5Finance, discipline, and social behavior

Tracing the terms of a problem that was never properly stated

with Paul Auerbach

1 A grotesque encounter (that did not happen): Hayek vs. Proudhon

The worst thing that can happen to a militant thinker who takes (or believes that they have taken) a radical standpoint is to find allies belonging to the wrong camp, the enemy camp. By and large, this was the unfortunate game that fate played with Proudhon. The latter demanded free credit as the solution to the inequalities of the capitalist system. One century later Hayek was to agree by proposing free banking. Of course, these two approaches are not as close as they seem to be. They are based on a different conception of the word “free.” For Proudhon ...

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