By David Levine
Pathology of the Capitalist Spirit is set capital and in regards to the financial system that bears its identify. during this ebook, Levine argues that our pursuit of ever-more wealth within the kind of capital expresses our dissatisfaction with the area we are living in, with what we've and what we don't have. Capital embodies our wish for whatever diversified. simply because capital embodies this desire, it has develop into desire's item.
In his learn of capitalism, Levine explores the which means of capital as a social truth hooked up to basic human aspirations. The hyperlink among capital and the pursuit of a hoped-for country is principally very important in mild of the obdurate insistence at the a part of its critics that capitalism exists to serve the cloth pursuits of these whose vocation is to possess capital. This false impression ignores what's crucial approximately capital, that is its hyperlink to not pursuits yet to pray, in particular the desire that by way of collecting capital the person can in attaining an attachment to the good.
It is that this desire that blocks tolerance of any inspiration that there's whatever unfair within the capitalist's acquisition of wealth and that equity might be accomplished via its redistribution to others. it's also this wish that animates the capitalist method as a complete. And in that feel, this wish is the spirit of capitalism.
To improve this subject matter, Levine calls at the principles and writings of significant theorists concerned with realizing modernity and capitalism: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Joseph Schumpeter.
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Extra info for Pathology of the Capitalist Spirit: An Essay on Greed, Loss, and Hope
When we are driven by greed, we do not really exist, but are instead “consumed” by our greed. In Marx’s way of speaking about capital, to be driven by greedy desire is to lose your subjectivity. Then greedy desire becomes a force in its own right, the real subject of the system that dominates over all those existing in it. In this construction, greedy desire exists as an objective reality, one that molds those in it to ends originating outside, one that is no mere expression of the presence of greedy persons who have taken command of social institutions.
In rejecting what others have, we shift our own sense of loss onto them. The disease of the infinite, then, turns the things we covet because others have them into the things we despise so that in having them others can also be despised. Above, I link the ability to find satisfaction in finite useful things with the capacity to make contact with the self understood as the mainspring and template for a personal and individual way of being, one that makes us different from others and in so doing marks our separation from them.
This means that wherever the acquisitive spirit dominates, neither use nor the pleasure in use can be the primary end; so if we are to understand that end we must look elsewhere. For the early capitalist, this end is clear enough. For him, the pleasure in owning wealth that must not be consumed is essentially the pleasure taken in not consuming, which is the pleasure in exerting control over the impulse to consume and to take pleasure in doing so. The pleasure in control over this impulse is proportional to the temptation set before it, which in this case is proportional to the wealth accumulated.