Essay about Capitalism and Freedom Book Review

1341 Words Nov 19th, 2012 6 Pages
Warren Bryan

Book Review: Capitalism & Freedom
Author: Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman’s Capitalism & Freedom is one of the most important books regarding economics of the 20th century. His thoughts laid the groundwork for the emerging modern conservative movement, which was an evolution of the 19th century beliefs surrounding liberalism. Friedman’s major themes of his most famous work consist of the roles of competitive capitalism, as well as the role that government should play in a society “dedicated to freedom and relying primarily on the market to organize economic activity.” The book touches on a multitude of other economic issues; however, his first two chapters regarding the major themes of the book are most
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Under complete economic freedom, the government should not be able to tell us how or where to spend our money, dispose of our goods, or how we should labor because it’s in violation of our individual freedom, or our entitlement to property and labor, according to Friedman. Surely these are all characteristics of being free, however his explanation is certainly not the end all-be all. It is more relative to examine what is exactly entitled to the elements of freedom. A famous example comes from a Supreme Court Justice who said, “My freedom to move my fist must be limited by the proximity of your chin.” This coincides with John Locke’s paradoxical claim that one must give up certain rights to achieve freedom. An absolute interpretation of “freedom” is just not plausible because of the endless amounts of extenuating circumstances that would, and should, interfere with ones freedom. The very nature of society and law places these restrictions on absolute freedom because your actions are limited by the protection of another’s entitlements. Friedman acknowledges this

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