Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

December 17, 1995|CHRIS GOODRICH

WHAT COMES NEXT: The End of Big Government--and the New Paradigm Ahead by James R. Pinkerton (Hyperion: $24.95; 404 pp.). In 1990, Bush administration staffer James Pinkerton gained Warholian fame when he suggested, after rereading Thomas Kuhn's classic "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," that U.S. politics needed a "new paradigm." His exhortation was ridiculed in some quarters--"Brother, can you paradigm?" asked budget director Richard Darman--but as this book makes clear, Pinkerton is selling not old wine in a new bottle but a serious proposition. "What Comes Next" is no blueprint for the future--Pinkerton is more philosopher than policy wonk--but it is an engrossing analysis of the nation's ills. Pinkerton argues that the current "old paradigm" of government, dating to Bismarck's Germany and apotheosized in this country by the New Deal, is the bureaucratic state and that we hang onto it mainly for lack of a better paradigm. Although Pinkerton's premise seems anti-Democratic at first--and somewhat confused, because he muddies his argument with overwrought discussions of William Gibson, "hypercrime" and the cyber-future--it's often anti-Republican as well: Pinkerton has some nice to things to say about House Speaker Newt Gingrich but still regards the "contract with America" as "a vote-vacuuming partisan manifesto." "What Comes Next" is an important book.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|