The Ethics of Neoliberalism: The Business of Making Capitalism Moral

Bloom, Peter (2017). The Ethics of Neoliberalism: The Business of Making Capitalism Moral. Routledge Studies in Business Ethics. Abingdon: Routledge.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315619019

URL: https://www.routledge.com/The-Ethics-of-Neoliberal...

Abstract

The 21st century is the age of "neo-liberalism" – a time when the free market is spreading to all areas of economic, political and social life. Yet how is this changing our individual and collective ethics? Is capitalism also becoming our new morality? From the growing popular demand for corporate social responsibility to personal desire for "work-life balance" it would appear that non-market ideals are not only surviving but also thriving. Why then does it seem that capitalism remains as strong as ever?

The Ethics of Neoliberalism boldly proposes that neoliberalism strategically co-opts traditional ethics to ideologically and structurally strengthen capitalism. It produces "the ethical capitalist subject" who is personally responsible for making their society, workplace and even their lives "more ethical" in the face of an immoral but seemingly permanent free market.

Rather than altering our morality, neoliberalism "individualizes" ethics, making us personally responsible for dealing with and resolving its moral failings. In doing so, individuals end up perpetuating the very market system that they morally oppose and feel powerless to ultimately change.

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