Friday, August 29, 2008

The Moral and Economic Foundations of Capitalism

In this video from the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism, Richard Epstein covers the relationship between capitalism, entrepreneurship, and the structure of legal rules.

Epstein doesn't like the term "capitalism," even though he likes the idea. He points out that Marx deliberately used the word because he wanted to evoke negative connotations for a system he viewed as exploitative, flawed, and immature. Why should fans of capitalism use a term cooked up by the other side?

Epstein prefers to describe capitalism as a social arrangement that favors voluntary behavior and promise-keeping, and forbids the use of force or fraud. Capitalist morality is a pretty good thing. Keep your promises. Don't use force. Don't steal. Don't lie.

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