The Human Action Podcast

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Donald Devine on the Enduring Tension

The Human Action Podcast

Tags Big GovernmentBureaucracy and RegulationHealthPolitical Theory

03/19/2021Jeff Deist

Donald Devine is a legend in Washington, DC conservative circles, where he gained fame wrestling civil service bloat as head of Reagan's Office of Personnel Management. His new book The Enduring Tension: Capitalism and the Moral Order  starts with Schumpter's creative destruction and asks the tough question: can capitalism alone hold America together? Channeling Hayek, Devine argues that markets are critical but not sufficient. Free and equal individualism requires a mythos and a logos, a moral order rooted in God, morality, law, or tradition—otherwise we devolve into warring factions. Bureaucratic, centralized, and unworkable government perversely encourages these factions as America rejects its federalist structure and Thomist underpinnings. This is a challenging and far-ranging book, and an excellent one for readers concerned with the tension between Locke's liberty and politically engineered license.

Find The Enduring Tension: Capitalism and the Moral Order  at

Note: The views expressed on are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

Contact Jeff Deist

Jeff Deist is president of the Mises Institute. He previously worked as chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul, and as an attorney for private equity clients. Contact: email; Twitter.

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