Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 20, 2001 — Two of America's leading techno-capitalists—Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Oracle's Larry Ellison—have, in recent years, amassed multi-billion dollar fortunes. Their vast wealth could soon eclipse even the success (in real dollars) enjoyed by the Industrial Revolution's financial giants, Rockefeller and Carnegie. All four entrepreneurial examples prove that capitalism is able to outperform other economic systems. But questions remain: Is such wealth accumulation good for society? Do Gates and Ellison represent the new age of so-called "robber barons"?
Powerful critiques of techno-capitalism have emerged from both the political Left and Right. Some maintain that the new economy has increased the income gap between the wealthy and the poor. Others hold that our living standards may be up but our values are down. The new economy, it is said, promotes values of selfishness and greed. Privacy is threatened by technology, and families and communities are being eroded.
"The clash reflects the special concerns of an era of prosperity," writes D’Souza. "Capitalism has won the economic war, but it has not yet won the moral war."
Dinesh D'Souza will examine these questions in a lecture provided by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, a Grand Rapids—based think tank. The lecture echoes themes presented in his recently released The Virtue of Prosperity: Finding Values in an Age of Techno-Affluence. D'Souza's book examines techno-capitalism and responds to its critiques, concluding, "it is possible to do good while doing well."
The lecture will take place at the Ladies Literary Club in downtown Grand Rapids at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3 .
Dinesh D'Souza serves as a research scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and worked as a White House domestic policy analyst from 1987 to 1988. He is the best-selling author of Illiberal Education, The End of Racism, and Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader.