Why Capitalism?

Econ_WC_2013_B — with David Gordon

Dates: April 23, 2013 - May 27, 2013
Status: Closed

Forget Ronald Reagan; Henry Hazlitt was the true “great communicator.” Especially in his classic work Economics in One Lesson, Hazlitt brought to bear his prodigious writing talents, honed through his long career as a journalist, to make the case for the free market to the lay reader.

Ludwig von Mises was a master theorist who made hugely important contributions to economic science. Yet, he too was a master communicator. Especially in his popular essays and in his speeches, he explained the wondrously beneficial workings of the market economy with clarity and force.

This course will be an exploration of how capitalism lifts men from poverty to plenty, using a selection of Hazlitt’s and Mises’s best writing.


Lectures will be Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Tentative Syllabus

Week 1
Economic Policy by Ludwig von Mises | First Lecture: “Capitalism”
The Conquest of Poverty by Henry Hazlitt | Ch. 19 “Private Property, Public Purpose”
Week 2
Economic Freedom and Interventionism by Ludwig von Mises | “Economic Freedom”
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt | Ch. 15 “How the Price System Works”
Week 3
Planning for Freedom by Ludwig von Mises | “Profit and Loss”
Economics in One Lesson | Ch. 21 “The Function of Profits”
Week 4
Planning for Freedom by Ludwig von Mises | “Capital Supply and American Prosperity”
The Conquest of Poverty by Henry Hazlitt | Ch. 1 “The Problem of Poverty”
Week 5
Economic Policy by Ludwig von Mises | Fifth Lecture: “Foreign Investment”
The Conquest of Poverty by Henry Hazlitt | Ch. 16 “Foreign Investment vs. ‘Aid’”


All readings will be free and online. A fully hyper-linked syllabus with readings for each weekly topic will be available for all students.

Grades and Certificates

The final grade will depend on quizzes. Taking the course for a grade is optional. This course is worth 3 credits in Mises Academy. Feel free to ask your school to accept Mises Academy credits. You will receive a digital Certificate of Completion for this course if you take it for a grade, and a Certificate of Participation if you take it on a paid-audit basis.

Refund Policy

If you drop the course during its first week (7 calendar days), you will receive a full refund, minus a $25 processing fee. If you drop the course during its second week, you will receive a half refund. No refunds will be granted following the second week.