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I have been calling for it for years, but I did not see it coming these last few months. Donald Trump's victory heralds the arrival of a new type of revolution, a revolution from the center.
It seems I have some "esplaining" to do. First, why did I not see a Donald Trump's victory coming? The reason is a bit sad. I fixated on the negatives. I fixated on Donald Trump, the bully, eventually doomed to act like Mussolini and Hitler, first alienating friends, then gradually ruining the country, and finally being subject to a horrible end.
I thought it was up to me to avert this tragedy, for the good of the country and the good of The Donald.
Now that the people have spoken - vox populi, vox Dei - now is the time for me, not to renege on the past (my worries are as valid today as they were the other day). I need to reassess, because the positives are so much more realistic than the negatives: This is America, the good, after all; it is neither vainglorious Italy, nor Germany, the terror of the world.
With some necessary updates, this is what I wrote just last February. Yes, Max Borders is right. If we do not want to be submerged by the red-shirts of the left and/or the brown-shirts of the right we need to stand up and call for a revolution of our own (Freeman, Winter 2015).
I must assume Mr. Borders was calling for a revolution of "free marketers." This is largely a center-right revolution, the revolution inspired by the Tea Party movement. Being so one-sided against the government, this "revolution" has not succeeded so far and it is unlikely to succeed in the future.
Instead, I call for a revolution from the true center.
Some heavy intellectual lifting to establish the characteristics of this revolution has already been done in a series of scholarly papers, many of which were collected in a book and others are being published or re-published at Mother Pelican, A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability and at Econintersect.com. Econintertsect is one of the Top 100 Sites for Enlightened Economists.
Allow me to summarize the main points here. Keynes and Hayek, under whose intellectual hegemony the world is still living today, were locked in a strenuous battle to the finish. We are still assuming that, if one wins, the other must lose.
Not so. What they could not recognize in the heat of the battle ought to be self-evident to us now. They were both right. (This is the deep tragedy of today's ideological wars.) As soon as we recognize that their positions are complementary, we can declare them both winners (International Journal of Applied Economics and Econometrics, March 2012).
And the hard work starts right there. We should determine what is the role of the government and what is the role of the market; in a properly ordered society we need them both. Clearly, the government must determine the rules of the road, and it must stop there. It is up to the market to determine all practical modalities for the use of the roads.
More to the point, we need to accept what is right and good in the positions of the political right (efficiency, for instance?) and fuse it with what is right and good in the positions of the political left (compassion, for instance?). We need to create what is just; we need to create what is our common good.
Generalities are helpful; specifics are essential.
Most economists today know economic theories; they know not the economic process. They have even lost the perspective of Classical economists who specified that, in order to produce not just "wealth" but things that sustain life, one needs these factors: land, labor, and capital - an item that today is better split into financial capital and physical capital. Accordingly, one needs to have access to all four factors to be an active participant in the economic process. There are four economic rights accompanied by four corresponding responsibilities (Rs&Rs) that we need to exercise to reach our private - and public - goals.