Anne Applebaum – Twilight of Democracy

My father introduced me to the Libertarian Party in 1992. This was the year Bill Clinton defeated George Bush. Ross Perot had disrupted the two-party system with his independent campaign. But I was groomed to support a relative unknown. The Libertarian Party had nominated Andre Marrou. He was elected to the Alaskan state legislature in…

John Rawls – A Theory of Justice

As the Economists’ Hour has come to an end, the philosophy of Rawls offers a tempting philosophy to guide public policy. Rawls wrote A Theory of Justice before the emergence of neoliberalism, but his ideas anticipate its arrival. The aim of his theory is to offer an alternative to utilitarian or consequentialist philosophy. Utilitarianism is…

Ivan Cerovac – Epistemic Democracy and Political Legitimacy

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, comments during an event at White House in Washington, April 29, 2020. (Doug Mills/The New York Times) I write this review during the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020. States have begun to reopen their economies, although there is no consistency from state to…

Karl Marx – Capital Volume 1

CIRCA 1865: Karl Marx (1818-1883), philosopher and German politician. (Photo by Roger Viollet Collection/Getty Images) My mother recalls how I supported Ronald McReagan as a child. I was a young child in the eighties. When the Berlin Wall fell, I was still too young to understand its implications. I learned of the Cold War as…

Chantal Mouffe – The Return of the Political

The final chapter of the political science classic, Political Man, was titled “The End of Ideology?” He refers to a conference in 1955 called “The Future of Freedom.” It assembled political thinkers from a diverse range of viewpoints. It included conservatives, socialists and liberals, but there was little political debate. There “was general agreement among…

David Stasavage – The Decline and Rise of Democracy

Democracy is “a natural occurring condition in humanity societies.” This single idea sets Stasavage apart from so many theorists who look to the past. His first chapter, “The Origins of Democratic Rule,” is as breathtaking as it is ambitious. He reshapes the narrative of the democratic origins through a broad examination of different peoples throughout…

Werner Sombart – Why is there no Socialism in the United States

The campaign of Bernie Sanders was destined for failure. The American public has long rejected socialism as a political ideology despite its widespread embrace of social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance. The irony is redistributive programs have largely buttressed the capitalist system. They offer enough security to maintain widespread support for capitalism…