Economic policy of a free society

  • Peter BoettkeEmail author


Liberalism correctly understood is little more than the persistent and consistent applications of the principles of economics of the affairs of men be they domestic or international. These include mutually beneficial exchange, the absence of political privilege, and toleration. The institutional precondition of these principles is the rule of law, private property, and freedom of contract. Since the collapse of communism, however, the gains in human progress that have followed from economic and political liberalization are being increasingly questioned and critiqued. To counter these criticisms of liberalism, I contend, requires tireless and varied iterations of the basic principles. In order to prevent the invisible hand of the market process from being captured by the visible hand of political privilege, political economists must stress how the creative powers of a free civilization erode poverty, inequality, and monopoly privilege through the spontaneous order of market process.


Economic policy Free society Liberalism 

JEL classification

H11 P14 P16 



These remarks to be delivered at The Mont Pelerin Society Meetings, “Economic Freedom: Road to Prosperity,” May 7-10, 2017, in Seoul, South Korea. I gratefully acknowledge the useful comments on an earlier draft by Rosolino Candela. The usual caveat applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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