Finished copies of Brian Anderson’s Democratic Capitalism and Its Discontents arrived at the ISI Books offices yesterday. It’s a handsome book, if I do say so myself, and while I’m skeptical of any concept that originates with Michael Novak, I’m looking forward to seeing what Anderson has to say. His earlier South Park Conservatives wasn’t the trendy cash-in that its title might lead you to expect. (Oddly enough an event I helped put together, a lecture by Paul Cantor at Washington University in 2002, is a notable episode in the history of “South Park conservatism”; Anderson interviewed my friend Matthew Arnold about it for his book. For more on Professor Cantor’s take on South Park, see “Invisible Gnomes and the Invisible Hand” on LRC.)
Anderson’s new book includes chapters against Rawls and for Bertrand de Jouvenel, which I expect I’ll find congenial. He also notes in his introduction, with some surprise, that an excerpt from Benjamin Barber’s Consumed ran in The American Conservative. I’m even less sympathetic to Barber’s nostrums than I am to “democratic” capitalism, but I find the whole debate rather interesting.