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The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Western Thought
by Jerry Z. Muller
published by Anchor
© 2002 by Jerry Z. Muller


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From Booklist
The author, a professor of history at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., examines the moral, social, and political implications of capitalism through the eyes of more than a dozen European thinkers. Some--such as Adam Smith, Joseph Schumpeter, and Friedrich Hayek--are conventionally regarded as economists, while others--including Voltaire and Karl Marx--were philosophers who wrote in either support or criticism of the market-based society. A recurrent theme is the early Christian belief that commerce (the trading of goods produced by others for profit) and finance (profiting from money itself) were immoral. However, once these activities became a necessary part of society, the anti-Semitic environment of Europe forced the Jews, who were traditionally farmers and craftsmen, into the roles of money handlers. This work is an in-depth study of the origins of thought about markets and their effects on people, when thinking men easily questioned whether capitalism is good for people. It is a wonderful contrast to today's blind worship of materialism and economic progress. ~~ David Siegfried

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