My Authors
Read all threads
A short summary of The Meridian of Her Greatness by Lou Keep.

This is about how we can reconcile economic prosperity with increasing discontent, what capitalism really means, why social protections hurt the economy & society and cause bigger problems…
Reconciling economic prosperity and discontent is difficult. People point to Trump/Brexit/Occupy as examples of anger. This fails to explain anything.

How do we explain their economic motivations? Is income/wealth inequality really the problem?
Polyani explains how we can reconcile the two using the idea of "economic prejudice". This has two parts.

1 - Wealth got redefined in terms of market value (property, wages) instead of traditional metrics (common land, social ties AND capital). Blurrier forms were excluded.
2 - Over time, quality of life becomes an economic concern especially re:pursuing policy. Since economics no longer includes traditional forms of sustenance then the realm of politics also stops asking about those more “social” things.
Only some explanations are allowed to explain capitalism & discontent.

ProCap: People getting richer so no economic complaints. It is x (x is political)

AntiCap: People are angry because of poverty/inequality. Fix the market. (2) ensures the solution is economically prejudiced
What does Polyani mean by capitalism? Market society.

We've always had markets but they were meditated by social relations. Wealth mattered insofar as it protected the individual's social standing, social assets and social claims.

Markets were embedded within social relations.
Market societies came about with the dissolution of social relations. They could not be measured and were ignored.

Modern market society was established by removal of political protections and the creation of a labor market.

Now, social relations were embedded within markets.
Polanyi views economic history as a “double movement”. The first movement is in the direction of economic liberalism. The second is social protections.

Markets were self-regulating, formed the bedrock of modern society and contained social relations.
The creation of labor markets destroyed metic controls over the market. What if people want more [social things] than economic things?

Metis is locally relevant, socially embedded information.
The removal of metis was accompanied with social dislocation and discontent.

Social protections were proposed to combat this reaction.
Social protections made the situation worse. From (1) and (2), they were economically prejudiced (e.g. Brexit, UBI, etc.)

Social protections hurt the free market/economy and since markets were the bedrock of society it was bound to hurt society at large.
A feedback loop was set up. Society moving towards a market society. More social dislocation. More anger. Newer, more economically prejudiced social protections proposed.

Free markets tampered with. Disastrous consequences for society built on top of free market.
What are we fighting about when we rail against capitalism today?

The argument is essentially how regulations (that are social in nature) can be used to govern free markets that are now self-regulating.

It's not about privatization or democracy or socialism.
What's worse than welfare?

The real concern is much more psychological.

Namely: human beings want much richer social lives than they can maintain under strict market conditions, and much of the reaction against market societies comes from that.

Read more to find out.
All errors/inaccuracies are mine.
I tried experimenting with a memeified version of the article given that memes are already a part of the common language we use.

The full memeified version is available here. Any comments appreciated!
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Keep Current with Rahul Ramchandani

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!