Recent surveys reveal a large portion of the British population to have a dim view of capitalism. And many on the political left, including the current leadership of the Labour Party, are committed to overthrowing it. That would be a disaster because, as Eamonn Butler argues in this introduction to capitalism, it is the foundation of our prosperity and of our liberal, cooperative and dynamic society.
Many criticisms of capitalism are based on common misunderstandings of it, some of them even shared by supporters of capitalism. Written in plain English and assuming no prior knowledge of economics, this book helps readers overcome these confusions. It explains the nature of capital - its creation, preservation and destruction - and the roles played by markets and property rights in making capitalism work.
Eamonn Butler is director of the Adam Smith Institute, a leading policy think tank. He has degrees in economics and psychology, a PhD in philosophy, and an honorary Doctor of Letters. In the 1970s he worked in Washington for the US House of Representatives, and taught philosophy at Hillsdale College, Michigan, before returning to the UK to help found the Adam Smith Institute. He is a former winner of the UK's National Free Enterprise Award. Eamonn is author of books on the pioneering economists Milton Friedman, F. A. Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, a primer on the Austrian School of Economics and a 'Condensed Wealth of Nations'. For the IEA, he has written primers on Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Classical Liberalism and public choice theory; his 'Foundations of a Free Society' won the Fisher Prize in 2014. He is co-author of a history of wage and price controls, and of a series of books on IQ. His recent popular publications, 'The Best Book on the Market', 'The Rotten State of Britain' and 'The Alternative Manifesto', attracted considerable attention, and he is a frequent contributor to print and broadcast media.