By Simon French
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Additional resources for Decision Theory: An Introduction to the Mathematics of Rationality
35 Just as Lippmann had several decades before contrasted the creative, spiritual power of true liberalism with the rigid, mechanistic aesthetic of “collectivism,” in ﬁghting the Cold War, America pitted the abstract and ineffable against the concrete and oppressive. 14 introduction In this context, neoliberalism—Â�which posited invisible principles and processes as the regulating agents of society rather than external and “artiﬁcial” persons and plans—Â�enjoyed a kind of aesthetic advantage over Keynesian technocracy with respect to a major front in America’s Cold War, even as Keynesian thinking informed postwar global economic institutions.
A similar power, less noted, is enjoyed by neoliberal discourse. 47 Such movements, it need not be stressed, are achieved not through apodictic reasoning; it is not even a matter of representing one thing in terms of another. 48 That neoliberal discourse has pretended to explain not just economic realities, but an entire moral and historical universe is due in large part to the power of identiﬁcation. Such power has, since the advent of eighteenth-Â�century classical economics, become paradigmatically economicâ†œ: markets and money facilitate relentless identiﬁcations.
28 But while Hayek began where Hobbes did with a state of war, he did not end with a Leviathan. Rather, he constructed an anti-Â�Leviathan philosophy by associating war with politics rather than nature. 32 chapter one It is, Hayek maintained, the artiﬁcial, planned, and intentional quest for power that leads to social conﬂict both within a society and among societies. 34 But though Hayek was fond of citing “British philosophers,” his sense of a cosmic social order was more organicist, even romantic, than that of these philosophers, and certainly more informed by social evolutionism.