Henry Adams was a historian of 12th century France, the last of the Adams political dynasty. There is a section on him in Russel Kirk’s book “The Conservative Mind”. According to Kirk, Adams thought that state socialism was nearly inevitable in the West “and wholly odious; it would triumph over capitalism because it is cheaper, and modern life always rewards cheapness.” That prediction has turned out to be true (if “state capitalism” = “state socialism”) but I wonder how he came to that conclusion? He was writing long before Walmart, McDonald’s, and Levittown came on the scene. Why does modern life reward cheapness?