2013년 4월 16일 화요일

[발췌: Interview with Ralph Harris] The Roots of the Institute for Economic Affairs (2000)

출처: PBS, Commanding Heights
자료: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitext/int_ralphharris.html

2000년 7월 17일 대담.

Contents:

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※ 발췌 (excerpts): The Roots of the Institute for Economic Affairs


INTERVIEWER: What was Hayek's influence in the forming of the IEA, and why he was taking that kind of trouble?

LORD RALPH HARRIS: ( ... ) He inspired a man called Anthony Fisher, who was a very simple, uncomplicated farmer, to invite me to start an institute. ( ... )

INTERVIEWER: ... What was [the IEA's] basic long-term objective? Was it to try and spread these ideas to influence the political process?

LORD RALPH HARRIS: Yes. The Institute started in 1957, the direct result of the Mont Pelerin Society, of The Road to Serfdom, of Hayek's meeting with my friend Anthony Fisher. Its purpose was to bring together likeminded individuals to explore alternative policies, and that depended upon analysis and theory before prescription and policy. ( ... )

INTERVIEWER: But you were hoping to change society?

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LORD RALPH HARRIS: We would have thought that a little pretentious. We were out to have a little fun. We were [out] to stir it up -- that was part of the game. We were lads of 30 [who wanted to] put a firework down and see what happens. And there was no encouragement to believe that you were on the path of having a lasting, even long-term effect. But what I think is important to understand is that once you've got the idea of market economy, the free society, evolving, drawing the past and drawing all this knowledge, once you've got that you understand there is no other way to preserve the substance of individual freedom except through dispersed property ownership, property contract, and dispersed decision-making. Once you've got that, you can say it's almost like a religious belief.

I'm often sympathetic to people who talk about the theology of the market, the theology of monetary policy, because once you've mastered the basic notions of competition and all the intricate mechanisms, and interconnectedness of market operations around the world with [the] Internet and everything else, once you've mastered that you see there is no other way to keep order and dynamism among scattered individuals and tribes except through an open market system, law of contracts, strong laws and enforcement of competition and of contracts and monetary stability. Once you've got that, it's a dominant religion, almost. I have said -- and it's offended some of my other Christian friends, they have said this is awful, sacrilege -- I have said that the market is almost god-ordained. The laws of competition, the ordinary laws of supply and demand are the nearest you have in the social sciences to the laws of motion and the laws of gravity in the natural sciences. [Because] there's competition and markets you can tell that [if] you act in a certain way, you will blow up the currency. We knew that inflation was going to happen not [by] listening to what politicians said, but watching their hands, when their hands moved towards the till, and [we] could see that 18 months or two years before monetary expansion led to inflation. Friedman lay all this down in very clear and emphatic terms.
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Going back to the Mont Pelerin Society or the IEA, there is no doubt that we were completely clear in our own minds that we had the solution to society's problems. In a manner of speaking, I still believe that: There is no alternative but to find some way of making a market economy, a competitive system, operate. There's no other way to preserve freedom and innovation and dynamism and peace, harmony. The market creates harmony by providing an alternative to war and an alternative to invasion. Why not trade with these people, why not send them some stuff, and they send you some stuff, rather than armies, you see? There was a great Liberal adage that if goods don't pass frontiers, then armies will. It was a 19th-century adage. I hated Japan after the war. I hated Japan. I used to tell people, free-trader though I am, "Don't buy these Japanese cameras, Honda motorbikes." Our chaps riding around on Japanese motorbikes -- I hated them because of what had happened in the war. Fifteen years later I've got a Japanese camera, Japanese electronic diary, and all of that. Trade has made friends. The Japanese are quite useful chaps. And it's truthful: Free trade is the greatest force for peace that you can imagine because it provides alternatives. In fact, the competitive economy is an alternative to fighting. It actually is. Instead of stealing money from somebody you find out what they want in order to get them to part with their money and then you try and provide it. It is a peaceful system.

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