LATEST NEWS FROM PARTNER CAP X
27 March 2017
Friedrich Hayek and the collective brain - Free speech is being shut down in South Africa - What is the French for entrepreneur? - Refugees need jobs not blankets - Can Britain overcome its innovation inertia?
It is 25 years to the day since Friedrich Hayek's death. Wrongly dismissed by the Left as a right-wing zealot, Hayek was a giant of economics as well as a thoroughly modern thinker. Long before the internet enabled us to share ideas in an instant, he realised that it was only through collective endeavour that meaningful human progress could be achieved. How is that collaborative effort best organised? Not by the state - but by the market.
The case of Helen Zille would suggest that South Africa is falling short of the mark when it comes to the ability of government opponents to speak freely. The Democratic Alliance Premier of Western Cape made the mistake of suggesting that the legacy of colonialism was not entirely negative. The evidence is on her side. Nevertheless she may yet pay a high price for her candour.
The French economy is not known for its economic dynamism or entrepreneurial verve. Stifling bureaucracy and rigid labour laws are just two of the reasons France has earned a reputation as a frustrating place to do business. Might that be changing? Last year, France received more rounds of venture capital funding than any other European country. The victor of this year's election must create an environment that will continue this trend.
The UK is home to some of the best universities in the world. Its scientists win more than their fair share of Nobel Prizes. Why, then, has it produced so few world-beating tech companies – and what can the Government do to change that? Britain could learn much from the US, where along-standing commitment to competition, and diverse sources of funding have delivered a successful innovation system.
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