- Paperback: 500 pages
- Publisher: UPA; First Edition edition (July 21, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761832211
- ISBN-13: 978-0761832218
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #973,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire First Edition Edition
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For Professor Bernstein, there are no limits to what man can achieve. This book unabashedly supports capitalism―the system of individual rights, private property, and pursuit of profit. Every businessman who has earned profit, and the millions of customers who have benefited from business productivity should read this epic to appreciate capitalism's glorious accomplishments that we take for granted. (Mark S. Rothstein, Founder and President, Harmoney Financial Advisers, Host of Mr. Money Radio and Television Shows)
The Capitalist Manifesto is an immensely provocative work that should be read from the halls of academia to the streets of the Middle East. Mr. Bernstein's arguments pack the intellectual firepower to blast socialism back to the Stone Age. This rich book is a triumph in the crusade for liberty and individual rights. (Jonathan Hoenig, Fox News Contributor and Portfolio Manager, Capitalistpig Hedge Fund LLC)
This monumental work is a tribute to greatness―the exalted men of the mind who create a world of wealth and prosperity, and the great social system of liberty and individual rights that liberates a nation's mind power. Everyone should read this fascinating book for a clear understanding of capitalism―the system that has doubled our life span, created vast wealth, and generated even vaster opportunities. (Carl B. Barney, Chairman and CEO, CollegeAmerica and Independence University)
The Capitalist Manifesto is the most sophisticated, the most philosophical, indeed, the most brilliant defense of capitalism published in a generation. Bernstein has done what no conservative or libertarian proponent of capitalism has even dared try: to defend it on moral grounds. This book will revolutionize American culture if read by every college student. All in all, a remarkable achievement. (C. Bradley Thompson, Ph.D., Professor of History and Political Science, Ashland University)
Although this book is written for the educated generalist or layperson and the college student, it should be read by everyone―especially by journalists and politicians. Hopefully, it will be adopted as a textbook both here and abroad with foreign editions and translations. Bernstein's seminal work is a triumph in the crusade for freedom and individual rights. We certainly need more books like this. (Ed Younkins, Professor of Accountancy, Wheeling Jesuit University)
In succinctly presenting the historical-economic facts of 19th century capitalism, Professor Bernstein has performed an act of profound justice. While ably recounting how capitalism became the world's most practical social system, he also explains precisely why this was so: because it was the world's only supremely moral system. (Richard M. Salsman, President and Chief Economist, InterMarket Forecasting, Inc.)
About the Author
Andrew Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He has taught at Hunter College, the New School for Social Research, and Pace University. He currently teaches at SUNY Purchase, where he was selected Outstanding Faculty Member for 2004, and is a Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Marist College. Dr. Bernstein has lectured at universities across the United States, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the United States Military Academy at West Point; and at philosophical conferences both in America and abroad. He is author of the novel, Heart of a Pagan, and is currently writing Objectivism in One Lesson, an introduction to the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Additional essays and information about Dr. Bernstein can be found at his website:
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The section on capitalism's history begins by presenting the historical backdrop in which capitalism emerged. Prior to capitalism's emergence the vast majority of Europeans existed in a state of dire poverty; famines occurred regularly; hygenic conditions were utterly atrocious; and infant mortality rates were astoundingly high. Not surprisingly, overall life expectancy (much less quality of life) was terrible.
After reviewing the horrible conditions in pre-capitalist Europe, Bernstein turns his attention to capitalism's origins; he traces its origins to the Enlightenment, particularly the Scottish Enlightenment. Bernstein details the lives of several thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment who were interested in practical applications of natural philosophy (i.e., technology) as well as the potential profits to be made from such inventions. In the rest of this section, Bernstein goes on to chronicle the numerous inventors and inventions that greatly improved the standard of living during the Industrial Revolution in both Britain and the United States.
The section on philosophy argues that the proper moral standard is human life and that an individual's means of survival is his or her reasoning mind. This section goes on to argue that capitalism is the only social system consonant with this moral standard.
The section on economics begins by detailing the economic failures of communist/socialist countries as well as the economic successes of capitalist countries. Bernstein then delves into economic theory which explains these events.
The book also features an appendix about the so-called "Robber Barons." As Bernstein demonstrates, these men were neither robbers nor barons; instead they were heroic geniuses who greatly improved the quality of life for people all over the world.
Bernstein's book strikes a wonderful balance between the theoretical and the empirical. Bernstein provides numerous statistical data to backup his claims, but he never gets bogged down in the numbers. For Bernstein the numbers are not an end-in-themselves; instead, they are the factual data which support the philosophic viewpoint he presents: namely, the view that each individual's life is an end-in-itself and that reason is a human being's means of survival.
Today the United States is not a laissez-faire capitalist country; in fact, it never fully was. Sadly, no country has yet been fully laissez-faire (i.e., no country has yet had a full separation between the state and its economy). But as Bernstein repeatedly points out in his book, the countries that have come closest to this ideal are the ones that have most prospered.
The choice between capitalism and statism boils down to the choice between life or death; happiness or misery; freedom or slavery. I know which side I choose. Do you?
The first part of this book focuses on the history of Capitalism in the United States. You will learn about the history of the Industrial Revolutions, including the enormous increase in per capita wealth, standard of living and life expectancy during these periods. You will also learn that the British Industrial Revolution was a direct outgrowth of the Scottish Enlightenment. In addition, you will also learn about many of the heroes of this time, including "The Colossus of Roads" Thomas Telford, James Watt, Henry Bessemer and "Iron Man" John Wilkinson. Further still, you will learn about "The Inventive Period" in America, which is when Thomas Edison, Cyrus McCormick, Eli Whitney, the Wright Brothers, Alexander Graham Bell, Samuel Morse, Charles Goodyear, Isaac Singer, George Washington Carver and numerous other inventors thrived.
In the second part of this book, Dr. Bernstein uses the philosophy of Ayn Rand to compose a powerful moral defense of Capitalism. In this section you will learn that Capitalism is the only political system consistent with the complete protection of individual rights. The underlying ideas in this chapter are expressed throughout Ayn Rand's works. However, Dr. Bernstein fleshes out many details not explicitly addressed in other Ayn Rand works, making this section valuable even for Ayn Rand fans.
The third section of this book dispels two common attacks on Capitalism: that it leads to Imperialism and that it was responsible for slavery. Dr. Bernstein notes that, in essence, Imperialism and slavery rely on an institutionalized, blatant disregard of individual rights. Thus, since Capitalism is the only system that protects all individual rights, both Imperialism and slavery are in fact antithetical to Capitalism.
The fourth part of this book analyzes the "great laboratories" of political economy in history. Specifically, in this section, Bernstein contrasts human flourishing in United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. You will also read about the failure of communist states such as Cuba and North Korea, the rise of the capitalist-embracing Asian Tigers: South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as the Celtic Tiger: Ireland. You will also read about the alleged success of the "socialist" Scandanavian nations. In the summary of this section,
Dr. Bernstein refutes the claim that Capitalism leads monopolies that make products more expensive and less abundant. In fact, Dr. Bernstein argues that the opposite is true. Finally, Dr. Bernstein will also refute the claim that unbridled Capitalism led to the Great Depression. As before, Dr. Bernstein will reveal that the Statist policies of the Hoover Administration and the New Deal are actually to blame for the depression.
Lastly, in the Appendix, Dr. Bernstein exposes the prodigious injustice of the label "robber baron". In this section, Dr. Bernstein details the enormous amount of wealth created by giants such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, James J. Hill, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan and E. H. Harriman. Dr. Bernstein persuasively argues that these so-called "robber barons" should instead be remembered as "productive geniuses".
Again, this is a must-read for all those who wish to understand and defend capitalism.
Most recent customer reviews
Everything not Capitalist is Statist.
Statism is Slavery and Tyranny.
Every Capitalist action that ever failed was really Statist.Read more
Bernstein does a great job of explaining capitalism by breaking the book into 4 parts: History, Philosophy, Polemics, and...Read more