Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

What Austrian/Libertarian issues would you like to see researched in South-East Asia?

rated by 0 users
Answered (Not Verified) This post has 0 verified answers | 27 Replies | 5 Followers

Not Ranked
Male
11 Posts
Points 205
Harald Baldr posted on Sat, Aug 4 2012 3:33 AM

Since it's my first thread I'd like to introduce myself. I'm in the process of brainstorming for a Ph.D. dissertation proposal in the field of International Relations. More specifically Internationl Poltical Economy.

Often the Libertarian and Austrian issues we read about focus exclusively on USA and Europe. However, SEA is a region full of countries with rather limited government when measured against percentage of GDP.

Just as an example, Cambodia is one of the most Libertarian countries I've ever lived in.

This is why I've chosen to advance the study of liberty in this region and put pen to paper on a 2-3 year research effort.

I would therefore be extremly grateful to hear which issues you'd like to see explored.

It can be the testing of a theory, a comparative study of two or more countries in the region, basically anything that springs to your mind.

I'm looking forward to reading your suggestions ;-)

Best regards,

Harald

Harald's Blog: A Libertarian in Europe

All Replies

Not Ranked
Male
11 Posts
Points 205

This has been covered from hundreds of different perspectives as it forms part of the East Asian Tigers story.

I'd like to cover something which haven't been looked at before. Hence my focus further South down to South-East Asia ;-)

Harald's Blog: A Libertarian in Europe
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
11 Posts
Points 205

The Texas Trigger: "as far as hard facts and highly technical details, we lack good literature. Mises nad Rothbard have devoted a couple chapters, but I really want a full treatise on the topic. "

Good point on health care. It's worthy of a broader study

Harald's Blog: A Libertarian in Europe
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
11 Posts
Points 205

Thank you for the link Fephisto. I'll scrutinize every suggestion in it ;-)

Harald's Blog: A Libertarian in Europe
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
11 Posts
Points 205

Wegreenall: "I think it's also an important way to bring Austrian analysis more holistically to a stage at which it can be used to solve not only problems found in developed countries but also those, which could be considered of greater importance, in developing countries. Add to this some understanding of the differences (or similarities!) between the policies used by such governments for "development" and those used by wealthier countries, effects on capital accumulation, monetary policy, fiscal policy, market regulation, etc. and you could have something interesting to look at"

Yes, there's plenty to look at here. I'm leaning towards something related to market regulations and cronyism/rent-seeking elites, either as a single case or comparative study.

Personally I'm very interested in capitalism and development issues. Especially how some governments implement policies that restrict economic growth and freedom in their countries. Once I have a topic which haven;t been properly researched or dealt with from my perspective yet, I'll make sure to tie it into the broader monetary and fiscaly policy picture. 

Harald's Blog: A Libertarian in Europe
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
5,255 Posts
Points 80,815
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Off the top of my head...

-The disproportionately high costs of the EU.

-Friendly societies and pre-state welfare systems.

-Healthcare, including European systems.

-Surviving crashes and profiting from them. I'd like to see some Austrian attention to the likes of Kiyosaki and also more Austrian analysis undertaken of Schiff and Mish (who are both self-proclaimed libertarians.)

-The Eastern economies.

-I'd like to see more on game theory, seeing as it was developed by an Austrian. Also, more on parsing Austrian econ in formal logic and how it can fruitfully employ mathematical techniques for purposes of economic research would be useful, as this is compatible with the school's overarching epistemological stance.

-Updates in methodological debates on mainstream econ and beyond. I think Austrianism would benefit from surveying recent work on logic, metaphysics etc. and critiquing it/learning from whatever good insights it has.

-Finance theory from an Austrian PoV.

-Environmentalism/pollution.

-Further research on libertarian justifcations of property rights and a headway to formalising how we deal with "thorny" issues, like standards of appropriation (I still think these will necessarily be conventional in nature, unlike the right to property itself), children's rights, animal rights etc. I think both the Hoppean/de Jasay approach and the neo-Aristotelian approach (Rasmussen/den Uyl) can be further elaborated. Attention to Jeremy Waldron's arguments on Lockean property rights (discussed today by David Gordon; I am familiar with the author beforehand) and attempts at justifying the state and elaboration into a fuller line of attack against such views.

-More could be written on the concept of psychological harm (and manipulation) and harm in general. This is an area that inherently suffers from vagueness, but more conceptual precision can never hurt.

-Related to this, work on libertarian styles of parenting and how to avoid child abuse.

-Also related to it, research on advertising and delineating cases of it where it is fraudulent/highly manipulative and "legitimate"/informative etc.

-A critique of the media.

-Russia/Eastern Europe after de-socialising.

-Austrian sociological theory.

-More political analysis.

-A lot more work on crony capitalism.

-Thymological application of the socialist calculation problem to modern world economies/goverments and their atrocious attempts at solving "social problems".

-Some in-depth work on inflationist vs deflationist strains of Austrianism and on the divergent ways booms can end up.

-A survey of modern economic works on MW laws (some still insist on arguing they "work").

-This is very important - I'd like to see an Austrian perspective away from labour-intensive societies to ones where ownership of firms becomes the predominant means of earning income. I think as automation increases, this shift will come about provided the gov't gets out of the way.

-I do think some attention needs to be given to David Graeber's work on the origins of money. Whether he is right or wrong, it's something Austrians would benefit from examining.

-A LOT more on financial "deregulation". There is so much over-regulation that this claim that markets are "deregulated" needs to be blown into outer space.

-The internet. It owes a lot less to the government than is commonly assumed, so more research needs to be done here.

-Science with the state out of the way.

-The moral and economic implications of upcoming technologies like life extension, genetic modification and increasing integration of machines and humans.

 

 

There's already some great papers on these topics, but more can be said as always. Some of these topics come up often by statists as "proof" that libertarianism fails blah blah, and there are very good responses to them but they would benefit from a more systematic treatment. Marxian/Keynesian economics as always require on-going attention until they are fully laid to death, but I'd say more attention should also be paid to the likes of Sraffa, even if his works only tangentially touch on Austrian themes.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

  • | Post Points: 50
Not Ranked
16 Posts
Points 380

This is very important - I'd like to see an Austrian perspective away from labour-intensive societies to ones where ownership of firms becomes the predominant means of earning income. I think as automation increases, this shift will come about provided the gov't gets out of the way.

Interesting points, but how did you reach such a conclusion? The infinite number of human wants, and division of labour, imply that this won't be the case - a transfer from a situation in which ownership of firms STOPPED being the predominant means of earning income, ie, the extent of the division of labour increased, heralded as we know massive increases in productivity. naturally This does not preclude that its somehow turning the other way as a result of automation, but I don't quite understand why exactly automation in certain sectors of the economy (since not all processes can [or at least easily or are likely to] be automated, would lead to a fall in total labour-intensiveness in the economy as a whole; certainly this is possible in a situation in which the number of human wants was not infinite, in which perhaps they could be provided for by automated processes to a great extent, but in a situation in which we cannot approach a fulfilling of the majority of human wants (since in theory they are infinite) i see no reason to assume that the division of labour would exhibit diminishing returns on such a level. That is, that a diminishing of the returns to  scale of division of labour (thereby causing an increase of firm ownership rather than employment) would come about as a result of automation in some processes, even if those processes were to encompass the majority of production overall.

sorry to the OP for the thread hijack, if you want send me a message!

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 10 Contributor
Male
5,255 Posts
Points 80,815
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

It is a big "if" but it would be interesting to provide a comprehensive refutation to those who play chicken little about automation. My argument is that even if it does happen on a full scale that it will a) not be the end of the world because a transition to ownership can be effected and b) machines will begin improving humans rather than replacing them anyway.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
871 Posts
Points 21,030

I don't think it would necessarily qualify as research, but we could use more works of fiction that contain an an-cap society.  Sort of like The Probability Broach.  I am thinking of one, and the idea of humans being enhanced by machines is a really good idea.  What if astronauts were just humans plugged into a matrix-like environment (but one that would allow easy and intuitive control over the ship, essentially the ship becomes their body), simply because it saved a lot of space and resources?

Schools are labour camps.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
4,987 Posts
Points 89,745

On the topic of Europe, I recently learned Europe has production quotas on vegetables (and recently on grapes specifically). I wonder how that's working out.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
32 Posts
Points 390

Food production.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
11 Posts
Points 205

Jon Irenicus: Thank you for many great suggestions. My favorites are:

"Friendly societies and pre-state welfare systems"


This is particularily relevant in a South-East Asian setting as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam are very far away from the European welfare state paradigm. I think I might end up formulating a topic a long the lines of this soon. I'll let you know if it materializes. 

-A lot more work on crony capitalism.

Again, this region is often viewed as crony capitalism epitomized. 
 
-Some in-depth work on inflationist vs deflationist strains of Austrianism and on the divergent ways booms can end up.
 
I may be able to come up with a topic around the Asian crisis of 97 by focusing on some of the lesser known boom and bust areas. 

Thanks again for the suggestions
Harald's Blog: A Libertarian in Europe
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
11 Posts
Points 205

wegreenall:  No worries! A debate on any topic is most welcome ;-) 

Harald's Blog: A Libertarian in Europe
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
11 Posts
Points 205

Wheylous: The EU has a lot of strange regulations including one about the aesthetics of certain vegetables. It may have been repealed (not 100% sure) now but there was a law against ugly vegetables up untill a few months ago. 

Harald's Blog: A Libertarian in Europe
  • | Post Points: 5
Page 2 of 2 (28 items) < Previous 1 2 | RSS