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Subject:  Re: Week 4- Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom Date:  8/31/2012  9:33 AM
Author:  tabs101 Number:  23725 of 23810

Near the end of the first chapter Friedman thinks about political behavior in a capitalist country compared to a socialist country. When employment opportunities are based on the government, this has a chilling effect on free speech. First, is a government going to allow its workers to advocate for causes that involve a radical change to the political and economic system? History suggests no.

But, Friedman continues, let’s imagine that there is a government that will tolerate radical, even revolutionary, speech. For this type of speech to spread, financers are necessary. In a capitalist system, there will surely be some wealthy individuals who sympathize with the radical views being espoused. Friedman is equally confident that there will be some wealthy individuals in a socialist system. The difference, he thinks, is that in a socialist system, the chances are great that the wealthy will work for the upper echelon of the government. Will they be willing to support causes that challenge the status quo? Maybe. Will the government allow top officials to support “subversive” activities? This appears less plausible.

(This previous paragraph made me think about this election cycle and the role of Super PACs. The Republican primaries appeared to be more competitive, as a result of this infusion of “outside” dollars. How could that be a bad for democracy?)

Maybe, you might counter, a small amount of money could be raised from many. But, he explains, throughout history radical movements have not worked this way. Just getting to the point where many wi