As the editor of CityAM points out, getting the narrative right is essential. The Left is great at understanding this, whereas classical liberals/libertarians have tended not to be, although part of it comes down to numbers of people. That is why it is essential, in my view, for people who want to push the tide of affairs in a better direction to break into the MSM, as well as keep pushing new channels of media in the internet age.
With that thought of narratives in mind, it seems to me vital to keep pushing back at the idea that 2008 was caused by “unregulated capitalism”. It is utter nonsense. And the “Austrian” school is the best place to go in figuring this out:
Austrian economists were among the main critics of the pre-2007 economy and financial system – there, were, of course, critics from other backgrounds too – warning of the absurd monetary policies being pursued by central banks, of the moral hazard from the authorities’ interventions, and of the hubris inherent in many mathematical financial models. Neo-Hayekians criticised Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke long before it became fashionable to do so, blaming them for the dot.com and housing bubbles. Austrians were aghast at the bailouts.
Hayekian ideas form the basis for an alternative intellectual framework being developed by a record number of scholars, especially in eastern Europe, the US, Latin America and even China. They are looking at ways in which market institutions can be harnessed to prevent another crisis, tackle the environment and find better ways of providing welfare, education and health. Politics is in a deeply statist phase. Eventually, however, the tide will turn, and Thatcher’s guru will be celebrated once again.
Heath is right – we are in a statist phase right now, not just in the UK. Perhaps the turning point may come from a country that hasn’t been considered. Maybe, for example, one of the continental European nations takes a dramatic turn towards sanity, although at present the odds look low on that. I still think Asia is going to be where the impetus will come from. Consider what might happen if China, India or, say, Indonesia adopts a gold-backed currency and other radical reforms. If Asian policymakers quote Hayek and Mises more than, say, Keynes or Krugman.
Hong Kong’s example of vibrant, laissez faire success eventually changed the mainland of China. Could Asia eventually force the old West to change course and come to its senses?