Acton Institute Powerblog

Acton Commentary: The End of Capitalism?

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Dire predictions about the “death of capitalism” reveal a deep ignorance about the nature of the current economic crisis — technical and moral. “Markets are the combined activities of millions of individuals and families,” Michael Miller writes in this week’s Acton Commentary. “They are not composed merely of some guys on Wall Street; they are made up by us.”

Read the commentary over at Acton’s website, and share your thoughts and comments here.

Brittany Hunter


  • Tom Grey

    While I fully agree that ‘market economy’, or the ‘free market’ is what moral people should defend, there is a ‘capitalism’ that is an important subset of the market economy.

    Most corporations are founded on prior accumulated capital, and the owners of that capital hire managers who job is to increase the value of the capital.

    Generally, the most successful managers treat the workers as ‘means’ to the end: higher profit for the capitalist.

    This has many positive aspects for society, for consumers, and thru competitive higher wages even for workers, but there is an amorality about it.

    Gov’t regulations more often make it worse. The Sarbanes-Oxley financial regulations, which Bear Stearns was following, probably provided false security to those managers looking to maximize short term profit.

  • Paul

    Capitalism is not the culprit here – fraud and irresponsible borrowing and spending on the part of both individuals and govts IS.

    That the gov’t was about as effective
    in detecting and doing something about
    folks like Bernie Madoff, as it was in
    preventing the 9/11 WTC attacks – in both cases there were warning signs which were ignored – certainly didn’t help things.

    And lastly, spending 2-3 trillion USD to hang one man(who had nothing to do with 9/11), combined with the printing
    of fiat currency that is effectively created out of thin air and backed by nothing, isn’t sound monetary policy.

    None of this can be blamed on capitalism itself, but rather on poor choices, greed resulting in excessive risk-taking and/or the nefarious actions of individuals – individuals
    working alone, working(or perhaps more accurately, failing to work) within a financial institution, or working(or
    failing to work) in a gov’t position.

  • james

    First of all the views I have scrutinized is shallow at most. We must first go to the root of what or whom is behind capitalism. If one views that the root is money, that is true in part. If one views money and the entity behind the money, that is again true and also only in part. To get to the truth, one must see this picture: MONEY/ENTITY(person or group)/GOVERNMENT(type or leader)/FINANCIER OF GOVERNMENTS (donators *leader’s friends & supporters) (World Bank *governments borrow money from this bank). With this picture in mind, one can see whom is truly running the show. If you find the men behind the World Bank and insert the names all the way down the list of the mentioned picture, only then will you see why there are the bailouts being talked about and all the mysteries of the “Wall Street”, “Institutions” “Policies”, etc. will then be answered. Frankly these people are in cohorts and know each other in some form or manner, so please save yourselves the trouble in figuring out this riddle in idle talk. Identify these people and all your questions will be answered.
    Thank you for the opportunity to leave this comment. I truly hope you will post it.

  • sedonaman


    I agree with you, and would add that one of my pet gripes is that while greed is universally blamed for a lot, envy never is, even though it plays as much, if not more, of a role as greed.