Capitalism Studies

As far as this catalogue is concerned, I will be mixing together all items into this single category: neoclassical economics; sources and discourses on Marxism, socialism, or communism; explorations of the rich and privileged; investigations into the machinations of mass-production industries, both cultural and practical; and anything regarding the consequences of neoliberal policy and increasing income inequality among or within nations.

Normally, this wide field is split between the presupposed political alignments of their writers; but that's largely irrelevant for my purposes. Everything dances around the same core topic: capitalism, how to put up with it, and what—if anything—could be done about it.

As a small note, my interest in this topic is actually much wider than this selection would suggest. I must have downed a number of items from my academic library's HB, HD, and HF sections for books on business structures and learning how to run small businesses. These forays were largely fruitless. What enables one to run a business varies by locality or region, but books like these need to be written for a mass audience, and are ideologically agnostic to the particulars of any one person's situation. I had poured over many Introduction to Business textbooks and popular-press Ten Day MBAs, with nothing gained for the trouble. Despite these authors blind assurances that starting a business was easy and natural, they were strangely cryptic when it came to offering any finer details about how, and I floundered in trying to find answers to basic questions. Were it not for the provincial government and the Canada Revenue Agency eventually swooping in to provide me the brass-tacks specifics needed to get a business license, I would've never gotten even a basic footing in the subject. The fact that I even did, and from the sources that I did, would've no doubt caused much consternation from the libertarian authors who dominated these shelves.

What I learned from that sordid affair was simple: a lot of the stories we tell about capitalism aren't designed to be truthful. Businesspersons must speak about their roles within the workings of “the market” from a very necessary point of dishonesty, just as a means of protecting themselves from competition or reprisal. Nine out of every ten attempts at new entrepreneurship result in failure, yet we are ideologically pushed to consider what only happens 10% of the time as if it were normal operating procedure, and feign ignorance to the remaining 90. This is not what we do for any other science, yet these are the circumstances we're nonetheless forced to play.

... the many frustrations latent in this topic have only served to cement my socialist impulses further. This is not a place of honour. No good deed is commemorated here.




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