Originally published 07/16/2013
Corey Robin teaches political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.Here’s a photo of a letter Margaret Thatcher sent to Friedrich von Hayek on February 17, 1982, in which she draws a comparison between Britain and Pinochet’s Chile. I wrote about the letter in chapter 2 of The Reactionary Mind.It now turns out, according to Hayek scholar Bruce Caldwell, that there is no preceding letter from Hayek to Thatcher, as many of us had assumed. So we don’t know what exactly it was that Hayek said that elicited this response from Thatcher. Caldwell speculates, in an email to John Quiggin that I was copied on, that Thatcher may have been remarking here upon comments that Hayek might have made—about the need for Thatcher to abolish the “special privileges” of trade unions in Britain (as Pinochet had done in Chile)—at a dinner on February 2....
Originally published 03/22/2013
Angus Burgin is an assistant professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and the author of “The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression.” The opinions expressed are his own.Friedrich Hayek’s book “The Road to Serfdom” has served as a beacon for American conservatives since its publication in 1944. Today’s Republicans often cite the book in their fight to limit federal power and regulation. Hayek’s views, however, were more complicated than they often assume.As a shy and scholarly scion of an aristocratic Austrian family, Hayek hadn’t expected to find much of an audience for his wartime tract on political economy. He was shocked when opponents of the New Deal propelled it up the U.S. best-seller lists shortly after its release, and would have been equally astonished at its rise up the Amazon.com sales rankings following an endorsement from the former Fox News host Glenn Beck in 2010.
Originally published 02/11/2013
Brent Bozell and William F. Buckley in 1954. Credit: Wiki Commons/UCLA Library/LA Daily News.Recent Republican and conservative convocations have displayed one common thing. Those who pass for thinkers and leaders of these intertwined movements think they can keep doing the same things but achieve better results. With the notable except of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, most Republicans, after sifting through the debris of November 6, think they need new spokespeople and better packaging.The only thing standing between Republicans and the great Reagan landslides of 1980 and 1984 is them. This is a sad commentary on once noble movements. Republican and conservative “leaders” think twenty-first-century Americans are waiting to embrace tenth-century stands on social issues and science, and blustery vague pronouncements on government spending. Does any rational person think today’s Republicans and conservatives bear the slightest resemblance to those who rallied around Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan? Those two icons would not have finished in the top ten in the 2012 Iowa caucus or South Carolina primary.
Originally published 01/16/2013
George Monbiot is the author of the bestselling books The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order and Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain, as well as the investigative travel books Poisoned Arrows, Amazon Watershed and No Man's Land. His latests books are Heat: how to stop the planet burning and Bring on the Apocalypse?How they must bleed for us. In 2012, the world's 100 richest people became $241 billion richer. They are now worth $1.9 trillion: just a little less than the entire output of the United Kingdom.This is not the result of chance. The rise in the fortunes of the super-rich is the direct result of policies. Here are a few: the reduction of tax rates and tax enforcement; governments' refusal to recoup a decent share of revenues from minerals and land; the privatisation of public assets and the creation of a toll-booth economy; wage liberalisation and the destruction of collective bargaining.
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