The Enlightenment was named partly because of a return to empiricism as the focus of knowledge.  Unfortunately, the enlightenment applied mainly to science and technology.  Schools of thought and scholasticism still thrive in economics, producing both unenlightened economics and unenlightened economists.  This series brings some of these to light.

UnEnlightened Economists – Part One:  This introduced a series of entries that responded to an article written by economist Dr. Edwin L. Glaeser of Harvard.  Dr. Glaeser’s article reveals several empirical errors that become a foil for exploring some of the misinformation that came out of the Enlightenment.

UnEnlightened Economists – Part Two:  This entry describes how linking democratization and urbanization can be refuted empirically.

UnEnlightened Economists – Part Three:  This entry describes how constraining the meaning of democratization to refer only to an urban, civilized process renders the term meaningless.

UnEnlightened Economists – Part Four:  This entry describes one of the most common misinformed beliefs coming out of the Enlightenment that continues to have severe repercussions, the idea that humans are natural cowards concerned first and foremost about security.

UnEnlightened Economists – Part Five:  This entry established the historic link between authoritarianism and scholasticism.  Brilliant scholars and their dogmatic schools of thought often serve the best interests of wealth and power elites.

Of Laissez Faire and Hobbits:  This entry starts a new series examining an article by the economist Dr. George Reisman of Pepperdine.  Dr. Reisman provides a description of laissez faire capitalism that either no laissez faire economist wants or is pure fantasy.

If Individuals Were People in Free Markets: If individuals were only people according to laissez faire capitalism, then the doctrine actually calls for more government intervention than is necessary for a free market.

When Corporations are People Too: Laissez faire capitalism considers corporations to be people.  But allowing corporations to exist and thrive requires much more government intervention than the good scholars from the Austrian School acknowledge in their fantasy economics.

Laissez Faire Idol Worship: Dr. Reisman and other laissez faire economists are guilty of idol worshiping instead of allowing empirical events to adjust their dogmatic beliefs.

The Utility of Liberty: This is the first of a series of dogmatic beliefs, immune to the contradictions of real experience, that laissez faire economists use to build their philosophy.  Liberty is viewed as something that can be measured in regards to economic choice.

Economics of the Unlimited: Economics has been defined as the distribution of scarce resources, but “scarce” is a loaded and somewhat inaccurate term that serves laissez faire dogma.

Why Economics?: At least scientists refer to “evolution” or “the big bang” to address the questions of “Why?” for their disciplines.  Economists pretend the question does not even exist.

Community Corporations?: The last bit of fixed dogma used by laissez faire capitalism, and perhaps the most significant, is the sanctity of the business corporation model.  This entry offers an alternative as an example of the empiricism that economists should be pursuing.

Leave a Reply