Natural Allies or Natural Enemies?
Clive Crook reviews Animal Spirits, by Akerlof and Shiller.
Likening the role of government to a parent’s duty to create a happy home, the authors write: “The proper role of the parent is to set the limits so that the child does not overindulge her animal spirits.” This is an unappealing analogy. I would sooner take up arms against a government that saw me as a child than vote for it.
That last sentence is a keeper. I have written a review essay for The Independent Review, in which I raise the same concern, although not as concisely or as eloquently.
In another eloquent passage, Jonah Goldberg writes,
Across a vast array of issues, liberals are moving away from markets and freedom at precisely the moment libertarians want to find common cause with them. I find that odd.
At dinner, I would rather discuss issues of philosophy and economics with liberals like Akerlof and Shiller than with non-libertarian conservatives. But the political arena is different. Think of it as a Thanksgiving meal. At the conservatives’ table, I feel like an uninvited guest. At the liberals’ table, I feel like the turkey.