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?
Where and when
Schedule and Syllabus of Readings
Schedule of events coming soon.