Thinking about Capitalism
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Genre: Economics and finances
As the economic system under which you live, capitalism shapes the marketplaces that determine where you live and work, how much you are paid, what you can buy,
what you can accumulate toward your retirement, and every other aspect of a society based on monetary exchanges for goods and services. In an era of increasing globalization, capitalism has dramatically strengthened its important role in and its influence on the world economy. It is the system under which a majority of the world's population lives, and it continues to strengthen the links of interdependence between the world's economies.
But capitalism's impact is about much more than money and markets. Indeed, capitalism is every bit as much a social force as an economic one. As such, its impact on noneconomic life has drawn the attention of thinkers outside of economics, as well as those inside the discipline, including some of its greatest minds.
In Thinking about Capitalism, award-winning intellectual historian and Professor Jerry Z. Muller of The Catholic University of America takes you deep inside the perspectives on this most important and pervasive force. Over 36 engaging lectures, you gain fresh insights that will strengthen your understanding of capitalism's rich history, its fascinating proponents and opponents, and its startling impact on our world.
An Exploration Beyond Economics
Drawing on his exceptional ability to frame each thinker's concerns within its historical context, Professor Muller takes you beyond economic analysis to look at how some of the greatest intellects have thought about capitalism and its moral, political, and cultural ramifications.
Covering capitalism from its 17th-century beginnings to today's era of globalization, Professor Muller explores these thinkers' insights on some wide-ranging questions:
What effect does capitalism have on personal development? Or on our identities as individuals, as members of a group, or even as citizens of a nation?
What about the seemingly unending variety of consumer goods made possible by capitalism? Have they made our culture better-or worse?
Do the facts support our tendency to think about capitalism as the economic system practiced in "free" countries? Or can capitalism exist in a wide variety of political systems?
As capitalism continues to expand across geographical borders, provocative questions emerge about its overall impact. What are the short- and long-term implications of globalization? How and when should we construct economic policies to strengthen or limit its growth? Can capitalism ever undermine itself?
By placing capitalism in its full societal context, Thinking about Capitalism enhances your ability to consider, discuss, and answer these and other critical questions whatever your point of view.
Get Insights from Three Centuries of Thinkers
For almost three centuries, some of the most interesting thinkers in history have grappled with capitalism. They have explored its key features, cultural prerequisites, and human implications with excitement, caution, or even fear.
Their writings have defended capitalism, argued against it, disagreed over how to characterize it, and questioned whether the human costs incurred in its practice can be outweighed by the obvious material benefits it brings.
01 Why Think about Capitalism?
02 The Greek and Christian Traditions
03 Hobbes's Challenge to the Traditions
04 Dutch Commerce and National Power
05 Capitalism and Toleration-Voltaire
06 Abundance or Equality-Voltaire vs. Rousseau
07 Seeing the Invisible Hand-Adam Smith
08 Smith on Merchants, Politicians, Workers
09 Smith on the Problems of Commercial Society
10 Smith on Moral and Immoral Capitalism
11 Conservatism and Advanced Capitalism-Burke
12 Conservatism and Periphery Capitalism-Möser
13 Hegel on Capitalism and Individuality
14 Hamilton, List, and the Case for Protection
15 De Tocqueville on Capitalism in America
16 Marx and Engels-The Communist Manifesto
17 Marx's Capital and the Degradation of Work
18 Matthew Arnold on Capitalism and Culture
19 Individual and Community-Tönnies vs. Simmel
20 The German Debate over Rationalization
21 Cultural Sources of Capitalism-Max Weber
22 Schumpeter on Innovation and Resentment
23 Lenin's Critique-Imperialism and War
24 Fascists on Capitalism-Freyer and Schmitt
25 Mises and Hayek on Irrational Socialism
26 Schumpeter on Capitalism's Self-Destruction
27 The Rise of Welfare-State Capitalism
28 Pluralism as Limit to Social Justice-Hayek
29 Herbert Marcuse and the New Left Critique
30 Contradictions of Postindustrial Society
31 The Family under Capitalism
32 Tensions with Democracy-Buchanan and Olson
33 End of Communism, New Era of Globalization
34 Capitalism and Nationalism-Ernest Gellner
35 The Varieties of Capitalism
36 Intrinsic Tensions in Capitalism