In today's Times, Anatole Kaletsky writes Anarchy or tyranny? I choose tyranny. His argument is that rather than political stability resulting from economic success, the reverse is true. While his assessment is correct, his recommendation is surprisingly flawed for the Principal Economic Commentator of a leading newspaper.
In response, I have written the following letter to the Editor.
Anatole Kaletsky makes an elementary error in choosing tyranny over anarchy (Anarchy or tyranny? I choose tyranny, 30 Nov). While he is correct to suggest that economic benefits require social and political stability, this is because the exercise of basic economic freedoms rely upon the rule of law to make outcomes predictable. The rule of law, however, is as opposed to tyranny as it is to anarchy: to talk of "The tyranny of the law" is an oxymoron.
There is an alternative to the two poles that Mr. Kaletsky juxtaposes, one that epitomises both the rule of law and the freedom of the individual. It has been the basis of both the social stability and the economic success of the United Kingdom for over three centuries. In therefore reject the choices Mr. Kaletsky offers. I choose liberty!