Monday, October 11, 2010

Whence Capitalism?

“…capitalism developed in only some places. Why not in all? Because in some European societies, as in most of the rest of the world, it was prevented from happening by greedy despots: freedom was also essential for the development of capitalism. This raises another matter: why has freedom so seldom existed in most of the world, and how was it nurtured in some medieval European states? This too was a victory of reason. Before any medieval European state actually attempted rule by an electoral council, Christian theologians had long been theorizing about the nature of equality and individual rights—indeed, the later work of such ‘secular’ eighteenth-century political theorists as John Locke explicitly rested on egalitarian axioms derived by church scholars.” Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason , P. xiii
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