Sowell on Classical Economics

by Don Boudreaux on March 25, 2006

in History

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article on Thomas Sowell, drawn from an interview he did with the WSJ‘s writer Jason Riley.  (Unfortunately, this article shows up only as a pop-up, so I can get no URL address as a link.)

Sowell, who has a new book forthcoming on classical economics, strikes an important theme sounded frequently by my colleague David Levy.  Here’s a paragraph from today’s WSJ article:

Free-market economics, a legacy of the classical school, is thought of
as an old conservative doctrine. But Mr. Sowell explains that it was in
fact one of the most revolutionary concepts to emerge in the history of
ideas. Moreover, "the thinking of the classical economist was not only
a radical break from landmark intellectual figures like Plato and
Machiavelli but also from mainstream thinking to this day." The notion
of a self-equilibrating system — the market economy — meant a reduced
role for intellectuals and politicians, he says. "And even today many
still haven’t accepted that their superior wisdom might be superfluous,
if not damaging."

(Hat tip to Susan Dudley.)

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