The Public Interest

Interests and passions

Nathan Glazer

Fall 1985

THE PUBLIC INTEREST was launched under the sign of the interests; it now operates in an environment in which the passions are dominant. By “interests” I mean of course “economic interests. “ One must add, to define further the attitude of the founders of The Public Interest, that they did not think that in advanced industrial societies, such as the United States or Western Europe, interests caused any necessary and fatal division among social classes: All could agree on courses of action that satisfied more or less the interests of workers and employers, property owners and tenants, farmers and consumers, rentiers and investors.  Thus, whatever fine distinctions the editors and founders may have made over the “end of ideology” thesis, they believed that there was no sound basis for Marxist ideology, or other ideologies that posited the incapacity of capitalist society to provide stability, growth, and a decent life to the various classes that made it up.

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