The Reason of Rules: Constitutional Political Economy

Geoffrey Brennan.
Brennan, Geoffrey and James M. Buchanan
(1919- )
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First Pub. Date
Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, Inc.
Pub. Date
Foreword by Robert D. Tollison.
The text of this edition is copyright ©: 1985 by Cambridge University Press. Foreword and coauthor note ©: 2000 Liberty Fund, Inc. Picture of James M. Buchanan and Geoffrey Brennan: File photo detail, courtesy Liberty Fund, Inc. James M. Buchanan and Geoffrey Brennan, Spitzingsee, Bavaria, 1998.
About this Book

Anglo-American jurisprudence emphasizes the rule of reason; it grossly neglects the reason of rules. We play socioeconomic-legal-political games that can be described empirically only by their rules. But most of us play without an understanding or appreciation of the rules, how they came into being, how they are enforced, how they can be changed, and, most important, how they can be normatively evaluated. Basic "constitutional illiteracy" extends to and includes both the learned and the lay. We note with a mixture of admiration and envy those clever strategists who manipulate existing rules to their own advantage. It is these persons in the role of spivs rather than the sages that all too many emulate. Intelligence abounds, but wisdom seems increasingly scarce.... [From the Preface]