The Concept

photo courtesy of Mark Armstrong

There is an ongoing conversation about what is wrong with the world and how to fix it.  Too often this conversation starts with policy solutions, rather than ideas about human nature, economics, and the role of government.  This sort of discussion goes back centuries, but seems to have been forgotten. The inclination of our generation to alleviate poverty, provide fresh water, end sex slavery, and contribute to many other problems, is a good one.  But, in order to actually help, we must understand human nature, the basic principles of economics, and government.  Such an understanding will enable us to choose practices and policies that might actually work.

Understanding and unpacking “Democratic capitalism,” a phrase that describes the three-legged social system of free markets, representative democracy, and a Judeo-Christian view of human nature and morality, is a good place to start. The noted philosopher Michael Novak once asked, “If one keeps uppermost in mind the material needs of the poor, the hungry, and the oppressed, one asks, what is the most practical way of raising the wealth of nations? What causes wealth?”  His answer?  Democratic capitalism.

For too long, advocates of these ideas have failed to make a case for either the inherent good of these concepts or for their potential to inspire the human soul.  Meanwhile, advocates of other policies have been making the moral case for their positions, often using religious language to support their opinions.  It’s time to for a new conversation.

If you’re interested in learning more please email me at commonsense@aei.org anytime.

  • Just Thoughts

    The path he chose was a path going in the opposite direction of many his age, but he chose it with the same thirst for swift achievement. As soon as he reflected seriously on it, he was convinced and convicted of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul, and at once he instinctively said to himself: 'I want to live for immortality with Him and I will accept no compromise.' -Dostoevsky, Brothers K