By Robin Koerner
Many people who favorably view Donald Trump and politicians like him, talk up his “authenticity” or his “telling it as it is”. Even many of those who profoundly dislike his politics, his manner, or both, grudgingly admit to the appeal of his “what you see is what you get” quality.
Yet and at the same time, many of his supporters – and almost all of their opponents – simultaneously recognize the blatant falsity of many of his statements.
On the surface, there is a paradox. How can so many people simultaneously abhor a politician’s blatant dishonesty when it comes to facts, while responding positively to what they see as his authenticity or sincerity?
A lot turns on this question, including the future of nations.
The fact is that transparency - or showing oneself as one is - and honesty – describing the world as it is - are related but different.
By Lee Enochs
This past weekend was a busy one for many Americans, as many of us enjoyed the great outdoors as the weather warmed around the country, the liberal political world also showed signs of heating up. A particularly “heated moment” took place just a few days ago at California’s Democratic Convention during 2020 presidential hopeful Hickenlooper brief but controversial remarks before that progressive political body.
The fawning adulation and applause the pragmatic former Governor of Colorado received at that Democratic Convention quickly turned into anger, vitriol and a cascade of boos as Hickenlooper rejected the notion that socialism is the answer to America’s political and economic problems. “If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer," Hickenlooper boldly proclaimed to a crowd of more than 4,500 progressive delegates this past Saturday.
By Chris Calton
After the collapse of the housing market in 2008, professional historians gave birth to a new sub-field of history usually referred to as “the new history of capitalism.” Economic history is hardly novel, but the new history of capitalism takes the approach that capitalismis the “thing” that needs to be explained. In the past decade, this field has become one of the most fashionable trends in the history profession, with centers for the study of capitalism being established at Cornell and the University of Georgia.
Predictably, the scholarship that falls under this label is replete with problems. Most self-described “historians of capitalism” know nothing of economic theory even as they try to incorporate it into their writings. Seth Rockaman, from Brown University, for instance, supports his analysis of antebellum Baltimore by quoting Adam Smith’s exposition of the labor theory of value. Rockaman seems to be taking a sly shot at proponents of capitalism—“even your precious Adam Smith believes labor is the source of value”—but he appears to be entirely unaware that economists abandoned the labor theory of value more than a century ago.