Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Markets and Liberty are not Invisible

In Brief” from FEE (Foundation for Economic Freedom) is high among my daily reading of Blogs from around the world ( Today’s item advertises a forthcoming evening event on 10 February, entitled:

“Reviving the invisible hand: restoring liberty in the 21st century”
by Deepak Lal.

Amazing: reviving a metaphor has something to do with liberty? What could it possibly mean? If a non-existent invisible hand has something to do with liberty, it is truly ‘miraculous’, defies science and panders to superstition.

Our Ignorant forebears used to believe in invisible gods. Why not read about market prospects in astrology columns?

“Reviving markets” is an excellent idea. The whole point about markets is that the people in them do not need to ‘led’ anywhere to get what they want.

If FEE wants to revive markets, which I know they do and so do I, they don’t need to resort to Smith’s metaphor for the whole is the sum of its parts, or that agricultural regimes must feed the population at some minimum level above previous regimes of hunters, for the people in them to procreate and multiply the population.

Smith never applied the metaphor to markets – he knew how markets work and so do we if we read Wealth of Nations.


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