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Hitler’s Model/The Shape of a New Economy

Ralph talks to historian James Whitman about how the Nazis in the thirties modeled a lot of their racial policies on our very own Jim Crow laws and what that means for us today; and political economist Gar Alperovitz gives us an encouraging progress report on how the New Economy Movement is transforming the system.

James Q. Whitman is the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale Law School.  His subjects are comparative law, criminal law, and legal history.  His books include Harsh Justice, The Origins of Reasonable Doubt, The Verdict of Battle and the book we’re going to be discussing today, Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law.

“It’s regarded as deeply unacceptable for most Germans in most social and intellectual circles to suggest that there was any kind of shared responsibility for the Nazi crimes.  Now, I don’t think there was any shared responsibility.  My concern is with America’s responsibility and not with Germany’s.  My concern is that the Germans will think that I am somehow trying to deflect responsibility for Nazi crimes from the Germans themselves.  And that I don’t mean to do.” James Q. Whitman, author of Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

Gar Alperovitz is an historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official.  In addition to a distinguished career in academia, he is also the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.  His latest project is called the “Pluralist Commonwealth”, which is an economic model that is neither traditional corporate capitalism nor traditional state socialism.

“It’s time to build new economic institutions that are democratic but also –critically- give us a new power base as well in the communities around the country.” Gar Alperovitz on the New Economy Movement

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