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Appeared in: Volume 4, Number 4
Published on: March 1, 2009
Is Capitalism Moral?

The John Templeton Foundation recently asked more than a dozen leading scholars and public figures to write short essays responding to the question, “Does the free market corrode moral character?” Templeton also sponsored an event in London on this subject in early December, from which the conversation below is adapted.

John Gray is professor emeritus at the London School of Economics. Among his recent books are False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism and Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor of Economics and Law at Columbia University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, is a leading economist and the author of In Defense of Globalization. Bernard-Henri Lévy, the French philosopher, has written more than thirty books, including the New York Times bestseller American Vertigo and, most recently, Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism. Stephanie Flanders has been a writer and columnist at the Financial Times and an adviser to U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. Since 2002, she has been at the BBC, where she is now economics editor.
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