- For decades, a mysterious visitor has left roses and a half-finished bottle of cognac at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe, in Baltimore. Last year he did not show, and people feared the worst. This year he did not show either. This probably means - nevermore.
- The Social Democracy for the 21st Century blog has a post up on FH Hahn on gluts in a monetary economy. Brad DeLong engages somewhat similar issues here. This is a good line where he notes that Marxists miss the point that Keynes made (and Hahn recognized): "The original errors [of the Marxists] are that the divorces between exchange value and use value and the wedges between private profits and social returns have absolutely nothing to do with overaccumulation crises--Hayek and company, after all, manage to construct a perfectly coherent and functional model of overaccumulation crises without them at all."
- Waseem Wagdi in London on the Egyptian protests:
Steve Horwitz also had a post yesterday on the spontaneous order of self-government that we are seeing in Egypt. This is exactly the way we need to think about self-government. The one
objection I have to point in Steve's post that I would take special care to clarify and emphasize is the way he contrasts this with "the state" (i.e. Mubarak) in a way that could suggest to some people suggests that the spontaneous order that is emerging is not a state-like entity. He's referring to neighborhood watch type organizations that are emerging. They are armed. They require people to produce identification. I have no doubt at all that they will use violence if necessary to protect their neighborhood. They are, in a word - coercive. And they are good and they are a spontaneous order and consistent with liberty. And the spontaneous order that is emerging out of this crisis is a proto-state and will evolve into a new state. This is self-government, people. It happened in the United States too with the committees of correspondence, which laid the foundation for the Continental Congress and the slow evolution of institutions of self-governance that we live under today in the United States. Autocracy can clearly be a leech on these systems of self-governance, and you have to simply judge each government on its own merits. The point is, self-government is an emergent phenomenon. It has to be. If it were imposed from outside it would not be self-government.
- I thought this advertisement by Jeff Tucker at the Mises Institute of "the anti-Keynes collection" was another intriguing look into the mind of the Mises Institute. This line caught my eye: "J.M. Keynes is like Marx in this sense: everyone keeps announcing the death of his thought, but his ideas keep coming back and back. This is not because they work or because they are good ideas but because the fallacies are framed in a way appeal to the statist impulse." I got this same argument from a blogger named Troy Camplin at Coordination Problem recently. I don't think Tucker and Camplin realize how condescending this is, and how absurd it is as an argument (neither of which reflects well on them). He shows absolutely no respect for the insights, intellect, and intentions of his fellow man, which is a shockingly illiberal disposition to have. And how do you refute something like that? If I am really just acting on statist impulses and goals, of course I would lie and deny it! I don't do the statist cause much good if I come clean!
- Finally, C-Span had an interesting discussion of NASA on yesterday's Washington Journal.
- A quick reading update: I am reading Carl Schmitt's Political Theology and finding it fascinating.