Elegant Tombstone


In “Elegant Tombstones” (DISSENT, January – February 1969) Professor Macpherson’s major contention is that a “moment’s thought will show” Milton Friedman’s view, that under capitalism transactions are voluntary, to be wrong. For Macpherson argues “the proviso that is required to make every transaction strictly voluntary is not freedom not to enter any particular exchange [Friedman’s view] but freedom not to enter any exchange at all.” (Italics supplied.) Friedman’s “mistake” makes Macpherson “almost despair of logic,” for “what distinguishes the capitalist economy . . . is the existence of a labor forc...

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