In this episode, Dr. Yuval Levin offers a spirited defense of capitalism on moral grounds, recognizing that the most serious criticisms against capitalism aren’t necessarily about prosperity and wealth, but about the perceived moral failings of the economic system.
This approach is actually consistent with the original case for capitalism, articulated by Adam Smith himself, who was first and foremost a moral philosopher.
Along the way, we talk about the essential virtues within Smith’s philosophy; who coined the term “capitalism”; the need for social institutions like families and churches to temper economic appetites; the breadth of common ground between Adam Smith and Catholic social teaching; buying and selling as moral actions; and the enduring truth that man does not live by bread alone.
Dr. Levin is the Director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute - one of the leading conservative think tanks in Washington, DC.
He is also the founder and editor of National Affairs, senior editor at The New Atlantis, a contributing editor at National Review, and an opinion writer at The New York Times.
In addition, he served as a member of the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush, and as the executive director of the President’s Council on Bioethics.