by Henry Farrell on December 25, 2009

For those who are (a) not suffering from holiday hangovers, and (b) do not have something better to do tomorrow morning, I’ll be on C-Span from 9am to 9.30am discussing the differences between liberalism, socialism, fascism. I’m anticipating some lively callers to the show …



djw 12.25.09 at 11:31 pm

East Coast time, I presume?


kid bitzer 12.26.09 at 12:14 am

let’s see:

one of them gets caught in filters, and the other two are the same.



SilverFox 12.26.09 at 3:02 am

Have fun & will try to watch you on TV if the snow doesn’t knock down the power lines………..


Henry 12.26.09 at 12:52 pm

yep, East Coast time …


engels 12.26.09 at 2:01 pm

Depending on your audience you might also need to explain how the concepts of ‘French’, ‘Gay’ and ‘Terrorist’ differ from all three…


Matthias Wasser 12.26.09 at 2:04 pm

C-Span callers are the most amazing thing.


John Protevi 12.26.09 at 2:58 pm

Thought you maintained an admirable poker face, but the slightest of smiles peaked through when the guy (perhaps Jonah himself?) called in with the “Nazis were of the left, because they had [that word] in their title” line.


Henry 12.26.09 at 3:46 pm

Actually, they were surprisingly rational. I had been expecting the worst, having heard a full-bore birther and a “Obama hates America” person on right before – but the folks who phoned while I was on were well above the average.


Thomas McDonald 12.26.09 at 5:48 pm

Good show. Really enjoyed hearing a more philosophical discussion about these things on C-SPAN.


will u. 12.26.09 at 7:04 pm

Any chance this will be available online?


Henry 12.26.09 at 9:23 pm

Should be up at “http://cspan.org/Watch/Media/2009/12/26/WJE/A/27767/Washington+Journal+Entire+Program.aspx”:http://cspan.org/Watch/Media/2009/12/26/WJE/A/27767/Washington+Journal+Entire+Program.aspx I think.


R Schnetler 12.27.09 at 2:09 am


Enjoyed the show. Can you recommend a good book on how socialism works in real life, i.e. who decides for the group what, how and who should consume and produce goods and services?




Henry 12.27.09 at 4:00 am

G.A. Cohen – _If You’re an Egalitarian, How Come You’re So Rich?_ – is good, if you have some grounding in debates on egalitarianism.


Aaron Swartz 12.27.09 at 5:25 am


Matt 12.27.09 at 6:03 am

R Schnetler – for an attempt to see how soc1al1sm would actually work, as opposed to a philosophical discussion of issues not always related to it, I’d recommend Alec Nove’s excellent _The Economics of Feasible Soc1al1sm_ and some of his other work. The anthology _Alternatives to Capitalism_, edited by Jon Elster and Karl Moene is also pretty good, though most of the chapters don’t work things out in the sort of detail done by Nove in his book.


alex 12.27.09 at 10:02 am

I suppose we’re in the territory of “of course real soci@lism’s never been tried…” here? Given that the history of actual governments that called themselves ‘soci@list’ runs a gamut from Attlee to Stalin, I should have thought that one could learn a lot just by reading the history of the Twentieth Century. Wikipedia could give you a start.

OTOH, since the only soci@lism that might have a chance of actually turning out to be a decent society is feminist anarchism, may I recommend Marge Piercy, Ursula Le Guin and Emma Goldman?


Ted 12.27.09 at 2:32 pm

Actually I’m not real sure how helpful philosophers are in answering this question. Historians would be better. And that guy who called into C-Span was absolutely correct in his comment about those who cannot be named (Godwin’s and all that). The progression of their outfit post-Weimar was a textbook example followed to the letter by all the others.


djr 12.27.09 at 2:40 pm

“The progression of their outfit post-Weimar was a textbook example followed to the letter by all the others.”

Except perhaps the Attlee government. And the Swedes. And maybe one or two other counter-examples.


Castorp 12.27.09 at 3:55 pm

Great discussion. I would have loved to hear you discuss Jonah’s book on the show, especially since it seemed that a few of the callers actively or passively had it in mind.


LFC 12.27.09 at 5:13 pm

@12:Can you recommend a good book on how socia1ism works in real life, i.e. who decides for the group what, how and who should consume and produce goods and services?
There are socia1ists who would rely in one way or another on market mechanisms to determine what gets produced, etc; they would alter features of capitalism involving e.g. ownership and control, but keep markets. Alec Nove, mentioned by Matt above, I think is in this tradition, though I’ve not read him; also many others (Oskar Lange, Leland Stauber etc etc) which those with more recent interest and familiarity than I have with this subject would be better guides to. Then OTOH there are those, e.g. Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel, who would not mainly rely on markets but substitute something else, . (Again, I am not the best guide here.) Maybe the anthology Matt mentions deals with some of these different perspectives.

I have read G.A. Cohen If You’re an Egalitarian… and while it’s a good book, IIRC it says relatively little about how any kind of socia1ism might actually work. So it’s probably not what R. Schnetler @12 is looking for.


Deliasmith 12.28.09 at 1:11 am

Tone is terribly important, don’t you think? One can say the most dishonest, foolish, ignorant things in a rational voice and last as long as eight minutes before being found out.


Kragen Javier Sitaker 12.28.09 at 3:05 am

I don’t see an option to download the video for saving on the C-Span page Aaron linked.


Jamey 12.28.09 at 4:59 am

I couldn’t help but notice that even though charges of socialism and fascism get thrown about quite loosely these days, apparently C-SPAN isn’t buying into the labels. They had three phone in lines and none of them were labeled either socialist or fascism. You would think that if there really were that many socialists and fascists out there that get labeled as such, C-SPAN would see fit to give them their own phone line.

Haven’t made it all the way through the video yet but if you didn’t point it out, a handy way of identifying fascism, amongst other characteristics, would be pointing out that fascists only believe in one phone line.


cod3fr3ak 12.28.09 at 12:04 pm

Dang I missed it. Transcript?


Karl 12.29.09 at 2:23 am

Yeah, a video download would be nice. Not a single video on the C-Span site works. Oh how I hate Adobe Flash.

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