On capitalism and the soul

22 Sep 2007

Is capitalism moral, immoral, or just plain amoral? Some societies have tried to do away with it. But more often than not it's all ended badly. Capitalism works. Its capacity to adapt and grow has enabled millions to live with material comfort hitherto only dreamt of.

According to a recent poll, 75 per cent of Australians are delighted with their material lives. It seems that mcmansions, plasma TVs and SUVs make us happy. But is it just affluenza at play? Critics say that the economic model has spawned a generation of hyper consumers who have substituted goods and services for real relationships, civic trust, and eco-humility. In short, capitalism is bad for the soul. This inaugural Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor's debate features six speakers:

For the Proposition

Dr Clive Hamilton, Australia Institute
Professor David Throsby, Macquarie University
Luigina Webb, Student, Macquarie University

Against the Proposition

Professor Peter Saunders, Centre for independent Studies
Professor Roy Green, Macquarie Graduate School of Management
Thomas Hosking, Student, Macquarie University

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