capitalism as freedom

Samuel Brittan weighs in on “Capitalism in Crisis”.

My central case for competitive capitalism is that it promotes personal and political freedom. A businessman outside the financial sector will prosper by providing what adults wish to have – even if that is pop records, candyfloss or nude shows rather than what their supposed elders and betters think is good for them. Above all, the individual is free to use his abilities in line with his own choices. He or she can concentrate on personal pleasure, social service at home, the relief of poverty abroad or any combination of these and other activities.

Samuel Brittan, “The market still has no rivals“, Financial Times, 13 January 2012.

Isn’t Brittan defending the market economy, not capitalism, as John Kay explained in these pages on Wednesday?

Note that Brittan qualifies his remarks by referring to “a businessman outside the financial sector”. Sir Samuel Brittan’s column will eventually be posted, ungated, here.

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