Skip to main content

Capitalist Champion

July 2024
1min read

Peter Baida’s “The Man Who Raised Hell” (October/November 1986) captures the spirit of Henry George and his vision of a society in which the prosperity of some is not won at the expense of the abject poverty of others.

George, however, was decidedly proenterprise, not “one of the fiercest critics of business.” It seems misguided to conclude that George “remains a voice that American business would prefer to forget.” George distinguished—as too many economists fail to do—between honest gains of production and ill-gotten gains of special privilege. Capitalism’s incentive system had no stronger champion than George, nor exploitation a mightier opponent. Businessmen seeking to repair America’s loss of vitality at home and competitiveness abroad, far from forgetting George, would be well advised to look to his farsighted analyses for crucial ways to resolve these problems.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.