1/21/2020

Breaking Capitalism’s Spell

"McCarraher says he has been working this book for over two decades, and it shows; he seems not to have left a good quote from his research out of the volume. Some of this is great fun, as the collection of radicals, social reformers, writers, and activists he collects (mostly) have interesting things to say. And the story he tells is not without interest, even if it is a bit disjointed. But the pile on of quote after quote, vignette upon vignette, as entertaining and informative as these are, does not ultimately further his argument, which seems to be: (1) capitalism (variously defined) is bad; and (2) it has nevertheless become our religion. The first is simply asserted, on the assumption perhaps that his audience would agree with the premise and would want to jump right into the dissection. But leaving aside the arguments one could propose against his first proposition, even taking that as true, McCarraher’s second proposition also is contestable."