The Morality and Virtues of Capitalism and the Firm: Defending Capitalism in Theory and Practice
The genius of the market is that it enables a wide array of individuals, groupings, and associations to organize spontaneously and unconsciously to advance their various interests in a cooperative fashion that yields win-win arrangements for all involved. Yet, over the last century, cultural narratives about commerce and business have become steadily less favorable toward free markets. Overly burdensome regulations are slowing or blocking innovation, capitalism’s lifeblood.
The case for the morality of capitalism lies in its voluntary nature and its synthesis of self-interest and empathy, two of mankind’s most virtuous and important traits. Self-interest focuses business leaders on advancing their goals as efficiently as possible, while empathy encourages them to understand and recognize the viewpoints of others.
Those moral traits are incorporated and enhanced by capitalism’s most significant institution, the firm. To achieve any sustainable success for capitalism and the firm, it is essential that the morality of these institutions be widely understood and accepted.