Liberalism and Allegory: A Tragedy

Laissez-Faire (Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala), Forthcoming

GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 17-37

10 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2017 Last revised: 4 Nov 2018

See all articles by Daniel B. Klein

Daniel B. Klein

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 17, 2017

Abstract

Adam Smith was allegorical, knowingly and profoundly, but after him things went downhill, or even dropped off a cliff. From science anxieties many liberals spurned allegory, touting foundations, facts, science, etc. But we see in their discourse, notably on the economic system as cooperation, and later on the price system as communication, the poetry they pretended to have cast out. Liberals turned away from allegory, and the world turned away from liberalism. The present article explains some of the reasons why it is good to embrace allegory, and why it is good to be open about doing so.

Keywords: Allegory, non-foundationalism, communication, cooperation

JEL Classification: A11, A12, A13, A14, B12, B13

Suggested Citation

Klein, Daniel B., Liberalism and Allegory: A Tragedy (October 17, 2017). Laissez-Faire (Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala), Forthcoming; GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 17-37. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3054627

Daniel B. Klein (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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