every society has to engird capitalism in a restraining value system

“I guess I’d put it this way. Every society has to engird capitalism in a restraining value system, or else it turns nihilistic and out of control. The Germans have a Christian Democratic set of institutions, enforced by law. The Swedes have their egalitarianism. Since the days of Jonathan Edwards, we have developed a quasi-religious spirituality that informally restrains the excesses of the market. God and Mammon are intertwined.

Many people feel that the values side of this arrangement is dissolving. Both the government and Wall Street are leaping into the void, to bad effect.” – David Brooks, NYT