What I'm Reading (late August)

THE AMERICAN AFFAIRS JOURNAL was at least until quite recently a safe haven for political ideas of the American conservative-establishment Right and was ambivalent, at best, about the election of Donald Trump. It smells of cigars, well-heated offices, and careers full of sinecures.

A pair of articles in its most recent edition, though, show the kind of sharp swing to the left normally associated with a football winger, stepping inside a defender to pass. The italics are mine:

The Financialisation Of The American Elite:

Many structural reforms are necessary to change this. With regard to education, it is time to reform the top MBA programs. These schools shape our business culture, and, in so doing, exert an outsized influence on the business practices and the career pursuits of some of our most talented young people.
The schools should begin with an explicit renunciation of share­holder capitalism. This will be the easy part.

The New Gilded Age Or Old Normal:

The longer-term trend toward more inequality in capitalist economies, which prevailed before this period, has re­sumed after it. That leads us to conclude that there may well be no technocratic or tax policy fix for capitalism’s tendency to generate ever more inequality. This conclusion is obviously less optimistic than the one reached by Thomas Piketty in his seminal 2014 study of income inequality, which argues for ameliorating income share out­comes by raising taxes on the rich.

Irving Kristol, the neoconservative, famously described the turn of his intellectual life as that of a ‘liberal mugged by reality’. Read closely and there’s a lot more mugging going on.



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Ben Harris-Roxas · 17 September 2019, 10:47 · #

Highbrow material! That piece in American Affairs was maddening in its selectiveness.

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Liam · 17 September 2019, 10:49 · #

I can only stay highbrow for so long, Ben (see my subsequent Achewoodposting)


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