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Can the productive superiority of capitalism be "induced," or

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If I look at the economic Freedom of the World report, for example. Or if I know about several free countries (like Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand) including experience with their laws and levels of prosperity, and I see (through experience traveling there) several poor countries that have restrictive governments, is that enough information for me to induce the productive superiority of capitalism?

Or can I only properly be certain of it by using chains of logic, as suggested by Mises.

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If I look at the economic Freedom of the World report, for example. Or if I know about several free countries (like Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand) including experience with their laws and levels of prosperity, and I see (through experience traveling there) several poor countries that have restrictive governments, is that enough information for me to induce the productive superiority of capitalism?

Or can I only properly be certain of it by using chains of logic, as suggested by Mises.

I'm not sure what you mean by "experienc[ing] laws and levels of prosperity"? If you mean you simply observe the laws on the one hand and the prosperity on the other, and see the correlation then that is not enough. One does have to understand the causation in order to build really solid principles.

Of course, it is often valid to act on incomplete data and on incomplete knowledge.

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Mises is wrong. You can and must induce it. It is the only way to know. (If you do not induce it you still have to rely on various generalizations to deduce it. But how do you know these generalizations? Through induction. There is really no escape from induction.) But what do you do to induce it? It is not enough to see that wealth is greater in the freer countries. That would just give you a strong correlation between freedom and prosperity. You also have to discover the causal factor. It is man who produces. So what you have to figure out is: What are the social preconditions of production and trade of wealth? What, in other words, does man need, in a social context, to be able to produce and trade wealth? Why does he need it? Let me give you a clue: consider the relationship between thinking and force. If you grasp that relationship, then you will soon discover the reason man need freedom to produce and trade wealth and, therefore, why there is a clear relationship between freedom and prosperity.

Edited by knast
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