In this week’s Acton Commentary, “The middle class in an age of inequality,” I wonder who will defend the bourgeois virtues, if anyone will “speak out in praise of mediocrity, stability, and predictability.”
Deirdre McCloskey has spent a great deal of time exploring and extolling the bourgeois virtues. Over the last decade she’s composed a lengthy trilogy of volumes dedicated to these issues: The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce (2006); Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World (2010); and Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World (2016).
The most recent issue of Faith & Economics has a symposium focused on Bourgeois Equality. The latest issue of the Journal of Markets & Morality also includes a review of this volume (Bourgois Virtues was also previously reviewed in JMM).
Check out McCloskey’s page on “The Bourgeois Era” for these and other resources related to understanding and defending the bourgeois virtues.