… is from page 259 of Joseph Epstein’s insightful 1993 essay “Culture and Capitalism,” as this essay is reprinted in Epstein’s 2014 collection, A Literary Education and Other Essays:
Capitalism, it seems to me, shares many qualities with the avant-garde. Neither, in its purest form, is a notable respecter of tradition. Both capitalism and the avant-garde honor, and continually strive to produce, the freshly made. Each is always on the lookout for new opportunities: capitalism for profit, the avant-garde for new forms – many of them, of late, designed not merely to offend but to outrage. Yet when it comes to innovation, capitalism has proved much the more creative force….
DBx: Joseph Epstein here identifies one of the many reasons why it is highly misleading to call those of us who genuinely support free, dynamic markets “conservatives.” We are not conservative. We are liberal, in the true and original meaning of that term. The club of true conservatives includes the likes of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, each of whom wants to protect existing producers from the force of creative destruction.