From World Affairs Via A & L Daily: Jagdish Bagwhati’s ‘Feeble Critiques: Capitalism’s Petty Detractors’

Full article here.

Bagwhati is a professor at Columbia, and claims Americans need to regain social mobility against the tide of current populists (on the left), thriving during the recession:

“Capitalism works best when those who do not succeed, and are buffeted by the vicissitudes of life, still believe in success—believe that those who do succeed put their wealth to good use, and do not merely engage in self-indulgence. Remember that the Calvinists and the Jains of Gujerat accumulated wealth but spent it not on themselves but on promoting social good.”

So we need moral lights (religious), or at least moral sacrifice on the part of those who are successful.  But, do you get into bed with organized religion politically as a practical matter?  How closely?  What about where individualism, religious idealism, and politics meet?

Bagwhati does have to adjust to the current political landscape a bit as well:

“We have to respond by improving education and by relieving anxiety through reforms that make health care part of a basic provision for the poor. These reforms strengthen capitalism. Without them, the economic populists will enjoy a success that they do not deserve.”

Politically, it’s very difficult to go against some form of health-care bill, and rising costs are a problem.  Do you have to beat the public option’s supporters at their own game?  

Also On This Site:  Amartya Sen In The New York Review Of Books: Capitalism Beyond The Crisis…A Few Thoughts On Robert Nozick’s “Anarchy, State and Utopia”…Martha Nussbaum In Dissent–Violence On The Left: Nandigram And The Communists Of West Bengal

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