What has capitalism contributed to civilization? It made it. And nowhere has it thrived so beautifully as in America, the country that threw off the static old world to make a new one rooted in progress and individualism.
With incredible erudition and historical understanding, Henry Grady Weaver tells the true story of progress for the human race with acute understanding of the fundamental cause: freedom itself. It is this that has led to unimaginable creativity and the spreading and creation of wealth that could not have been imagined centuries earlier.
The book was written in 1943. Leonard Read of the Foundation for Economic Education was among those who saw the glories of the book, and reprinted it for decades, distributing hundreds of thousands of copies. Several generations count this book as the very one that started an intellectual revolution.
Prepare too for some revisionist history as regards the Islamic contribution.
Weaver's text sweeps you along, inspires and teaches like few others. It is a classic by any definition, newly available from the Mises Institute.
A decent work reviewing the contexts in which human progress took place, whenever a free market arose. It is hard to review this without comparing it to Rose Wilder Lane's The Discovery of Freedom, from which this book is derived. While a good book, I'd recommend going straight to Lane's book first. Lane's book is full of hard hitting no-compromise salvos against the State which have the effect of bringing about a thought reversal in the reader and make a libertarian out of a conservative, and that effect is lost here. The Mainspring of Human Progress is a minarchist work and seemingly accepting of U.S. foreign policy meddling; by comparison, The Discovery of Freedom is anarchist and strongly anti-militarist. Both books are unsympathetic toward pagan fatalism, and sympathetic toward the role of early Islam in fostering a market economy while Europe languished in the Dark Ages. Good material on the Crusades, especially.
This is a classic work which makes the key point espoused by our founding fathers that the rights of the individual are GOD GIVEN and that we CONSENT to be governed by those we CHOOSE to represent us. This was a radical concept of its day and ridiculed by all of western civilization. It is the key reason for our success as a nation to date. Ignoring this principle in deference to the collective will be our downfall.
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