Jason F. Brennan
Published June 11, 2014
Reference - 114 Pages
ISBN 9780415732970 - CAT# Y158294
Published June 10, 2014
Reference - 114 Pages
ISBN 9780415732963 - CAT# Y158293
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Most economists believe capitalism is a compromise with selfish human nature. As Adam Smith put it, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." Capitalism works better than socialism, according to this thinking, only because we are not kind and generous enough to make socialism work. If we were saints, we would be socialists.
In Why Not Capitalism?, Jason Brennan attacks this widely held belief, arguing that capitalism would remain the best system even if we were morally perfect. Even in an ideal world, private property and free markets would be the best way to promote mutual cooperation, social justice, harmony, and prosperity. Socialists seek to capture the moral high ground by showing that ideal socialism is morally superior to realistic capitalism. But, Brennan responds, ideal capitalism is superior to ideal socialism, and so capitalism beats socialism at every level.
Clearly, engagingly, and at times provocatively written, Why Not Capitalism? will cause readers of all political persuasions to re-evaluate where they stand vis-à-vis economic priorities and systems—as they exist now and as they might be improved in the future.
"Are you interested in capitalism as a path to your personal utopia? This stirring moral defense of a free society is the place to start."
—Tyler Cowen, George Mason University
"In forceful strokes, Jason Brennan attacks the work of the late G.A. Cohen's defense of socialism and neatly shows why and how it is not the best of all systems even in the best of all possible worlds, let alone the highly imperfect world in which we live. His combination of accessible prose with technical precision is a model of good writing on political theory that should enable this book to reach the wider audience it deserves."
—Richard Epstein, New York University School of Law