Bryan Caplan  

Richter Back in Print

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A handsome new edition of Eugen Richter's dystopian novel Pictures of the Socialistic Future, featuring a new introduction on the "born bad" thesis by yours truly, is now available from the Mises Institute for just $12. 

When I read political books c.1900, I usually think, "How little these people knew compared to us."  Richter's just the opposite: He understood more about socialism before its rise than most of the world did after its collapse.  If only there'd been a Bebel-Richter bet!


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COMMENTS (7 to date)
Kurbla writes:

Hm ... smell like fascism to me.

For Kurbla anything that turned out horrible with socialism can be called fascism.

Jayson Virissimo writes:

Kurbla's Law:

Fascism = Socialism - Good Outcomes

Kurbla writes:

Actually it was criticism of Bryan's posts.


James A. Donald writes:
When I read political books c.1900, I usually think, "How little these people knew compared to us."
I get the same experience when reading political books c.1900

But when I read books c.1800, I get the impression "Wow, it is as if this guy had seen the twentieth century. He knows so much more than we do" - for example Bastiat describing twentieth century socialism, Froude describing twentieth century decolonization.

I get the exact opposite feeling. Maybe its cos what we decide to read in the 21st century of what remains of 18th century is distilled wisdom?

Look at 'Orientalist' scholarship by the Brits and French like Andre Servier - Psychology of the Musulman lets you perfectly predict the effect of large scale Muslim immigration to the West.

Richter is just one of many many neglected wisemen of the 18th and 19th centuries that have been cast out of the canon cos they are "dead white males." Its not fashionable, so you need to read them.

Henry Sumner Maine, Bastiat etc etc.

Econlib, the mother site of this blog is full of such wisdom.

Snorri Godhi writes:

I agree with JA Donald and Contemplationist. Based on what little I have read, French xix century liberals, as well as Herbert Spencer, thought and wrote more clearly than nearly anybody does today -- including most libertarians.

Actually, to find the sort of political writing that allows the individual to make practical decisions [as opposed to voting decisions], it might be best to go much further back in time: Machiavelli, Guicciardini, Ibn Khaldun, Aristotle, etc.

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