I just finished listening to your lectures for Trails West. A whole new old world has been opened up to me and I enjoyed it immensely–even listening to them again.
My inquiry has to do with a conversation I had with my brother-in-law a short while ago. He was insisting that Social Security is not socialism because he paid into the system. I said, that the government taxes its citizens then manages the system, in my mind, makes it socialism. Is there a distinction I’m missing; and, if so, what are the implications?
Hi Patricia, I’m so sorry that I’m so late in replying. This is my fault, not Tom’s. I’ll be much better in the future.
Anyway. . . to try to answer your question. I’m no economist, but I’m taking the idea of a managerial state from James Burnham as well as from George Orwell (who took it from Burnham). The difference, as I understand it, is that while all socialisms are managerial, not all managerial states are socialist. That is, a crony capitalist state can be just as managerial. This seems to be the natural outgrowth a society experiences after leaving the relationships and relational associations found in the pre-modern period. As we bureacratize as a people, it matters little whether we do so as socialists or capitalists. Still, I’d recommend a great book by David Wrobel (can’t remember the title right now) which explores the relationship of Frederick Jackson Turner and FDR. Hope this helps.