Spiritual Capitalism

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					Spiritual Capitalism
Nicholas Capaldi
American Conservative; Jun 2010; 9, 6; Docstoc
pg. 13

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Description: Curiously, this culture is hardly understood even by those surrounded by it. There are two reasons for that. First, defenders of the liberal order have often unwittingly adopted the framework of their enemies, who in turn have defined liberalism by the silliest things that Jeremy Bentham, Ayn Rand, John Rawls, and Robert Nozick have said. Second, and even worse, the use of "social science" to explain human relations has blinded scholars to the true sources of this philosophy. Having abandoned Weber for [Karl Marx], Durkheim, Freud, and deconstruction, social scientists totally miss the spiritual roots of the liberal order. They presume a secular outlook in which religious belief is just another misguided epiphenomenon, and who wants to base a liberal order on that?From the socialists Owen, Fourier, Proudhon, Louis Blanc, Saint-Simon, and Marx in the 19th century to a whole host of other writers in the 20th century and perhaps President Obama now, thinkers in this tradition have sought "more equal" opportunity, a "fairer" distribution of wealth, and the reorganization of society into smaller communities. They disagree on exactly how to transform the present system and fall to provide an explicit account of how the new structure will function. They, like [Phillip Blond], describe what a new economy should accomplish but not how. What one senses above all in these writers is an adversarial relation to whatever they take the present system to be, a moral critique in which it is necessary to identify both "bad guys" and "victims.''Is a free society really so atomized and alienating? Going back to [John Locke], and as we are reminded by Tocqueville, the real defenders of the liberal order have acknowledged that a civil association functions best when it rests upon a larger culture within which individuals voluntarily choose to join subsidiary enterprise associations such as a family, church, or local organizations. These sub-enterprise associations provide the spiritual c
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