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1. The trouble with a free market economy is that it requires so many policemen to make it work.

Dean Acheson (1893-1971) U.S. statesman. Quoted in Observer (London) (May 26, 1985)


2. Capital must be propelled by self-interest; it cannot be enticed by benevolence.

Walter Bagehot (1826-77) British economist and journalist. Economic Studies (1880)


3. Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell.

Frank Borman (b.1928) U.S. astronaut and business executive. Remark (April 21, 1986)


4. The dynamics of capitalism is postponement of enjoyment to the consultancy postponed future.

Norman O. Brown (1913-2002) U.S. cultural critic. Love’s Body (1966)


5. We accept and welcome, therefore, as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of environment, the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few, and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but essential for the future progress of the race.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) U.S. industrialist and philanthropist. “Wealth,” North American Review (June 1889)


6. The pursuit of modern life is economic and the fundamental principle of economic production is individual independence.

Chen Duxiu (1879-1942) Chinese scholar and reformer. The New Youth (December 1916)


7. Capitalism still possesses quite substantial and far from exhausted resources.

Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko (1911-85) Soviet president. Quoted in “Sayings of the Week,” Observer (London) (June 23, 1984)


8. Predatory capitalism created a complex industrial system and an advanced technology; it permitted a considerable extension of democratic practice and fostered certain liberal values, but within limits that are now being pressed and must be overcome.

Noam Chomsky (b.1928) U.S. linguist and political activist. For Reasons of State (1973)


9. The chief business of the American people is business.

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) U.S. president. 1925. New York Times (2000)


10. One of the things about the free enterprise capitalism system is that life is brutal.

Bernard Cornfeld (1927-95) U.S. business executive. Interview. Daily Mail (London) (January 17, 1970)


11. If there is a man on this earth who is entitled to all the comforts and luxuries of this life…It is the man whose labor produces them…Does he get them in the present system?

Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) U.S. politician and labor union leader. Speech at Girard, Kansas. “The Issue” (May 23, 1908)


12. Capitalism is truly miraculous. What other system enables us to cooperate with millions of other people…in an incredible, complex web of commercial transactions?

Steve Forbes (b.1947) U.S. publishing executive. “Three  Cheers for Capitalism,” Imprimis (September 1993)


13. Capitalism works better than any of us can conceive. It is also the only truly moral system of exchange. It encourages individuals to devote their energies…to the satisfaction of others’ wants and needs.

Steve Forbes (b.1947) U.S. publishing executive. “Three  Cheers for Capitalism,” Imprimis (September 1993)


14. One of the dynamics of capitalism is that because it’s in constant change, there are always people who feel they’re going to be hurt by change and are going to resist it.

Steve Forbes (b.1947) U.S. publishing executive. February 1991. Interview, Reason Magazine (May 1991)


15. It is in the very design of democratic capitalist countries like the United States that the most talented and ambitious natures should tend to go into business rather than into politics, the military, universities, or the church.

Francis Fukuyama (b.1952) U.S. economist and writer. The End of History and the Last Man (1991)


16. Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil. Capital in some form or other will always be needed.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian nationalist leader and philosopher. Harijan (1940)


17. This is called capitalism. We create a product called Windows. Who decides what’s in Windows. It’s the customers who buy Windows.

Bill gates (b.1955) U.S. entrepreneur, chairman and C.E.O. of Microsoft. Wall Street Journal (October 1997)


18. In the capitalist urban milieu…the routinisation of the day-to-day activities is stripped away from tradition…they become matters of habit or of “dull economic compulsion.”

Anthony Giddens (b.1938) British sociologist and author. A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism (1985)


19. The prevailing theory of capitalism suffers from one central and disabling flaw, a profound distrust and incomprehension of capitalism.

George Gilder (b.1939) U.S. economist. The Spirit of Enterprise (1984)


20. Much of what we took for granted in our free-market system was not nature at all, but culture. The dismantling of the central planning function did not, as some had supposed, automatically establish market capitalism.

Alan Greenspan (b.1926) U.S. economist and chairman of U.S. Federal Reserve Board. Quoted in “Genuflecting at  the Altar of Market Economics,” International Herald Tribune (July 14, 1997)


21. I have said to the people we mean to have less of Government in business as well as more business in Government.

Warren Harding (1865-1923) U.S. president. Speech to Congress on April 12, 1921. East Valley Tribune (2000)


22. Capitalism, as practiced is a financially profitable, non-sustainable aberration in human development.

Paul Hawken (b.1946?) U.S. entrepreneur and business author. Natural Capitalism (co-written with Amory B. Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins; 1999)


23. The system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.

Friedrich August Von Hayek (1899-1992) British economist. The Road to Serfdom (1944), ch. 8


24. It does not, it destroys some things and distorts others: it makes new separations, based on privilege and buying power, differences which increase social divisions.

Richard Hoggart (b.1918) British academic, cultural critic, and author. Discussing the argument that the “market solves, decides, and justifies all.” The Way We Live Now (1995), pt. 1, ch. 1


25. It is just as important that business keep out of government as that government keep out of business.

Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) U.S. president. October 22, 1928. Quoted in East Valley Tribune (2000)


26. Co-operative capitalism does not spontaneously emerge from free markets-it needs to be designed.

Will Hutton (b.1950) British author and newspaper editor. The State We’re In (1995)


27. Successful capitalism demands a fusion of co-operation and competition and a means of grafting such a hybrid into the soil of the economic, political and social system.

Will Hutton (b.1950) British author and newspaper editor. The State We’re In (1995)


28. The great challenge of the twentieth century…is to create a new financial architecture in which private decisions produce a less degenerate capitalism.

Will Hutton (b.1950) British author and newspaper editor. The State We’re In (1995)


29. Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence-these are the three pillars of Western prosperity.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) British novelist and essayist. Island (1962), ch. 9


30. Capitalism, wisely managed, can probably be made more efficient for attaining economic ends than any alternative system yet in sight.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) British economist. The End of Laissez-Faire (1926)


31. Market competition is the only form of organization which can afford a large measure of freedom to the individual.

Frank H. Knight (1885-1972) U.S. economist. Freedom and Reform (1947), ch.13


32. The wealth of societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails appears as an “immense collection of commodities”; the individual commodity appears as its elementary form.

Karl Marx (1818-83) German political and economic philosopher. Opening line. Das Kapital (1867), vol. 1


33. We have an undeveloped democracy and overdeveloped plutocracy.

Ralph Nader (b.1934) U.S. lawyer and consumer-rights campaigner. Economist (1996)


34. I do believe that capitalism is inherently Darwinian and that a totally free market is ultimately inhumane, because you’ll have what happened in the 19th century-a kind of piling up of profits at the very top…there should be some kind of safety net, we should not tolerate, in an affluent society, extreme levels of poverty or deprivation.

Camille Paglia (b.1947) U.S> academic, educator and writer. Interview, Reason Magazine (August-September 1995)


35. Capitalism is an art form, an Apollonian fabrication to rival nature.. Everyone born into capitalism has incurred a debt to it. Give Caesar his due.

Camille Paglia (b.1947) U.S. academic, educator and writer. Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990)


36.  Our democratic capitalist society has converted Eros into an employee of Mammon.

Octavio Paz (1914-98) Mexican writer. Attrib.


37. Capitalism with near-full employment was an impressive sight.

Joan Robinson (1903-83) British economist. “The Second Crisis of Economic Theory,” The Second Crisis of Economic Theory (Rendings Fels, ed.; 1972)


38. Capitalism is a hotel. Its penthouse suites are always filled, but not necessarily with the same people.

Paul Samuelson (b.1915) U.S. economist and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Economics. U.S. News & World Report (July 1986)


39. Few ideas are as capitalist as profit-sharing, which rewards with part of a company’s earnings the people who help generate this blessed surplus.

Ricardo Semler (b.1959) Brazilian business executive and president of Semco. Maverick! (1993)


40. Social opportunities of education and health care, which may require public action, complement individual opportunities of economic and political participation and also help to foster our own initiatives in overcoming our respective deprivations.

Amartya Sen (b.1933) Indian economist and winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics. Development as Freedom (1999)


41. The twentieth century has established democratic and participatory governance as the preeminent model of political organization. Concepts of human rights and political liberty are now…part of the prevailing rhetoric.

Amartya Sen (b.1933) Indian economist and winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics. Development as Freedom (1999)


42. While there are successes of market economies, there are also needs for supplementation in other fields in terms of public intervention, in terms of political participation, and so forth.

Amartya Sen (b.1933) Indian economist and winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics. Interview, Newshour, Online Focus (PBS; October 15, 1998)


43. The ideology of capitalism makes us all connoisseurs of liberty-of the indefinite expansion of possibility.

Susan Sontag (b.1933) U.S. novelist and essayist. Aids and its Metaphors (1989), ch. 7


44. My critique of the global capitalist system has three major themes. First, the system favors financial capital but financial markes even more so. Second, the excessive reliance on market values and their penetration into areas where they do not properly belong has undermined the stability of our society. Third, we cannot have a global economy without a global society.

George Soros (b.1930) U.S. financier, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, New York City. “The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered” (December 10, 1998)


45. War is capitalism with the gloves off.

Tom Stoppard (b.1937) British playwright and screenwriter. Travesties (1974), Act 1


46. The spread of capitalism needs to be tempered by public purpose: by policies…institutions and agreements that give businesses and people a clear framework in which to operate…the same must be true at the global level.

Lawrence H. Summers (b.1954) U.S. president of Harvard University, economist, and politician. Speech, School for Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C. “Rising to the Challenge of Global Economic Integration” (September 20, 2000)


47. Private property is a necessary institution, at least in a fallen world; men work more and dispute less when goods are private than when they are in common.

Richard Tawney (1880-1962) British economic historian and social critic. Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926), ch. 1, sect. 1


48. Running other companies out of business and gaining market share is what capitalistic competition is all about. Efficiency and lower prices flow from that all-out economic life-and-death struggle.

Lester Thurow (b.1938) U.S> economist, management theorist, and writer. “Microsoft Case is about a Good Capitalist Practice: Running Your Competitor out of Business,” (November 3, 1999)


49. Economic acquisition is no longer subordinated to man as the means for the satisfaction of his material needs. evidently as definite a leading principle of capitalism as it is foreign to all peoples not under capitalist influence.

Max Weber (1864-1920) German economist and sociologist. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-05)


50. Man is dominated by the making of money, by acquisition as the ultimate purpose of his life.

Max Weber (1864-1920) German economist and sociologist. Referring to the impact of capitalism. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-05)


51. What breaks capitalism, all that will ever break capitalism is capitalists.

Raymond Williams (1921-88) British academic, critic, and novelist. Loyalties (1985)


52. Sometimes it’s tough for African Americans to embrace capitalism.

Deborah Wright (b.1958) U.S. C.E.O of Carver Federal Savings and former president of Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. “The Players,” Fortune (Eileen Gunn; April 1997)