IEA releases primer on capitalism
It is hard to find a book that explains, simply and fairly, what capitalism is, how it works, and its strengths and weaknesses. The very word capitalism was coined as a term of abuse. And still today, most books on the subject remain hostile to capitalism, or paint a distorted, confused picture of it. So commonplace is this that even capitalism’s own supporters have trouble understanding what it is, and find themselves struggling to excuse the distortion rather than explain the reality. There is, therefore, need for a short guide that outlines the subject of capitalism plainly and fairly. This is that book.
The book cuts through the prejudice and distortion to come up with a better definition of what capitalism actually is − and, just as importantly, what it is not − stripping. away the clutter that critics have loaded onto it, so that the core essence of capitalism can be understood. It also identifies what capital is, what forms it takes, how and why it comes into existence, its purpose, its use and its effects. It explores the economic, social and moral nature of capitalism and the institutions that uphold it. The book traces the history of capitalism, explains some of the key ideas of those who support it, and reviews the criticisms of those who do not. And it provides a frank assessment of capitalism’s strengths and weaknesses and of its future.