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Dr. Horowitz,

I had the pleasure of reading "Capitalism and the Family." I too see how the great things that capitalism provides can give rise to manifold issues in bedrock institutions like family. I look forward to the completion of your book. Btw, it sounds a bit like a follow-up to the "Social Crisis of Our Time." (This is not to imply that you are searching for a "third way." Just an acknowledgement that you heed that along with the wonders of the market comes "cultural dynamism.")

Lastly, am I correct in claiming: Boettke a Rothbardian; Storr a Weberian; Horowitz a Ropkean?)


Interesting last question. I actually largely agree with Pete's earlier post about his goals being Rothbardian but his methods being Misesian/Hayekian. I too generally favor the vision of the libertarian world MNR lays out in For a New Liberty. In the world we live in, however, I am reasonably willing to accept steps in the right direction, even if they are imperfect ones in the world of the second best. As my friend Tom Bell likes to say, we are about "REVOLUTION!!!! ... at the margin." Always keep the end goal in mind even as you recognize the reality of small steps necessary for getting there.

I think the difference among the three of us is more that, at the end of the day, Pete slightly prefers Mises to Hayek, I slightly prefer Hayek to Mises, and Virgil might well slightly prefer Weber to either (not sure about the last, pretty sure about me and Pete though).

Your point about cultural dynamism is a very good one. I would just point to something I wrote over three years ago in a blog post:

"It also shows one of the odd aspects of modern conservativism: the very same people who rhapsodize about how marriage should be about love and commitment between partners, and deride the quickie meaningless heterosexual marriage, can't seem to see why homosexuals might ask for the same thing. But the bigger irony for conservatives is that the reality of marriage as predominantly about romantic love, and the corresponding demand for same-sex marriage, is the product of the forces of capitalism. The Right has to recognize that the forces of the market cannot be "firewalled" off from cultural change. The wealth created by capitalism and the resulting dynamism of the market inevitably spillover to the culture. Ultimately, the attempt to defend the "traditional" family is an attempt to stifle the market.

Having said all this, I do not believe the family will ever, or should ever, disappear. Families cannot be replaced, and expecting the "village" to raise children will have roughly the same results as we've seen when "the village" runs agriculture or industry. Parents have, in Hayekian terms, the knowledge and incentives it takes to raise their children, and no other institution can do better. Yes, other institutions can help or hinder that process, and families can't do it all themselves, but the family is ultimately irreplaceable. Yes, it will continue to evolve, but that makes it no different from any other social institution."


This will be a key theme of the book.

Prof. Horwitz,

Perhaps this article by Shoshana Grossbard-Shechtman and Bertrand Lemennicier, entitled "Marriage Contracts and the Law-and-Economics of Marriage: an Austrian Perspective" will also prove helpful in the preparation of your book on the marriage and state :

I personally found it to be very enlightening on the subject.

Thank you Bogdan. I'm pretty sure Peter and I cite that paper in our RAE piece, but I appreciate the reference.

Sorry for the redundancy; I had not read your article before posting and I wasn't aware of your citation; I shall finish rectifying this in an hour. Anyway, I think the article quoted above is really interestenting and after I first read it I was surprised that nobody seemed to notice it. But my knowledge about new writings and discussion within Austrian Economics lags behind a lot, no doubt about it.

The best libertarian take I've read on the issue is by John T. Kennedy here: http://www.no-treason.com/archives/2003/11/24/marriage-the-institutional-man-and-the-sovereign-individual/

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