James Buchanan in his essay "The Potential and Limits of Socially Organized Humankind," published in The Economics and Ethics of Constitutional Order, poses the question --- how can it be that classical liberalism which promised simultaneously to achieve individual autonomy, generalized prosperity, and peaceful social relations (and basically achieved those more than any other system of political economy), proved to be so vulnerable to the critique of social justice?
Deirdre McCloskey often asks why there are no folk songs for capitalism the way there are for socialism? Her book Bourgeoise Virtues provides ample evidence of the moral goodness of open markets as opposed to the horrors of state dominance in human history. But people still distrust market processes and turn to the state to provide security and stability.
Here is a nice discussion of these matters.
Thanks to Arts and Letters Daily for the pointer.