Why I Dislike the Word ‘Capitalism’

What is capitalism?

Capitalism is a word that I don’t like. You might say, “Wow, that’s silly because it’s on the front cover of your book.” In fact, when we were thinking about the book, I said, “I don’t think we should use the word ‘capitalism.’” But the whole point is that people are starting to really question capitalism—again, and have I think forever. Okay we’re going to roll our sleeves up and get dirty and talk about what capitalism means.

Capitalism is a term that was originated by Karl Marx. It’s a derogatory term. If you know anything about Marx, he was someone who was very worried about excessive wealth accumulation. He believed that work was inherently alienating. So when I get in a commercial relationship with my employer, there’s a probability, a likelihood, that I’m going to be alienated from my work, that I’m going to be a pawn or a cog in this machine. There’s no fulfillment in it. This is very different from the narrative that we talk about when we talk about work. Karl Marx says the dirty capitalists, the holders of capital—that’s where this term comes into being.

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