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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Market Society – A Moral Vacuum



A market economy is a powerful tool for creating wealth and generating innovation for societies. A market society is a society where market values have gone beyond the economy to infiltrate the social, civic, and moral spheres. 

The idea of a “good” has been devalued to refer solely to monetary value, leaving out social, civic, and moral values. This has created a vacuum that the evils of corruption and fanaticism have swept in to fill. 

Neoliberals have substituted the will of the free market for conscious morality and civility, for the emptiest form of profit, enriching bank accounts instead of lives and peoples. Neoconservatives, being fanatical, use fascist tactics to simplify the spread of corruption and the monetization of everything, including citizenship and life. Distrustful of government’s capability to maintain efficient, beneficial order, conservatives would rather trust everything to the chaos of the market.

People sell their bodies, rights, and dignity regularly. The free market argues that this is done between consenting adults for agreed upon value, but gross inequality introduces the coercion of poverty which negates free choice, a free market, and a free society.
  
An unregulated market economy creates a market society vacuum. Only the active pursuit of a rich range of “goods”, with inherent “value”, that “profit” everyone can purge the corruption and restore a market society to a just one.

The following book goes into this in detail. Here is the interview on The Current that I heard about it from.


What Money Can't Buy: Michael Sandel

Monday, September 10, 2012
Author Michael Sandel believes the free market economy is crowding out civic values



Economists refer to the free market as the invisible hand. But according to Michael Sandel, it's become more like a scratching claw. Michael Sandel says market ideology has come to shape, mould and influence parts of our lives and societies where it has no proper place.  Michael Sandel is a political philosopher at Harvard University whose new book is called What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets and he is our guest today.


Part Three of The Current
What Money Can't Buy: Michael Sandel 
Economists refer to the free market as the invisible hand. But according to our next guest, it's become more like a scratching claw. Michael Sandel says market ideology has come to shape, mould and influence parts of our lives and societies where it has no proper place
.
Michael Sandel is a political philosopher at Harvard University. His new book is called What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

And as part of our project, Line in the Sand, looking at the ethical and moral issues that define and complicate our lives, Michael Sandel joins us from Boston.

From Amazon.ca

What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel.
Publication Date: April 24 2012

Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we allow corporations to pay for the right to pollute the atmosphere? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars? Auctioning admission to elite universities? Selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay?

In What Money Can’t Buy, Michael J. Sandel takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Is there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don’t belong? What are the moral limits of markets?
In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life—medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. Is this where we want to be?

In his New York Times bestseller Justice, Sandel showed himself to be a master at illuminating, with clarity and verve, the hard moral questions we confront in our everyday lives. Now, in What Money Can’t Buy, he provokes an essential discussion that we, in our market-driven age, need to have: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society—and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets don’t honor and that money can’t buy?