|Digital List Price:||$31.99|
|Print List Price:||$31.99|
Save $14.72 (46%)
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
The Enduring Tension: Capitalism and the Moral Order Kindle Edition
Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip.
View high quality images that let you zoom in to take a closer look.
Enjoy features only possible in digital – start reading right away, carry your library with you, adjust the font, create shareable notes and highlights, and more.
Discover additional details about the events, people, and places in your book, with Wikipedia integration.
"Why does history record prosperity for the mass of ordinary people only within Western civilization and in the context of free markets? Donald Devine’s exploration of the enduring tension between capitalism and the moral order is the best answer to this question since Adam Smith’s. Like Smith, Devine shows the mutually sustaining nature of morality and economic freedom, and provides a much needed clearing away of the confusion with which recent authors have befogged this essential relationship."―Angelo M. Codevilla, Professor Emeritus, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University
In this profound and sweeping study, Donald Devine illuminates the foundations of our liberal order, takes its serious critics seriously, and answers them in their own terms―which he demonstrates are ultimately moral terms, in the deepest sense. This is an essential book for understanding the prospects of our politics.―Yuval Levin, American Enterprise Institute
Too many defenses of the market economy focus on narrow economic considerations alone. To make a deep and compelling case requires an understanding not only of economics, but of broader issues in ethics, political science, history, and philosophy. Few are qualified to do this, but Donald Devine certainly is, as The Enduring Tension demonstrates. ―Edward Feser, Professor of Philosophy, Pasadena City College
Donald Devine provides an invaluable guide to the sometimes solid, sometimes dreamy ideas about economic and social life we will have to contend with if we want to build and sustain a humane world. Drawing from history, political philosophy, theology, and a practitioner’s wisdom, he concludes that there can be no vibrant capitalism without a robust moral tradition. We must take his insights to heart and work to fortify that tradition.―Joshua Mitchell, Professor of Political Theory, Georgetown University
In an era of new challenges, Donald Devine reveals the historical roots and the moral necessity of pluralism and capitalism. The Enduring Tension is an essential book for a dark time.―Samuel Goldman, Associate Professor of Political Science, George Washington University
The Enduring Tension isn’t just a book that makes the moral case for capitalism―it’s a whole library in one volume. Donald Devine channels a lifetime of experience and scholarship into this indispensable work, where his erudition is matched only by his passion and eloquence.―Daniel McCarthy, Editor, Modern Age
When capitalism’s legitimacy faces an onslaught of naysaying, Donald Devine does the necessary work of reconciling human freedom, capitalism, and morality. Edmund Burke counseled us to stand on the shoulders of giants, and Devine is one of those sagacious giants.―Rachel Bovard, Policy Director, Conservative Partnership Institute
About the Author
Donald J. Devine is Senior Scholar at the Fund for American Studies, an academic, columnist; lecturer, and author of nine previous books. Dr. Devine is the last of the dozen intellectuals once identified as the “leading lights” of the post war fusionist re-evaluation of conservative and libertarian thinking. For a quarter-century he was a professor of government at the University of Maryland and Bellevue University. He was a longtime advisor to Ronald Reagan and served as his Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management during his first presidential term.--This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B0854PLQMR
- Publisher : Encounter Books (January 26, 2021)
- Publication date : January 26, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 1165 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 384 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1641771518
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #670,612 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
‘Marx right and wrong’!
“But the essence of his thought was that the capitalism and freedom that generated productivity and widespread prosperity in the West required supporting institutions to legitimize the moral beliefs and legal principles that undergirded this success.’’
This seems spot on.
“Indeed, Schumpeter predicted that capitalism was likely to be superseded by some form of administrative socialism if it did not develop and maintain a countervailing legitimacy. Schumpeter found Marx to be wrong in asserting that capitalism would be brought down by its weaknesses—by overproduction, by a concentration of capital in a few hands, by the rise of labor unions and democratic political parties, or even by revolution from the proletarian masses.’’
‘Destroyed by flaws’? Nope.
“Instead, Schumpeter predicted that capitalism would be destroyed by its own success. As widening prosperity and freedom corrupted the social discipline supporting thrift and work and encouraging procreation, the dynamic bourgeois entrepreneurship that was the engine of capitalism would stagnate. The resulting social decline would be exploited by intellectuals promoting the ideal of scientific socialism to political elites, who at best would transform it into a populist democratic socialism, or what Americans would call the welfare state.’’
‘Scientific socialism’ changed into ‘populist socialism’. Nailed it! Now, Schumpeter said this in 1940’s. Amazing foresight.
“Schumpeter was a prophet because what he predicted seems to be pretty much what has happened even in the redoubt of freedom and capitalism, the United States. Capitalism survives today only in what Schumpeter called a “fettered” form, shackled by bureaucratic regulations that impede productivity, compound the problems they were designed to fix, and dissolve the moral structure that underlay Western civilization’s creativity and gave it legitimacy. A reversal back to a more unfettered capitalism would seem to require such fundamental change in culture as to render it unlikely.’’
Well . . . just astounding, that Schumpeter explained this almost a century ago. Before the current political, academic, scientists were born. Yet, they’re speaking the lines Schumpeter wrote then. Ideas more important than individuals. Especially ideas that are unexamined, widespread and powerful.
Who is Devine?
“Your author comes to the discussion from the academic field of political science and two decades of teaching at the University of Maryland and Bellevue University. One competency was in normal politics, government, and democratic theory, but I also taught philosophy of science, specifically scope and methods. Another specialty was public administration, put to practical use as director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in 1981–1985. These interests and experiences provide the basis for the development of the argument.’’
Recalls Thomas Sowell and his experience. Academics who worked in government. Changed them both.
What’s covered here?
“Past two examines what the Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek called the modern “superstition” that empirical science has the answers to all social problems. We start with an analysis of modern physics, artificial intelligence, and scientific proof.’’
‘Science as superstition’! Who can doubt it?
Also . . .
“Chapter 1 looks at multiple conceptions of the enigma that is capitalism, beginning with that of Karl Marx, who coined the term. It empirically tests his and Schumpeter’s resting of capitalism’s moral justification in feudalism, and ends up with a conclusion closer to Marx than to most supporters of capitalism. The chapter examines the central role of Locke in the history of capitalism, and looks at the highly divergent modern interpretations of his philosophy—as immoral, anarchical, possessive, and dark, or alternatively as pluralist, medieval, tolerant, and Christian.’’
And this shows the treasure in this presentation. Devine digs down deep into the foundations of ideas, offering multiple opinions, some even contradictory or opposite. In fact, sometimes in detailed analysis, using several pages and references. Not afraid to explain Well done.
“One cannot overemphasize the importance of feudalism, particularly concerning property rights and the growth of individualism—though later theorists (Renaissance, Reformation, Counter-Reformation, Enlightenment) all had reasons to downplay the medieval contributions to launching the modern age.’’
This focus on the importance of medieval thought is something I’ve become more and more convinced. My ongoing analysis of the history of culture, society and their ideas, assumptions, has confirmed this.
Another gem . . .
“Chapter 5 examines the hope that scientific calculation can simplify human interaction sufficiently to make the market’s social calculation superfluous, and finally deliver the good life to all. Two views of science are compared: a “constructivist” one that aims to reduce everything to rational abstractions and predictability, and a “critical rationalist” conception that is more open to complexity and different kinds of reasoning.’’
These two versions of ‘science’ are deep insight.
“An analysis of the quintessential science of physics reveals uncertainties at the heart of the scientific enterprise, while philosophers of science—Michael Polanyi, Karl Popper, Friedrich Hayek, Thomas Kuhn, Albert Einstein—help shed light on the nature of scientific knowledge. After looking into the science of the human mind, we conclude with Hayek’s observation that much modern social analysis has degenerated from a critical-rationalist scientific tool into little more than superstition.’’
Man-o-man, he unearths some real gold.
Another golden treasure . . .
“It opens with the obvious decline of a cultural consensus in the United States today and the loss of belief in what Walter Lippmann called the natural law of civility, which is necessary to make a nation-state work, especially a pluralist one. Lippmann located the source of the problem in the “Christian heresy” of Rousseau, which transferred the search for perfection from the next world to this, leading to the excesses of Jacobinism, Nazism, Leninism, nationalism, and pseudoscientific bureaucratic expertise.’’
Lippmann saw ‘pseudoscience’ coming.
“All these have raised impossible expectations for capitalism, and in so doing have set the stage for its decline. Lippmann proposed a new rationalistic stoicism as the basis for social order. John Nicholas Gray likewise favors a kind of stoicism as a modern moral code, but he finds the materialist worldview to be fundamentally illogical, and science to be incapable of providing restraints on human behavior. If all other social solutions are illusory, that may ultimately leave only the amoral use of power to control society. But power alone has limits as a means of establishing social order.’’
‘Power alone’ just leaves violence.
“There’s voluminous evidence that religion is among the most persistent and deeply held social values worldwide. As Hayek and Locke argued, a moral legitimizing ideal must have at least a symbolic truth. If we are to rebuild the scaffolding that can hold the walls and preserve a capitalist civilization, some such solution must be explained and implemented. We end where we began: with Schumpeter’s observation that not only capitalism but even a humane socialism requires a moral justification rather similar to that which initially cemented the forces of Western civilization.’’
Of course, that was Judaeo/Christian foundation. When that’s gone, we have . . .
PART I: HOW WE GOT HERE
1. Which Capitalism?
2. Beginning at the Beginning
3. Rationalizing Nation-State Capitalism
4. The Expert Bureaucracy Solution
PART II: LOOKING FORWARD
5. Scientific Rationalization
6. Moralizing Capitalism
7. The Pluralist Administration Solution
8. The Civilizational Choice
One intriguing aspect is Devine’s repeated use of Marx and his insights . . .
“So in pointing to the feudal age, Marx identified the roots of the capitalist civilization more accurately than many of its defenders. Might he likewise be a better prophet? While his economic predictions seem far off the mark, his cultural findings resonate today.’’
“Marx found that capitalism had “put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations” by the mid-nineteenth century. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors,” and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callus “cash payment.” It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism in the icy water of egotistical calculation.…It has stripped of its halo every occupation … torn away from the family its sentimental veil.… All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned.’’
This seems to nail current cultural angst.
“As we have seen, the great economic historian Joseph Schumpeter predicted that capitalism, even with all its freedoms and with the market’s efficient calculation and allocation, could not survive much longer without the moral values and cultural institutions that had nurtured and sustained it. Indeed, he raised the possibility that capitalism may be better classified as the final stage of feudalism than as a separate stage of history. As the medieval morality has faded, capitalism has tended to be replaced by the next of Marx’s historical stages, a form of socialism—today called the welfare state—and perhaps it will eventually disappear altogether.’’
Now, I found this idea — ‘capitalism last stage of feudalism’ — fascinating.
Devine also uses a lot of Eric Voegelin . . .
“Voegelin explained how this form of toleration made religion “impotent” in society, and consequently invited new secular creeds to fill the void in public spiritual life: The privatization of the church means, in terms of social effects, that the political sphere has lost its spiritual authority and that the religious sphere is condemned to public impotence. The toleration society has not only lost its public organs of resistance against inimical creeds but also has deprived itself of organs of public spiritual life in general. Since man does not cease to be man, and spirit does not give up its desire for public status simply because Locke or somebody else tells it to do so, persons who are of a spiritual and at the same time of a political temper have found new avenues by which to reach the public. We see the rise of the intellectual outside the church, ranging, according to temper and circumstance, from the scholar through the publicist to the professional revolutionary who tries to gain political public status for his creed.’’
I’m reminded that Stalin attended the seminary (at the top of his class) until early twenties, planning to be a priest. Lenin, son of a professor, planned to be a mathematician.
Another deep thinker Devine explains is John Gray.
“Christianity “undermined this tolerant acceptance of illusion” and pushed aside philosophy’s paralyzing uncertainty, replacing it with its claimed universal truth. As Christianity weakened intellectually over time, its claim to universal truth was taken up by science, and by political ideologies promising perfection. But the scientific revolution was, “in many ways, a byproduct of mysticism and magic,” Gray argued. Kepler was a mystic. Newton believed in alchemy and numerology. “In fact, once the tangled origins of modern science are unraveled, it is doubtful whether a ‘scientific revolution’ occurred.” Even the Enlightenment developed within Christian assumptions.’’
This is so . . . so . . . counter-cultural. Nevertheless, I think this is a real jewel.
As these slices indicate, Devine analyzes, explains, presents hundreds of marvelous insights. Most new, counter-cultural and fascinating.
Reader needs open mind and contemplative spirit. Not superficial or shallow. Closer to good textbook than interesting novel. Nevertheless, clear, specific, fair, and thoughtful. Devine searched far and wide to combine thinkers from history, economics, psychology, physics, law, etc., etc., to create a real treasure chest.
Reader can take away precious jewels of ideas and golden nuggets of understanding.
Work deserves ten stars!
Hundreds and hundreds of notes (linked)
Some notes linked to reference
Detailed index (not linked)