Capitalism: Neither Problem Nor Solution-But Temporary Victim of the Financial Crisis

Liah Greenfeld

in The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780823249602
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823250752 | DOI:
Capitalism: Neither Problem Nor Solution-But Temporary Victim of the Financial Crisis

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Liah Greenfeld argues that capitalism is neither the problem nor the solution to the financial crisis, but a victim of the crisis. Tracing the emergence of capitalism through a reworking of Max Weber's thesis from the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Greenfield argues that capitalism has its roots in nationalism, not religion as Weber suggests. When a nation decides to compete in the field of economic activity, the result is its reorientation toward the accumulation of ever-increasing wealth and, given that the competitors are capable by definition, economies of sustained growth or capitalism. In other words, competitive national exertion is what explains the persistence of capitalist activity. Along the way, Greenfeld dispels misconceptions surrounding capitalism—including the perception that capitalism is tied to globalization.

Keywords: Karl Marx; Max Weber; The Protestant Ethic and hte Spirit of Captalism; The Spirit of Capitalism; England; Wealth of Nations; World War II; England; Globalization; Japan

Chapter.  3085 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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