Lecture: The Moral Basis of Capitalism

First Published: 2016-07-11

Join us Tuesday, August 30, 2016 for a lecture by Professor Andrew Bernstein on The Moral Basis of Capitalism in lecture hall at the Harry C. Moore Library at College of The Bahamas starting at 6:30pm.

This talk opens by doing what is rarely done in political discourse: It provides rigorous definitions of such key concepts as “capitalism,” socialism,” “mixed economy,” and others. On this foundation, it shows that capitalism, the system of individual rights, protects an individual’s right to his/her own life and, consequently, to his/her own mind. Because of this, it liberates human brain power to make life-giving advances in every field. Numerous examples are provided from America’s freest period, the late-19th century, the period I dubbed, in my book, The Capitalist Manifesto, the “Inventive Period.” Under full socialism, conversely, a person’s life is socialized; it belongs not to him/her but to society. It stands to reason that if an individual’s life belongs to the state, so does his/her mind—and the only “thinking” he/she can do is that permitted by the state; all else is banned. Cultural stagnation and collapse are thereby assured. (This talk was given, in academic 2013-14, at Wayne State University and—under the auspices of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism (CISC) and the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS)— at Clemson University. It is based on material from my book, The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic, and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire [University Press of America, 2005].)

The event is free of charge. Donations welcome.

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Andrew Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He has taught Philosophy at the State University of New York at Purchase, Marist College, Hunter College, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and other New York-area universities. He was selected as “Teacher of the Year” at both SUNY Purchase—and at Marymount College.

He lectures regularly on college campuses, including at Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Yale University, the United States Military Academy at West Point, Columbia University, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Northwestern University, and numerous others. He speaks at many other venues, including—but not limited to—Tea Parties, Objectivist conferences, and events sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism (CISC), and the Bastiat Society. Internationally, he has lectured in England, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Norway, Bulgaria, Canada, Israel, Guatemala, and additional countries. His areas of expertise include Objectivism, Ayn Rand’s novels, the nature of heroism, the history of capitalism and its moral superiority to other systems, and application of the principle of individual rights to a broad array of topical issues, including health care, abortion, gun ownership, immigration, and the war on drugs. He also lectures at high schools, both in the New York area and nationally, regarding Ayn Rand’s novels and philosophy.

He is the author of The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic, and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire (University Press of America, 2005), Objectivism in One Lesson: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Hamilton Books, 2008), Capitalism Unbound: The Incontestable Moral Case for Individual Rights (University Press of America, 2010), and Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas (Transaction Publishers, 2011). Additionally, he has published numerous essays, many in The Objective Standard, for which he is a contributing editor, and many in other publications, including op-ed essays for Forbes.com. His op-eds have appeared in—among other newspapers— the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press. In 2013-14, he was the Hayek Research Fellow at the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism at Clemson University, where he taught courses in Economics and in Political Science and, principally, researched and wrote the first draft of his forthcoming book, Heroes and Hero Worship: An Examination of the Nature and Importance of Heroism.

Dr. Bernstein is co-host of a weekly blogtalk radio program, Objectively Speaking.

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