There is a question (a set of questions, actually) that has been tugging at my sleeve for a few years now. It is more in the realm of philosophy and history than political economy as conventionally considered. Readers of this column probably know by now that I avoid labelling myself “an economist”, unfettered by things such as “history”, “philosophy” and even reality.

Let me get back to the question above: can people change their minds over time? The answer is, of course, “yes”. Except, it seems, when it comes to ideology, romantic idealism, fundamentalism and, well, magical realism.

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