By Philip Green (auth.)
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Additional resources for American Democracy: Selected Essays on Theory, Practice, and Critique
H. 5 Not only that, but in fact the “national defense” sector of any social order is now and probably always has been perceived of by its clientele as a welfare state. Thus when Friedman asserts, in Capitalism and Freedom, that the military should be a public charge, but long-distance highways should be “privately” owned and operated, we must charitably assume his ignorance of the fact that the bulk of the interstate highway network in the United States has been constructed by the authority of national defense legislation.
Therefore we can also see how nonsensical (and deliberately invidious) is the distinction between protecting “our” factories, houses, money, or commodities, on the one hand, and our children’s prospects, our future health and safety, our opportunities for “success” in life, our desires to cooperate and share with others, and our very access to the protecting state itself, on the other hand. All of these things, for me, are equally conceivable as returns on my investment of my labor power. All are, in Aristotle’s sense, “things” which I can be expected to take better care of than anyone else, and of which I have the legitimate expectation of being encouraged and allowed to take care.
Wright Mills and Floyd Hunter, whose descriptions of elite rule manifested a thinly concealed neo-Marxism: the word that in the Cold War period dared not speak its name in the world of professional social science. This debate was about the nature and distribution of political power; and about the prospects, or not, of “real” democracy. That debate is settled: A defense of the pluralist account seems merely Science, Government, and the Case of RAND ● 29 ludicrous, when the one-sided spending of billions of dollars on elections and lobbying is inarguably the central fact of the political system.