Selling the Free Market: the Rhetoric of Economic Correctnessby James Arnt Aune Guilford Publications
- Pub Date:
- Pbk 217 pages
- AU$73.00 NZ$75.65
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While accusations of 'political correctness' are frequently raised against liberals, there has been surprisingly little discussion of how conservatives foment the use of their own 'economically correct' language. In this engaging book, James Arnt Aune examines how the rhetoric of the free market has become the everyday language of American political debate. Outlining the key ideas of free-market economics, Aune shows how they have permeated political decisions around such issues as labor unions, farm subsidies, and the minimum wage. He also illuminates the paradoxes and irrationalities of these ideas, using rhetorical theory as an analytical tool. The book reveals the inherent contradictions between economic libertarianism, nationalist principles, and social conservatism in the positions of such influential right-wing politicians as Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, and Patrick Buchanan. It also provides lively and critical readings of important free-market and libertarian writings by Ayn Rand, Robert Nozick, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Murray. Vividly demonstrating the destructive impact of 'economic correctness' on the lives of working people and families, this book ably refutes both the language and the logic of the market revolution. Contents Introduction: How the Right Triumphed I. Rhetoric, Economics, and Problems of Method 1. The Rhetoric-Economics Connection: Rhetorical Strategies of Economic Analysis 2. Economic Rhetoric and the Realist Style (or, There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch) II. What Libertarians Want 3. Checking Ayn Rand's Premises, Or, The Revenge of the Nerds 4. Anarchy, State, and Utopia: A Rhetorical Reading 5. What Libertarians Want, According to Murray Rothbard and Charles Murray III. The Struggle over Reagan's Free Market Legacy 6. From Reagan to Buchanan: National Glory and Globalization 7. Newt Gingrich, Cyberpunk, and Globalization *Conclusion: The Market and Human Happiness * An Appendix for Academics: On Deirdre McCloskey's Rhetoric of Economics
Introduction: How the Right Triumphed I. Rhetoric, Economics, and Problems of Method 1. The Rhetoric-Economics Connection: Rhetorical Strategies of Economic Analysis 2. Economic Rhetoric and the Realist Style (or, There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch)II. What Libertarians Want 3. Checking Ayn Rand's Premises (or, The Revenge of the Nerds) 4. Anarchy, State, and Utopia: A Rhetorical Reading 5. What Libertarians Want, According to Murray Rothbard and Charles MurrayIII. The Struggle over Reagan's Free Market Legacy 6. From Reagan to Buchanan: National Glory and Globalization 7. Newt Gingrich, Cyberpunk, and Globalization *Conclusion: The Market and Human Happiness *An Appendix for Academics: Deirdre McCloskey's Rhetoric of Economics
"Aune's book is a timely and incisive analysis of a politically seductive rhetoric--the appeal to market forces to organize ever-increasing aspects of our private and public lives. By using the tools of rhetorical analysis in a series of readings, ranging from Ayn Rand's novels and cyberpunk fiction to the political speeches of Ronald Reagan and Patrick Buchanan, Aune discloses the devices in free-market rhetoric that eclipse reasoned debate and limit our vision of community, work, and personal relations. This text will be useful for upper-level courses in political communication as well as those courses that are beginning to study economic globalization and its impact on society."--Robert Cox, Department of Communication Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill"...Aune targets the free-market commanders with elegant precision."--The Washington Monthly"The book is unique; a reasoned criticism from the left of the rhetoric of the free market...It is a beautifully written attack on free-market ideology using the resources of classical and modern rhetoric...It's a masterful work."--Deirdre McCloskey, author of The Rhetoric of Economics, University of Iowa"This book offers a penetrating and provocative look at today's market, how it is understood, and how it is being promoted in most every sector of society. In particular, Aune's analysis helps us to get beyond the taken-for-grantedness of the market, looking behind the slogans to reveal how what is often assumed to be 'natural' or 'inevitable' actually involves a hard sell. Aune moves deftly from principles of rhetoric to key ideas in economics to show how the market has become the most common way of expressing who we are and what we do in the contemporary United States."--George Cheney, Department of Communication Studies, University of Montana-Missoula; author of Values at Work"This book offers a carefully articulated treatment of what is perhaps the most important discourse of our time: the academic rhetoric underlying Reaganist, Thatcherist, and neoliberal economic theories. Aune's incisive analysis will be invaluable reading for anyone who is interested in the relationships between organizational action and sociopolitical structures--or who is concerned about the widespread and uncritical acceptance of what George Soros has called free-market fundamentalism."--Charles Conrad, Texas A&M University
James Arnt Aune, formerly on the faculty of The Pennsylvania State University, is Associate Professor of Speech Communication at Texas A&M University.