.. large numbers of today's successful capitalists are people of the political left who may think their own work is legitimate but feel no allegiance to capitalism as a system or kinship with capitalists on the other side of the political fence ..
Another factor is the segregation of capitalism from virtue. Historically, the merits of free enterprise and the obligations of success were intertwined in the national catechismm .. books on which generations of American children were raised, have plenty of stories treating initiative, hard work and entrepreneurialism as virtues, but just as many stories praising the virtues of self-restraint, personal integrity and concern for those who depend on you. The freedom to act and a stern moral obligation to act in certain ways were seen as two sides of the same American coin. Little of that has survived.
To accept the concept of virtue requires that you believe some ways of behaving are right and others are wrong always and everywhere. That openly judgmental stand is no longer acceptable in America's schools nor in many American homes. Correspondingly, we have watched the deterioration of the sense of stewardship .. Capitalists who behave honorably and with restraint no longer have either the platform or the vocabulary to preach their own standards and to condemn capitalists who behave dishonorably and recklessly.
And so capitalism's reputation has fallen on hard times and the principled case for capitalism must be made anew. That case has been made brilliantly and often in the past, with Milton Friedman's "Capitalism and Freedom" being my own favorite. But in today's political climate, updating the case for capitalism requires a restatement of old truths in ways that Americans from across the political spectrum can accept ..