MacIntyre on Capitalism and Debt

This is a great article on Catholic Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre. His book After Virtue is really quite good (at least the bit I’ve read). Anyway I found this quote to be the best explanation of central flaw of our system.

MacIntyre maintains, however, that the system must be understood in terms of its vices—in particular debt. The owners and managers of capital always want to keep wages and other costs as low as possible. “But, insofar as they succeed, they create a recurrent problem for themselves. For workers are also consumers and capitalism requires consumers with the purchasing power to buy its products. So there is tension between the need to keep wages low and the need to keep consumption high.” Capitalism has solved this dilemma, MacIntyre says, by bringing future consumption into the present by dramatic extensions of credit.

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