The soul of James Buchanan?
The article reflects on the views and life of James M. Buchanan. The Buchanan family had a political past: Buchanan's grandfather had briefly been governor of Tennessee in the early 1890s as a member of the populist People's Party. This party was a coalition of agrarian interests mainly poor cotton and wheat farmers from the South and the West. Throughout his professional career, Buchanan called himself a classical liberal. As indicated, this was something he learned from Frank Knight and that he held accordingly as a matter of intellectual conviction rather than personal inclination, which he always acknowledged was closer to 'libertarian socialist.'. He viewed politics as arising from agreements. But the agreements were founded in a notion of exchange rather than in some fixed notion of consensus on a single policy or choice. As a consequence, his conception of politics was encompassing and multidimensional, allowing agreement to be achieved through accommodations or compromises such as logrolls.
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