()IM^I()^^ .^i iiws |nThe Capitalism-Democracy-Freedom DebatenMichaelNo3k:TJbe spirit of Democratic Capitalism; American Enterprise Institute/Simonn& Schuster; New York.nby Thomas FlemingnVxapitalism must be dead at last. Its demise has been predicted so many times—bynMarx and his disciples, by fascists, and even by tme believers like the ex-TrotskyistnJames Burnham—that many of us have come to regard the free market as we would anwealthy, valetudinarian uncle who takes his own sweet time in dying. There are manynindications that we are on the other side of some great transition from capitalistndemocracy to what Burnham called the Managerial Society and Belloc named the ServilenState. Some form of socialism is dominant in nearly every nation of Europe andnAsia, while in the United States, despite the “Reagan revolution,” bureaucrats,nunelected judges, and what is still “the best Congress money can buy” continue tongovern this land in the conspiracy of whimsy and red tape we have come to expect sincenthe 1860’s. But the most conclusivenevidence for the death of capitalist democracynare the eulogies that have been ^m^m^m^m^mmm^a^mmmm^mmmnpouring forth on behalf of the dear departed:nIrving Kristol’s Two Cheers fornCapitalism, the Friedmans’ Free tonChoose, and George Gilder’s Wealthnand Poverty have all sung the praises ofnour dear old liberal institutions.nLast year Gilder became the toast ofnconservative think tanks by explainingnthe moral basis of capitalism, whosenroots—he discovered—lie not in greednbut in altruism. This year Michael Novaknhas outdone Gilder by promulgating an”theology of economics,” the culminationnof his latest work, The Spirit ofnDemocratic Capitalism.nIt must be said that there are few journalistsnwho could have attempted andefense of capitalism on religiousngrounds. Novak’s mind has been disciplinednin the hard, uncapitalist schools ofnEuropean Catholic philosophy. Despitenthe handicap of a decent education,nNovak has evolved into one of the bestnpolitical columnists writing in America.nHe is practically the only well-knownnpolitical commentator—on the right ornthe left—who can be relied upon to looknbeneath the deceptive surface of an eventncontinued on page 8nMr. Fleming is editor o/Southern Partisan.n6nChronicles of Culturenby Edward J. LynchnIn The English Constitution, WalternBagehot remarked that if you wanted tongive the people a government that theynwould understand you would have tongive them a monarchy. Average folks, henbeheved, could understand the simplenideas of direct orders and execution, withnresponsibility flowing from one particularnoffice. Bagehot contended thatnthe complexities of democracy—withnresponsibility spread around differentnoffices, separations of powers, checks andnbalances—transcended the averagenman’s capacity for understanding. Peoplenmight be governed in a democracy,nhe realized, but few among them wouldnever truly understand the institutionsnthrough which it controlled their lives.nToday, socialism might be describednas the economist’s parallel to Bagehot’snperception of monarchy. In the economicnrealm, people understand the ideas ofncommand and control that are the basisnof socialist economics. Some observersneven claim that the essence of a socialistnDr. Lynch is a special assistant in the Officenof Policy and Resource Management,nEnvironmental Protection Agency.nnneconomy can be described in fifteennminutes. Capitalism, like democracy, isnconsiderably more complex and wellnsuited to people who desire to exercisencontrol over their own lives, even if theynnever understand how the overall systemnoperates. A desire for simple explanationsnand instant solutions must be a contributingnfactor to one of the intellectualnmysteries of the 20th century. Despitenthe simplicity of the socialist idea, its performancenin practice has been dismal.nAlthough perhaps few can completelynunderstand the ideas behind capitalism,nmost observers can readily see thatncapitalist economies produce an abundancenof the material goods that mostnpeople desire. Yet when modern economicnsystems are evaluated, capitalistneconomies are commonly criticized innterms of socialist ideals. Socialist systems,nin contrast, are rarely, if ever, evaluatednin terms of the ideas of democratic capitalism.nMany capitalists, viewing thenwealth that their system has produced,ndevelop a sense of guilt: capitalismnallegedly originates in human selfishness.nEven Adam Smith never contendednthat benevolence inspired the farmernto supply wheat to the baker. Selfinterestnserved as the practical startingnpoint for free enterprise. Some partisansnof capitalism have sought to elevatenselfishness into a virtue, but suchndefenses have never gained much intellecmalnrespect. A moral appreciation ofnany system must look beyond its materialnresults toward the ends to which thosenmaterial benefits are directed.nMichael Novak understands that peoplendo not live by bread alone. Unless anneconomic system can explain itself innterms of a higher dimension of humannexperience, it will never satisfy more thannthe material needs of a people. Novaknrecognizes that the ideals of a capitalistnsystem are different from those of ansocialist system, and sets out to describenthe ideal version of democratic capitalism.nHe concedes that people involved inn