Thomas Fergusson

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Mon Apr 15 07:06:15 MDT 1996

At 8:30 PM 4/14/96, rakesh bhandari wrote:

>Ferguson has written two books, the first of which I have read; I have
>skimmed the second one.
>Thomas Ferguson and Joel Rogers, 1986. Right Turn: The Decline of the
>   and the Future of American Politics. New York: Hill and Wang.
>Thomas Ferguson, 1995. Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition
>   and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems. Univ of Chicago Press.

Ferguson has done a lot of useful work, but I have my doubts about his
"investment" thesis of U.S. politics, under which changes in the political
preferences of the ruling class are reflected in changes in their campaign
contributions, which then lead electoral changes. In the 1994 U.S.
elections, the contributions *followed* the shift towards the Republicans,
and in my interviews of people (like the Center for Responsive Politics)
who follow the matter intensely, they all say that money often follows the
polls, rather than leading them. Ferguson's view seems very mechanistic,
deterministic, and several other bad words signifying...undialectical.



Doug Henwood
Left Business Observer
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New York NY 10024-3217
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