[Marxism] Reflections on the New Deal: The Vested Interests, Limits to Reform, and the Meaning of Liberal Democracy by John Henry :: SSRN

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Dec 26 06:24:37 MST 2018

(Given the post-Keynesian orientation to Bard College's Levy Economics 
Institute, this is a surprising and welcome analysis.)

I subject some aspects of Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to critical analysis, 
with particular attention to what is termed “liberal democracy.” This 
analysis demonstrates the limits to reform, given the power of “vested 
interests” as articulated by Thorstein Veblen. While progressive 
economists and others are generally favorably disposed toward the New 
Deal, a critical perspective casts doubt on the progressive nature of 
the various programs instituted during the Roosevelt administrations. 
The main constraint that limited the framing and operation of these 
programs was that of maintaining liberal democracy. The New Deal was 
shaped by the institutional forces then dominant in the United States, 
including the segregationist system of the South. In the end, vested 
interests dictated what transpired, but what did transpire required a 
modification of the understanding of liberal democracy.

full: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3175544

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