Friday, January 7, 2011

Social Science Journalism

. Friday, January 7, 2011

The lesson of history is that, in the long run, super-elites have two ways to survive: by suppressing dissent or by sharing their wealth. It is obvious which of these would be the better outcome for America, and the world. Let us hope the plutocrats aren’t already too isolated to recognize this.

That is Chrystia Freeland in The Atlantic, summarizing Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson's Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy without realizing it. The whole article is very good.


Wise Bass said...

That may be too much of a generalization from the Gilded Age, though. Back then, the ideas of socialism - if not the ideology and political movement itself- had much more weight. Plutocrats had to really fear from things like Huey Long's Share Our Wealth movement, and other forms of leftism. Making "pay-offs" in the form of Social Security and Unemployment Insurance was one way of ameliorating labor strife.

I'm not so sure that applies now. The "counter" ideology to the existing system is almost nil.

Social Science Journalism
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