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Virtues of Capitalism, The (Collected Works of Arthur Seldon, The) Hardcover – October 1, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0865975422 ISBN-10: 0865975426 Edition: New Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Collected Works of Arthur Seldon, The (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 509 pages
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund; New Edition edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865975426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865975422
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,728,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Arthur Seldon's new book is a tenacious and elegant 'celebration' of capitalism despite its faults. Traditionally, socialist critics have contrasted capitalism as it is in the world we have known with socialism as it is envisaged in a world they have yet to demonstrate is possible. It creates a false debate that socialism must win and capitalism cannot win whatsoever its achievements. Furthermore, it confuses the people's choice between the 'capitalist hell' they know and the 'socialist heaven' they are promised. Using the methodology of the critics of capitalism in the opposite direction, the book places socialism as it is against capitalism as it could be.

Arthur Seldon argues that neither system is without faults and failures, but that an informed choice is properly made by assessing the degree to which they can be corrected. The book argues that, unlike socialism, the waknesses of capitalism are not inevitable nor fundamental to the system it creates and concludes that it is with capitalism that the choice must lie. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Arthur Seldon is a Founder President of the Institute of Economic Affairs. The classical liberal ideas he re-animated over 30 years in hundreds of its publications on the market process and the economics of political democracy, and in his own writings, have had a revolutionary impact on the political and intellectual life of our day.

He is a First Class Honours graduate of the London School of Economics, and has been a university tutor in economics, and economist in industry, adviser to the Government of Australia, and Vice-Present of the Mont Pelerin Society of world liberal scholars. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Junglies VINE VOICE on April 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Arthur Seldon is little known in his home country, the United Kingdon or abroad except among classical liberals, libertarians and those who inhabit the strange world of think tanks. Yet this little known figure is one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and will one day be acknowledged as such.

Liberty Fund is publishing a seven volume Collected Works of which is the first and which presents two works: Corrigible Capitalism, Incorrigible Socialism and Seldon's magnum opus, Capitalism. The first of the two was originally published by the London based free-market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs of which Seldon was the first Editorial Director.

Corrigible Capitalism, Incorrigible Socialism is a reprint of a 1980 paper entitled 'A Credo for private Enterprise' which the author presented to the New Zealand Employer's Federation. This is a vigorous defence of the liberal market order in the face of a continued onslaught by the proponents of the socialist or mixed economy. Whilst Seldon's case is inspired by the Classical liberal case of the 19th Century, this paper can be seen as a further development from the Planning Debate from the 1920s and 30s. Seldon incorporates in his structure the post-war so-called Keynesian developments introduced the various socialist governments under the guise of Conservative or Labour and also takes a broader world perspective. Interestingly, Seldon makes the following comment about China:

"But increasing coercion will be required to suppress the trend to initiative stimulated by knowledge of the West, and it is hardly likely to survive the century.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
British libertarian economist Arthur Seldon exposes the failings of socialism in general and of Britain's welfare state in particular. The author's antidote for the welfare state is to reduce the scope of government to only those functions that the free market can't duplicate. He considers and rebuts all criticisms -- economic, political, moral -- of the free market. This book has its shortcomings: It's directed towards a British audience, so it requires some familiarity with British history. Written in 1989, the book is a bit dated; e.g., the Soviet Union (which the author repeatedly considers) is extinct. Also, the author often repeats his basic argument; namely, the market is directed by a price system, which is controlled by individual consumers (hence market economies are prosperous and democratic), whereas the welfare state is directed by politicians, producers and interest groups (hence welfare states are poor and authoritarian). Finally, the author's syntax is often awkward. Nevertheless, friends of the free market will find in this book both an armory of rebuttals to capitalism's critics and abundant useful references.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Volume 1 of "The Collected Works of Arthur Seldon" series, The Virtues Of Capitalism offers the in-depth wisdom of classical liberal economist Arthur Seldon, who penned his theories from the 1930's to the late 1950's. The Virtues Of Capitalism is divided into two parts; the first is "Corrigible Capitalism; Incorrigible Socialism", in which Seldon explains why he feels capitalism is more open to correction and improvement while socialism resists adjustments to help it fit economic reality, and "Capitalism", a longer work that takes an in-depth accounting of capitalism's positive qualities. An excellent basic resource and foundation of insight into basic liberal economic and capitalist philosophy, The Virtues Of Capitalism is especially recommended for academic library "Economic Studies" collections and is essential reading for non-specialist general readers with an interest in economic theory.
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By Lars Bobson on March 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third time I have read Seldon's book on capitalism and each time it strengthens my conviction in the superiority of free-market capitalism and the utter failure of the welfare state, communism, Fabianism and all other derivatives of Marxism.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SCOTT JOHNSON on January 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What Ayn Rand does for philosophical reasoning, Arthur Seldon does for economical reasoning. Provides the reader with a firm foundation for arguing the free market proposition. Extremely reader friendly.
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