George Soros is buying Google ads to steer traffic to his recent lectures, including the transcript of his speech on "Capitalism Versus Open Society." He says, "There is a deep-seated conflict between capitalism and open society, market values and social values. The conflict has been successfully covered up by the market fundamentalist ideology which gained the upper hand in the 1980's during Ronald Reagan's presidency." He bemoans what he calls "a decline in public morality fostered by the rise of market fundamentalism." More: "Economic theory claims that in conditions of general equilibrium, the invisible hand assures the optimum allocation of resources. This means that people pursuing their self-interest are indirectly also serving the public interest. It gives self-interest and the profit motive a moral imprimatur which allows them to replace virtues like honesty, integrity, and concern for others. The argument is invalid on several counts." More: "I want to make myself quite clear: I condemn market fundamentalism as a false and dangerous doctrine but I am in favor of keeping government intervention and regulations to a minimum for other better reasons." More: "The spread of market values has brought immense economic benefits." Mr. Soros isn't always the clearest writer or thinker and even if you can follow his argument you may not agree with it, but he has a lot of money and is willing to spend it to advance his ideas, so for that reason alone he is worth paying some attention to. Not to mention the fact that "free market fundamentalists" might as well try to understand the arguments of their critics.
Capitalism Versus Open Society