Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weirdly Uncommon Uncontroversial Descriptions

I find it quite interesting that googling phrases such as "institutionalized coercion", "coercive governmental monopoly", "fiat money monopoly", "monetary central planning", "malinvestments", "credit-induced boom", and "voluntary society" turns up almost exclusively pages related to Austrian economics and/or libertarianism, even though, as far as I can tell, these are purely positive, value-free descriptions that encapsulate the essence of phenomena such as state power, anarchism, central banking, and the business cycle, thus not implying any usual normative attitude to these issues that one might expect on the part of the members of certain philosophies and schools of thought.

Two rather uncharitable interpretations suggest themselves in this context - either non-Austrian economists and non-libertarian philosophers are not interested in analyzing the phenomena in question, or they feel that describing them in a straightforward, transparent manner might expose some of what is likely to be their commonly or even intrinsically unlikeable and objectionable features. Be that as it may, it is hard for me to believe it is just a coincidence.

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