Sunday, March 24, 2013

Albert Hirschman and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Happiness of Pursuit

The following is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 text of my remarks at a gacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ring in memory of Albert Hirschman, held earlier today at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Institute for Advanced Study. The event included moving recollections from members of his family, as well as tributes by Joan Scott, Jeremy Adelman, Michael Walzer, Amartya Sen, Annie Cot, Wolf Lepenies, William Sewell, James Wolfensohn, and Robbert Dijkgraaf. Fernando Henrique Cardoso could not attend but sent written remarks that were read out by Adelman. I'll update this post with links to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 text or video of ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r speeches should any become available.

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It’s an enormous privilege to have been invited to speak at this event in memory of Albert Hirschman. Unlike most of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r speakers here, I knew Albert only from a distance, based largely on his books and interviews. I met him in person just once, though I was fortunate enough to get to know Sarah a little during my year at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Institute.

Since my connection to Albert was largely through his writing, I’d like to speak about his love of language, his gift for expression, and his approach to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 written word. To Albert, words were not merely vehicles for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 transmission of ideas—cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y were objects to be played with and molded into structures in which one could perpetually take delight.

In 1993 Albert gave an interview to a group of Italian writers, which he later translated into English and published under cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 title Crossing Boundaries. I’d like to quote a segment of that interview that sums up very nicely both his playful relationship with language and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 great originality of his ideas. This is what he said:
I enjoy playing with words, inventing new expressions. I believe cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re is much more wisdom in words than we normally assume.... Here is an example.  
One of my recent antagonists, Mancur Olson, uses cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 expression "logic of collective action" in order to demonstrate cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 illogic of collective action, that is, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 virtual unlikelihood that collective action can ever happen. At some point I was thinking about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fundamental rights enumerated in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Declaration of Independence and that beautiful expression of American freedom as "cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 right to life, liberty, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pursuit of happiness."I noted how, in addition to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pursuit of happiness, one might also underline cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 importance of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 happiness of pursuit, which is precisely cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 felicity of taking part in collective action. I simply was happy when that play on words occurred to me.
This idea of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 happiness of pursuit, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pleasure that one takes in collective action, was to be a central cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365me in his masterpiece Exit, Voice and Loyalty, published in 1970. Two centuries earlier, Adam Smith had spoken of our propensity to "truck, barter, and exchange one thing for anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r." Albert Hirschman spoke instead of a propensity to protest, complain, and generally "kick up a fuss." This articulation of discontent he called Voice.

Albert believed that voice was an important factor in arresting and reversing decline in firms, organizations, and states. Economists to that point had focused on a very different mechanism, namely desertion or exit, and had argued that greater competition, in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 form of greater ease of exit, was a beneficial force in maintaining high levels of organizational performance.

Albert pointed out that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re was a trade-off between exit and voice; that greater ease of exit could result in a stifling of voice as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 individuals most inclined to protest and complain chose to depart instead. He also observed that loyalty, provided that it was not completely blind and uncritical, could serve to delay exit and thus create cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 space for voice to do its work.

What Albert did in Exit, Voice and Loyalty was nothing less than to reunite two disciplines, economics and political science, which had once been closely entwined but had drifted far apart over time. And he did this not by exporting cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 methods of economics to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 analysis of politics, as ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rs had done, but by emphasizing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 importance of political activity within cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 economic sphere.

This kind of interdisciplinarity permeated all of Albert’s work. He described cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 idea of trespassing as "basic to his thinking." Crossing boundaries came naturally to him; he was too restless and playful to be confined to a single discipline. He was also an intellectual rebel, eager to question conventional wisdom whenever he found it wanting. In fact, he did so even when cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 conventional wisdom had been established by his own prior work. He referred to this as a propensity to self-subversion, which he called a "permanent trait of his intellectual personality."

I recall vividly and fondly my very first contact with Albert’s work. I had just begun graduate school, having never previously studied economics, and found myself in a course on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 History of Economic Thought with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 legendary Robert Heilbroner. It was Heilbroner’s book The Worldly Philosophers that had steered me to economics in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first place. And cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re on his syllabus, alongside Smith and Ricardo and Malthus, was Albert’s book The Passions and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Interests.

I recently went back and read this extraordinary book for a second time. The twentieth anniversary edition has a foreword by Amartya Sen, who considers it to be "among cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 finest" of Albert’s writings. Albert himself, in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 preface to this edition, notes that it’s cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 one book that never fell victim to his propensity to self-subversion.

There’s a memorable passage in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 book where Albert discusses Adam Smith’s claim that "order and good government" came to England as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 unintended consequence of a growing taste for manufactured luxuries among cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 feudal elite. They "bartered cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir whole power and authority," says Smith, for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 "gratification of… vanities… for trinkets and baubles, better fit to be cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 playthings of children than cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 serious pursuits of man." Having squandered cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir wealth in this manner, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y could no longer support cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir vast armies of retainers, and became incapable of "disturbing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 peace" or "interrupting cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 regular execution of justice."

But Albert was skeptical that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 feudal lords had been quite so blind to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir long-term interests. He felt that Smith, always eager to uncover cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 unintended effects of human action, had overreached this time. And he expressed this thought as follows:
One cannot help feeling that in this particular instance, Smith overplayed his Invisible Hand.
I can just imagine cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 smile that spread across Albert’s face when he came up with that turn of phrase.

Albert’s work was expansive and visionary, bold and audacious, breathtakingly original and creative. But most of all, it was playful and gently irreverent. He demonstrated to us, by his own example, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 happiness of intellectual pursuit. For that, more than anything else, I’ll always be grateful.

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