Liberalism and Cronyism: Two Rival Political and Economic Systems




Holcombe, Randall G.
Castillo, Andrea M.

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The Mercatus Center at George Mason University


Political and economic systems either allow exchange and resource allocation to take place through mutual agreement under a system of liberalism, or force them to take place under a system of cronyism in which some people have the power to direct the activities of others. This book seeks to clarify the differences between liberalism and cronyism by scrutinizing the actual operation of various political and economic systems. Examples include historical systems such as fascism in Germany between the world wars and socialism in the former Soviet Union, as well as contemporary systems such as majoritarianism and industrial policy. By examining how real governments have operated, this book dem- onstrates why—despite their diverse designs—in practice all political and economic systems are variants of either liberalism or cronyism.


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