Economics/Class Relations

The Great Depression with Amity Shlaes

Back to the future.

I agree with some of this and disagree with other parts. Yes, capitalism as it was practiced in 19th and early 20th century finally collapsed as Marx predicted it would, with the managerial revolution subsequently implementing a new form of capitalism. The impact of the managerial revolution’s economic policies may have prolonged the depression, at least in certain sectors, but its purpose wasn’t to end the depression but to A) bail out the ruling class (like 2008 and 2020) and B) save the ass of the ruling class from revolutions like Italy, Germany, and Russia had experienced by pacifying labor, farmer, and other popular movements that developed during the Great Depression, in which communists and fascists were making inroads. Ultimately, elitist-reformers won out over revolutionary-extremists for the sake of ruling class self-preservation. Lawrence Dennis recognized all of this even before James Burnham developed his “managerial revolution” thesis.

Amity Shlaes challenges the received wisdom that the Great Depression occurred because capitalism broke and that it ended because FDR, and government in general, came to the rescue. According to Shlaes, it was the government that made the Great Depression worse. And was FDRs progressivism, as evident in the New Deal, really all that new, or was it a step along a progressive continuum that already had been established?

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