Capitalism Is Immoral, but Moral Economies May be Worse

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Since its rise as a dominant economic system in the early 19th century, capitalism has been criticized as immoral. “It is, indeed, the moral economy that they [the proponents of capitalism] always keep out of sight,” wrote James Bonterre O’Brien in 1837, proceeding to charge that capitalism destroys virtues. Eleven years later in the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels likened capitalism to a sorcerer casting an…