In my opinion, the most interesting topic for discussion is not that Cubans are finally embracing private enterprise, but rather that the new legislation will surely change the existing face of private enterprise on the island. Talk to Cubans about the new business, property, and internet reform measures and you are less likely to hear them marveling at the wonders of capitalism than to hear them debate the variety of state-imposed taxes that often leave them with only a few CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos that carry a 1:1 exchange rate with the U.S. dollar) at the end of each month.
Along with the growth of tribal bureaucracies, this turn toward tribal capitalism has given Indians new reasons to articulate, ponder, and debate some of the basic principles that guide or should guide their economic affairs—to consider in particular whether economic aims and relations in Indian communities do or should differ from those that predominate in the United States.
Polanyi’s classic suggests we should ignore the profoundly false choice between markets and the state.
The midterm election campaign now approaching the home stretch has brought with it striking but fairly empty calls to action–from the Tea Party frenzy over fiscal virtue to a president exhorting his base with the banal promise of “moving America forward.” But this and all the other lamentable features of our democracy, it is worth …