Even its fiercest enemies, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, admitted that it unleashed more wealth than all preceding generations put together. In this episode of Johan Norberg’s New and Improved, Norberg describes the historical impact of capitalism and its relation to consent.
As F. A. Hayek explained, capitalism emerged over thousands of years, from small capitalist acts between consenting adults in borderlands, marketplaces, and independent cities. Traders, entrepreneurs, and moneylenders found ways of making money by giving others things they wanted.
By the early 19th century, most of the Western world embraced capitalist ideas and saw a burst of prosperity. In capitalist countries, incomes have increased almost 3,000% since 1820. Extreme poverty declined from 80-90% of the global population to 8-9% today.