Marx and Engels were right when they observed in the Communist Manifesto that free markets had in a short time created greater prosperity and more technological innovation than all previous generations combined. A century and a half later, all the evidence shows that capitalism has lifted millions and millions from hunger and poverty.
Today's story about global capitalism, shared by right-wing and left-wing populists, but also by large sections of the political and economic establishment, does not deny that prosperity has been created, but it says it ended up in far too few hands. This in turn has made it popular to talk about the global economy as a geopolitical zero-sum game, where we have to fight to control new innovations, introduce trade barriers and renationalize value chains. While, more broadly, capitalism is accused of fueling glaring inequality, populist revolts, climate change and China's global conquest.
In this incisive and passionate investigation, Johan Norberg instead states the case for capitalism and the vital role played by the free market in today's uncertain world. Ultimately, he argues that that a move away from global capitalism would not only squeeze the growth out of the economy but also deepen an already large social exclusion for the vulnerable - for the world's poor, it would be a killing blow.
About the Author
Johan Norberg is a historian, lecturer and commentator. He is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington DC and his books have been translated into twenty-five languages. His books include the international bestseller Progress and Open, which was an Economist book of the year. Norberg regularly writes for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Reason and HuffPost.
Praise for Open:
With clarity and grace, Johan Norberg reminds us that openness to things and ideas from others is the only route to well-being.." --Steven Pinker, author, Enlightenment Now
"Norberg's superb book demonstrates, with hundreds of examples, how openness has been the key to the success of our species over 10,000 years and is the secret of prosperity and peace today." --Matt Ridley, author, The Rational Optimist "Norberg has a powerful argument to give us insight and hope that man's curiosity and imagination is unstoppable." --Margaret Heffernan, author, Beyond Measure
"This is big thinking that deserves everyone's attention." --Michael Blastland, author, The Hidden Half
"Norberg reminds us that every great civilization has been destroyed by the end of openness. His essential book, then, is a timely reminder that the fate of our civilization rests on a defense of openness. Strongly recommended." --Andrew Keen, author, The Internet Is Not The Answer