Time Will Run Back
Here is a splendid novel by Henry Hazlitt, first published in 1951 and revised in 1966. The plot line explores the economic theories of capitalism and socialism.
It begins in a fully socialist society in which the new leader, who finds himself in that position only by accident, begins to rethink the economic basis of the system. He first begins to wonder whether the economy is doing well at all, and how they might discover this. This sets the leadership on a path to thinking about prices and calculation, and the very meaning of productivity.
Trading is introduced when the leadership can't see anything wrong with the idea of trading rationing tickets, and shortly markets appear, and everyone seems to be better off as a result.
So on it continues. Slowly, piece by piece, he dismantles central planning and replaces it with a market system. All the while, the characters engaged in a Socratic-style discussion about the implications of money, exchange, ownership, markets, entrepreneurship, and more.
Hazlitt was well equipped to be a fiction writer. He was literary editor of The Nation for three years and the successor to H.L. Mencken at American Mercury.
This novel is an excellent introduction to the problems of economic systems, and can be a great benefit to young people who are curious about the meaning of economic analysis. It is, in fact, suitable for all ages. The Mises Institute is very pleased to sponsor this reprint.
New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1966 (1951).