Author Archives: Larry Liu

The Limits of Liberalism

The often-cited End of History thesis of Francis Fukuyama became so popular, because the defeat of the Soviet Union and communism suggested that there are no more alternatives to the global liberal order, which contains an economic and a social/ … Continue reading

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Can Democracy be Combined with Capitalism?

The historic connection between democracy and capitalism is that democratic institutions have rarely existed outside of capitalism. The gradual expansion of the suffrage, which usually began with property-holding males, then all males and, lastly, women, happened over long stretches from … Continue reading

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Logic of Automation, Part 2 (and Constraints to Capitalism)

I had previously described a complex model in the logic of automation (Liu 2017), which involved consumer finance, which is an important channel for understanding the potential fallout of the automation of jobs. I exclude this option in the more … Continue reading

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The Return to Incivility

Nga Than (2018), good friend of mine and Vietnamese researcher based in Germany, recounts her experience with two racist German teenagers, who said to her that foreigners have to leave Germany: This incidence was different. It challenged my physical appearance, … Continue reading

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Book Review: David Graeber, “Bullshit Jobs” (New York, Simon and Schuster, 2018)

Five years after Graeber submitted his provocative essay “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs” he had now written up a 300 page book describing a phenomenon in contemporary capitalism, which requires further elucidation. Graeber’s simple argument is that the advancement … Continue reading

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Troubled Land Reforms in South Africa

When in February Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Jacob Zuma as president of South Africa, he said that land reform became a major priority. The ANC (African National Congress) government had campaigned on land reform when the apartheid regime, which separated blacks … Continue reading

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Goolsbee is Wrong on UBI

In the debate surrounding whether or not we should have a universal basic income it is at least heartening that even critics take that proposal seriously. One may think of Mahatma Ghandi’s statement that “first [your enemies] will ignore you, … Continue reading

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