Tag: CAPITALISM

Searching for Consolation in Max Weber’s Work Ethic

Charisma and Disenchantment: The Vocation Lectures Max Weber Buy on Bookshop New York Review of Books, 176 pp., $15.95 Modern invocations of the work ethic are usually misreadings: The Protestant Ethic was more lament than celebration. Weber sought to narrate the arrival of what had become a no-longer-questioned assumption: that our duty was to labor […]

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Jeff Bezos Says Black Lives Matter, but Will He Make a Meaningful Stand for Black Amazon Employees?

Does Jeff Bezos love protecting and compensating Black employees as much he loves dunking on racist Amazon customers? Big, if true. Photo: Sajjad Hussain (Getty Images) If you look at allyship as some sort of contest, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been eager to put some points on the board. He’s done this mostly through […]

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How Corporations Make Pandemics Deadlier

In early 2009, a toddler named Édgar Hernández, of La Gloria, Mexico, came down with a fever and a nasty, persistent cough. Doctors told his parents he was suffering from a mysterious respiratory ailment, and his illness would set off a series of containment measures that now feel intimately familiar, with emergency press conferences and […]

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Thomas Piketty’s Plan to Fix the Economy

You might say that, in 1788, the weather conspired against France’s feudal system of property ownership. Drought in the spring, hail in the summer, and a cruel winter crushed the agrarian economy. By the spring of 1789, the country was in turmoil. Displaced, unemployed workers “choked the roads and threatened reprisals against householders who refused […]

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Disinvestment Made Our Cities a Powder Keg in a Pandemic

On a sunny Saturday in March, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was horrified to find people were still gathering in city parks. “It’s insensitive, it’s arrogant, it’s self-destructive, it’s disrespectful, and it has to stop now,” he said. He was right that the packed parks defied social distancing guidelines intended to slow the […]

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Two Weeks in an Oligarchy

Two Sundays ago, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, devoted YMCA member and erstwhile presidential hopeful, reluctantly closed the city’s public schools after pleas from multiple city officials and public health experts and the threat of a teacher sick-out. Later that week, he waffled on whether to cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and […]

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Celebrities! They’re Just Like Us, Except Not Really—Which Is Extra Apparent During a Public Health Crisis

Pharrell Williams attends the celebrating party of The Jewelry of Lorraine Schwartz, “Arts In All Its Forms” on March 24, 2019 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Photo: Theodore Kaye (Getty Images for Lorraine Schwartz) We need a celebrity intervention, y’all. As noted in my recent piece reporting the news of Lionel Richie’s suggestion to write […]

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Give Me Capitalism or Give Me Death

I don’t remember doing it, but at some point in the last week I must have turned on my Apple News alerts. “The Dow fell more than 900 points on Friday,” one read. Then another: “Who will be saved, and who won’t?” And another: “How the coronavirus will permanently change our world. Also: The incredible […]

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Amazon Warehouse Workers Knew Someone Would Get Sick

It was fall of last year when Jake, who asked that I not use his last name, first started working at an Amazon fulfillment center in Queens. It was a second job—he took it on because he needed some extra income—and he’d been picking up steady shifts since then. But on Tuesday, after developing a […]

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Against Productivity in a Pandemic

Boutique grocery stores have been raided of their oat milks, bars and restaurants have been shuttered or limited to delivery-only service, a growing pool of service and retail workers have lost their jobs, the NBA and MLB seasons have been suspended and delayed, Idris Elba and Tom Hanks have tested positive for the coronavirus. Slowly, and rightfully, the shock and […]

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‘I’m Already Rich’: Jay-Z Scoffs At the Idea That He’s a Sellout Because of His NFL Partnership

Jay-Z attends Michael Rubin’s Fanatics Super Bowl Party on February 01, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida.Photo: Mike Coppola (Getty Images for Fanatics) If it’s really “chess, not checkers,” that chess board is not just the regular chess board, but an expensive limited edition. Jay-Z’s previous line in “Nice” by The Carters has constantly come back […]

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Thomas Piketty Turns Marx on His Head

CAPITAL AND IDEOLOGY By Thomas Piketty Seven years ago the French economist Thomas Piketty released “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” a magnum opus on income inequality. Economists already knew and admired Piketty’s scholarly work, and many — myself included — offered the book high praise. Remarkably, the book also became a huge international best seller. […]

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A World to Win

J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph Stalin shared one passionately held belief: that “socialism” denoted the one-party dictatorship in Moscow and its satellites. The fact that this dictatorship would have been emphatically repudiated by a great many people with a much better right to adjudicate the use of the word “socialism”—Marx, Engels, William Morris, Karl Kautsky, […]

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This Is How We’ll Live When the Government Gives Us All a Basic Income

Imagine, for a moment, that the robots have won. The year is 2049—the same year researchers once pegged as the one in which A.I. would become smart enough to pen a bestselling book more adeptly than a human author could. Technological advancements have upended the transportation, manufacturing and retail sectors, rendering nearly half of the […]

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Davos Is Just a Bunch of Boomers Sharing Viral Videos

For a long time, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has been struggling to pitch itself as part of the solution to global inequality and climate change, instead of an entrenched part of the problem. To that end, the organization has offered empty rhetoric about corporate responsibility and promoted “green” fuel for private jets. It has […]

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