March 04, 2004

Robert (You the man!) Fulford's take on His Excellency John Ralston Saul

Robert Fulford (National Post, Feb. 04, 28) begins with a delightful statement, "There is nothing so grand that John Ralston Saul can't look down on it....Unfortunately he delivers his opinions in a way that is at once pompous and close to meaningless. It's often hard to know what he is saying." Fulford shows how Saul's Big Picture statement that economic theories rarely last more than a few decades, or if they did, they had to be supported by military threat. Even though that was true of communism in Eastern Europe, it does not apply at all to free enterprise--first promulgated by Adam Smith in 1776, and in current useage ever since by the vast majority of the world. John Ralston takes the Shavian approach of setting up straw men, then blowing them to smithereens. Half the examples he mentions of economic models have never been suggested by a competent economist. As usual, with someone as erudite as Robert Fulford, I give him the last word.

"After piling up some dozen unsorted facts, some related, some not, some illustrative of world trends, some not, Saul finally says, 'What this might mean remains painfully unclear.' A rare case of an author providing the perfect critique of his own work."

© Bud


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