that new Administrations iiave nonmore than a short time to enact majornchanges in law and public policy, butnalso that even if these are made withinnthe brief favorable period, they arenunlikely to have a permanent effectnunless they reflect or produce a seanchange in public opinion.nIt follows, according to this argument,nthat in modern democracies,nsimply changing the rulers will not do.n’ To defeat the Iron Triangle, the Constitutionalnrules, not the political rulers,nmust be changed. This, thenFriedmans say, was the experience ofnthe framers of the American Constitutionnwhen the very existence of thenUnited States was threatened by thenfissiparous tendencies of the Articles ofnConfederation. Accordingly, theyncommend the Constitutional routennow being taken to balance the budget,nto set a limit to taxation, and tonproide a line-item ‘eto power for thenPresident, who is distinguished fromnall other politicians in that he alone,nwith his Vice President, is elected bynthe whole people and therefore innthis measure represents the generalninterest.nIt is a powerful argument, and in mynjudgment, essentially correct. It isnbacked in this book by an analysis of anwide range of problems, taxation, governmentnexpenditure, inflation, unemployment,ntariffs, defense, evenncrime and education, all done with thenclarity of exposition familiar to thenreaders of Free to Choose. (Even in thenone instance where, as I believe, thenFriedmanite case is not proven, namelynthe advocacy of legitimation of thenuse of, and the traffic in, addictivendrugs, the prose is clear.) Fortunatenindeed is a nation which has mentorsnsuch as the Friedmans!nThe subject of Capital Corruptionnis the alleged corruption of the politicalnprocess by private moneyed interests.nIs there anything new about this?nAmitai Etzioni thinks that there is. Henalleges that a powerful new corruptingnforce has arisen in the form of thenPAC’s, and he is very excited about it.nIn his view they have raised the politicalnpower of private money to unprecedentednheights.nWhat is the diflPerence between thenPAC’s and earlier well-financed pressurengroups? It lies, he says, partly inntheir form of organization and parflynin their formal legitimacy. Their organizationnenables them to tailor theirnefforts to specific sectional interestsnmore precisely and more comprehensivelynthan most of the old types ofnpressure groups; and, unlike many ofnthe old types, they are organized forncontinuity. Thus their influence isnapplied more professionally, and itncontinues beyond elections, so thatnpoliticians are more likely to “staynbought” than hitherto. Their legitimacynfrees politicians from the furtivenessnwhich perhaps was occasionally associatednwith the old style of pressure orncorruption.nFor this scandalous evil, as it appearsntO’ Mr. Etzioni, he offersnseven main remedies. Full, thoughnvoluntary, financing of congressionalnelections; strict control over the use ofncampaign funds; shortening of campaignnperiods, as in Britain; new curbsnon lobbying; extended disclosure laws;nextension from two to four years forncongressmen’s terms; and a substantialnincrease in congressional salaries.nTo show that some, perhaps most,nPAC’s may have a corrupting influencenis not difficult. But Mr. Etzioni imaginesnthat this proves the gravamen ofnhis case, which it does not; namelynthat corruption is inherent in the PACnsystem, and that its intensity and penetrationnhave been raised above pre-nPAC levels. As for his remedies, wenmay acknowledge that some of themnmay have merit, whether there arenPAC’s or not.nThe quality of Mr. Etzioni’snthought may be judged from the prejudicenwhich he artlessly evinces in variousncontexts. Touch him at any point,nand the conventional myths of Americann”liberalism” are displayed. Thensource of political evil, he thinks, isnthe unequal accumulation of wealth.nThus he is blinded to the nature of thenmost powerful corrupting group of ourntimes, namely the “poor”; by which Indo not mean that the poor themselvesnset out to corrupt or consciously do so.nThat is done by those who proclaimnthemselves to be the champions andnbenefactors of the poor, seeking powernby climbing on the backs of the poor.nIt is a corrupting power even greaternthan that of the labor unions, possiblynthe second greatest, of which Mr.nEtzioni is onlv faintiv aware.nnnConsider the case of New York City.nBoss Tweed was a great thief But hendid not bankrupt the city. In the wholenlong period of Tammany corruption.nNew York was successful, vigorous,nand solvent. Compare this with thenLindsay-Beame period. Mayors Lindsaynand Beame were not thieves, Inbelieve, but they bankrupted their city.nThe corruptions of “welfare” for thenpoor and of labor union power werendeadly where those of Tammany werennot.nMr. Etzioni’s naivete is most strikingnin his belief that America mustnseek again the “triumph” of the earlyn20th century “Progressive” era (nondoubt with muck spreaders callingnthemselves muckrakers, and all). WithnPresident Theodore Roosevelt, Americansnmust inveigh against “malefactorsnof great wealth.” The only differencenwill be that the calumnies and misconceptionsnwill center upon impersonalnBig Business instead of the personalizednRobber Barons.nA further illustration of the qualitynof his thought is shown by his fulsomenpraise for the work of the British sociologist,nthe late T. H. Marshall. Marshallnthought that the next progressivenstep from equal political status, i.e.,nequality before the law, and fulfillingnit, was equal “socioeconomic” status,ni.e., equality of wealth and income.nThe truth is that equal “socioeconomic”nstatus, or rather the quest for it, is ancontradiction. It destroys, not fulfills,nequality before the law. It is a delusionnwhich has humbled and impoverishednMarshall’s own country, butnfrom which his countrymen are nownslowly and painfully extricating themselves,nccnA serious shortage within Polishnuniversity libraries has prompted anrequest for help. Scholarly editionsnof classics, criticism, and fiction arenneeded to remedy a lack of collegelevelnmaterial in English departmentnlibraries. Any suitable booksnand/or monetary donations may bensent for direct forwarding to: Dr.nAdam Rudzki, International LiterarynCenter, 475 Park Ave. So., 21stnFloor, New York, NY 10016n(212)725-8978; or Dr. Jean Szczvpien,n175 MacDougal St., NewnYork, NY 10011 (212)674-5678. ccnJUNE 1985/9n