OPINIONSrnThe Force of Capitalismrnby David Gordonrn”Trade is a social act.”rn-John Shiart MillrnFalse Dawn: The Delusions ofrnGlobal Capitalismrnb}’ John GrayrnNew York: The New Press;rn262 pp., $25.00rnTurbo-Capitalism: Winners and Losersrnin the Global Economyrnby Edward LuttwakrnNew York: HarperColhns;rn290 pp., $26.00rnIf only all of John Gray’s False Dawnrnwere as good as the first two pages ofrnChapter 6! In them, our author succinctlyrnand accurately diagnoses whyrncommunism in Soviet Russia failed.rn”Between 1918 and 1921,” Mr. Grayrnwrites,rnthe Bolsheviks attempted to transformrnRussia into a communistrneconomy. The War Communismrnwhich the Bolsheviks tried to imposernon Russia during those yearsrnembodied an authentic Marxian vision.rnIt aimed to abolish capitalism,rnin which private property,rnmarket exchange, and the institutionrnof money are central, and constructrnan economy that was collec-rnDavid Gordon is the editor of the MisesrnReview and of the recent volume. Secession,rnState, and Liberty (TransactionrnBooks).rntively owned and rationallyrnplanned.rnThe attempt, of course, failed disastrously,rnand even the compromise withrnthe market forced on Lenin, Stalin, andrntheir eminently forgettable successors ledrnonly to a delay in communism’s inevitablerncollapse.rnWhat lesson should be drawn fromrncommunism’s failure? One might thinkrnthe answer obvious. Should we notrnthrow in our lot with the free market,rndemonstrably superior to its socialist rival?rnSuch seems the verdict of commonrnsense, but it is altogether too simple forrnthe Professor of European Thought at thernLondon School of Economics.rnWe should not conclude that capitalismrnworks and socialism fails, says Mr.rnGray. Quite to the contrary, we shouldrnview both systems as expression of a commonrn”Enlightenment project.” Accordingrnto the capitalist variant of this nefariousrnproject, only one set of institutions,rnthat mandated by classical liberalism, hasrnany legitimacy. Away with all local customsrnand traditions! The market mustrnreign over all. In the paeans to freedomrnof Herbert Spencer and Friedrich Hayek,rnJohn Gray believes, lie the seeds of totalitarianrncontrol.rnHow can Mr. Gray say that free institutionsrnengender t)ranny? Quite easily, hernresponds. Classical liberals destroy allrncompeting ways of life. You must be arncapitalist—or, more likely, a proletarianrn—whether you want to or not.rnThe argument proceeds largely by verbalrntrickery. A free market does not forcernanyone to seek money avidly, to abandonrnlocal customs, to work for a manufacturer,rnor any of the other dire outcomes thernauthor laments. Rather, it is a frameworkrnin which people may voluntarily engagernin any transactions that they think will bernto their benefit, so long as these do not violaternthe rights of others. If, like Mr.rnGray, yon dislike or distrust multinationalrncorporations, nothing compels you torndeal with them. He is totally wrong,rnthen, when he claims: “A global free marketrnpresupposes that economic modernizationrnmeans the same thing everywhere.rnIt interprets the globalization ofrnthe economy—the spread of industrialrnproduction and interconnected marketrneconomies throughout the world—as therninexorable advance of a singular type ofrnwestern capitalism-the American freern28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn