No Deal: How Politics Really Works

In high school civics, you hear a lot about political “log-rolling” or “horse-trading.” If you study political science in college, you get the same story: Faced with a conflict, our representatives roll up their sleeves and negotiate. Should you take a class in Public Choice, the topic of political bargaining is never far from the surface. Nobel laureate Jim Buchanan actually listed “politics as exchange” as a fundamental principle of the economic approach to politics. In markets, economic actors constantly make deals for their mutual betterment. In democracy, analogously, political actors constantly make deals for their mutual betterment. Right?

Socialism Doesn’t Liberate Workers from Domination

Writing in Jacobin, Ben Burgis argues that libertarians implausibly understand freedom as mere non-interference. In his view, a better understanding is one that affirms “that the kind of freedom that matters most is the freedom from arbitrary domination.” In Burgis’s example, “the boss [who] tells you that you can’t get a tattoo if you want to keep your job at his restaurant” subjects you to arbitrary domination and so makes you unfree.