“Do we live in a commercial republic? A Discussion about American Government and its Economy” with Mike O’Connor

mikeoconnor2-copyEpisode 69

Originally broadcast: July 13, 2014


If you believed the pundits, you’d think that America has always had one kind of economy; that our democracy has always relied upon the same kind of free market. But this isn’t the case. If you believe the politicians, you’d think capitalism and democracy are pretty much identical, that when you talk about one, you are really talking about the other. Are this episode of Why? Radio we are going take a journey through American history and examine the actual arguments that helped determine just what kind of economy America should have.

Mike O’Connor is an independent scholar who has taught U.S History at universities in New York, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. H e writing has appeared in the scholarly journal Contemporary Pragmatism and The Sixties and in the newspapers Austin American-Statesman and The Daily Texan. One of the original bloggers on the U.S. Intellectual History blog, O’Connor later founded (with several others) the Society for U.S. Intellectual History.

Here is a link to a video in which Mike is discussing the historical aspects of his book. Part 1, Part 2.

One thought on ““Do we live in a commercial republic? A Discussion about American Government and its Economy” with Mike O’Connor

  1. […] On today’s episode, we are going to travel back and forth through American history and engage the passionate debates about what kind of economy is best for the United States. But in order to do this, we have to first acknowledge that politics and economics are two different things. Democracy is not capitalism and capitalism is not democracy, and only some of our most prominent thinkers believed they were the same. The problem isn’t that these people won—the battle still rages on. It’s that they try to convince us that there were never any other options on the table, that theirs were the only voices out there. But doing so is bad history and even worse philosophy; it has to stop. […]


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