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Princeton University Press
Capitalism, Democracy, and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery / Edition 1

Capitalism, Democracy, and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery / Edition 1

by John Mueller


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900691090824
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 07/30/2001
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.16(w) x 9.08(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

John Mueller is Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester. His previous books include War, Presidents, and Public Opinion, Retreat from Doomsday: The Obsolescence of Major War, and Quiet Cataclysm: Reflections on the Recent Transformation of World Politics. He is a regular contributor to numerous academic journals and has written editorial page columns in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times. Outside the field of political science, Mueller has written the prize-winning Astaire Dancing: The Musical Films (Knopf) and cowritten A Foggy Day, a musical presented at the Shaw Festival in Ontario.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Capitalism and Democracy: Images and Image Mismatches5
Ralph's Grocery10
The Plan of the Book12
Chapter 2Capitalism's Image21
The Capitalist Virtues22
The Capitalist Virtues and the Monopolist38
The Essential Insincerity of Capitalist Morality38
Why Nice Guys Finish First42
Extrapolating the Capitalist Virtues43
Capitalist Culture, Capitalist Inequality and Unfairness, Capitalist Competition45
The Profound Irrationality of Capitalism: Investors as Unintended Altruists54
Chapter 3Sources of Capitalism's Negative Image57
Socialists and Communists57
Aristocrats and the Honorable66
Ineffective Capitalist Propaganda68
Chapter 4The Consequences of Capitalism's Image for Economic Development72
The Unequal Rate of Economic Development73
Superimposing the Capitalist Virtues75
Virtue as a Business Innovation77
The Rise of Business Virtue83
The Relative Importance of Business Virtue in Economic Development93
The Relevance of an Effective Legal System to Economic Development95
Chapter 5Development, Happiness, and the Rise of the Politically Incorrect One-Handed Economist99
Political Incorrectness104
Four Economic Propositions That Have Become Increasingly Accepted106
The Prospects for Massive Economic Growth122
Economic Development, Professed Happiness, and the Catastrophe Quota123
Development and the Quest for Happiness132
Chapter 6Images and Definitions137
Defining Democracy: Responsive Government138
Elections: Useful, but Not Essential140
Political Inequality145
Democracy in Practice: Coopting the Wealthy147
Minority Rule and Majority Acquiescence152
Democracy in Comparison153
Democracy and Real People161
Chapter 7Consequences of the Democratic Image164
Cynicism about the Democratic Process166
The Rebellion of Minorities187
The Trouble with Transitology189
Chapter 8The Rise of Democracy192
A Democratic Dialogue193
The Historical Movement of Ideas195
The Correlates of Democracy197
The Marketing of Democracy202
Examining the Third Wave212
The Future of Democracy222
Chapter 9Democracy and Capitalism: Connections and Disconnections231
Capitalism without Democracy, Democracy without Capitalism231
Democracy's Connection with Capitalist Prosperity234
Democracy's Connection to Capitalist Growth235
The Connection of Democracy and Capitalism with Crime238
Conceptional Connections between Democracy and Capitalism240
AppendixAn Inventory of Propositions243

What People are Saying About This

Russell Hardin

This is a lively, smart, well-written, and often compelling book. The frequent and pointed comments that visions of perfect democracy and markets miss the point of how a society can work are well made.
Russell Hardin, New York University

Michael Lewis-Beck

We have here a seasoned political scientist and thinker with total control over his material. The result is an extremely engaging text, one that will be read for its excitement in the best graduate seminars and the best political science programs in the country. I have little doubt that, even in this heavily researched area of economics and democracy, his book will make a big splash, comparable to Inglehart's Culture Shift or Putnam's Making Democracy Work.
Michael Lewis-Beck, University of Iowa

Sam Popkin

John Mueller deftly paces us through the practical realities of democratic development, rescuing the very idea of democracy from the idea mongers who have oversold the links between democracy and prosperity and between democracy and virtue. Stepping nimbly through the historic and contemporary links among democracy, capitalism, and virtue, he makes an important contribution to a practical theory of democracy.
Sam Popkin, University of California, San-Diego

Richard Rosecrance

John Mueller has written an outstanding book about capitalism and democracy. He argues that each system has existed without the other, but that both are improved when they occur in tandem. Capitalism and democracy differ in cultural repute. Capitalism has a bad press even though as a result of competition, it tends to treat the customer well. Capitalist leaders are not 'robber barons,' but nice guys who finish first. Democracy, on the other hand, is perhaps over-praised: it embodies the play of special interests and while conceding political rights, only benefits the people as a whole when it is tied to a capitalist growth strategy. Fortunately, economists are now able to provide that strategy so that by following their advice, societies can progress. Neither democracy nor capitalism, however, satisfies all human or psychic wants. They are at best a reflection of Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery (where you can get everything you really need) rather than Alice's Restaurant (where you can get anything you want). Mueller has contributed a new and provocative interpretation that will resonate for years to come.
Richard Rosecrance, University of California, Los Angeles

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