Scholarly contributions range from a study of joy and labor in Ecclesiastes, virtue and vice in the American founding, whistleblowing, and the economics and ethics of education, including a Controversy debating the merits and demerits of the tenure system. The first two entries of this four-part feature, authored by James E. Bruce and Aeon J. Skoble, respectively, can be read open-access here and here.
This issue also includes our regular slate of book reviews, as well as notices of other books of interest, the latter of which is also open-access here.
Reflecting on the recurrence of ideas throughout history, executive editor Kevin Schmiesing reflects, among other issues, upon our current political landscape in his editorial:
Considering the volatility of the conflict between socialist and capitalist visions that characterized the latter half of the twentieth century, it came as a shock to most when socialism exited the scene in 1989 with a whimper rather than a bang. The apparent triumph of liberalism, democracy, and capitalism led some to believe that we had reached “the end of history.” As socialism reached its nadir in the 1990s, even political programs and economic policies that fell short of complete public ownership of the means of production became tainted by association. The story, persuasively told by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw in Commanding Heights (1998) was that the once-celebrated John Maynard Keynes, robust government intervention, and central planning had been discredited; the once-maligned Friedrich Hayek, free markets, and limited government had won the day. We had steered off of the road to serfdom: Lesson learned.
That story looks increasingly dated, as most stories do once the pendulum has swung back the other way. Fukuyama, Yergin, and Stanislaw wrote before “Latin America’s Left Turn,” inaugurated by the election of Hugo Chávez in Venzuela in 1998. They wrote before Great Britain had pivoted decisively away from the policies of the Thatcher era, and before the rise of Bernie Sanders and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez as forces to be reckoned with in the Democratic Party in the United States.
That editorial is open-access as well and can be read here.
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