This chapter examines the consistent criticisms that have been made of capitalism over two centuries and that continue to be made. They have damned capitalism as a conspiracy of the powerful; as the mindless enemy of mindful reflection; as the destroyer of true value, whether in nature or culture; as the enemy of community and social bonds; and as being against life. This last point shows just how different capitalism is from the market. Where markets are full of life and social interaction, the places where capitalist power is most concentrated can be the opposite of life. Dull and soulless central business districts, automated factory production lines, or the grimly abstract headquarters of global banks embody an aesthetic that runs counter to the vibrant, variegated patterns of living things like forests or coral reefs.
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