Bonfire of the Clichés
by Sarah Skwire
Literary scholar Sarah Skwire asks us to revisit the western canon’s portrayal of business and commerce. Mainstream scholars and libertarians both seem to agree that the “great books” portray business in a uniformly negative light, but Skwire finds the evidence for this contention to be thin. She proposes a much more nuanced view, in which critiques of the market stand side by side with favorable depictions and even sound, encouraging advice for would-be businessmen. It’s time to get beyond the clichés about literature and commerce.
Three At-Risk Children of the Enlightenment
by William H. Patterson Jr.
William H. Patterson, Jr. reflects on the origins of liberty, commerce, and literature as we have come to understand them today. He finds that all three have a common root in the European Enlightenment. History, however, often comes in cycles or waves, and the fortunes of all three have risen and fallen over time. He expresses the hope that each of the three “at-risk children of the Enlightenment” will flourish in the coming decades.
The Economics of Shakespeare… and His Critics
by Frederick Turner
Frederick Turner offers a structural explanation for why literary scholars have been so eager to supply anti-commercial readings to the western canon. Literary criticism began among gentlemen; it then passed to the anti-commercial meritocracy of the universities. But alternate readings exist, and Turner even offers a startlingly pro-commerical reading of The Merchant of Venice.
Stranger in a Familiar Land
by Amy H. Sturgis
Amy H. Sturgis argues that much of the apparent anti-market bias in literature stems from elitism. By excluding genre fiction, mainstream literary critics also exclude many thoughtful and provocative treatments of markets and their place in political economy. Often the excluded works are highly sympathetic to libertarian ideals. Fiction shapes public opinion, including public opinion about markets, and popular fiction by definition reaches more than any other kind.
- Turner and Patterson: Reclaiming the Enlightenment by Frederick Turner
- Follow the World or Change It? by William H. Patterson Jr.
- A Naturalism of Hope by William H. Patterson Jr.
- Economics and the Humanities: It’s Time to Cross the Disciplines by Sarah Skwire
- All Is Not Lost by Frederick Turner
- The Pieces of a Shattered Esthetic by William H. Patterson Jr.
- Widening the Net by Amy H. Sturgis
- Ayn Rand, Capitalism, and Romanticism by William H. Patterson Jr.
- Reasons for Optimism by Sarah Skwire