THE COLLAPSE OF DEMOCRACY by Robert Moss

THE COLLAPSE OF DEMOCRACY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Moss writes like a laissez-faire liberal, but this book seems geared instead to scare and coax earnest conservatives into endorsing some markedly illiberal policies. An initial chapter projects Britain in 1985: a general strike has installed a drearily egalitarian workers' republic which imposes rationing and inflation on the middle classes. Then follows a steady pulse of declamation about the market economy, property rights, and the evils of bureaucracy. Moss' specific proposals, however, have nothing in common with Adam Smith or John Locke: he wants Brazilian-style indexation of wages, along with workers' participation and profit-sharing, so long as workers bear the losses as well as the gains. Since he makes no concrete suggestions for an expanded economy, losses are the operative term. The book also rails against British trade union leaders as agents of Moscow, a charge Moss himself can scarcely believe; but he seems quite serious in his call for modification of the ""British tradition of non-violence"" and his advocacy of ""civilized intolerance."" Piously hoping his mobilization does not turn into vigilantism, he favors not only military and paramilitary measures against strikes, but curbs on the powers of the House of Commons, not least because leftists have been known to ""exploit legal methods."" Moss is the editor of The Economist's confidential weekly report and of such books as Urban Guerrillas (1972) and Chil's Marxist Experiment (1974); this unsubtle exercise may convince no one who actually believes in ""individual liberties,"" but it is likely to be read.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Arlington House