Liberal Capitalism: What Makes it Good?

Liberal Capitalism: What Makes it Good?

2 Mins
August 29, 2013

Atlas Summit 2013 -- What makes free-market capitalism good? Stephen Hicks contends that the arguments in favor of free-market capitalism (FMC) fall into two types.

One type says that free-market capitalism is good because it is based on prior goods—e.g., individual freedom is good, so FMC is good because it respects and protects individual freedom. The other type says that FMC is good because it leads to posterior goods—e.g., FMC leads to general prosperity or peace, and those consequences make FMC good. Are the two types of good claims about FMC compatible? Are they equally important in justifying FMC?

In this talk, Stephen Hicks argues that the answer to both questions is "Yes." Part of his answer will be that the traditional dichotomy of "deontological" versus "consequentialist" justifications of FMC is a false dichotomy.

Stephen Hicks is Professor of Philosophy at Rockford College and executive director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship there. His works include Ayn Rand and Contemporary Business Ethics, Nietzsche and the Nazis, and Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault.