Friday, October 17, 2014

Most Conservatives are Not Pro Free-Market Capitalism

That is a point I try to stress to my undergrad students every semester.  It's also the theme of philosopher Stephen Hicks's latest article for Every Joe.  And in his usual clarifying and enlightening way, Hicks sorts it out for us.  Here's an excerpt:
But one regular claim in the arguments is that conservatives favor free-market capitalism. Progressives and socialists are hostile to capitalism, and they are on the left, so the capitalists must be on the right with the conservatives.
It’s a claim with a grain of journalistic truth. Yet it has a big problem: for a century the deep thinkers on the conservative side have, almost without exception, argued that conservatives cannot be capitalists. And the deep thinkers on the free-market capitalist side have, again almost without exception, gone out of their way to explain why they are not conservatives. And both sides are correct.
Very good article, definitely worth reading.  I particularly like his use of specific examples of famous individuals -- helps to compare and contrast the different strains of conservative thought.