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Irving Kristol

Irving Kristol

“The inner spiritual chaos of the times, so powerfully created by the dynamics of capitalism itself, is such as to make nihilism an easy temptation. A ‘free society’ in Hayek’s sense gives birth in massive numbers to ‘free spirits’ — emptied of moral substance but still driven by primordial moral aspirations. Such people are capable of the most irrational actions. Indeed, it is my impression that, under the strain of modern life, whole classes of our population — and the educated classes most of all — are entering what can only be called, in the strictly clinical sense, a phase of infantile regression. With every passing year, public discourse becomes sillier and more petulant, emotions become, apparently, more ungovernable. Some of our most intelligent university professors are now loudly saying things that, had they been uttered by one of their students twenty years ago, would have called forth gentle and urbane reproof.”


Irving Kristol, “‘When virtue loses all her loveliness’ — some reflections on Capitalism and ‘the free society,’National Affairs, No. 21, Fall 1970.

By: Redactor

1 Comment

  1. Dick Jones says:

    Hi Paul. Neither Hayek (the Darwin-evolution hoodwinked one) nor Irving K. (the “social justice” hoodwinked one) were Christians and thus unable to reason “reasonably” from a Christian moral base. And yet living in the West as they did, they both borrowed, imbibed, used and depended upon that base even though unknowingly. But, they missed out on recognizing its true truth. For I.K. to assign major blame to “capitalism” (a now horribly perverted word) for some kind of inevitable moral decline reveals his too-narrow (yet understandable) worldview. The truth is that in a fallen world the Christian-biblical (and free spirit- and irrationality- and infantile regression- and nihilism-preventing) precepts of just weights and measures, of the commands against theft and envy, of a significant life purpose along with diligence in work and vocation, etc., all went on to become happily incorporated into a “capitalist” (aka the free market, aka the consumer-satisfaction-driven) philosophy. So to both men I say, don’t blame the free market for all of our troubles. Blame the fruits of two centuries worth of American leaders who purposely put aside Christian basics in civil government in favor of John Locke and his surrogates’ men-driven, not God-driven, pseudo answers.

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