The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Stipend: $3,000 ($1,000 for NYC-area residents)
Application Deadline: August 1, 2013
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Our ideas about economics are closely linked to our ideas about the good life and good society. What is wealth, and is prosperity the key to individual happiness and national well-being? How is wealth created? Is economic liberty compatible with strong communities and great nations? While the advanced, modern democracies are the most prosperous societies mankind has ever known, they also face great and persistent economic problems—and sometimes crises—that invite us to reconsider our values and our policies.

This course aims to explore both the fundamental questions of political economy and the practical questions of modern economic life. Yuval Levin, founding editor of National Affairs and one of the leading public intellectuals in the U.S., will explore the relationship between the pursuit of wealth and the quest for the virtuous society.

Key Texts & Topics

  • Selections from Aristotle’s Politics
  • Selections from John Locke, Second Treatise of Government
  • Selections from Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
  • Essays by Irving Kristol
  • Opening Section of F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty

Seminar Schedule

The planned class schedule for this seminar is the following:


  • October 7, 2013: 9:00-11:30 am
  • October 8, 2013: 9:00-11:30 am
  • October 9, 2013: 9:00-11:30 am
  • October 10, 2013: 9:00-11:30 am
  • October 11, 2013: 9:00-11:30 am


In addition, participants are expected to prepare carefully the daily readings—usually around 30 to 50 pages per day—which are distributed well in advance. We encourage—but we do not require—institute participants to be in residence with us full-time for the complete length of their respective seminar. For more information on seminar schedules and expectations of participants, please see our Overview page.

Who Should Apply?

Men and women of achievement in professional life who want to expand their intellectual range and influence. This course may be especially appropriate for:

  • Individuals in business;
  • Individuals in economic or fiscal policy in the US or Israel;
  • Think tank researchers and analysts; or
  • Members of the media, academia, or the rabbinate.