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How Real Freedom Works

July 1, 2011
Daily Bell
6/29/2011

Managerialist America … Mark Roe … a professor at Harvard Law School, asks how capitalist America really is in a stimulating Project Syndicate piece. Mr. Roe suggests that the level of state ownership of capital, or the level of government intervention in the economy, may offer a misleading picture of America’s political economy. – The Economist

Dominant Social Theme: America is not as free as it seems to be. The government needs to pass laws to empower shareholders. Then shareholders will run corporations and America’s Constitutional republic shall blossom once more.

Free-Market Analysis: The Economist is a miserable, elitist newspaper; its standards continue to decline. Read the first sentence, above (excerpted). The professor “asks how capitalist America really is.” What does that mean? How America really IS? The colloquialism is so inexact that we had to read the sentence three or four times before we decided it wasn’t some sort of typo.

Then there’s the anonymity that The Economist continues to adopt. Anonymity has an ancient and respectable history, but The Economist regularly runs anonymous first person articles. This is ludicrous. This column, “American politics – Democracy in America,” provides us with the following sentence: “To my mind, all this suggests a structural antagonism not between the rich and the not-rich, but between the corporate managerial class, the diffuse crowd of individuals who actually own the companies the managerial class so jealously control, and the rest of us …”

Whose mind is this exactly? The Economist isn’t telling, or if it is, we couldn’t find the byline. Usually, anonymous articles, if they introduce a personal perspective, do so using “we.” This is how the New Yorker offered its witty, anonymous columns. But to run an anonymous first-person column is a kind of literary degradation in our view. Sure, it’s done – but why? It’s a perversion of the anonymity that the magazine seeks to use.

The Economist is increasingly perverse in any case. As a publication that was once, a hundred years ago, republican and is now a solidly ensconced elitist mouthpiece, The Economist has come on hard times from an editorial standpoint. During the current resurgence of free-market thinking, The Economist is in the unenviable position (as a self-styled thought-leadership magazine) of having to square the proverbial circle.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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