Shorter David Brooks on Followership

by Henry on June 12, 2012

(original here).

Update: Even if Brooks doesn’t, you know, deign to mention it, his column is obviously a response to Chris Hayes’ _Twilight of the Elites_, a book which I can’t pretend to be objective about for various reasons, but which I can enthusiastically and unobjectively encourage you to buy and read (Powells, Amazon).

Elinor Ostrom

by Kieran Healy on June 12, 2012

Elinor Ostrom, a great voice for good social science, and good in social science, has died. A political scientist by training, she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics. She did a great deal of important work on the creation and management of common-pool resources. Reading her work, it always seemed to me that she was the best kind of researcher—the sort who really cares about getting the right answer to a real empirical problem, even if the problem is very hard and the answer is very tricky.

Response Part 2.

by Francis Spufford on June 12, 2012

3. Pretending to be Russian, pretending (not) to be a novelist

I’m delighted that that Antoaneta Dimitrova finds my portrait of late-Soviet mediocrity in the Party authentic.  It seemed to me to be one of the most immediate anti-ideal forces in the Soviet environment, working briskly from the get-go against all beautiful dreams, that the perverse incentives of the place on the human level had made it inevitable, after the revolutionary generations were gone, that it would be staffed at the top by those who were best at getting along in a tyranny, rather than by those who were most devoted to the tyranny’s aims.  Hence the rise under Stalin of Brezhnev’s generation of vydvizhentsy, ‘promotees’, scrambling to seize the chance for upward mobility represented by the purges, and then that generation’s reproduction of itself in the 1960s and 70s, once it was setting the incentives, from among the greediest, most amiably shameless, most opportunistic of the young. 

[click to continue…]