the pressure to get it right, they require close attention and quotation checking, and thinking, which takes time.
Lastly, to the undoubted joys of grandparenthood retirement is added the relentless role of child-minder's assistant, which is no chore but tile-demanding nevertheless.
Well, I shall be back to Blogging regularly from today, all else being well ...


Blogger airth10 said...

I think this is worth reading. Adam Smith and his invisible hand are mentioned: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/why-conservatives-should-reread-milton-friedman/?src=xps

2:34 am  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...

I tried the link- it didn't work.

3:21 pm  
Blogger airth10 said...

Anyway, this is the interesting part:
"It might seem that this activist role for government flies in the face of Friedman’s libertarian insistence on the magic of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” to produce “public goods from private vices,” without political control. In fact, however, Friedman makes it clear that the invisible hand is attached to the body politic. Here is how he introduces Smith’s famous phrase: “It is the responsibility of the rest of us to establish a framework of law such that an individual in pursuing his own interest is, to quote Adam Smith again, ‘led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.’”The “invisible hand,” therefore, operates for the public good only because it is directed by the social values that our political system enacts by its laws. These values shape the function of the capitalist economic system."

8:18 pm  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...


This is surely not true unless you believe there is a purpose behind society as it evolved (I forget the technical term for this). To be purposeful it requires a guiding spirit, a director) but where does this come from (theology) and why is it still here?
As for the rest of us having responsibility to “frame laws”, that role escapes my experience. No wonder Friedman’s alleged views are about the “magic” of the IH. It reads like mysticism to me rather than the real word.

7:04 am  
Blogger airth10 said...

Well, I don't read it as mysticism. Friedman was describing the 'awesomeness' of the market and how things fall together, so to speak. I can understand how that can sound like magic.

There is a purpose behind society. The purpose behind it is self-realized and self-induced, that of maintaining and sustaining what it created and continues to create, its structures, laws and institutions. This happens in an 'unbelievable' way as Friedman tried to explain.

10:18 am  

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