Moral Capitalism


  • Laurian Bowles Temple University Press



Scholars have long held interest in the way power is accumulated and reproduced. The paradox of moral capitalism is the problematic reproduction of marginality through uneven exchanges and the embodiment of ethical and moral considerations. Despite well-known indictments, the desire for a moral capitalism persists. This essay suggests that the contexts of moral capitalism are frequently informed by this awareness and the permission people give themselves to embrace contradictory propositions. People hope that a moral capitalism can affirm the particularities of personhood, so that their identities are not valued solely through the lens of the things they do in order to earn money. In the same way that theft can be viewed as form of social redistribution that actualizes Robin Hood mythologies, moral capitalism can highlight the social and personal moments when forms of identity embrace contradiction as a habit of resilience.