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Capitalism and Freedom: a Critical Review

By       Message David Klassen       (Page 1 of 13 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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Where to begin? In the 1940's and 50's my parents encouraged and supported my early academic promise. In the 1960's professors at the University of Kansas and the University of Chicago trained me to think critically and scientifically. And most importantly, my journey through life has been enriched by the love, support, and analytical thinking of Dr. Deidre Klassen, my wife for the past thirty-eight years. Several years ago, the outstanding analysis of election data produced by Professor Steven Freeman (was the 2004 presidential election stolen? Steven F. Freeman & Joel Bleifuss, Seven Stories Press, 2006) inspired me to make my own small contribution to the election integrity field a summary of the sources that convinced me we are all victims of broken and stolen elections. Luckily for me, that piece caught the attention of Rob Koll, founder of the news site Rob invited me to join and to submit pieces to him. In turn, my attention was particularly captured by Rob's impassioned review of Naomi Klein's seminal work: The Shock Doctrine. I believe this penetrating analysis of recent economic events should be required reading for all citizens. It led me to ask, "How can the Chicago School of Economics possibly justify its intellectual position and the harm it has caused in country after country around the world, as is so brilliantly documented by Ms. Klein?" My response to that question was to obtain my own copy of the work often cited as Milton Friedman's manifesto: Capitalism and Freedom (40th Anniversary Edition, paperback, University of Chicago Press, 2002). After my first quick read, I was stunned by the difference in scholarship compared to The Shock Doctrine: so much shorter, essentially no footnotes, adjectives designed to bias the reader toward one side of an argument used without supporting documentation, and other features I perceived as scholarly deficiencies. I felt I was comparing a great work of documented and footnoted scholarship, on the one hand, to a political screed on the other. I decided to go back through Friedman's work and more specifically identify the points that I judged to be deficient. As a result, my copy of Capitalism and Freedom has now been fattened by the insertion of 69 Post-it notes containing my comments. As I created these comments I came to realize that they could be grouped into a relatively small number of categories. The article that follows is my analysis of those categories and the citations that I assigned to each.

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David H. Klassen, Sr., Ph.D.

October 24, 2010

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Category Summary Table of Categories

Category No.

Agreement 1

Anti-corporation 2

Anti-union 1

Bigoted 8

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Free market bias 12

Incorrect 18

Outdated 6

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Born in Newton KS in 1943. Educated at U of Kansas and U of Chicago, PhD in sociology. Developed and wrote computer programs for statistical research, for dental clinics, medical clinics, hospitals. Retired in 2003. Lives in Hannibal MO (my wife's (more...)

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