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Forum on Anthony de Jasay…

Tony de Jasay should be more widely known, and discussed.  In my humble opinion, that is. 

Hartmut Kliemt wrote a provocation…

…to which Chris Coyne….

and then I….

responded.  If you pose questions in comments, I’ll take them up in my rejoinder in the next round.

If you just want to know more about Tony de Jasay and his background, this interview is tremendous.  In fact, if you only do one thing, you should listen to this interview, and maybe then take a look at our essays.

Published on:
Author: Mike Munger
  • dL

    Just discovered this posting.

    I would argue a primary reason why de Jasay is a not more popular within the classical liberal community is because of his heterodoxical views on “methodological individualism” re: political actors. de Jasay’s unitary actor, or “The Firm” is, frankly, an anathema to the standard public choice of the Virginia and Chicago schools.

    Now while you certainly can invoke Tullock to explain stuff like this: https://reason.com/reasontv/2014/04/15/philip-k-howard-the-rule-of-nobody-savin (–>infinite waste of outlays to secure finite rents)

    in the areas of the security state, digital surveillance, war, I would argue Snowden’s revelations and, in part, Wikileaks’ dossiers, have yielded ample evidence supporting the de Jasay version of things.

    In the de Jasay version you could almost replace the terminology of rent-seeking with that of “docility-seeking” to better proximate de Jasay’s maximand of “discretionary power.” And to the extent actors wish to avoid the waste of the standard tullock auction by recasting a rent-seeking endeavor as a “national security issue,” thereby potentially bringing it under the umbrella of “the Firm,” you begin to broach the classic libertarian class analysis of the 19th century radical French liberals.

    Obviously, this exactly the kind of talk the original bible of public choice, “The Calculus of Consent,” was supposed to dispense with.

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