Daniel Bell Responds

Daniel Bell Responds

Peter Glotz’s reply reminds me of the old witz: the young boy is asked, “Hans, where is your right ear?” “Right ear?” He raises his left hand, reaches over his head, and touches his right ear. So, with the reply.

The first part is an unworthy to quoque. I am not defending a brutal capitalist system, and we are both appearing in Dissent, a socialist magazine that is now willing to confront questions that socialists tended to ignore in the past. So, too, with my essay.

I made two points: (1) that the welfare state is becoming a difficult burden for most European economies to bear, largely because of the pressure of the trade unions; and (2) more important, that Europe (especially Germany, as the economic leader) is failing to make the necessary transitions to postindustrial sectors and is still concentrated (especially in its export industries) in the older industrial sectors.

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