Spiritual Capitalism: Envy and Social Engineering, Not the Market, Are to Blame for Our Malaise
The American Conservative 2010, June
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LIKE TALES ABOUT VAMPIRES who keep coming back, claims that liberalism destroys society never seem to die. From John Ruskin and Karl Marx to Robert Bellah and Phillip Blond, the critics of Mill-style liberalism have accused it of atomizing society. They consistently misunderstand how political individualism and free markets relate to social cohesion. The distinctive institutions of a liberal order are the technological project (transforming nature to serve human needs and interests), a more or less free-market economy, limitation of government to protect individual rights, the rule of law, and an emphasis on personal autonomy. This culture is the greatest force in the modern world; it has vastly improved the material conditions of life and institutionalized individual freedom.