Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Sacrificial Rites of Capitalism We Don’t Talk About — Lynn Parramore

Lynn Parramore reviews Suprita Rajan's A Tale of Two Capitalisms, which is about the intersection of economics with anthropology and sociology and the distinction between homo economicus of economics and homo communis (aka homo socialis) of anthropology and sociology — and ethics.

Ethos (ἦθος, ἔθος; plurals: ethe, ἤθη; ethea, ἤθεα) is a Greek word originally meaning "accustomed place" (as in ἤθεα ἵππων "the habitats of horses", Iliad 6.511, 15.268),[2] "custom, habit", equivalent to Latin mores.

Ethos forms the root of ethikos (ἠθικός), meaning "moral, showing moral character".[3] As an adjective in the neuter plural form ta ethika (τὰ ἠθικά), used for the study of morals, it is the origin of the modern English word ethics.
In modern usage, ethos denotes the disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, corporation, culture, or movement. — Wikipedia
The etymology of the term "ethics" reveals that it can be traced to the customs of a people and later morphs into the dual meaning of the spirit of a people and the character of an individual. From this emerges the contemporary meaning of "ethics" as both individual and social in terms of right action and community-approved behavior.

While an act may not be illegal, that is, contra to positive law, it may be unethical in terms of an unwritten "law" as a tradition. Thus, liberalism is permeated with traditionalism. This is often overlooked in the narrow interpretation of liberalism, as in "Well, I didn't break any laws" as exculpatory. That excuse doesn't fly with the public.

The Sacrificial Rites of Capitalism We Don’t Talk About
Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst
Crossposted at Naked Capitalism

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