American ideology, socialism and financial accounting theory: A counter view

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This paper is a response to part three of Rob Bryer's (RB) analysis of the development of capitalism in the U.S., which focuses on the ideology underlying accounting practice rather than the practices themselves. We argue that the ideology that has dominated American history is not so much that of the independent producer as portrayed by RB, but a wider and more nuanced attachment to individual liberty that has coloured American history from independence to the present day. We dispute his analysis of the decline of socialism as being the outcome of ideological struggle, and in particular Irving Fisher's contribution to its demise. The paper also challenges RB's views on Adam Smith's legacy and Irving Fisher's influence over FASB's CF. Finally, it examines the historiographical implications of RB's study and our counter non-Marxist narrative.


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