Cultural Trends as Seen in Ngrams: Karl Polanyi with a Hayekian Twist
23 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2013 Last revised: 14 Nov 2013
Date Written: April 22, 2013
In this very casual paper, I reproduce results from the Google Ngram Viewer. The main thrust is to show that around 1880 governmentalization of society and culture began to set in — a great transformation, as Karl Polanyi called it. But that great transformation came as a reaction to commercial society and liberalism, the first great transformation. I affirm a congruence between the narrative of Polanyi and that of Friedrich Hayek, and side with Hayek’s attitudes about both transformations. The Ngrams shown include liberty, constitutional liberty, faith, eternity, God, social gospel, college professors, psychology, economics, sociology, anthropology, political science, criminology, new liberalism, old liberalism, public school system, Pledge of Allegiance, income tax, government control, run the country, lead the country, lead the nation, national unity, priorities, social justice, equal opportunity, economic inequality, forced to work, living wage, social needs, our society, bundle of rights, property rights, capitalism, right-wing, left-wing, virtue, wisdom, prudence, benevolence, diligence, fortitude, propriety, ought, good conduct, bad conduct, good works, evil, sentiments, impartial, objective, subjective, normative, values, preferences, beliefs, and information.
Keywords: Ngram, governmentalization, liberalism, virtue, liberty, wisdom
JEL Classification: A11, A13, B0
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation