Letters and Politics

The Economic Ideas and Influence of James McGill Buchanan: From Libertarianism to the Freedom Caucus.

Today we are in conversation with Nancy MacLean about economist James McGill Buchanan who won the Novel Price in Economics in 1986 and helped laid groundwork of conservative thought that would lead all the way up to the so called Freedom Caucus in Congress.

Nancy MacLean is a professor of history at Duke University and author of the book Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

About the book:

Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.

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