Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

The Road to Serfdom and Rand

 The Road to SerfRanddom I have always enjoyed chapter 10 of Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom — “Why the worst get on top.” Always referring to the last quarter century or so since I first read it. Hayek’s argument struck me immediately as  watertight but I was puzzled that he seemed to exempt his own preferred collective from his argument. […]

The Most Evil Rant in Aynkind’s History

The Most Evil Rant in Aynkind’s History n previous posts, I discussed the Senate confirmation hearings plagiarism by Keisha Russell of a Washington Post column by Marc Thiessen and the shoddy scholarship of the former history professor, Allen C. Guelzo that underwrote the bizarre claim that “critical race theory is a subset of critical theory that began with Immanuel […]

I. Kant, even

I. Kant, even The grinning mug on the right of the YouTube Fox News screen above is Allen C. Guelzo, a historian of the Civil War and biographer of Abraham Lincoln. Guelzo is also a purveyor of a bizarre theory that Immanuel Kant was the progenitor of critical theory, critical race theory, Marxism, Jim Crow, […]

Keisha Russell Must be Censured for her Plagiarized Senate Testimony

Keisha Russell Must be Censured for her Plagiarized Senate Testimony Every sensible man, every honorable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror. — Voltaire Keisha Russell is a propagandist for the “First Liberty Institute” who they grace with the title of “counsel.” It looks from her resume that the counsel she provides consists of […]

Org-Dimensional Man

Org-Dimensional Man In 1959, Harold Rosenberg wrote the essay “The Orgamerican Phantasy,” published in The Tradition of the New. Rosenberg’s essay criticized the “post-radical” self-absorption of several of the same authors — William H. Whyte, C. Wright Mills, and Vance Packard — that Herbert Marcuse would subsequently praise in the Introduction to One-Dimensional Man for the “vital importance” […]

On that “deep feeling that something is wrong…”

On that “deep feeling that something is wrong…” Georg Simmel called it “a faint sense of tension and vague longing” connected with the modern preponderance of means over ends. What Simmel calls estrangement   [We] feel as if the whole meaning of our existence were so remote that we are unable to locate it and are […]

Marx’s “most realistic… most amazing insight!”

Marx’s “most realistic… most amazing insight!” In his farewell lecture at Brandeis University, “Obsolescence of Socialism,” Herbert Marcuse quoted a passage from the Grundrisse and claimed that in Capital, Marx had “repressed this vision, which now appears as his most realistic, his most amazing insight!” As large-scale industry advances, the creation of real wealth depends increasingly less on […]

Selling Mrs. Conspicuous Consumption

Selling Mrs. Conspicuous Consumption In Selling Mrs. Consumer, Christine Frederick shilled for progressive obsolescence, which had been advocated the previous year in an article by her husband, J. George Frederick. Or at least that is the way it seemed to her biographer, Janice Rutherford, who wrote, “she now took up and elaborated upon his theme, even using […]

A Footnote to IT WAS BEDLAM!

A Footnote to IT WAS BEDLAM! Lewis Corey was a pseudonym for Louis Fraida, one of the founders of the U.S. Communist Party. In a letter to Marcuse dated August 16, 1960, Raya Dunayevskaya replied at length to his request for references to the American literature dealing with the issues of “the transformation of the […]

IT WAS BEDLAM!

IT WAS BEDLAM!  From The Decline of American Capitalism by Lewis Corey (1934): Capitalist production saves on labor and multiplies the productive forces. But two contradictions arise which constantly torment capitalist enterprise. Saving on labor decreases relative wages and limits the conditions of consumption. This sets in motion the forces of excess capacity, sharpened competition, and mounting […]