Oskar Lange, a socialist economist and communist functionary of note, declared that for Mises’s role in making the point clear, “a statue of Professor Mises ought to occupy an honorable place in the great hall of the Ministry of Socialization or of the Central Planning Board of the socialist state.”
Deneen swallows whole Karl Polanyi’s “classic study” of economic history The Great Transformation (1944). Polanyi’s claim . . . is that the evil “liberal” market is a Western novelty of the nineteenth century. That way we can set aside modern liberalism as a lamentable aberration and get back to God or community and be truly happy. Though conservatives and socialists believe the tale and accept its moral, historians have since the 1950s shown over and over that it is entirely, even embarrassingly, wrong. Markets of supply and demand have existed since the caves . . .