Moving on to Chapter 10 in Boettke on Hayek. After the war Hayek convened a meeting with a group that became the Mont Pelerin Society. The aim was to keep the ideas and institutions of democratic capitalism of alive and also renewed and refreshed to cope with emerging challenges.
Boettke sees a need for this process to continue because we face a thinking problem more than a marketing problem. Surely we need to lift our game in both of those departments. A longstanding complaint is that had core libertarians (eg Randoids) might be prepared to put their bodies on the line for Liberty but they are not prepared to explain their ideas in language that resonates with the punters.
Boettke sees “serious problems from ideas emerging from a new generation of socialists on the left and from conservative movements on the right.”  Immediately we have a marketing problem. In Hayek’s essay on why he was not a particular type of conservative he described the triangle of forces with the left at one corner, the “conservatives” at another and the classical liberals at the third. The point is to get away from linear thinking about a left to right spectrum of positions that places us on the “right”. This is one of the most powerful rhetorical devices that the left can deploy and we set ourselves up to fail if we buy into it.
The ideas of the “non-left” include zero-state anarchism, libertarianism, classical liberalism, cultural conservatism, statism, the wrong kind of nationalism, religious fundamentalim, “rightwing populism” and incidentally fascism and racism. The term “right” in common use implicitly aggregates these ideas to the disadvantage of the mix of classical liberalism and cultural (and environmental) conservatism that can deliver peace, freedom and prosperity.
So I consider that using the label “right” for ourselves is practically is a free kick to the left every time and it is no help at all to try to rank different positions on the right along a spectrum in an attempt to distance ourselves from the “far right” or “lunatic right”. We are the lunatic right as far as the left are concerned.
Liberalism Is Liberal
Under this heading Boettke engages with the often-articulated views of left intellectuals, that for us “Compassion, justice, civic responsibility, honesty, decency, humility, respect, and even survival of the poor, weak and vulnerable – are all to take a back seat.”  This perception is so widespread among what used to be called the “educated public” that a combined thinking and marketing effort is required to correct it.
Something like “a robust moral framework” has to be included among the pillars of classical liberalism, alongside the rule of law, the full range of freedoms, non-discriminatory laws, justice and limited government. Step forward Deirdre McCloskey and Michael Novak (ok he is dead but you know what I mean). The framework would include honesty, self-reliance, community service, charity, prudence, civility and tolerance. It used to be promoted from every pulpit in the western world.
The emotional appeal of the left is based on ideas that were appropriate from Christianity and classical liberalism while the actual existing institutions of Christianity and classical liberalism are excoriated and subjected to relentless attack.
The idea of the welfare state gained traction because neither the 19th century conservatives or the workers understood how laissez faire capitalism was advancing the welfare of the able bodied poor and generating the wealth that could be channelled through private and charitable efforts to deliver all the necessary health, education and welfare services that socialists desire.
There is more in the chapter about populism that needs to be considered in another post. Now it is time to check what Wind & Other are doing and have breakfast.
Wind & Other are delivering 7.2% of demand.