. . . called The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism, and he was interviewed by Rob Johnson on the Economics & Beyond podcast. Here’s a quote from 50:20 in the pod (my transcription, done before I saw the official transcript at the link):
Now a core thesis of my book . . . is that If you want a capitalist order, and if you want democracy . . . then you must accept that the free market will have to be contained within and tempered by an active state which provides fundamental security to all its citizens because it’s something they’re all going to demand . . . and that where fundamental problems arise of all kinds environmental . . . problems with bringing up children, social problems of severity . . . the state exists as an insurance mechanism, as an agent to ensure these are dealt with, and the idea that all this can be done with no state, purely through the benevolence of rich people or through the market is completely inconsistent with history and with our knowledge of humanity, and I don’t understand fully why so many of the wealthiest don’t understand this, that they are seduced by what seem to me sort of infantile regimes fantasies of essentially capitalist anarchy, and the idea that somehow people will live with this, they won’t, they will insist on order, and if the democratic system doesn’t give them order, then they will find a dictator who does.
Exactly. This is a point I am emphasizing in my own work, though Wolf says it more eloquently than I do. In fact, I think it is likely that many influential plutocrats and libertarian intellectuals do understand that democracy and lightly regulated capitalism are incompatible, and they have decided to throw their lot in with capitalism. For all our sakes, we had better hope that they are making a mistake rather than a conscious choice, and that reading books like Wolf’s can help to bring them to their senses.