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Third Ways: How Bulgarian Greens, Swedish Housewives, and Beer-Swilling Englishmen Created Family-Centered Economies - And Why They Disappeared (Culture of Enterprise) [Hardcover]

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Item description for Third Ways: How Bulgarian Greens, Swedish Housewives, and Beer-Swilling Englishmen Created Family-Centered Economies - And Why They Disappeared (Culture of Enterprise) by Allan Carlson...

Freewheeling capitalism or collectivist communism: when it came to political-economic systems, did the twentieth century present any other choice? Does our century? In Third Ways, social historian Allan Carlson tells the story of how different thinkers from Bulgaria to Great Britain created economic systems during the twentieth century that were by intent neither capitalist nor communist. Unlike fascists, these seekers were committed to democracy and pluralism. Unlike liberal capitalists, they refused to treat human labor and relationships as commodities like any other. And unlike communists, they strongly defended private property and the dignity of persons and families. Instead, the builders of these alternative economic systems wanted to protect and renew the "natural" communities of family, village, neighborhood, and parish. They treasured rural culture and family farming and defended traditional sex roles and vital home economies.
Carlson's book takes a fresh look at distributism, the controversial economic project of Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton which focused on broad property ownership and small-scale production; recovers the forgotten thought of Alexander Chayanov, a Russian economist who put forth a theory of "the natural family economy"; discusses the remarkable "third way" policies of peasant-led governments in post--World War I Bulgaria, Poland, and Romania; recounts the dramatic and largely unknown effort by Swedish housewives to defend their homes against radical feminism; relates the iconoclastic ideas of economic historian Karl Polanyi, including his concepts of "the economy without markets" and "the great transformation"; and praises the efforts by European Christian Democrats to build a moral economy on the concept of homo religious---"religious man."
Finally, Carlson's work explains why these efforts---at times rich in hope and prospects---ultimately failed, often with tragic results. The tale inspires wistful regret over lost opportunities that, if seized, might have spared tens of millions of lives and forestalled or avoided the blights of fascism, Stalinism, socialism, and the advent of the servile state. And yet the book closes with hope, enunciating a set of principles that could be used today for invigorating a "family way" economy compatible with an authentic, healthy, and humane culture of enterprise.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   225
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.7" Width: 5.8" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 15, 2007
Publisher   Intercollegiate Studies Institute
ISBN  1933859407  
ISBN13  9781933859408  

Availability  0 units.

More About Allan Carlson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Allan C. Carlson is president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society and international secretary of the World Congress of Families. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the National Commission on Children, on which he served until 1993. Over the last ten years he has advised various congressional leaders and presidential candidates on how to craft family-friendly policies and legislation.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Business & Finance > Economics > History & Theory
2Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Comparative
3Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Economic History
4Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > Theory
5Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Bulgaria
6Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Sweden
7Books > Subjects > History > World > 20th Century
8Books > Subjects > History > World > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Third Ways: How Bulgarian Greens, Swedish Housewives, and Beer-Swilling Englishmen Created Family-Centered Economies - And Why They Disappeared (Culture of Enterprise)?

The Third Way - Towards a Family-Centered Economics.  Sep 6, 2008
_Third Ways: How Bulgarian Greens, Swedish Housewives, and Beer-Swilling Englishmen Created Family-Centered Economies - And Why They Disappeared_, published in 2007 in the Culture of Enterprise Series by ISI Books, by leading family scholar Allan C. Carlson is a fascinating examination of some of the early attempts to promote a sort of "third way" economic system that differed and was opposed to both liberal capitalism and communism and that was centered on the family. The third way was frequently aligned with agrarian interests, advocated widespread ownership of private property, and in particular placed a strong emphasis on the family, frequently calling for the creation of a "family wage". The third way also differed from fascism and Nazism in its commitment to democratic institutions and pluralism. The third way emphasized "natural" communities of family, village, neighborhood, and parish and was frequently linked to religious interests. In particular, following the papal encyclical of Leo XIII, _Rerum Novarum_, both G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc developed an economic system they referred to as Distributism to oppose what they perceived as the excesses of both capitalism and socialism and the dread mergence of the two in the "Servile State" as envisioned by Belloc. This book offers a fascinating examination of some of these economic developments with their emphasis on private property, small-scale ownership, agrarianism, and in particular the role of the family and the household economy.

The book begins with a "Preface" in which the author explains the developments of the twentieth century in which Communism emerged as a significant force to compete with economic liberal capitalism. During the Cold War era, individuals were frequently pushed into taking a side on this encompassing issue; however, the author notes that in the 1920s and 1930s some individuals had developed alternatives to both capitalism and socialism. Some of these individuals had sided with fascism or Nazism, but others were committed to a more peaceful "third way", such as the Distributists associated with Chesterton and Belloc. Ultimately, the third way saw itself as the only opportunity to preserve human liberty in the face of the coming mergence of both capitalism and socialism in the Servile State (or what may today be called "state capitalism") as predicted by Belloc. Many of these individuals actively promoted the family and called for the renewal of a "family wage" and many were associated with religious movements.

The first chapter of this book is entitled ""ChesterBelloc" And the Fairy Tale of Distributism" and focuses on the third way system developed by both G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc (both English Catholics). The author begins by noting some of the reactions of various authors to the ideal of Distributism, noting that authors have not been particularly kind to this ideal of Chesterton and Belloc. Even friendly commentators have frequently derided Distributism as being unrealistic; however, it should be pointed out that Belloc's prediction of the growth of the "Servile State" (a coming mergence of both capitalism and socialism in the power of the state) has proven particularly prescient. The author considers the relationship this system had with Roman Catholicism, noting the importance of the papal encyclical _Rerum Novarum_ of Leo XIII. The author notes in particular the importance of the right to property expressed in this encyclical. The author next turns to Chesterton and Belloc, noting each of their roles respectively in promoting the system of Distributism, emphasizing the thinking that grew up around A. R. Orage and his journal _The New Age_. The author explains the ideas of Chesterton and Belloc concerning the role of private property, the importance of a widespread distribution of property, and the emphasis on agrarianism, the family, and the small-scale. The author also notes some of the prescriptions of Chesterton and Belloc in fighting against monopoly and the emerging state. The author also discusses the Distributist League (noting amusingly the importance of alcoholic beverages for members of this league) and its role in discussing the ideas that came to be called Distributism. The author also discusses some of the influence of Distributism and also its ultimate failure. The second chapter of this book is entitled "The Wages of Kin: Building a Secular Family-Wage Regime". Here, the author discusses the role of the "family wage" (the wage needed of a breadwinner to support himself and a family), noting the importance that the family wage came to play and the role of labor in supporting this idea. The author discusses the origins of the notion of the "family wage" in scholastic "just price" theory and its role in the thinking of various economists including Smith, Malthus, and Marx. The author notes the opposition of some feminists to this notion, showing how women came to play a larger role in the workplace as they left the home. The author also discusses the emergence of the welfare state and its role in subjugating women by making them dependent on the state as pointed out by certain feminist critics. The author also discusses the role of children in the workplace and the importance of the family wage for maintaining liberty. The third chapter of this book is entitled "Alexander Chayanov and the Theory of Peasant Utopia". Here, the author discusses the ideas of Russian economist Alexander Chayanov and his theories concerning the role of agriculture and the peasantry. The author notes the traditional importance of the peasant in Russian life before the coming Bolshevik revolution as well as the growth of populism. The author discusses Chayanov's utopian books that present a "decentralized, oddly progressive, democratic Russian state". The author contrasts Chayanov's thinking with that of both Marx and Ricardo and explains how Chayanov (who although an initial supporter of the Russian Revolution) eventually came into conflict with the Soviets and Stalin eventually put him into a gulag. The fourth chapter of this book is entitled "Green Rising: The Promise and Tragedy of Peasant Rule in Eastern Europe". This chapter discusses the role of Distributist ideas in Eastern Europe emphasizing agrarian reform and peasant rule. In particular, Alexander Stamboliski (a Bulgarian Green) came to play a prominent role in the peasant rising in Bulgaria in the interwar period. The author discusses the ideas of Stamboliski and his conflicts with various groups including the Marxists and why his ideas ultimately failed. The fifth chapter is entitled "Last March of the Swedish Socialist Housewives", which explains the importance of the role of the housewife in Sweden and the thinking of various feminists about this role. The author discusses in particular the thinking of Ellen Key (who proposed a Nietzschean supermother) and Alva Myrdal (who offered a feminist critique of the housewife). The author notes the importance that home economics came to take on for the movement of the housewives and how socialist housewives frequently allied themselves with more conservative groups in their goal to preserve this institution. The sixth chapter is entitled "Karl Polany and "The Economy Without Markets"". This chapter discusses the ideas of Karl Polanyi author of _The Great Transformation_ and concerns itself with his opposition to markets. Polanyi praised capitalism, but at the same time maintained that the liberal free-market rested upon state interference. In particular, Polanyi had a complicated relationship to both liberalism and conservativism (as those words are understood both in the United States and Britain) and although regarded as a liberal in the United States has been praised by conservative thinkers such as Robert Nisbet. In particular, Polanyi predicted liberalism's economic collapse and expressed unease over the idea of "homo economicus" that reflects much conservative thinking on the subject. The seventh chapter is entitled "Seeking a Moral Economy: The Christian Democratic Movement". The author begins by discussing the notion of the "culture war" as expressed by Pat Buchanan in the United States, but showing how this notion is rooted in the Germanic idea of the "kulturkampf" in which the German empire launched an assault on religious liberty and family. The author discusses the opposition of many Christians to the French Revolution and the emergence of the Christian Democrats as an attempt to face the French Revolution. The Christian Democrats were strongly influenced by Catholic elements which opposed the Enlightenment and expressed an opposition to the excesses of the state as well as a respect for the family. However, Protestants too came to play an important role in the Christian Democratic movement (especially in that Christians realized they must put aside their differences that had led to a series of religious wars in order to fight a common enemy that had emerged from the French Revolution). Among the Protestants, Abraham Kuyper of the Netherlands played an important role in forming an Anti-Revolutionary Party. Another individual sometimes associated with the Christian Democrats is the liberal economist Wilhelm Ropke who advocated for a humane economy and proposed a notion of "homo religiosus". The author explains the troubled relationship between the Christian Democrats and the fascists, the decline of the Christian Democrats with the coming of a new libertine morality in the 1960s and some of the corruption of their original ideals. The author also explains why no strong Christian Democrat movement committed to social justice has emerged in the United States. The book ends with a chapter entitled "Conclusion: Dreams, Realities, Illusions". Here, the author explains why the third way movements have ultimately failed with the coming of Belloc's Servile State and the complicated relationship between the third way and the welfare state. The author notes the naivety and intellectual decency of many involved in the third way (in their commitment to honesty and pacifism) and contrasts this to the more violent approaches taken by many states in the twentieth century. The author then discusses the failure of the "Second Way" (or Soviet Communism) and the rise of a Servile State and a form of "Mafia Capitalism" in its midst. The author also notes how third way proponents frequently were more opposed to the influence of the state and were more "anti-tax" than many economic liberals. The author finally discusses how a "Family Way" must be restored in an effort to bring change and combat the Servile State or the "Business State".

This book offers a fascinating examination of certain economic alternatives to both liberal capitalism and communism. Most of these alternatives were developed in the period between the world wars when it still seemed possible to combat the coming mergence of the Servile State. As such, they offer some hope for those of us today who wish to combat the slavery imposed by the Servile State.

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