The Collected Works of Arthur Seldon
AUTHOR: Seldon, Arthur
PUBLISHER: Liberty Fund, Incorporated
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"Arthur Seldon has, more than most of us, been able to combine realism in prediction with idealism in vision."
--James M. Buchanan
Arthur Seldon was born in 1916 and has lived through the most dynamic and volatile century in the history of humankind. His advocacy of and undeterred belief in classical liberalism have sought to combat the intoxicating and deceptive "comfort" of collectivism created by the instability of two world wars and unprecedented technological and sociological change.
From the late 1950s Seldon's partnership with Ralph Harris (later Lord Harris), as Editorial Director and General Director respectively, made the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) the bellwether for classical liberal thought throughout England and eventually the world. In their early years, when very few people dared dispute Keynesian thought, Harris and Seldon argued against its determined centralization and its consequent collectivist tendencies. In the face of the status quo, IEA provided astute defenses of market solutions to various societal problems. Their arguments, always coherent, were often bolstered by case studies and compelling empirical evidence. They sought market alternatives to government-manipulated programs concerning such issues as public pensions, public education, public health care, social welfare, and corporate welfare.
Gradually, as collectivist programs started to break down of their own weight, IEA's writings became the intellectual underpinnings to alternative solutions to the welfare state. In the early 1980s, IEA's various themes on smaller government became a substantive part of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's reforms. Such reforms led to the privatization of nationalized corporations, labor union reorganization, and abolition of exchange controls. IEA's efforts for change did not stop in England. According to Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, the influence of IEA has "contributed greatly to the change in the intellectual climate of opinion around the world."
Seldon's writings are clear and accessible. He has the uncommon ability to translate complex information, often fraught with esoteric philosophical and technical jargon, into clear, understandable prose for both intellectual and lay consumption.
The Collected Works of Arthur Seldon spans 65 years of Seldon's influential thought and elaborates on the genesis of almost all the public/private debates currently before the world. His arguments are as compelling and relevant today as they were over a half century ago.
Each volume of this series has a contextual introduction and, except for Volume 3, an individual index. Volume 7 contains an index to the entire series. Everyman's Dictionary of Economics, cowritten with Fred G. Pennance, Volume 3 of this series, is an essential tool for anyone who wants a better understanding of political economics.
Colin Robinson was a business economist for eleven years. He was then appointed to the Chair of Economics at the University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom where he founded the Department of Economics and is now Emeritus Professor. For many years he has been associated with the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs and from 1992 to 2002 he was the IEA's Editorial Director.
PUBLICATION DATE: 10/1/2005
CATEGORY: Political Science, Social Science