Monday, January 21, 2013


Deirdre McCloskey:
Capitalism has triumphed in our time, which I claim is a good thing, though boring.  The coming of bourgeois society to northwestern Europe was good.  So was the theorizing of bourgeois virtues in Holland and Scotland and France.  So were the early successes of bourgeois society in England and Belgium and the United States.  So was the enlargement of the clerisy.  So was the global triumph of capitalism from 1848 to 1914 and again from 1945 to the present in its spread to the second world and to more and more of the third.  It has allowed the escape from deadly poverty by hundreds of millions in the late twentieth century, the defeat of Fascism and then of Communism, the revolts against the tyrants from Marcos to the House of Saud, the liberal hegemony of the early twenty-first century.  All of these, I say, are good things.  One can think of the calamities of the twentieth century as caused by the sins of capitalism.  The left does.  Capital was born, wrote Marx, 'dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.'  I think on the contrary that most of the calamities were a consequence of the attacks on capitalism." [Bourgeois Virtues]

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