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Capitalism and Virtue: Reaffirming Old Truths

Charles Murray | OP130 | 07 February 2013

op-130Capitalism has become a dirty word and the current ‘segregation of capitalism from virtue’ is one of the major contributing factors to capitalism’s image problem.

Over the course of the last 50 years, the United States has seen a divergence in classes that is different in kind from anything the nation has known before. This has led to a new lower class that has dropped out of the civil institutions of American life—especially marriage and work—and a new upper class that is increasingly segregated from, and ignorant of, life in the mainstream. The nature of this new upper class has contributed mightily to the class antagonism in the United States, and to the blighted reputation of capitalism.

The problem is not that the new upper class has bad habits, but that they are increasingly isolated and distanced from mainstream culture, and are living in an elite bubble. In the 2012 Annual John Bonython Lecture, eminent political scientist Charles Murray describes the larger historical forces that have been at work in the United States (and, to a lesser extent, Australia) and makes a strong moral case for capitalism.

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