The Kindness behind Capitalism

Behind our destructive system of unbridled capitalism is a shadow system of kindness, the other invisible hand. Let's celebrate it and help it grow in the future, says Rebecca Solnit.

Who wouldn’t agree that our society is capitalistic, based on competition and selfishness? As it happens, however, huge areas of our lives are also based on gift economies, barter, mutual aid, and giving without hope of return (principles that have little or nothing to do with competition, selfishness, or scarcity economics). Think of the relations between friends, between family members, the activities of volunteers or those who have chosen their vocation on principle rather than for profit. ... Capitalism is only kept going by this army of anti-capitalists, who constantly exert their powers to clean up after it.

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