Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Revolt from the Margins

I’ve been re-reading Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom recently – a dog-eared copy from the library, filled with underlines, highlights and an extended argument against the book scattered through the margins of the text. The marginal commentary has one dominant voice – a voice very, very unhappy with Friedman – and, for some reason, fixated on the notion that the existence of stagflation disproves Friedman’s points. I’ve been following the evolution of this marginal critique through the book – watching substantive points alternate with angry outbursts of “No!”. As the book progresses, the angry outbursts become more frequent – the handwriting more tense. I found myself skipping ahead of the text to see how this marginal conflict would end. I wasn’t disappointed. There on the last page of the book, underneath another burst of irritation at how Friedman should pay more attention to stagflation, is the final verdict:

I’m right. Jerk – bugger you!”

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