This essay is David Hart’s introduction to Capitalism and Virtue: Politicians Do Not Understand the Economy, But Do Managers?, by Anthony de Jasay.

In this article Jasay reviews a recent French book written by one of France’s leading businessmen, Claude Bebear, the chairman and major shareholder of AXA insurance, They are going to kill Capitalism (Paris: Plon, 2003). Jasay summarizes Bebear’s argument “that capitalism today is gravely menaced by the often irresponsible, ill-advised or perversely motivated conduct of those upon whom it largely depends,—corporate directors, investors, security analysts, fund managers, auditors, rating agents, bankers and lawyers—all of whom are ‘saboteurs’ of the system that nurtures them.” Jasay questions whether corporate managers like Bebear understand how the capitalist system really works and whether his solution, that managers should be more “virtuous”, is realistic.


*David M. Hart is Director of the Online Library of Liberty Project.

For more articles by David M. Hart, see the Archive.