Capitalism vs. Socialism

For more than a century, two rival systems of political economy, capitalism and socialism, have clashed over the proper place of government in directing production, distribution, and exchange. The purpose of this Academy is to compare these two systems, from their theoretical origins to how they clash in practice during the Cold War.

Adam Smith and Karl Marx are remembered, and just as often misremembered, as the respective “founding fathers” of capitalism and socialism for The Wealth of Nations and The Manifesto of the Communist Party. While both argue economic elites capture government for their own narrow interests, Smith and Marx offer different descriptions of and prescriptions for the problem of state capture, and open a profounder debate about human nature and economic value. We shall track the legacies of these ideas into the 20th Century, using primary documents of leaders from Lenin to Gorbachev, and FDR to Reagan. Do the leaders of Russia remain faithful to the ideals of Marx? Were free markets integral to the ideals of the United States? Are they still?

Capitalism vs. Socialism

Where and when

Sunday, June 26 2022 —
Saturday, July 2 2022
401 College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805
Ashbrook Center at Ashland University

Schedule and Syllabus of Readings

Taught by

Gregory McBrayer
Gregory McBrayer
Associate Professor of Political Science and Assistant Director of the Ashbrook Scholar Program
Robert Wyllie
Robert Wyllie
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the Political Economy Program at Ashland University

Schedule of events coming soon.