Dead End Street Blues

Libertarian Papers 1:8 (2009)
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Abstract

The long stagflation in the nineteen-seventies broke the Keynesian hold on economic policy. Last year we witnessed the spectacular unraveling of neo-liberal policies of manipulating money and credit. While these episodes might be studied to explain the specific weaknesses and errors of each of the two policy paradigms that have dominated in the West after the Second World War, this lecture highlights the ideas and presuppositions that remained in place throughout the whole period. Despite the alliance that once existed between libertarians and classical liberals, on the one hand, and neo-liberals, on the other hand, the latter did not have sufficiently coherent conceptions of freedom and free markets to produce a true alternative for the Keynesian idea of a scientifically managed economy as a utilitarian and pragmatic approach to the utopian goal of the greatest happiness for the greatest number, i.e., complete well-being for all.

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