Why do the majority of religious Jews and Christians believe in conservative ideas? The short answer is: for moral reasons. The core principles of modern conservatism—including the belief in free markets and free enterprise, traditional families and faith communities, sovereign nations that respect the rights and dignity of every person—are grounded in a moral vision of a worthy life and a good society. In the modern age, religious communities have a special responsibility to articulate and defend the moral case for conservatism in the public arena. This is an intellectual challenge—requiring the perpetual renewal of conservative thinking in light of new challenges, disruptions, and opportunities. And it is a civic challenge—requiring men and women of faith to sustain, renew, and build institutions that perpetuate and advance the moral vision that animates modern conservatism at its best. In this session, president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks, explores the moral case for capitalism.

Arthur C. Brooks

Arthur C. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He has served as president since January 1, 2009. He is also the Beth and Ravenel Curry Scholar in Free Enterprise. Before joining AEI, Dr. Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and social entrepreneurship. Prior to his work in academia and public policy, he spent 12 years as a classical musician in the United States and Spain. Dr. Brooks is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and the bestselling author of 11 books on topics including the role of government, fairness, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise. His latest book is the New York Times bestseller The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America (Broadside Books, 2015). He has also published dozens of academic journal articles and the textbook Social Entrepreneurship (Prentice Hall, 2008). Dr. Brooks has a Ph.D. and an M.Phil. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He also holds an M.A. in economics from Florida Atlantic University and a B.A. in economics from Thomas Edison State College.