Our “Beyond Blue” essays, the culmination of one of Via Meadia‘s overarching storylines, have been sparking conversation. Over at the New York Times Campaign Stops blog, Columbia’s Thomas Edsall compares the essays to Charles Murray’s recent work:
Mead’s predictions may or may not prove prescient, but it is his thinking, more than Murray’s, that reflects the underlying optimism that has sustained the United States for more than two centuries — a refusal to believe that anything about human nature is essentially “intractable.” Mead’s way of looking at things is not only more inviting than Murray’s, it is also more on target.
Via Meadia will have more to say about Murray’s provocative new book in the weeks ahead. For now, Edsall’s analysis is well worth pondering.
Over at National Review, Jim Manzi has taken note:
Walter Russell Mead has done a remarkable series of long posts on the future of American political economy. The fourth installment argues that we are undergoing a transformation that will ultimately create lots of good jobs, but that we’ll have to get used to seeing service jobs very differently.
There is significant overlap between this very optimistic piece and my “Keeping America’s Edge” essay from a couple of years ago. But I tried to emphasize that while such a sunny future is possible, achieving it is likely to require serious social, political, and economic reform. America has led economic transformations before; we are not pre-ordained to lead the next one.
Manzi is a sharp analyst, and his National Affairs essay is recommended reading for anyone interested in the core themes of Via Meadia.
We are gratified and encouraged to see thinkers across the spectrum adding to this debate.