Capital Matters

In Defense of Capitalism

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, June 20, 2019. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
We must capably defend the call of the entrepreneur, the vitality of capital markets, and the nobility of free enterprise.

Somehow, I doubt even Bill Buckley could have predicted that “standing athwart history, yelling stop” would have meant, in 2020, an actual plea in the United States of America to repudiate the failed and catastrophic economic worldview of the 20th century. Yet here we are. And perhaps even more surprisingly (and disappointingly), we find ourselves not having to fight the forces of socialism and collectivism primarily on Capitol Hill (though surely there, too), but even more so in the halls of academia and, horror of horrors, in corporate America herself. Nowhere is the danger of lurking progressive economic fallacy more perverse than in the institutions that owe their existence to the majesty of freedom and capital markets.

In an age when too many in the political class, the ivory tower, and yes, even Fortune 500 companies have abandoned the empirical testimony of history and rejected the inherent morality of markets, the duty those of us have to defend ordered liberty is most profound.

National Review Institute, the nonprofit journalistic think tank that supports the National Review mission, has collaborated with NR to launch a new, bold project — National Review Capital Matters — because we take this duty seriously and believe that the greatest defense against the argument of leftist economics is to, well, win the argument. While the other side seeks to gather power and to monopolize messaging in the classroom, we must win the debate in the public square. We must capably defend the call of the entrepreneur, the vitality of capital markets, and the nobility of free enterprise. We must highlight the capitalist dynamism and impulse to create that have lifted more people out of extreme poverty in the last 30 years than in all prior human history. National Review Capital Matters holds in disdain the worldview that, in its vain pursuits, squashes human flourishing. It holds fast to the historical legacy of America’s markets-based economy, and the democratic norms and institutions that protect it.

The greatest tool the Left has in 2020 to undermine free markets is a mainstream and unopposed demonization of capital, of capital markets, and of capitalists in its day-to-day reporting, commentary, and editorial content about business and finance.

As a trustee of National Review Institute, I am proud that we are engaging in this fight, and pushing back with all the force needed to win, no matter how dumbfounded we may be that, in 2020, this fight is even necessary.

If you share my belief in the necessity and morality of capital markets and economic freedom, I ask that you join me in supporting National Review Institute’s Year-End Fund Appeal with a generous tax-deductible donation.

Thank you and God bless.

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