Free marketeers claim that theirs is the only economic mechanism which respects and furthers human freedom. Socialism, they say, has been thoroughly discredited. Most libertarians treat the state in anything other than its minimal, 'nightwatchman' form as a repressive embodiment of evil. Some reject the state altogether.
But is the 'free market idea' a rationally defensible belief? Or do its proponents fail to examine the philosophical roots of their so-called freedom? Anti-libertarianism takes a sceptical look at the conceptual tenets of free market politics. Alan Haworth argues that libertarianism is little more than an unfounded, quasi-religious statement of faith: a market romance. Moreover, libertarianism is exposed as profoundly antithetical to the very freedom which it purports to advance.
This controversial book is for anyone interested in the cultural and political impact of free market policies on the modern world. It will be invaluable to students and specialists of political and economic theory, social science and philosophy.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Part I; Chapter 1 Libertarianism - Anti-Libertarianism; Chapter 2 Market Romances I; Chapter 3 Reducibility, Freedom, the Invisible Hand; Chapter 4 Market Romances II; Chapter 5 On Freedom; Chapter 6 The Legend of the Angels and the Fable of the Bees; Part 2 Part II; Chapter 7 Moralising the Market; Chapter 8 Rights, Wrongs and Rhetoric; Chapter 9 Visions of Valhalla; Part 3 Part III; Chapter 10 The Good Fairy’s Wand; Chapter 11 Hayek and the Hand of Fate; Chapter 12 Conclusions and Postscript;
Alan Haworth is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of North London.