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Still Impossible after All These Years: Reply to Caplan

Critical Review, Vol. 17, Autumn 2005

16 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2005 Last revised: 27 Feb 2012

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Peter T. Leeson

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Abstract

In his recent article, "Is Socialism Really 'Impossible'?," Bryan Caplan questions the long-standing Austrian claim that socialism is impossible. Although Caplan is to be commended for engaging the arguments of Austrians such as Mises and Boettke, we contend that his arguments miss the mark. Caplan fundamentally misunderstands the Austrian proposition concerning socialism's impracticability and fails to appreciate the traditional argument made by socialists that Mises was addressing. For reasons we reveal below, Caplan's argument constitutes the triumph of cleverness over correctness, rather than the damning critique of the Austrian position he believes he has provided.

Keywords: Socialism, economic calculation

JEL Classification: B53, P20

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Leeson, Peter T., Still Impossible after All These Years: Reply to Caplan. Critical Review, Vol. 17, Autumn 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=869117

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Peter T. Leeson

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.peterleeson.com

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