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ints210 midterm paper

ints210 midterm paper - Cait Bold INTS 210 Midterm Paper...

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Cait Bold INTS 210 Midterm Paper Prompt A October 4, 2011 Capitalism, like any other –ism, is in itself an ideology, a term invented to describe one possible arrangement for organizing complex economic activity within a given society. In order to fully understand global capitalism, we must first examine the ideologies that allowed for the unquestioned hegemony of the current system. Perhaps the initial spark for the contemporary capitalist explosion was the disembedding of the economy from society. Previously, as described by Karl Polyani in “The Great Transformation”, economies had been rooted in social relationships, such as property ownership and social status. The idea that the economy was somehow a distinctly separate entity from soci al hierarchy allowed for the formation of a “market society” in which people viewed their economic decisions as disconnected from their social ones. This commodification of daily life is expressed by Polyani: “Machine production in a commercial society involves, in effect, no less a transformation than that of the natural and human substance of society into commodities.” The separation of the market from society opened the door for a wave of new ideologies centered around economic phenomena and ignorant of social causes or effects. One such ideology is that of the laissez-faire, self-regulating free market. Under the Efficient Markets Hypothesis, it is assumed that all market activity is performed by rational individuals who make decisions based on outcome maximization and full, relevant information. This individual, dubbed “Homo Economicus” by John Stuart Mill, contributes to the self-regulation phenomenon
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