The Public Interest

"Capitalism" and "the free society"

Irving Kristol & John K. Jessup

Winter 1971

In their joint autopsies on capitalism (The Public Interest, Fall 1970), Daniel Bell asks for time--"a decade or more"--to fill the resulting vacuum in the tormented social system, and Irving Kristol promises us time "if only because the modern era has failed to come up with any plausible alternatives" to liberal capitalism. One good use of that time, whether months or years, would be to recheck the autopsy, re-examine the life of the deceased, and make sure we know how much of it is dead and of what causes. As pumped up by morticians Kristol and Bell, the corpse only faintly resembles the living system some of us thought we knew.

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