Professor Buckley Lectures for American Enterprise Institute

Professor Francis H. Buckley delivered the seventh of the 2005-2006 Bradley Lectures for the American Enterprise Institute on March 13, 2006, in Washington, DC. Buckley's lecture, entitled "Commercial Virtue, Romantic Ecstasy," was offered as, in his words, "a defense of market liberalism."

The Bradley Lecture Series, which is made possible through a grant from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, features presentations by prominent scholars and journalists and seeks to enrich debate in the Washington policy community by examining current controversies from the standpoint of their philosophical and historical foundations.

Commercial Virtue, Romantic Ecstasy, American Enterprise Institute Bradley Lecture Series, March 13, 2006. By Francis H. Buckley.

"Antiliberals left and right lay two complaints at the door of free markets. The first is that markets are self-defeating because they subvert the virtues that sustain them. The second is that markets succeed all too well. In the process, however, they dry up other sources of joy. Getting and spending, we lose the power to appreciate beauty and the bonds of solidarity which unite us to each other. Neither of these complaints is compelling. The commercial virtues that sustain markets flourish in market regimes, nor is there much reason to think that life is more joyous in illiberal regimes."

Read the text of the lecture