There are words that many people love to hate. One of them is “capitalism”, which – as it is used today – is often associated with a negative judgment, shaped mostly by its enemies, and creates an invisible thread that links today’s riches to tomorrow’s. Humanity has always exchanged goods and services and created “markets”, but only since the Industrial Revolution has the economic dimension become central in people’s lives. We have experienced “growth”, and along with it, an increase in average income, a reduction in infant mortality, a lengthening of the average lifespan, and access to many other formerly inconceivable comforts. Yet our world remains divided between increasingly impoverished poor people and increasingly wealthy rich ones – a world where inequalities proliferate and welfare systems are endangered by the anarchy of production. Is capitalism a mere instrument of exploitation that humans use on other humans? Revised and corrected, current critiques are the same ones formulated by Marx and Engels in their Manifesto. This book attempts to shed light on the concepts we associate with capitalism and, above all, to provide a novel account of this key idea.
Alberto Mingardi teaches History of Political Thought at the IULM University of Languages and Communication in Milan and heads the Bruno Leoni Institute in the same city.
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