Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Round-up #5

  1. Interesting article over at Forbes.com. “The Social Democratic Moment” asserts that political system that has come out on top over the course of the 20th century is “social democracy” rather than any sort of laissez faire liberalism. I’m interested in this and large scale economic/political/cultural trends since I’m involved in advocating for ideas I believe in. It certainly is not lost on me that most modern states have some variant of welfare statism, and I have to wonder if this trend is reversible.
  2. Over at simply Capitalism, my fellow blogger RealistTheorist, examines a variant of the “broken window” hypothesis, namely that war is somehow good for economies.
  3. Watch out for the N word (Nationalization) to become more prevalent in the discussion around the financial crisis. I feel another simply Capitalism post coming on.

2 comments:

Burgess Laughlin said...

> "I’m interested in this and large scale economic/political/cultural trends since I’m involved in advocating for ideas I believe in."

Kendall, could you elaborate a little on this point?

Are you saying simply that, to be an effective intellectual activist--whether on the defense or on the offense--you have to know which way the culture is going overall (as well as what it is now)?

This is an interesting point, How much knowledge of Western culture's state must an effective activist (philosophical, intellectual, or political) know?

I would suggest that the answer, as usual, is: It depends. In this case, it depends particularly on how broad or narrow is the focus of one's activism. And breadth of focus is personal and optional.

If one is engaged in in-live activism of a particular type--say, advocating for abolition of regulations of nuclear power plants, then I doubt the activist would need to spend much time investigating welfare states around the world.

The situation would be different if one is an unshaded light bulk rather than a tight laser-beam.

Kendall J said...

Burgess, I'd be happy to elaborate. I think you are right that how much of history one needs does indeed depends, and ideally would be driven by the scope of activism that one wants to engage in.

My interest in the topic of the article I pointed to is at a much higher level and proceeds more from my general interest in history, and cultural trends.

However, my interest in the *venue* that this article appeared in, and in following authors such as the ones that I point to is with the expressed aim of understanding where simply Capitalism can insert itself in the conversation.