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Very interesting, especially for someone like me who is coauthor of a comparative systems textbook that even gets used sometimes at Mason, or so rumor has it, perhaps a de facto successor to Lavoie.

What is there is very high quality. My main concern, although one should not poke at those no longer able to answer for themselves, is the lack of coverage of a number of alternative systems. Surprised he did not deal with European social maret economies, or the peculiar, but important system, in Japan, or even some of the alternative forms of Marxist socialism to the USSR, such as Maoism in China, although arguably that was less important already by the mid-1980s, once Deng Xiao-Ping made his reform moves in 1978-79.


Your book has been used multiple times, and yes I never would have been hired at GMU had Don not left economics to start PSOL. I inherited his classes and Buchanan's class when I came back in 1998 after being away for 10 years.

As for Don's selection of material at the time. I will tell you this that Prychitko wrote an excellent policy type paper on Deng-Xiao-Ping early reforms (I think it is important to talk about reforms from 1978-85, and then post 1985 --- has to do with the shift in tax arrangement; this is discussed by Jean Oi in her World Development paper from the late 1980s). Don basically talked about Capitalism and Socialism (using the tradition-market-plan) and then Soviet and Yugoslavian systems. But Dave's summary gives this.


I always regretted not getting Don to JMU to give a talk. The last time I saw him I sat between him and Roger Koppl at an SDAE banquet. Pete stopped by to say hi. I spoke with him about coming to JMU, but did not realize that he was ill and that I needed to move immediately to have him in. Some things cannot be rerun or undone.

I always found his ideas to be very stimulating.

Pete, you remember that paper? I almost forgot. It was published in something called the Journal of Economic Growth, which went defunct a year or two later. I'm not sure that I've saved a copy of the article.

In addition to Don's course, GMU offered a course on the Soviet economy. Those were the only to one could take to specialize in comparative economic systems. (Taking Buchanan's Constitutional Economics course was a nice complement.) At the time I thought GMU should have also offered a separate course on Marxism. Pete and I learned Marxism as a directed readings credit. It amounted to the two of us sitting in something a little larger than a broom closet with Marx's works on our laps, trying to make sense of it on our own. Apparently we were successful, but it would have been nice to have a full-blown course.

In my view, there should be a course like Don's, then two other courses. A Soviet and similar systems course (throw Mao into that) and another course devoted to alternatives such as German co-determination, Swedish-like welfare states, social democracy and so on.

Why apologize for putting up links? If the work is worth putting on line it is surely worth telling people about it. I appreciate that busy people will not read many links [well, not mine anyway:)] but we are only trying to help.
Pity there is no Open Society vol 2 on the reading list, described by Berlin as the most scrupulous crit of Marxism at the time. Maybe too long, but there is a condensed version on line.

Aren't we about due for a Gay, Socialist President?

Put down your haterade and embrace your inner broke back!

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