The Virtue of Prosperity

Date: Wed Mar 14 2001 - 14:55:32 MST

contains a book review of Dinesh D'Souza's new book "The Virtue of
Prosperity" - review by Jeffrey Tucker, vice president of the Mises Institute.

a few selected quotes from the review:

"The author takes on the role of a roving sociologist who presents the
arguments both ways, conceding good points and refuting bad ones along the
way. At each stage in the argument, he offers interesting new twists on the
old debate over the cultural consequences of capitalism. He concludes that
prosperity brings social and even spiritual blessings that too casually are
overlooked. He makes the case that it is possible for people to uphold
ancient virtues in an advanced, capitalist society. "


"What about the supposed loss of the old world and the old neighborhood where
people lived in communion with God, nature, and one another? DíSouza ponders
the real-world traits that built the "old community" and reduces them to
three: ethnic identity, economic necessity, and the threat of conflict. The
old community was not so much a product of free association, in his view, but
rather a reflection of ever-present physical and material threats that caused
small group of ethnically and religiously homogeneous people to band together
for mutual self-protection. Because these threats have dissipated, so have
the social structures that formed in response to them."


"On the topic of community solidarity, the book contains an interesting
revelation: Sociologist Daniel Bell, the original member of the Party of Nah,
apparently is no longer willing to defend his thesis that capitalism contains
internal "contradictions" that lead to its undoing. "Morality has never been
in very good shape," he tells DíSouza, and capitalist prosperity has not made
it any worse. When DíSouza asks about Bell's famous thesis concerning the
relationship between capitalism and social decay, Bell responds with visible
annoyance: "Donít talk to me about that. . . . Itís all bullshit." "


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:40 MDT