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A deft and caustic takedown of the recent prophets of revenue, from invoice Gates to Oprah

As critical environmental degradation, breathtaking inequality, and extending alienation push capitalism opposed to its personal contradictions, mythmaking has turn into as significant to maintaining our financial system as profitmaking.

input the hot prophets of capital: Sheryl Sandberg touting the capitalist paintings ethic because the antidote to gender inequality; John Mackey promising that loose markets will heal the planet; Oprah Winfrey urging us to discover strategies to poverty and alienation inside of ourselves; and invoice and Melinda Gates supplying the generosity of the 1 percentage because the solution to a power, systemic inequality. the hot prophets of capital buttress an exploitative approach, while the cracks develop extra obvious.

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6 during this second, a brand new new release of storytellers has emerged to inform us what’s incorrect with society and the way to mend it. the main strong of those storytellers aren’t terrible or operating humans, they're the super-elite. The loudest critics of capitalism nowadays are humans like invoice Gates, who decries poverty and inequality, and Sheryl Sandberg, who laments chronic gender divides, yet they don't seem to be calling for an finish to capitalism. as an alternative, they're a part of a refrain of latest elite voices calling for a special type of capitalism. The lengthy checklist of “new” capitalisms being touted or disdained—conscious capitalism, artistic capitalism, sustainable capitalism, equitable capitalism, philanthrocapitalism, eco-capitalism, inclusive capitalism, crony capitalism—illustrates the frequent feeling that capitalism must swap. the hot Prophets of Capitalism examines the tales advised through 4 of those new storytellers: Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook), John Mackey (CEO of complete Foods), Oprah Winfrey (media mogul), and invoice and Melinda Gates (creators of the Gates Foundation). 7 I argue that every of those storytellers acts as a prophet of capitalism. they think that there are severe issues of capitalism, or with the results it has on society, they usually have a plan or framework the remainder of us can use to resolve those difficulties. What does it suggest to be a “prophet” of capitalism? Max Weber outlined a prophet as a charismatic person who, upon receiving a “personal call,” embarks on a undertaking to disseminate a brand new doctrine—a new imaginative and prescient of ways we will enhance our lives and make the area a greater position. The prophet’s strength comes from her own gifts—her revelations and her aura. within the pre-industrial period, aura intended the prophet’s skill to illustrate his powers via utilizing magic or appearing miracles. Today’s prophets don’t practice magic tricks—their air of secrecy comes as a substitute from their means to amass wealth. in addition, Weber argues that the most important issue distinguishing a prophet from a clergyman (or a snake-oil salesman) is that the prophet’s quest to make people’s lives larger and remedy social difficulties is unremunerated—she spreads the observe for free. Oprah Winfrey and Melinda Gates don’t advertise their imaginative and prescient of a higher international for private monetary achieve. They do it simply because they need to, simply because they think their imaginative and prescient for solving society’s difficulties is correct and powerful. Their precise believer prestige, mixed with their charisma of competence (derived from their “magical” skill to amass wealth), offers their tales frequent allure and makes them prophets. In convinced respects, those new storytellers are certainly just like prophets earlier. They draw humans to their visions for a greater global, and their tales supply either an evidence of, and an answer for, social difficulties. yet those new narratives fluctuate from the preferred tales of the Sixties and Seventies, whose visions of existence past capitalism have been discredited besides the social hobbies from which they grew.

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