Freeman

September 2011

Volume 61, 2011

Kevin Carson discusses how Progressives tried to run society along the lines of the new "scientific" management of factories--and why both failed.  Warren Gibson takes time out to notice the miracles of the market place.  George B. N. Ayittey shows how free-market liberalism is in Africa's DNA and much, much more.


FEATURES

Taylorism, Progressivism, and Rule by Experts

AUGUST 24, 2011 by KEVIN A. CARSON

The Progressive movement at the turn of the twentieth century--the doctrine from which the main current of modern liberalism developed--is sometimes erroneously viewed as an "anti-business" philosophy. It was anti-market to be sure, but by no means necessarily anti-business. Progressivism was, more than anything, managerialist.

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Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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