Nov 30, 2012

Moral Criticisms of Capitalism: Paul Heyne's Thoughts!

Paul Heyne
Yesterday I stumbled upon a lecture titled 'The Moral Critics of Capitalism' by Paul Heyne. It's a shame that I had never heard of him before. Paul Heyne, as I have come to know now, is the author of the acclaimed textbook "The Economic Way of Thinking" and was one of the legendary teachers of economics in United States. I loved this lecture which happens to be his last public lecture and was delivered on given February 17, 2000 in Seattle.

In this lecture he talks about the moral criticisms of capitalism or as he would prefer to say 'market-coordinated' system. As a person who came to the field of economics from theology, he indeed has interesting perspectives on the morality of free market system. Previously an ardent Marxist, Haynes started reading economics when his friends suggested him that he might be on the right track by criticizing capitalism but it would help him if he studied some economics as well. He says later on he found  that 'almost all of the moral criticisms of capitalism that he had been triumphantly parading around in the seminary campus were misunderstandings'. He argues that capitalism evolves naturally and competition is an inevitable thing as long (Read forever) as there is scarcity.

He also says that there, however, is a very valid moral criticism of capitalism that is often forgotten by the moral critics. Capitalism subverts community which almost every one of us are fond of. He suggests people to find ways to nurture community without destroying the market so that we can get the best of both worlds.

You can listen to the lecture here:
So what do you think? Feel free to post your comments below: