Friday , November 22 2019
Home / Coordination Problem / Clothes on Floor, not put away; Jazz music, not Classical; Books all around, not Sports posters — and Political Division and Democratic Society

Clothes on Floor, not put away; Jazz music, not Classical; Books all around, not Sports posters — and Political Division and Democratic Society

Summary:
One of my favorite podcasts as readers of this blog will know is Hidden Brain hosted by Shankar Vedantam.   A recent episode discussed partisanship in America, and offered psychological/biological analysis, and historical analysis. But as I was listening I couldn't help thinking about a few things and I wonder how you think about these things as well and what your personal experiences are -- both with the psychological dispositions discussed to define conservatives and liberals, and with your understanding of history and challenges to democratic society. On the first, just let me say.  I think I am probably some odd ball --- a liberal with some conservative dispositions, but not many.  Maybe I am just a radical liberal who learned economics so that I take the issue of scarcity

Topics:
Peter Boettke considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Tyler Durden writes OECD Sees Global Growth At Decade-Low As WTO Warns Of “Doomsday Scenario”

Tyler Durden writes Martin Armstrong Warns Of The Coming “Big Freeze”

Tyler Durden writes SoftBank To Cut Offer For WeWork, Slash Neumann’s Payout After Unprecedented Humiliation By Its Key Banks

Tyler Durden writes Fake Growth? China “Adjusts” 2018 GDP 2.1% Higher Due To Census

One of my favorite podcasts as readers of this blog will know is Hidden Brain hosted by Shankar Vedantam.   A recent episode discussed partisanship in America, and offered psychological/biological analysis, and historical analysis. But as I was listening I couldn't help thinking about a few things and I wonder how you think about these things as well and what your personal experiences are -- both with the psychological dispositions discussed to define conservatives and liberals, and with your understanding of history and challenges to democratic society.

On the first, just let me say.  I think I am probably some odd ball --- a liberal with some conservative dispositions, but not many.  Maybe I am just a radical liberal who learned economics so that I take the issue of scarcity seriously.  But it is also the case, that I am weird by all standards of categorizing.  I leave my clothes on the floor, I listen to a wide variety of musical styles from Jazz to Classical, and lots of alternatives in-between, since my sophomore year of college I have had books all over my room/house as well as lots of sports items.  I have no problem with free form writing or speaking, though of course I also look for quotes in Shakespeare.  My oldest son is a musician and specializes in the genre of Industrial Noise, so I have my share of noise and ambient music in my collection as well as punk bands, alternative rock, classic rock, country rock, blues, jazz, and of course my own collection of Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi, etc.  I am an academic, who would prefer to dress like a basketball coach going to practice rather than an investment banker about to make a major deal.

I wonder if all classical liberals actually defy the psychological dispositions described in the episode.

On the second matter, let me just say --- cyclical majorities.  What I mean by that is just Jim Buchanan's old argument again Arrow from 1954.  We want turn taking in politics as discourse, and want to avoid like the plague any notion of permanent winning coalitions.  Political institutions can either promote cyclical majorities, be neutral with respect to them, or prevent them.  How they do this is largely tied to the question of the "status of the status quo".  We need more research on political structures and their relationship to the functioning of a self-governing democratic society. And we need more historical research on the pressure points when the vulnerabilities of self-governing democratic societies are being tested in severe ways.

So once again, I listen to Hidden Brain and walk away with new ideas to wrestle with, and new books to read, and authors to track down.  I will not say NPR is a "public good", but in this day and age of multiplicity of media, I do find the shows on NPR the ones I return to again and again to learn from.  So I am thrilled it is produced and that folks involved are striving to stimulate a conversation and discussion and not necessarily fixated on winning debate points, and providing solace for those seeking political mood affiliation.

Peter Boettke
Peter Joseph Boettke (January 3, 1960) is an American economist of the Austrian School. He is currently a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University; the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, Vice President for Research, and Director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at GMU.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *