Why again are we talking about this? Oh yes, this book is out which alleges some relationship between the above [southern agrarianism] and the political economy of James Buchanan, on grounds off..oh there simply are no grounds. It is, so far as anyone can tell, entirely made up. And you can know this using the simplest mental process of noting that Luddite resentment against industry and free-market economic theory inhabit opposite poles of opinion.
How could Nancy MacLean have made this error? It appears that she decided that the Agrarians are “right wing,” and so too is James Buchanan “right wing,” and so therefore there must be some connection between the two. If you can’t see it, your consciousness has not been raised as high as hers.
What’s strange in this case in particular is that the Agrarian school has much in common with her own outlook: the resentment against market forces, the fear of a market-driven future, a suspicion of technology, a belief that some nefarious conspiracy is everywhere present in economic processes. Even so, I’m not about to write a book alleging some malign Agrarian influence on the social democratic thought of Nancy MacLean, though by use of her methodology, I probably could.
What is the difference between fantasy and scholarship? Democracy in Chains blurs the two so extensively that one no longer knows. And if you point that out, you too are part of the conspiracy.