One of TIME magazine’s All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books One of Times Literary Supplement’s 100 Most Influential Books Since the War One of National Review’s 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Century One of Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s 50 Best Books of the 20th Century How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In this classic book, Milton Friedman provides the definitive statement of an immensely influential economic philosophy—one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom. First published in 1962, Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom is one of the most significant works of economic theory ever written. Enduring in its eminence and esteem, it has sold nearly a million copies in English, has been translated into eighteen languages, and continues to inform economic thinking and policymaking around the world. This new edition includes prefaces written by Friedman for both the 1982 and 2002 reissues of the book, as well as a new foreword by Binyamin Appelbaum, lead economics writer for the New York Times editorial board.
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Milton Friedman was arguably the single most influential economist of the 20th-century. His influence, particularly on conservative politics in America and Great Britain, substantially helped – as both supporters and critics agree – to shape the global economy as it is today. Capitalism and Freedom (1962) is a passionate but carefully reasoned summary of Friedman’s philosophy of political and economic freedom, and it has become perhaps his most directly influential work. Friedman’s argument focuses on the place of economic liberalism in society: in his view, free markets and personal economic freedom are absolutely necessary for true political freedom to exist. Freedom, for Friedman, is the ultimate good in a society – the marker and aim of true civilisation. And, crucially, he argues, real freedom is rarely aided by government. For Friedman, indeed, “the great advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science or literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government”. Instead, he argues, they have always been produced by “minority views” flourishing in a social climate permitting variety and diversity.” In successive chapters, Friedman develops a well-structured line of reasoning emerging from this stance – leading him to some surprising conclusions that remain persuasive and influential more than 60 years on.
For years, we’ve been taught that capitalism is good for freedom. Dominant right-wing talk radio hosts to this day recommend “libertarian” classics like Hayek’s Road to Serfdom and Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom that claim markets free us, and this picture still dominates the schools and the political spectrum. Well get bent, one percent, because Rob Larson’s Capitalism vs. Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom puts big business under a microscope. This book debunks the conservative classics while demonstrating that the marketplace has its own great centers of power, which the libertarian tradition itself claims is a limit to freedom. In fact, Larson illustrates how capitalism fails both this and other concepts of human liberty, not just failing to establish a right to a share of society’s production, but also leaving us subject to the great power plays of the one percent’s corporate property.
Capitalist societies are full of unacceptable inequalities. Freedom is of paramount importance. These two convictions are widely shared across the world. Yet they often seem in complete contradiction with each other. Fighting inequality jeopardizes freedom; taking freedom seriously boosts inequality. What can be done? Can the circle be squared? Philippe Van Parijs offers a ground breaking solution to the dilemma. Assessing and rejecting the claims of both socialism and conventional capitalism, he presents a clear and compelling alternative vision of the just society: a capitalist society offering a substantial unconditional basic income to all its members. Moving beyond pure political theory, Van Parijs shows what his ideal of free society means in the real world by drawing out its controversial policy implications. Real Freedom for All will be essential reading for anyone concerned about the just society and the welfare state as we move into the twenty first century.
This "rich autobiographical and historical panorama" ("Wall Street Journal") provides a memorable and lively account of the lives of the Friedmans: their involvement with world leaders and many of this century's most important public policy issues. 26 photos.
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A powerful and persuasive discussion about economics, freedom, and the relationship between the two, from today's brightest economist. In this classic discussion, Milton and Rose Friedman explain how our freedom has been eroded and our affluence undermined through the explosion of laws, regulations, agencies, and spending in Washington. This important analysis reveals what has gone wrong in America in the past and what is necessary for our economic health to flourish.
Winner of the René Wellek Prize Named a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Millions, and The Sydney Morning Herald This Life offers a profoundly inspiring basis for transforming our lives, demonstrating that our commitment to freedom and democracy should lead us beyond both religion and capitalism. Philosopher Martin Hägglund argues that we need to cultivate not a religious faith in eternity but a secular faith devoted to our finite life together. He shows that all spiritual questions of freedom are inseparable from economic and material conditions: what matters is how we treat one another in this life and what we do with our time. Engaging with great philosophers from Aristotle to Hegel and Marx, literary writers from Dante to Proust and Knausgaard, political economists from Mill to Keynes and Hayek, and religious thinkers from Augustine to Kierkegaard and Martin Luther King, Jr., Hägglund points the way to an emancipated life.
Many books have been written about the success of the West, analyzing why Europe was able to pull ahead of the rest of the world by the end of the Middle Ages. The most common explanations cite the West’s superior geography, commerce, and technology. Completely overlooked is the fact that faith in reason, rooted in Christianity’s commitment to rational theology, made all these developments possible. Simply put, the conventional wisdom that Western success depended upon overcoming religious barriers to progress is utter nonsense.In The Victory of Reason, Rodney Stark advances a revolutionary, controversial, and long overdue idea: that Christianity and its related institutions are, in fact, directly responsible for the most significant intellectual, political, scientific, and economic breakthroughs of the past millennium. In Stark’s view, what has propelled the West is not the tension between secular and nonsecular society, nor the pitting of science and the humanities against religious belief. Christian theology, Stark asserts, is the very font of reason: While the world’s other great belief systems emphasized mystery, obedience, or introspection, Christianity alone embraced logic and reason as the path toward enlightenment, freedom, and progress. That is what made all the difference.In explaining the West’s dominance, Stark convincingly debunks long-accepted “truths.” For instance, by contending that capitalism thrived centuries before there was a Protestant work ethic–or even Protestants–he counters the notion that the Protestant work ethic was responsible for kicking capitalism into overdrive. In the fifth century, Stark notes, Saint Augustine celebrated theological and material progress and the institution of “exuberant invention.” By contrast, long before Augustine, Aristotle had condemned commercial trade as “inconsistent with human virtue”–which helps further underscore that Augustine’s times were not the Dark Ages but the incubator for the West’s future glories. This is a sweeping, multifaceted survey that takes readers from the Old World to the New, from the past to the present, overturning along the way not only centuries of prejudiced scholarship but the antireligious bias of our own time. The Victory of Reason proves that what we most admire about our world–scientific progress, democratic rule, free commerce–is largely due to Christianity, through which we are all inheritors of this grand tradition.