Economic Policy of a Free Society

20 Pages Posted: 18 May 2017 Last revised: 11 Jun 2017

See all articles by Peter J. Boettke

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Date Written: May 1, 2017


Liberalism correctly understood is little more than the persistent and consistent applications of the principles of economics of the affairs of men be they domestic or international. These include mutually beneficial exchange, the absence of political privilege, and toleration. The institutional precondition of these principles is the rule of law, private property, and freedom of contract. Since the collapse of communism, however, the gains in human progress that have followed from economic and political liberalization are being increasingly questioned and critiqued. To counter these criticisms of liberalism, I contend, requires tireless and varied iterations of the basic principles. In order to prevent the invisible hand of the market process from being captured by the visible hand of political privilege, political economists must stress how the creative powers of a free civilization erode poverty, inequality, and monopoly privilege through the spontaneous order of market process.

Keywords: Economic Policy, Free Society, Liberalism

JEL Classification: H11; P14; P16

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J., Economic Policy of a Free Society (May 1, 2017). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 17-21, Available at SSRN: or

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

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