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Showing posts from October, 2016

Two Approaches to a Book Review re The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan

Bryan Caplan's book The Myth of the Rational Voter is regarded as one of the best original economics books of this Century so far. I have read two pieces that act as reviews of the book, one by the Italian economist Francesco Caselli, and one by Prospect columnist Steven White. [1][2]

Now we all know the former will be vastly more useful than the latter, because the former is by a fellow economist who wishes to understand Caplan's position, even if he ends up disagreeing with many elements of it by the end of his piece. The latter work is basically froth, offering not even an attempt to get at why Caplan is advancing the idea that voters, when they vote, prioritise their instrumental rationality over epistemic rationality.

Oh well, never mind. At least I can laugh at White's piece, right?

~~~
[1] Review... by Francesco Caselli for the London School of Economics
http://personal.lse.ac.uk/casellif/papers/caplan.pdf

[2] The Myth of Bryan Caplan's Seriousness by Steven Whit…

Iain McKay, Bryan Caplan & the Case of the "Anarchist" Anarchist

In the past I have written blog posts disputing claims contained in the online document called An Anarchist FAQ principally written by Iain McKay. I spent those posts trying to contend with Iain's claims re the ancap question and the mode of production called capitalism.

McKay has a bee in his bonnet re anarcho-capitalists' insistence on referring to themselves as anarchists, that much is obvious. Every reference to ancapism runs something along the lines of "an"cap or "anarcho"-capitalism.

I find this very amusing because 'anarchist' or 'anarchism' are words (articulate mouth-sounds) first and specific concepts second.  Ditto 'socialist' and 'socialism' friends. Speaking of socialism...

In the comment section of one of his videos the Youtuber called StatelessLiberty responded to a criticism by linking to Caplan's work on the Anarchist adventure in Spain in the 1930's. The critic shot back with a criticism of Caplan&…