Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Frauds in the Marketplace of Ideas?

Harvard Historian Niall Ferguson reminds us of a famous quote from Holmes's still more famous dissent in the 1919 Abrams Case:
the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market
Ferguson brings this up now because the marketplace has to be conducted in civilized fashion, if it is to function. Government can't provide the needed regulation:
Like any market, however, the marketplace of ideas needs regulation: in particular, its participants should be bound by norms of honesty, humility, and civility. Moreover, every idea-trader should adhere to these principles....