Video: Dr Yaron Brook - The Morality of Capitalism
We were lucky to be visited by such a provocative speaker on Monday evening insomuch as the boys were stimulated into debate over a topic which seemed universally agreeable in Radley. The talk was also important in the light of comments made by the Warden at the beginning of term, which promoted having your opinion challenged and having your thoughts provoked.
Dr Brook spoke on the topic of ‘heartless’ capitalism that, in his view, is ‘moral because it allows you the freedom to take care of your life.’ When asked ‘do we have moral obligations to people?’, Mr Brook replied with ‘no, no we don’t. Somebody else’s needs, somebody else’s suffering, somebody else’s desires are not your responsibility.’ This particular view was received with a mixed response; some agreed and some believed that helping the poor shouldn’t be a choice for every individual to make, but an obligation to help others less fortunate.
However, Mr Brook did make some general points which were strongly agreed with by much of the audience: such as making other people happy makes money, that lying and cheating results in failure in every field but politics and that self-interest drives success for others as well as you.
Many disagreed with some of Dr Brook’s comments, especially those regarding the acceptance of attacks on civilian populations during war and his view that all drugs should be legalised to those who have the capability to make rational decisions. However, the talk was provocative and stimulated debate during and after.
The talk was also of particular relevance due to the similarity of some of his views and the views of the US President, Donald Trump.
Report by Rory Betley, E Social 6.1