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Business Civilization in Decline by Robert…

Business Civilization in Decline

by Robert L. Heilbroner

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"How strong, deep, or sustaining can be the values generated by a civilization that generates a ceaseless flow of half-truths and careful deception, in which it is common knowledge that only a fool is taken in by the charades and messages that supposedly tell us 'the facts'?...But the market mechanism also contains profound weaknesses that have been overlooked during the period of uninhibited capitalist expansion. One of these is its tendency to create extremely skewed distributions of income and property, a tendency that a straitjacketed economy will no longer accept with the forebearance of an expanding one. Another weakness is the failure of the market to protect us against the socially deleterious side effects of production, such as pollution, an aspect that becomes intolerable in a threatened environment. And a third weakness is the matter to which we have just referred -- the exclusive focus of the market on economic activity conceived and measured in quantities of material output, not in qualities of human input. The market celebrates private consumption and ignores private production. This indifference to the experience of work corrodes and corrupts much of the way of life in a business civilization...These 'civilizational' challenges of the long run are also intimately associated with the prospect of a decline in, and finally a halt to, growth." ( )
  KidSisyphus | Apr 5, 2013 |
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