“Democracy in Chains” offers interesting discussions of labels, from classical liberal, neoliberal, libertarian, collectivism and the ever-frightening “socialism.” This book is also of interest to those who study the “framing” of issues, from personal liberty, labor rights, and economic liberty.
The book published last year, written by Duke University history Professor Nancy MacLean, is a “must read” for educators and public policy wonks. Dr. MacLean researches in great detail the connections between conservative/libertarian economist James McGill Buchanan, the attempted privatization of Virginia Public Schools, “public choice theory,” and the “Massive Resistance” movement around the Brown vs. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954.
Going forward with hopes for a more stable economy requires properly assessing the value to such from a common social infrastructure, and acknowledging that economic, not political, “socialism” can be a responsible partner in managing our common needs. Adding health care access to our other “socialist” programs — like roadways, schools and libraries — will cost less, and provide greater economic freedom for all of us.
Moving forward will be easier with a better understanding of how we arrived here. I encourage all to read this well-done presentation of some of our country’s history.