Audio recording, Tikvah Fund, July 16, 2014.
To understand Irving Kristol’s defense and critique of capitalism, National Affairs editor Yuval Levin breaks down Kristol’s 1970 essay “‘When virtue loses all her loveliness’—some reflections on capitalism and ‘the free society’”. Kristol celebrated how capitalism offers prosperity and freedom, but reserved applause for capitalism as a stand-alone moral system. Famously, Kristol gave capitalism only two cheers, not three. That moral critique isn’t a reservation about inequality, but rather capitalism’s failure to sustain the culture needed for a good and meaningful society.