"Law, Liberty, and the Competitive Market" brings the clash between law and legislation to the attention of economists and political scientists. It fills a void and offers a series of texts that have not previously been translated into English. This anthology connects various articles by Leoni on economics and law with the objective of emphasizing how much Leoni's own theory in the juridical environment was influenced by reflection on authors of the Austrian school - from Carl Menger to Ludwig von Mises, from Friedrich von Hayek to Murray N. Rothbard.The essays dealing with economics help us understand how many of Leoni's positions were libertarian. A careful reader of Mises, Leoni often ends up by assuming positions that are even more anti-state than those of the Austrian economist (concerning monopolies, for example). It is significant that in the 1960s his thought was influenced by Rothbard. The very critiques that he addresses to normativism and to analytical philosophy contain strong ideological elements, as they move from the awareness that legal positivism leads to statism and philosophical relativism to acquiescence in the face of power.Studying the market economy, Leoni perceives opposition between spontaneous order and planning.
In this way, he understands how such a contrast is significant for the origins of norms. Leoni's idea of a law able to protect individual liberty has its roots in the market. Thus, the market is at the same time the model he uses to conceive the legal order and an institution fundamental for the service of civilization, which the law is called to protect. This is an important work by a figure only now being recognized as a pioneer in the field of economics and an innovator in political theory.
Bruno Leoni (1913-1967) was an Italian classical-liberal political philosopher and attorney. From 1942 until his death, he was a professor at the University of Pavia. Leoni was also president of the Mount Pelerin Society and is known as one of the fathers of the Law and Economics School. Carlo Lottieri teaches philosophy of the law at the University of Siena and is the director of the political theory department at Istituto Bruno Leoni. He is the author of numerous articles appearing in journals such as Telos and the Journal of Libertarian Studies.
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