See full post (a review of Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life by George Scialabba, 24 Feb. 2011 at the American Conservative Magazine).
As introduction to viewing a copy of the lecture at the Mercatus Center on Bourgeois Dignity, The Student Network for Human Security say, “So many times we have heard that human security is about dignity, but what is that? Economic historian Deirdre McCloskey has an idea that is worth considering. Enjoy.”
Posted 23 Feb. 2011. Original site »
Original entry »
Justin Katz in the blog Anchor Rising, 25 Jan. 2011:
“In another (sadly) subscription-only National Review article, James Bennett reviews a book by Deirdre McCloskey in which innovation takes center stage in the explanation of the modern West:
Her thesis is that, in the decades prior to England’s rapid takeoff into the Industrial Revolution, there was a revolution in attitudes, which she prefers to characterize as a revolution in rhetoric, using the term in its broader, classical sense: the language of discourse, and the attitudes it embodies. This change in rhetoric, she argues, shifted the prevailing culture from one of aristocratic values based on honor and status to one of bourgeois values based on thrift, prudence, trust, etc. This brought dignity to the town-dwelling merchant class and fostered innovation in business practice. In fact, she argues that the term capitalism is inappropriate to the current system, as all economic systems fundamentally are built on capital, but only the system that arose in England and spread throughout the West (and, subsequently, elsewhere) was founded on innovation. She considers calling the system innovism; recognizing, however, that such a tag is unlikely to catch on, she settles for calling it innovation.
There is much to like in this. I have long dislike Marx’s coinage and the many wrong ideas that are packed into it. I have tended to use the term market economy, in preference, but as McCloskey rightly points out, market economies with many of the mechanisms we consider definitive have also been presented since ancient times. A system that expects, encourages, and takes advantage of innovation is the genuinely new thing of our times, and it may make sense to adopt that term for our system.”
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Which economists are the most influential?
“In the liberal arts: Deirdre McCloskey, who is the most important figure at the intersection of economics, social science and the humanities.”
The Globe and Mail, “A gift list for Yann Martel,” 4 Feb. 2011
“As a student of Economics â€“ it is a remarkable wake up call to allow oneself to open the mind for these other perspectives, and to use that knowledge in making Economics a better science, a more real science.”
Read blog entry in The Eraptis Times, 18 Jan. 2011.
“In supposedly one of the top ten cases of the Supreme Court this year … ” (excerpted from and continues at University of Michigan Press Blog, 28 Dec. 2010.