Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The morality of capitalism

Capitalism deserves a moral defense, but even those who appreciate the moral superiority of capitalism sometimes find themselves ill equipped to offer a clear response to critics.

A new book from the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Students for Liberty and the John Templeton Foundation aims to provide just that intellectual ammunition. The Morality of Capitalism, edited by Tom G. Palmer, gathers a diverse group of scholars, writers and business leaders from across the globe to extoll the virtues of capitalism.

I recorded a quick podcast with Tom about the book and its authors.

Student groups can get bulk copies shipped to them from Students for Liberty.

1 comment:

Hempy said...

The morality of capitalism was addressed by Adam Smith. Needless to say, his morality is in stark contrast to the morality of your atheistic ideology of Ayn Rand. In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith wrote:

“To feel much for others and little for ourselves, that to restrain our selfish, and to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature; and can alone produce among mankind that harmony of sentiments and passions in which consists their whole grace and propriety. As to love our neighbour as we love ourselves is the great law of Christianity, so it is the great precept of nature to love ourselves only as we love our neighbour, or what comes to the same thing, as our neighbour is capable of loving us.”

In Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence he uses the phrase, “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, which may have been drawn from the last sentence of Adam Smith’s quote. Loving one’s neighbor as oneself implies an equality.

Ayn Rand rejected any kind of biblical morality. Loving one’s neighbor includes providing for the public good.

As James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper 45, “It is too early for politicians to presume on us forgetting the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued.”

That is further application of the morality of capitalism that Adam Smith was promoting.

In the Constitution that includes promoting the common defense and general welfare, the progress of science and useful arts.