Customer Reviews for

Capitalist Manifesto

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2006

    Review of The Capitalist Manifesto

    The Capitalist Manifesto by Dr. Andrew Bernstein is an inspiring journey through the last few centuries, confirming the enormous benefits of capitalism. The book is more than an answer to capitalism's critics, though it does that thoroughly and admirably. It is also a celebration of the intellectual and moral achievement of capitalism. In the book's introduction, 'The Great Disconnect', Dr. Bernstein explains the enormous gulf between the standard of living of capitalist countries and those of non capitalist countries. An equally wide gulf exists between the citizens of capitalist countries who support the basic ideas of liberty and the intellectuals of those countries who bring on unjust attacks on capitalism. Part one (History) covers the end of the Middle Ages (14th Century) through the inventive period (late 19th Century), with examples of the hardships of life prior to the industrial revolution and of the advances brought on by the intellectuals of the enlightenment and the engineers of the inventive period. Part two (Philosophy) examines the abstract ideas that support capitalism, including egoism in ethics, man's individual rights in politics, the nature of the mind, and capitalism's relation to these ideas. Dr. Bernstein draws primarily on the ideas of Ayn Rand to explain egoism and individualism and to show how they support capitalism. Part three (Polemics) argues that statism brings about the many evils often attributed to capitalism. Part four (Economics) is a blow by blow comparison of the development of capitalist countries and counterpart socialist countries: American versus the Soviet Union, Hong Kong and Taiwan versus China, and Cuba versus the Cuba-immigrants in Miami. The book sums up with a short afterword: 'The Great Disconnect Revisited'' and an appendix which describes the lives of some of the world's most productive heroes: 'Robber Barons or Productive Geniuses'. I highly recommend 'The Capitalist Manifesto' to students, teachers, every American, and every citizen of the world. As a former philosophy instructor, I wish this book had been available years ago, as it makes the perfect text book for students learning to connect the ideas that have been so widely disconnected over the centuries.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2006

    Lackluster and Disappointing

    Mr. Bernstein's book is a pale shadow of another, stronger book treatment of the same subject: 'Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal' by Ayn Rand. In terms of content: Bernstein adds nothing significantly new and necessary to the substance and sufficiency of Miss Rand's arguments. Thus, Bernstein's contribution to pro-capitalist literature is less a distinct material achievement than a dispensable embellishment of someone else's work. In terms of style/presentation: Bernstein is truly a writer for the common man. His writing lacks intellectual force and fire--rather than igniting the reader's interest and challenging him to deepen and broaden his understanding of the subject, Bernstein seems to hold the reader's hand and spoon-feed information (often by means of condescending repetitions of key points). By contrast, Miss Rand 'writes up' to the reader. A true blacksmith of words, she forges pro-capitalist arguments and hammers home essentials with all the eloquence and strength of an uncompromising intellect (and writer), and she invites readers to catch the flying sparks of her wisdom. Readers of this review: assuming your serious interest in learning about the merits of capitalism, I encourage you to consider Miss Rand's book as both necessary and sufficient to read Mr. Bernstein's book is, at best, a marginal supplement to (and faint echo of) hers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2005

    desperately needed deprogramming for cultural osmosis

    Bernstein does an excellent job, and The Capitalist Manifesto is now my favorite book to hand to friends who, most likely due to cultural osmosis, happen to think that the mixed economy is a nice idea. (It is probably too much to handle for those with the authoritarian impulse who gravitate to socialism, communism, and fascism.) His case is fresh, thorough, and delightfully crushing, drawing on diverse sources all through history and all over the planet for the historical and factual evidence, from which he then extracts the important principles to lay out the philosophical case for laissez-faire. Reading The Capitalist Manifesto and coming face-to-face with the facts and their implications, I expect most honest people will be left wondering how the vast majority of intellectuals got it (and continue to get it) so tragically wrong: supporting and defending ideas that have caused the brutal deaths of hundreds of millions of people and held down billions in conflict and grinding poverty -- while evading and maligning what has lifted billions of people out of a truly Hobbesian existence ('poor, nasty, brutish, and short'). That stands as the most outrageous disconnect in human history, and Bernstein makes it viscerally real.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2005

    A moral defense of capitalism

    In this phenomenal work, Dr. Bernstein not only provides an abundance of factual information demonstrating the economic and moral superiority of capitalism, he also lays out the introductory framework of the philosophical theory that explains it. He begins by putting the advent of capitalism in its proper historical perspective, and includes chapters explaining the economic theory behind its enormous practical success as well as refuting common (yet clearly silly, after Dr. Bernstein is through with them) charges against capitalism (such as that it causes war, imperialism, and slavery). But by far the most interesting and valuable chapters are those at the heart of the book, in which he provides a *moral* defense of capitalism, based on Ayn Rand's ethical theory of rational egoism. Dr. Bernstein understands that the system that promotes individual success and happiness on this earth (and who else's success and happiness is there to promote?) cannot be logically defended on altruistic grounds, and more: that it doesn't need to be, because egoism, as the system that does just that, is the only proper morality for mankind. If any active-minded person reads this book and is not convinced by the wealth of information it provides, the only explanation is that they're suffering from a 'great disconnect' of their own (see Dr. Bernstein's introduction and afterword). Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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