The deepest moral justification for a capitalist system is not solely that, poor system that it is, it serves liberty better than any other known system; not even that is raises up the living standards of the poor higher than any other system has; nor that it better improves the state of human health and the balance between humans and the environment that either “real existing” socialism or the traditional Third World society has. All these things, however difficult for one to admit, are empirically true. The true moral strength of capitalism, however, lies in its promotion of human creativity.
New wealth can be created. Human beings themselves are the primary cause of the wealth of nations. Human creativity is nature's primary resource. Removing the institutional repression that now stifles that creativity is the large task ahead of us.
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Mr. Michael Novak holds the George Frederick Jewett chair in Religion and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, Washington D.C. His studies in religion engage the questions of public life, political economy, education and self-knowledge. A prolific writer and commentator, he has authored scores of books and articles. He is a regular contributor to major national and international publications such as Forbes and the National Review. As Ambassador, Mr. Novak headed the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission (1981, 1982), and, Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1986).
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Novak, M. The creative person. J Bus Ethics 12, 975–979 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00871716
- Economic Growth
- Living Standard
- Capitalist System
- Primary Resource
- Moral Justification