The Other War on Poverty

“The Other War on Poverty: Finding Meaning in America,” 2012 Irving Kristol Lecture, American Enterprise Institute, May 2, 2012.


On this occasion twenty years ago, in his Boyer Lecture entitled “The Cultural Revolution and the Capitalist Future,” Irving Kristol explored the growing gap between our thriving capitalist economy and our unraveling bourgeois culture. Regarding the economy, he showed how capitalism had produced a widely shared prosperity that put paid to arguments in favor of the socialist alternative. Regarding the culture, he showed how succeeding waves of elitist opposition to our inherited moral, aesthetic, and spiritual standards had issued finally in a nihilistic anti-culture, hostile not only to religion, family, patriotism and traditional morality, but even to the promise of enlightenment reason itself.

American Enterprise Institute [pdf]