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What is the greatest aspect of Capitalism?

What is the greatest aspect of Capitalism?

October 4, 2023

Question: What is the greatest aspect of Capitalism?

 Answer: Well, politically the greatest aspect is its protection of individual rights. The justification of government in a capitalist economy is; it protects an individual's freedom to live their lives how they want, do business how they want, keep the fruits of their labor, and consume them as they judge.

 If we zoom out more broadly, beyond the role of government to capitalist society, I'd say the greatest aspect is not just the freedom that people enjoy, but the fact that capitalist societies unleash incredible productive power and creative energy enabling their participants to live in prosperity, beyond much of human imagination through history. 

 As well as fostering a social ethic, I would say, of peaceful interaction, voluntary trade, and a kind of tolerance; if we can't make a deal we're just going to go our separate ways.

Stephen Hicks Ph.D.
About the author:
Stephen Hicks Ph.D.

Stephen R. C. Hicks is a Senior Scholar for The Atlas Society and Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University. He is also the Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship at Rockford University.

He is author of The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis (W. W. Norton & Co., 1998), Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Scholargy, 2004), Nietzsche and the Nazis (Ockham’s Razor, 2010),  Entrepreneurial Living (CEEF, 2016), Liberalism Pro and Con (Connor Court, 2020), Art: Modern, Postmodern, and Beyond (with Michael Newberry, 2021) and Eight Philosophies of Education (2022). He has published in Business Ethics Quarterly, Review of Metaphysics, and The Wall Street Journal. His writings have been translated into 20 languages.

He has been Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Visiting Fellow at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center in Bowling Green, Ohio, Visiting Professor at the University of Kasimir the Great, Poland, Visiting Fellow at Harris Manchester College of Oxford University, England, and Visiting Professor at Jagiellonian University, Poland.

His B.A. and M.A. degrees are from the University of Guelph, Canada. His Ph.D. in Philosophy is from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

In 2010, he won his university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

His Open College podcast series is published by Possibly Correct Productions, Toronto. His video lectures and interviews are online at CEE Video Channel, and his website is StephenHicks.org.  

Instagram Takeover Questions:

Every week we solicit questions from our 100K followers on Instagram (a social media platform popular with young people. Once a month we feature Stephen Hicks' answers to select questions, transcripts below:

Also several articles, selected for likely interest to Objectivist audiences:

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