The Playfulness of the Market: Reading Hayek in the Light of Huizinga

In an appendix to The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, F.A. Hayek says, “The practices that led to the formation of the spontaneous order have much in common with rules observed in playing a game. To attempt to trace the origin of competition in play would lead us too far astray, but we can learn much from the masterly and revealing analysis of the role of play in the evolution of culture by the historian Johan Huizinga, whose work has been insufficiently appreciated by students of human order.”

In Homo Ludens: A Study of The Play Element of Culture, Huizinga argues that “civilization is rooted in noble play and that, if it is to unfold in full dignity and style, it cannot afford to neglect the play-element.” He discusses the play-element in human activities including: art, language, poetry, sport, law, and war. And he helpfully provides a thorough criteria for what constitutes real play. Play is “voluntary activity,” “disinterested activity,” “creates order, is order,” “has rules,” and so on.

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Don’t Pass the Buck to Government When It Comes to Financial Education

Here is the audio from my presentation at the Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) conference in Las Vegas on April 14, 2014. It was a pleasure to be on a panel chaired by Howard Baetjer Jr. who was a professor at the first Institute for Humane Studies summer seminar I attended at George Mason University in 2011.


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Sometimes I interview people in Starbucks…

Chuck is from Toronto, lives in Toronto, and I met him in this Toronto Starbucks. He spoke to me reminiscing about his experiences of moving to Alberta in the 1970s to work in the oil sands. Here’s he discusses the wildlife, scenery, working conditions, and his fond memories.

Here’s his response to my question about negative perceptions of the oil sands.

Human Action versus Behaviourialism: Can Praxeology and Experimental Economics be Reconciled?

Here is my presentation on Human Action and Behaviouralism that I delivered at the Toronto Austrian Scholars Conference on November 2, 2013 at the University of Toronto.

Momentum Report: “Some Party That I Used To Know” (Updated 18 April 2013)

Thank you to everyone who has shared the “Some Party That I Used To Know” video with their family, friends, and fellow citizens through email, Facebook, and Twitter.

The response has been great! Here are some highlights:

YouTube View Count:
10, 248 (Views on YouTube in One Week)

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Alberta PCs: Some Party That I Used to Know

Alberta PCs: Some Party That I Used To Know
CALGARY, ALBERTA (APRIL 11, 2013)

Today marks the launch of the YouTube “Alberta PCs: Some Party That I Used To Know.” This video is a grassroots effort and is not affiliated with any political party.

Check out the video and share it with your friends and network and share your comments.

For more information and to support further related projects, please contact me at amanda.achtman@gmail.com

From the grassroots and for ordered liberty,
Amanda

The Letter I Wrote to Ralph Klein When I Was 15

Ralph Klein died on Good Friday 2013. Along with Christ, he knew the importance of sacrifice. It is a great testament to his leadership and character that almost every Albertan has some story about ‘King Ralph.’

The first letter that I ever wrote to a politician was to Premier Klein. Receiving a response encouraged me in my youth to be enthusiastic about the opportunity to participate in politics. Here’s my letter.

June 1, 2006

Office of the Premier
Room 307, Legislature Building
10800 – 97th Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6

Dear Mr. Ralph Klein:

Thank you for leading our province to where we are today. Your goal towards a debt-free province for the next generation (my generation) was challenging for many as you insisted on a tight budget. However, the fruits of the discipline that you encouraged have rewarded us all with a profit!

It was generous of you to decide to give everyone in our province $400.00 and I find it very interesting and exciting to see, hear, and read how people have chosen or are choosing to spend their money.

I became very interested by the stories that I had heard. Some of the kids at school were excited about buying Ipods, MP3 Players, and other cool toys and electronics. I choose to invest my money in the training that I am required to obtain for a summer work position with the City of Calgary.

It has come to my attention that you have even more money to potentially dispense throughout the province. What a blessing it is to call Alberta home! At first, I thought it that it would be great to get more “Ralphbucks” with my name on it. But, now I think that it is important to put the rest of the money towards education.

I’ve learned that my school is being forced to compromise the values that it stands for and raise money through casinos to provide me with great opportunities such as field trips, option courses, and guest presenters. These programs enhance my learning experiences and make school so much more fun. However, I do believe that the cost is too high when we have to compromise what we believe in to receive a quality Catholic education.

Having to raise money through means that contradict our morals and values can and is influencing all education systems because gambling has so many negative effects on people’s lives. By using the money we are condoning the continuation of this highly addictive activity without even wanting to.

With the financial surplus, I feel strongly that the money should be invested into quality education so that we can continue having special learning experiences without paying the price of compromising our morals and values.

Thank you for your time and consideration and for everything that you have done that has lead our province to this financially responsible place in Canada.

Sincerely,

Amanda Achtman
Grade 9 Student
École Madeleine d’Houet School