This was a decent chapter from a historical perspective, but I felt that it lacked an awful lot regarding any actual, you know, economics. Of course, this is a problem that can be safely expected of any economics-related history written by a non-economist. Quite possibly the biggest flaw, however, was the author’s failure to demonstrate the leftism of the very concept of the modern corporation given that it is intrinsically a creation of the state. This isn’t a knock on Jonah Goldberg, it’s just interesting to see how different the non-economists’ perspective on economics can be.
But honestly, an entire chapter on economics without a single chart, formula, table, or folksy analogical tale? What sort of strange beast is this?
However, Goldberg also overlooked the easiest way to demonstrate how corporations and corporatism cannot possibly be considered inherently right-wing. It is a little-recognized fact that Communist governments have owned and controlled a number of the world’s largest corporations. In fact, until recently, one of the largest “capitalists” in the world as measured by the revenues of the many corporations it owned, was the People’s Liberation Army of China.
Next week’s reading is Chapter Nine, “Brave New Village: Hillary Clinton and the Meaning of Liberal Fascism”. The quiz for it will be posted on Saturday, August 15th.