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The perils of economic vandalism

Phillip Blond's arguments may be eloquent, but heavy-handed government meddling is not the answer. Breaking up Tesco would make the recession worse than it's already going to be

By Rupert Darwall   February 2009

Philip Blond’s reinvention of British Conservatism has more in common with French solidarism of the 1930s than it has with Burke and Disraeli. Solidarism was, according to Ludwig von Mises, a form of pseudo-socialism, and its supporters “laid down their social-philosophic views in brilliantly written essays, which reveal all the splendour of the French spirit.” Certainly Blond displays an eloquence and colour rare in today’s political discourse.

He also shares two assumptions with the solidarists. The first is the mistaken belief that liberalism elevates the individual and his and her freedom over society. To quote von Mises again, “freedom is…

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