自由的革命性缪斯

伟大的社会思想家开始之初几乎总是一些引发争议的人物。某些人崇拜他们,某些人挖苦他们,直到他们对我们理解世界的方式提出的激进挑战最后赢得胜利。至少有两个原因使得弗里德曼成为现代社会思想家中的巨人。首先,他不仅深刻地影响了他自身的经济学领域,而且也更为广泛地影响了社会科学。第二,根据历史经验来判断,他对舆论和经济政策制定改善了难以计数的人的生活。

几十年来,弗里德曼在知识荒野中流落,拒绝接受二战后凯恩斯主义的共识,即政府应当运用财政政策来管理总需求,这一观点在整个七十年代支撑了国家干预的经济政策。确实,在其年龄背景下,弗里德曼是一位真正的知识界革命性人物。他结合了严谨的学术研究、文笔优雅的畅销书籍和新闻学笔调来呼吁自由市场政策,并且肯定经济自由以及政治自由之间的联系。从亚当∙斯密到哈耶克的大师也都为这一联系辩护。

在经济学中,弗里德曼重新恢复了货币主义者的理论并予以发扬光大。这一理论认为流通中的货币数量是各经济体表现的主要决定因素。在其与施瓦茨合著的杰作<<1867年至1960年的美国货币历史>>中,他将包括三十年代大萧条的经济衰退归结于货币供应的下降,从而声名远扬。同时,他认为,是货币供应过量造成了通货膨胀。

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