Brodie Farquhar: Schubert-Akin ignores historical reality |

Brodie Farquhar: Schubert-Akin ignores historical reality

Dear Editor,

Jennifer Schubert-Akin’s guest column is in line with most conservative thought: capitalism good, socialism bad. Indeed, most conservatives would be delighted if you adopt that bumper sticker slogan as the be-all and end-all summation of economic/political thought.

Schubert-Akin is a fan of capitalism and harshly critical of socialism. No surprise there. She ignores the historical reality that most countries, including our own, have blended the two systems of economic/political thought, so as to avoid the worst excesses and failures of those systems. One checks and balances the other. Unrestrained capitalism inevitably leads to extreme inequalities and fascism, while unrestrained socialism leads to killing the golden goose of capitalism and freedom itself.

Schubert-Akin and most conservatives treat capitalism and socialism as extreme, one-size-fits-all systems. She ignores the fact that countries around the world are blending these systems for the benefit of their people, with a great deal of nuance and tinkering to get just the right mix. Western and northern Europe are way ahead of us on that score, with socialism balancing capitalism in finance, industry, labor, education and the environment.

Schubert-Akin’s promotion of a Freedom Conference showdown between advocates of capitalism vs. socialism will be, I suspect, a clash of orthodoxy and new thinking. Stephen Moore, as her champion of capitalism, is a tired hack with a bucket of conservative cliches. He was briefly considered a candidate for the Federal Reserve board this spring. Moore was woefully unprepared for this post. Senate Republicans did not support his bid, and it was withdrawn.

Bhaskar Sunkara, the founding editor of Jacobin Magazine and author of “The Socialist Manifesto,” will be the champion, and critic, of socialism in this upcoming debate.

Do a little noodling around the Internet and you’ll find ample reasons to feel sorry for Schubert-Akin in picking Moore as her champion. The clash with Sunkara ain’t gonna be pretty and will, I predict, be decidedly one-sided.

Not that I’m going to pony up money for a ticket. I’ll wait for the Clash of Titans to show up on YouTube.


Brodie Farquhar


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