Two of the very best representatives of their respective positions debate.
An oversimplification of my general view would be that Libertarians are right about the state and microeconomics. Marxists are right about macroeconomics and economic history.
-Friedman sounds like he’s discussing economics but Wolff often sounds more like he’s describing a religion: “We have an idea that needs to take power.” He could just as easily be talking about Islam.
-Wolff needs to read Antony Sutton’s critique of Soviet industrial and technological development, which applies to the Chinese model as well.
-I’d like to see Friedman respond to Carson’s idea of the “subsidy of history” which I think is the main weakness in the market/liberal position.
-Wolff’s point about the false dichotomy of the public/private sectors and the power of corporations to use advertising (propaganda) to create their own demand is good.
-If Wolff’s idea is to defend an economy of democratic cooperatives he should forget about trying to defend the “national socialism” of the USSR, PRC, etc.
-Wolff’s point about legal barriers to coops is a good one as is his point about the body counts generated by the two world wars and colonialism in response to Friedman’s point about Communism’s body count.
-They’re probably both right that ancaps and serious Marxists are not particularly welcome in university economics departments where the range of perspectives tends to be limited to supply-siders and Keynesians.
-Wolff’s point about technological displacement is good.
Categories: Economics/Class Relations