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The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

October 7, 2013 - October 11, 2013

adam smith

Our ideas about economics are closely linked to our ideas about the good life and good society. What is wealth, and is prosperity the key to individual happiness and national well-being? How is wealth created? Is economic liberty compatible with strong communities and great nations? While the advanced, modern democracies are the most prosperous societies mankind has ever known, they also face great and persistent economic problems—and sometimes crises—that invite us to reconsider our values and our policies.

This course aims to explore both the fundamental questions of political economy and the practical questions of modern economic life. Yuval Levin, founding editor of National Affairs and one of the leading public intellectuals in the U.S., will explore the relationship between the pursuit of wealth and the quest for the virtuous society.

Key Texts & Topics

  • Selections from Aristotle’s Politics
  • Selections from John Locke, Second Treatise of Government
  • Selections from Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
  • Essays by Irving Kristol
  • Opening Section of F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty