Sunday, September 15, 2019
The capitalist economic system has major failures. It generates extreme, socially divisive inequalities of wealth and income. It consistently fails to achieve full employment. Many of its jobs are boring, dangerous and/or mind-numbing.
Every four to seven years, it suffers a mysterious downdraft in which millions of people lose jobs and incomes, businesses collapse, falling tax revenues undermine public services, and so on.
If these failures were widely perceived as the inherent failures of the capitalist system, the desirability and thus sustainability of capitalism itself might vanish.
How, then, has capitalism survived?
Its persistence can best be explained in terms of ideology. The system produces and disseminates interpretations of its failures that blame these problems not on capitalism itself, but on other altogether different "causes."
Institutions have developed mechanisms to anchor such interpretations widely and deeply in the popular consciousness.
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