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Re: Two Cheers for Capitalism


Jonah, I think it’s fair to say that Irving Kristol’s book title indicates not a full-throated support for capitalism and free markets but rather an understanding that capitalism’s “creative destruction” does involve some destruction as well as a release of creativity. The idea that capitalism is a positive good — that capitalism is in some sense an expression even of Christian charity — first emerged, in my understanding, in George Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty, which was published in 1980. Or rather, in a new preface he wrote for a paperback version a few years later, called “Capitalism Begins with Giving.” Market fetishism — you know, the sort of thing that led to the idea of a futures market in terrorism so we’d know where it might be going and to the Tradesports phenomenon — is, I think, a species of the 1990s, after the death of socialism.


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