Saturday, May 7, 2016

Booknotes: Confederate Political Economy

New Arrival:
Confederate Political Economy: Creating and Managing a Southern Corporatist Nation, 1861-1865 by Michael Brem Bonner (LSU Press, 2016).

"In Confederate Political Economy, Michael Bonner suggests that the Confederate nation was an expedient corporatist state -- a society that required all sectors of the economy to work for the national interest, as defined by a partnership of industrial leaders and a dominant government." In the midst of a war for national survival against a vastly superior foe, Confederate policy making became progressively more centralized and "these policies evolved into a political culture that allowed for immense executive powers, facilitated an anti-party ideology, and subordinated individual rights. In addition, the South's lack of industrial capacity forced the Confederacy to pursue a curious manufacturing policy that used both private companies and national ownership to produce munitions. ... other wartime policies like conscription, the domestic passport system, and management of southern railroads also exhibited unmistakable corporatist characteristics."

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