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Free Minds & Free Markets

Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on entrepreneurship, snobbery, and the minimum wage

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey© Darren Carroll/Corbis Outline"Intellectuals have always disdained commerce," says Whole Foods Market co-founder John Mackey. They "have always sided with the aristocrats to maintain a society where the businesspeople were kept down." Having helped create the global grocery chain intellectuals arguably like best, Mackey has evolved into one of capitalism's most persuasive champions, making the moral, practical, and even spiritual case that free exchange ennobles all who participate.

More than any other retailer, Whole Foods has reconfigured what and how America eats. Since opening its first store in Austin, Texas, in 1980, the company has helped its customers develop a taste for high-quality meats, produce, cheeses, and wines, as well as for information about where all the stuff gets sourced. Mackey, 62, continues to set the pace for what's expected in organic and sustainably harvested food.

Because of Whole Foods' educated customer base and because Mackey is himself a vegan and a champion of collaboration between management and workers, it's easy to mistake him for a progressive left-winger. Indeed, an early version of Jonah Goldberg's bestselling 2008 book Liberal Fascism even bore the subtitle "The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods."

Yet that misses the radical vision of capitalism at the heart of Mackey's thought. A high-profile critic of the minimum wage, Obamacare, and the regulatory state, Mackey believes that free markets are the best way not only to raise living standards but to create meaning for individuals, communities, and society. At the same time, he challenges a number of libertarian dogmas, including the notion that publicly traded companies should always seek to exclusively maximize shareholder value. Conscious Capitalism, the 2013 book he co-authored with Rajendra Sisodia, lays out a detailed vision for a post-industrial capitalism that addresses spiritual desire as much as physical need.

Reason TV's Nick Gillespie talked with Mackey earlier this summer at FreedomFest in Las Vegas. To see the full video, go to reason.com. (Disclosure: Whole Foods Market is a supporter of Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this magazine.)

reason: You believe capitalism is not only the greatest wealth creator but helps poor people get rich. But you see it as constantly being misrepresented, even by its champions. Why is capitalism under attack?

John Mackey: Intellectuals have always disdained commerce. That is something that tradesmen did—people that were in a lower class. Minorities oftentimes did it, like you had the Jews in the West. And when they became wealthy and successful and rose, then they were envied, they were persecuted and their wealth confiscated, and many times they were run out of country after country. Same thing happened with the Chinese in the East. They were great businesspeople as well.

So the intellectuals have always sided with the aristocrats to maintain a society where the businesspeople were kept down. You might say that capitalism was the first time that businesspeople caught a break. Because of Adam Smith and the philosophy that came along with that, the industrial revolution began this huge upward surge of prosperity.

reason: Is it a misunderstanding of what business does? Is it envy? Is it a lack of capacity to understand that what entrepreneurs do, or what innovators do, is take a bunch of things that might not be worth much separately and then they transform them? What is the root of the antagonism toward commerce?

Mackey: It's sort of where people stand in the social hierarchy. If you live in a more business-oriented society, like the United States has been, then you have these businesspeople, who [the intellectuals] don't judge to be very intelligent or well-educated, having lots of money—and they begin to buy political power with it, and they rise in the social hierarchy. Whereas the really intelligent people, the intellectuals, are less important. And I don't think they like that.

(Interview trancript continues below.)

That's one of the main reasons the intellectuals have usually disdained commerce. They haven't seen it [as a] dynamic, creative force, because they measure themselves against these people, and they think they're superior, and yet in the social hierarchy they're not seen as more important. I think that drives them crazy.

reason: A lot of the times the businesspeople are plucky upstarts—they're innovators, they're disruptive, and they're fighting against the power. But once they get to a certain point of influence or power, they often start to try and rig the market or freeze the market in their favor. Why is that?

Mackey: I don't know if it's a psychological switch so much as that they weren't necessarily grounded in the philosophy of capitalism. They weren't necessarily advocates of the free market. They were just advocates of their own advancement, their own personal enrichment. And so I think oftentimes, they don't make a distinction between when they're entrepreneurs on the way up versus when they've arrived. They're attempting to not fall, so they try to rig the game, and we have crony capitalism.

reason: We live in an age where there are an unbelievable amount of government mandates that restrict the ability of business owners and employees to really negotiate about stuff. Some are things as obvious as the minimum wage, where it says, "Under no circumstances can a business offer somebody less than this amount." How do these affect your ability to run a business in an extremely competitive market?

Mackey: The impetus behind so many of these types of regulations in the workplace is, in a sense, to shackle business again—to get it back under the control of the intellectuals. Just like commerce: If you study the history of business, you will see that most of the time in our history, commerce was controlled by the aristocrats. The merchants were kept under their thumb. And now they've escaped and we have this free-market ideology that says the market should determine all these things. They're systematically undermining that marketplace to get business back, get the genie back in the bottle.

Of course, that will stifle innovation. It'll stifle the dynamic creative destruction of capitalism. But I don't think they're thinking about it that way. They're very concerned about the motives of business, and they see it as this selfish, greedy, exploitative thing. Businesspeople can't be trusted, markets aren't just, they're not fair, so we need to intervene, we need to control this situation.

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  • Fairbanks||

    I like Mackey and his views on capitalism, but he loses me on his view of conscious capitalism and what implications it has for guiding a business. Is it more than just act ethically and in a way that gets stakeholders to help your business perform well? Perhaps I'd get adequate insight if I read his book, but when I saw that the book states that it's "imperative" for a conscious leader to eat a wholesome diet that includes no more than 10% animal products I took a pass.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I'm confident in my belief that my diet and how I run my business have virtually nothing to do with each other. Even smart people have crazy beliefs, unfortunately. I am not interested in Mackey's book because my own views on the topic are fully-developed and I'm not looking for his advice.

  • sarcasmic||

    Intellectuals feel that the economy is something to be created by themselves and their friends in government, as opposed to something that spontaneously evolves from the actions of individuals.

    Yet these economic creationists will soundly mock anyone who disagrees with evolution.

    I guess they're too smart to be intellectually consistent.

  • MokFarin||

    First, I have to disagree with the terminology he uses. It's not "intellectuals," it is more the political caste with a mix of academic and media interests. There are a lot of intellectuals that don't think this way.

    And this political caste doesn't believe that the economy is created by and for themselves and their friends - they believe that they know better than the average joe in all aspects of his life. If the A.J. doesn't buy a widget, it isn't because they don't want it, oh no. It has to be because the A.J. has been duped by someone, somewhere. Therefore, government intervention must be included because the widget is for the children or some other nonsense.

    The controls the governments are placing on businesses have little to nothing to do with the commerce itself. It has everything to do with perception, power, and control.

  • Win Bear||

    Yes, almost all intellectuals think this way. Read Thomas Sowell's "Intellectuals and Society".

  • MokFarin||

    The people who think this way boast that they are intellectuals. The people who don't think this way are actually intellectual and don't often go around boasting that they are such.

    Overgeneralizing smears the problem and makes it more difficult to solve.

  • Bern-o-Matic 5000||

    The first mistake is categorizing these people as "intellectual," unless we're defining that term to include morally self-righteous people who have no coherent political philosophy, no understanding of economics, and disdain for about 50-75% of the population.

  • RoninX||

    It depends on your definition of an "intellectual". Among academics, there's a huge gulf between the humanities/social sciences and engineering/computer science faculty when it comes to attitudes toward capitalism (with physical/biological scientists being somewhere in the middle).

    Professors in the humanities and social sciences overwhelmingly view capitalism (or at least "unrestrained capitalism") as a malign force in society. Professors in engineering and computer science often have close ties to industry, and many have started their own companies. That doesn't mean that they're all libertarians, of course, but at least they have no inherent hostility towards capitalism and markets.

    Of course, the close ties between Stanford and Silicon Valley are well known, but even a famously left-wing university like Berkeley has a lot of engineering/CS professors involved with start-ups and other tech companies.

  • dchang0||

    They're too morally self-righteous to be consistent in anything except the belief that they're better than everyone else.

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    Thomas Sowell wrote a book on this very subject, "Intellectuals and Society." Good read, 5 chips out of 5.

    The burden the intellectual faces is self-imposed, and as with all self-imposed labels or classes, there is always the smug condescension and paternalism used as the impetus of all relevant arguments.

    "What did you expect? "Welcome, sonny"? "Make yourself at home"? "Marry my daughter"? You've got to remember that these are just simple intellectuals. These are people of the Ivory Tower. The common clay of the new Left. You know... morons."

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    The nobility have always hated money because money creates a meritocracy and social mobility, diametrically opposed to the fixed hierarchy of nobility. Money exposes the noble lineage story for the sham it is, therefore they had to shun it, and dealing with money was one of the few dirty grubby occupations left available to all outcasts, including the Jews he mentions. He also mentions the Chinese doing the same, of which I know little, but I do know that Japanese feudal society was divided into four castes, with merchants at the bottom, I am sure for the same reason.

    University intellectuals are the modern equivalent of nobility, with tenure and Ivy League lineage replacing bloodlines. Money exposes them for the sham leaders they are, and they hates it, they despises it, and they do everything in their power to demonize it.

  • the other Jim||

    Spot on. I would add that in addition to hating money and those who have it, many intellectuals I have known personally (and I mean "intellectual" in the lifestyle sense more than in the "really smart people" sense) also crave money, though not always openly. The ones I have in mind always seemed very aware of how much other people have, how much they have, and the purported imbalance between the two. I think they see wealth as akin to a grading system, in which "the economy" labels them as C students because they don't have much money. And in turn, they seem to take this as a moral judgment being levied on them, when all it really is is a reflection of their productivity relative to other people's.

    Anyway, it's the best explanation I've come up with for why the intellectuals I have known seem so resentful of anyone who has more money than they do, even as they claim to scorn materialism.

  • DarrenM||

    ... intellectuals I have known seem so resentful of anyone who has more money than they do, even as they claim to scorn materialism.

    Or they are just offended that everyone else is not also scorning materialism and feel compelled to force their moral philosophy on the world.

  • dchang0||

    I think a better term for such people is "elitist." It just so happens that elitists consider themselves to be intellectuals and present themselves as such (and yet, their behaviors often reveal them to be otherwise). They certainly believe they are elite and seek elevation above their peers, which includes craving for money (while putting on the pretense of not craving money or material goods).

    True intellectuals are often quite humble because they know how little they know; I have met a few, and these had little craving for money and much more craving for knowledge of the truth/reality.

  • Dilligaf||

    +10 on this. True intellectuals are often, (although by no means always), very humble and down to earth. The smartest people I have ever met, in other words - those unicorn rare, delightful to hang out with and talk to, genuine intellectuals. The kind that never flaunt or even mention their "credentials", unless by accident or afterthought. And in the real world you can always tell the difference inside of 2 minutes. "Elitist" does seem much more accurate in this context. There was a Hayek quote on this that comes to mind. "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about that which they imagine they can design." - Friedrich Hayek; The Errors of Socialism, 1988.

  • Curt2004||

    +100

  • Cloudbuster||

    I am surprised that there is much resistance among libertarians to Mackey's "do well by doing" good philosophy, as long as he's not supporting government mandate to force business to operate that way.

    The essence of libertarian politics is that you have the right to do what you want with your time, property and resources. If you want to run a business that focuses more on nurturing and empowering your employees, that's your right. If you want to simply maximize shareholder value, that's also your right.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    I think much of the reaction is being habituated to proggies "thou must" backed up by coercive government.

  • dchang0||

    I agree. When faced with the question, "who will take care of the less fortunate in society," libertarians typically respond with:

    a) nobody--they should take care of themselves
    b) other individuals, through voluntary charitable giving of their time and their own money (not public money)

    Well, along comes Mackey who is living and doing b), and yet he is slammed for it... I suppose some libertarians say b) and really mean a).

  • Michael||

    Mackey can do whatever he likes in regards to taking care of society's less fortunate. My problem with him is that he propagates the myth that "organic" food is somehow more beneficial to health, thus giving ammunition to the statists that subscribe to such hokum and desire to enshrine it in law.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Well, it's a very successful marketing pitch for him. Taking his word for something like that is like taking the barber's word for it when he says you need a haircut. I can't really blame the barber for trying to entice people into a few more haircuts

    He really can't be blamed if activists use his statements to push particular public policy, as long as he doessn't himself (I don't know: does he?). The people to blame are the politicians, bureaucrats and activists themselves.

    Just like, when a bunch of idiots spend their money on "healing crystals," they have only themselves to blame, not the guy hawking "healing crystals." I get pretty tired of people blaming other people for their own stupidity and gullibility.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    It seems like I'm speaking an alien language when I try to explain to liberal friends that while a business exists to make a profit, it goes a long way towards that by having happy, satisfied customers. A business which drives away customers is not successful where competition exists.

  • Ghetto Slovak Goatherder||

    EXACTLY. The same can also be said about a business which drives away employees.

    This:

    "reason: Some of the hardest people to convince of your vision of capitalism are libertarians who believe what Milton Friedman, one of your intellectual heroes, used to talk about-that the only responsibility of a business is to increase its shareholders' values..

    Mackey: I get quite a bit of resistance. And it's a shame, because if you think about what really empowers the left to put high living-wage compensation, or minimum wages, or mandates of a bunch of benefits, or additional regulations on the business, it's because they don't think business is "good." They think business exists simply to maximize shareholder value and make profits. So if that's really the motivation for business, if it's not a more inclusive philosophy, then they feel quite justified in hamstringing business. Because they're basically a bunch of psychopaths running around trying to line their own pockets; we can't trust them to do the right thing, so we're going to have to do it for them..."

    Is a total false dichotomy. Milton and Macket are both correct. It's the job of a business to maximize profits, but cheap labor with 0 productivity is more expensive than costly labor with more-than-costly productivity.

  • Ghetto Slovak Goatherder||

    Mackey*

  • SimonD||

    Also, a lot of these 'intellectuals' can't grasp the concept that shareholder value is not an instant snapshot. While using dishonest practices and underpaying employees may increase profits right now, they will reduce value in the long term by driving away customers and talented employees. Therefore, 'good' business practices DO maximize shareholder value.

    Also, a stakeholder's version of maximizing value may involve other things than only Return on Investment. They may consider charity work, and paying relatively high wages to increase the personal value of their stake. Value is not the same for everyone.

    The problem is that Ivy League run, prog-infested Wall Street is only concerned with a simplistic version of 'value' and they control a large percentage of capital. So, unsurprisingly, the progs are demanding more power and more control and more money to solve a problem that they created themselves.

  • elfprince13||

    "he challenges a number of libertarian dogmas, including the notion that publicly traded companies should always seek to exclusively maximize shareholder value"

    This isn't a libertarian dogma, it's an objectivist dogma. Libertarian dogma is "aggression is inherently unjust". Objectivist dogma is "being a selfish dickhead makes the world better, and anyone who disagrees has no rights". I realize the audiences overlap, but Reason should know better than this.

  • JJM||

    Completely agree with this. Also, I don't disagree with Mackey's contention that the focus on only shareholder profits being a net negative for Capitalism as a whole. I for one, would have no problem investing in a company redirected a substantial part of it's profits towards addressing a variety of issues that I care about. Like for instance, a retailer that purposely sets up shop in economically depressed neighborhoods bringing jobs and services to people who need them and still returning a marginal profit. I don't need every investment I make to have huge margin if I believe in the companies mission.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Long before the shock of Lyndon Johnson's declaration of victory over Goldwater and the sorrow of becoming a widow, Ayn Rand explicitly spelled out the non-aggression principle in a letter to Linda Lynneberg on April 17, 1947. She wrote that "if men merely agree that no man or number of men have the right to initiate the use of force against any human being (and that includes the forcible seizure of his property), that they have no such right for any purpose whatsoever, at any time whatsoever—that would be all we need..." Like all creative innovators, Ayn made mistakes outside her field of specialization. Yet the mystical altruism she criticized was, when she wrote those words, also on trial in Nuremberg. Ayn Rand was a prime mover for the Libertarian Party while at the peak of her ability. This was 9002 days (20.6 yrs) before the LP was formed. Richard Nixon passed a law to subsidize all anti-libertarian parties 9001 days (a prime number) after she penned that letter. If Ayn was the prime mover, Nixon and the Republican and Democratic Congress are the prime stoppers.

  • elfprince13||

    "if men merely agree that no man or number of men have the right to initiate the use of force against any human being (and that includes the forcible seizure of his property), that they have no such right for any purpose whatsoever, at any time whatsoever—that would be all we need..." is in direct contradiction with "having failed for millennia to create a heroically productive capitalist society, deserved to be stripped of their land." or "had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages .... Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights – they didn't have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal "cultures" – they didn't have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using." or "any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent."

  • DarrenM||

    Good interview.

  • JenniferKane||

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  • John C. Randolph||

    I dispute the use of the term "intellectuals" to describe uppity leftards with bullshit academic credentials.

    -jcr

  • Hyperbolical (wadair)||

    I agree with this. There are many knowledgeable people who would fit Thomas Sowell's definition of an intellectual who are smart enough to know how little they know. On the other hand, there are too many who fancy themselves as knowledgeable who, in fact, know very little about the workings of the world outside of their ivory towers. With all due respect to Thomas Sowell, there are intellectuals who do not fit his characterization (himself as an example).

  • VonZorch||

    I rather like Heinlein's definition of an intellrctual, "one who has been educated past thier intelligence."

  • SimonD||

    My preferred Heinlein definition is "an intellectual is a highly educated man who can't do arithmetic with his shoes on, and is proud of his lack".

    It came from 'The Cat Who Walks Through Walls', I think.

    Plus I always thought that an intellectual is a person who makes a living by intellectual pursuits. Teacher, writer, researcher, etc.

  • Dana||

    If it were not for all of the inconsiderate, selfish, self-absorbed hippies that shop there, I would go more often. Hopefully they read this article and regular people can partake of the great stuff at Whole Foods.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Hey! I represent that comment!

  • SimonD||

    I have a restricted diet (due to congenital heart defects) so Whole Foods (and Trader Joe's) are Godsends to me. I actually make a 75-mile round trip once every six weeks or so to shop at the two stores. They both carry special merchandise that I can't find anywhere else.

  • Babylonandon||

    The real problem with Intellectuals is that they are mostly instinctive followers of George Fitzhugh - America's First Socialist.

    "The principle of slavery is in itself right, and does not depend on difference of complexion", "Nature has made the weak in mind or body slaves ... The wise and virtuous, the strong in body and mind, are born to command", and "The Declaration of Independence is exuberantly false, and aborescently fallacious." Dec. 1855.

  • Matt Q||

    I don't think everyone is created equal, if that's what your referring to; neither should anyone who believes in free markets.

  • Robes Pierre||

    His understanding of history seems to be a bit off. Since the Enlightenment, 'aristocrats', 'business men', and 'intellectuals, for that matter, have been more or less the same people.

    Pre-Enlightenment his image is also inaccurate.

    I would be interested in hearing specific examples from him that might clarify his statement.

  • ||

    John D. Rockefeller = "business man;" Queen Victoria = "aristocrat;" John Stuart Mill = "intellectual"

    Charles Dickens is an excellent example of pro-aristocrat, anti-business propaganda (19th century Tory party); Elizabeth Gaskill (North and South) an excellent example of someone who was pro-business and more critical of the aristocracy (i.e. a "liberal").

    The US has less of an "aristocracy" per se, so this is less of a stark line here, but it still exists - intellectuals long for the nobility of the patronage system and affect to despise base capitalism and its money-grubbing ways, and left wing politicians are only too happy to step into the role of the new aristocrats with the assistance of the "intellectuals."

  • Robes Pierre||

    Yet in the English Enlightenment, the aristocrats and the 'businessmen' were the same people. The 'intellectuals' were almost entirely aristocrats and businessmen.
    Voltaire was famously all three.
    Over three quarters of the pre-revolutionary French aristocracy were 'businessmen' who had bought their nobility from Louis XIV or XV, the noblesse de robe.
    In American History, the founding fathers were almost exclusively businessmen, aristocrats and intellectuals.
    Am I mistaken, or is most patronage in the modern United States a bipartisan affair and 'businessmen' who benefit the most?
    What would you reckon the amount of patronage in local, state and federal level, that goes to 'intellectuals' as opposed to 'businessmen'?
    Where does this strange view of poor 'businessmen' as victims of 'intellectuals' who control the machinery of government come from?

  • Robes Pierre||

    Example:

    Would you say this was patronage for an 'intellectual'?

    http://www.newsobserver.com/ne.....20100.html

  • CR||

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  • Matt Q||

    So the intellectuals have always sided with the aristocrats to maintain a society where the businesspeople were kept down.

    I admire Mackey's business, but this is pretty much fantasy claptrap. Nobody in modern society thinks in these terms with these cultural identities; it would take someone living hundreds of years to maintain that sense of identity and experiences to shape such thoughts as "I am an intellectual and I must keep businesspeople down".

    - An intellectual

  • Hank Phillips||

    Disclosure: Mackey's company once hired me to translate an employee manual and I shop there often.
    Statement: Much as I like the guy, I suspect he confuses intellectuals with what Heinlein called the "conoscenti and intelligentzia"--unproductive congregants of Italian fascism unable to differentiate a constant or understand how units of work are measured. Our generation is top-heavy with burger-flippers who majored in psychology, believe everything they see on teevee, and turn around hopefully whenever someone says "intellectual," imagining against all evidence that they themselves are being addressed.

  • onebornfree||

    Live Free[er]?

    Dear Reason reader,

    one of the most personal freedom- damaging beliefs you can have [one of many :-)] , is the belief in the necessity, and the effectiveness, of political involvement - to supposedly "improve" your own life and the lives of others via the political process.

    Fact: as an individual you will _never_ enjoy a freer life for yourself until you completely reject the "drug", "religion" [ or whatever else you want to call it] known as "political activism" or "involvement", in its entirety.

    It is nothing more than a trap- a dead end that dramatically _decreases_ your chances of ever achieving more personal freedom and happiness for yourself in this world.

    Regards, onebornfree.
    Personal Freedom Consulting:
    www.onebornfree.blogspot.com

  • Tony||

    It's really not that liberals are being unfair and flippant when they dismiss arguments that compare billionaires to oppressed Jews. I, uh, really shouldn't need to go on.

  • Swiss Servator||

    YOU ARE SO CORRECT!!!! YOUR WORK HERE IS DONE!!!! FAREWELL!!!!

  • CharlotteHaze||

    "Intellectuals are hostile to businessmen chiefly because the public prefers what the businessmen are selling".

  • TonyaPatterson||

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  • TonyaPatterson||

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    ---------- http://www.4cyberworks.com

  • Dilligaf||

    Hello Spambot, An honest question, Does GOOGLE really pay a kajllion dollars per week to spam/and/or troll Libertarian sites? Because I have yet find or see a comment thread on this site that doesn't contain or end with at least one of these wonderful gibberish filled "advertisements". And since the click through rate on these - is at best ,(and I am being very generous here), like 1 in 200,000? So where does the click through money come from? At the fantastic rate of 2 cents per click it would take like 7200 years, and that is with compound interest, to make the kind of money you fucking knotheads are claiming to make per week. And for whatever reason you guys seemed to have missed out on a WAY bigger market,like EVERY other comment thread on EVERY other MSM and Progtard site in the known internet universe. Start with Salon and work your way down. I can guarantee you a thousand, nay ten thousand percent better click through rate based on nothing more complicated than the average education and IQ level of the typical reader. Fuck buying a new BMW every month. How would you like to be able to make that much money every hour? Oh and I just realized now we may be one step closer to finally explaining the enigma of the perpetually gamboling Tony-Jackass-Mary styled Troll-tard infestations.

  • Dilligaf||

    Of course I could say more but I should of course retreat to my hardened steel bunker now. Located in the depths of an abandoned silver/gold mine 2,600 feet under ground. Beneath the comforting security blanket that only a half mile of the Idaho Batholiths' finest granite can provide. Radar may indicate drones overhead and they are WAY out of range for the 50 cals. /Sarc (for the Poes law clueless).

  • MinnesotaConservative399||

    The best take that I have read regarding why intellectuals hate capitalism is in Hayek's The Fatal Conceit. This is a work that is well worth studying.

  • Orthopedic Surgeon Seguin||

    Yes, on the other hand, there are too many who fancy themselves as knowledgeable who, in fact, know very little about the workings of the world outside of their ivory towers.

  • Dilligaf||

    So,up a bit late for a sturgeon?

  • Maik||

    Intellectuals hate capitalism?

    That simply isn't true. Too many people get so angry at the intellectuals who *seemingly* hate capitalism, the same people tend to be not the brightest in the world, that they miss or refuse to even acknowledge the many intellectuals who are pro capitalist all over the world.

    Stop being so annoyed with the ignorant that you miss the intelligent!

  • sgreffenius||

    Yes, lefty professors and intellectuals are not the same group of people. You can find plenty of intellectuals who like capitalism. We can start with Milton Friedman, and go from there to the entire Vienna school. It may be a catchy headline, Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism, but it's clearly not true.

  • sgreffenius||

    Good interview!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Agreed

  • macsnafu||

    This is an old article, but a good one. I'd disagree that there's a conflict between maximizing profit and "doing good by doing well". If doing good by doing well maximizes profits, then where's the conflict? The real question is what's the best way to maximize profits? By taking a broader view of that question, I think any advocate of free market capitalism can be very inclusive and respond to moral outrage over 'greedy, selfish capitalism' arguments.

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