Myths of Capitalism by Andrew Torre addresses the long-promulgated capitalist belief system that has become the accepted wisdom in most of American society. The main tenets of this belief system – the sanctity of private property, the social benefits of profit, the elevation of the individual, capitalism’s compatibility with democracy, the underlying stability of the market, the virtues of competition, etc. – do not hold up under empirical data and a careful analysis of the actual workings of the system.
In singling out and individually debunking these myths, the book is a comprehensive critique of capitalism itself. In the process, it addresses seminal issues not usually given the emphasis they deserve – even in progressive discourse:
The more that productive technology advances under capitalism, the more the productive forces must be thwarted – a situation of unprecedented enforced scarcity that is eventually untenable and possibly signals an epochal change in social development;
There is a historically unique and unsustainable separation of political and economic systems into public and private sectors resulting from the 18th century democratic revolutions;
Ruling-class awareness of systemic crisis drives it more intensely than ever to the destruction of democratic government and its replacement with a global corporate plutocracy;
Given the impossibility of the massive global replacement of global capitalism by a radically new system, only raised public consciousness and increased participation in democratic government can rein in capital. This could result in meaningful redistribution that may eventually lead to an erosion of the system itself.
In exploring these issues and applying hard data to each article of capitalist faith, “Myths of Capitalism” is a comprehensive overview of capitalism itself. It is a primer on the system – its history, current functioning, and future. Written in layman’s language and non-polemical, “Myths of Capitalism” is a book for every person, eminently accessible to the intelligent reader of any – or no —political persuasion, including students of economics and political science.