The Human Action Podcast

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The Managerial Revolution

The Human Action Podcast

Tags Big GovernmentBook ReviewsBureaucracy and RegulationCronyism and Corporatism

12/23/2020Jeff DeistEdward Welsch

Managerialism, not socialism or capitalism, dominated the West in the latter half of the 20th century. Nobody explained this better than James Burnham in his seminal 1941 book The Managerial Revolution: What is Happening in the World. Burnham challenges both Marxist orthodoxy on class (exploitation happens without capitalism) and libertarian orthodoxy on market firms (managerial control overtakes "owners"). This is hugely important book, and prescient to put it mildly: Burnham's thesis explains both the populist Trump revolution and the Deep State response. To understand modern politics and bureaucracy, and especially the DC Beltway, you need to read this book.

Edward Welsch, editor of Chronicles magazine, joins Jeff Deist for a thorough discussion of Burnham and his most influential work. 

Watch Dan McCarthy on the history of Burnham at

Read Samuel Francis's review of James Burnham's works at

Note: The views expressed on are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

Contact Jeff Deist

Jeff Deist is former president of the Mises Institute. He is a writer, public speaker, and advocate for property, markets, and civil society. Jeff was chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul. Contact: email; Twitter.

Edward Welsch

Edward Welsch is the executive editor at Chronicles magazine.