2018-02-02

Men spake from God being moved by the Holy Ghost / Every man in his own language

20180128_145921 Every now and again I find a link on the wub that nicely illustrates some point I made years ago, and I try to find my post with the concept, and fail, and realise that I didn't actually write down my carefully reasoned post, I just told it to myself. And this is one of those times.

The quote is

In many countries, decades (even centuries) have passed with far too much intellectual effort exerted in elaborating idealized or stylized constructions of how a political economy might work.  Unfortunately, analysis and examination of how political and economic interaction takes place in nonromantic or realistic settings, as populated by real persons, were largely ignored.

from James M. Buchanan via Cafe Hayek. The context I would have fitted this into is all the volumes by the likes of Plato carefully designing their ideal society; to be opposed of course by the likes of Hayek and Popper. And of course the relevance to modern society.

Pic: Tindale in Hertford college chapel. The words are "Men spake from God being moved by the Holy Ghost / Every man in his own language".

Update


Would you believe it, but bloody Blogger limits comments to 4096 characters. FFS. I was going to split up my deeply wise and wonderful comment, or even make a new post, and then I thought I'd just stuff it in here instead.

On Hayek's determinism: that seems implausible, which is probably why I didn't read your long comment at the time. Plus, I think that Willard is a twat. Plus you're making the same mistake then about legal freedom that you do now. But the Wayback Machine has it. I guess you're relying on

It may be noted in passing that these considerations also have some bearing on the age-old controversy about the ‘freedom of the will’. Even though we may know the general principle by which all human action is causally determined by physical process, this would not mean that to us a particular human action can ever be recognized as the necessary result of a particular set of physical circumstances.

This is what I would call "meaningless determinism". You can, if you like, believe (with Hobbes) that the physical universe is all that there is, and that it evolves according to causal physical laws (at present not fully known), and (we've left Hobbes behind at this point, BTW) this in principle leaves no room for free will. As it happens, that's exactly what I believe (I've said this before). But it produces a world indistinguishable from one in which people have free will: there is no possible test you could make to distinguish the two. So, no: you may in no meaningful way claim Hayek for determinism.

Refs


* Free trade - Left behind? by Christopher Rowe.
* Politics and Prohibition - Don Boudreaux.
The Case for Freedom Does Not Rest on the Assumption of Perfection - CH

30 comments:

Phil Hays said...

"In the 1960s and 1970s, the American right set about undermining trust in the mainstream media, which it saw as dangerously infected with liberal assumptions. Later, in debates over evolution and the environment, some on the right attacked the validity of modern science. By the turn of the millennium, it was an article of faith among conservative ideologues that whole realms of human expertise were in fact intricate structures of propaganda that trapped the unwary in a matrix of deceit."

Like climate science, for example. Or, as you point out, economics.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/01/opinion/dont-believe-the-liberal-fbi.html

William Connolley said...

The people who have economics hopelessly wrong are the "progressives", who probably intersect with what you call "liberals". See-also On getting out more and Is It Time to Start Dismissing ‘Economics Deniers’?.

Quoting Rush Limbaugh is fairly close to losing by Godwin. I usually disagree with David Roberts.

rconnor said...

> “Unfortunately, analysis and examination of how political and economic interaction takes place in nonromantic or realistic settings, as populated by real persons, were largely ignored." (Buchanan)

Frankly, I think the quote is just as damning to proponents of the free-market than proponents of central planning. (Note: when I say “central planning” I don’t mean state controlled markets (which I don’t advocate for), I mean a regulated market (which I do advocate for). More specifically, I mean a market more regulated than WC wants it to be…but I’m not quite sure I know what that limit is yet. It appears to be “good regulations are permissible, bad regulations are not. And WC decides which is good and which is bad.”)

In my opinion, the philosophy and economics around the free-market is based, in large part, on people and businesses being rational economic actors. The thought is the Market can, more or less, self-police because consumers will keep businesses in check, through increased purchases or boycotts, and producers will organically respond to the Market. Where there are conflicts, they can be resolved (efficiently? justly?*) through litigation. (*ignore the fact that litigation is costly and time consuming, so the side with more resources (and power) often has the upper hand and can (inefficiently) drag things out such that one side runs out of resources and has to (unjustly) give up…but that’s another story…)

The philosophy and economics around the need for (some) centrally planned regulation is based, in large part, on the reality that the previous concept of the Market is unrealistic (and economically romanticized). Consumers are often impulsive, short-term thinkers that tend to not take into account (nor are they aware of) all relevant information when making economic decisions (ex. buying a house they really can’t afford). Producers can try to capitalize on this, for their own short-term benefit (ex. predatory lenders that were part of the start of the global financial collapse). The thought is that certain (centrally planned) controls and protections (i.e. regulations and laws) are required to account for the irrationality, selfishness and short-sightedness of (real-world) economic actors.

Now, what I think Buchanan and Café Hayek and you were trying to say is that the analysis of these regulations takes place in romantic and unrealistic settings. I believe that there is some truth to that and Hayek does do a good job at outlining some of these pitfalls. However, my problem is that they (and you) ignore that the criticism of over idealizing the situation cuts both ways.

To re-word DBx’s comment, “And one result of this chronic failure to treat [economic actors] as a human, rather than as a superhuman, is that economists have been complicit in entrusting [the market] with much more power than [the market] would be entrusted with if people better understood its actual manner and motives of operation.”

William Connolley said...

> In my opinion, the philosophy and economics around the free-market is based, in large part, on people and businesses being rational economic actors

Why is that your opinion? I think you're missing a lot. Firstly, you're missing the "free" in front of free-markets. Freedom is a good in itself (this is a basic axiom not subject to question; if you disagree, then we have no hope of agreeing). Yet you are happy to throw it away. Secondly, I think you're wrong about the REA bit.

> the Market can, more or less, self-police

That I think is largely correct, but obviously not at all the same thing as REA.

> predatory lenders

Nope, makes no sense. Why would you lend to people you knew couldn't repay your loan? You'd only do that if you were stupid (and I think in your version the lenders aren't stupid, just Evil) or expected to be bailed out by the Govt (back to your side problems).

> To re-word DBx’s comment

Maybe. Though he has mostly thought of that; see here.

rconnor said...

> “Nope, [predatory lending] makes no sense. Why would you lend to people you knew couldn't repay your loan?”

Right, so you invent financial instruments to shift the credit risk around! See: Credit Default Swaps. Also See: Global Financial Crisis. (Is this news to you?)

http://www.mhhe.com/economics/cecchetti/Cecchetti2_Ch09_CDS.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007%E2%80%932008#Predatory_lending

> “or expected to be bailed out by the Govt (back to your side problems).”

So you deregulate the banking industry, freeing it to abuse the system to the point of collapse and naturally it’s the government’s fault - not for its hand in deregulating the banking industry (heavens no!), but in its attempt to clean up the mess made by the banking industry policing itself?

> “Secondly, I think you're wrong about the REA bit.”

Could you expand on this? I was under the impression that free-market enthusiasts thought local economic actors had much more information to make more rational economic choices than central planners could, thus why the free-market is great. I took this to mean that they thought of people and businesses as rational economic actors, making decisions in their best interest. You kind of support that when you said that predatory lenders “make no sense”. But now you’re saying free-market enthusiasts don’t see people and businesses as REA?

> “That I think is largely correct [that the Market can self-police]”

See: Deregulation in the energy sector and Enron. Also See: Global Financial Crisis.

> “Though [DBx] has mostly thought of that; see here”

He tries to claim that free-market advocacy is not a blueprint for society, which is nonsense. When you advocate that deregulation and limited government intervention is the way to prosperity, you have a blueprint for society. And when deregulation and limited government intervention leads to market failures which cause a financial collapse you need to own up that your blueprint was wrong.

> “Freedom is a good in itself (this is a basic axiom not subject to question; if you disagree, then we have no hope of agreeing).”

But the libertarian focus on legal freedom is only half the battle. You can be legally free to do/achieve something but blocked by social impediments based on the circumstances you were born into. This is why the liberal emphasis on equity is instrumental in achieving actual freedom in society.

(Again, given that freedom is a basic axiom and your love of Hayek, I think Hayek’s views on determinism have interesting implications on the discussion of freedom. I’ve outlined why I think so in the “Prior Discoveries” post.

https://wmconnolley.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/prior-discovery/#comment-566)

Anonymous said...

@-"...elaborating idealized or stylized constructions of how a political economy might work."

Such attempt to describe a 'free market' small government low regulation system would be considerably more convincing if they took place in nonromantic or realistic settings, as populated by real persons.

An extant, or historical working example of such a society, or one that approached it would help.

Preferably one in which it was not necessary to be a member of the elite, friends with the president, with off-shore assets and access to a private jet if things get messy.

Anonymous said...

So... Freedom

"Freedom is a good in itself (this is a basic axiom not subject to question; if you disagree, then we have no hope of agreeing)"

What is your definition of freedom?

"the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants."?

Because this is occasionally bad. Any sort of society requires law/rules that by their nature restrict freedom. So it appears what you are arguing for is anarchy.

William Connolley said...

> Is this news to you?

Oddly enough, no. And you know that. So, why haven't you thought through the consequence? Which is the obvious: not everyone interprets the same "facts" as you do in the same way.

> So you deregulate the banking industry

Yes, you should do that as far as is possible. But you need a way to deal with the implicit subsidy and moral hazard of too-big-to-fail. See for example Timmy or perhaps Timmy. Naturally, this becomes technically tedious so I haven't read all the details.

> free-market enthusiasts thought local economic actors had much more information to make more rational economic choices than central planners could... people and businesses as rational economic actors, making decisions in their best interest... you’re saying free-market enthusiasts don’t see people and businesses as REA?

It surprises me that you're able to kinda get much of it right, but then repeatedly fail in your thinking. Notice, also, that you quote no sources for this.

Fee-market folks certainly think local folk have more information - and, importantly, more incentive - to make their own choices; but nothing forces them to be rational. Indeed, since many or most choices involve an element of personal preference, it isn't clear in many cases just how you would assess their rationality: if I choose Coke over Pepsi, how will you know if that was rational or not? But I certainly don't want any central planner deciding that they are more-or-less-equivalent, and so it would be more efficient to centralise production and produce only one.

If you're interested in what the free market folk think, why not try reading what they say? CH is an obvious place to start.

> Enron

Meh. They broke the law and went broke. So what?

> Also See: Global Financial Crisis.

You can't use that as your argument-for-everything, although all too many do use it as a substitute for thought.

>> Freedom is a good in itself

> But the libertarian focus on legal freedom

I suspect you made that up. I don't see a focus on purely legal freedom. Why do you?

> this is a basic axiom not subject to question; if you disagree, then we have no hope of agreeing

I don't notice any clear agreement, which may be why we're disagreeing. That kinda applies to the Anon, too, who appears to have confused me with an Anarchist.

For the rest, see "update" to the post.

William Connolley said...

> An extant, or historical working example of such a society, or one that approached it would help.


I don't know. I'm no historian. Perhaps early what-was-to-become-USA America?

Nathan said...

You need to define 'Freedom' better, as you seem to be ok with Laws, but not Regulation. Both impinge on Freedom... Why is one better?

William Connolley said...

That's not quite my position, but the answer "why is Law better than Regulation" is easy; or at least, there is an easy answer. Whether it is correct or not is another matter. The answer is law-is-custom, and hallowed by time. Regulation aka legislation is the activity of politicians and is not so hallowed. See here. If you're unfamiliar with the concepts, you should at least find it interesting.

Nathan said...

But if you start with your argument as "Freedom is good" and then declare that some forms of freedom restrictions are also good, you are contradicting yourself.
Basically you appear to be saying that Freedom is good, but also the restrictions to freedom I like are also good. Then using that as an argument to say other posters are wrong for liking some other restrictions to freedom that you disapprove of.

It's weird logic. You need to sort out your terms, as 'Freedom' is too loose.


"Perhaps early what-was-to-become-USA America"
Nothing says Freedom, like slavery.

Nathan said...

https://wmconnolley.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/hayek-vs-hobbes-and-the-theory-of-law/
That was interesting, but it's still awfully arm-wavey

"The answer is law-is-custom, and hallowed by time. Regulation aka legislation is the activity of politicians and is not so hallowed."

Sure, law could be considered something that is fundamental to humanity and part of our social evolution.

But those hallowed Laws are not sufficient. During all those early periods you claim as the basis for law there were pretty awful things that were still considered ok. Slavery, Women as chattels, child labour, etc.

Perhaps the answer lies closer to the length of time the Laws/Legislation has been in place. Legislation against slavery and child labour may now be considered this sort of hallowed Law that you like, but they started as legislation.

also this idea of Law coming from the past denies the opportunity for future Law to evolve, unless you have some magical process in mind.

William Connolley said...

> "Freedom is good"

Why are you putting quotes round that, as though it was something I said, when I didn't say it? I said ""Freedom is a good" which is similar but different. It is good practice to engage with what people have said, rather than what they haven't said.

> some forms of freedom restrictions are also good, you are contradicting yourself... It's weird logic

It certainly would be. But my logic is good. So your concluding that my logic is weird is a hint that you've misread me again. In this case the bit you've misread is that some restrictions are good, which I didn't say. In society, it is certainly *necessary* to have some restrictions on freedom, but that's a different word with a different meaning.

> But those hallowed Laws are not sufficient... there were pretty awful things that were still considered ok.

Indeed; what is considered "OK" evolves over time. Nowadays there is a rush to encode every flavour-of-the-moment "OK"ness into legislation, which is bad.

Nathan said...

Sontedious discussing stuff with you as you play boring games with semantics, while at the same time avoiding properly defining what you mean. I asked you to define what you mean and yet you refuse.

I work with the Rights in Water Act 1914. It's a piece of legislation in Western Australia.
It restricts freedom.
Your logic appears to say this is bad.

Nathan said...

Sorry that should read "So tedious"

Nathan said...

So how can regulation be bad when the only difference between it and Law is the time for it to become "OK"

Is there a way to know what legislation will become OK?

It's akin to liking plants but thinking seeds are awful

William Connolley said...

If you don't want to be playful I think you'll need to find someone else to talk to. Or perhaps try to be more accurate yourself.

> So how can regulation be bad

I can't recall saying regulation is bad. Might this perhaps be a more fruitful conversation if you didn't try to put words into my mouth, and read what I wrote instead of what I didn't write?

Trying to define simple words is difficult. You cannot simply demand their meaning; it is not possible to define them in isolation. Plato - and, one must presume, his society - was puzzled as to how to define "Justice" and wrote a whole book, The Republic, in order to demonstrate how easy it is to get the answer hopelessly wrong. See Justice and Injustice for Hobbes's much better, and arguably correct, solution. Which as in so many matters of sudden enlightenment involves inversion. And that - by happy chance, or maybe not - is exactly the post I wanted to find to point you add, for Popper's remark about the meaning of words.

Or, Hobbes says it well. He is talking about laws, but the idea applies further:

All Laws, written, and unwritten, have need of Interpretation. The unwritten Law of Nature, though it be easy to such, as without partiality, and passion, make use of their naturall reason, and therefore leaves the violators thereof without excuse; yet considering there be very few, perhaps none, that in some cases are not blinded by self love, or some other passion, it is now become of all Laws the most obscure; and has consequently the greatest need of able Interpreters. The written Laws, if they be short, are easily mis-interpreted, from the divers significations of a word, or two; if long, they be more obscure by the diverse significations of many words: in so much as no written Law, delivered in few, or many words, can be well understood, without a perfect understanding of the finall causes, for which the Law was made; the knowledge of which finall causes is in the Legislator. To him therefore there can not be any knot in the Law, insoluble; either by finding out the ends, to undoe it by; or else by making what ends he will, (as Alexander did with his sword in the Gordian knot,) by the Legislative power; which no other Interpreter can doe.

Nathan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
William Connolley said...

[Spamming stuff is harder on Blogger; if you wish to see N's comment, it is here.]

rconnor said...

> " Oddly enough, no. And you know that."

So why did you say "Nope, [predatory lending] makes no sense" if you were aware what it is and that it happens?

> "Meh. They broke the law and went broke. So what?"

Deregulation played no part in what happened with Enron?

> "You can't use that as your argument-for-everything, "

Deregulation played no part in what happened with the financial crisis?

> "I don't see a focus on purely legal freedom. Why do you?"

Firstly, where did I say "purely"? I suspect you made that up. I said their focus is on legal freedom. Something about not putting words in others mouths?

Secondly, outside of setting laws, what other methods would libertarians use to ensure freedom (in an ideal society)? Would they focus more on laws or the other methods?

Thirdly, you've dodge the point. If my freedom is restricted based on my starting position in life, is that a problem as far as libertarians are concerned? If so, how would libertarians recommend addressing these issues?

> "I don't notice any clear agreement [on the freedom axiom]"

Because, as others have stated, you oversimplified a complex topic.

> "But it produces a world indistinguishable from one in which people have free will"

And as I stated, that brushes under the rug the concept that starting position, genes and upbringing all play key roles in our decision making process. Which makes the notion of deservedness more complicated (and I'd say more questionable) and equity more important.

> " I can't recall saying regulation is bad."

You're just being incredibly disingenuous now.

rconnor said...

I’ll try to clarify what I mean by “legal freedom”. By "legal freedom" I mean trying to achieve a free society through the construction of laws and a legal system that would ensure and protect those freedoms. We could also call this a procedural freedom. In contrast, there could be a form of distributive freedom, where restrictions in freedom caused by inequalities in society are attempted to be accounted for.

Now, I would certainly agree that the foundation for a free society should be done through procedural (or legal) freedom. The question that I’m raising is how do you address restrictions in freedom caused by inequalities in society, despite there being a foundation of procedural (or legal) freedom? Do you resort to distributive freedom or do you say “tough”?

(Also, “deservedness” should really be “desert”.)

William Connolley said...

> By "legal freedom" I mean trying to achieve a free society through the construction of laws and a legal system that would ensure and protect those freedoms

Isn't that circular? As in, what does your closing "those freedoms" refer to? What you're missing, I think, is the distinction between positive and negative freedom (see The Greatest Liberty Of Subjects, Dependeth On The Silence Of The Law). Law doesn't give you freedom; it takes it away (and yes, we are agreed that some taking-away-of-freedom is inevitably necessary in society). By contrast the constitution (if you have one; see-also me, here) is effectively a meta-law that prohibits certain laws. It, too, does not give you freedom; but it limits the freedoms your legislators are allowed to take away.

> Do you resort to distributive freedom

"distributive freedom" isn't necessarily a real thing. It means taking things from some people and giving them to other people, according to rules (or so one might hope) that you haven't yet specified. So I think that in calling the thing you'd like to see happen "X freedom" you're hoping to make it sound good by adding a good word to it (somewhat like Rawl's tricksy justice-as-fairness; who could possibly object to fairness?). Distributive justice is perhaps a similar idea; but that, if I read wiki, depends on social justice, which Hayek advises me to treat with extreme caution at best.; for example here.

William Connolley said...

(I should perhaps add that I'm channeling the hard line in my previous comment. In practice, for example, as I'm sure I've said elsewhere, I support the idea of a universal basic income).

rconnor said...

> “Isn't that circular?”

I assumed the working definition of “freedom” isn’t “ability to do whatever you want” (which is clearly not the axiomatic goal) but “ability to do whatever you want so long as you don’t infringe on others freedom” (which, while very messy and complex, is closer to an axiom which many might agree with). So yes, laws would restrict the first definition of “freedom” (which I don’t think you are advocating for) but they would protect the second definition of “freedom”. So, I don’t believe it’s truly circular.

> “[Distributive justice] means taking things from some people and giving them to other people”

Partly, yes (it’s not always a zero-sum game, though). But it’s also about focusing on outcomes. In distributive justice, an action is just if it achieves the desired distribution of resources. In contrast, in procedural justice, an action is just if it follows the procedure (regardless of outcome).

So in the context of “distributive freedom” (which I agree is not a real term), a society can be considered free if all citizens have the same ability to exercise their freedom. Whereas in “procedural freedom”, a society can be considered free if the laws and constitution allow for and protect freedoms. It’s possible to have the latter without having the former. My question, which you’ve continually dodged, is what do you do about that?

> “[Distributive justice] depends on social justice, which Hayek advises me to treat with extreme caution at best”

Every political/economic stance, including calls for the status-quo, are distributive justice schemes of one form or another. If you want to say “the government should stay out of it so the free market can do its magic” then you are advocating for the kind of distributive justice that comes from the free-market.

From the SEP entry on distributive justice[1]:
“A related point can be made when people assert that economic structures and policy should be left to economists, or when people assert that economic policy can be pursued without reference to distributive justice. These assertions reveal misconceptions about what distributive justice and economics are, and how they are related. Positive economics, at its best, can tell us about economic causes and effects. Positive economics is very important for distributive justice because it can give us guidance about which changes to pursue in order to better instantiate our moral principles. What it cannot do, in the absence of the principles, is tell us what we should do. This point is easily lost in everyday political discussion. When an economist says ‘The Central Bank should raise interest rates’, the general population often, mistakenly, believes the recommendation is purely coming from the science of economics. Moreover the ‘should’ is almost always a moral ‘should’."

This more-or-less echoes my response to the Cafe Hayek article, where DBx claims he has no “blueprint” for society. He and other free-market advocates, including yourself, absolutely have a blueprint, a desired goal, an optimum. Their blueprint could be better or worse than other blueprints. And we can use historical examples to attempt to compare and contrast.

[1] https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/justice-distributive/

William Connolley said...

> focusing on outcomes. In distributive justice, an action is just if it achieves the desired distribution of resources. In contrast, in procedural justice, an action is just if it follows the procedure (regardless of outcome).

I think your definitions are essentially correct there. But there are two problems with DJ, which I think is your desire: firstly, "desired distribution of resources" is left undefined (I think you're going to argue for "more equal than PJ, but not absolutely equal") and secondly the difficulty of achieving the desire, when specified. I would instead go for PJ, but with some level of safety net, such as UBI.

> the kind of distributive justice that comes from the free-market... absolutely have a blueprint

That makes no sense to me at all.

rconnor said...

> “"desired distribution of resources" is left undefined”

In the context of a free society, I have defined it in the next paragraph (of the post you were commenting on). In the broader context, see the SEP entry for a discussion on that (short answer: the definition is dependent on your moral stance).

> “I would instead go for PJ, but with some level of safety net, such as UBI.”

That’s more of less my stance. However, I’d imagine that my “level of safety net” is likely larger than yours. More to the point, that is still distributive justice, as you are using the safety net (i.e. redistribution of resources) to correct where the procedural justice leads to “undesirably inequalities” (as defined by your moral stance).

Most libertarians that are proponents of UBI say that the abolishment of most other safety net programs is how they’d suggest paying for UBI. Is that your stance as well?

> “That makes no sense to me at all.”

You justify deregulation because you feel it leads to a more desirable distribution of resources as defined by your moral stance. You have a blueprint, you have a desired goal. You’d apply corrections to the market if need be to reach those goals (such as on slave labour). VoilĂ , distributive justice!

William Connolley said...

> More to the point, that is

As I've tried to say before, I think it's almost beside the point. If you're desperate to attach your label to a thing, then I guess you can, though it will make for confusing conversation.

> You have a blueprint, you have a desired goal.

As I've tried to say before, I think you're wrong. I tried pointing you at DB, who said it rather well. If you can't read him, then I can only offer proverbs.

rconnor said...

> “If you can't read [DBx]”

I managed to get past his straw man nonsense (“Those whose answers are simplistic are those who say “Let the government handle it”) to get to his “I have no blueprint” nonsense (“Rather, I deny the equivalence because, unlike those who would substitute state regulation for the market, I have no blueprint for reality.”), didn’t I? You seem to think that when someone has a different opinion than you, that means they haven’t read it.

> “I think you're wrong”

In a blog where you continually advocate for specific political/economic actions (don’t impose tariffs, impose a carbon tax, get rid of ETS, something about bent bananas, etc.) based upon a moral foundation (“[freedom] is a basic axiom”) you cannot also say you have no blueprint or desired goals for society. That applies equally to you and DBx (with different examples, of course).

I get why both you and DBx try to play the libertarian “I have no blueprint for society” card – it allows you to see yourselves as hyper-rationalists, free of ideology when pushing political/economic actions* and because it protects you from ever being wrong (“That market failure, due to deregulation we pushed for based on our political and economic platform (which themselves are founded on our moral principles), wasn’t our fault; we have no blueprint!”). However, that doesn’t make it any less disingenuous.

If there’s a political party that’s named after and follows your ideology for how government and the economy should be set, you probably have a blueprint.

If there are numerous think tanks whose purpose is influencing governments to introduce laws and regulations (or abolish existing laws and regulations) based on an ideology, which you share, for how government and the economy should be set, you probably have a blueprint.

If you start a blog where you, in part, discuss political and economic theory and critique political and economic practices based on your ideology for how government and the economy should be set, you probably have a blueprint.

If you say “I have no blueprint” while outlining why your blueprint for government and the economy is better than other blueprints, you probably (still) have a blueprint.

*All while, of course, “the Left had abandoned debate on economic efficiency, and instead switched their focus to values.” (https://wmconnolley.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/the-great-persuasion-reinventing-free-markets-since-the-depression/)

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