God of the Market

10 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2022

See all articles by Christopher Russo

Christopher Russo

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: December 19, 2021

Abstract

James Buchanan makes a striking claim: If humans have free will, then even an omniscient planner cannot foreknow the outcomes of market exchange. For Buchanan, this claim demonstrates the impossibility of achieving market outcomes by central planning. However, I argue that the Christian God would foreknow market outcomes. Moreover, despite Buchanan’s atheism and antitheism, his presuppositions (free will, subjective consciousness, and reason) carve out an explanatory role for the existence of God. In turn, God provides a foundation for objective moral values, and our creation in his image objectively defines our personal identities. These conclusions would defeat Buchanan’s “normative individualism” defense of liberty. Instead, on a theistic view, one should defend liberty because of its essential role in achieving the common good.

Keywords: morality, identity, liberty, common good, Christianity, Buchanan

JEL Classification: B53, D63, Z12

Suggested Citation

Russo, Christopher, God of the Market (December 19, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3989266 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3989266

Christopher Russo (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.mercatus.org/scholars/christopher-russo

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