HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership


The world is witnessing a loss of faith in both capitalism and democracy, which seemed nearly unimaginable just a generation ago. Many blame “the other party.” Others blame capitalism’s flaws, as market systems increase inequality, which is inherently undemocratic — and believe the solution is to strengthen government control and weaken market forces in modern economies. This conclusion is incorrect: In fact, capitalism naturally reinforces democracy, but both are under attack by a decline in civic virtue, in the form of honesty and civility, in politics, the media, academia, and other institutions. The reestablishment of civic virtue should be our priority.


Brooks, Arthur. "America’s Crisis of Civic Virtue." Journal of Democracy 35.2 (April 2024): 23-39.