Quote of the Day: “A crisis of the moral economy.”

by matttbastard

The greatest irony of the Thatcher crusade is that its economics pulled against its ethics. I doubt if the idealised abstinent, puritanical, self-respecting Grantham of her imagination ever existed in the real world. It certainly didn’t exist in her Britain. As a quick reading of the Communist Manifesto would have warned her, free-market capitalism is, of its very essence, subversive. It is restless, heaving, masterless, wonderfully dynamic and creative, but, in itself, utterly amoral. The hot breath of the cash nexus dissolves the ties of faith, community, family and tradition. And, as Friedrich von Hayek pointed out more vigorously than any critic of the free market, entrepreneurial success has nothing to do with merit or fairness. It is about satisfying wants and even at times about creating or manufacturing them; and the wants are as likely to be bad as good. The speculative frenzies and spectacular frauds that have studded its history are of its essence, too: among the forces that drive it, greed, credulity and the herd instinct loom much larger than the rationality that most economists celebrate.

– David Marquand, The warrior woman

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5 thoughts on “Quote of the Day: “A crisis of the moral economy.”

  1. those who lived through this period (80’s in US, UK, Australia) witnessed the disintegration of the social ties that held us together. Everyone became a beast for themselves … scared for their job … their physical security. The same forces at work today.


  2. But where Marx was dead wrong is that capitalism has not died as the result of its own contradictions has he predicted.

    But I think that the present crisis is going to have longer lasting effects if only because the environment, on which the system has fed and has nearly exhausted for the last 200 years or so is showing definite signs of exhaustion.


  3. Moral economy? Wow, there’s an oxymoron for you.

    I came to Toronto from BC because of the recession in 82, I needed a job, I was going to stay for five years and go home all triumphant and stuff. The situation is a lot different now, when interest rates are zero rather than the double digits they were in 82, you know the economy has shut down. I just might end up going back after all this time because of another bloody recession.


  4. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo


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