How to Move Beyond Utopian Socialism and Libertarianism

Naked Capitalism has the article How to Move Beyond Utopian Socialism and Libertarianism

Again, we should experiment and pursue what works best – be it public or private.

As an avowed “what worksist” I would naturally like an article like this. The trouble I see is in deciding who the “we” is who does the experimenting and deciding what works best. I think one of the reasons this all fell apart in the 1980s in the USA is that we forgot that there needs to be a continuous process of educating the public on what the process is experimenting and pursuing what works and why we use such a process. This education process is also needed for the leaders who are driving the experimenting and deciding process to refresh their memories about what they are supposed to be doing. Under FDR, I think there was a good understanding by many of the important actors about this process. The people who followed in power lost sight of the fundamental reasoning behind the process.

The article mentions Milton Friedman. I think that he and his backers were excellent at erasing our memory of what we were trying to do. Milton Friedman came along with a good story about what was wrong with what we were trying to do, and the people who were trying forgot the counter story that justified their behavior. They also forgot that they were supposed to be seeing what works and changing the things that didn’t work anymore.

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