Neither Left Nor Right
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

A question we are sometimes asked is whether Why Nations Fail comes from a leftist or rightist viewpoint. We like to think neither. As Simon Johnson also noted in this New York Times piece, there are elements close to the heart of both sides — and certainly elements that would annoy both.

In any case, to our great delight, both the left and the right seem to be willing to listen to us. On March 27, we will be at the Center for American Progress (see here) and on April 4, at the Cato Institute (see here).

We can do no better than agree with George Orwell:

“The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.”

(though noting that his definition of libertarian was broader than what is considered libertarian in the US, and would certainly not agree with many of the economic positions of US libertarians).

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