Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The inevitability of capitalism

Fascinating (and dense) look at the evolution in the relationship between capitalism and the State, and our predisposition to view capitalism and free-market-based structures as inevitable, and of higher purpose than all else. It also considers the detrimental impact on Society under these conditions.

If modern democracies are to survive the shock of Reich's "supercapitalism," they need to be bound by something more than the pursuit of private economic advantage, particularly when the latter accrues to ever fewer beneficiaries: the idea of a society held together by pecuniary interests alone is, in Mill's words, "essentially repulsive." A civilized society requires more than self-interest, whether deluded or enlightened, for its shared narrative of purpose. "The greatest asset of public action is its ability to satisfy vaguely felt needs for higher purpose in the lives of men and women."

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