by Locker Room contributor
People on the Left who believe in a monolithic, right-wing, free-market mindset ought to read Mark Skousen’s Vienna & Chicago: Friends or Foes? (Capital Press, 2005).
Those on the Right might enjoy it as well. As a person with little knowledge about the history of economic debates, I found it enlightening.
While Skousen focuses on the differences between the Austrian and Chicago economic schools, he also outlines points of convergence:
Friedman joins Hayek in citing his favorite quotation of [Adam] Smith. The quotation, taken from The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), expresses eloquently the universal principles of individualism, liberty, and the dangers of government:
“The man of system … seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chessboard. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chessboard have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the geat chessboard of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.”