Monday, November 25, 2013

The Great Libertarian Stagnation

Tyler Cowen's silly book (see Reviews of "The Great Stagnation") led me to the idea that perhaps libertarianism has been stagnating.

The libertarian books that have made an impression on academia or political elites are rather few:

(1974) Anarchy, State, and Utopia
(1981) Free To Choose
(1957) Atlas Shrugged
(1985) Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain
(1944) The Road to Serfdom

The most recent of those is 1985, 28 years ago.  Since then there has been a welter of  expositions, summaries and condensations on these subjects that strikes me as characteristic of groupthink, with no original syntheses that have impinged strongly on academia or political elites.

This is hardly true in liberalism, where at the very least we have Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum's Capability Approach.

I'm inclined to think my stagnation argument is even better than Tyler Cowen's.  Can anybody think of any new facet of libertarianism making an impression on academia or political elites since 1985 at anywhere near the scale of the immediate impact of these previous writings?


Mordanicus said...

There's nothing new to libertarianism, only the way it's being marketed to a new generation is new. The internet is quite useful for spreading such ideas, and stimulating groupthink. It is easy to read only those sites which fits in your point of view and ignore all other sources. If your blogroll is filled up with only libertarian blogs, it's hard to see the flaws of libertarianism.

Dameocrat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dameocrat said...

The latest trend amoung the liberati intelligentsia is dropping the word libertarian in favor of neoreactionary. Not a joke! Please read! They have embraced something called the "dark enlightenment!"

I think it is a good one since it clarifies what they are really about and it has nothing to do with freedom as most would think of it.