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Selected by the Times Literary Supplement as one of the "hundred most influential books since the war" How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In this classic book, Milton Friedman provides the definitive statement of his immensely influential economic philosophy—one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom. The result is an accessible text that has sold well over half a million copies in English, has been translated into eighteen languages, and shows every sign of becoming more and more influential as time goes on.
It can be hard for busy professionals to find the time to read the latest books. Stay up to date in a fraction of the time with this concise guide. Capitalism and Freedom outlines the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman’s views on the relationship between economics and politics. Specifically, he believes that economic freedom is necessary both in and of itself, and because it is inextricably linked to political freedom. He applies this insight to a host of contemporary problems to argue that the situation could be improved by what he refers to as “competitive capitalism”. Capitalism and Freedom has sold hundreds of thousands of copies since it was first published in 1962, and was described by The Times Literary Supplement as “one of the most influential books published since the war”. Friedman himself was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century, and his ideas have been adopted by governments around the world. This book review and analysis is perfect for: • Students of economics and politics • Anyone with an interest in the history of economic thought • Anyone looking to understand the role of the government in the economy About 50MINUTES.COM | BOOK REVIEW The Book Review series from the 50Minutes collection is aimed at anyone who is looking to learn from experts in their field without spending hours reading endless pages of information. Our reviews present a concise summary of the main points of each book, as well as providing context, different perspectives and concrete examples to illustrate the key concepts.
This remarkable, expansive text, explores the impact and ramifications this domineering economic phenomenon has had over our personal and social liberties. In this epoch of capitalist globalisation, Peter Nolan argues that capitalist freedom is a two-edged sword, and its contradictions have intensified, threatening the natural environment, and intensifying global inequality.
Milton Friedman was arguably the single most influential economist of the 20th-century. His influence, particularly on conservative politics in America and Great Britain, substantially helped - as both supporters and critics agree - to shape the global economy as it is today. Capitalism and Freedom (1962) is a passionate but carefully reasoned summary of Friedman's philosophy of political and economic freedom, and it has become perhaps his most directly influential work. Friedman's argument focuses on the place of economic liberalism in society: in his view, free markets and personal economic freedom are absolutely necessary for true political freedom to exist. Freedom, for Friedman, is the ultimate good in a society - the marker and aim of true civilisation. And, crucially, he argues, real freedom is rarely aided by government. For Friedman, indeed, "the great advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science or literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government." Instead, he argues, they have always been produced by "minority views" flourishing in a social climate permitting variety and diversity." In successive chapters, Friedman develops a well-structured line of reasoning emerging from this stance - leading him to some surprising conclusions that remain persuasive and influential more than 60 years on.
For years, we’ve been taught that capitalism is good for freedom. Dominant right-wing talk radio hosts to this day recommend “libertarian” classics like Hayek’s Road to Serfdom and Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom that claim markets free us, and this picture still dominates the schools and the political spectrum. Well get bent, one percent, because Rob Larson’s Capitalism vs. Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom puts big business under a microscope. This book debunks the conservative classics while demonstrating that the marketplace has its own great centers of power, which the libertarian tradition itself claims is a limit to freedom. In fact, Larson illustrates how capitalism fails both this and other concepts of human liberty, not just failing to establish a right to a share of society’s production, but also leaving us subject to the great power plays of the one percent’s corporate property.
Friedman discusses a government system that is no longer controlled by "we, the people." Instead of Lincoln's government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," we now have a government "of the people, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats," including the elected representatives who have become bureaucrats.
This book hinges upon ideas and discourses variously known under labels such as “Mercantilism” and “Cameralism”. Often viewed as antithesis of capitalism, inclusive institutions and good economy in the “West”, this book re-assembles them and builds them into a coherent origin story of modern capitalism. It explores the field of intellectual and conceptual history, especially the history of Renaissance and Mercantilism in a longer history of capitalism. Rather than hindrances, the author argues that Mercantilist and Cameralist political economies presented essential stepping stones of modern capitalism, in Britain and beyond. This book will be of interest to academics and students in general economic history, the history of capitalism, economic development and the history of economic thought.
On Wall Street, in the culture of high tech, in American government: Libertarianism—the simple but radical idea that the only purpose of government is to protect its citizens and their property against direct violence and threat— has become an extremely influential strain of thought. But while many books talk about libertarian ideas, none until now has explored the history of this uniquely American movement—where and who it came from, how it evolved, and what impact it has had on our country. In this revelatory book, based on original research and interviews with more than 100 key sources, Brian Doherty traces the evolution of the movement through the unconventional life stories of its most influential leaders— Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Milton Friedman—and through the personal battles, character flaws, love affairs, and historical events that altered its course. And by doing so, he provides a fascinating new perspective on American history—from the New Deal through the culture wars of the 1960s to today's most divisive political issues. Neither an exposé nor a political polemic, this entertaining historical narrative will enlighten anyone interested in American politics.
The shock doctrine is the unofficial story of how the "free market" came to dominate the world, from Chile to Russia, China to Iraq, South Africa to Canada. But it is a story radically different from the one usually told. It is a story about violence and shock perpetrated on people, on countries, on economies. About a program of social and economic engineering that Naomi Klein calls "disaster capitalism." Based on breakthrough historical research and 4 years of reporting in disaster zones, Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically, and that unfettered capitalism goes hand-in-hand with democracy. Instead, she argues it has consistently relied on violence and shock, and reveals the puppet strings behind the critical events of the last 40 years. "The shock doctrine" is the influential but little understood theory that in order to push through profoundly unpopular policies that enrich the few and impoverish the many, there must be a collective crisis or disaster—real or manufactured. Klein vividly traces the origins of modern shock tactics to the economic lab of the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman in the 60s, and beyond to the CIA-funded electroshock experiments at McGill in the 50s which helped write the torture manuals used today at Guantanamo Bay. She details the events of the recent past that have been deliberate theatres for the shock doctrine: among them, Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; and, more recently, the September 11 attacks, the invasion of Iraq, the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. And she shows how—in the hands of the Bush Administration—the "war on terror" is a thin cover for a thriving destruction/reconstruction complex, with disasters, wars and homeland security fuelling a booming new economy. Naomi Klein has once again written a book that will change the way we see the world.