The fetishism of divergence : a critique of Piketty

Campbell, David (2015) The fetishism of divergence : a critique of Piketty. Journal of Corporate Law Studies, 15 (1). pp. 183-216. ISSN 1473-5970

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“the strength and weakness of that kind of criticism which knows how to judge and condemn the present, but not how to comprehend it” Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty First Century has enjoyed a reception comparable only to that of Hayek's The Road to Serfdom or Galbraith's The Affluent Society. It restates Piketty and colleagues’ statistical history of capitalist inequality and advances an explanation of this based on the operation of pernicious economic forces of capitalism. The book obviously invites comparison with Marx's Capital. However, Piketty's “capital” is entirely divorced from any concrete conception of capitalist production, and his critique of capitalism is merely moralistic in a way which Marx would have scorned. Piketty's explanation of the growth of inequality since 1980, particularly of the growth of managerial “supersalaries”, displays a failure to grasp the character of the economic and legal institutions of corporate capitalism.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Corporate Law Studies
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Corporate Law Studies on 04/08/2015, available online:
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14 Sep 2015 08:51
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 15:25