In this course, we will seek to interpret capitalism using ideas from biological evolution: firms pursuing varied strategies and facing extinction when those strategies fail are analogous to organisms struggling for survival in nature. For this reason, it is less concerned with ultimate judgment of capitalism than with the ways it can be shaped to fit our more specific objectives – for the natural environment, public health, alleviation of poverty, and development of human potential in every child. Each book we read will be explicitly or implicitly an argument about good and bad consequences of capitalism.
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was videotaped for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.
About Professor Douglas W. Rae
Douglas W. Rae is Richard Ely Professor of Management and Professor of Political Science at Yale University since 1967. He served as chief administrative officer of the City of New Haven in 1990 and 1991. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a former Guggenheim Fellow, Professor Rae has been a consultant for the Parliament of Spain, the Italian Christian Democratic Party, and the BBC. He has served as president of Leeway, Inc., a nonprofit corporation serving AIDS patients. His latest book, City: Urbanism and Its End, was published in the fall of 2003.
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