Atheism and freedom 25

The right theory of individual freedom came from an understanding of the spontaneous evolution of civil institutions and traditions. A free society no more needed an intelligent designer than did the human species.  

The similarity of process in the development of social and biological life is brilliantly explained by one of the great defenders of freedom:

Though freedom is not a state of nature but an artifact of civilization, it did not arise from design. …

[The] development of a theory of liberty took place mainly in the eighteenth century. It began in two countries, England and Fance. The first of these knew liberty, the second did not. As a result, we have had to the present day two different traditions in the theory of liberty … the first based on an interpretation of traditions and institutions which had spontaneously grown up … the second aiming at the construction of a utopia, which has often been tried but never successfully. …

What we have called the “British tradition” was made explicit mainly by a group of Scottish moral philosophers led by David Hume, Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson, seconded by their English contemporaries Josiah Tucker, Edmund Burke, and William Paley … drawing largely on a tradition rooted in the jurisprudence of the common law. Opposed to them was the tradition of the French Enlightenment … : the Encyclopedists and Rousseau, the Physiocrats and Condorcet, are their best known representatives. …

[T]here is hardly a greater contrast imaginable between their respective conceptions of the evolution and functioning of a social order and the role played in it by liberty. …

[T]he British philosophers laid the foundations of a profound and essentially valid theory, while the [French] school was simply and completely wrong. …

Those British philosophers have given us an interpretation of of the growth of civilization that is still the indispensable foundation of the argument for liberty. They find the origin of institutions, not in contrivance or design, but in the survival of the successful. …

This demonstration … represented in some ways an even greater challenge to all design theories than even the later theory of biological evolution. For the first time it was shown that that an evident order which was not the product of a designing human intelligence need not therefore be ascribed to the design of a higher, supernatural intelligence, but that there was a third possibility – the emergence of order as the result of adaptive evolution.

-From The Constitution of Liberty by F. A. Hayek , Chapter Four: Freedom, Reason, and Tradition.

  • Jillian Becker

    As an individualist, I think there is one important point that must be made. We have been discussing the contributions women and men make as classes to our civilization. The individual seeks for what is valuable to him or her, regardless of whether it matters to others or affects them in any way at all. My highest personal aim is understanding. That’s why I think learning is a good in itself. But to each his own. Each of us is a world, and no two subjective worlds are the same.

  • liz

    That’s really interesting. I’m going to have to take another stab at that book!

  • Roger

    I think it is interesting how both the British and the French civilizations failed, yet memes from both worked their way into our culture, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, our system of common law, and economic theory. Those memes survived because they were the most successful for the most people.

    Other memes are the concept of god, and the institutions of religion. But, only an insane supernatural hand could have guided the insane history of the human race! It has been, and continues to be, a battle of memes. And, memes die out when they no longer serve the ever changing culture.

    The strongest meme that came out of the Enlightenment was freedom – the importance of the individual. All people were created (by evolution) equal. Wait, what about the divine right of kings, or the ubiquitous power of the church? They have been in decline ever since. New secular tyrannies have arisen, and one old religious tyranny (Islam) is on the rise, but these can only exist by brute force, aided by ignorance.

    The internet and cell phones are spreading the meme of freedom all over the world, and hopefully the tyrants will soon lose. I think I just strayed off topic, but yes, I too am a fan of Hayek! Thanks for the post.

    • Don L

      Talk about OFF TOPIC…Per your last paragraph and cell phones…I received this eMail: Entrepreneurial sprit?

      Subject: The Rest of the Story–who knew!

      It all started with a Skin flick . . . 

      In 1933, a beautiful, young Austrian woman took off her clothes for a movie director. She ran naked through the woods. She swam naked in a lake. Pushing well beyond the social norms of the ‘Period’. The most popular movie in 1933 was King Kong, but everyone in Hollywood was talking about that scandalous movie with the gorgeous, young Austrian Woman. 

      Louis B. Mayer, of the giant studio MGM, said she was the most beautiful Woman in the World. The film was banned practically everywhere, which of course made it even more popular and valuable. Mussolini reportedly refused to sell his copy at any price. The star of the film, called “Ecstasy”, was Hedwig Kiesler. She said the secret of her beauty was “To stand there and look Stupid.” In reality, Kiesler was anything but stupid. She was a genius. She’d grown up as the only child of a prominent Jewish banker. She was a math prodigy. She excelled at science. As she grew older, she became ruthless, using all the power her body and mind gave her. 

      Between the sexual roles she played, her tremendous beauty, and the power of her intellect, Kiesler would confound the men in her life, including her six husbands, two of the most ruthless dictators of the 20th century, and one of the greatest movie producers in history. 
      Her beauty made her rich for a time. She is said to have made – and spent – $30 million in her life. But her greatest accomplishment resulted from her intellect and her invention continues to shape  the World we live in today

      You see, this young Austrian starlet would take one of the most valuable technologies ever developed right from under Hitler’s nose. After fleeing to America, she not only became a major Hollywood star, her name sits on one of the most important patents ever granted by the U.S. Patent Office. 

      Today, when you use your cell phone or over the next few years, as you experience super-fast wireless Internet access (via something called “long-term evolution” or “LTE” technology), you’ll be using an extension of the technology a 20- year-old Actress first conceived while sitting at dinner with Hitler. 

      At the time she made ‘Ecstasy’, Kiesler was married to one of the richest men in Austria. Friedrich Mandl was Austria’s leading arms maker. His firm would become a key supplier to the Nazis. Mandl used his beautiful young wife as a showpiece at important business dinners with representatives of the Austrian, Italian, and German fascist forces. One of Mandl’s favorite topics at these gatherings,which included meals with Hitler and Mussolini, was the technology surrounding radio-controlled missiles and torpedoes. Wireless weapons offered far greater ranges than the wire-controlled alternatives that prevailed at the time. 

      Kiesler sat through these dinners “Looking Stupid,” while absorbing everything she heard. As a Jew, Kiesler hated the Nazis. She abhorred her husband’s business ambitions. Mandl responded to his willful wife by imprisoning her in his castle, Schloss Schwarzenau. In 1937, she managed to escape. She drugged her maid, Sneaked out of the castle wearing the maid’s clothes and sold her jewelry to finance a trip to London . 

      She got out just in time, for in 1938, Germany annexed Austria. The Nazis seized Mandl’s factory (He was half Jewish). Mandl fled to Brazil. Later, he became an adviser to Argentina’s iconic populist President, Juan Pero. In London, Kiesler arranged a meeting with Louis B. Mayer. She signed a long-term contract with him,  becoming one of MGM’s biggest stars. She appeared in more than 20 films. She was a co-star to Clark Gable, Judy Garland, and even Bob Hope. Each of her first seven MGM movies was a ‘Blockbuster’. 
      But Kiesler cared far more about fighting the Nazis than about making Movies. At the height of her fame, 1942, she developed a new kind of communications system, optimized for sending coded messages that couldn’t be “jammed.” She was building a system that would allow torpedoes and guided bombs to always reach their targets. She was building a system to kill Nazis. 

      By the 1940’s, both the Nazis and the Allied forces were using the kind of single-frequency radio-controlled technology Kiesler’s ex-husband had been peddling. The drawback of this technology was that the enemy could find the appropriate frequency and “Jam” or intercept the signal, thereby interfering with the missile’s intended path. Kiesler’s key innovation was to “change the channel.” It was a way of encoding a message across a broad area of the wireless spectrum. If one part of the spectrum was jammed, the message would still get through on one of the other frequencies being used. 

      The problem was, she could not figure out how to synchronize the frequency changes on both the receiver and the transmitter. To solve the problem, she turned to perhaps the World’s first techno-musician, George Anthiel. Anthiel was an acquaintance of Kiesler who achieved some notoriety for creating intricate musical  compositions. He synchronized his melodies across twelve player pianos, producing stereophonic sounds no one had ever heard before. 

      Kiesler incorporated Anthiel’s technology for synchronizing his player pianos. Then, she was able to synchronize the frequency changes between a weapon’s receiver and its transmitter On August 11, 1942, U.S. Patent No. 2,292,387 was granted to Antheil and “Hedy Kiesler Markey”, which was Kiesler’s married name at the time. 

      Most of you won’t recognize the name Kiesler. And no one would remember the name Hedy Markey. But it’s a fair bet than anyone reading this newsletter of a certain age will remember one of the great beauties of Hollywood’s golden age ~ ‘Hedy Lamarr’ ! 

      That’s the name Louis B. Mayer gave to his prize actress. That’s the name his movie company made famous. Meanwhile, almost no one knows Hedwig Kiesler – aka ‘Hedy Lamarr’ – was one of the great pioneers of wireless communications. Her technology was  developed by the U.S. Navy, which has used it ever since. 

      You’re probably using Lamarr’s technology, too. Her patent sits at the foundation of “Spread Spectrum technology,” which you use every day when you log on to a wi-fi network or make calls with your Bluetooth-enabled phone. 

      It lies at the heart of the massive investments being made right now in so-called fourth-generation “LTE” wireless technology. This next generation of cell phones and cell towers will provide tremendous  increases to wireless network speed and quality, by spreading wireless signals across the entire available spectrum. This kind of encoding is only possible using the kind of frequency switching that Hedwig Kiesle invented. 

      And now you know, “The Rest of the Story” !

      • liz

        This would’ve made a great movie! Amazing story.

        • Don L

          Yeah…at least as interesting as Chuck Barris as a CIA assasin.

          The eMail didn’t give a source, but it certainly has the Paul Harvey format. I’m old enough to know who she was. Amazing is understating…I certainly uttered a Wow!

          I guess she not only fought Nazis, she made spreading Roger’s memes possible!

          • Roger

            If you want to delve into memes a bit more see this:

            http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Articles/cas01.html

            • Don L

              Ah…Dawkins. I knew I’d heard the term before. It’s been awhile since I’ve read anything by him. I enjoyed the God delusion…his explanation of how religion/god gets into the basic value system (against all rationality) was as good as any I’ve ever come across.

              Candidly, it’s all sorta more than I need to or want to know. Some jerk or jerkette violates my rights…dealt with. How they came to be screwed up matters not to me.

              I still like Desmond Morris’s Naked Ape ideas. And, Quest For Fire is still one of my favorite movies. In the news lately is the equality of income between sexes. Between Morris and Thomas Sowell’s ideas…there is no such thing as equality and it turns out, gestalt – all things considerd – there is no disparity in incomes. PERIOD!!!

              This will get me into lots of trouble (LOL)…I think women and their love of soap operas and gossip have done more to destroy morals in this country (ironing while watching porn and accepting the violation of marriage contract) and women gaining administative control of education…emotion masquerading as thought and The Real Housewives of Anywhere mentality suplanting leadership.

              It is impossible for men and women to ever see the world in the same way…physiologically we are just wired differently and the chemistry…enough. I’m ducking down. LOL

              Ah, I do not in anyway mean to imply that women are stupid…the prove of intellect is obvious given the ownership and participation of women on this site. Nor to imply men are somehow superior. that argument seems sophmoric.

              There are left-side, right-side brain node relationships that are proven to alter perceptions, etceteras. Of nature…different roles for the genetically correct members of the species…that’s a different topic.

            • Roger

              I think you just stepped in something very stinky! Despite your disclaimer, I feel like defending the many very intelligent women I have known.

              As for the right/left brain argument, both sexes have both lobes! The goal, I think, is to find balance between them. Some of the most emotional people I have ever met are the most macho males! They need some left brain training for sure. Our world is largely run by overgrown emotional 12 year old men. And as a result, it is screwed up.

              As far as soap operas and gossip go, men watch hard core porn instead, practice killing computer created enemies, and gossip just as much, if not more than women.

              I think your intentions were harmless, but how about an elaborated disclaimer for Ayn Rand and Jillian Becker.

            • Jillian Becker

              Thanks, Roger. But on the bell-shaped curve, men go further both ways than women. Women lump in the middle. Women generally are more emotional than men (which is why more of them vote for the left, the side of the emotions). Women would have gone on using brooms forever if a man hadn’t invented the vacuum cleaner. And women would never have come up with the idea of objective justice administered in courts of law. Yes, there are efficient women, and intelligent women, and brave women, and strong women, even perhaps a few inventive women… But if they have children they ought to stay home and look after them.

            • Don L

              I cannot put a finger on some named source to support my opinion, but I agree with Jillian…as a specie’s role, women are supposed to be rearing the kids. And, they did until government intervention in the economy made that impossible and two incomes were needed to make up for the cost of living created by the FED inflation of the money supply. Penny candy now costs $21.00.

              And as to income equality…Thomas Sowell’s book “Economic Facts and Fallacies” provides the studies, facts and explanation whereas, given the characteristics of male and female employment…wages are correct and at parity. To equalizes absolute numbers isn’t parity it is favoritism for votes. And, as with all government programs, the ones to be help lose…jobs in this case.

              Wow…look what I started? LOL.

            • liz

              I agree. The idea that women should leave their kids in day care, or never have any, for the sake of a career is as unnatural as the idea that the human race must destroy itself for the sake of spotted owls, etc.
              Another self hating “meme” of the left.

            • Don L

              Here here, there there…absolutely. Totally agree…and there is nothing inferior or superior in any of this…it just is.

            • Roger

              I am stunned by that reply! I guess I was the one who stepped in something, not Don.

            • Don L

              As Señor Wences’s friend in the box Peter would say…”eats aw right…close de door”.

            • Jillian Becker

              I truly appreciate your point of view – and your compliment, Roger. You are a scholar and a gentleman.

            • Roger

              Thanks for that. I don’t want to drop it until I tell you exactly why I reacted the way I did.

              Assume sex will continue to be ubiquitous in humans. This means females will get pregnant, whether it’s planned or not, as is the case now. Once they have children, you say they should stay home and take care of that responsibility. Given that inevitable scenario, why educate them beyond the basics? They won’t have time to catch up with the men anyway. You argue that women don’t feel or think as deeply as men, and would never have been capable of inventing modern civilization, so they are really not fit to compete with men anyway. They should just remain barefoot, pregnant, and ignorant of the ways of the men’s world. That’s a misogynist argument I would expect from Mormons and Muslims.

              And, the bell curve comment is inaccurate imho. Generalizing washes out the detail. Is it comparing all males to all females? Does it lump illiterate male construction workers with PhD’s? Does it mix women who have done nothing but make babies since they were 15 with men who run their own businesses? Any statistics used to generate that bell curve are based upon the historical (and current in most places) fact that women have only recently been allowed to participate more fully in life (and only in a few places). Perhaps females have the same human potential as men, and it just hasn’t been long enough to move the averages.

              Obviously, I was wrong about all of this. I often read meanings into written words that were not intended. I ask you to reread your post, and explain where I went astray.

            • Don L

              (I am not in any manner answering for Jillian. This is solely my reply)

              A HS dropout, enlisted in ’63 and saw service in Viet Nam…I didn’t attend university until age 30: Arizona State University; Cum Laude graduate in ’78. My motivations were slightly different than most.

              In my senior year I had to take a communications class in the school of journalism…I was late and was assigned to a group tasked with doing a study on “Women on Women in the Workplace”. My initial ‘Argh’ became a holy-cow & Wow, very interesting.

              The study ionvolved questionaire/survey, focus group and live interviews with females at all levels of the employment spectrum : clerical-to-president (that was the title in the old days, LOL). Additionaly, males were surveyed and focus grouped as to their views about women in the workplace and their views as to males in the workplace.

              Sans any full discussion, and after a coup[le divorces and several address changes and 2 robberies over 35 years…I can’t put my hands on a copy of the study, the results were very revealing. Yes it was awhile ago. The Equal Rights Amendment came and went and NOW and Feminism soared and has fallen…so I don’t know that all that much has changed as to underlying revelations. Here’s the basics of what was discovered:

              Women who exhibited what were deemed male traits as to assertiveness, drive to lead, leadership skills wound up with better jobs and increasingly more managerial responsibilities.

              Once in those senior jobs, however, men saw those male traits as ‘bitchy’ whereas “stickler”, not necessarily part of the male bonding/team code, was perceived. Or, yes, unquestionably capable of doing the job but not as a man would.

              Women saw these women with ‘success’ male traits as bossy, aloof and also bitchy but from a mean spirit vs a style perspective. Very close to ‘enemy’ as a lot of distrust was assigned. Women understood they could manipulate male superiors and not so much a women boss.

              Now, it wasn’t that men didn’t have issues with other men in the worklplace, but for the most part it was typically, whether good or bad opinion/attitude, was related to task/job performance. Women, on the other hand formed co-worker opinons based on an extensive list of criteria, most not work related.

              Men exhibited, even to those not liked, a degree of loyalty…”no I wouldn’t go as far as firing him”.
              Women, had no problem “talking behind the back” of other women, even women deemed ‘friend’. Men, even in away from work settings tended to speak of work. Women, in or out of the workplace, tended to speak of more domestic issues. Except, of course, those women exhibiting the male traits.

              In general, women really didn’t like other women all that well and forming effective teams was challenging. Males easily formed groups and work product was the measure of acceptance. Men recognized style differences with female superiors or peers but took it in stride. Women, surprisingly more than men, resented women leaders and tended to “get close for favors”. Bottom line, the woman who exhiobited the traits for success, deemed male traits, got ahead but suffered from negativity exhibited by women and “being different” from males.
              _____________________________________

              This was one of those things, back then for me, I never thought about. It was made obvious that women didn’t really, in general, didn’t want to be in a workplace…not lazy…but saw their interests in more domestic endeavors. Employing the Naked Ape concept: A woman that is a good hunter is accepted by the male hunters…but always not the same. That good hunter woman is seen by the other women as not fulfilling her duty as a woman…outside the group; not trusted or included.

              First and foremost, before one even goes into the seemingly never ending definitions as to why humans are better or different than other animals…WE ARE STLL ANIMALS and as a specie…the sexes have animal/specie survival roles…inate…gene coded…unalterable. Differnt only by degree between individuals. Then we add the brain in an intellect and societal contribution comes in.

              But you know what…sucess is the progressive realization of a persons worthy ideal. If that is to be a wife and mother…be the best damned wife and mother there is. If it’s to be a bridge designer…work, study and do that to the best of one’s ability.

              I’m done! GRR

            • Jillian Becker

              Of course both men and women should be educated. No reason why women shouldn’t use their education without going out to work while their children are in their dependent years. (Ideally they have men to earn the family living, but they can earn money from home too.) You say “women weren’t allowed to”. Let’s think about that. Who has the power to allow or disallow? And why? Those have power who exercise it. If you have to wait for someone to give it to you, it will melt in your hands.

              It is well known that by and large women are better than men at some things, and vice versa. (Apparently men can think in three dimensions better than women, for instance.) And of course there are always exceptions. Margaret Thatcher was a better Prime Minister and commander-in-chief than any man in the last century except Winston Churchill. Ayn Rand was a better thinker by far than the loathsome plagiarizing Karl Marx and hundreds of other communist writers whose work is insultingly opaque but continues to have evil effects on the minds of (say) community organizers.

              Your chivalry does you credit, in my view, Roger. Men should be chivalrous to women, because women are the weaker sex. But almost all the towering achievements of the human race have been the work of men, not women. Allowing for the handful of known exceptions, we may pertinently wonder: where are the women inventors, engineers, discoverers, innovators? When a woman does excel in science, or philosophy, or war, we lavish praise on her as we do on a precocious child. In truth, we celebrate her patronizingly, precisely because her achievement is unusual.

              In general, if women do what they’re good at, that is good enough. They are indispensable in more ways than their biological function. They should be valued for what they are and do, not put through hoops to become like men. (Unless as individuals they want to.)

              What is the chief intellectual contribution of women (as a class) to the modern age? Feminism. What is feminism? A movement among the largest class of free, luxuriously living, securely supported human beings that has ever existed in the history of the world – middle-class Western women – to complain of their lot. Feminists deserve no respect. The suffragettes had a reasonable cause, but women would have got the vote anyway. And on the whole, as a class, they don’t exercise it wisely. The first big thing that newly enfranchised women achieved in America was – Prohibition!

              It should be said that just as all the greatest contributors to civilization have been men, so have all the worst destroyers been men. As I said, they crowd the two ends of the bell-shaped curve.

            • liz

              Jillian didn’t say women don’t think or feel as deeply as men- you’re assuming that.
              Men and women are just wired differently, and therefore find fulfillment differently.
              Women are wired to find motherhood fulfilling. There are always exceptions, but that is generally true.
              Feminists who push the idea that women should eschew motherhood and compete with men for jobs that men are better wired to do are doing women a disservice. A lot of women who bought this idea ended up unhappy with their choice, after it was too late for them to have children.
              No one here is saying women should be forced to do it, either, obviously, so the comparison of Jillians views those of Mormons is also inaccurate.

            • Don L

              From the broadway play Avenue Q…The internet is for Porn!

              More men attend female basketball games than women.

              Nobody likes my left/ride lobe connection theory…as animals, male and female because each has a specific role and each sees the world differently…men hunters…(no matter how ugly, the guy with the money and toys always gets the pretty girl..a law) women gatherers and child rearing: group cohesion and risk-taking vs solo endeavors, cynicism and caution..oh…mama bear defensive! That’s a wiring difference.

              And, as to your thinking it “disclaimer lite”…Nynanyaanyaaa…phewewewew!!! LOL

            • Jillian Becker

              Don’t know how far that left-lobe right-lobe theory applies. But if the same wage has to be paid to women as to men, then employers will take the male rather than the female. Obviously. Females have days of inefficiency physically induced, they take time off to have babies or look after their kids when they’re staying home from school sick and so on. If this equal pay legislation is enacted there will be massive female unemployment.

      • Jillian Becker

        Amazing, Don! I had no idea… I remember Hedy Lamarr of course. The story should be much better known. So glad you posted it.

  • Don L

    Out of the French Nightmare came many great thinkers on economics and liberty; having first hand knowledge of what is wrong with central governments, they offer warnings and principles Here are but three (descriptive material is excerpted from the Ludwig von Mises Institute’s book description):

    A Treatise on Political Economy
    Destutt Tracy

    The neglect of Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy (1754–1836) in the history of political economy is both strange and tragic. He was, after all, Thomas Jefferson’s number one favorite economist, the thinker who influenced him and, arguably, laid the ideological foundation of the American economic system as Jefferson understood it.

    What’s more, this reprint of the 1817 edition of his book was prepared personally by Jefferson and contains an editorial note by him:

    “It would be difficult to do justice, in any translation, to the style of the original, in which no word is unnecessary, no word can be changed for the better, and severity of logic results in that brevity, to which we wish all science reduced. The merit of this work will, I hope, place it in the hands of every reader in our country. By diffusing sound principles of Political Economy, it will protect the public industry from the parasite institutions now consuming it, and lead us to that just and regular distribution of the public burthens from which we have sometimes strayed.”

    This high praise from Jefferson has somehow not translated into deserved fame for this book. One reason for this has to do with Tracy’s own radicalism. He went further than any of his French contemporaries in the defense of trade, property, hard money, commerce, and his attacks on the state. This led to the banishment of his works in France, and an attempt by Napoleon to blunt his influence. Whereas Tracy coined the term “ideology” to refer to the science of the formation of ideals, Napoleon dismissed him and all those he influenced as “ideologues.” This is how the term enters into modern usage.

    http://library.mises.org/books/Destutt%20Tracy/A%20Treatise%20on%20Political%20Economy.pdf

    The Law
    Frederic Bastiat

    Claude Frédéric Bastiat was an economist and publicist of breathtaking intellectual energy and massive historical influence. He was born in Bayonne, France on June 29th, 1801. After the middle-class Revolution of 1830, Bastiat became politically active and was elected Justice of the Peace in 1831 and to the Council General (county-level assembly) in 1832. He was elected to the national legislative assembly after the French Revolution of 1848.

    How is it that the law enforcer itself does not have to keep the law? How is it that the law permits the state to lawfully engage in actions which, if undertaken by individuals, would land them in jail?

    These are among the most intriguing issues in political and economic philosophy. More specifically, the problem of law that itself violates law is an insurmountable conundrum of all statist philosophies.

    The problem has never been discussed so profoundly and passionately as in this essay by Frederic Bastiat from 1850. The essay might have been written today. It applies in ever way to our own time, which is precisely why so many people credit this one essay for showing them the light of liberty.

    Bastiat’s essay here is timeless because applies whenever and wherever the state assumes unto itself different rules and different laws from that by which it expects other people to live.

    And so we have this legendary essay, written in a white heat against the leaders of 19th century France, the reading of which has shocked millions out of their toleration of despotism. This new edition from the Mises Institute revives a glorious translation that has been out of print for a hundred years, one that circulated in Britain in the generation that followed Bastiat’s death.

    http://library.mises.org/books/Frederic%20Bastiat/The%20Law.pdf

    A Treatise on Political Economy
    Jean-Baptiste Say

    Jean-Baptiste Say (1767-1832) has been described as a revolutionary, an author of scholarly books and popular tracts, a social philosopher, a successful entrepreneur and a remarkable Renaissance man.

    Above all, however, he was a great economist. He might best be described as a proto-Austro-Misesian, the author of the law of markets, known as Say’s law, and as the first to coin the term “entrepreneur.” Say’s concern with the average interested citizen and his zeal for economic education for the masses is most apparent in his classic work.

    http://library.mises.org/books/Jean-Baptiste%20Say/Letters%20to%20Mr%20Malthus.pdf

    • Jillian Becker

      Yes, indeed. Thanks for all this. These were the exceptions to the “French tradition”.