Capitalism and Freedom
By Milton Friedman
Review by Myles (PPE)
Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom is a justification for his view that a free market is the preferred structure of an economy. Very much a political text too, it looks at the connection between the management of the economy and political freedoms, making it a nice introduction to ideas about how economics and politics interact.
Friedman looks to justify low levels of market intervention from government based on the essential idea that the freer the market, the freer the people. The book goes on to discuss what freedom looks like in general social terms, before linking this to the relative freedom, or lack thereof, of the economy to operate simply in accordance with market force without government intervention.
Friedman presents these arguments in an easily digestible way, providing the reader with a clear opinion, and challenges us to form an opinion on the proposal he makes. Although written in 1962, the ideas which he promotes are essential to the basis for the political economy in the UK and the USA in the 1980s, and the growth of Thatcherism especially in the UK. The book was not only influential in the past, but is also highly relevant to current political affairs, especially in the United States, and provides a perspective on current popular ideologies both there and across the world.
The challenge here is to form your own opinions of Friedman’s argument. Is a free economy essential to civil freedom or is there a way to let the government intervene in markets while maintaining liberty? Capitalism and Freedom will push you to defend your view, and think more about the ideas that currently shape political opinions!
Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
ISBN-10 : 022673479X
ISBN-13 : 978-0226734798
Try checking the availability of this book at your school or local library or explore second hand bookshops and websites. You may also wish to purchase from either Amazon or Blackwell’s.