The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism

The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism is America's first and only University-based teaching and research center dedicated to exploring the moral foundations of capitalism.

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Current News

Free Speech Under Seige

Steve Simpson Public Lecture from Steven Simpson

In the aftermath of the Paris and Copenhagen attacks, many voices rose in defense of Charlie Hebdo and its right to publish cartoons offensive to Muslims. But that support quickly gave way to questions about the limits of free speech. Does the right to free speech really include the right to offend?

In this talk, Steve Simpson will explain why our culture of sensitivity reveals a troubling ignorance about the importance of free speech and a growing opposition to its protection. He will show the similarities between the ideas that underlie our culture of sensitivity and those that motivated the attacks in Paris and Copenhagen and why you should be concerned about this important issue.

Date: Wednesday, March 25
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: 382 Sirrine Hall on the Clemson University campus.
Event Flyer

The Spring 2015 Pope Lecture

George F. Will America's Great Debate: James Madison vs. Woodrow Wilson

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George F. Will is one of our most widely read political writers. His popular twice-weekly column for The Washington Post syndicate reaches nearly 475 newspapers throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Will has provided the following description for his talk:

"American political thought can be understood as an argument between two Princetonians—James Madison and Woodrow Wilson. Madison represents the natural rights, limited government tradition. Wilson represents the progressive rejection of that tradition, a rejection rooted in the idea of a 'living Constitution' that impose negligible inhibitions on government, and especially executive, power."

Date:  Thursday, February 26, 2015
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place: Tilman Hall on the Clemson University campus.
Event Flyer


Economic Morality

New Book Announcement

Economic Morality: Ancient to Modern Readings

The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism is pleased to announce that Lexington Books has published Economic Morality: Ancient to Modern Readings edited by CISC Associate Director Eric Alliso and past CISC Visiting Professor Henry C. Clark.

This anthology of primary source readings traces the history of moral assessments of economic life from Plato and Aristotle’s comments on the early market economy of classical Greece to 20th-century defenses and critiques of contemporary capitalism.

The volume includes selections from: Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Ovid, Plutarch, The Bible, The Koran, Hugh of St. Victor, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, St. Benedict, Ibn Khaldun, Benedetto Cotrugli, Thomas More, Martin Luther, Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, Pieter De la Court, John Locke, Bernard Mandeville, Voltaire, Montesquieu, David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, Benjamin Constant, Alexis de Tocqueville, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Karl Marx, Frederic Bastiat, Henry Thoreau, Samuel Smiles, William Graham Sumner, Andrew Carnegie, Pope Leo XIII, Georg Simmel, Max Weber, Marcel Mauss, John Maynard Keynes, Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Daniel Bell, and Irving Kristol.

Link to PDF Table of Contents
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The Fall 2014 Pope Lecture

Bruce Yandle Bootleggers and Baptists in the Garden of Good and Evil: Explaining America's Regulatory Journey

Bruce Yandle, Dean Emeritus of the Clemson College of Business and Behavioral Science, will give a talk based on his forthcoming book. Policy analysts, academic and journalists lament the influence of money on politics. But in the political economy, politicians often carefully design regulations so that two very different interest groups will be satisfied: the "bootleggers" who seek to obtain private benefits from the regulation and the "Baptists" who seek to serve the public interest. Come see Dr. Yandle talk on this exciting topic!

Date:  Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place: 100 Bracket Hall on the Clemson University campus.

Event Description


The Spring 2014 Pope Lecture

Bruce Caldwell and F.A. Hayek

Champion of the Market: The Life and Ideas of F.A. Hayek

Professor Bruce Caldwell, one of the world's leading Hayek scholars and general editor of the Collected Works of F.A. Hayek, presented a lecture on the life and ideas of the Nobel Prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek. Professor Caldwell is the Director of the Center for the History of Political Economy and Research Professor of Economics at Duke University.

Date:  Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place: Self Auditorium in the Strom Thurmond
Institute on the Clemson University campus.

Event Description

The Fall 2013 Pope Lecture

George-Sider Conversation

Was Jesus a Socialist?

Distinguished scholars Robert P. George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, and Ron Sider, Professor of Theology at the Palmer Theological Seminary, held a high-minded conversation on economics and religion.

Date:  Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place: Self Auditorium in the Strom Thurmond
Institute on the Clemson University campus.

Event Description


CISC Summer Conferences on the Moral Foundations of Capitalism

On May 23-30, 2013, The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism held its annual Summer Conferences on the Moral Foundations of Capitalism: one for undergraduate and graduate college students—and another for college professors. Both events were a smashing success, and we thank all who participated!


William Voegeli: "Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State"

William Voegeli

William Voegeli, Senior Editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and a visiting scholar at Claremont McKenna College's Henry Salvatori Center, spoke on one of the most pressing policy issues of our facing us today: “Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State.”

(Keynote Address - Eighth Annual Moral Foundations of Capitalism Conferene - May 29, 2013)

The Spring 2013 Pope Lecture

Lawrence Reed Flyer

Lawrence W. Reed, President of The Foundation for Economic Education, will deliver the Spring 2013 Pope Lecture – titled: “The Seven Principles of Economic Freedom” 

Date:  Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place: Self Auditorium in the Strom Thurmond
Institute on the Clemson University campus.

Event Video
Event Description

Richard Ebeling – “John Maynard Keynes: A Vision for the Future or a Ghost of the Past?”

Richard Ebeling - John Maynard Keynes

Professor Richard Ebeling (Northwood University) spoke on one of the most influential economists of the 20th Century: “John Maynard Keynes: A Vision for the Future or a Ghost of the Past?”

(Keynote Address - The Seventh Annual Moral Foundations of Capitalism Conference - May 30, 2012)

CISC Lunchtime Lecture Series

Lawrence H. White

Professor Lawrence H. White of George Mason University will be giving a talk on his new book “The Clash of Economic Ideas” as part of CISC’s Lunchtime Lecture Series.

Date:  Monday, December 3rd, 2012
Time: 12:30 pm
Place: 382 Sirrine Hall, Clemson University

Event Description

The Fall 2012 Pope Lecture

Yaron Brook Event Video

In this lecture, Yaron Brook offers a strident defense of laissez-faire capitalism and the philosophy of Ayn Rand.  Dr. Brook calls for a Free Market Revolution in the way people think about markets and about the central activity that defines market activity: the pursuit of profit.  Brook argues that Rand’s philosophy of rational self-interest holds the solution to America’s political and economic ills, including the debt crisis, looming inflation, and the swelling entitlement state. 

Date:  Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place: Self Auditorium in the Strom Thurmond
Institute on the Clemson University campus.

Event Video
Event Description

Recent Media Appearances

CBT - Why Marxism?

• On March 3, Professor C. Bradley Thompson delivered a talk entitled "Why Marxism?" at the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York. Professor Thompson also recently gave radio interviews to Peter Schiff, Jason Lewis, Mark Stansbury, and Jim Anderson.

• Professor Eric Daniels was recently interviewed by Make Slater, Rob Schilling, and the Philosophy in Action show on "Progress in American History."

The Spring 2012 Pope Lecture: A Debate!

ObamaCare Debate President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is perhaps the single most important and controversial law passed in the last 50 years. But is it constitutional?

Two distinguished constitutional scholars debate this issue, which is now before the Supreme court.

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Tyler Cowen

TYLER COWEN delivers Fall 2011 Pope Lecture

The Great Stagnation
America has been through the biggest financial crisis since the great Depression, unemployment numbers are frightening, median wages have been flat since the 1970s, and it is common to expect that things will get worse before they get better. Certainly, the multi-decade stagnation is not yet over. How will we get out of this mess?

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C. Bradley Thompson

C. Bradley Thompson Featured Speaker - USC Upstate Second Annual Constitution Day

The University of South Carolina Upstate will host its second annual Constitution Day on Wednesday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Campus Life Center Ballroom. This event is held in commemoration of the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Fully Event Description
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Dr. Tom Palmer

Dr. Tom G. Palmer to speak on "The Morality of Capitalism"

How do free markets create justice and prosperity? Capitalism is a legal, social, economic, and cultural system that embraces equality of rights and that engergizes decentralized innovation through the voluntary processes of market exchange. Capitalism is not just about peole trading butter for eggs in local markets, it's about adding value through the mobilization of human energy and ingenuity on a scale nevr seen before in human history, to create wealth for all people.
Thursday, September 15th, 12:30pm

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Alan Charles Kors

Alan Charles Kors delivers Spring 2011 Pope Lecture

Socialism's Legacy: Lest We Forget
Talk description: Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, many optimists claimed that the world was now somehow "after socialism." There are reasons, however—structural, political, moral, and intellectual—why the collapse of Communism did not entail the end of socialism. This talk will explain why there can be no "after socialism" until the West comes to ultimate terms with the catastrophic legacy of international communism.

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C. Bradley Thompson delivers lectures in Santiago, Chile

During the week of January 10, Clemson Institute Executive Director C. Bradley Thompson visited Santiago, Chile, where he delivered nine lectures to 50 students from all over Latin America on "The Principles and Institutions of a Free Society." The event was sponsored by The Fund For American Studies and its Institute for Leadership in the Americas.


Past Events