Krugman:"In the end, then, capitalism triumphed because it is a system that is robust to cynicism, that assumes that each man is out for himself. For much of the past century and a half men have dreamed of something better, of an economy that drew on man's better nature. But dreams, it turns out, can't keep a system going over the long term; selfishness can."
Monday, February 25, 2008
The Robustness of Selfishness
Economist Paul Krugman provides an argument for the moral basis of capitalism that at first blush might remind one of Ayn Rand's. But it contains a important difference; whereas Rand tried haplessly to transmute "selfishness" into a virtue in order to justify capitalism as a moral system, Krugman argues that the very brilliance of capitalism is that man does not have to be virtuous in order for the system to function successfully.