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Creative Language, Creative Destruction, Creative Politics


  • McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen


Why did the North-Sea folk suddenly get so rich, get so much cargo? The answers seems not to be that supply was brought into equilibrium with demand---the curves were moving out at breakneck pace. Reallocation is not the key. Language is, with its inherent creativity. The Bourgeois Revaluation of the 17th and 18th centuries brought on the modern world. It was the Greatest Externality, and the substance of a real liberalism. Left and right have long detested it, expressing their detestation nowadays in environmentalism. They can stop the modern world, and in some places have. The old Soviet Union was admired even by many economists---an instance of a “cultural contradiction of capitalism,” in which ideas permitted by the successes of innovation rise up to kill the innovation. We should resist it.

Suggested Citation

  • McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen, 2009. "Creative Language, Creative Destruction, Creative Politics," MPRA Paper 22925, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22925

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Virgil Henry Storr, 2015. "Weber’s spirit of capitalism and the Bahamas’ Junkanoo ethic," Chapters,in: Culture and Economic Action, chapter 11, pages 243-266 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. DONALD N. McCLOSKEY, 1970. "Did Victorian Britain Fail?," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 23(3), pages 446-459, December.
    3. McCloskey, Donald N., 1972. "The Enclosure of Open Fields: Preface to a Study of Its Impact on the Efficiency of English Agriculture in the Eighteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 15-35, March.
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    More about this item


    innovation; bourgeois revaluation; liberalism; success of innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General

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