Wrestling in the china shop

Here’s political scientist Henry Farrell on Tyler Cowen’s podcast: FARRELL: Analytic Marxism, I think, is underrated. I think it’s going to come back. Now, when I say analytic Marxism, let me be specific about that. There’s a lot of Marx which I think is flat-out wrong. And the analytic Marxist project itself drove itself into …

A good paragraph on theory

From Hans Morgenthau’s classic text on international relations, Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace: The theory, in other words, must be judged not by some preconceived abstract principle or concept unrelated to reality, but by its purpose: to bring order and meaning to a mass of phenomena which without it would remain …

Paying for the right to link

“The News Corp arrangement would allow headlines from properties in its Dow Jones unit… to appear in the Facebook news section, linking to the publications’ sites. For nonsubscribers, links to Journal stories that are behind the site’s paywall would trigger a prompt for the reader to sign up.” Facebook is apparently paying publishers for the …

A good paragraph on management

This comes from Rebecca Henderson, professor at Harvard Business School, in a 2017 talk on the future of capitalism: The intuition is that we pretty much know there’s a better way to manage the firm. It involves high trust, work groups, communication, high integrity, treating people with respect, doing continuous improvement. Again, I’m telling you …

Opinions, “bias,” explanation, and journalism

Politifact’s Bill Adair writes: In my courses at Duke, I begin each semester with a diagram I call the “Continuum of Journalism,” which includes a range of journalistic genres: op-eds, investigations, fact-checks, you name it. The continuum could easily be rebranded “The Bias Meter.” At one end is what I’ve labeled “Objective News”—stories that strive …

Putting innovation in the foreground

Four loosely related pieces that I’ve read lately: A great Quartz profile of economist Mariana Mazzucato: The central premise of Mazzucato’s work is about the role of the state in innovation. She is an ardent believer that governments should do more than play a passive role in fixing market failures, and be allowed to embrace …

A very good paragraph on superstar firms

Neil Irwin, writing at The Atlantic, excerpted from his book How to Win in a Winner-Take-All World: And among economists, the evidence keeps building that the concentration of major industries among a handful of superstar firms might be connected to deep economic dysfunctions. When there are fewer employers in an industry, for example, they have more power to depress workers’ …

Future of capitalism links

Just a space to link to reading that’s focused on the future of capitalism: Articles Zingales: “Dear Graduates” The Guardian’s “Broken Capitalism” series Paul Polman Bill Gates BusinessWeek: 7 Fixes for American Capitalism Books Jump-Starting America The Value of Everything Can American Capitalism Survive? The Future of Capitalism Rebecca Henderson (forthcoming)